Read Billy Porter’s triumphant Emmys speech that got a standing ovation

Billy Porter presents an award at Sunday's Emmys ceremony.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

“Oh, my God! Oh, my God!,” actor Billy Porter yelled excitedly on the Emmys stage Sunday, prompting a standing ovation during the ceremony.

Porter made history as the first openly gay black man to win an Emmy for lead actor in a drama series for playing Pray Tell in"Pose,” an FX series about New York City’s Latino and African American LGBTQ ballroom culture.

After a few more excited “Oh, my Gods!,” the first-time Emmy nominee went on to reference James Baldwin, the celebrated African American activist and writer.


Billy Porter of FX’s “Pose” is the first openly gay black man to win the Emmy for lead actor in a drama series.

“‘It took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this Earth like I had the right to be here,’” he quoted Baldwin.

Here’s the rest of Porter’s triumphant speech:

“I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right! There were so many people who helped me get here along the way, so I’m just going to say thank you.

Thank you first of all to the other exquisitely talented men in my category. I love you all so much. It is such an honor to be up here breathing the same air that y’all breath. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

My momma Cloerinda, there is no stronger, more resilient woman who has graced this Earth. I love you, Mommy. Much love to the actors … my sister... my husband, Adam Porter-Smith, Suzy, Bill Butler, my manager of 29 years. Twenty-nine years. You helped me believe in myself when I couldn’t believe.
FX. All the people at FX… Alexa Fogel… my ‘Pose’ cast. Everybody in my ‘Pose’ cast. Ryan Murphy. Ryan Murphy. Ryan Murphy. You saw me. You believed in us. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. We are the people. We as artists are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t stop ever telling the truth. I love you all. They’re telling me to please stop. God bless you. God bless you.”

“Pose” star Billy Porter shares how he was cast for his role -- or wished it into existence.