The final time Billy Porter appeared at Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival was within the year 2000. He was there in help of one of many first films he ever appeared in: Greg Berlanti’s The Broken Hearts Club, a romantic comedy a few group of homosexual finest associates living in West Hollywood. Back then, Porter was simply turning 30, and he was very uncertain of the place his career would take him. But 22 years later, he’s back at Outfest — and this time, he’s opening the competition with the world premiere of his directorial debut, Anything’s Possible, a few Black, trans highschool lady who really will get the man.
“It feels like redemption,” Porter informed MovieMaker Thursday night time on the Outfest opening night time red carpet. “It feels like progress. It feels like hope and change.”
Porter was over the moon that he was in a position to “tell this story of trans joy” whereas additionally “celebrating trans lives and putting that positive energy out into the world.”
The iconic Pose actor and Kinky Boots Broadway star filmed Anything’s Possible, out July 22 on Amazon Prime Video, in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Also Read: Outfest’s Damien S. Navarro Embraces Its History In Honor of fortieth Anniversary
“I love Pittsburgh. It’s the town that raised me. All of my chosen family who’s still there — and not there — came in and are a part of this. I was able to… just create a love letter to my hometown. And it’s really wonderful,” he mentioned.
Porter additionally acquired Outfest’s highest honor on Thursday: the Outfest Annual Achievement Award.
“I was turning 30 at the time of the filming of The Broken Hearts Club, and I was disenchanted with my career, or lack thereof, that I saw before me. There was a glass ceiling for us queers. And that glass ceiling was even thicker for folks of color,” Porter mentioned throughout his acceptance speech. “After our premieres at Outfest and Sundance with The Broken Hearts Club, I took a leap and moved out here to Los Angeles. I quickly realized that the industry, nor the world, was ready for all this black boy joy.
“I can count on one hand how many auditions I had in all of those three years that I lived here. My pigeonhole was quite severe. If the description of the character didn’t begin with ‘flamboyantly…’ I was not considered. And then after the audition, I would consistently hear feedback that I was ‘too flamboyant,’ and the role will be given to a straight actor,” he continued.
But Porter by no means gave up on his quest to extend LGBTQ+ illustration in Hollywood, and finally — after an iconic run as Lola in Kinky Boots on Broadway, starring as Pray Tell in Ryan Murphy’s Pose, and now directing a really inclusive movie full of queerness and actors of coloration — he has lastly achieved his dream.
“We have to choose love. We have to choose hope. We have to choose joy,” he mentioned afterward in his speech. “Who will you be? What will you do? This is the moment right now. This is the moment. No more silence.”
Main Image: Billy Porter on the red carpet at Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival’s Opening Night Gala Presents Anything’s Possible. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock for Outfest.