Billy Porter feels his 'full authentic self' and relieved after opening up about HIV diagnosis
Billy Porter spoke his truth and how! The Emmy-winning actor in a heartbreaking yet affirmative article for The Hollywood Reporter opened up about his 2007 HIV diagnosis. In the story, Billy recounted living with shame, guilt and trauma all these years due to the diagnosis and stigma attached to it. Post the article's publication, Billy also sat down with Tamron Hall for his first TV interview on the subject.
For the television interview, the 51-year-old actor opened up about his diagnosis in detail and revealed how 2007 was almost a tragic year for the actor. After being diagnose with Type 2 diabetes and filing for bankruptcy in March 2007, Billy was HIV aids positive in June of that year. "It felt like there was a hand on my heart squeezing every day, all day, every morning … Shame is a destroyer. It destroys everything," the actor said.
During the TV interview, Tamron Hall revealed that Billy Porter called her a few weeks ago and she assumed it was for a charity event. But Porter said instead, "I got something else to share that I’ve been holding for 14 years."
An insider informed Page Six that the actor was rather relived after telling his truth. "The (phone) conversation was just as tearful as the interview. He came to grips with how it was all coming out, and he was very emotional. He didn’t want the story to get lost. There was a sense of relief."
The insider added that Billy sharing his experiences and truth with the world has helped him immensely. "The whole experience has opened him up to limitless possibility. He has no more shame. He said at one point his sexuality felt like a liability, and then he was diagnosed with HIV, and now opening up about the experience… he’s his full authentic self,” the insider told Page Six of the Hall interview.