Billy Porter is criticizing Vogue for featuring Harry Styles in a dress in the December 2020 issue.
“I changed the whole game. I. Personally. Changed. The. Whole. Game. And that is not ego, that is just fact. I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it.
“I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to. I’m not necessarily convinced and here is why,” Porter went on. “I created the conversation [about non-binary fashion] and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time.”
Porter insisted that he is “not dragging” Styles, but questioned: “He is the one you’re going to try and use to represent this new conversation?
“He doesn’t care, he’s just doing it because it’s the thing to do. This is politics for me. This is my life. I had to fight my entire life to get to the place where I could wear a dress to the Oscars and not be gunned now. All he has to do is be white and straight.”
ET Canada’s Pride correspondent Dallas Dixon said of Porter’s remarks: “I respect Billy’s frustration as a queer Black artist who has fought for visibility and non-binary representation within the entertainment industry.
“That said, Harry Styles is one of the biggest artists in the world – and I do applaud him for continuing the conversation and bringing it forward to millions. Billy stating that Harry ‘doesn’t care’ is an assumption on Billy’s part – unless Billy knows Harry personally.
“All I know is, I would LOVE to see Billy on the cover of Vogue one day and I think that day will come, hopefully sooner rather than later. Billy is a true icon.”
ET Canada has contacted Vogue for comment.
Porter’s comments come as he opened up about battling bullying in his life and how one incident left him hospitalized.
The star has been promoting his new memoir Unprotected, in which he discusses race, sexuality, art and healing, and more.
When speaking about bullying, he insisted in an interview with “Good Morning America” that he doesn’t “have to say anything” to those attackers.
“Success is the sweetest kind of revenge, if ‘revenge’ is even the word,” he said. “All I have to do is keep on living in my truth. That is all I have to say, and that changes the world and it makes it a safer place for those who come behind me.”
Porter added of his memoir, “I had been working on it literally since 2014, the inception of the idea for this memoir,” talking about the theme of overcoming adversity. “But it was the lockdown that helped me laser. It helped me get specific about what that meant.”
The “Pose” star then spoke about his new single “Children”.
He called the song “the infusion of my personal story into my music”: “This is a song about empowerment. It’s a song about owning who you are, being authentic, and it’s time to let the children know what time it is, and the time is now for the embracing of all people without apology.”
Referencing his own trauma, Porter said this new book “as a daily practice is releasing the shame of everything.”
“Shame is a silencer. Shame is a murderer. And my hope that is for anyone who is reading this book, anyone who comes under the sound of my voice and experiences my art in any way to understand how to release the shame and choose yourself. It’s the only way to heal.”