Actor Billy Porter, who will be playing the Fairy Godmother in Disney’s upcoming “Cinderella” adaptation, revealed this week that he has been HIV-positive since 2007.
In a lengthy interview with The Hollywood Reporter (THR), Porter said that being HIV-positive is no longer the death sentence like it was in the 1980s and that he will die of something else.
“This is what HIV-positive looks like now. I’m going to die from something else before I die from that,” the “Pose” star said. “I’m the healthiest I’ve been in my entire life.”
Porter did not even tell his mother nor his castmates in the FX series “Pose” that he was HIV-positive out of a sense of shame originating from his religious upbringing. He only decided to reveal his condition after the pandemic and social isolation gave him a “safe space for me to stop and reflect and deal with the trauma in my life.”
“HIV-positive, where I come from, growing up in the Pentecostal church with a very religious family, is God’s punishment,” he said.
Going forward, Porter hopes that he can experience peace and “sex without shame.”
“The truth is the healing. And I hope this frees me. I hope this frees me so that I can experience real, unadulterated joy so that I can experience peace so that I can experience intimacy so that I can have sex without shame,” he told THR. “This is for me. I’m doing this for me. I have too much s*** to do, and I don’t have any fear about it anymore. I told my mother — that was the hurdle for me. I don’t care what anyone has to say. You’re either with me or simply move out of the way.”
NBC News provided some statistics about the presence of HIV in the United States and a recent increase in HIV prevalence among gay black men.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in 2015 that diagnoses of HIV in the U.S. declined by 19 percent in decade before, but “progress is uneven.”
Diagnoses among white gay and bisexual men decreased by 18 percent, but diagnoses among Black gay and bisexual men increased 22 percent from 2005 to 2014.
The increase leveled off in 2010, the CDC wrote, but Black gay and bisexual men still make up a disproportionate number of new diagnoses. In 2018, they made up 26 percent of the 37,968 new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. and dependent areas, according to the CDC.
As The Daily Wire reported, Porter will be playing the Fairy Godmother in Disney’s upcoming “Cinderella” adaptation and will teach the message that “magic has no gender.”
“It hit me when I was on the set last week, how profound it is that I am playing the Fairy Godmother—they call it the Fab G,” Porter told CBS News. “Magic has no gender.”
“This is a classic, this is a classic fairytale for a new generation,” Porter added. “I think that the new generation is really ready. The kids are ready. It’s the grownups that are slowing stuff down.”
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