Billy Porter has said that “LGBT+ Black folks are people too” in a passionate speech about racism and discrimination in the United States.
The Pose star addressed anti-LGBT+ prejudice within the Black community in a video posted today (June 5), and spoke about the violence faced by Black trans women.
“As a Black queer man in America, my basic human rights have been up for legislation every single day that I have had breath in my body.
“By that I mean that the Black community’s relationship with the LGBTQ+ communtiy is appalling at best, and eerily similar to that of white supremacists versus Black folk.
“Hear me Black people and hear me well. I’m calling y’all out right here right now. You cannot expect our demands of equality to be met with any real legislative policy and change when y’all turn around and inflict the same kind of hate and oppression on us.”
Billy Porter slammed the men who beat Black trans woman Iyanna Dior at a protest this week.
He continued: “The tragic reality here is that Black trans as well as gender non-conforming [people] are being killed in the United States by cis Black men to such a degree that it is nearly the worst emergency for trans women on the planet.
“The murders of Black trans women by Black men since 2016 have helped drive the most violent period for LGBTQ+ people on record.
“Just this past week, during the riots, during the peaceful protests, Iyanna Dior was brutally beaten by a gang of Black men while trying to peacefully protest for our rights.
So to my homophobic and transphobic brothers and sisters: get your f**king houses in order.
“LGBTQ+ Black folks are Black people too. Our lives matter too. So this is my response to those of y’all who don’t understand that. F**k you! And yes, I am cussing. It’s time for cussing.
“This conversation is not about tolerance, this conversation is not about acceptance, it’s about a demand for the respect for our humanity.
“So to my homophobic and transphobic brothers and sisters: get your f**king houses in order.”
The Pose star spoke about the history of racism and oppression in America.
Elsewhere in the lengthy video, Billy Porter said that the United States has reached a tipping point after hundreds of years of oppression for Black people.
“So, just a little history lesson for everybody, just so we’re clear. Number one, Christopher Columbus did not discover America. The m**********r sailed over here on Miss Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria and stole this land from the indigenous people who were already here through violence, disease and genocide.
“Number two, this country as it stands right now was built on the backs of my ancestors who were in fact stolen by force from their homeland and forced into slavery.
“Slavery. That is the foundation of America. This country was built on thievery, violence, genocide and slavery, period, so I find it disingenuous when my well-meaning, white, liberal allies, news outlets, politicians, faith leaders and all the rest of my Caucasian compatriots act as if this s**t is new.
“Ain’t none of it new, you know it, and you all benefit from this ancient privilege simply by being white.”
The actor said Black people risk their lives ‘every time’ they leave their homes.
Porter added: “As Black people we risk our lives every time we leave our homes. As queer people of colour, that risk is doubled.
“We move about our days sucking it up, hiding our pain and terror from the world, trying to make ourselves small so white people and straight people feel comfortable.
“Our parents try to prepare us for the realities of this world. The fact that the playing field is not level. The laws that protect white people do not do the same for us.”
He closed out his video by saying that the upcoming presidential election in November will be one of the most important in history
“I ask you America, will we be better than this? I guess we’ll know the answer come November. It’s time to change. And this time, change for good. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote!” he said.