Billy Porter says he’s suffering from “PTSD triggers” because of COVID-19’s similarities with the AIDS crisis.
The critically-acclaimed performer spoke with British journalist and author Hattie Collins for the brand new season of Proud Radio on Apple Music, alongside rapper – and fellow GAY TIMES cover star – Chika.
On living through the terror of the AIDS epidemic, Porter revealed: “It was a death sentence and you got it by having sex, so y’know we were scared to have sex, we were trying to do it anyway and we were trying to be safe.
“There was a plague decimating a group of people and the government didn’t care.”
The star admitted to having “PTSD triggers this whole time” because the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken the lives of over 400,000 people around the world, is “very reminiscent of that time.”
“The difference is it’s not just one group of people. Yes there are disproportionate groups but it does at this moment still cut a wide swathe across everybody,” he explained further.
“Something that took four years for our government to respond to, took about four weeks. I’m praying for that vaccine, child.”
Porter, who currently stars as Pray Tell on Ryan Murphy’s widely-acclaimed LGBTQ+ drama Pose, also said that he’s grateful to be part of the groundbreaking series and to share the story of the AIDS epidemic.
“I get to tell the story of an entire generation that was snuffed out. My friends, I made it. And this is the reason why, this is my ministry, our legacy. We are here. We have always been here and we ain’t going nowhere.”
The Emmy-winning star also discussed his love for Janelle Monáe, coming to terms with his sexuality and why activism is in his DNA.
Proud Radio is now available to stream on Apple Music.