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Billy Porter Gets Candid About Growing Up in New York in the Late '80s: 'It Was a Dark Time' - Watch!

Billy Porter Gets Candid About Growing Up in New York in the Late '80s: 'It Was a Dark Time' - Watch!

Billy Porter and Rachel Brosnahan are on the cover of Variety‘s Actors on Actors issue, out now.

Here’s what the Pose and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel stars had to say…

Billy, on having a show like Pose in 2019: “We’re dealing with this whole group of disenfranchised people that the world has really not heard their story before. It is breathtaking and when I say ‘so many’ I am a part of the LGBTQ community, I have been surrounded by these ladies and these men and still didn’t understand the magnitude. Here I am on set I’m going, ‘Oh my god the T in LGBTQ has largley been ignored by me’ not because I wanted to ignore it but I just, we came out, we went straight to the front lines to fight for our lives and our rights, the pill came, everybody got healthy then everybody moved on. It takes my breath away. These women and these men teach me what real authenticity is about.”

Rachel, on feminism in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Pose: “There has long been this ‘looking down on’ of all things feminine and female. I think that’s probably one of the reasons why I enjoyed watching your show so much, I feel like it tackled that as well in a really nuanced way and in a way that I hadn’t considered.”

Billy, on living in New York in the late ‘80s and how it was being openly gay in the late ‘80s: “It was a dark time, it was a dark dark time. We were living through a plague and it was a group of people that it felt like nobody cared about and that sort of cloud was hanging over the city in a really hard way. But the great part about it was that the choice to choose life anyway is such a powerful thing, it’s a powerful tool to have in life in general. You can’t have a testimony unless you have a test and so to have lived through that and to have been blessed to have lived and get on the other side of it.”

For more from Rachel and Billy, head to

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billy porter rachel brosnahan variety cover

Credit: Shayan Asgharnia; Photos: Variety
Posted to: Billy Porter, Pose, Rachel Brosnahan, Television, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

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