"I'm not pulling any punches anymore. I'm Black, gay, and I love the Lord...and you can't take that away from me! You don't have to associate with me, but you can't take my God or my rights away because you don't agree with me". -Billy Porter, CLIK Magazine 2006
Loldarian.com favorite and phenomenal Broadway actor Billy Porter speaks on ending religious-based bigotry towards gay youth and adults in a special interview with The Advocate.
Porter, who is openly gay and Christian with strong ties to the Black church speaks from experience regarding the detrimental effects of religious bigotry on LGBT people.
"One of the problems that I see with religion as it relates to gay youth and gay in general is that...the bible is used as a tool and a weapon to promote bigotry and to promote hatred. It's a problem because our world is built on the foundation of religious beliefs, and when we sanction bigotry and hatred through religion, we say to the world that it's okay...and it just isn't", says Porter.
"There's a history of violence that comes as an outgrowth of the bible. When people who fear something that they don't understand can base their fear on religion it gives them license to lash out. I have been so affected by anti-gay religious discrimination because I longed for a very long time to just be accepted", he adds.
Porter appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005 on an episode titled 'When I Knew I Was Gay', he explained he had to come out to his mother three times.
"I come from a very religious background," he explains. "My mother is a Pentecostal preacher, and she just didn't want to hear it." After two failed attempts, Porter decided to bring home a man he was in love with. "It's not about you," he told his mom the third time. "It's about me. I have to live this."
Billy Porter can currently be seen in the hit Off-Broadway revival of Tony Kushner's Angels In America. Watch his interview with The Advocate below: