Pose actor and red carpet slayer Billy Porter has appeared on the cover of British magazine Gay Times.
Speaking with activist and writer Janet Mock for the issue, Porter described why fashion has become so important to his sense of strength and identity.
“One of the instruments of silencing that I came across when starting is this idea of clothing," he explained. "This idea of how you present. The first impression is what people see, right?”
He continued: “We have a construct in our society that certain things mean masculine and certain things mean feminine and you can’t cross those boundaries and not be marginalised or ostracised for it, silenced or dismissed for those things."
The star, whose red carpet looks have earned him fashion icon status, also reflected on the pressure to perform masculinity for the media.
“I’ve always had an outrageous sense of style and fashion," he told Mock.
"I’ve very often been laughed at for the kind of things I wanted to wear. This microscope of masculinity within the media. Men are under this microscope from the moment you hit [the red carpet] and everybody is looking to see if you slip up.”
He added: “I’m queer, I’m out, I’m fabulous, I’m a leading man and I’m running shit. I don’t have to adhere to any of these rules and I can go onto these red carpets and play because it doesn’t matter.”
You can see more and check out the June issue of Gay Times here.