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Billy Porter slays Oscars red carpet with tux dress

PinkNews Staff Writer February 24, 2019
Billy Porter in tux dress 91st Annual Academy Awards.

Billy Porter attacks the red carpet. (Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Pose and American Horror Story actor Billy Porter has set a high bar for red carpet fashion at the Oscars with a stunning tux dress.

The actor—who walked the red carpet with husband Adam Smith—nailed his gender-defying look in a black tuxedo-meets-gown.

Billy Porter at Oscars 2019 in a tux dress.
Billy Porter attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Porter is best known for his role as Lola in the Broadway production of Kinky Boots. He won the Tony award for best actor in a musical in 2013.

Billy Porter’s tux dress designed by Christian Siriano

Porter’s tux dress is the work of former Project Runway winner Christian Siriano.

Before the red carpet, Porter explained to Vogue why he chose to wear a gown to the Oscars.

“I grew up loving fashion, but there was a limit to the ways in which I could express myself. When you’re black and you’re gay, one’s masculinity is in question. I dealt with a lot of homophobia in relation to my clothing choices. [Even] when I had my first working contract at A&M Records, I was silent for a long time. I was trying to fit in to what other people felt I should look like,” Porter told Vogue.

The actor and performer said his role in Kinky Boots helped liberate his fashion sense by wearing high-heeled shoes night after night.

Porter said: “Now I’m in a space where, being on Pose, I’m invited to red carpets and I have something to say through clothes. My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up. To challenge expectations. What is masculinity? What does that mean? Women show up every day in pants, but the minute a man wears a dress, the seas part.”

Photo of Billy Porter at Oscars 2019
Billy Porter attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty)

“I believe men on the red carpet would love to play more. This industry masquerades itself as inclusive, but actors are afraid to play, because if they show up as something outside of the status quo, they might be received as feminine, and, as a result, they won’t get that masculine job, that superhero job. And that’s the truth. I’ve been confronted with that,” he continued.

Pose is the hit show created by Ryan Murphy for FX and features the largest cast of transgender actors on television.

Billy Porter and Adam Smith pictured at Oscars 2019
Billy Porter and Adam Smith attend the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty)

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