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Billy Porter: “Elizabeth Taylor was one of the first people in the public eye with celebrity to show the world how to love”

Last weekend, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) honored Billy Porter, Dr. Anthony Fauci, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and Sandra Thurman with the Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at The Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS fundraising gala.

I love what Porter said in his speech about Miss Taylor who went from two-time Oscar-winning movie icon to a humanitarian who spent the last 25 years of her life as an AIDS activist raising money for research, for care, and speaking out candidly until the end of her life.

“You know, I have been gay a long time. I’ve been out since the ’80s, when it wasn’t so popular. HIV was around, Elizabeth Taylor was one of the first people in the public eye with celebrity to show the world how to love, to show the world what unconditional love looks like. And all these years later to be honored in her name is… takes my breath away.

He alsop said: I’ve been an artist all my life. And I haven’t always had a platform where anybody cared. I’ve always been the same person, I’ve always been doing this. The world has caught up. The world has changed. There is an evolution that’s going on. We’ve come a long way. And I know sometimes that’s hard to see because there’s so much negativity, but we also have to remember how far we’ve come. And I want to make sure that there’s a focus on that coming from me. And change, change has happened and change will continue to happen. The world only spins forward. It’s an emotional time, and emotional in a good way. In a really good way. To be seen, inside of a space where I was not for a long time and not only not seen, but dismissed from the conversation…it is breathtaking to me that in the choosing of myself, in the choosing of my truth and my authenticity, my life has transformed and it’s magical! You know it’s really, really magical and that’s all I can say!”



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