Emmy’s recap: Billy Porter wins; Patricia Arquette calls for more jobs for trans people; RuPaul’s Drag Race wins
Thanks to all those years working for Gay Star News, I watch major events looking for the LGBT story angles. Thankfully, this year’s prime-time Emmys had some doozies.
You’ve got to start with Billy Porter’s historic win for best lead actor in a drama series for his performance in the FX series Pose.
It was a big enough story that an openly gay black man was nominated in the category. To win against such stiff competition (Jason Bateman, Sterling K. Brown, Kit Harington, Bob Odenkirk and Milo Ventimiglia), it’s so absolutely magnificent.
He said in his speech: “I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day,” Porter began. In one of the most powerful lines of the night, he quoted James Baldwin: “It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this Earth like I had a right to be here.”
“I have the right,” Porter continued. “You have the right. We all have the right.”
Porter said backstage: “It’s been a long. It’s been a lot of work. It’s been a long time,” he continued. “And I am just so grateful that I live long enough to see the day where I could stand up in front of the world as my true authentic self. My true authentic self, I was told that who I am was never going to work. I was told that who and what I am would never be successful. Period. That’s what I was told. I did not believe that. I did not believe that. This is proof positive that believe in yourself, invest in yourself, Love yourself, and then teach other people how to do it.”
On Pose, Porter plays Pray Tell, the outspoken and outrageous emcee of the New York City house balls the ’80s-set show centers on. The series features the largest cast of transgender actors and LGBTQ actors in television history.
Another extraordinary LGBTQ moment was when Patricia Arquette accepted the supporting actress in a limited series Emmy for Hulu’s The Act. The actress remember her transgender sister Alexis Arquette who died in 2016.
“In my heart, I’m so sad. I lost my sister Alexis. Trans people are still being persecuted. And I’m in mourning every day of my life, Alexis, for you, until we change the world so that trans people are not persecuted. And give them jobs, They’re human beings, let’s give them jobs, let’s get rid of this bias that we have everywhere.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race won its second consecutive win for Outstanding Competition Program, and host RuPaul Charles.
The VH1 reality competition series beat The Amazing Race, The Voice, Top Chef, Nailed It! and American Ninja Warrior. It already had made history for VH1, picking up the most noms in the Viacom network’s history, and last weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys, Charles picked up his fourth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program to tie Survivor‘s Jeff Probst for most wins in the category.
After thanking the Academy voters, he also urged viewers to get involved in the 2020 presidential election. “Speaking of voting for love, go and register to vote.”
Also, nominee Laverne Cox seized her moment on the red carpet to talk about an upcoming US Supreme Court case impacting LGBTQ people. The case is about whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.