Billy Porter Criticizes 'Vogue' for Featuring Harry Styles in a Dress: 'I Was the First One Doing It'

"All he has to do is be white and straight," the Pose star said of Harry Styles' historic Vogue feature, which made him the first man to land a solo cover for the publication

Billy Porter - Harry Styles
Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty; Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Billy Porter is addressing an issue he has with Vogue after the publication featured Harry Style in a dress.

Last year, the 27-year-old musician became the first man to land a solo cover of Vogue, where he graced the December 2020 issue in a lace-trimmed dress and tuxedo jacket.

Now, in a new interview with The Sunday Times, the Pose star, 52, says he took issue with how Styles was praised for breaking gender norms, as Porter says he was "the first one doing it."

"I changed the whole game," Porter told the publication. "I. Personally. Changed. The. Whole. Game. And that is not ego, that is just fact. I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it."

"I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to. I'm not necessarily convinced and here is why," the actor continued. "I created the conversation [about non-binary fashion] and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time."

A spokesperson for Vogue did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Styles, who has never publicly labeled his sexuality, has been an outright supporter of the LGBTQ community and previously told Vogue that he doesn't like "limiting" himself when it comes to the outfits he chooses to wear.

"Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with. What's really exciting is that all of these lines are just kind of crumbling away," he told the outlet. "When you take away 'There's clothes for men and there's clothes for women,' once you remove any barriers, obviously you open up the arena in which you can play."

"I'll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women's clothes thinking they're amazing. It's like anything—anytime you're putting barriers up in your own life, you're just limiting yourself," the former One Direction member added. "There's so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I've never really thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something."

Continuing his conversation with the Times, Porter explained that he is "not dragging" Styles, but asked: "He is the one you're going to try and use to represent this new conversation?"

"He doesn't care, he's just doing it because it's the thing to do," the Pose star continued. "This is politics for me. This is my life. I had to fight my entire life to get to the place where I could wear a dress to the Oscars and not be gunned now. All he has to do is be white and straight."

Related Articles