“I want to flip the question of what it means to be a man,” said Billy Porter

By Dave Quinn
June 09, 2019 09:18 PM
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Billy Porter had the ultimate tribute to Broadway at Sunday’s 2019 Tony Awards.

The Pose star, 49, walked the Radio City Music Hall red carpet on Broadway’s biggest night in a red suit with a flowing Elizabethan skirt made from the velvet curtain that used to hang at Kinky Boots — the Cyndi Lauper musical he led back in 2012.

It was a sweet tribute, especially since the role won Porter his first Tony.

Stylist Sam Ratelle came up with the idea for the look, telling The New York Times that handbag company Scenery Bags — a company that makes accessories out of retired theater material — contacted him to see if Porter might be interested in a purse from the curtain.

Instead, Ratelle went to designer Sergio Guadarrama and creative director Cade Johnson of Celestino Couture to create the gown.

“I want to flip the question of what it means to be a man,” Porter told the Times. “This question of masculinity, this sort of microscope of heteronormative masculinity that we are very often held up to, especially as leading men, needs to be shattered. You know, it’s toxic and I’m over it and I’ve lived it and I’m not doing it anymore.”

Billy Porter
Kevin Mazur/Getty

“This is exactly what I was looking for — pants but drama,” he added to the Times — which noted the dress includes an embroidered uterus because the dress is inspired by “empowering women’s reproductive rights.”

Porter will be back for season 2 of Pose, which premieres on Tuesday.

The Tony Awards are currently airing on CBS.