The Tony and Grammy Award-Winning performer is being recognised for his trailblazing acting, singing and activism.
GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, announced today that it will honor Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor and singer Billy Porter with the Vito Russo Award at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City at the New York Hilton Midtown on May 6, 2017.
It has also be confirmed that multi-platinum group DNCE will headline the largest LGBTQ awards show.
GLAAD previously announced that Debra Messing will receive the Excellence in Media Award for outspoken support of LGBTQ people and against discrimination. Television host Ross Mathews will host the event for the fourth time, with presenters and special guests including Whoopi Goldberg, Don Lemon, Rami Malek, Janet Mock, Trevor Noah, Zachary Quinto, Christian Slater, and Survivor’s Zeke Smith.
Billy Porter will receive the Vito Russo Award, which is presented to an openly LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance.
He is an outspoken advocate for racial justice and LGBTQ issues who has advanced LGBTQ stories on and off the stage. Porter received the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his groundbreaking performance as drag artist Lola in the hit musical Kinky Boots. He also created theatre productions While Yet I Live and the GLAAD Media Award-nominated Ghetto Superstar (The Man That I Am), both about his life growing up as black, gay, Christian man in Pittsburgh, PA. Porter pushed for marriage equality as a Board Member of the Empire State Pride Agenda and consistently demonstrates his commitment to LGBTQ youth by working with organizations including the Ali Forney Center for LGBTQ homeless youth in New York City. Earlier this year, Porter shared his wedding to longtime partner Adam Smith with the world, remarking, “It’s still important to show the world what our love looks like.”
“Billy Porter is a trailblazer who has helped move inclusion forward for marginalized communities in theatre and music communities,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD. “Whether advancing acceptance on the stage or off, he sends unabashed messages of pride to LGBTQ youth and out performers around the world.”