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Billy Porter makes history with Emmy win

Billy Porter won the award for lead actor in a drama series for his role in FX's 'Pose.'

Billy Porter is now an Emmy winner and made history in the process. The 50-year-old actor on Sunday night became the first openly gay black man to win best actor in a drama series. 

He took home the award for his role as Pray Tell on "Pose." 

"I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," Porter said during his acceptance speech. 

He quoted iconic author James Baldwin in his speech: "'It took many years of vomiting up all the filth that I had been taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this Earth like I had the right to be here.'"

Porter added, "I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right." 

He gave a special shout-out to Ryan Murphy, who created the show. "You saw me. Thank you," he said. The actor beat out Bob Odenkirk, Kit Harington, Jason Bateman, Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown for the win.

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Porter ended his speech by urging Hollwood to continue to tell inclusive stories like "Pose", which is about New York City's African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in the 80s and 90s. The series features five trans actors of color, and a multitude of LGBTQ talent behind the camera.

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Billy Porter arrives at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

"We are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet," he said. "Please don't ever stop doing that. Please don't ever stop telling the truth.

The 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards aired live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The show was presented without a host this year in order to allocate more time to honor departing shows like "Game of Thrones," which won best drama series. 

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