Billy Porter opens up about the lasting effects of his childhood abuse

Billy Porter opens up
Billy Porter (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Right on the heels of the release of Billy Porter’s book Unprotected on Oct. 19, 2021, he is opening up about how the trauma he endured as a child still affects him in adulthood.

The Emmy winner and “Pose” star has not had an easy road to success. In a new interview with People magazine, Porter recalls the sexual abuse he endured at the hands of his stepfather after his mother remarried.

“As a child, I became a grown man. In my mind, I lived that experience as if it was an affair,” Porter said in the interview. “Because it was loving, it was nurturing, it was confusing. ‘Cause it was touch. It was what I needed; it was the illusion of care, of a big, strong man caring for me. Still, to this day, I’m not OK.”

Porter highlighted that the abuse happened at least twice a week for five years and that it still impacts his relationship with intimacy and marriage to his partner Adam Smith.

“It’s really, really hard in a marriage, you know, when you’re trying to figure out how to be intimate with somebody. But we’re growing together and healing together. It’s a lot of hard work. Let me say, it’s worth it,” said Porter.

He went on to say that musical theater was his saving grace. “I don’t think I’d be alive if I hadn’t discovered it,” he said. “If I hadn’t seen those things, like The Wiz and Dreamgirls then I never would’ve been able to dream outside of my circumstance.”

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