Pose star Billy Porter defends going on Sesame Street in a dress
Pose star Billy Porter has hit back at right-wingers attacking him for going on Sesame Street in a dress.
Sesame Street’s Facebook page proudly announced that the gay Broadway singer and actor would be appearing in series 51 of the children’s show.
‘Billy Porter bringing those fierce vibes to Sesame Street,’ the post said. And the picture showed Porter in the dress he wore to last year’s Oscars.
But not everyone believes Porter – best known for his role in LGBT+ ballroom drama Pose – belongs on the show.
Jason Rapert, state senator of Arkansas, raged to voters on Facebook: ‘Do you approve of your taxpayer dollars being used to promote the radical LGBTQ agenda?’
Singing with a penguin isn’t sexual
Now Porter has hit back.
He told celebrity gossip site, Page Six: ‘If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.’
And he said it is odd that people would make a link between his dress and what they call ‘perverted demon sex’.
Porter is gay and married his partner Adam Smith in January 2017.
He added: ‘Like, what about me singing with a penguin [on the show] has anything to do with what I’m doing in my bedroom?
‘The really interesting thing for me is that that’s what it’s all about when it comes to LGBTQ people – the first thing everyone wants to talk about is how we having sex.
‘Stay out of my bedroom and you will be fine — that is none of your business.’
A hate petition and a lot of love for Porter
Meanwhile LifeSiteNews has managed to collect 47,755 signatures in six days against Porter going on Sesame Street.
LifeSiteNews is part of the Campaign Life Coalition, a Canadian right-wing group that is against homosexuality, trans rights, birth control, contraception, divorce and sex education.
The petition accuses the show of trying to ‘sexualize children using drag queens’.
And it bizarrely adds: ‘41.8% of gender confused youth claim to have attempted suicide. That is tragic. Why would Sesame Street want to contribute to this epidemic?’
The question seems to miss the point that the evidence suggests trans and non-binary youth are driven to self-harm and suicide by hate from judgmental people like the ones behind the petition. Meanwhile positive media portrayals like Porter’s can be a lifeline for LGBT+ kids.
But the haters aren’t winning the argument.
Rick Aiello’s response to Sesame Street’s Facebook post says: ‘Soooo amazing!
‘If I had seen someone like you on TV when I was that age, coming out would have been so much easier and happier. Thank you to Sesame Street for always putting children’s development and safety at the forefront.
‘You are still doing so much GOOD, no matter what the ignorant haters say.’
And Kara Reyes joked: ‘This is NOT okay! Not his appearance on Sesame Street. I think that’s awesome.
‘But the fact that Billy Porter is ROCKING that outfit better than I ever could even on my very best day… UGH! I’m Oscar the Grouch green with envy!’
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Author: Tris Reid-Smith