Billy Porter Believes Harry Styles Landed First ‘Vogue’ Male Cover Because He’s ‘White And Straight’
Billy Porter isn’t biting his tongue any longer when it comes to Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour selecting Harry Styles as its first male cover in December 2020. According to Porter, who has long been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ issues, “white and straight” privilege garnered Styles the coveted spot.
The Emmy Award-winning actor was speaking with The Telegraph when he got candid about his true feelings for Styles becoming the first solo male to grace the cover of the renowned fashion magazine. Porter recalled speaking with Wintour months before the cover was released about the magazine moving toward inclusion.
“That b**** said to me at the end, ‘How can we do better?’ And I was so taken off guard that I didn’t say what I should have said,” Porter said.
“Use your power as Vogue to uplift the voices of the leaders of this de-gendering of fashion movement … Six months later, Harry Styles is the first man on the cover.”
Porter doesn’t blame the “Watermelon Sugar” singer for posing in a dress on the gender-neutral cover because he said it’s not his fault he benefits from white privilege.
“It’s not Harry Styles’s fault that he happens to be white and cute and straight and fit into the infrastructure that way … I call out the gatekeepers,” Porter said.
The Pose star believes Styles was selected because he’s “white and he’s straight.”
“That’s why he’s on the cover. Non-binary blah blah blah blah. No. It doesn’t feel good to me,” Porter quipped.
“You’re using my community – or your people are using my community – to elevate you. You haven’t had to sacrifice anything.”
This isn’t the first time Porter has spoken out about the Vogue cover. In 2021, the “Kinky Boots” star blasted the Styles cover, noting the magazine overlooked the strides Porter made by wearing lavish gowns to major award shows.
“I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to. I created the conversation [about nonbinary fashion] and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time,” he said.
“I’m not dragging Harry Styles, but… He doesn’t care, he’s just doing it because it’s the thing to do. This is politics for me. This is my life.”
Porter later clarified his statements saying his issue was not with Harry Styles but with the “systems of oppression and erasure of people of color who contribute to the culture.”