Billy Porter Delivers Powerful Speech At Miami Pride Beach Festival

Billy Porter Delivers Powerful Speech At Miami Pride Beach Festival
Image: Billy Porter and Lisa Rinna at Miami Pride Parade. Source: Michelle Eve Sandberg via Miami New Times

Gay stage and screen icon Billy Porter shared powerful words at the Miami Pride Beach Festival to tell the LGBTQ+ community to join together once more in the face of bigotry and hatred.

Porter was a Grand Marshal and performer at Miami’s huge Pride event, which attracted tens of thousands of people from Florida and around the world. 

After receiving the ceremonial keys to Miami Beach from the city’s commissioner Alex Fernandez, Porter delivered powerful words to the large crowd in attendance about the endurance of the LGBTQ+ community.

Porter said: “I was 16 years old at the beginning of the AIDS crisis. We didn’t have the luxury to hide. We didn’t have the luxury to not be active. 

“We had to go straight to the front lines to fight for our lives, and that’s exactly what we did. Yes, the world has changed because we came together.”

The award-winning singer and actor added that, though the LGBTQ+ community has made incredible strides since his youth, the fight still isn’t over.

He continued: “We’re now in a position where we must come together again – we must fight the forces of evil that are trying to destroy us. The one thing that I do know, and the one message that I try to exude everywhere, is that change has already happened.

“There’s no need for fear. There’s no room for silence. We speak, we write, we do language. This is how civilizations heal.”

Billy Porter’s reminder on the politics of pride

Concluding his speech, Billy Porter said: “It’s time for all of us to come together and figure out what ‘going high’ looks like in this new world order. It is not 1963. We cannot use the same tactics. 

“I am not a politician, so I don’t know what the answer is. But it’s not what we’re doing now. 

“It’s time to re-engage. It’s time to pay attention again. It’s time to get in these streets again. 

“This is not a parade, it’s a march. That’s what it was when we started. This march [is] political.”

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