Billy Porter Rocks Butterfly Body Art To Honor Transgender People

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Billy Porter lived up to his fashion icon reputation once again at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards Sunday, turning heads in a strapless, floor-length jumpsuit in dueling shades of green. 

The “Pose” and “Like a Boss” star accessorized the ensemble, custom-designed by Hogan McLaughlin, with temporary tattoos that depicted a colorful swarm of butterflies covering his bare arms and shoulders.

Porter said the hand-painted body art was a representation of “being released from the bondage of masculinity,” with regard to himself as a gay man as well as members of the transgender community.

“Just like the beautiful ladies from [‘Pose’],  we are often born into one stage of life and then cocoon into an incubation of self-discovery, transformation, and acceptance, ultimately being released into freedom as beautiful creatures,” the Emmy-, Grammy-, and Tony-winning actor wrote on Instagram. 

Speaking to “Access Hollywood” on the red carpet, Porter explained how the look tied into his own “no limits” motto for 2020. 

“I’m honoring my transgender brothers and sisters tonight,” he said. “I’ve also had a transformation of my own, so I’m leaning into that and I want to represent that.”  

“I spent my whole life sort of bound by the chains of heteronormative masculinity, and I’ve freed myself from that,” he continued. “My life has changed exponentially, and I just want to represent that and be grateful for that.” 

Porter’s Critics’ Choice Awards appearance came just days after he made history as the first man to appear on the cover of Allure magazine. 

These days, the actor is busier than ever, with forthcoming turns in Jordan Peele’s “Twilight Zone” reboot and a new musical adaptation of “Cinderella,” starring Camila Cabello. 

He told Allure that his perceived lack of masculinity, however, presented countless obstacles as he began pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. 

“I’m a part of the first generation of gay men, ever, who gets to be out loud and proud in the world,” he said. “My generation is the first. Bitches are scared. And they should be.”