Billy Porter is much more than an actor. The Pose star, for as long as he has been an in the public eye, has also made a name for himself as a public advocate and activist for the LGBTQ community.
So it makes sense that his latest project is aimed at giving back. For #GivingTuesday (Dec. 3), Porter is teaming up with PayPal to raise awareness for the importance of charity and giving back where you can. As he tells Billboard, “I learned really early in my life that giving is the way to go, I grew up in the church. So it’s a really special partnership.”
Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, in line with major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, has been deemed a time to pay it forward and give back to the communities you are a part of. One of those communities that Porter was and still is an active member of is the Broadway community, and for #GivingTuesday, he says he wants to make sure to be giving back to the place where he got his start.
For example, he says that he will be donating to The Actor’s Fund this year, an organization that acts as a “safety net” for entertainment professionals who are in need of assistance. “They’re very near and dear to me,” Porter says. “I have benefitted from The Actor’s Fund, when I myself fell on hard times. My mother is a resident at the Actor’s Fund nursing home.”
But giving back doesn’t always have to be monetary, as Porter quickly points out. Sometimes, it simply means offering what you can, even if it’s your time. “You could volunteer to mentor a child, you could volunteer to work at a food bank, you could volunteer to register voters for the upcoming election,” he says. “Get creative!”
Looking beyond #GivingTuesday, Porter says he is excited for the year to come, and he has good reason to be: 2020 will see Porter return for a third season of Pose, and begin shooting for his enchanting upcoming role as the Fairy Godmother in Sony’s Cinderella. Plus, he gets to kick it off as one of this year’s co-hosts for Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve. “I have always had big dreams about this, and there’s something about hosting that I’ve always loved. Ryan Seacrest called on me!” he says. “I’m just ready to ring in the New Year in New Orleans!”
But until then, Porter says he wants people to remember that at the end of the day, #GivingTuesday is about much more than just donating — it’s about fostering a global community. “Nobody out here in this world makes it alone, we all need a little help sometimes,” he says. “The more that we can understand that humanity is collective, the easier it will be to understand that paying it forward is a human thing.”