Billy Porter Details Sexual Abuse, Rape As a Child in New Memoir

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Billy Porter (Getty)

*Billy Porter has unpacked his childhood trauma and sexual abuse in his new memoir titled “Unprotected.”

Porter, 52, details in “Unprotected” (Abrams Press, 288 pp., out now) that his stepfather raped him for years during his childhood.

“I really, really, really have needed this past year to work on myself and try to become a better person,” Porter says in an interview with USA TODAY.

Speaking of the trauma he has suffered from being abused by his stepfather Bernie, Porter explains, “I split off from myself at 7 years old and began to experience myself as a grown-(expletive) man,” he writes in the memoir. “I had no other choice. How was I to know that those sessions under the cloak of night with Bernie were wrong?”

READ MORE: Billy Porter Reveals 14-Year-Secret: He’s Been Living with HIV – ‘The Truth is the Healing

Earlier this year, Porter announced in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he is HIV-positive.

“I feel free in a way that I have never felt in my life,” he tells USA TODAY. “And that is free of shame. Free of shame that has been placed upon me since I was 5 years old.”

Most recently, Porter appeared in a video for openly gay rapper Lil Nas X’s song “That’s What I Want” off his new album “Montero.”

“I am a part of the generation that kicked the door down so that Lil Nas X can exist,” Porter says. “And it’s not lost on me that I’m also getting to reap the benefits of having been a part of this generation that kicked the door down. We don’t always get to walk through those doors, we don’t always get to benefit from that work. And I’m getting to do both.”

Porter, who has earned a Grammy, Emmy and Tony award, says he is not currently focused on chasing an Oscar and earning EGOT status. His main objective is to simply “show up and do the work,” he says. “Whatever comes with it comes with it. I’m in this for the long haul. I’m in this whether I have an Oscar or not.”  





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