When you come to the Oscars, you must dress up. Thanks @CSiriano for creating this custom couture masterpiece. @OscarHeymanBros you have outdone yourselves with your iconic jewels. Style by @sammyratelle Grooming by Anna Bernabe. @TheAcademy #AcademyAwards2019 #oscars #oscars2019 pic.twitter.com/IpTG2OK20x— Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) February 24, 2019
Tens across the board honey! Pose star, Billy Porter was the star of the Academy Awards red carpet on Sunday. He gave drama, he gave tuxedo, he gave velvet.
But of course, you can’t serve looks without serving controversy. Billy’s tuxedo dressed reignited the age old debate: is there a war on Black masculinity?
For decades, there have been people who truly believe that the media has a secret agenda to turn Black men gay. This argument falls flat for me. Even with the legalization of same sex marriage and the growing popularity of ballroom culture- the majority of couples on television are heterosexual. In the few instances of male couples represented on television, they’re mostly always white (think Modern Family, Friends from College, the list goes on).
Besides that, TV doesn’t make you gay. At least that’s what all of my gay friends have told me. Gender-bending couture wear for an A-list award show has literally zero impact on someone deciding who they like.
“I wanted to take my power back from when I was silent in the ’90s about my sexuality,” Porter says about his tux gown from Christian Siriano.
In the 90s, I rarely remember seeing any men wearing dresses, makeup or polishing their nails. But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t any gay black men. Let’s be honest, at some point- there were movie scripts written to warn Black women about their partners who may be on the down low. It became an epidemic in some parts of the country. Why force people back into the closet? Do we want to raise another generation that can’t openly express who they are?
When you are an ICON like the incomparable Glenn Close, you don’t only bring the lewks; you bring AWL the looks. Thank you for gracing us with your brilliance. #oscars2019 #AcademyAwards19 pic.twitter.com/cUJXTbVhF5— Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) February 26, 2019
Much like energy, masculinity cannot be created nor destroyed. It just is. To say that there is an agenda to control the black population by turning all of it’s men gay is a lazy assessment and a shallow cover-up for borderline homophobia. People are going to be gay. Get over it. And if you want to suggest that there are Biblical or religious reasons why mean should wear certain things, I’d like for you to show me a picture of any men from Jerusalem wearing pants.