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Billy Porter Critiques Harry Styles’ Vogue Cover Choice, Challenges Fashion Industry’s LGBTQ+ Representation

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In a recent interview with the Telegraph, Billy Porter revisited his past criticism of Harry Styles being featured in a dress on the cover of Vogue, expressing his concerns about LGBTQ+ representation in the fashion industry and highlighting issues he believes need addressing.

The actor, a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ community, previously voiced his feelings about Harry Styles becoming the face of genderfluid/non-binary fashion in 2020. At that time, his comments sparked discussions and debates, including his own passionate views on the subject.

During the interview, Porter recalled his earlier statements, where he indicated he had played a role in popularizing the trend of men wearing dresses in Hollywood. He acknowledged feeling disappointed that Styles was chosen over him, but emphasized that his critique was not directed solely at Styles himself. Porter explained, “This is a matter of importance to me, rooted in the politics of my life. It took a lifetime of struggle for me to reach a point where I could wear a dress to the Oscars without fear. For him, it’s seemingly a trend.”

Following his previous remarks, Billy Porter had apologized on the ‘Late Show,’ expressing that his intentions were broader than focusing on Styles alone.

Now, after more than two years, Porter has readdressed the issue, reiterating his belief that Harry Styles identifies as straight, even though Styles has not publicly defined his sexuality.

Porter elaborated, “Harry Styles’s presence on the cover isn’t about his being cute, white, or straight. It’s about the exploitation of my community for personal gain. It’s about using our struggles to elevate oneself without having to make any sacrifices.”

This perspective echoes longstanding discussions around Styles and queerbaiting, suggesting that Styles deliberately maintains an ambiguous stance on his sexuality to cater to the LGBTQ+ audience, despite his dating history suggesting a heterosexual orientation.

Billy also shared an encounter with Anna Wintour, Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, claiming that she had sought his advice on promoting LGBTQ+ style pioneers. Porter recounted his response, saying, “I urged her to leverage Vogue’s influence to amplify the voices of those leading the movement toward gender-neutral fashion.” However, he expressed disappointment that this advice wasn’t heeded, and instead, Styles was chosen for the cover.

In revisiting this topic, Billy Porter underscores his commitment to promoting genuine inclusivity and representation within the fashion industry.

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Written by:
Dana Sterling-Editor

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