Billy Porter’s Tuxedo Gown Is Far More Than A Fashion Choice

There are plenty of reasons to talk about Billy Porter. He is a Tony award-winning Broadway actor and movie star. With his singing and dancing skills, he’s an all-around triple threat. Despite all that he is accomplished, everyone is talking about him right now because of the custom-made Christian Siriano tuxedo gown he wore on the red carpet at the Oscars — and that’s exactly why Porter wore the outfit.

What Makes A Man Masculine?

Throughout the time he has been famous, Billy Porter has always been openly gay. He has been married to Adam Smith since 2017. Although he is very comfortable with his sexuality, Porter admits that he has often struggled with his sense of masculinity, and pressure from Hollywood hasn’t helped.

YouTube/ Golden Globes

Porter has always enjoyed gender norms with fashion. While performing in the Broadway show Kinky Boots, Porter wore high heels on stage, and he told Vogue the experience made him “feel the most masculine I’ve ever felt in my life.”

Dealing With Homophobia

While Hollywood is outwardly accepting of the LGBTQ community, Porter says that Hollywood is not accepting of men who dress in traditionally feminine clothing. He wore a pink cape at the Golden Globes, and he faced a lot of backlash and even outright homophobia for doing so.


Most leading male roles in movies are hyper-masculine, and Porter says that many men, gay or otherwise, worry that they will become typecast as effeminate if they wear anything other than a white and black tuxedo at red carpet events.

Porter Hopes To Make A Change

Porter had an exclusive meeting with Christian Siriano to design the tuxedo gown. He was very adamant that the unique garment be equal parts feminine and masculine. Porter wanted to express that he was comfortable with his feminine side, but, as he told Vogue, “I’m not a man in a dress.”

SF Gate

Porter hopes that his bold move will pave the way for Hollywood to be more tolerant of men who dress in non-gender conforming fashions. Porter plans to continue wearing red carpet outfits that challenge gender norms so that future actors won’t face the same struggles.


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