Billy Porter: It’s Never Easy to Be Yourself
Live from the 2022 Miami Book Fair
The Miami Book Fair began as a two-day event in November 1984, when a small group of determined individuals—including educators from Miami Dade College, independent booksellers, and librarians—founded Miami Book Fair International. In the nearly 40 years since, Miami Book Fair has grown into one of the most significant cultural events in the region, the most comprehensively programmed book fair in the nation, and an internationally recognized model of excellence.
Today Miami Book Fair is both an annual eight-day festival—typically featuring more than 500 authors, 200,000 attendees, 200+ national and international book exhibitors, and a robust schedule of literary, cultural, and educational events, supported by 1,000+ community volunteers—and a provider of a diverse slate of literary-centric programming year-round.
Acclaimed actor, recording artist, playwright, and director Billy Porter can now add published author to his long list of accomplishments. Unprotected—a powerful and revealing autobiography about race, sexuality, art, and healing—is the story of a boy whose talent and courage opened doors for him, but only a crack; a teenager discovering himself while learning his voice and his craft amid deep trauma; and a young man whose unbreakable determination led him through countless hard times to where he is now: a proud icon who refuses to back down or hide.
The Emmy-, Grammy-, and Tony award-winning Porter is a multitalented, multifaceted treasure at the top of his game, and Unprotected is a resonant, inspirational story shot through with his singular voice. Joining him to moderate is Ana Navarro, political commentator and co-host of ABC’s The View.
Watch this video and more from the 2022 Miami Book Fair at miamibookfair.com.
Billy Porter is an actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the winner of the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Pray Tell in Pose—the first openly gay Black man to be nominated and win in any lead acting category. Porter is also the winner of the 2013 Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his groundbreaking performance as Lola in Kinky Boots. As a director, among other shows, Porter helmed the revival of Suzan-Lori Parks’s Topdog/Underdog at Boston’s Huntington Theatre, where he was awarded the Elliot Norton Award for Best Director.