President Donald Trump wasn’t the only one to deliver a State of the Union address on Tuesday.
“Pose” star Billy Porter gave his second LGBTQ State of the Union for Logo TV hours before Trump addressed Congress and the nation, and his presidency was a large part of Porter’s speech.
“Last year, I told you that the state of our union is strong,” Porter said. “While it certainly has been battered, our union is far from broken. Now, in 2020, our responsibility as citizens has been more evident.”
The actor/activist called Trump’s presidency “one of the biggest crises of my lifetime” and said “this year, you and I have a chance to course correct.”
“So far, our nation has survived the first term of Donald Trump,” Porter said. “But who’s to say what another term would do to this country, to democracy and truly to the entire world.”
He pointed to Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military, the President’s support of the so-called conscience rule that would have allowed health care professionals to refuse to perform medical procedures on LGBTQ people if it conflicted with their religious beliefs and his appointment of anti-LGBTQ judges as just some of the ways he believes Trump has shown his “true colors.”
“For some of us, each day under this administration is a matter of life and death,” Porter said. “Last November, the FBI reported that hate crime violence has hit a 16-year high. With more than 25 innocent people murdered, 2019 was the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans.”
Porter also touched on some of the triumphs and setbacks facing the LGBTQ community around the world, including Brazil’s criminalization of homophobia and transphobia and, by contrast, Kenya’s ban on gay sex.
Porter pointed out that “every act of love is a blow against hate.”
“We may have a tough fight against us, but I know we can win it,” he said. “We have no other choice but to win it.”
He ended with a quote from the legendary black gay writer James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it’s faced.”