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2019 Emmys: Pose's Billy Porter Wins Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

In a sequined suit and his best pair of "kinky boots," Pose's Billy Porter took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role in the acclaimed FX show at the 2019 Emmy Awards. 

A Tony and Grammy winner for his starring role in Kinky Boots, Porter donned an enormous hat and let out a gleeful shout as he accepted his first-ever Emmy Award. Pose finds Porter playing Pray Tell, a fabulous emcee of high-profile drag balls in '80s New York City, who also acts as a guide and mentor to several struggling members of both the fashion and drag communities in the intimidatingly large metropolis. During the show's first season, Pray Tell grappled with his newfound HIV diagnosis, giving Porter an extraordinarily powerful arc to play.

Clad in a suit embedded with over 100,000 crystals, Porter was one of the most joyful winners of the entire night, thanking Pose creator Ryan Murphy for giving him the opportunity of a lifetime and a national stage on which to perform and spread his message of inclusivity, love, and acceptance.

"I have the right [to be here], you have the right, we all have the right," Porter said during his speech, telling the audience that he has spent years fighting to be recognized as his true, authentic self, and has finally achieved that goal.

As if it wasn't amazing enough that Porter added another major award to his shelf — especially considering that he could potentially score a coveted EGOT by eventually winning an Oscar — Porter also made history during this Emmys night with his win by becoming the first openly gay black man to win an Emmy award for this specific category.

Who did Porter beat out?

The Drama category is always pretty packed with prestige actors, and this year's Emmys was no exception, featuring actors who have made their mark in everything from HBO juggernauts to Netflix originals.

Porter faced off against Ozark's Jason Bateman, two stars from This Is Us — Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown, the latter of whom has won this category before — and Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk, alongside Game of Thrones' Kit Harington, the only member of the category whose show finished up its final season this year. However, it looks like Harington's victory lap wasn't victorious enough to overcome Porter's powerhouse performance. It's clear that this is one television career that's only going to go up from here.