For more conversations like this, subscribe to “Cape Up”

Billy Porter has a Tony for “Kinky Boots.” A Grammy for “Kinky Boots.” And an Emmy for his role as Pray Tell in the television show “Pose.” But even if you didn’t know any of that, you probably heard about that black velvet tuxedo gown Porter wore to the Oscars in 2019. It was an instant sensation and made the popular actor and singer a cultural icon.

In the latest episode of “Cape Up,” I talk with Porter about that moment and how he liberated himself from toxic gender roles. “I spent the first half of my life and my career in that masculinity game, trying to be masculine enough so that I could eat, so that I could get a job, so I could get paid, so I could eat,” Porter said. “There came a time in my … mid- to late-30s, where I just got sick of it … and leaned into all of the things that I was told would be my liability, all of the things that I had lived as a liability. … I took every hit that I could take not being masculine enough; I took them all. And then I decided that I didn’t care.”

Porter really gets going when we talk politics. “I can’t be a politician ’cause I cuss and I tell the truth too much,” he said. “We have to get people out to the polls to vote. Period. We’re in a crisis.”

For more conversations like this, subscribe to “Cape Up” on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Watch the latest Opinions video: