AceShowbiz - Billy Porter was always picked on at school until he used the "power" of song to silence bullies. The 52-year-old "Pose" star revealed being a "sissy" during his schooldays meant he was often bullied, but he fought back with his singing skills.
"For the first five years of school, I was just bullied. I really, you know, daily, incessantly bullied," he explained. "And, you know, because I was a little sissy, and, you know, and it was like, but when I opened up my mouth to sing, the bullying stopped, and I had this sort of power. And I had this kind of respect."
Billy also claimed the playground bullies helped him choose a career in performing, because he had found what to "focus on" in life.
Speaking on the "Table Manners" podcast, he told hosts Jessie Ware and Lennie Ware, "I had this kind of respect. And I was like, 'Well, that's what I need to focus on.' I couldn't play sports. But here the cast list goes up. And literally, hundreds of people are double cast and everything. Ensemble roles are double cast. And I'm not."
Billy's first big career win was a Tony Award for his performance as drag queen Lola in Broadway musical "Kinky Boots" - and he insisted the after-school drama club was the making of him.
"There were after school programs that were government supported," he added. "So there were all of these programs. It was amazing. And there was this, there was this program... called Rising and Shine musical theater. And I went, 'cause I was musical. And I was like, 'Well, maybe I can sing.' And then they explained to us what a musical was. And they said, 'You're gonna come back next week, and sing in front of everybody.' "