Billy Porter Criticised Over Non-Binary Vogue Cover Comments

by : Emily Brown on : 21 Oct 2021 17:52
Billy Porter Criticised Over Non-Binary Vogue Cover CommentsAlamy

Cinderella actor Billy Porter has been met with backlash after suggesting he ‘created the conversation’ around non-binary fashion. 

Porter’s comments came in relation to the December 2020 Vogue cover which featured Harry Styles wearing a full-length dress, marking the first time a man had appeared on the cover of the publication.


In the accompanying interview, Styles was described by a friend as ‘the image of a new era, of the way that a man can look’, though Porter has implied the credit is misplaced after he came to be known for his gender-fluid outfits.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Porter said: ‘I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to. I created the conversation [about non-binary fashion] and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time.’

Porter did not specifically use the phrase ‘non-binary fashion’ in the interview, but the implications of his comments have prompted backlash from social media users, with one person accusing him of ‘gatekeeping dresses’.


They wrote: ‘billy porter gatekeeping dresses instead of being proud that he helped in a movement where non-women can wear dresses openly in the cover of one of the most known fashion magazines….. i have so much to say.’

Another comment reads: ‘Billy Porter thinking he, a cisgender male, created the conversation about non-binary fashion is BIPOC trans erasure at its finest. And he even starred in a tv show ABOUT BIPOC trans people in the vogue scene. Pathetic.’


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Porter went on to suggest he was ‘the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it’, adding: ‘I’m not dragging Harry Styles, but… He doesn’t care, he’s just doing it because it’s the thing to do. This is politics for me. This is my life.

‘I had to fight my entire life to get to the place where I could wear a dress to the Oscars. All [Styles] has to do is be white and straight’, the actor continued.

Porter does not appear to have responded to the criticism at the time of writing, October 21.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Fashion, harry styles, Non-binary


The Sunday Times
  1. The Sunday Times