Unprotected: A Memoir

Unprotected: A Memoir

by Billy Porter (Author)

From the incomparable Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award winner, a powerful and revealing autobiography about race, sexuality, art, and healing

It’s easy to be yourself when who and what you are is in vogue. But growing up Black and gay in America has never been easy. Before Billy Porter was slaying red carpets and giving an iconic Emmy-winning performance in the celebrated TV show Pose; before he was the groundbreaking Tony and Grammy Award-winning star of Broadway’s Kinky Boots; and before he was an acclaimed recording artist, actor, playwright, director, and all-around legend, Porter was a young boy in Pittsburgh who was seen as different, who didn’t fit in. At five years old, Porter was sent to therapy to “fix” his effeminacy. He was endlessly bullied at school, sexually abused by his stepfather, and criticized at his church. Porter came of age in a world where simply being himself was a constant struggle.

Billy Porter’s Unprotected is the life story of a singular artist and survivor in his own words. It is the story of a boy whose talent and courage opened doors for him, but only a crack. It is the story of a teenager discovering himself, learning his voice and his craft amidst deep trauma. And it is the story of a young man whose unbreakable determination led him through countless hard times to where he is now; a proud icon who refuses to back down or hide. Porter is a multitalented, multifaceted treasure at the top of his game, and Unprotected is a resonant, inspirational story of trauma and healing, shot through with his singular voice.

Unprotected: A Memoir is a powerful and moving memoir by Tony Award-winning actor, singer, and director Billy Porter. In this book, Porter shares his journey of self-acceptance and resilience in the face of adversity.

Porter begins his memoir with a reflection on his childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a young boy, he felt different from the other children and often faced bullying and discrimination because of his homosexuality. Porter's father, a minister, was not accepting of his son's sexuality, and their relationship was strained as a result.

Despite the challenges he faced, Porter pursued his dreams of performing. He moved to New York City to study theater and began his career on Broadway. However, his success was not without obstacles. Porter faced racism, homophobia, and HIV stigma throughout his career. He also struggled with drug addiction and mental health issues.

In Unprotected, Porter shares his experiences with honesty and vulnerability. He writes about the pain of rejection and discrimination, but he also celebrates the joy of finding love and acceptance. Porter's memoir is a testament to the power of resilience and the importance of self-acceptance.

Unprotected is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality. It is a powerful and moving story that will inspire readers to embrace their true selves.


288 pages