Billy Porter Voices His Disappointment, Again, On Harry Styles Vogue Magazine Cover

Harry Styles on the cover of Vogue Magazine wearing a baby blue lace dress with black trimming and a black blazer on top. He's blowing into a small baby blue balloon and is set on a field of green grass.

Credit: Tyler Mitchell / Vogue Magazine

Billy Porter Vogue

In a recent interview, ‘Pose’ actor, Billy Porter explained why he’s still upset that Harry Styles was the first man with a solo feature on the cover of Vogue Magazine. Nearly one year after its publication, in December of 2020, Billy Porter first spoke on the cover: “I changed the whole game. I. Personally. Changed. The. Whole. Game. And that is not ego, that is just fact. I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it.”

Porter’s frustration lies with the fact that Vogue’s first solo male cover is centered around a straight, white, cishet man. He added He is the one you’re going to try and use to represent this new conversation?”; the conversation being about non-binary fashion in Hollywood. Porter believes that Styles’ fashion choices are more of a reflection of current trends rather than his own personal expression; as it is for many queer people.

In his Vogue interview, Harry Styles said his fashion choices are not linked to his personal identity, but he dresses as he does because binary clothing norms are “limiting” and “there’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes.”

Porter explained, “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 and not be gunned down. All he has to do is be white and straight.”

Billy Porter posing in his black tuxedo dress on the Oscars red carpet

Credit: Getty Images

In his most recent interview Billy Porter explained his initial comments on Styles’ Vogue cover. “[He’s] straight and white, that’s why he’s on the cover. Non-binary blah blah blah blah. No. It doesn’t feel good to me.”

He continued as if he was speaking directly to Styles, saying: “You’re using my community — or your people are using my community — to elevate you. You haven’t had to sacrifice anything.”

Porter also revealed that, months before Harry Styles’, cover Vogue’s editor-in-chief (Anna Wintour) consulted him, asking how the magazine could “do better” and be more inclusive of the LGBT+ community. He recalled: “That bitch said to me at the end, ‘How can we do better?’ and I was so taken off guard that I didn’t say what I should have said.”

He regrets not saying, “Use your power as Vogue to uplift the voices of the leaders of this de-gendering of fashion movement.”

Published by HOLR Magazine