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Billy Porter on His Pittsburgh Pride

Porter's Pittsburgh-based film "Anything’s Possible" debuts July 22 on Amazon Prime Video.
Billy Porter grand marshals the 2022 Pittsburgh Pride march and parade across the historic Andy Warhol Bridge. Photo by Anastasia Alexander.

Pittsburgh-born queer icon Billy Porter graced Pittsburgh Pride weekend. The Tony, Emmy, and Grammy award-winning actor, singer, author, and new director was in the City to grand marshal the Pittsburgh Pride march and parade on Saturday and made appearances at several other Pride events during his stay. 

Porter, who grew up in Pittsburgh, talked about his experience growing up as a gay man decades ago in the city. 

“Everything was underground, and it was hidden, and it was in the dark in the cloak of night,” Porter said. “And now, everything has come to light. Everything is coming out in the daytime, out and loud, and it’s beautiful to see.” 

On Friday night, Porter stepped onto the outdoor stage at Stage AE to address the crowd and talk about his upcoming film, “Anything’s Possible”. The film, set in Pittsburgh, is Porter’s directorial debut and is a teen trans love story. The trailer for the film was shown to the crowd at the concert, and Porter even took to the stage to sing with Jessie J later that night. 

Billy Porter at the Pittsburgh Pride Revolution 2022 festival. Photo by Mara Rago.

After a long weekend, Porter was looking forward to relaxing and hanging out with his friends in some of his favorite Pittsburgh spots, such as 5801 Video Lounge in Shadyside. However, this isn’t the first time he has recently come back to Pittsburgh. 

Porter took interest in the script for “Anything’s Possible” and initially, didn’t know the story took place in Pittsburgh. 

“I was reading the script and around page 30, it was revealed that we were in Pittsburgh. It was fortuitous,” he said. “It was great – I knew I was going to get the movie.” 

The movie was filmed last summer, and Porter was able to come back to his hometown during the filming process. Shots of Point State Park, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, yellow bridges, and other iconic Pittsburgh scenes appear onscreen. 

“It was wonderful, and I got to film it at my old high school with all my friends,” Porter said. “It was a dream come true.” 

The movie, written by Ximena García Lecuona, follows Kelsa, a Black Trans senior in high school. Her classmate Khal develops a crush on her, and asks her out, making for a modern-day rom-com for all ages, races, genders, and sexualities. 

“Anything’s Possible” will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on July 22. 

Billy Porter at Pride on the Shore Friday, June 3, 2022. Photo by Mara Rago.
Tia Bailey
Tia (she/her) is a recent Point Park grad who majored in journalism. She loves all things movies, music, and Pittsburgh! As the summer 2022 QBurgh intern, she’s looking forward to writing about Pittsburgh’s LGBTQIA+ community and highlighting all the cool people doing cool things in the community.