'Like A Boss' star and fashion icon Billy Porter says he's 'breaking free' from 'toxic masculinity'

Porter said "Kinky Boots was the conduit" for finding his true self expression.

January 9, 2020, 10:06 AM

Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner Billy Porter continues to break gender barriers and shines from the red carpet to the big screen. Now the actor is the first male to be featured on the cover of Allure magazine.

Porter joined "Good Morning America" on Wednesday to talk about his latest movie, "Like A Boss," which he said sends a "great message that the world needs to see right now."

Billy Porter plays Barret and Tiffany Haddish plays Mia Carter in "Like a Boss."
Eli Joshua Ade/Paramount Pictures

"It's such a beautiful movie about friendship, about real friendship -- your ride or die -- the people who are there for you and present for you whenever you need them, however you need them, unconditionally," he said. "I was raised by strong women. I've always loved strong women -- those are the people that have influenced me the most in my life."

"So to be in a film like this with all of these boss ladies -- it's not about them trying to find a man -- it's about them. It's a great thing and a great message," he went on.

Porter has been an influential presence from Broadway to Hollywood and the stylish star said that his Tony-winning show helped raise the curtain on his truest self.

"Being in 'Kinky Boots' was the conduit to cracking this side of myself open and releasing me so that I could express myself -- and try to change something in this world," he said.

Billy Porter is the first male to be on the cover of Allure magazine.
Allure Magazine

As "GMA" revealed an exclusive first look of Porter on the cover of Allure magazine, he explained that his goal is to continue to help change societal norms on masculinity.

Billy Porter poses for Allure magazine.
Allure magazine

"From the minute I could comprehend thought my masculinity was in question. And I lived my entire life with that pressure, with the pressure of how can I live up to the societal standard of acceptable masculinity just so I could simply exist on this planet," Porter explained. "The minute I released that the conversation has changed. I want to have a conversation of what it really means to be a man."

He continued, "That's not about masculinity, that's about humanity."

Billy Porter poses for the latest issue of Allure magazine.
Allure magazine

Porter said that "the impression that you give is what you look like first, so get it together," which has shifted his perspective.

Billy Porter attends the world premiere of "Like A Boss" at SVA Theater, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York City.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

His latest fashion statement on the Golden Globes red carpet was a bold and stunning all-white outfit that he said had a much deeper meaning.

"We sort of came up with this idea of flight," Porter said. "The representation of wings [and] taking flight and being free -- from the shackles of what toxic masculinity has been for me -- how that sort of kept me bound for a long time and I get to express it in this way and it's wonderful."