rest in peace

Billy Porter shares the news of his beloved mom’s passing

Actor, singer and director Billy Porter has revealed that his mom, Cloerinda, has died at the age of 79.

The Pose star took to Instagram to share the news, alongside a slideshow of images and videos of his mom.

“We were right beside her when she took her last breath, wrapped in our arms.

“Mommy lived life to the fullest despite physical limitations pressed upon her. She was the personification of true Christianity and her unconditional love is a template that the world could benefit from employing. Her example is what we continue to strive for.

“We are heartbroken she is no longer here with us, but find solace that her suffering has ended. Her fight was long and hard—she did it with grace and integrity. Mommy will remain forever in our hearts as she continues to guide us from above, as she has done on this Earth.

“From Labor to Reward…”

Growing up in a Pentecostal family

Billy Porter, 54, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Cloerinda and William Ellis Porter. His mother later remarried. Porter’s sister is Mary Martha E. Ford. He has spoken before about growing up in a “very religious” Pentecostal family.

In 2021, Porter revealed that he was HIV-positive. He said he was diagnosed 14 years previously. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said wanted to keep his diagnosis a secret from his mother and planned to wait until she passed to go public.

“She’s not going to be here long, and then I’ll write my book and come out and she won’t have to live with the embarrassment of having an HIV-positive child,” he said.

However, as his fame grew with his award-winning performance as Pray Tell on Pose, he began to have second thoughts. He said at the time, that his mom “ain’t going anywhere.”

Playing Pray Tell, who was also a gay man living HIV, allowed Porter “an opportunity to work through the shame” he’d felt over his diagnosis.

He decided to go public with his HIV status.

A number of famous friends and colleagues of Porter’s reacted to the news of his mom’s passing.

Luke Evans, who recently starred with Porter in the movie, Our Son, said, “I’m so sorry my love! Sending you love and light.” Fellow Pose star Angelica Ross replied, “I am so sorry for your loss Billy. Sending you all the love and support.”

Actress Uzo Aduba said, “Sending my love, my love. ❤❤❤”. Tamron Hall posted, “Praying for you. Thank you for sharing her journey with the world. We love you.”

Don't forget to share:
Read More in Culture
The Latest on INTO