Emmy award winning actor and fashionista Billy Potter has opened up to the public for the first time about a sincerely intimate portion of his life as he has officially revealed that he’s been living with the diagnosis of testing positive for HIV since 2007!
In a recently released interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Billy speaks on his overall decision to hide his diagnosis from the public out of shame.
“The shame of that time compounded with the shame that had already [accumulated] in my life silenced me, and I have lived with that shame in silence for 14 years. HIV-positive, where I come from, growing up in the Pentecostal church with a very religious family, is God’s punishment.”
Billy describes the year 2007 as “the worst year” of his life. He explains that back In February, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He says that within the month of March he filed for bankruptcy and in June he officially received his diagnosis.
The Pose star recalls going to visit a clinic to receive care for a growing pimple and that a front-desk receptionist asked if he wanted to take an HIV test. Billy said yes and received the news from the doctor after getting the pimple drained.
Billy explains that he kept his diagnosis under wraps was not only from fans but also his mother and that he only shared the news with individuals he felt needed to know.
“For a long time, everybody who needed to know, knew — except for my mother. I was trying to have a life and a career, and I wasn’t certain I could if the wrong people knew. It would just be another way for people to discriminate against me in an already discriminatory profession. So I tried to think about it as little as I could. I tried to block it out. But quarantine has taught me a lot. Everybody was required to sit down and shut the f*** up.“
Billy says that the protection of his secret allowed him the ability to have a life and a career.
“Well, I’m living so that I can tell the story. There’s a whole generation that was here, and I stand on their shoulders. I can be who I am in this space, at this time, because of the legacy that they left for me. So it’s time to put my big boy pants on and talk.”