Billy Porter delivered the LGBTQ State of the Union address on Tuesday, and used the speech as a call for change.
The Pose star -- who delivered his first LGBTQ State of the Union address last year -- addressed the nation in a video for Logo, which went out just hours ahead of President Donald Trump's third State of the Union address.
While the president's speech is annually delivered in the House chamber on Capitol Hill -- where Trump was recently impeached by the House of Representatives in December -- Porter's message was delivered with gravitas as the star stood stoically behind a glass podium, between a rainbow flag and an American flag.
"Last year, I told you that the state of our union was strong,” Porter shared. "And while it’s certainly been battered, our union is far from broken."
"Now, in 2020, our responsibility as citizens has never been more evident," Porter continued. "Our nation is facing one of the biggest crises of my lifetime. But this year, you and I have the chance to course-correct. So far, our nation has survived the first term of Donald Trump, but who’s to say what another term would do to this country, to democracy and truly to the entire world."
Porter then detailed what he deemed to be malicious attacks leveled against the LGBTQ community by Trump, including his support for and expansion of the "conscience rule" that would allow health care professionals to "discriminate against queer people," his tweeted proclamation banning transgender people from serving in the armed forces, and his removal of funding for federally funded homeless shelters for trans individuals.
"His disdain for our rights has been demonstrated up and down the federally benches he's packed with anti-LGBTQ judges, whose influence will be felt long after Trump has left office," Porter said. "For some of us, each day under this administration is a matter of life and death."
Porter pointed to the harrowing statistics that have emerged over the last year that show a remarkable increase of violent hate crimes over the past year, and the fact that 2019 was "the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans."
"This heinous violence against trans people, which disproportionately affects trans women of color is nothing short of an epidemic," Porter explained. "We must confront it as a community and as a country, and we must elect officials who recognize it for the crisis that it is."
Porter also decried the "erosion of truth," "the normalization of white supremacy," the "assault on women's reproductive rights," climate change denial, and a lack of effective gun control policies.
"The fate of the entire country is in the balance. I know it sounds dramatic, but if now is not the time for drama, child, when is?" Porter said.
Still, Porter concluded his speech with a message of hope, and pointed to the many shining beacons of light in the darkness.
"We are witnessing true progress," Porter said. "Every act of kindness is a blow against cruelty. Every act of empathy is a blow against bigotry. Every act of courage is a blow against cowardly self-interest, and every act of love is a blow against hate."
"We have a tough fight against us, but I know we can win it," Porter continued. "We have no other choice but to win it. Remember that we have far more that connects us than sets us apart."
"So, love one another, take care of one another, and let’s secure the future for those who will inherit it," he concluded. "In the words of the great James Baldwin, 'Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.' Let's face the challenges of this new year and this new decade together."