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Billy Porter isn't happy about that Vogue cover of Harry Styles in a dress

The "Pose" star has worn numerous showstopping dresses at red carpet events.
Billy Porter (left) criticized Vogue for putting Harry Styles (right) in a dress on its December cover last year.
Billy Porter (left) criticized Vogue for putting Harry Styles (right) in a dress on its December cover last year.Getty Images

Last year's Vogue cover featuring Harry Styles in a dress was met with both applause and criticism, but some may not have expected fashion icon Billy Porter to be among those in the critics' corner.

The "Pose" star opened up about why he disagreed with the magazine's move in a new interview with The Sunday Times of London while discussing whether or not he feels he's been accepted by the fashion world.

"I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to," Porter said. "I'm not necessarily convinced and here is why. I created the conversation (about nonbinary fashion) and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time.

"I'm not dragging Harry Styles, but he is the one you're going to try and use to represent this new conversation?" Porter continued. "He doesn't care, he's just doing it because it's the thing to do. This is politics for me. This is my life. I had to fight my entire life to get to the place where I could wear a dress to the Oscars and not be gunned now. All he has to do is be white and straight."

91st Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Porter wore this tuxedo gown to the Oscars in February 2019, a look that became instantly iconic.Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Styles appeared on the December 2019 Vogue cover wearing a lacy dress with a tuxedo jacket, both by Gucci. In an interview with the magazine, he spoke about removing the "barriers" between men's and women's clothing.

"I'll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women's clothes thinking they're amazing," Styles said.

92nd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Porter at the 2020 Oscars. The actor and singer has long defied gender norms when it comes to fashion. Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Porter, whose first book debuts later this month, famously wore a black velvet tuxedo gown by Christian Siriano to the 2019 Oscars. Since then, he's worn numerous showstopping styles — including many dresses — on the red carpet and at major events.

Last month, the 52-year-old appeared on TODAY to discuss his role in the new Amazon film "Cinderella," in which Porter plays a genderless fairy godmother, known as Fab G.

Porter also opened up publicly for the first time about being HIV-positive earlier this year.

TODAY has reached out to both Styles and Vogue for comment and has yet to hear back.

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