I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Billy Porter Black Mona Lisa concert last night in Dallas. I went in expecting a fabulous show…I left beyond empowered.

Billy Porter is undoubtedly an inspiration, both as artist and as leader. Not only is his rich and powerful voice captivating, but he is also a shining symbol of authenticity and courage, using his platform to speak out on important issues. His work has been revolutionary in the LGBTQ+ community, and he has been a leader in the fight for equal rights. From his role in Pose to his iconic red carpet looks, Billy Porter has never shied away from being himself, or so I thought before last night. In concert, he shared his struggles with identity and his efforts to fit in during his early career, and it was heartbreaking and inspiring. Especially to see him emerge on the other side.

Billy Porter has shown us immense strength and resilience. He has faced discrimination and prejudice throughout his life and career, yet he has persevered and continued to share his truth. He has inspired so many to be unapologetically themselves, and he has represented the LGBTQ+ community with courage and dignity. I admire Billy Porter, not only for his courage and authenticity, but also for how he has used his voice to create change and bring awareness to these crucial topics. He is a beacon of hope and a source of strength. His courage and resilience serve as an example to us all.

For years, at work and in the business community, we have heard about, talked about, and even perpetuated the myth of bringing our whole selves to work. It’s been a nice sounding and catchy tag line, but truly, a farce. To bring your whole self to work requires comfort courage, and psychological safety. With so many crazy things happening in the world around us, around all of us together, this hasn’t been easy. And while many workplaces are making improvements in that capacity, we aren’t there yet. But with role models like Billy Porter leading the way…maybe we can get there. Maybe we can bring our whole selves to work.

I can’t tell you how inspired I was to watch this unbelievably talented and brilliant person share their whole self with the crowd. I don’t have the words to even express my joy, but I can start with these…Thank You. Thank You Billy Porter, for knowing the way, going the way, and showing the way. For inspiring us all to be better. And for inspiring us to think…why WOULDN’T I bring my whole self to work?

The lyrics in his new song Audacity, in part, cemented this epiphany for me.

“…the audacity to show up and believe…
I can just be me.”

Powerful and Inspiring! I will have the audacity to show up and believe I can just be me…that I’m enough. How about you?

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