We know Todrick Hall based on his various talents. Whether it be appearing on Broadway, choreographing for Rupaul’s Drag Race, or going viral from his visually stunning music videos, Todrick has earned his spot as one of the most versatile artists in Hollywood today.

While he has persevered through the hurdles he faces in showbiz, he is still finding it difficult to be taken seriously, because of his race and sexual preference.

 

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Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe that I’d someday see my face on the cover of @billboard magazine. I am completely blown away! I don’t believe there could possibly be a more important time for a proud out black man to grace the cover of such a highly revered and respected magazine. I have gone through so much and fought so hard to try to prove myself in a world where there are hardly any outlets for a voice like mine to be heard, and seeing my face representing femininity and masculinity, the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color on the COVER of a music industry magazine when I am an unsigned artist is truly mind blowing. Just a reminder to chase your dreams, visibility is everything. My message & music is for everyone, but this pride month and in the midst of everything going on in our country I would like to dedicate this to the new generation of queer people of color. I see you, I hear you, I am you and I stand with you. Don’t measure the value of your gift by the short sighted homophobic and racially fueled views of a manager or producer, it’s not your job to help them see the fire and beauty in you. YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON WHO HAS TO BELIEVE IN YOU, PERIODT. Go chase your dreams and stop waiting for hall passes and permission slips. The world is ready to hear YOUR story & finally ready to hear it from YOU. Thank you @taylorswift & @theebillyporter for your kind words, I honestly cannot believe this is real. #happypride #blacklivesmatter #nojusticenopeace Photo: @vijatm Make-up: @lipsticknick Hair: @cesar4styles Wardrobe: @marcosquared @ashtonmichael Airbrushing: @sketchairbrush

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With racial tensions on the rise in America, Todrick believed his energy would be best served in raising awareness and being on the front lines of protesting, demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and those who have been slain at the hands of law enforcement. He reflects on this moment in his cover story with Billboard. “There were so many white people there with shirts that said, ‘Black lives matter.’ I expected there to be a ton of black people, but I was not expecting to feel so supported by so many people who live so many different lives and represented so many colors of the rainbow.” He also explains how this moment for him was transformative. “I have traveled the world and done several Broadway shows and gotten hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, but I never felt more important in my life than I did sitting in that crowd where nobody knew who I was.I think a lot of people are looking with stars in their eyes like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this might be the moment when people will actually give me a chance at winning and surviving and being able to create a family and a legacy for myself.’ ”

 

 

Todrick also lamented on his struggle as a black gay man, and expresses that he still feels like an outsider in the entertainment industry. “People have put me up on a pedestal and think that I am signed to a label and that I have management. I am blown away by their ignorance of how the industry works,” In fact, Todrick does not have a music manager, and releases his music independently. “In the next breath, I am flattered that my team and I have been able to make people believe that we are on that same level.” It doesn’t feel like so long ago that he was staging unauthorized pop-up performances around town, trying to get a break: “No one was bothering me when I was singing at the drive-through at McDonald’s and when I was dancing at Target.”

 

 

While Hall understands his place in the industry and how difficult it is to overcome stereotypes, Todrick still feels grateful for his platform. “A lot of the things that I wanted, I truly felt were impossible,” Todrick says as he reflects on his status. “[Many talented people I know] don’t believe that they can do something because they’ve never seen anybody that looks like them do it before — when that’s the reason why they should be doing it.”

Check out more from Todrick Hall’s Billboard cover story “Black and Gay in America: What It’s Like to Be Todrick Hall” here.

 

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