Billy Porter Called Out Vogue For Featuring Harry Styles In Dresses And Skirts, When His Own Nonbinary Style "Changed The Whole Game"

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Billy Porter and Harry Styles are probably best known for their achievements as stage and screen performers, but both stars have made waves in fashion, too.

  David M. Benett / Dave Benett / Getty Images, Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images
David M. Benett / Dave Benett / Getty Images, Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

The Pose actor and former One Direction member are respectively considered style icons, as each has delivered their share of exciting looks over the years.

  Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images, Sopa Images / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images, Sopa Images / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Billy and Harry often attend Hollywood events wearing ensembles that transcend clothing trends restricted by the gender binary, with Billy donning skirts and dresses while Harry accessorizes with feather boas and polished nails.

  Rich Fury / Getty Images
Rich Fury / Getty Images

After rejecting gendered fashion norms on red carpets and sharing what androgynous style means to him in interviews, Harry eventually became the first man to land a Vogue cover last December and was photographed in several extravagant skirts and dresses for the spread.

  Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Billy criticized Vogue's decision to make Harry its first man cover star in a more recent interview with The Sunday Times, where the triple-threat artist and upcoming author noted that his own style broke boundaries before Harry's did.

  John Lamparski / Getty Images
John Lamparski / Getty Images

"I changed the whole game," Billy said. "I. Personally. Changed. The. Whole. Game. And that is not ego, that is just fact. I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it."

  Rich Fury / Getty Images
Rich Fury / Getty Images

"I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to. I'm not necessarily convinced and here is why," he continued. "I created the conversation [about non-binary fashion] and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time."

  Frazer Harrison / FilmMagic via Getty Images
Frazer Harrison / FilmMagic via Getty Images

"He is the one you're going to try and use to represent this new conversation?" Billy went on, suggesting that Harry's style is more a reflection of the moment than something personal.

<div><p>"He doesn't care, he's just doing it because it's the thing to do," he said. "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."</p></div><span> Astrid Stawiarz / WireImage via Getty Images</span>

"He doesn't care, he's just doing it because it's the thing to do," he said. "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."

Astrid Stawiarz / WireImage via Getty Images

Harry hasn't labeled his sexuality outright. Regarding his fashion choices, the singer told Vogue last year that gendered clothing norms are "limiting" and "there's so much joy to be had in playing with clothes."

<div><p>"I've never really thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something," he said at the time.</p></div><span> Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images</span>

"I've never really thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something," he said at the time.

Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

Even though Harry's Vogue cover seemed like a valuable step away from conventional gender presentations, in the magazine and across the fashion industry, Billy's response to it is so valid. Breaking boundaries is cool, but authenticity, representation, and due recognition are just as important.