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Billy Porter Highlights the Plight of Many Living with Chronic Illness.

I have been hard time staying silent the past few days as Billy Porter’s transparency is being talked about all over social media.

The actor, like many other in the film industry, is caught in the midst of the current SAG-AFTRA strike. This strike has already shut down production of the coming seasons of popular shows as well as shut down production on upcoming films.

Porter, responding to a studio executive who reportedly said the goal was to “starve them out and make them sell their apartments said, “you’ve already starved me out”, as he announced that he was in the process of trying to sell his home.

While other actors are posting incredulously small royalty checks and giving insight into their own situations, Porter has been made a laughing stock.

As a mental health advocate, I’ve sat back shocked and appalled. This is not Porter’s first time showcasing such transparency. In The popular actor, best known for his role on Pose, told the world that he was HIV positive. The 52 year old actor also suffers from Type 2 diabetes.

Porter is not unlike many in America who struggle with chronic illness. Like Porter, those who struggle with chronic illnesses, are often only a paycheck or two away from a different lifestyle.

Chronic illnesses often limit one’s ability to work full time, at times, one’s ability to work a regular schedule. Insurance, especially for those with preexisting health conditions is not only harder to obtain, but also more expensive. One with insurance, still must cover copayments and other health related costs.

As someone who is legally disabled, fighting multiple chronic illnesses daily and knows what it’s like to have days where I can not function at even 50% of what I normally can, I sympathize.

As a mental health advocate, I’m saddened. Seeing the way people come together to kick someone when they’re already down, is disheartening.

There are few of us who haven’t experienced the pain of being made fun of for something beyond our control.

In light of the current strike, Porter is making smart decisions not knowing when he will work steadily again. I relate to that so strongly as the person who funded all of My philanthropic efforts let Me know he no longer could at the beginning of the year.

I too, had to make hard decisions like letting go of staff members who were invaluable to our organization; downgrading My lifestyle some, as well looking at My finances differently.

Billy Porter’s situation only highlights the fear of many Americans living with chronic illness. “What if I lose My job?”, “ what if I get too sick to work?” It’s a valid fear as well as strategy to put yourself in the best position to deal with the unexpected.

How many checks do you think you could afford to miss before it would affect your daily lifestyle?

Do you have a plan in place in case your health affects your ability to pay your bills?


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