Billy Porter was "traumatised" by his first few years in the music industry.
The 54-year-old Broadway star released his self-titled debut album in 1997 but recalled industry executives trying to convince the world that he was straight
He told Vulture: "My first album was Billy Porter on A and M Records. It was traumatizing. The industry was very homophobic. I had an R and B deal on A and M, and nobody would do anything that I wanted. It was all about the smoke and mirrors of trying to make the world think I was straight, that I was masculine enough to exist. It was traumatizing, since my voice, my singing voice, had been my savior.
"It was what allowed me to dream beyond my circumstance, and then for the first time in my life, my voice didn’t matter.
"All they were concerned about was who I was f****** behind closed doors on my own private time."
The 'Pose' actor went on to add that he wanted to quit the industry altogehter and decided to turn his back on releasing music for a number of years when his label gave one of his songs to Celine Dion in what he decided was an example of "oppression" at the time.
He added: "It was traumatizing, but I thought, Well, these people know more than me, so I should listen to their advice, and slowly, who I was was chipped away until I woke up after six or seven years of being in the business and didn’t recognize myself. Then my label gave my song to Celine Dion for 'The First Wives Club'! They gave it right over to her! Same producer produced it for her. I was like, 'I did not come here to be a demo singer for f******Celine Dion! I’m done!'
" I love her, no shade, she’s fabulous, this isn’t about Celine Dion. It’s about the systems of oppression that mute and dismiss our contribution to the world. It happened in that moment, and I said, 'I’m done. If this is all the music business has to offer me, I’m done. She can have it, y’all can have it, I’m out.'"