Billy Porter Mourns 'Beloved' Mother Cloerinda's Passing: 'Heartbreak and Loss'

Broadway Star Faces Personal Loss with Grace and Strength

by Zain ul Abedin
Billy Porter Mourns 'Beloved' Mother Cloerinda's Passing: 'Heartbreak and Loss'
© Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Billy Porter, the acclaimed Broadway sensation, has publicly shared his profound grief over the loss of his beloved mother, Cloerinda Jean Johnson Porter-Ford, in a heartfelt tribute on Instagram. Accompanied by a touching collection of photographs and videos encapsulating their shared moments, Porter revealed he was by his mother's side, enveloped in love, as she peacefully passed away.

Porter eloquently expressed his admiration for his mother's indomitable spirit, noting, "Mommy lived life to the fullest despite physical limitations pressed upon her. She exemplified true Christianity, and her unconditional love serves as a beacon of hope and compassion the world over.

Her life's example sets a high bar for us all to aspire to." The Broadway icon went on to articulate the deep sorrow the family feels in her absence, yet finds comfort in knowing her struggles have come to an end. Reflecting on his mother's enduring strength, Porter shared, "Her battle was arduous and prolonged, yet she faced it with grace and dignity.

Mommy's legacy will continue to inspire and guide us, as she always has, from a higher place. Her transition from labor to reward marks a poignant moment in our lives."

Resilience and Remembrance

Porter has often spoken of his mother's resilience in the face of a degenerative disability that she battled from birth.

In a 2017 Build Series interview, he remarked, "That woman has got out of bed every single day of her life and has fought for her life when everyone doubted her. Her strength and perseverance are the foundation of my being." The news of her passing has elicited an outpouring of support from fans and celebrities alike.

Figures such as Loni Love, Tamron Hall, and Lena Waithe have extended their condolences and emphasized the importance of cherishing the memories of Cloerinda. During a December 2023 appearance on Today with Hoda & Jenna, Porter highlighted the critical role his mother's unconditional love and support played in his life.

He stressed the importance of familial support, especially for individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, who often must forge their own paths of kinship and belonging. Billy Porter's touching homage to his mother underscores not only the personal loss of a cherished family member but also celebrates the enduring impact of her life's lessons and love.

Cloerinda Jean Johnson Porter-Ford's legacy, characterized by resilience, love, and grace, continues to resonate with many, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those she touched.