Words: Will Stroude
As anyone who's seen an episode of the raucous comedy gameshow Billy on the Street knows, Billy Eichner isn't afraid to speak his mind - whatever situation it might put him in.
The American actor and comedian, 40 has been one of 'liberal Hollywood's most vocal critics of the White House since Donald Trump's election in 2016 - and he's got no plans to tone down his activism to please anyone across the aisle.
As he poses for an exclusive shoot in the December issue of Attitude - available to download and to order globally now - Billy takes aim at the "evil, corruption and cruelty" emanating from the White House, and explains why he's glad celebrity heavyweights like Taylor Swift are finally arriving on the political battlines.
"I’ve always cared about politics, I just wasn’t necessarily as vocal about it," says Billy, who joined the cast of American Horror Story for politcally-charged season Cult in 2017 before returning for this year's offering, Apocalypse.
"But Trump is such a con artist that he’s inspired outrage in me, as an LGBT+ person but also just as an American and a human being.
"And I know that’s true of millions of people all over the USA and throughout the world. Fewer people are just standing on the sidelines and not participating."
The New York-born star cotinues: "Above everything, beyond being 'a liberal, gay, Jewish New Yorker', I simply don’t like being lied to and I don’t like to see people with less resources being exploited — even if we disagree politically — by wealthy people in positions of power.
"I get a physical reaction to people who have bad intentions, and the current administration just sparked something in me that I was not able to control."
Billy, who is set to voice Timon in Disney's upcoming live action remake of The Lion King, says he believes those with a platform have a responsibiility to speak out against the current hatred being spewed by the White House.
Billy Eichner, shot by Leigh Keily exclusively for the December issue of Attitude
"It is strange to me that [celebrities] wouldn’t want to use [their platform], considering the level of evil, corruption and cruelty coming from the highest positions of power in our government," he explains.
"I have to say I was really impressed with Taylor Swift for speaking out. She’s taken a lot of shit over the years for not being political, and I’m glad that she’s turned a corner and we’re now seeing how much influence she has.
"On one hand, you might say she should have done it earlier, and I don’t necessarily disagree with that.
View this post on Instagram
Out here canvassing with @swingleft in New Jersey!!! GUYS - the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do right now is HELP US GET OUT THE VOTE! Do it with a friend - its easy and fun!! Go to SwingLeft.org/Billy to find out how! And vote for @malinowskifornj in NJ-07!!! SwingLeft.org/Billy LINK IN PROFILE!
"But on the other hand, when you’re at that level, you’re going to have to deal with so much shit coming at you for voicing your opinion, and not everyone is naturally inclined to be able to deal with that negativity.
He adds: "I’ve never worried about that because I’ve never cared what people think [laughs].
"As long as I feel that I’m on the right side of history, then I don’t care about getting negative comments."
Read the full interview eith Billy Eichner in the December issue of Attitude, out now.