Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

TELEVISION A fortified spirit, Angelica Ross of 'Pose'
by Angelique Smith
2018-06-20

This article shared 1326 times since Wed Jun 20, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Angelica Ross is busy.

She's filming a movie in the fall with Whoopi Goldberg. She's the CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, a firm she founded in 2014 that helps employ trans people. She's curating a shorts program at Outfest. And she also plays Candy Abundance on FX's new drama Pose, a series that American Horror Story's Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk co-created, along with writer-producer Steven Canals. Pose is making history as it features the largest number of transgender actors as series regulars than any other American show and, specifically, five transgender women of color cast as series regulars.

Set in New York in the late '80s at the height of the ballroom scene, the show tackles issues of LGBTQ homelessness, the AIDS epidemic and sex work, but its importance also lies in giving trans people of color more visibility and giving credit where credit is due by focusing on the origins and creators of the ball subculture. It's about truth, but it's also a celebration of the black and brown trans and gay community.

Windy City Times: You've called your character Candy the "wildest character you've ever portrayed" and "shady boots." Tell us about her and the House of Abundance.

Angelica Ross: Candy is trying to find her place and is struggling to find her category in this ballroom scene. She feels like she's a beautiful woman and that she's serving face, but she also feels like she's more than a face. She wants to experience love, she wants to be loved. Having the House of Abundance as her family is one thing—Candy and Lulu ( Abundance ) are thick as thieves—but Elektra's not the warmest house mother. Candy has a lot of insecurities, so she covers that up by being defensive and shady. She feels like before they attack her, she'll get them. You'll get a lot more of a taste of her in episode four.

WCT: I was reading that one of the upcoming episodes is based off your own real-life experience?

AR: Well, it's not based off my own real-life experience because it's just a fact that what I've experienced is what so many other trans women of color have also experienced. It's definitely going to be a conversation-starter.

I didn't even really know where Candy the character was going. Ryan Murphy just kind of created her once he met me. They went through the audition process and I actually passed on it a couple times. I kind of gave it to other girls to audition for because I didn't really see myself as Elektra and I didn't see myself playing Blanca, either. I didn't realize they were also using that as an opportunity to find the rest of their cast.

WCT: What was it like working with the rest of the cast and creators, like Ryan Murphy?

AR: It's incredible because everybody has an opinion—and a strong one—which is wonderful when you're dealing with people who get it. The collaboration elevates to a higher level. It's more challenging, but you're working with people who have done great things [who] are also showing us respect, honoring what it is that we bring to the table as trans actors, as trans directors, producers, and writers.

WCT: Did you have any fears going into the show concerning portrayals of trans women of color?

AR: None. I had zero fears once I knew Janet Mock was on it. Zero. I knew immediately it would be done right. We've worked too hard and come too far. And she's done so much to invest in her brand, she would not allow anything to get to a point that we were used as a publicity stunt. For so long, people have been trying to project their allegiance to the trans community instead of actually proving it through their actions. It's a lot of lip service, a lot of things that don't end up as what you think they're supposed to be. The trans community was on edge and so exhausted with it because we deserve something real, we deserve something authentic. We deserve something that we want to tune in to week after week and I think Pose is definitely going to be that show.

WCT: I know you've created a lot of your own content in the past to address the fact that you weren't being given what you deserve. Do you feel like there's a sense of responsibility that comes with being a representation of the trans community?

AR: Yes and no. I think that I've gone through enough advocacy spaces to understand how to deal with this kind of respectability politics. What happens is, when telling stories of women of color, you've got one scene with Candy calling one girl a "cross-dresser," you've got girls saying things to each other that are going to end up being reads and deep cuts. It is internal talk, but this is why the community's going to continue to love it so much because it's going to be so real. The responsibility we have is to be real.

WCT: Authenticity is key.

AR: You get to see how Ryan Murphy can create a show that can be advocacy within itself. As he goes on to create more content on Netflix, as we become more empowered as writers, producers and directors, we'll be creating more content. Hopefully, with more of that, we'll be able to loosen up in our shoulders and release the frustration and anxiety that has come from having to brace ourselves for every single thing. To be able to enjoy, to be able to let go. To cry tears of joy and cathartic tears because of the experiences that these characters go through. I see people on Twitter exclaiming that the experiences on Pose are their experiences, too.

WCT: What else do you hope that Pose accomplishes?

AR: I hope that Pose shines a light on what happens when we whitewash history. They'll see and realize that a lot of the things we're talking about in 1987 are still going on today. Who were we then, who are we now and how far have we come? When we talk about pride, what are we proud of? What progress can we be proud of?

WCT: The episode with Blanca getting kicked out of a gay, but predominantly white, space was like holding up a mirror to our community.

AR: Absolutely. I can't wait to see how the white gays are taking it.

WCT: [Laughs] Right.

AR: We also have so many moments to celebrate and I think we should all learn how to celebrate the wins each time. But we should not get to a point that we think the battle's over. We have to stay vigilant. I hope Pose shows what trans people of color have done: Janet Mock, Geena Rocero—a lot of the girls, a lot of the trans guys, non-binary people. … What we end up doing is making something beautiful out of a story that is filled with a lot of not-so-pretty moments. Pose is high-glamour and glitz balanced with this pain and this reality that's our lives. Our spirits are fortified through this sort of fire, like when you're creating a sword, in the sense that if we don't crumble and give up, if we allow our experiences to make us more courageous and bold, then we get to be able to be at a place where everyone can freely express themselves.

WCT: What has been the most mind-blowing thing about this ride for you?

AR: Being on a show with this many trans people, like, everywhere, is just mind-blowing. My makeup artist is trans, a lot of the background people, writers, directors… When we say, "cut," and we're working with the people who are day players, there are these wonderful connections [being made].

You hear people ad-libbing. I'm like, "Okay, wait. Hold on, say it at this time so they catch it on the camera. And say it this way so it doesn't get cut." Because I want to see everybody shine, I want to see everybody win. Some of the day players would be talking about how the scenes we're doing would remind them of 20 years ago. To hear that what we're talking about is reflecting real-life stories. … I knew we were on track and it felt so authentic, so real and so good.

To learn more about FX's Pose, which debuted June 3, visit www.fxnetworks.com/shows/pose. To learn more about Angelica, visit missross.com/ .


This article shared 1326 times since Wed Jun 20, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Queer As Folk' reboot canceled after one season
2022-09-24
Peacock has opted not to pick up a second season of the series reboot of Queer As Folk, Deadline noted. A reimagining of the British series created by Russell T Davies, the new iteration—which premiered June ...


Gay News

Andersonville Arts Weekend to take place Sept. 30 - Oct. 2
2022-09-19
-- From a press release - CHICAGO—The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC), in partnership with The Bramble Arts Loft and Connect Gallery, is welcoming back its 18th annual Andersonville Arts Weekend, with the neighborhood transformed into ...


Gay News

WORLD Malta PM, Kenya official, Kharkiv Pride, sex-education campaign
2022-09-18
Malta Prime Minister Robert Abela has promised reforms for the country's LGBTQ+ community, including free gender-affirming surgery for trans people, according to PinkNews. In an interview with ONE Radio, he said, "I believe that social reform ...


Gay News

Elle Lett keynotes 'Transgender Health Equity in Troubled Times' at symposium
2022-09-17
Statistician, epidemiologist, physician-in-training and Boston Children's Hospital post-doctoral fellow Elle Lett kicked off the eighth annual Midwest LGBTQ+ Health Symposium with a keynote, "Transgender Health Equity in Troubled Times," on ...


Gay News

Texas district court issues third directive benefiting trans youths
2022-09-16
On Sept. 16, the Travis County District Court issued a third injunction blocking Texas from implementing a directive targeting trans youth and their families across the state. The directive ordered the Department of Family and Protective ...


Gay News

'Saturday Night Live' announces first non-binary cast member
2022-09-16
Actor/comedian Molly Kearney will become the first non-binary cast member on Saturday Night Live in its upcoming 48th season, NBC News noted. ...


Gay News

Montana judge strikes down anti-trans birth-certificate rule
2022-09-15
A Montana state judge blocked a 2021 state law that would have banned transgender people from changing the gender listed on their birth certificates unless they have undergone gender-affirming surgery, Axios reported. District Court Judge Michael ...


Gay News

'White Lotus,' Sheryl Lee Ralph among 2022 Emmy winners
2022-09-13
Unless they were among the cast, crew and staff of The White Lotus, members of the LGBTQ+ community were few and far between among the winners at the Television Academy's 2022 Emmy Awards, which were distributed ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Religion movie, Laverne Cox, 'Will & Grace,' Jeopardy!, Elton John
2022-09-11
The LGBTQ+ film Wonderfully Made—LGBTQ+R(eligion) will have its New York premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival on Thursday, Sept. 29, following its world premiere at Out in Film in Atlanta on Saturday, Sept. 24, per a ...


Gay News

WORLD Death in Bali, Chile constitution, Wales items, Israel petition
2022-09-11
Video below - Bowing to pressure from activists, prosecutors in Peru launched an investigation into the suspicious death of a transgender man from Peru who died in custody in Bali after he was arrested for alleged cannabis possession, Gay ...


Gay News

Broadway musical Chicago to open Sept. 12 with Angelica Ross as Roxie Hart
2022-09-09
-- From a press release - The Broadway company of the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking hit musical Chicago will welcome actress and human rights advocate Angelica Ross ("Pose," "American Horror Story") making her Broadway debut in the ...


Gay News

TV 'Dancing with the Stars' has first drag contestant
2022-09-08
The show Dancing with the Stars is recording a couple of firsts in its 31st season—including its first-ever drag queen competitor. Actor and Performer D.J. "Shangela" Pierce—the first contestant to compete on three separate seasons of ...


Gay News

Oklahoma being sued over anti-trans restroom law
2022-09-07
Three Oklahoma students are suing the state over its law that bars transgender students from using the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity, KOSU reported. The 42-page suit challenges that Senate Bill 615 is unconstitutional. A ...


Gay News

Report: Trans activist Brady-Davis expected to run for aldermanic seat
2022-09-06
Politico Illinois Playbook reported that Precious Brady-Davis—a longtime trans-rights activist who currently is the associate regional communications director at the environmental organization Sierra Club—is expected to run to represent the ...


Gay News

THEATER Theo Ubique to launch 25th-anniversary season with 'Refuge'
2022-09-04
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre will open its 25th-anniversary season with the Midwest premiere of Refuge, a new play with music and puppetry from creators Satya Jnani Chavez and Andrew Rosendorf, with translations by Mari Meza-Burgos. Refuge ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.