Since the first episode, I've been obsessed. I've laughed A LOT, cried EVEN MORE and literally attempted to vogue the house down more times than I'd like to admit (I have an attic room, it's actually quite possible).
I'm always sceptical when I hear about shows which includes trans and queer characters and rightly so, there have been some disasters over the years. Cis people have been in control of the narrative of how trans and queer people are portrayed for far too long and I've often wondered whether that would ever change, transploitation pays, it just never pays the community it's exploiting.
However, when I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong! That sneaky little genius, Ryan Murphy has done just that.
It's really commendable to see him reach out in order to bring Steven Canals creation to life especially when it's a show predominantly about trans women and queer people of colour.
Steven Canals has created a modern-day masterpiece, the show is so beautifully authentic it hurts and although it's set in the 80's it's completely transferable to the world we live in today. The stigmatization faced with being diagnosed with HIV or identifying as queer or trans is still very much present and it's even more poignant if you're a person of colour. it's truly exceptional to watch a show which is able to acknowledge this.
The iconic Janet Mock has written and directed a couple of the episodes thus far, the difference it makes to a show when the people it's representing are given a seat at the table is astronomical.
Where the rest of Hollywood has failed, FX's Pose excels.
Casting trans actors to play trans roles might seem like an obvious thing to do, but it's something the majority of shows and films have struggled to get their head around and please don't get me started on when they feel compelled invent a white cis, heteronormative character to make it more watchable *cough* Stonewall, 2015 *cough*.
Dominique Jackon's fierce portrayal of Elektra Abundance is outstanding, She plays the mother of NYC ball scene champions The House of Abundance, and though she could read you to filth deep down she has a heart of gold. MJ Rodriguez character, Blanca Evangelista is the mother of the upstart house Evangelista. MJ's depiction Blanca is incredibly emotive, Her maternal instinct and her desire to change the world is truly powerful. Indya Moore is captivating as Angel, she's definitely the character I relate the most too, her struggle with finding love and the longing not to been seen as fetish is so real to me. Dating openly as a trans woman is a struggle in which most trans girls face. I for one have questioned countless guy's motives for desiring me.
This brings me to the powerhouse Evan Peters who stars as Stan, Angel's married love interest who works for the infamous Trump.
Peter's performance is so genuineness. There's a scene in which Angel asks Stan whether he sees her as a real woman? and he replies "You’d be crazy to choose this life if you didn’t have to.” as he said those words, I literally had tears rolling down my face. Where in the hell is my Stan? (& if you're reading this... Please slide into my DM's).
Throughout the last 5 episodes, Pose has shown every struggle that trans and queer people face. There is a literally a character everyone can relate too but Pose for me is more than an entertaining show on some deeply sensitive subjects.
Pose has opened my eyes to my own privilege as a white trans woman further than ever before. There's this scene with Blanca and Lulu in which Lulu says "Everybody needs somebody to make themselves feel superior. That line ends with us though. This shit runs downhill, past the women, the blacks, latinx, gays, until it reaches the bottom and lands on our kind." This has a profound effect on me, my experience as a trans woman is different from my sisters of colour. They're more marginalised, face more hardship, are more likely to be killed for living their truth.
Trans women of colour have a life expectancy of 35 and I'm not okay with that. It's my belief that shows like this and true honest representation like this will help see us as real people. It's one thing to be aware of your privilege but it's another to actively dismantle it! and that's what I'm going to do. Queer and trans people of colour matter and if this blog or this show can help people see that then I'd be satisfied.
White people should be using their privilege to promote people of colour, support black pride events, share voices of POC and dismantle any discrimination they see.
WE ALL HAVE RESPONSIBILITY TO END THIS HATE.
Yesterday, I had a truly awakening experience. It was one of those pivotal moments which will stay with me forever. In fact, it's also resulted in me starting this terrible blog (My apologies). Essentially it's allowing me to throw words into cyberspace because it's much cheaper than a therapist and the NHS waiting list is longer than my ratty Lady Godiva wig.
Anyway, I digress! Yesterday, I travelled to Manchester on a rickety old train which Northern Rail should have retired 20 years ago, in the midst of an unbearable heatwave to attend Trans Creative's Art Festival "Trans Vegas". The plan was to go and support my sisters Kuchenga and Charlie, where Kuchenga was interviewing Charlie about her incredible book "To My Trans Sisters" (Which if you've not read, I highly suggest you do, Now!). Now the event was UH-Mazing, emotional, informative and better yet INSPIRING.
. The book itself is an ode to sisterhood, it's like every trans women's fantasy support group, filled with scholars, scientist, activists, models, writers etc. There is literally a letter for every girl, no matter what race, age, or views which makes it even more special.
During the event some of the contributors from the book read their letters it was like being transported into the lives of these sensational women.
However, my favourite part of the whole event was the Q/A portion, A woman at the start of her transition asked: "How do you know what type of woman you are?" The reply was simple "You just are." because she was, she was already a woman, the only thing that changes is the exterior. Kuchenga and Charlie are so articulate and were able to answer every question perfectly.
The whole time I was there I couldn't stop thinking about sisterhood, how we support each other and what it means to me. I think I discovered this after the event, some of us went to eat at the flavour factory named Bundobust, which literally gave me a Meg Ryan moment.
We discussed the event, social politics, passing and our own experiences.
There was something so validating about being around a bunch of trans women (Plus one cute AF cis male) and us discussing thing's I'd be uncomfortable talking to my cis friends about as they'd normally tell me to get off my soapbox. My idea of sisterhood is just that, to pick each other up, empower each other to be our best, most authentic selves.
I learnt so much and gained so much REAL confidence in such a short space of time. This meeting has made me realise that I am in control of my life, who I surround myself with, and aware of the energy I give to people and what I've truly had to sacrifice in order to survive in my hometown. Well no more!
So taking inspiration from Trans Creative's motto "Telling our own stories"
I give you my first blog post which I dedicate to All My Trans Sisters.
'To My Trans Sisters"
Bundobust Restraunt Manchester: