Entertainment

FX’s ‘Pose’ Is Giving Trans People Of Color The Representation They Have Never Seen Before

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You’ve heard the hype and it’s all real. Director Ryan Murphy’s history-making LGBTQ+ drama Pose is changing television as we know it. With the touch of Janet Mock, the first trans woman of color to be hired as a TV writer, and a cast as diverse culturally as they are in gender and sexuality, we’re seeing true representation and in style.

The show is set in 1987-88 and is entrenched in the Afro and Latinx ball culture world, with social criticisms of the rise of yuppy Trump and the consequent gentrification of a world that no longer exists today. This is written by queer people of color, for all of us to absorb, let it marinate, and transform television. Here’s what you don’t know.

Director Ryan Murphy calls Pose “without question the highlight of my career.”

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

He told the Hollywood Reporter that, as a gay man, all he’s ever wanted to do is give back to the LGBT community. First, he gave us the gift of this work of art.

Murphy is donating all the profits from the show to LGBTQ charities.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

He told the Hollywood Reporter, “I’m no showrunner here. I’m an advocate for this community and my job is to take care of them and provide for them and to give them access into a mainstream world that they have been denied for so long. That’s what I wanted to do, and I immediately decided to donate all my profits back to the community.”

Nobody gets stabbed in the show on purpose.

CREDIT: @mrrpmurphy / Instagram

Trans violence is on the rise, with dozens of trans people murdered simply for being transgender last year alone. The number of trans people who are injured, attacked, or assaulted is high in the streets, higher in prisons, and much higher in suicide rates.

Murphy wants to give the community something uplifting and light, rather than dark.

CREDIT: @awards_watch / Twitter

While Murphy has created some light shows like Glee, he’s also written American Horror Story, and Running with Scissors. He told Hollywood Reporter that:

“People right at the end of these episodes are breathing a sigh of relief because no one was killed. No one was beaten. No one was slashed. What I’ve been trying do is show this community in the way that I see them: beauty and glamour and lights and music. That’s how we as gay people and trans people have gotten through our pain.”

The year the show is set is personal to Murphy.

CREDIT: @mrrpmurphy / Instagram

It’s set the year that he moved to New York, and the feeling of that entire year haunts him. He tells Hollywood Reporter, “I would drive myself to the emergency room in college every 10 days, even when I was celibate, and get a blood test and I would wait for two weeks and lose 15 pounds and throw up in the middle of the night in fear because I thought I was going to die. I thought that loving someone meant death, and I think a large group of young people don’t have that experience. That was my experience, so I was able to, with the HIV/AIDS story, really lean into my pain.”

With this show, he’s checked his privilege and taken a back seat to let trans voices come through.

CREDIT: @janetmock / Instagram

“That has been a shift in my career because usually, I’m the showrunner,” he told Hollywood Reporter. “I come in with the idea; I do all the casting; I have a vision of it all; and in this one I was interested in saying, ‘What do you think? What do you need to do?'”

Janet Mock is the first black trans woman to direct an episode of television.

CREDIT: @janetmock / Instagram

Murphy had to beg her to leave the writer’s chair and give a stab at directing, something she’s never wanted to do. In a way, it was easier because the cast was more comfortable at that point, and trusted the woman who created all their characters.

She shot the most difficult scenes first.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

Did we not mention that this is a *musical* show? The cast is constantly learning new choreography and routines and then having to perform flawlessly in costume on camera.

They had to remove Pose billboards from scenes post-production.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

It’s hard (and expensive) to control traffic during production, and since the show is set in the ’80s, every time a modern car or taxi drove by, they had to reshoot or ensure it was editable. It was even worse when buses would drive by with Pose billboards on them. 😂

The show is heavily adapted from Paris is Burning and Saturday Church.

CREDIT: @caryllrunes / Twitter

The 1990 documentary film chronicles the actual lives of trans people and drag queens centered in the ball culture of NYC. It’s since been selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as culturally significant enough to treasure as history. Saturday Church follows a group of ball performers and even stars MJ Rodriguez who plays Blanca in Pose.

Murphy actually hired the surviving actors from Paris to be judges in every episode.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

Murphy explained to the Hollywood Reporter,

“The first thing that I did is met with three of the survivors of Paris Is Burning, who are judges in every episode of Pose. They’re always there. I just wanted to meet them and let them know that I wanted to not take their story but make them a part of the show and pay them for their time and their energies, and they were very moved by that.”

The museum heist is a true story.

CREDIT: @NylonMag / Twitter

The pilot episode showcases how a house stole preserved costumes from British royalty and got away with it because the museums wanted to keep their brand away from LGBTQ+ news. This storyline made it into the script from the survivors of Paris is Burning.

The show hired the existing mother of renowned ball house, La Beija as a consultant.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

A rising dancer at La Beija tells The Guardian, “People like to take. There are a lot of culture vultures and my thing is, if you’re going to take from our community and be inspired, include us. Include the people you’re taking from. I was happy with Pose because I have a lot of friends that actually did the show and I felt like they took their time to really get to know the community and include the community.”

A megastar of the show has been MJ Rodriguez.

CREDIT: @PoseOnFX / Twitter

The casting director spent six months searching for someone to play her role. She plays Blanca, who leaves her house after discovering she’s tested positive for HIV and begins a new one, the House of Evangelista.

Rodriguez has made history before as a trans actress.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

She appeared in Marvel’s Luke Cage, making her the first transgender character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Wepa!

Trump’s presence is felt on the show but intentionally written out.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

When asked why Murphy wrote Trump out in favor of a coked out Trump Organization executive, he told The New Yorker, “Nobody wants to see that f***head.” Amen.

The crew had a drinking game for every time Rodriguez said “mutha.”

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

In the same vein, Janet Mock responded to the LGBTQ+ community beginning to call her mother. She tells The Daily Beast, “Number one, and on the record, I am too young to be anyone’s mother. So children, please stop. I love you dearly, though. Also, do not call me Auntie. Because that, too, does not work. Let’s stick with Big Sis. Big Sis is very respectful.” Noted, Sis.

The first season has the largest cast of transgender actors ever.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

No cis actors play any of the over 50 transgender characters. FX has officially employed the most transgender people on a scripted TV series in history.

The show has been renewed for Season 2.

CREDIT: @JhonEdw73756588 / Twitter

We know that we can expect that it will jump a year ahead, and end in March 1990, the month that Madonna’s “Vogue” debuted, which brought ball culture a bit more mainstream. We don’t know how MJ Rodriguez’ character will grow with an HIV diagnosis, but we hope we get to see that Boricua for many more seasons to come.

You can watch Pose on Amazon Prime, iTunes and FXNOW.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

Consider your $4.99 purchase of Season 1 a donation to the LGBTQ+ charity of Ryan Murphy’s choice. You won’t be sorry.


READ: Proof That Carmen Carrera Is The Trans Latina Warrior We All Need In This Crazy World

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‘Fuller House’ Actor And Certified Daddy Juan Pablo Di Pace Comes Out And Yasss

Culture

‘Fuller House’ Actor And Certified Daddy Juan Pablo Di Pace Comes Out And Yasss

juanpablodipace / Instagram

Argentinian actor Juan Pablo Di Pace recently came out in a TEDx video recorded in March. The video was released in late June giving Di Pace’s coming out story a special place in the 2019 Pride Month calendar. Social media erupted in applause and praise for the actor living his truth after so much time hiding in the closet.

Juan Pablo Di Pace came out of the closet as a gay man and is already living it up.

That’s right. Di Pace was living it up in Madrid during pride not long after the video of his talk coming out of the closet was publish. Honestly, it is something everyone should be celebrating. Someone being able to live their life fully is something that some people will never be able to understand. There is an attitude of in the Latino community that tries to shun and silence the LGBTQ+ community. Seeing a prominent member of the Latino community sharing his coming out story is such a positive example for younger people struggling to come out.

Di Pace’s coming out via a TEDx is one of the greatest moments of Pride Month 2019.

Not only did Di Pace come out of the closet, but his story about coming out and learning who he is is also very relatable to most members of the LGBTQ+ community. It wasn’t like he figured out that he was different. It had to be told to him.

“My mother says that I came out of her womb with a paper and pencil in my hand and that I used to draw until I fell asleep, which is why I had very few friends. But, actually, the truth is that, unlike most of the boys in my class, I preferred to play with girls. I was more comfortable. They were more fun,” Di Pace told the audience at his TEDx talk. “So, I didn’t think anything of it, right? Until I heard a word that I had never heard before. It started like a thunder that got closer and louder to me as it exploded like egg in my face: marícon, faggot. Well, I didn’t really understand that word at first but the word was here to stay for years. A little know book, as you might know as the Bible, starts with, ‘In the beginning, was the word and the word was made flesh and it dwelt among us.’ So, after failed attempts to fight against this word and try to make friends, my only option was to make friends with white sheets of paper. Paper would not shout or kick me. Paper was kind and on paper everything and anything was possible, just like in the movies.”

The moment of being made to feel and know that you are different from everyone else is something most people deal with at the beginning of coming out. It is a harsh, and some times dangerous, moment that starts the process of coming out and learning who you are as a person.

Fans of the actor showered him with praise and love for coming out.

Credit: judygeitz / Instagram

Coming out, no matter how old you are or how successful you are, is a terrifying experience. You have to be prepared for people to shun you. You need to be ready for people to speak down to you. It is not an easy or fun process for a lot of people.

The emotional reception to Di Pace’s coming is filled with love and appreciation.

Credit: iamlibrado / Instagram

This is something the Di Pace should be so proud of. It is so important for people to come out of the closet. By coming out of the closet, you force others around you to confront their own ideas of the LGBTQ+ community. When people know someone personally who is LGBTQ+, they tend to become more accepting of the community allowing for more people to come out in a safer environment.

You are with your chosen family now, Juan.

Credit: stillwater1979 / Instagram

All people in the LGBTQ+ community understand the importance of a chosen family. Even if your family accepts you, it is important to have a chosen family. It is a way to learn what it means to be gay and how to live life open in a world that can sometimes be really cruel. Your family will want to help but it is hard for your mom and dad to teach about LGBTQ+ culture.

Congratulations on coming out Juan. Sending lots of love.

READ: Grab The Tissues! These Latinas Told Us Their Coming Out Stories And We Have Been Sobbing In Pride

AOC Went To A Drag Show And It Is The Most Beautiful Moment Captured On Social Media

Things That Matter

AOC Went To A Drag Show And It Is The Most Beautiful Moment Captured On Social Media

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a champion of the people and the biggest villain according to Republicans. Whenever AOC does anything, conservatives have a lot to say about it. AOC’s latest outing to a drag club in New York City is the latest moment of celebration.

Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez proves that Pride is not just one month but all year long.

“You are special. You are beautiful. You are accepted and let’s give a big round of applause for our artist,” AOC tells the crowd as they go wild for her.

All the performers who had a chance took their photo with the most recognizable Congresswoman currently serving.

Credit: dirtymartininyc / Instagram

“Activist & politician @ocasio2018 was @bartschlandfolliestonight & we all couldn’t have been more thrilled! I felt ultra #patriotic performing my #patriotact for this special audience that was chanting her initials,” Dirty Martini wrote on Instagram. “Fight that good fight for what this country deep down is really about- equality, liberty & peace! ❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸”

The drag queens and kings could feel themselves becoming more and more patriotic.

Credit: operagaga / Instagram

“Equality and social justice for all with a dash of showgirl❤️
AOC @ocasio2018 in the house at the @bartschlandfollies last night! I admittedly was majorly fan girling!!!! One of the most present and beautiful audiences I’ve experienced to date, they were screaming her initials as she cheered us on front and center all night, even telling us all how much we were loved and welcome and accepted when Joey arias invited her on stage,” Marcy Richardson wrote on Instagram. “And I just thought, man, what a reason to actually feel patriotic this weekend. She’s not afraid to be here with us. ALL of us. You give us all hope❤️❤️
#alexandriaocasiocortez #bartschland #bartschlandfollies #aoc #mckittrickhotel #happyfourth

It’s fair to say that AOC had a great time with the performers and her allyship with the LGBTQ+ community is unquestionable.

Credit: murrayhill / Instagram

“The inspiring and formidable @ocasio2018 attended the @bartschland Follies show @themckittrick last night in NYC. She brought hope to the room and showed us 🇺🇸 future! Her choice words, ‘Be who you are. You are beautiful. You are accepted.’ 🏳️‍🌈,” Murray Hill wrote on Instagram. “In this pix, I’m saying, ‘I’m standing next to a future president!’ The 2nd pix, I’m thanking her for her work, speaking out, and fighting the good fight. #aoc #4thofjuly #resist #showbiz

AOC’s actions since taking office show that she is an unapologetic LGBTQ+ rights activist.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

The Congresswoman from New York was there for Queens Pride despite a cold that she was battling. She explained that she just couldn’t let her exquisite crushed velvet suit hide during the pride celebrations.

She is here to support the LGBTQ+ community no matter what she is doing, like just attending pride.

Credit: @kalpenn / Twitter

Honestly, just look at how excited she is to be out and about among the LGBTQ+ community at Pride. AOC has set herself apart from other members of Congress with her unapologetic fight for the LGBTQ+ community.

She even made an impassioned speech for LGBTQ+ rights in a post-marriage equality world that has energized the community.

AOC is fighting a fight so many don’t realize needs to be fought. The fight to make PrEP free to the public is one that more people need to get behind. The U.S. taxpayers paid for the research that created Truvada, a daily pill with a 99 percent success rate in preventing the transmission of HIV. Gilead, the pharmaceutical company selling Truvada is selling it back to the people who funded the research at $2,000 a month because of a patent. The price point is forcing many people vulnerable to the disease unprotected and risking lives needlessly.

Oh, and she is a major “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fan so we hope to see her at more drag shows in the future.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

Thank you for standing up for our community, AOC.

READ: Pabllo Vittar Is The Superstar Brazilian Drag Queen The World Has Come To Love Because Of Their Unapologetic Persona

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