Entertainment

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

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.”

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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.”

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Things That Matter

Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico has remained a popular tourist destination as people seek out places with fewer restrictions. However, Mexico’s popular beach destination of Tulum apparently still has some restrictions – for LGBTQ folks – that the police are quick to enforce.

A Canadian couple was briefly detained by police for allegedly kissing on the beach.

Police in the popular resort town of Tulum, about 90-minutes south of Cancun, briefly arrested a gay couple for kissing in public on a beach, alleging that the couple was not allowed to kiss in public because children were present.

According to local media reports, police said they were reacting to a report by someone else on the beach who had claimed that the men were “committing immoral acts.”

The couple were handcuffed together and ordered in to the back of a patrol vehicle until a crowd of onlookers formed and began to shout disapprovingly at police after one of the men explained to the crowd why they were being detained.

Outraged bystanders gathered around the couple and urged the police to let the men go.

The crowd began shouting in support of the couple, calling the actions homophobic and demanding the couple’s release.

The pressure from the crowd apparently prompted officers to release the men after a few minutes of dialogue. The presence of Escalante herself might also have been a factor.

In response to the arrest, Quintana Roo Tulum Police said: ‘We are an inclusive and impartial police both for residents and tourists who visit the state of Quintana Roo. So no abuse of authority will be tolerated.’

Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media with outrage being the common reaction.

Video and photos of the arrest went viral after on social media accounts, including that of local politician Maritza Escalante Morales, who denounced the actions of the officers. Escalante happened to be at the beach with her family when she noticed the officers approach the couple, she said, and joined the crowd to advocate for the couple’s release.

“I want to file a PUBLIC COMPLAINT, because the treatment and type of authorities we have in our municipality is inexcusable. Yesterday while I was on the beach with my family, we noticed around 4:30 that 2 police squads in their ATVs approached a group of young foreigners. After about 20 minutes, a patrol arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs,” she explained on TikTok.

“The policemen were VIOLENT,” Morales added, “and gave arguments such as ‘there are families and children and they cannot be seeing this. I am FURIOUS because it is not possible that in the XXI century this type of oppression against the LGBT+ community continues. We all deserve the same treatment, and appropriate sanctions must be applied to these authorities.”

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Pedro Pascal Supports His Sister, Lux, As She Publicly Comes Out As Trans: ‘Mi Hermana, Mi Corazón’

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Pedro Pascal Supports His Sister, Lux, As She Publicly Comes Out As Trans: ‘Mi Hermana, Mi Corazón’

Credit: Getty Images; pascalispunk/Instagram

We always knew there was a reason that Pedro Pascal was one of the internet’s favorite boyfriends. He has always radiated an energy of warmth and kindness–turns out he also walks the walk.

On Tuesday, Pedro Pascal took to Instagram to support his sister, Lux Pascal, who recently came out as a trans woman.

On his Instagram page, Pascal shared a picture of his sister on the cover of Spanish-language Chilean magazine, Ya. The caption read: “Mi hermana, mi corazón, nuestra Lux.”

In an interview with Ya magazine, Lux Pascal opened up about how supportive Pedro has been of her transition.

Lux explained that Pedro “has been an important part of [my transition].” Lux, who is currently studying acting at Juilliard, says that Pedro was able to be a “guide” to her because of his artistic spirit.

“He’s also an artist and has served as a guide for me,” she said. “He was one of the first people to gift me the tools that started shaping my identity.”

But her brother wasn’t the only one that was very accepting of her decision to transition. Lux explained that her transition has been “been something that’s very natural for everyone” in her family.

And like many folks who are gender non-conforming, her family seemed to have known ahead of time. “It’s almost something that they expected to happen,” she said.

Lux revealed to Ya that, for a number of years, she identified as non-binary. But she eventually realized that she actually identifies as a woman.

“Moving through the world as a woman is much more simple for me, but I still advocate for nonbinary identities to have a space in society,” she explained. While she says that existing as a woman was the right decision for her, she still “advocates for nonbinary identities to have a space in society.”

Lux is also passionate about LGBTQ activism, saying that the world needs trans activists who are good, smart, informed, and who can be strong voices against transphobia, homophobia and racism.”

When asked if she feels discomfort at seeing images of herself before her transition, Lux said, “I don’t feel anxiety when I see old photos of mine. The same happens to me with theater: I see someone who was doing what they liked.”

As for her new name (she was previously known by the name “Lucas”), Lux said she didn’t want to lose the meaning of her old name, which meant “he who brings the light.”

She looked to one of her favorite movies for inspiration. “One of the characters in Sofia Coppola’s ‘Virgin Suicides’ was named ‘Lux’ which is light in Latin,” she said. “I was pleased with my childhood memory and that my previous name had signified something I was looking for myself.”

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