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.”

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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Lauren Jauregui Says That the Imaginary Relationship That Fans Invented Between Her and Camila Cabello Was ‘Traumatizing’

Entertainment

Lauren Jauregui Says That the Imaginary Relationship That Fans Invented Between Her and Camila Cabello Was ‘Traumatizing’

Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for iHeart

Former Fifth Harmony member Lauren Jauregui is opening up about a traumatic time in her life that affects the way she approaches romantic relationships to this day.

On Becky G‘s En La Sala podcast, Jauregui revealed that the imaginary relationships that fans “shipped” between her and Camila Cabello made her “disgustingly uncomfortable”.

As a background, “shipping” is an internet phenomenon in which fans want two people (either real or imagined) to get together in a romantic relationship. On the internet, “shipping” usually consists of fans producing art or other creative works to support their imagined storyline.

Jauregui and Cabello were the centerpiece of such a fandom. Fans even had an imagined portmanteau for the duo: “Camren”. Fans would interpret everything–a stray glance, a lingering hug, them dancing on stage together–as evidence that they were secretly dating. But the two women were never in a romantic relationship.

Jauregui–who now identifies as bisexual–explained that the rumors upset her so much for a myriad of reasons. First, she didn’t have romantic feelings towards Cabello. “Camila and I were just very good friends at that time,” she explained to Becky G. “And we respected each other. When each other would talk, we would look at each other. We had love for each other. Like, genuine friendship.”

Number two, Jauregui was aware that Cabello was not queer, and that fact further complicated things.

“It made me feel like a predator,” she said. “Because of the type of clips people would put together and the type of stories people would write and the type of stuff–I was always the aggressor and I was always the one turning her. I was always the one who was the ‘masculine’ energy in the scenario and it made me very uncomfortable because that is not how I identify.”

Jauregui also explains that the rumors were hard for her because, at the time, she wasn’t ready to come out publicly. “I wasn’t even comfortable with telling my parents about it,” she said. “I wasn’t even comfortable telling myself that I was queer.”

All of the speculation around her relationship with Cabello had lasting effects on her confidence with women.

“To this day I have an issue flirting with girls because I don’t want to make them think that I’m trying to invade or anything like that,” she revealed.

Jauregui went on to say that she doesn’t usually talk about that time of her life in public because it was “so traumatizing” for her. “I just chose to ignore it at a certain point, because getting angry to [those fans] would mean that it was real and validated it more for them. So I was like, okay, then I can’t get angry or defend myself, apparently, because that just makes it more real [for them]. It just really f—– with my head.”

Lauren Jauregui’s revelation is just another example of how fans can sometimes forget that celebrities are people too. Unfortunately, Jauregui experienced trauma at the hands of people who probably thought the entire thing was just fun and games.

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Gloria Estefan Shares Her ‘Shocking’ Reaction To Her Daughter Coming Out

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Gloria Estefan Shares Her ‘Shocking’ Reaction To Her Daughter Coming Out

David M. Benett / Getty

The Estefans’ Red Table Talk is officially here and queer!

So get used to it!

The beloved Cuban singer and her family hosted their second episode of the Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk: The Estefans. Things got real real as she, her daughter Emily Estefan and niece Lili Estefan sat down for a raw and honest conversation about their lives and relationships.

In the second episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans‘ titled, “Emily’s Coming Out Story,” the family revealed that Gloria was shocked to learn that her “miracle baby” was queer.

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Speaking frankly, Gloria explained that her initial reaction to her daughter’s coming out was to dissuade her from telling her grandmother the truth. According to Gloria, she feared that her own mother would die from the news about Emily.

“I came out to my parents like in 2017. But as you’ll see on the show, I think they knew way before that,” Emily, who is 25-years-old Entertainment Weekly in an interview. “What I’m most excited about in this episode is the complexity of it all. I wouldn’t be doing anybody justice if I went up there and lied and said that it was easy or that there weren’t complex emotions involved, even though my mom has been such a fierce supporter of the LGBTQ community. Everybody has a perspective. And as human beings, we’re always trying to be understood instead of understanding. As you’ll see in the clip, it was difficult for me to hear that. No matter under any perspective, those words were difficult to hear.”

Sadly, Emily never had the chance to share this part of her identity with her grandmother, Gloria Fajardo.

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Fajardo passed away in 2017 before Emily had the chance to come out to her. It is unknown whether she knew of her sexual orientation before she passed away.

“That is one of my biggest unanswered questions that I will live the rest of my life with,” Emily explained “Many of the people around me that love me have told me they knew. But in my heart, my grandmother and I were so close but I’m really not sure. But that’s part of life too — you don’t get every answer that you want. I’m also learning that regrets are a waste of time. But I’m still on that journey. A few years ago, I would’ve never imagined that we’d be talking about this as I’m about to release an episode where I say things I’ve not even told family members of mine. I’m still growing and learning.”

In the latest episode of the Red Table Talk, Gloria explains that Emily became known as her “miracle baby” after she was conceived following a devastating tour bus accident in 1990.

At the time, Estefan’s doctors told her she would not be able to concieve more children. At the time, Gloria and her husband, Emilio Estefan, already had their son, Nayib Estefan. Nayib is 15 years older than his sister Emily.

In the latest interview, Emily talks about the pressures of having to live up to the concept of a “perfect daughter” that had been projected onto her by media outlets. She also addresses how she became the target of tabloid fodder in Spanish-language media after her relationship with Gemeny Hernandez was revealed.

“My parents would tell me all the time that we all have to earn respect, which I totally understand and fully agree with,” Emily explained of her experiences growing up in the spotlight. “Life is difficult and you don’t know what people’s intentions are all the time. When my dad started dating my mom, my grandma would slam the door in his face! My parents never exhibited anything extreme like that when it came to my relationships, but they would remind me what their courtship was like. I would let them know that we’re going through similar things, but in different colors. Life is about repetition and trying to pick up new things along the way. My grandma came from a time where she didn’t go on a date with my grandpa until they had their marriage certificate, and even then her mom was chaperoning them. They didn’t kiss until they were married.”

Emily revealed that she and her girlfriend Gemeny have been together for almost four years now and that she has been welcomed as part of the Estefan family.

“Family dynamics are hard, no matter what,” Emily went onto share. “Gem is one of those people who is like a mirror: She came into my life and showed me my truth. Sometimes that’s not beautiful, but that’s what love is. It’s not beauty or dates or romance all the time, but all of the things that come with love. I’m really young, but I feel that having her by my side has made me truly understand what a loving, adult relationship is like. That’s why it’s been so easy for me to fight this fight and speak my truth, because it’s all worth it. She helped me be brave. Now she has a relationship with my family which is the incredible part and can maybe be explored in season 2? Having her come to sit at the table and talk about those dynamics. Everybody loves each other, but as I said, love isn’t easy. And you know what it’s like being a part of a Latino family. The baby starts dating somebody, even if it’s Mickey Mouse, they still wouldn’t think he’s good enough!”

The second episode of the Estefan’s Red Table Talk, “Emily’s Coming Out Story,” debuted this past Wednesday, Oct. 14, at noon ET on Facebook Watch.

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