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Pose star Angelica Ross made history as the first female transgender performer to be a series regular in two series — FX’s American Horror Story: 1984 and Pose.
But during an interview with ESSENCE magazine’s Yes, Girl! podcast, Ross clarifies that she’s here to move her community forward — not for the privileges that come with her rising stardom.
“That’s not why I’m here, to accumulate privileges,” she told the outlet. “That’s not a purpose driven life, accumulating titles and things. I’m here to move us forward. I’m here to create more peace and healing.”
As with most minorities, the trans community has been fighting for recognition and acceptance for many years. And while there’s still plenty of work to do, Ross’ voice has led to pivotal changes in film and television.
But Ross’s fight against oppression and discrimination was evident long before she was ever a household name.
“It’s one of those things where I was in a job working for a nonprofit that really didn’t value me, they were tokenizing me. Everything that I suggested was a block, I just had so much trouble there,” she shared.
“So one of the programs that I created was to connect the homeless population and the population that was newly diagnosed with HIV, these girls that I was working with, connecting them to people like Laverne. Back in the day when we were not really doing all this, so we were Skyping Laverne in, and we were talking about the fact of being undeniable. About the way she is when she goes into an audition room. The same way that I was when I showed up for that very job…”
You can listen to the full episode below.