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LGBTQ+ on TV: POSE

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LGBTQ+ on TV: POSE

Happy Pride Month! During the month of June, BroadwayWorld will be bringing you a look back on LGBTQ+ representation in television. We will delve into some of the shows and episodes that broke barriers for the LGBTQ+ community on television! The next show in the series is Pose, an FX drama television series that has broken barriers for the depiction of transgender people on television.


Pose is an FX drama series created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals. It tells the story of New York City's African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in the 1980s and 1990s. In ball culture, they compete for trophies, prizes and glory at events know as balls.

The series stars an ensemble cast including Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Billy Porter, Indya Moore, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Charlayne Woodard, Hailie Sahar, Angelica Ross, Angel Bismark Curiel, Dyllón Burnside, and Sandra Bernhard.

Pose has made television history for having one of largest casts of transgender actors in series regular roles, with five transgender women of color starring in the series. The series also features the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ+ actors ever for a scripted series. Behind the scenes, too, Pose employed an exceptional amount of LGBTQ+ talent, including Janet Mock, a producer and director on the series, who directed the episode titled "Love Is the Message", making her the first transgender woman of color to write and direct any television episode.

Not only does Pose show the glamour and spectacle of the balls, it also highlights how the ballroom community took in members of the LGBTQ+ community that have been shunned by their families for who they are. The ball community is its own family, with "houses" that compete in the ballroom competitions and house mothers who look over the younger members.

Pose sheds light on a what it was like to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community during the AIDS epidemic in the late 90s. With characters in the series struggling to survive from AIDS, Pose shows its audience what it was like for LGBTQ+ people to fight to stay alive, but also how a community and family-like atmosphere can be born during times of crisis. Pose gives viewers a chance to see a side of our recent history that people choose to forget, and the show's impact and ability to share these layered and sometimes painful stories makes it one of the most important pieces of television that has been made in recent history.

Pose has been Golden Globe and Emmy nominated, with star Billy Porter winning an Emmy for his role, becoming the first openly gay Black man nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. The critical response of the series coupled with its ratings success proves the importance of telling LGBTQ+ stories on television. Pose has been renewed for a third season, allowing it to continue to educate, inform, and entertain audiences all over the country!


Check back every Monday and Wednesday in June for new editions in the series!


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From This Author Kaitlin Milligan