In the first episode of FX’s ‘Pose’, it’s declared that “a house is the family you get to choose,” and that’s essentially at the core of what this groundbreaking show is all about.
Set in 1980s New York, an era now so associated with the AIDS epidemic, ‘Pose’ focuses on the underground ballroom scene of vogueing, snatching trophies, and serving up Executive Realness. Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals, the show bolsters real creative talent and has been critically applauded for its storylines and characters.
‘Pose’ resonates with viewers because it feels so effortlessly real. By featuring the largest transgender ensemble ever for a scripted series, including Janet Mock and Our Lady J as executive producers, those involved both on and off screen know too well of the struggles and issues that these characters experience.
Queer, black love is embraced beautifully in a romance that’s not catered towards stereotypes or clichés. Dyllón Burnside, who plays Ricky, said that this is important because “we haven't seen two black queer boys trying to figure out what it means to be attracted to each other and to have intimate feelings for each other, and to kind of figure out what to do with those things.”
One of the stand-out performances in the show comes from MJ Rodriguez as Blanca; a newly-designated House Mother. As the head of the House of Evangelista, Blanca tries to support and mold her “children” into hard-working and respected members of society while trying to deal with her own fears of health, family, and discrimination.
The rival House of Abundance features another scene-stealing mother in the form of Elektra Abundance, played by Dominique Jackson. Elektra is the high-priestess of the ballroom scene, known across the city for her legacy and divine looks. As we move past the layers of make-up and jaw-dropping gowns, we start to see Elektra how she sees herself and understand her struggles coming to terms with her womanhood.
The ballroom, where both houses collide, is a thing of glittering beauty. Headed up by Billy Porter’s unforgettable portrayal of Pray Tell, the glamorous location is full of hot boys and girls, sparkle, and brilliant music. The talent seen on the dancefloor just oozes out of the screen, and you can’t help but watch in glee and amazement. Here’s where Angel (Indya Moore), Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain), Lulu (Hailie Sahar), Candy (Angelica Ross), and Lil Papi (Angel Bismark Curiel) get to put their problems aside and really shine at what they’re born to do.
‘Pose’ is important and essential viewing for any member of the LGBTQ+ community who wants to understand the culture and history before them. Defying expectation, ‘Pose’ is a welcome realisation that while we may still struggle and face times of adversary, there’s nothing more important than a support network and family – biological or chosen.
Why not bring your very own house down by serving some Adonis realness? Whether it's sheer lace, gold glitz, or a lustrous pair of peek-a-boo briefs, you’ll be scoring ten’s across the board in these looks.
‘Pose’ airs on FX, and has been renewed for a second season. You can watch the entire season on the FX website here.