We’re far faraway from the times of Good Instances, The Cosby Present, and The Recent Prince of Bel-Air being the go-to exhibits to expertise the Black household dynamic. And though Black-ish has supplied some nice TV moments, many really feel it isn’t sufficient the fill the void of multi-dimensional Black characters we want on tv.
Nonetheless, that’s solely true for the narrow-minded that haven’t accepted the Black excellence that’s POSE, a present that celebrates a Black household dynamic that has eternally existed, however has been largely ignored.
POSE is a present highlighting the ballroom scene in the course of the late 80’s on the rise of the HIV epidemic—a nod to the superb 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning. The present has a record-breaking variety of trans and queer lead characters, together with a number of Black and brown trans girls resembling MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson and Angelica Ross, simply to call just a few. The present additionally showcases Black and brown queer males like Billy Porter, Ryan Jamaal Swain, and Dylan Burnside, supplying you with full perception of the Black queer expertise — or fairly, the BLACK expertise.
Homophobia and Transphobia are sometimes the by-product of misogyny and all three have performed a task in why of us should not watching POSE. The preliminary scores had been “modest” (fewer than a million viewers), and there was concern that the present can be canceled. Whereas it has survived right into a second season, POSE has sadly been typed casted as a “queer” present, constricting its resonance with the Black viewers that has lifted Empire, Scandal, Insecure and numerous different collection to the tops of the scores charts. Though the present may be very queer, it’s also a Black present, with Black characters who’re relatable and exist in our on a regular basis lives as effectively.
Sadly, we nonetheless have a protracted solution to go earlier than POSE beneficial properties acceptance or much more so simply acknowledgement from our group. The NAACP Picture Awards determined to snub POSE in all appearing and tv classes. Not a single nomination for the PEABODY-winning, Golden Globe-nominated present that continues to actually snatch the wigs of everybody watching. It was a reminder that so far as Black group has are available understanding the LGBTQ existence, there are occasions the place we’re hesitant to have them within the room. That should change.
We have now a difficulty within the Black group the place we regularly instances view those who reside at marginalized intersections as much less Black or part of Blackness we will’t perceive. So fairly than see us and embrace us as a part of the Black expertise, folx will typically reject us as one thing they need to combat towards out of concern of emasculation. Briefly, we don’t seem like the picture Black of us had been taught to uphold, so we’re ignored, or persecuted.
Colonization and assimilation into whiteness are the place these photos got here from, and POSE is unapologetic about dismantling them. The notion of being a good negro is rejected with every dip and twirl on the ballroom flooring. As many people know, how we gown, act, or establish shouldn’t be decided by whiteness, nor ought to we be permitting ourselves to hate towards queer tradition — which is most undoubtedly part of Black tradition.
Moderately than reject Black of us who reside exterior of the norms of being heterosexual, we needs to be embracing them. Studying from those that are right here in addition to restoring the erased pasts of lots of our queer ancestors who by no means had the chance to reside as they’re. POSE isn’t simply probably the greatest exhibits on tv, it’s a change agent. This present, a Black present is doing like many different Black exhibits of its previous and breaking each barrier, showcasing a brilliance about how deep Black tradition actually runs. About how all households are simply blood associated, however that some are merely chosen for individuals who have been rejected by their very own group. POSE exhibits one other aspect of the Black expertise. One that may assist many study and develop out the conditioning society has created that taught us to hate our personal.
Blanca Evangelista is effectively on her solution to being the enduring mom determine very like Florida Evan, Aunt Viv, and Claire Huxtables of our previous. We might know that if we bothered to observe.
The second season of POSE FX debuts June 11th on FX.
George M. Johnson has joined BET Digital as visitor editor for Pleasure Month. Look out for his weekly column and curation of editorials from queer Black writers this June. George is a author, activist and columnist for Afropunk. His debut YA memoir, “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” is about to be launched April 28, 2020.