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‘Pose’ Season 2, Episode 2: Sex Work, Family, White People Shit and Self-Worth

First off Elektra is the bitch that everyone hates, but low key—maybe high key—wants to be because she is the epitome of #thatbitch despite that her behavior towards others is highly toxic and manipulative. She has gone back to her old ways which is disheartening because I really wanted her to play nice this season. However, I am feeling her new side hustle, and lets the audience experience sex work as an active choice that someone is making. In that way it can be a beautiful, powerful and lucrative way of life that isn’t rooted in violence, discomfort or survival as it is often portrayed. Also, let’s be honest this FemmeDom action that Elektra is serving fits her perfectly! Though I greatly enjoy that she found her footing outside of being gas-lighted and fetishized by a white man, she has no idea what loyalty or family means. It seems that she has no capability to think outside of herself, which in her defense could be a coping mechanism, but we all know karma is a bitch and one day she is going to need someone.

 

Community and the creation of a chosen family is vital to the survival and growth of those in the LGBTQ+ community and core members of the House of Evangelista are the only ones that seem to understand that. Once again Papi is basically sharing the blueprint of how to be a bomb ass friend and family member… and I am still on the hunt for someone like Papi! The House of Evangelista understands that they are laying the foundation for themselves and those that will come after. It is not just about winning awards but what we are leaving behind for those that will come next. Blanca is reminded of this when Pray Tell lightly gathers her to let her know that she has to fight against the landlord of her new salon from doing #whitepeopleshit.

It is hard to have a positive self-worth when the narrative of your identity is rooted in trauma

The dichotomies between cisgender women and trans women, black women and white women are so prevalent in this episode as oftentimes white cisgender women feel as though they are the gatekeepers of information and resources. The need by white women to show some sort of false superiority over black womxn, perpetuating this concept that you only have a seat because I gave it to you, and I can take it away at any moment. However, Ms. Norman did not know that she had the right one today, messing around with Blanca. Blanca stood up not only for herself, but her children and her community, and she was able to do that because she has a strong family. The fuckery of conducting a business transaction without a contract in order to perpetuate power over people who are already disenfranchised in society mimics the everyday actions of large corporations that exploit labor to make their pockets bigger. The erasing of communities to make room for big business is what we are living in. So many LGB & TGNC people of color have been displaced from their communities to make room for white people perpetuating the false ideology they are making communities better. It just shows the underlying elitism, power and privilege one has to be able to displace entire communities, but like Blanca said, we are not here to make “white ladies like you feel comfortable,” because they have been allowed to be comfortable on the backs of black and brown womxn.  This episode also made me question what it means when we bring white people into spaces that are designed for folks of color. Ms. Candy was not here for Elektra bringing a white womxn in the space, and I find her skepticism to be valid

 

The highlight of this episode for me was the exploration of self-worth. At the end of the day we all have shit, and many times that shit manifests in ways that lead to self-deprecation, dependency, and a huge void that we just want to fill as soon as possible. It is hard to have a positive self-worth when the narrative of your identity is rooted in trauma. Blanca was kicked out —ostracized by relatives and family—which withers at your self-esteem. You may find yourself doing things to help you feel good in the moment, and for some LGBTQ+ youth this is their truth. This is why pride is so important because at its core it is about creating sustainable spaces and resources, letting folks know that they should choose themselves first, that they are valid, and they are powerful. It takes a strong person to self-reflect and realize that they have lost themselves in someone else. Damon choosing himself was beautiful because we often times don’t give ourselves the same energy we give to someone else. Instead we look for others to make ourselves feel whole not realizing that you have to get right with yourself first.  I think we should all pull a Damon and check in with ourselves and know that you have the power to be the change agent in your life.

Cover photo: W Magazine

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