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Pose Season 2 Episode 7- Making Choices With the Help of Elders

Wow, I thought I was going to be elated by this Papi and Angel duo, but now I am just disappointed. I wanted them to push for the best in each other, which is not sniffing cocaine off of a table at a party. It got me thinking about the power of choices that we make because every choice we make has a consequence. The consequence can be negative, positive or indifferent and when we are young, we believe those choices will never catch up to us. We see both Ricky and Angel make choices that felt right to them in the moment, but not thinking of the impact of what those decisions would have on their lives. It feels a little like self-sabotage to me because of the self deprecating stories they tell about themselves.

With Angel we see this fear of not feeling good enough and a fear that people will find out about her identity. Though these feelings are valid, the ways in which she copes with them enhance her negative self talk and clouds her judgment. Then Ricky —who has felt alone and hopping from person to person to fill a void—causing emotional harm to himself and others. (The fact that he tried to hit on Pray Tell clearly highlights his need to unpack his connection to love and intimacy). Add the layer of not using protection and the fact that he is in disbelief that he has HIV, just showcases his detachment from his choices and the harsh realities of the world. How many of us risk making choices that are likely not to yield the outcome we desire? Where does the want to make such habitual choices come from? When we do not feel understood or seen we do things to get noticed or that make us feel good temporarily, which highlights the importance of elders in our community. 

 

I remember the first time I started to come into my queer identity and Googling all the ways to ensure that people knew. Watching shows that never really allowed me to see myself because when is the last time you’ve seen a fat black non-binary femme represented on your T.V screen… (I’ll wait). As I was navigating the world I wished I had mentorship, someone to tell me that what I was thinking in my head was not unique to me, that the challenges I would face were similar to the challenges of my queer ancestors, someone to share stories of my queer black history that spoke of resistance, commitment, and love that I had no clue existed until later in my life. Protecting, listening and accepting mentorship from elders is crucial to community. The moment between Pray Tell and Ricky, as Pray shares the importance of honesty and lets him know that what you are feeling is nothing new. Taking Ricky to the hospital to get tested so that he would not be alone, or giving Lulu, Damon, and Ricky a project to do in order to restore hope are just some of the beautiful things that come out of the relationship of elders.

When we think of the many LGBTQ+ youth who may become estranged from their families due to their identities as we see in POSE’, guidance from elders is linked to survival and hope in oneself.  Creating space where intergenerational conversations can take places allows for shared learning and an unleashing of power and innovation.  

I am eager to see the ways in which Angel and Ricky work through their situations. I know that they may experience more pain, but I know they will also experience more joy. 


To learn about how you can help LGBTQ+ youth in need, visit SOULE’s non profit arm, the SOULE Foundation. 

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