The disposability and dehumanization of black, brown and queer bodies is portrayed with the cold and heart-wrenching start of Pose season 2. As Blanca and Pray Tell travel to Hart Island we start to unpack history that has perpetuated the lack of equity and care for those who live on the margins constructed by heteronormative white America. We are hit with the realities that have existed and continue to exist in society, particularly thinking of those most impacted by HIV/AIDS and the ways that trans black women are being murdered. ‘Pose’ focuses on the impact of HIV/AIDS in the community and how misinformation, otherization, fear, racism, and homophobia intersect to spread false narratives and allow for black, brown and queer bodies to perish. We see power and privilege at its peak with the folks who have access to better care and who get to write the narratives of those living with HIV/AIDS.
Pose gathers up the community to say “NO!” to our stories being told by those who have no clue of the experiences of those in the LGB & TGNC community, and showcase our humanity that non-queer folks try so hard to ignore. “Stop Killing Us,” —a phrase used far too often— is used in the protest that most of the community shows up for (#wherewasElektra). The mirroring of past protest to the protests of today share the same truths of incarceration, pain, and grief, but a fierce desire and strength to stand up and fight back, makes me want to thank the ancestors for their courage and models they’ve created for us.
Though this episode is full of hardship, we see happiness which speaks to the resiliency of black, brown and queer folks. The happiness comes from the ways in which we see Blanca push her children and friends to want more and do more. We see happiness in the ways that Papi shows up and shows out for Angel, and the ways that Angel is working to create her own path.
Speaking of Angel and Papi…
I think they may have a little something, something, and I need a Papi in my life ASAP!
The ways that the House of Evangelista (#notElektra) work together, exemplifies the ways in which I believe we have to continue our collective action. When one of us is hurt, taken advantage of, or sad, it is not only the work of the individual, but the work of the community to say “we got you,” and sometimes that means a white man needs to take an ass whooping for being exploitative. It also means that sometimes the Elektras’ of the world need to be called out and called in on their bullshit.
We are hit with the realities that have existed and continue to exist in society, particularly thinking of those most impacted by HIV/AIDS and the ways that trans black women are being murdered.
Pray Tell is the only one that can really match the way that Elektra reads folks so I was here for it. Pray Tell gathered her whole life and it was honestly nothing she could really say, but the narrative leads viewers to wonder if there is an underlying issue with Elektra. I thought she was going to play nice this season, but the lie detector determined that was a lie. Despite Elektra leaving, I have no doubt that the Evangelista’s will continue to shine because Blanca always looks at the bigger picture, and everyone in that house slays. This episode gave me life and even more fuel to create a better world for black & brown queer folks.
Being 50 years since Stonewall we are reminded of the continuous need to Act Up because without both Stonewall and Act Up we would not be as far in our efforts as we are today. We must continue to create a world in which those within the community fight for equity as well as share our truths. We have to channel our inner Pray Tell and “wake the fuck up” because nobody is going to do right by us in the ways that we can. We have to continue to show up for each other, highlighting the intersections of our identities to collectively advocate for change. As a wise person once told me inaction is an action, so what are you going to do?
Cover Photo Rolling Stone