The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled us to find creative ways to build community, despite the challenge of being physically apart. For us, a watch party is not just an opportunity to share a laugh or send a heart while watching a video with a group of friends; it's an opportunity to engage in robust dialogue and discuss impactful change in response to watching thoughtfully-selected films.
Tonight, we are creating space for our members and friends to watch an episode of Pose––Candy's Sweet Refrain.
Why Pose, and why this episode?
Since its premiere on FX in 2018, Pose has educated, enlightened, and challenged audiences across the world. It has provided a snapshot into queer communities of color––a view that is overlooked, ignored, and misrepresented far too often in mainstream media. Those of you that are familiar with our work know that one of our core beliefs is the right to a chosen family. Too many of us have experienced rejection from family members and have relied on friendships and romantic relationships to fill that void. When we are fortunate, we can access a safe, loyal, and consistent community that is far more profound than friendship. Some of us find such spaces by joining Greek life while others join the legendary ballroom scene.
Pose is not just a peek into that scene; it is a revealing of the need for more chosen families. It has influenced how people parent their children, how people interact with trans people, and perhaps most importantly, it validates and acknowledges the representation of gender-variant people of color and their experiences. It's creating a space that tells trans people and queer people of color that they belong, too. Our stories matter, too.
As Indya Moore once said,
I knew that change was coming [through this series]. I knew that it was going to be healing. I knew that it was going to be impactful. And I just felt in my heart that it was going to be good––on an emotional level, on a spiritual level, on a social level, on a socio-political level, and as a trans person.
We have to revisit this particular episode because it was so emotional and thought-provoking. It highlights the fear of walking through the streets and not knowing if you're going to get to your destination because someone may attack you because of their thoughts about how you express yourself. With this episode, Pose illuminates this narrative––one that is the reality for far too many of our trans siblings.
The Impact of Candy's Death
Tonight is not just about watching this episode together, it's about discussing its impact, storytelling, truth-seeking, and challenging each other to spend our time, energy, and coins advocating for and protecting all of our trans siblings.
I recall an article I read last summer where Angelica Ross (the actress that plays Candy) sat down with Danette Chavez. Danette asked Angelica what she hoped viewers would take away from the episode, and Angelica answered,
I want viewers to hear Candy when she says, “Don’t waste your energy missing me, spend energy on a Candy girl out there. Beautify her in my stunning image.” Just to say that I know a lot of you all are going to get on Twitter and going to be rioting and going to be angry that they have killed Candy off. Instead of doing that, use that energy for the Candy girls out there that are dying right now. Get angry about that right now. That’s what I want them to take away from it.
Why watch this episode with us?
And this is what it's all about, right? Change begins with awareness and dialogue. Tonight, we're doing both. We're shining a light on someone's truth, and then we'll be engaging in dialogue that will move the needle, for us as individuals and as an organization. Tonight is about listening to deepen our understanding, it's about making connections between our shared values, and it's about discussing a strategy to take action together. In honor of those we've lost and those who are courageously living their truth every day, join us tonight at 7PM EST.
How to Watch
To join tonight's watch party, RSVP here.