The Knockturnal interviewed Angelica Ross, known for her transgender advocacy.
Angelica Ross, having experienced discrimination of her own, founded TransTech Social Enterprises for the purpose of inclusivity, work opportunity, and general encouragement against the prejudices of the every-day. She’s also landed a new role on the FX show Pose, which will premiere next month.
The Knockturnal: How did you become involved with GLSEN?
Angelica Ross: I am one of the cast members of Pose, which is a new show on FX created by Ryan Murphy. And I’m also the founder of TransTech Social Enterprises. Which is an online and offline community that is focused on skill development and leadership skills to be able to help trans people and anybody that is experiencing marginalization within education and employment, giving them sort of a one-up and a step-up.
The Knockturnal: Tell me more about that?
Angelica Ross: Well, in my own experience as a black trans woman coming up, especially coming up in times where we didn’t have as much protections and voices out there, I, myself experienced a lot of harassment and discrimination on the job. I lost several jobs. So it wasn’t until I figured out the freelance game, where people didn’t need to know what you looked like or what you sound like, as long as you can actually do the job. So through freelance, I learned graphic design. I learned CSS and HTML and I started building websites. And when I found that sort of path for myself, later on, I created that path as a sort of a blueprint for the community to create side hustles out of whatever their passion is, whether it’s makeup, hair. At the intersections of technology, learning how to create a blog or a Youtube page or to take payments – it doesn’t have to mean you want to code, but it just means that technology is out there to help you step your game up.
The Knockturnal: Tell me about your role on Pose?
Angelica Ross: Yes, I play Candy on the show. Candy is in the house of abundance. And basically just like many LGBT folks of color especially, my character found herself needing to find a second set of family. For what reasons I don’t quite know yet, but I do know that Candy is struggling to fit and live up to America’s very high standards for beauty – for women. So whether you’re trans or cis I think the show Pose and the journey that my character Candy goes through, I think is going to bring a lot of conversation that will bring trans and cis women together.
The Knockturnal: If you had the power to propose a reform in favor of the LGBTQ community, what would that be?
Angelica Ross: Well, I would definitely make sure that harassment was treated more seriously. Especially street harassment. Cis women and trans women both go through these things, but for many trans women it turns deadly when they recognize that we’re not cis. And they start calling us men … And many times, in some states they still try to use this panic defense or these – whatever defense there is – but if I could make anything happen there would be no defense for violence against trans people.