*All viewings will take place at the Reid Residence from 9pm-11pm. Each viewing will begin with LGBTQ+ history & trivia, followed by a round of check-ins. The show airs at 10pm. (Very) light snacks will be provided. Make sure to view this page from a laptop, tablet, or personal computer for access to full experience and additional details.
Featuring the largest cast of actors of trans experience, POSE offers a snapshot into New York City's underground ballroom scene during the 1980s (season 1) and 1990s (season 2). A scripted TV series, POSE centers ballroom culture, a relatively clandestine culture despite ballroom members being featured in Madonna's music video "vogue" (1991) and the mainstream success of Livingston's documentary film Paris is Burning (1990). POSE reveals the challenges ballroom members face due to their positioning in society as Black & Brown trans and queer folx, but also illuminates their gifts & magic; and shows how they find joy and love in a world that regards them as disposable.
In the 1991 documentary Paris is Burning, Pepper LaBeija, an iconic figure in the ballroom scene shares that, “a ball is as close as we’re going to get to the fame and culture that rich people have. The balls are like a fantasy for us. Or like being at the Oscars; Whatever you want to be, you be.” After participating in the ballroom scene for many years and later returning as a researcher to conduct an extensive ethnography, Dr. Marlon Bailey (2009) explains ballroom which came from the imaginations of Black & Brown LGBTQ+ folx in Harlem over nearly 60 years ago as “ a culture or minoritarian social sphere where performance, queer genders and sexualities, and kinship coalesce to create an alternative world” (p.367).
Glossary of terms
Cisgender: A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth. Example: Janelle Monae and Lena Waithe both identify as cisgender women.
Queer : A term often used to express fluid identities and orientations. Often used interchangeably with "LGBTQ+".
LGBTQ+: An acronym to refer to “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, while simultaneously recognizing the range of variation within the ever-evolving constructs of gender expression and sexual identity.
Gender identity: One’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One's gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth but should not be confused with sexual identity which speaks more to romantic, sexual, intellectual, and emotional attraction.
Transgender: An umbrella term for folx whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual identity. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. Example: Laverne Cox is a woman of trans experience.