POSE Episode 2: Access

POSE Episode 2: ACCESS

“🎤Category is... Realness... bring it like a Weather Girl👩🏽‍💼!”

Pray Tell announces in search of the female figure who posses the category’s theme. 

(Most ballroom events have a theme from movies🎬 to television📺 and 🎼music) 

Angel storms🌩 the runway serving her Channel 9 realness to the sounds of “Raining ☔️Men” by The Weather Girls.

The crowd is in an uproar🙋🏾‍♂️💁🏾‍♂️, she is given her scores and it’s “🔟’s across the board”. The commentator counts down for any takers to enter the runway. Angel becomes Grand🥇Prize, as Blanca feels an urge to keep striking⚡️ while the ☄️irons hot.

“I felt the wind🌬 on my face my whole life which means I know when it’s at my back.”

 

A confident Blanca now mother for the House of Evangelista, challenges reigning Mother OTY (Of The Year) Elektra Abundance in a Runway Battle. “Clear the runway children”, Prey Tell signals the girls to move making way as Blanca enters onto the runway floor. They sashay and strut up and down the runway in colors of florescent pink and chevron blue, coursing the room into a cypher. 

“🔟, 🔟, 🔟, 9️⃣...”, Elektra is gagging in disbelief being over confident of her scores only being of 🔟’s favoring Blanca, who is granted the victory. 🏆

After the ball Elektra showed her way of sportsmanship through a read by rewarding Blanca’s win to be considered “pure luck” for having such a “virgin legendary walk” being the “Crackle Barrel, to my Gucci and Saint Laurent.” 

Though Blanca wasted no time to respond with humility and a heavy hunger for IHOP’s Rooty Tooty 🥞🍴. 

(Side note: Ya’ll know iHOP is now iHOb as in International House Of 🍔🍔🍔, but not my business)

Gathering his belongings from the steps Damon is approached by Ricky (Dyllon Burnside) followed by the recognition of having on too much cologne... Ricky responds with bragging about his skills of mopping through Macy’s by “stuffing anything down there”. 

The conversation continues, Ricky suggest Damon go on a date with him hence being smart, cute and smelling good given he could “do a lot worse”. Damon agrees to sit and talk as a date, but Ricky interjects to grab a slice of 🍕 and a stroll. 

They agree.

“What was all of that?”

Blanca popped up at the end to get the tea and lay down the law of attraction. #BeHomeBy3AM

“She’s going for her dreams and I love her for that.”

Is what Damon tells Ricky discussing the greats Janet and Michael Jackson. In the history of gay culture music divas have always been the soundtrack to our lives sharing a soothing sound through song and Janet is no different. Growing up I can recall the influence and independence she displayed early on owning her own stardom which is seen now in our craft of artist today. 

I still remember that MTV diary episode of Janet when she went to the gay club and said 🙋🏾‍♀️ “Hey bitches!” I lost it on the 📺 like she knows us, but she really knows US!

Ricky and Damon’s stroll leads them to a warehouse which led me to think that something harmful could possibly happen. But in-fact infatuations started to show as Ricky kissed and caressed Damon trying to convince him of consent. After a few kisses and lines of game Damon stops Ricky to share that he isn’t ready yet for intimacy, so instead they decide to schedule🗓 a date for the following week. 

“Where have you been?!”, said 🙍🏽‍♀️Blanca, questioning Damon after waiting on his sneaking ass arrival.

Admitting to kisses and confessions of not having sex the conversation becomes more relaxed. A real parent-child bond narrative takes place on television that most of world doesn’t see in which gay parents protect their gay children by educating them on sex and health. 

AIDS and HIV is a leading cause of death among black and brown bodies both male and female. During that era of the AIDS epidemic it was considered to be a “gay man’s disease” and that only. Blanca reminds Damon to never give anyone his “gifts”, she is left to reflect in her own personal guilt in health matters.

“We don’t like women in here. It’s a gay bar.”

Blanca meets up with Lulu Abundance (Hailie Sahar) in hopes of having a good 🍻 and conversation however their kind isn’t wanted even within their our community. The bartender and owner remind them of the truth that exist within the LGBTQ🏳️‍🌈 community in regards to hierarchy as Tran Women of Color are placed at the very bottom in visibility and acceptance. 

Shockingly, it was #TWOC who 🥊fought for those bars to be open you’re choosing to disbar them from. Blanca’s resilience pissed me off watching how the majority of the gay community (gay white men; gay males) were against the trans community and the occupancy of trans black and brown bodies in all spaces especially one considered to be “safe”.

It’s the same way we seek for acceptance in unwanted spaces of 👫heterosexuality and white America✊🏻🇺🇸 sadly.

“Gay, straight... it doesn’t matter they all think we have physiological issues. They don’t see us as real.”, Angel says, as Blanca continues to patron the bar again to be physically thrown out of the bar.

“You have to look the part or they won’t let you in to the big club!”, Mr. Bowes says to his wife, as acceptance and being accepted is the common thread among the different lives that seem to intertwine. Stan becomes overwhelmed with his wife, deciding to take an exit after her demands for a dishwasher. 

His anxieties led him to the place he knows best resulting in a hunt for Angel at a sex store. When he finally finds her, he confesses his jealously for her; if other guys are looking at her to thinking about her constantly.

Didn't you find it odd that he was jealousy of her new surroundings which gave her 'some' safety, but preferred her in the streets abandoned from safety glass and fixed income? 

The feelings are mutual yet the innocence in the secret of trust are hidden, as in the diner, Stan reminds Angel once again of having a wife and not being gay. Though willing to seek a way to compromise for the continuation of his infatuation while meeting Angel’s demands at the time of a dream turnt reality.

Damon accompanies his dean and classmates to a 🧚🏾‍♂️🤸🏾‍♂️ballet that touches him in ways of visually seeing an obtainable dream though unaware of Ricky’s efforts waiting at the 🍕 joint to continue their 👬date.

“Where the fuck was Blanca and the House of Evangelista?!”, shouted Elektra, who feels her win wasn’t one worth fighting over as her dignity is still bothered since her previous loss to Mother B., saying “a victory is hollow, if there is no real competition.”

(So is she seeing Blanca’s realness as in her womanhood? Or merely as a tough competitor worth conquering?)

Since his bailing, Damon finally sees Ricky being affectionate with someone while on the pier he interrupts asking if they could speak.

(Have you noticed yet that Ricky gives very much OTA tease sis meaning “Open to all” when it comes to love) 

They have a conversation of realization and “goal-digging” suggesting that Damon is too good for Ricky while Damon speaks the opposite encouraging him to give thought to possibilities in life.

“When it come to the life that we lead there comes a point where you must accept disappointment.” Elektra reiterates to Blanca in reference to her fight for visibility and being deemed passable in the world. In that very scene and ones similar in the early parts of the episode you start to sense a “ball fame ” from Elektra who is caught up in the life, that I know so many are far too often, as ballroom should not be your life yet a part of it.

Furthermore it shares the narrative among some trans women in the competition of being "passable" for womanhood in the world, as stating (Elektra to Blanca) its "her struggle".

In another attempt Blanca goes back to the bar in hopes of acceptance even from her own black queer kind, but she is welcomed by 👮🏼‍♀️👮🏻‍♂️police. Booked, she is placed in an all male only holding cell left to defend herself like most Trans persons when entering the criminal justice system, they are misgendered in populations unwanted. 

Surprisingly bail is made by Mother Abundance in a “black mail style” of Blanca competing at the next ball and not having a caring heart, if you knew like Blanca had knew when questioning her priorities only being: ballroom.

Damon travels to the Pier to send an open 🎫🎫🎟🎟invitation to Ricky for the ballet, if he’s open to it.

Fem Queen in Pumps is the next category as Blanca walks to garner Elektra some retribution by redeeming herself in a victory, strutting the fuck down in her elegance though TBT it was a #SetUp chile as Ms. Elektra knew she had a sickening 👠 already for the evening. 

Episode two finishes off with Damon and Ricky having that 👬date at the ballet, to which, I am glad Ricky didn’t stand Damon up, for a chance for the two to see a dating life outside of gay-norms (clubs, functions). 

The classical styles of Once Upon An Opera’s “In The Hall of the Mountain King”, carried pacing throughout Stan’s double life seeing him reward both ladies in his life; one a dishwasher and the other a place to call home. I can sense already that something is bound to take place with pleasing both parties, but I can only hold my opinions until after episode 4. 

Episode “Access” displayed truth that access is something we all want and yearn to possess. The American🇺🇸 Dream is obtainable for those who have the access such as privilege be it class, color, or gender. 

only example 💰rich, ✊🏻white, 👱🏼‍♂️male

However, I do 🧐wonder💭 what access does Elektra feel she has over Blanca? Or what access does Angel feel she can gain from Stan? Furthermore what access does Stan feel he actually has being a Wall Street professional in downtown Manhattan leading a double life like most high profile businessmen. 

(Side note: 👏🏾👏🏾Kudos to the writers for exposing the topic of the “Down Low” being outside of the black race, as white men are superior in spending coins on secret sex societies to suffice their inner pleasures #MeToo #TimesUp)

...Until we meet again on the runway❗️

 

-JUSTIN MICHAEL HENDRIX