Angelica Ross Sounds Off On Trans Activism & Her Next Chapter

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Your favorite podcasting baddies are back with more flowers to give with part two of season five of the award-winning — they said what they said — Go Off, Sis podcast from Refinery29’s Unbothered. First up to receive a beautiful bouquet is one our fave Pose alums, thee Angelica Ross.

Fans watched Ross’ Candy Ferocity verbally spar with Pray Tell in the ballroom, usually with disastrous results, even after she brilliantly suggested a lip sync category. And then, just like that, Candy was the aspiring star that was gone too soon. But what’s lasted is Ross’ ability to demand that we look at her as she burns on screen in everything from American Horror Story to Claws to Her Story.

Knowing that you cannot plant and harvest in the same season, co-host Chelsea Sanders asks, “How are those seeds you’ve been planting? How is that going?”

Back when Ross “was just trying to survive,” she couldn’t focus on the piano, guitar, and acting. “Everything I enjoy now and have access to almost feels delayed. It was delayed because of my need of survival as a Black trans woman,” says the Wisconsin native. Ross grew up singing gospel, writing songs, recording, and traveling to state fairs. Picture her as a musical theater vet with 11 years under her Telfar belt — before graduating from high school. “I was almost ready to accept, okay, this is as good as it’s gonna get. The world ain’t ready for a trans actress. The world’s not ready for a trans musician.”

Delayed but not denied, Ross got the opportunity to launch her music career and perform on major platforms at 41. Last year, the Emmy-nominated talent hosted New York Pride. This year, she’s back to host and unleash those vocal runs in before a live audience.

Art aside, Ross is also a trans activist who founded TransTech Social Enterprises, a co-working and co-learning community that empowers LGBTQ people (and allies) with career-ready skills.

“TransTech is about transition at the intersection of technology and centering those who have been marginalized, which are Black and Brown trans people and trans folks who are immigrants,” says Ross.  
To hear more about TransTech and Ross’ thoughts on Dave Chapelle’s impossible burger and beet juice “jokes,” listen to the episode, below.

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