In the 1980s, the New York queer community struck by AIDS gave itself the night to breathe again, an intense respiration while perpetuating the ‘ball culture’, this LGBTQ movement born sixty years earlier. Jennie Livingston’s cult documentary Paris is Burning (1990), currently showing on Netflix, shows just how these teams, or houses as they were known, which included numerous transgender women, would compete on the dance floor in their extravagant costumes showcasing their talent for voguing, choreographies that parody the poses of models on fashion shoots. At the time, New Yorker Steven Canals was a too young to be hanging out at these venues. But he saw the film and once he became a scriptwriter he finally managed to sell a series about this world to the all-powerful producer Ryan Murphy (American Crime Story, Nip/Tuck). It's set to be one of the most exciting this year.
Pose revolves around four main characters, three transgender women taking part in these balls and a young gay man hoping for a career as a dancer. For the first time in Hollywood history – and possible world history – the trans minority is taking centre stage. The producer hired two trans scriptwriters to write it, Our Lady J and Janet Mock, and made sure that no cisgender actors would take the role of a trans-person.