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Name: Pose
Creator: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals
Date(s): June 3rd, 2018 - present
Medium: Live-action TV Series
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: Wikipedia
Official FX website
Pose Wiki
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Pose (also seen in all caps, POSE) is a drama television series based on New York City’s African-American, Latino, and Afro-Latino ballroom culture in the 1980s and early 1990s.


Houses & Naming

The chosen families that make up the ballroom culture organize around Houses, and the character’s surname may or may not be their House name. Example: Elektra starts season one as the House Mother of House of Abundance and does not have an established legal surname to go by, so her character name appears as Elektra Abundance.[1] In situations where House names change or characters join and/or form new Houses, the character might have a new surname or a hyphenated surname. Example: Elektra forms a new House in season two called Wintour, so her character may remain Elektra Abundance, appear as Elektra Abundance-Wintour[2], or when signifying relevant season two information, appear as Elektra Wintour[3]. However, due to how quickly characters may change Houses and House names, some characters may only be referred to with their first name. Example: Instead of using a House name for Elektra, some fics on AO3 use Elektra (Pose) as her character tag on Archive Of Our Own.


Season One

  • Angel/Stan Bowes or Angel Evangelista/Stan Bowes
  • Patty Bowes/Stan Bowes
  • Damon Richards-Evangelista/Ricky Evangelista or Damon Richards/Ricky
  • Costas/Pray Tell
  • Blanca Rodriguez/Pray Tell
  • Damon Richards/Pray Tell
  • Pray Tell/Original Female Character
  • Angel Evangelista & Blanca Evangelista
  • Blanca Rodriguez & House of Evangelista
  • Blanca Rodriguez & Elektra Abundance
  • Blanca Rodriguez & Damon Richards
  • Blanca Rodriguez & Pray Tell
  • Gen and/or no pairings indicated.

Season Two

  • Continuations of season one pairings, including Gen and/or no pairings indicated.
  • Candy Ferocity/Lulu Ferocity
  • Lulu Ferocity/Original Female Character
  • Pray Tell/Ricky [4]



Gifs & Edits

An example reblogged outside of the fandom was posted by Tumblr user kiwimidnight of a scene of Elektra reading a white cis woman from s2e9 (Life’s a Beach). As of 13 February 2021, it’s received over 325,900 notes:

Elektra: God may have blessed you with Barbies, a backyard with a pony, a boyfriend named Jake, and an unwanted pregnancy that your father paid to terminate so you could go to college and major in being a basic bitch. None of these things make you a woman.

Lulu (passing a glass of water to Elektra): Mm-hm, clear your throat.

Angel: Lubricate.

Lulu: Mm-hm. Read that bitch.

Elektra: Your uniform of J. Crew culottes, fake pearls, and 50 cent scrunchies can not conceal the fact that you do not know who you are. I know our presence threatens you. We fought for our place at this table, and that has made us stronger than you’ll ever be. Now pick your jaw up off the floor and go back to your clam chowder and shallow conversations. My girlfriends and I aren't going anywhere.



Spoiler Warning: This article or section contains spoilers about character death in season two. If this bothers you, proceed with caution.

Colorism (also spelled with a 'u' as colourism) implies using “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color”[5] as a means to decide who is worthy of opportunities, and resources, and generally, “the farther away one’s skin tone is from dark”[6] the more opportunities and resources they can access. Some fans of color have noticed a lack of mainstream reviewers addressing colorism in Pose, in part, because “there was a hesitance to ridicule a show that was making history by featuring trans characters played by trans actors. ”[7]

Since the show started, there’s really only been two dark-skinned characters trans women with prominent roles: Elektra and Candy. And while I have been living for them both, it’s clear the writers have intentionally portrayed them both as aggressive, violent, vindictive and messy in a way that their lighter-skinned counterparts aren’t.

‘Pose’ Has an Increasingly Obvious Colorism Problem” by Courtney Anderson. (Accessed 10 February 2021.) (Archived link).

There’s a running gag in season one that Candy carries a hammer to take out her competition before a category. Elektra’s character development at the end of season one from a harsh House Mother to a kinder one inspired by Blanca gets reversed within the first two episodes of season two when she declares herself better than House Evangelista, flips the dinner table, joins House of Ferocity, and then leaves that House to form her own. In contrast, the prominent lighter-skinned trans women characters from House Evangelista - Blanca and Angel - receive season-long character development arcs that don’t get reversed. Some fans have also noticed that all three of the darker-skinned characters - Candy, Elektra, and Pray Tell - have been more likely to swear and use the T-word (or T-slur) compared to lighter-skinned characters using “transsexual.”[8]

Both Candy and Elektra have also been the recipient of violent narrative arcs based on real events that happened to lighter-skinned trans women. One of Elektra’s dominatrix clients dies during scene preparation, and her method of hiding the body in a suitcase in her closet is based on the mummy found in Dorian Corey’s closet after her death.[9][10] Candy, who had transitioned from stripping in season one to full service sex work in season two, dies sometime during an encounter with a client and is found in a motel room, which is based on the presumed circumstances of Venus Xtravangza’s death and her body being found in a motel room.[11] While Ryan Murphy and executive producer/writer Janet Mock wanted to address the reality of violence against trans women of color[12] in season two, Candy’s sudden death at the hands of a client stood out against the handling of Angel’s client relationship with Stan Bowes throughout multiple episodes in season one:

We all were sort of floored when the show aired last season, and so many people who loved the show would go on social media and say, “Oh, Stan is going to kill Angel. I don’t know if I can watch this. It’s going to kill me.” It became such an epidemic online that we actually went on and said, “We’re not killing anybody. We’re not killing Angel, so you can relax into the storytelling.”

Ryan Murphy’s July 2019 interview with ‘Deadline’, “Pose’s Ryan Murphy And Janet Mock Talk Episode 4 Shocker, Subverting LGBTQ Storytelling Tropes” by Dino-Ray Ramos. (Accessed on 10 February 2021.) (Archived link).

However, there’s room for Pose to make different decisions around dark-skinned characters in season three, which is expanded upon in the following quote:

Killing off one of the two dark-skinned women in the cast will present a unique void that will be difficult to fill. Or, perhaps this will leave room for another mother to enter the crew [...] to give us the fiery aura of Candy. It would also be great to see Candy be replaced by another dark-skinned transwoman, one who would be championed in the story in the likes of Blanca or Angel. To have the only dark-skinned characters foiled against the light-skinned characters is colorism that doesn’t belong on such a progressive and revolutionary show.

‘Pose’ Got It Wrong: Why Candy Deserved Better by Brandon Lamar. (Accessed on 10 February 2021.) (Archived link).

HIV/AIDS and the relationships

In season two, Ricky finds out he’s HIV+ and approaches Pray Tell for guidance and companionship. Fan reactions to the transformation of Pray Tell & Ricky to Pray Tell/Ricky have been mixed.

It’s not just about the age gap. It’s about who Pray Tell was in Ricky’s life before this relationship. It’s not as if Ricky and Pray Tell met perchance and Ricky happened to be 20 years younger than Pray Tell, he was a father figure and that’s where the discomfort comes from. I don’t think the characters or the people in the fandom who disapprove are infantilizing Ricky for pointing out that there is an inherent power imbalance in that relationship, Pray Tell being lonely and sort of starving for affection and intimacy, while sad and understandable, doesn’t erase the fact that before now he was treated as the second head to the family that Ricky was a part of and this connection really starts with Ricky turning to a father figure for advice.

OK here’s the thing about Ricky and Pray Tell” by Tumblr user zalrb. (Accessed 10 February 2021.) (archive.today link) (Archived link).

For the people arguing about Pray Tell and Ricky being familial, I hope you have that same energy for when he and Damon get back together. Sure, if you’re arguing about him being a father figure… Fair is fair. But some of y'all are talking about the family aspect in general. [...]

Also, I don’t see anything predatory in what happened but things would obviously change if this turned into a relationship. Then thats murky water. Ricky is a grown ass man. He wasn’t some kid. He made his choice… But a relationship would complicate the dynamic in the homes. Keep in mind these aren’t kids, though.

Not to mention, what is wrong with two men who are positive getting what they need from each other? I guarantee along with the scariness of the situation that they both also feel unattractive and unwanted. Pray Tell said as much. They gave each other something special.

And last, can we focus on the fact that an older black man was shown in bed intimately with another black man? A younger one? Say what you want but that shit was beautiful and done on cinematic next level. And it’s true to real life.

For the people arguing about Pray Tell and Ricky being familial” by Tumblr user itstopshelfman. (Accessed 10 February 2021.) (archive.today link) (Archived link).

[Tumblr user iconadjacent’s ask]

tbh i’ve wrestled back and forth with it, but i don’t think pray tell and ricky’s relationship is predatory. like i was just having a long conversation about it with a friend and honestly i think it was such a complex situation involving desirability politics and trauma and shame. like i think it was a messy moment and i think it caused a lot of unfavorable ripples but i don’t think it was predatory if that makes sense? but i’m also coming from a lot of queer theory so there’s that

I can respect this understanding of the relationship although I don’t necessarily agree with it because while I don’t think Pray Tell is being a predator, I do think the relationship is predatory, which is more about the writing than about who Pray is as a character. I believed him when he told Blanca that he was looking for intimacy and desirability and that having HIV makes both of those things difficult and he felt alive and he felt happy but I don’t think he had to find that with Ricky and I’m disappointed that the writers put both of the characters in this situation because Pray Tell is a father figure to the House of Evangelista, he did view Ricky as a son until he suddenly didn’t and Ricky should have a figure in his life and there’s a power imbalance in that, even with the way Ricky talks and views Pray, the kind of admiration is like idol/hero worshiping, simply because Ricky is comfortable with his sexuality — and at this point, it’s not simply comfort, it’s the only way Ricky knows how to communicate with men, which is an issue that should be addressed and an issue I would’ve loved Pray Tell call him out on and help him come to terms with — doesn’t mean the relationship is equal. I think it was Pray’s responsibility to tell him that people can be there for each other without sex being involved and this entire storyline just seems like a huge departure from his character.

Tumblr user zalrb answering the ask. (Accessed 10 February 2021.) (archive.today link) (Archived link).

Like I understand Pray wants to feel loved/desired but his thing with Ricky had me uneasy. There was just so many factors that had me against it to the point where I was upset at him. Though one of these factors is age difference, Imma put it aside. Ricky is a young (recklessly foolish) adult who is reaching out for security and companionship due to finding out he’s positive. Pray so far has been one of the characters of reason and guidance. Yes, he’s not perfect [...] but from the looks of it the community respects him. And for him to sleep with Ricky when Ricky was at a vulnerable place seeking validation and comfort the only way his sleeping around ass knows how, just didn’t sit right with me. Idc if Ricky was coming on to him. I wouldn’t expect that from Pray, especially knowing how on and off again Ricky and Damon are. It just seemed off.

Episode 7 and 8 of Pose had me feeling a little off about some character developments” by Tumblr user heavenjadwiga. (Accessed 10 February 2021.) (archive.today link) (Archived link).

pray tell’s and ricky’s relationship is FINE. i genuinely do not see the problem in the relationship considering they’re BOTH consenting adults. they’re both in need of someone who will care for them and love them, won’t judge them bc of their status. what is the problem? the age gap? let me hide my laugh, bc some of y’all talk like ricky is 16 and pray tell is 70, saying shit like it’s predatory? did you… watch the season… i didn’t see pray tell hit on ricky once.

they’re both adults, and if you’ve watched the finale they’re STILL together after several months, are taking it slow and look happy so i don’t understand why any of y’all think your opinion matters. again: they’re two grown consenting men in a relationship that they’re happy in.

end of rant. y’all are just too dramatic.

idc how little or how many people see this” by Tumblr user dancinallnight. (Accessed 10 February 2021.) (archive.today link) (Archived link).

Archives, Communities & Resources


  1. ^ House of Abundance Pose Wiki page. (Accessed on 10 February 2021.) It refers to Elektra Abundance during season one.
  2. ^ Elektra Wintour Pose Wiki page. (Accessed on 10 February 2021.) It uses Abundance-Wintour and a redirect from Elektra Abundance.
  3. ^ House Wintour Pose Wiki page. (Accessed on 10 February 2021.) It refers to Elektra Wintour as House Mother.
  4. ^ While I can remember encountering one Pray Tell / Ricky fanfic on AO3, I did not download or save it before it was deleted. There are zero fics turning up in a search for Pray Tell/Ricky, otp:true on AO3. Search originally done on 10 February 2021.
  5. ^ The Difference Between Racism and Colorism by Lori L. Tharps (accessed on 10 February 2021) is one of many articles that points to ‘colorism’ first being defined in print through Alice Walker in In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose (1983).
  6. ^ ‘Pose’ exposes the colorist issues that still plague TV by Tirhakah Love. (Accessed 10 February 2021.) (Archived link).
  7. ^ Candy’s Life Matters Part Two: Candy, ‘Pose’ And Colorism by Monique Jones. (Accessed on 10 February 2021.) (Archived link).
  8. ^ Dear Pose, Candy Deserved Better by (JustinJ1232). (2019, July 10). Youtube, uploaded by King of Reads. (Accessed on 10 February 2021) (Archived link).
  9. ^ The Mystery of Dorian Corey, the Drag Queen Who Had a Mummy in Her Closet by Christopher Rudolph. (Accessed on 10 February 2021.) (Archived link).
  10. ^ The Cadaver in the Drag Queen’s Closet, Doughty, Caitlin. (2019, July 20).Youtube, uploaded by Caitlin Doughty - Ask A Mortician. (Accessed on 10 February 2021.) (Archived link).
  11. ^ Venus Xtravaganza Wiki. (Accessed on 10 February 2021.)
  12. ^ Pose Has A Colorism Problem by Jessica Rae. (Accessed on 10 February 2021.) (Archived link).