JOHNNY SIBILLY.

The Pose ac­tor shares his top five fierce mo­ments from the trail­blaz­ing FX show.

Gay Times Magazine - - CONTENTS: - Pho­tog­ra­phy Bryan Rashaun Fash­ion Jor­dan Scott

The Pose ac­tor looks back on his time on the le­gendary show, and re­veals his top five fierce mo­ments from the trail­blaz­ing FX se­ries.

Be­ing a part of Pose was more than just an­other act­ing gig for Johnny Sibilly. It was per­sonal, spe­cial, and some­thing he’d wanted for quite some time. “This was my third time au­di­tion­ing for the show and once I got that call, I knew that this part was the right one,” he says. “The en­tire process was ex­cit­ing and sur­passed any ex­pec­ta­tions I had.”

When he thinks of this time back now, he can break it down into five fierce cat­e­gories – just as they would in the ball­room...

Rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Be­ing able to be part of a trail­blaz­ing cast like the one on Pose was noth­ing short of a dream come true. See­ing all of those trans, queer, black and brown char­ac­ters on screen and on set was a re­flec­tion of the bril­liance I’d al­ways seen grow­ing up, and also in my LGBTQ act­ing classes in NYC. To go on set and see queer folks not only at the helm, but as crew and back­ground ac­tors, it showed me a world where our tal­ents and voices could be cel­e­brated, deemed wor­thy, and even called ‘must-watch TV’.

Unapolo­getic sto­ry­telling.

Play­ing a Lat­inx man dy­ing of the AIDS virus was im­por­tant to me on many lev­els. Grow­ing up, you’d hear of a queer fam­ily mem­ber dy­ing of AIDS, but that was it – there was no back­story, no in­di­ca­tion about this per­son’s hu­man­ity. Play­ing Costas with Billy Porter as Pray Tell re­minded me to give the side many fam­i­lies ei­ther ne­glected to see or were un­able to. These two men only had each other, they fought for one an­other, and know­ing that many of my queer fore­fa­thers had to do this made me feel that much more of a re­spon­si­bil­ity to try and bring that hu­man­ity to the role. It’s for all the Costas and Pray Tells of the world, ei­ther gone or liv­ing.

Com­mu­nity.

See­ing the com­mu­nity’s re­ac­tion to the show was some­thing that felt so new and also like it’d been a long time com­ing. Rarely do we get shows like Pose that gives our com­mu­nity an op­por­tu­nity to not only re­late, but also to learn about our his­tory. So many queer men I spoke to said they didn’t know gay men weren’t hav­ing trans women in their spa­ces. It’s a re­flec­tion of our com­mu­nity in the best and worst of what we are and have been. It’s also high time folks hear the sto­ries of the ball­room com­mu­nity – folks who have given so much to our main­stream cul­ture with­out recog­ni­tion. They’re get­ting their due, and to have not only our com­mu­nity ask­ing ques­tions, but the cis het­ero­sex­ual folks ask­ing ques­tions, that means so much.

The fu­ture.

My mom, who has been a de­vout Chris­tian and has never re­ally known much about the LGBTQ ex­pe­ri­ence, called me after Pose and asked what she could do to bet­ter help trans peo­ple in her line of work. This was ground­break­ing for me be­cause it opened up a di­a­logue that had never been there be­fore. That’s one of the rea­sons, to me, that this show is so in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant. To see queer folks on screen gives view­ers an op­por­tu­nity to em­pathize with their ex­pe­ri­ence and cre­ates di­a­logue. Art of­fers this op­por­tu­nity for hu­man­ity. Sto­ry­telling has al­ways in­di­cated so­ci­etal change, and see­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties it not only gives queer cre­atives, but what it does for the safety and re­spect of our en­tire com­mu­nity, is the fu­ture this show is work­ing for.

Queeroes.

I have to shout out a cou­ple pinch me mo­ments from my time on Pose. When Ryan Mur­phy gave me his stamp of ap­proval I had to take a seat and process it for a mo­ment. I’ve looked up to this man for years be­cause of his work and what he’s done for queer rep­re­sen­ta­tion. I’m still not over it. Hav­ing a scene part­ner and on­screen love like Billy Porter was all I could ask for. His gen­eros­ity was plen­ti­ful, and his tal­ent knows no lim­its. I’ve read Janet Mock’s work for years and I got to fall in love with her sto­ry­telling, but this time I was in her hands. Lastly, the day be­fore shoot­ing my first episode I got a mes­sage from Pose’s cre­ator Steven Canals telling me that he’d been fol­low­ing my work on so­cial me­dia for years and he was happy I was part of the pro­duc­tion. Read­ing that will al­ways mean more to me than I think he knows be­cause it val­i­dated me in the eyes of a fel­low queer per­son of colour, and also val­i­dated my hard work that led up to this amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity.

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