ANGELICA ROSS WAS A COURAGEOUS HOST AT LGBTQ FORUM
By Awa Gueye
September 23, 2019
Transgender rights advocate, actress, and businesswoman Angelica Ross is a change-maker. Her accomplishments include impressive feats like becoming a self-taught computer coder as well as founding a company called TransTech Social Enterprises. For some of us, Ross entered our worlds with her hit show Pose. Most recently, she made history as the first trans woman to host a presidential forum.
The two-hour forum hosted by Ross began with a passionate demand for those who should be centered: Black Trans People. She remembered the lives of 19 trans women killed in 2019. All of these women with the exception of one was Black. She chanted the words “Black Trans Lives Matter” to the crowd to punctuate her message and make no mistake who this forum was about. This is the first forum since 2007 dedicated to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voters.
In a not so surprising but entirely disgusting turn of events, Ross’s refusal to participate in respectability politics has resulted in her being bullied online. After publicly condemning absent candidates from what should have been a mandatory forum, she has received a despicable storm of transphobic comments by supporters of Sanders and Trump alike. This has pushed her to take a leave of absence from her social media accounts.
Going to take a break from social media for a while and let me team run my accounts.
— Angelica Ross (@angelicaross) September 22, 2019
LGBTQ issues have often been left out of the conversation during presidential debates but no more. The urgency over LGBTQIA+ issues didn’t disappear after marriage equality, but has since intensified into a state of crisis. Our trans community needs us to hold our politicians accountable. We should all be part of the conversation to create real progress for a community in need. Moments like Ross’s forum force us to confront the fact that the work is just beginning.