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Actress Angelica Ross, known for her role as Candy Ferocity in the hit show ”Pose,” openly shared her experiences being a Black trans woman, from first coming out to a disapproving mother, to being mistreated on the set of “Claws,” to addressing anti-Blackness in her romantic relationship and within herself.

Ross continues to be open and forthcoming. The actress recently discussed her fiancé, of eight years, asking her to hide her identity in order to preserve his ego. During a conversation with Sheryl Lee Ralph at the virtual ATX TV Festival, Ross explained the relationship ended because of her refusal to protect him.

“He was Italian, handsome and it would have maybe worked had I chosen to be stealth, live in his shadow and protect his image of being a straight male in the world or whatever.” Ross said, confirming women in the trans community end up accepting arrangements like this one, believing it can’t get any better.

“Even with the fact that he won’t really take you home to see his family or they honk outside the door and take him to dinner or … threaten your relationship all the time or whatever, this is the best it’s going to get.The audacity that I had to say that I deserve more and to love myself enough to leave that and bet on myself after years of having to figure it out.”

While Ross eventually chose herself, there was a time when she did hide her trans identity from the rest of the world. According to her, the existence was not a peaceful one.

“I was always terrified of being found out and so in my acting classes in college … I was just so nervous. My teachers didn’t know, no one knew because for my safety on campus.”

Ross realized that without being authentic in her real life, she would never be able to reach her full potential as an actress.

“I would never get to greatness hiding parts of myself in the sense that as an actor you need to be able to let go into the role and not be worried about what I look like, what I sound like. I am someone who is just breaking through, I’m just beginning … even though I’m 40 years old, you are seeing me just break the surface.”

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