Pose star Angelica Ross has revealed that she used to sleep in the office of a Chicago, US, firm she founded to help other trans folk.
Years before Ross played the sharp-tongued and boisterous Candy Ferocity on the FX show, she established and became the CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, an advocacy group that helps employ trans people in tech.
Speaking to Variety magazine during a virtual keynote conservation for the TransTech Summit, she said: “What people didn’t realise was when I had the office in Chicago for TransTech, when we closed, I worked late nights so that I could out-stay the security so that they didn’t know that I was sleeping in the office.
“And that when I would wake up in the office, I would go to the LA Fitness gym to take a shower and to get ready and change and come back and do these things.
“I sacrificed so much for myself to make TransTech a thing, but I did so knowing I was somebody who makes a bet knowing they’re going to win.”
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Trans folk are too often an afterthought in recruitment drives or treated as tokens – something Ross knows all too well, she said.
She founded TransTech in 2014 after teaching herself computer coding so she could give trans folk the support she lacked when she was younger. The company was designed to act almost as an incubator, where trans people are equipped and empowered with employable skills.
Embodying the resilience and ingenuity of her community, Ross said that whether it be through her work with TransTech Social or on television screens she hopes to spark hope among trans people.
After being discharged by the US Navy under the then in-force “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and being kicked out for being trans by her parents, she worked tables at restaurants and did escort and model work to get by.
“That’s the type of gambling that I want to encourage within my community, is betting on yourself in a way that you’re willing to eat ramen noodles,” she reflected during the summit, now in its sixth year.
“You’re willing to be in certain circumstances because you’re betting on yourself.
“You’re not going to have that return on investment right away, but this kind of return on investment, not saying that I’m living all that, because I’m not all where I want to be, but I’m calling the shots in my life.”