Film Forward

Get To Know The History-Making Transgender Cast Of Ryan Murphy's New Show 'Pose'

A big win for transgender actors of color.

One of the most prolific voices on television is certainly Ryan Murphy — who created hits such as Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story, and American Crime Story — but it's a new project that stands to make the biggest historical impact. Pose, an upcoming FX drama, has assembled the largest cast of transgender actors as series regulars than any other scripted show ever.

As Deadline reports, a six-month nationwide search helmed by casting director Alexa Fogel has resulted in five transgender actors being cast to play transgender characters. These noteworthy LGBT folks are Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, MJ Rodriguez, Angelica Ross, and Hailie Sahar. This group — which will certainly increase transgender representation on TV, especially for people of color — will be joining the likes of Dyllon Burnside, Billy Porter, and Ryan Jamaal Swain, and other yet-to-be-determined cast members.

Pose — which Murphy co-created with Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals — will take viewers into the New York City of the '80s, in what The Hollywood Reporter describes as "the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene, and the ball culture world." 

Murphy and Co. are working hard to ensure that Pose is as authentic as possible. They have enlisted influential transgender writers such as Our Lady J (who writes on Transparent) and Janet Mock (a New York Times best-selling author), as well as transgender activist director Silas Howard. To get ball culture correct, they have brought on consultants the likes of Michael Robertson, Twiggy Pucci Garçon, Hector Xtravaganza, Skylar King, and Sol Williams — people who are connected to or are within that world and know it best. Additionally, Leiomy Maldonado and Danielle Polanco will choreograph the ball scenes. And, with Murphy's own Half Initiative, emerging transgender directors will receive mentorship on the show.

Now that we know all about Pose, let's get to know these history-making transgender actors:

Dominique Jackson

Dominique Jackson appeared on the Oxygen reality TV series Strut, which focuses on the lives of transgender models.

Indya Moore

Indya Moore appeared in Saturday Church this year (alongside MJ Rodriguez).

MJ Rodriguez

You may remember MJ Rodriguez from roles in Nurse Jackie, The Carrie Diaries, and Luke Cage.

Angelica Ross

Angelica Ross recently had guest spots in both Claws and Transparent.

Hailie Sahar

Hailie Sahar is a newer talent, with a small role in Transparent thus far.

The ways we watch TV and movies have evolved, and it's time for the talent in front of and behind the camera to do the same. Film Forward speaks on the initiatives to diversify the film industry and the stories it tells. New articles premiere every second Thursday of — and throughout — the month.

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