ANGELICA ROSS | One on One
by Herb Sosa
When we last interviewed you in 2017, your life was very
different. How would you say it has changed the most?
My life’s work has always been the same. It has been a
mixture of community work and creative work, and since
2017, it has only intensified. In addition to my community
work intensifying, I have also been working harder than I
have ever worked in my entire life.
Update on TransTech Social? How has it helped the
Transgender community on a path of empowerment?
I continue to receive messages from TTSE members
thanking us for letters of recommendation that helped
them get a job, or connecting them to a mentor, or for
finding events and freelance job opportunities. We are
small, but mighty where it counts. I am incredibly proud
of the progress that so many of our members are making
in their careers, and we hope that TTSE continues to
grow so that we can help even more people.
Your role as Candy on POSE, and now nurse Rita on
AHS1984 are very visible and popular. How did these
opportunities come about?
There are many opportunities out there for us, and part
of the game is actually just showing up. As I’ve spoken
about before in interviews, I almost didn’t show up for
the POSE audition because I thought the role they were
offering wasn’t FOR me. They were casting for a Latinx
trans woman (Blanca) and that wasn’t me. I later realized
that they were building a community of Black and Latinx
trans folx, to reflect the fact that we’ve always been together
in the marches, and in community.
The role of Candy was created by the writers after meeting
me, and it began to grow because of how I showed up at
work, and how I delivered. American Horror Story is so
much fun, but it is also so much more work as a series
regular. Ryan knew I was ready and that I could handle
the twists, turns, and curveballs as an actor that come
along with being on the frightening rollercoaster ride that is American Horror Story.
Has this new level of success translated into new opportunities for you? How?
Yes, I am currently making moves and being brought into rooms and having conversations that I have always dreamt about, from being
included in Black Women Own the Conversation on the Oprah Winfrey Network, to hosting the LGBTQ+ Presidential Forum in Iowa, to
talking to motion picture studios who are now considering me for major films. I am truly living my dream. It feels good to be in demand.
What did you personally learn from the character Candy? And from your castmates and production family?
Candy and the cast of POSE gave me a true master class in realness. I learned how to be even more real than I already am. They taught
me how to honor my voice and my artistic expressions as real, unique, and valuable. Going forward into everything that I do, I carry Candy
with me, who sits like a little angel on my shoulder telling me, “Read that bitch.”
You are receiving a LEGENDS HONORS Award for your work as an advocate, community leader and fashionista from Unity
Coalition|Coalicion Unida in Miami. How does this make you feel?
It makes me feel great because we are FINALLY seeing how real and diverse and Black and Brown our community really is. Since my
days on the street with the girls, I have always felt supported and been in community with Black and Brown trans folx from across the
Diaspora. For over a decade, I have been on the ground doing movement work with pioneers like Bambi Salcedo and the Trans Latina
Coalition, and partnering with organizations like Prideline here in Miami to create access to opportunities through TransTech.
I lived in South Florida during one of the most challenging times in my life, and it was my trans Latina sisters who told me where to find
affordable implants in Ecuador and who spoke Spanish with my doctors and translated for me so that I would know what was going on.
They also told me when it was time to move on to bigger things, and they are STILL some of my biggest supporters. It genuinely feels
amazing when I win awards not only for TV or for film, but when I win awards from my community. These awards tell me that they are
proud of the work I’ve done and continue to do. That means as much to me as winning an Emmy, Oscar or any other accolade I could
What’s next for Miss Ross? In Love? Professionally?
I am currently grounding myself, trying to plant roots, preparing myself for the tornado that is my ever-growing career, and for the current
tumultuous political environment. I am centering myself so that I am prepared to lead where I am called.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
Recently I had the opportunity to be in the audience while TTSE member Aryah Lester was honored for her work in the community. It was
a clear example of what happens when you pour into a Black trans woman and then watch her pour her gifts right back into helping
others. She went from going couch-to-couch and being homeless to having a successful career, a great salary, and is now a sought-after
voice when it comes to cultural competency trainings for corporations.
“What I want people to see in Angelica Ross is…” ? ...a reflection of their own power and worth.
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