From politics to acting, Angelica Ross has covered it all! She stars in the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated show POSE while pressing potential democratic candidates for president on issues that face the LGBTQ community! This business woman knows just what it takes to jumpstart a dream and turn it into reality! We caught up with Miss Ross as she comes a whirlwind year of triumphs!
How does it feel to be honored as GV’s Person of the Year?!
“It honestly means a lot to me. I can’t express enough how much Atlanta is a part of a big vision I have for the LGBTQ community, especially the most vulnerable amongst us. I lived in midtown for a year but was quickly whisked away to work on “Pose: Season 2” and then right after that starting “American Horror Story: 1984” without even having a chance to stop back home in Atlanta.”
The success of FX’s “Pose” has allowed for trans women of color to be front and center in Hollywood. “Pose” was your breakthrough role on TV. You’re also starring in another Ryan Murphy television series, “American Horror Story: 1984.” How do you think 2019 has impacted your career in television and your future in Hollywood?
“2019 has helped me to show Hollywood that I’m more than a niche actor, I’m more than trans, or a Black sidekick. That I can be the “Final Girl.” I can do comedy or drama, scripted or improv, and I pride myself on being a team player and overall pleasant to work with. So, I feel like my work will speak for itself into 2020 and continue to open more doors for me and other trans and queer actors.”
What does 2020 hold for you on TV? Are movies in the future for you?
“You definitely haven’t seen the last of me on your TV.”
Shortly after we last spoke, you hosted the 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum on LGBTQ Issues. You’re the first openly transgeder person to host a forum in this capacity. What was it like to be face-to-face with the potential future president of the United States?
“I don’t think I can verbalize the magnitude of this moment. I was having an entirely different conversation with all of the candidates backstage and I guarantee you it was a lot more informing and interesting. The universe was having an entirely different conversation with me backstage that I have truly yet to process.”
What did you learn about those candidates and their dedication to the LGBTQ community and its most important issues?
“I believe that all of the democratic candidates had a basic level understanding of the needs of the LGBTQ community.”
How important do you think trans issues will play in the 2020 election? Did you feel a specific candidate doubled-down on their commitment to protect trans lives?
“I think it will be important for America to get a grip on it’s humanity and for that to be the focus of 2020 which includes trans people, immigrants (who also trans people), black lives (including black trans people). We are at the intersection of every single issue, and including us in this conversation will only benefit whoever becomes our democratic presidential candidate.”
We have to ask … who are you supporting for the 2020 democratic nomination? And if you’re up for telling us, why that candidate?
“I’m a bit torn, because the moment I say I’m for a candidate, much of the public translates that to mean that I’m against another candidate. The truth is, I’m for Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro and yes, even Bernie Sanders. But of those three, Elizabeth Warren is the one who has created an open line of communication with me that I believe would extend well into her presidency.”
Along with being an actress and trans rights activist, you’re also a powerful business woman, the founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises. Tell us how this roll has helped transgender people make strides in the tech industry?
“I think it was important to convey the power of data to the trans community. How to build undeniable skills and techniques that could override identity challenges when you’re simply the most qualified for the job. Giving trans folks an opportunity to display their talents across various industries and watching our community learn and grow together.”
Now for some fun! We hear you’re house hunting in the Atlanta area!! Can we expect to see Miss Ross out and about in the near future?!
“I close on my house in Atlanta in March! I’m looking forward to building relationships on all levels from Stacey Abrams team to local LGBTQ activist and organizations as well as the local SGI Buddhist organization.”
We hear your eager to move back! What makes Atlanta so special for you?
“I feel a deep, spiritual calling to plant roots in Atlanta and I’m just being obedient to the call. I feel there is a lot of undiscovered talent in the black and brown LGBTQ+ community in Atlanta and I also feel there are a lot of cis-heterosexual black celebs, governement officals, and executives with whom I can help to create intersectional bridges and pipelines to opportunities.”
Any chance of you working with powerhouse Tyler Perry since his studios are in the Atlanta area?
“It is on the top of my list for 2020 to work with Tyler Perry on a housing and internship program with TransTech.”
What’s your favorite part about the ATL?! Any favorite restaurants you’ve been to that our readers must check out?!
“I recently went to the Old Lady Gang restaurant. The food and the vibe were unmatched to anything I’ve ever experienced. You immediately felt like you were at a family function where everyone knew the songs and were encouraged to sing along, even the gay ones. Black joy singing and serving food. “Come on in close the door and feel the vibe.” we sang in unison. “We got macaroni and cheese, collard greens, some chicken inside. Can’t forget the cornbread talking shit with the old heads momma dancing to some Al Greenmy aunty join her and my daddy saying ‘go head’ while he shine up his pinky ring, don’t forget to close the screen. Come on in close the door and feel the vibe.” Pretty much play this song and you’ll feel what it’s like at OLG. (“Feel the Vibe” by BJ The Chicago Kid)”
We know you’re a sweetheart and with an incredible personality. What’s one quirky thing that you can share with our readers about what makes you, YOU!?
“I love hot snacks, and I’m not just talking men! I LOVE flaming hot Doritos or hot sauce on popcorn. I mean what can I say, some like it hot!”