Pose, FX’s new dance musical, is about being true to yourself in the face of adversity. And writer and producer Janet Mock is opening up to Variety about her own journey to becoming the first transgender woman of color to be hired as a writer on a television series.
In her guest column, Mock recalls her first meeting with creator Ryan Murphy and his pitch about a new series set in the New York City ball culture world of the 1980s. When Murphy asked if she was interested in joining the project, Mock responded with her own goal as an activist in the transgender community.
She writes: “’I want to tell stories and to create the mirrors that I didn’t have growing up,’ I told Murphy, who suddenly stood up. ‘I think you’re special,’ he said. ‘You should join us. It’s going to be fun.’”
Since that meeting Mock has moved from being a writer on Pose to producing and directing episodes.
“It’s an indescribable feeling to be on set sitting in a chair with my name on it, directing a script that I also wrote, watching these actresses, some of whom have never been on a set before, be given a chance to truly shine,” she writes.
As for Pose’s legacy, Mock hopes that the series will do more than just make history, which it has by featuring the largest cast of transgendered actors in series regular roles and the largest LGBTQ cast ever for a scripted series
“I want [Pose] to make people feel their way through our characters, whose experiences have for so long been othered, invisibilized and sidelined. Though my writing, producing and directing in this space may be deemed the first, I hope it won’t be the only – or the last,” writes Mock. “Our show is just a beginning – a catalyst that hopefully inspires others, who haven’t been reflected, to embark on creating their own mirrors.”
To read more about Mock’s activism work and her experience on Pose, read her entire guest column on Variety.