By: Imani Brooks
FX’s Pose is a new popular tv show about the underground ball scene in New York City during the late ’80s and early ‘90s. While giving viewers a glimpse of the transgender social scene at the time, the Emmy nominated series tackles the complexities of the HIV/AIDS crisis through the storylines of numerous HIV+ characters. This human health element in Pose is necessary for a complete story of the transgender community as “in March 1989, 145 countries had reported 142,000 AIDS cases. However, the WHO estimated there were up to 400,000 cases worldwide.” The health crisis incidents rose in the late 1980s and peaked in the early 1990s–the timeline of Season 2.
In Season 2, the HIV diagnoses highlight the Act Up Movement, the medical industrial complex and pharmaceuticals as they relate to the fight against and awareness of HIV/AIDS. There are eye-opening scenes of mass graves for AIDS patients, protests, and antiretroviral treatment, or AZT. The show is taking a break right now, but Season 1 is available on Netflix and Season 2 can be streamed via FX’s website.