This is the character page for FX series "Pose." The spoilers on this page are unmarked, read at your own risk!
Blanca starts off the show with a life-changing diagnosis of HIV, and from there decides from there that she wants to live the rest of her life to the fullest. She leaves her mother Elektra's house and strikes out on her own. She is highly ambitious and caring and wants the best for everyone and herself, even as her own life expectancy starts to dwindle.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: She will help anyone in her community who needs help, even people like Elektra or Candy who are antagonistic towards her. When Elektra accidentally gets a client killed, she has to push Blanca away in order to prevent her from getting involved in the very-illegal disposal of the body.
- Determinator: Bolstered by her HIV diagnosis, Blanca is driven to leave her mark on the world.
- Empty Nest: At the end of "Revelations", Blanca finds herself bereft of her children, as Damon is hired for a job in Europe, while Angel confesses to doing cocaine and voluntarily leaves the House for violating its rules. Blanca is devastated over the loss.
- Ill Girl: Diagnosed with HIV at the beginning of the series, and despite her best efforts, it's ready to turn into full blown AIDS by the start of season 2.
- Education Mama: Fiercely pushed Damon to concentrate on trying out for the New School for Dance and later on when he starts to slack in his studies, she bans him from the balls to straighten up. This ends up paying off, as he graduates at the top of his class and lands a major gig in Europe.
- In season 2, it's revealed that she pushed Lil Papi to get his GED.
- Mama Bear: Blanca is fiercely protective of her children, to the point where she threw Lil Papi out for dealing for putting the rest of the house in danger. She wants to push her children to be the best people they can be.
- Never Accepted In Her Hometown: After her mother dies, Blanca goes back to visit for the funeral, earning her derision from her family who didn't accept her transition and almost gets her attacked by her brother. Her sister plays the Token Good Teammate of her family and tells her while Blanca's mother couldn't understand her transition, she still loved her very much.
- Stepford Smiler: Shows signs of this as her conditions worsens; she puts on a brave face for her house and her children.
- Tough Love: She forbids her children from working in prostitution or drug-dealing, and if one of her kids is in school, she will expect them to maintain their grades, even if she has to forbid them from competing in the balls so they can focus on their studies. That said, she genuinely loves her children and wants the best for them.
Pray Tell is the emcee of the balls. He's loud and vivacious and brings flair and energy to the balls. Outside of the balls, he's a fashion designer who cares for his friends (especially Blanca and House Evangelista) and community, even as his partner's life starts to fail due to AIDS and he gets his own bad news health-wise.
- Camp Gay: Even without his campy balls emcee behavior, Pray Tell is a fashion designer, well-groomed and sassy.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His stepfather was a pedophile who started molesting him when he was 12.
- Death Seeker: He's trying to overcome this tendency, and not be bogged down by HIV and possible death.
- Ill Boy: Discovers he has HIV after a test in season 1.
- Large Ham: As the ballroom emcee, as well as in his personal life, he is very campy.
- Sad Clown: His lover is dying of AIDS. He was diagnosed with the same disease. Despite this he tries to keep the energy up as emcee of the ballroom.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Pray Tell enjoys dressing up in his finery.
- Stepford Smiler: He puts up the front of being well kept together, as well ruling over the ballroom; his sadness over his lover's condition and subsequent death as well as his own HIV diagnosis is under the surface. Initially hides his diagnosis from his friends and Blanca and pretends everything is okay.
Elektra is the head of the House of Abundance, a dominant house on the ballroom scene. She rules her house with an iron fist and a sharp tongue and expects nothing less than excellence from them. She is also quite wealthy due to her sugar daddy, who loves her body. But Elektra wants to get gender reassignment surgery to complete her transition, something that could put her at odds with her benefactor — and on the streets.
- The Ace: She is the reigning queen of New York's ballroom scene.
- Bad Boss: Elektra jealously monitors her followers' movements, mocks and belittles any of them who show an independent streak, and steals any good ideas that they have and presents them as her own. This comes back to bite her in the ass in "Pink Slip"; when her money dries up, her children all abandon her.
- Break the Haughty: After being dumped by her sugar daddy, she briefly ends up homeless and working as a sex worker to make ends meet.
- Dominatrix: By the time of season 2, she has found her true calling as a professional domme, which not only suits her personality to a tee but also pays for her extensive material needs.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- While Elektra loves winning and can be ruthless in competition, she would never stoop to outright cheating. When Candy and Lulu try to win the Princess Ball by bullying Blanca into quitting, she brings down the wrath of god on them, scaring several of their children into defecting.
- She is genuinely shaken by the accidental death of her client Paul, and is even prepared to go to the police, and has to be talked out of it by Candy, who points out that even if she had nothing to do with the death, the police will still throw her in jail just for being a trans dominatrix.
- For all the abuses that she's willing to heap upon her children, she would never dream of taking sexual advantage of one of them. She is thus outraged when she learns that Pray had sex with Ricky.
- Foil: For Blanca. They're both very good at pushing their children to new heights and winning trophies at the balls, but while Blanca nurtures her children, Elektra uses intimidation and economic dependence to keep hers in line.
- It's All About Me: Takes the credit for every good thing anyone in her house accomplishes, even if it has nothing to do with her.
- Jerkass: She's mean, nasty and downright unpleasant at times, even to her own children.
- Large Ham: Most likely why she's great at what she does, she's showy, ostentatious and speaks in Purple Prose.
- Mama Bear: While she is often selfish and negligent towards her children, if anyone messes with her daughters, she will bring down the wrath of Elektra on them.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Towards the end of season 2, she starts making a real effort to repair her relationships with her daughters. She says that she didn't receive a farewell vision from Candy, and fears that it's because she drove Candy away, and she doesn't want to experience that again.
Angel was a part of the House of Abundance before leaving to join Blanca. Angel is also a sex worker when she isn't working the balls, a position that puts her in danger. However she meets one guy who's willing to do anything for her. Unfortunately, the romance and financial security doesn't outweigh her feeling like a dirty little secret.
- Ambiguously Christian: She has mentioned lighting candles for the orishas, suggesting that she was raised in the Santerian faith.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: In the first season, Angel works the piers, as well as the peep show booths, but she is a Nice Girl. In the second season, Blanca bans her from working the piers, instead pushing her into becoming a model.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Angel desires love and affection and being swept off her feet. Her fling with Stan fulfilled that need until she realized their worlds were just too different.
- Nice Girl: She's charming and friendly and is fiercely protective of her friends. Notably, she doesn't "read" other trans woman in the cast, and will often help other trans women who feel down about their appearance.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Angel is beautiful and can pass as a cisgender woman, something that can land her modeling gigs but also gets some envy from some ladies in the ballroom scene as well as her romantic drama with Stan and being taken advantage of by a photographer.
- We Used to Be Friends: She was very close to Candy before leaving the House of Abundance.
Damon Evangelista (nee Richards)
Damon was a homeless youth, kicked out of his house for being gay. When he was dancing for change, he was discovered by Blanca who immediately recruited him for the House of Evangelista. From there, he joins the New School for Dance for school and becomes a valuable asset for the House of Evangelista. While navigating the new world of the ballroom, he also learns to be responsible, believe in himself, and even fall in love.
- The Ace: At dancing; he's so good that he was let in the New School of Dance after the cutoff date. He also becomes the most successful of Blanca's children, landing a huge job in Paris.
- Gayngst: Downplayed; He is upset he was thrown out of his home by his dad but once in NYC and part of House of Evangelista, he fully embraces his sexuality and newfound freedom.
- Parental Abandonment: Starts off the series kicked out of his home for being gay by his parents.
- Token Wholesome: Being newly out of the closet compared to his siblings, he doesn't have a history of drugs or prostitution, and has only ever done legitimate work like teaching dancing.
Lil Papi Evangelista (nee Esteban Martinez)
Lil Papi was a homeless young hustler and dealer before being adopted to the Evangelistas. He tends to be rougher around the edges than the other Evangelistas, and frequently butts heads with his brothers, but is extremely loyal to Blanca.
- Bi the Way: He's into both cis and trans woman and by his own admission, he's been with some guys, indicating he may be pansexual.
- Big Brother Instinct: Mess with his family, and he will beat the crap out of you.
- FaceHeel Turn: Towards the end of season 1, he is kicked out of the Evangelistas and joins House of Ferocity, but it doesn't last.
- Not So Stoic: For all his tough-guy act, he breaks down crying when Blanca reveals that she has AIDS.
- Refuge in Audacity: In the second season finale, he talks Ms. Ford into hiring him as a manager, despite his lack of experience.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In season 2, he has grown extremely loyal to Blanca.
Ricky is Damon's boyfriend, and a professional dancer. He is one of the less reliable members of House of Evangelista, only staying loyal so that Blanca will allow him to continue seeing Damon. In season 2, Ricky dumps him and he immediately defects to the House of Wintour.
- Being Evil Sucks: In season 2, he defects to the House of Wintour, and quickly grows to regret it, as Elektra has no interest in his well-being.
- Bi the Way: He's definitely into Damon but has been seen flirting with the girls at the pier.
- Broken Ace: He's a great dancer and a strong competitor in "Face" categories, but he's needy and self-destructive. In season 2, he learns that he's HIV-positive.
- George Jetson Job Security: The House of Wintour only values him because he brings in professional-dancer money. Elektra makes it clear that the instant he stops getting callbacks, she will throw him out.
- Likes Older Men: He falls in love with Pray Tell, and ends up moving in with him.
- Sex for Solace: Ricky tends to use sex and intimacy as a crutch, he Really Gets Around and has sex with Pray Tell, to show affection towards him.
- Toxic Friend Influence: He dislikes condoms and frequently goads Damon into condomless sex. He's also on the receiving end of this from his rebound boyfriend, Chris, who's only interested in him for sex.
- Troubled, but Cute: He is very attractive and genuinely loves Damon, but he has a constant hunger for attention.
- Your Cheating Heart: In season 2, Damon finds out that Ricky cheated on him while on tour, and promptly dumps him.
Candy Ferocity (nee Johnson)
- Played by: Angelica Ross
The co-founder and co-Mother of the House of Ferocity. Like Blanca, Elektra, and Angel, she is a veteran of the House of Abundance. Unlike them, she lacks grace or diplomacy, and has a very bad temper that gets her into trouble in the balls.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Much of Candy's frustration comes from the fact that she's a "face" performer in a scene where almost everyone else excels in "body" categories.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Candy lashes out at the slightest provocation.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In "Never Felt Love Like This Before", the owner of the funeral house reveals that Candy had attended nearly every funeral for every AIDS-related death in the city.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Candy participates in categories she has no business being in, and often times misses the entire point of challenges, all the while taunting Pray Tell.
- Stupid Evil: Her temper tantrums often cost the House of Ferocity trophies that they might have won, because she forgets that as a House Mother, her behavior reflects on her children.
- We Used to Be Friends: She used to be close to Angel back when they were both in the House of Abundance, but once Angel defected to the House of Evangelista and Candy kept losing to her, Candy got bitter about it.
Lucinda "Lulu" Ferocity
- Played by: Hailie Sahar
A co-founder of the House of Ferocity, and its Mother. Like many of the other major female characters, she is a veteran of the House of Abundance, where she was Elektra's second-in-command.
- Ambiguously Bi: There are some implications that her feelings towards Candy were more than sisterly.
- Break the Haughty: For nearly all of the first season and part of the second, she is arrogant, secure in the belief that one day, she would become a House Mother, either by succeeding Elektra or starting her own House. In season 2, mounting financial difficulties and Candy's death quickly relegate her House to the bottom.
- Genius Ditz: She was planning to become an accountant before falling under Elektra's less-than-supportive influence. Blanca encourages her to make another go at it.
- The Starscream: Lulu was this when she was still in Abundance, constantly hoping that Elektra would fall so that she could take over.
- Took a Level in Kindness: For much of the first season and part of the second, she is antagonistic towards the Evangelistas. After Candy's death, she mends fences with Blanca.
Nurse Judy Kubrak
- Played by: Sandra Bernhard
Pray Tell's lesbian friend, and Blanca's physician. She moonlights as an AIDS activist.
- Badass Gay: Dedicated nurse by day, fierce advocate for poor AIDS patients by night.
- Deadpan Snarker: She has a wicked sense of gallows humor, which helps a lot when coping with the devastation wrought by the AIDS crisis.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: She runs a network that collects leftover drugs from wealthy AIDS patients and distributes it to the less fortunate. It's illegal as all hell, but it's the only way that lower-income patients like Blanca or Pray would have any access to AZT.
House of Evangelista
The protagonists' House, formed when Blanca Rodriguez quit the House of Abundance. The House has stricter rules than others; members are forbidden from engaging in sex work or drug dealing, and are expected to either attend school or look for legitimate work. These rules often limit the amount of money the House brings in, and can inhibit their ability to perform in balls, as sometimes members have work or school on ball nights. On the other hand, the House is one of the more stable and newcomers to the scene all know they can turn to Blanca and her children if they need help.
- Found Family: While all Houses are theoretically families, Blanca genuinely treats her children like they're her own flesh and blood.
- Recruited from the Gutter: Damon and Lil Papi were both homeless before Blanca found them. In the second season finale, Blanca finds Quincy and Chilly skulking around outside the ballroom.
House of Ferocity
A House formed by veterans of the House of Abundance after Elektra's downfall and later populated by some of their friends. They serve as Evangelista's new rivals in the final two episodes of season 1 and the first two episodes of season 2.
- Anti-Hero Team: They are fierce rivals of the House of Evangelista, and a constant thorn in Pray Tell's side, but when the community is under threat, the House of Ferocity does its part to help out.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Candy and Lulu dreamed of replacing the House of Abundance as the new Aristocrat Team, but Elektra humiliated them at the Princess Ball and they never really recovered. The fact that neither of them has the kind of money Elektra has didn't help.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Veronica.
- Cutting Corners: Much of the House's budget gets spent on clothing so that they can compete with the more established Houses, so their dinners consist of fare like popcorn and protein shakes.
- Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: They would have won the Princess Ball by sheer numbers if they hadn't resorted to trying to bully Blanca out of the competition. That brought down the wrath of Elektra on them, which caused Cubby and Lemar to defect.
- Full-Circle Revolution: Candy and Lulu swore that they wouldn't end up being as bad as Elektra was, but their House retained all the cruelty and meanness of the House of Abundance but with much less money. Lulu starts to reform the house after Candy's death.
- Ms. Red Ink: They're trying to run a full House on little more than stripping and hooking money. If they didn't shoplift, they would probably be in crippling debt.
- Stupid Evil: Candy and Lulu borrowed Elektra's management style, but they don't have her fashion sense or confidence, so they just end up being trashy and mean.
- Token Good Teammate: Aphrodite, which Elektra recognizes when she reads Lulu and Candy in the first season finale.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: While Lulu and Candy are co-mothers, they barely get along at the best of times.
House of Wintour
Elektra's new House in season 2. It is a dark mirror of House of Evangelista, being another team of people from outside the traditional ballroom scene, except that they're experts in their field.
- The Ace: Jazmine easily rivals Angel in face categories, Shadow can give Damon a run for his money in dance categories, and the House Mother is Elektra. This is a House that plays to win.
- Aristocrat Team: Bolstered by Elektra's money, Wintour is the new rich-kid House.
- Egopolis: The House only exists to glorify Elektra. The children are all profound sycophants.
- Token Minority: The House of Wintour is the only House in the New York ballroom scene that has a white girl (Tess) in its ranks.
House of Abundance
The former champions of the New York ballroom scene, and the former home of many of the series' major characters. Founded by Elektra, it was notorious for bold actions and ruthless dominance of the ballroom scene.
- Aristocrat Team: Played with; On the surface, Abundance seemed to have a lot of money, but nearly all of it came from Elektra's sugar daddy. When he dumped her, the House collapsed almost immediately and its children nearly ended up homeless.
- Deadly Decadent Court: Elektra jealously monitored her children's actions and crushed any ambitions that might have driven them to leave her control.
House of Pendavis
One of the older Houses in New York's ballroom scene, based on the real-life House of Pendavis.
- Hero of Another Story: Pendavis is a famed real-life House with a history dating back to 1960, but its members do not play a large role in this series.
- Hufflepuff House: While it is one of the historical Houses featured in the series (along with Mugler, Xtravaganza, and Ebony), its members don't really get much attention in the series until the second season finale, when Kiki is a major contender for Mother of the Year.
- Played by: Patti LuPone
A wealthy real-estate mogul, and Blanca's new landlord in season 2.
- The Beard: Her ex-husband was a closeted gay man.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In "Love's in Need of Love Today", Frederica attends the AIDS benefit and performs a song, and even takes Blanca out to dinner afterwards, having supposedly decided to help her. It's all a ploy to keep Blanca away from her nail salon while her crew guts the space and changes the locks.
- The Expy: Of Leona Helmsley, a female real estate investor known for her rude, domineering personality and underhanded business tactics
- Heteronormative Crusader: She attempts to evict Blanca after learning that she's a trans woman.
- Karma Houdini: Subverted; While she initially gets away with burning down Blanca's nail salon, she gets arrested in the second season finale and is facing a five-year sentence because the fire injured some of the firemen.
- Oh, Crap!: A subdued but quite satisfying case; upon seeing the city's entire gay community has mobilized against her after forcing Blanca out of the salon, she gives a quiet "Shit!"
- Some of My Best Friends Are X: When Blanca accuses her of being a homophobe, she claims that she does actually know some gay people.
- Terms of Endangerment: She's fond of using affectionate terms towards Blanca despite hating her.
- Villain with Good Publicity: She's a glorified slumlord whose fortune was built on alimony from her closeted ex-husband, but she's charismatic enough that she manages to pass herself off as a self-made entrepreneur.
- Played by: Austin Scott
A hunky med student who works as a lifeguard during the summer, and Blanca's love interest towards the end of season 2.
- Played by: Trudie Styler
A modeling agent, and Angel's manager in season 2.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Her agency generally doesn't hire poor brown-skinned trans girls like Angel, but she chooses to take a chance on Angel because she realizes that she's different from most of the models they hire. In the season finale, she is forced to drop Angel after word gets out that she's a trans woman, but she gets around it by hiring Lil Papi.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: After word spreads about Angel being a trans woman, Ms. Ford tries to save her by insisting that it's a lie. When that fails and she is forced to drop Angel as a client, she hires Lil Papi, who becomes Angel's new agent.
Stan and Patty Bowes
A young married couple who appear in season 1. Stan is an employee at the Trump Organization who becomes infatuated with Angel after seeing her at the docks. Patty is his wife who dislikes the kind of person Stan is becoming.
- Empty Shell: Stan sees himself as this - believing in nothing, standing for nothing. He says part of why he's drawn to Angel is because of how unflinchingly real she is. After Patty finds out and asks him point blank what he wants from the situation, he breaks down in tears and admits he has no idea.
- Ms. Red Ink: Inverted; Patty is horrified by how much money Stan is spending trying to emulate his wealthy co-workers.
- Trans Equals Gay: Stan's fling with Angel causes Patty to ask him if he is gay.
Helena St. Rogers
- Played by: Charlayne Woodard
Damon's instructor at the New School of Dance. A classically-trained ballet dancer, she does not approve of the ballroom scene, causing some tension with Blanca when the balls conflict with Damon's studies.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In the first season, she and Blanca butt heads over the amount of time Damon is spending competing in the balls, as Helena doesn't see the balls as real dancing and thinks they're distracting Damon from his schoolwork, but she softens her attitude considerably when she realizes how quickly Damon is surpassing his classmates.
- Played by: James Van Der Beek
Stan Bowes' boss at the Trump Organization, and the closest thing the first season has to an antagonist.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He regularly abuses his position to harass his female subordinates, and doesn't bat an eye at raiding the company's funds to give Stan an advance to cover up his extramarital affair.
- Green-Eyed Monster: When Stan made a well-received independent suggestion in a meeting, Matt's reaction was to try and sleep with Stan's wife and reveal his infidelity.
- Hate Sink: Matt is a greedy, rude, misogynistic, casually racist kingpin boss who spends most of his screentime either scheming to undermine Stan out of pure jealousy or sexually harassing every woman he comes into contact with. He's essentially a personification of everything undesirable and loathsome about The 80s.
- Jerkass: He's a racist and a sexist, and if he has any redeeming qualities, they're not in evidence.
- Played by: Christopher Meloni
Elektra's sugar daddy in the first season, and the source of the House of Abundance's money. A wealthy man with a taste for pre-op trans women, he funds Elektra's pursuits as long as she continues to be his sex object. When she undergoes GRS, he immediately dumps her and bans her from his penthouse.
- Transgender Fetishization: He only values Elektra as a "girl with something extra" and openly tells her that he'll dump her if she gets gender-reassignment surgery.