We fell in love with Angelica Ross as the always-ready-with-a-clapback “Candy” on FX’s Pose, but it’ll be the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who will soon get a taste of the actress and activist’s charm and wit. This Friday, Sept. 20, Ross will host a national presidential candidate forum on LGBTQ+ issues at Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
As noted by The Gazette, which will present the forum in partnership with GLAAD, One Iowa and The Advocate, the event is the first of its kind to gather presidential contenders to specifically address LGBTQ+ issues. Additionally, Ross will be making history as the first transgender person to host a national candidate forum. According to Deadline, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Sestak, Elizabeth Warren, and Marianne Williamson are all confirmed to participate.
Notably absent from that list? Bernie Sanders, for whom Ross had some choice words on social media on Monday. It was later revealed that Sanders was already committed to appear at several HBCUs, a black barbershop and the Civil Rights Museum on Friday.
While Sanders will be conspicuously absent, Ross, who is next set to co-star in American Horror Story: 1984 was well chosen as the host of this historic event. As the deaths of black and brown transgender women continue to mount, Ross’ portrayal of Candy, who was tragically murdered this past season on Pose, highlighted the persistent dangers facing transgender women of color. In her off-screen life, Ross is also the founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, a training, co-working and advocacy organization providing trans and gender-nonconforming people with skills, support and job placement within safe environments.
The LGBTQ Presidential Forum will live stream on YouTube on Friday, September 20, at 8:00 p.m. ET.