Courtesy of Haven

March 31, 2021

Indya Moore Opens Up With Cornell Students About Found Family and Overcoming Trauma Wounds

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With Haven’s Queer Month coming to a close, Indya Moore, activist and actress best known for their role as Angel on FX Golden Globe-nominated series Pose, virtually came to Cornell to discuss found family and the marginalization experienced by the Black trans community.   

Over the course of the event, Moore opened up about the lessons they learned from Pose. They said, “Family is a union of people who may share many or few things, but at the core, it is always the same: it must be true love. The queer and trans characters discovered each other through a union of dreams, they survived together and because of each other.”

When asked about the role that socioeconomic status played in the troubles faced by the characters in the show, Moore explained how closely class and identity really are. “The world dictates who gets to survive and who gets to thrive. However much is possible depends on our identities or how our bodies or identities are politicized. That assigns a class — and Black trans folks are/would have been at the very bottom of whatever classes exist.”  

Moore continued to elaborate on when this is seen in the show. One example is in the first season when the character Angel, a Black trans sex worker, gets to look into the world of a Wall Street executive. Another instance is when Blanca, another Black trans woman, is denied a drink at a gay bar that only serves cisgender white gay men. These serve as important examples of trans identity and classism throughout mainstream and LGBTQ+ society. 

Moore talked about how, despite the ways that Pose illustrates an ideal version of a found family, finding these dynamics is often more complicated than it appears in the show. They opened up about their personal experience, as “finding found family was difficult and scary, I frequently connected deeply with people who wanted from me their own desires and visions and left me out of mine… that makes it difficult to form trustworthy relationships with others.” 

With these experiences in mind, Moore revealed that their time on Pose gave them the tools they needed to look inwards and heal from their trauma. “Pose taught me to be more grateful. I remember wishing that I could do it over again with more gratitude… I allowed myself to be too traumatized to have gratitude and I thought that healing would take away my ability to act. Healing takes nothing away from you, it only contributes.”

An Evening with Indya Moore was organized by Haven as a part of Queer Month and was excellently moderated by Ximena Sanchez ’22 and Logan Gibbs-Porter ’24.

 The final season of Pose premieres on May 2nd on FX, and the first two seasons can be found on Netflix. Indya Moore can be found on Instagram @indyamoore.

Christina Ochoa is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]

Correction: this article was updated to reflect Moore’s preferred use of they/them pronouns. We apologize for any discomfort or problems this mistake may have caused.