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S01.E02 Access

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The larger point about gay men being bigoted towards trans people was obviously on target, but I did wonder if all those guys would really have been so chummy with the cop who showed up, given that relations between the NYPD and the gay community were not exactly great I the 1980s.

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“Q” also means “questioning” as in undecided or deciding but not labeling.  I love the good and bad acting.  I need to go back and watch Paris is Burning again.  It’s been a long time.  With all the potential plot points you all bring up, that leaves me at “c”...curious.  I want to slap JVD so I guess he’s doing a good job.

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12 hours ago, SeanC said:

The larger point about gay men being bigoted towards trans people was obviously on target, but I did wonder if all those guys would really have been so chummy with the cop who showed up, given that relations between the NYPD and the gay community were not exactly great I the 1980s.

That’s true- BUT white men of means (the clientele of that bar looked to be professional men) who conformed to traditional gendered behavior aren’t the gay people that are generally harassed by cops. ?

I could see a section of the NYPD being “ok” with covering and protecting that type of gay establishment. Especially if there were perks. 

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Man, I'm INTO this show.  Love the setting, era, subculture, and people.

Simple things we take for granted like cell phones, have an such an impact.

Blanca and Angel are my favorites.  From moment one, I found both compelling.

As usual with Ryan Murphy period shows, the music is ON. POINT.  Love it!

Blanca having her mother-son "talk" with sweet Damon was lovely to watch.  Damon isn't the strongest actor, but he certainly has a natural vulnerability.  I just want to hug him, keep him safe, and feed him good meals.

Ricky is super cute, but I'm a little concerned for inexperienced, innocent Damon.

Since we are aware of Blanca's diagnosis, I wonder what she's doing (if anything for treatment).  I don't recall AZT and the like being available until the 90s, so what treatments (if any) are available to trans woman without health insurance in the late 80s.  I worry about Blanca.  Her treatment at Boy Lounge made my blood boil and it is a great reminder of the lesson that people like to have someone to look down on. 

I adore Evan Peters from all his turns on AHS, and this is no different.  He's a creepy dick, and the continued juxtaposition of his kindness (the conversation with Angel about being a real woman was well done) and his utter dick-ishness (being jealous of other men watching Angel, living a double life, being fucking creepy) makes for good tv.  He had better not hurt Angel.  It occurred to me this episode that I'm probably just a little bit older than Stan's oldest child.  That's weird. LOL. 

The character painted with the broadest stroke is James Vander Beek's.  The guy is a Wolf of Wall Street, Donald Trump wannabe with all the garish me me me 80s excess to go with it.  I think that caricature is quick purposeful, and James is doing well with it.

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19 hours ago, TrininisaScorp said:

He had better not hurt Angel.

Or his wife, although that seems inevitable.  I suppose he's already depriving his family of the time, affection and money he lavishes on Angel.  Although others might compare him to a businessman who spends similar time and money on golf or another pricey hobby, the lying and transfer of affection (not to mention the future possibility of an STD), make this situation far different. 

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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On 6/17/2018 at 9:55 AM, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Or his wife, although that seems inevitable.  I suppose he's already depriving his family of the time, affection and money he lavishes on Angel.  Although others might compare him to a businessman who spends similar time and money on golf or another pricey hobby, the lying and transfer of affection (not to mention the future possibility of an STD), make this situation far different. 

I don’t want his wife to get hurt either. But I think people are more concerned about Angel being PHYSICALLY hurt or killed by him. His wife is in for a deal of emotional hurt and perhaps an STI (that’s the worst thing about cheating to me, exposing the partner that presumes you’re faithful with an STI); but I don’t think she’s in physical danger from her husband. (Unless she finds out and makes comments about his sexuality, I can see domestic violence in their future). 

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On 6/13/2018 at 9:44 AM, ClareWalks said:

I think it's one of those "we're reclaiming it" situations, it's probably been sometime in the last 10 years that it's become acceptable again (although like "gay," it can probably be used pejoratively by some folks depending on their tone and such).

Bit longer than that -- queer came into popular use by activists and academics in the late 80's/early 90's.  The field of queer theory took off in academia in the early 90's, the group Queer Nation was very visible and active nationally in the 90's, and the word just really exploded everywhere in non-straight world.

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I was cracking up at all of Pray Tell's reads and the insults between Blanca and Elektra. 

That's my favorite part of the show as well (aside from the competitions themselves). In many ways this show seems more of a "play" than a TV show. (I can believe Pray Tell's comments, but that "Rooti Tooti Fresh and Fruity" diss was straight out of a writer's mind. But I like it all the same.

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Lots of Ball-ing.  Always the highlight for me.

I encountered the refusal of service one fine evening in Manhattan when I lived there a very few years after this ep was set.  I was just wandering around Greeenwich and was super thirsty.  I walked, or tried to walk, into what happened to be a fiercely lesbian establishment.  They would not serve me.  They would not let me past the door.  I explained I was thoroughly parched and they ended up giving me a domestic beer to leave.  I've never forgotten the disdain and anger in the looks I was getting from the patrons.  It was almost as if I were wearing a swastika.   So...Blanca's plight was very real to me and it was very real - this definitely was part of the culture. 

Damon's naivete and yearning are fine.  For now.  The problem is that he will not be the ingenue for much longer.  Then, what?

I love Elektra and her Heath Ledger Joker-like need for "completion."   Charming the jail officer as she did was a moment.  All hail the Queen!  

I am not looking forward to the tugh consequences of some of the actions of these characters.  Thus far, it's pretty much been about ascendance and it has been great fun.  Uplifting.  It's gonna be tough watching decline.  

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15 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

Lots of Ball-ing.  Always the highlight for me.

I encountered the refusal of service one fine evening in Manhattan when I lived there a very few years after this ep was set.  I was just wandering around Greeenwich and was super thirsty.  I walked, or tried to walk, into what happened to be a fiercely lesbian establishment.  They would not serve me.  They would not let me past the door.  I explained I was thoroughly parched and they ended up giving me a domestic beer to leave.  I've never forgotten the disdain and anger in the looks I was getting from the patrons.  It was almost as if I were wearing a swastika.   So...Blanca's plight was very real to me and it was very real - this definitely was part of the culture. 

Damon's naivete and yearning are fine.  For now.  The problem is that he will not be the ingenue for much longer.  Then, what?

I love Elektra and her Heath Ledger Joker-like need for "completion."   Charming the jail officer as she did was a moment.  All hail the Queen!  

I am not looking forward to the tugh consequences of some of the actions of these characters.  Thus far, it's pretty much been about ascendance and it has been great fun.  Uplifting.  It's gonna be tough watching decline.  

I’m really sorry that happened to you. I hope that it no longer happens, wherever you live now.

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On 6/23/2018 at 9:04 PM, Lonesome Rhodes said:

 

I encountered the refusal of service one fine evening in Manhattan when I lived there a very few years after this ep was set.  I was just wandering around Greeenwich and was super thirsty.  I walked, or tried to walk, into what happened to be a fiercely lesbian establishment.  They would not serve me.  They would not let me past the door.  I explained I was thoroughly parched and they ended up giving me a domestic beer to leave.  I've never forgotten the disdain and anger in the looks I was getting from the patrons.  It was almost as if I were wearing a swastika.   So...Blanca's plight was very real to me and it was very real - this definitely was part of the culture. 

 

You don't say (or I missed) if you said you're a cis-man, but if so, what you experienced is very different from what Blanca experienced; more precisely, it was a very different power/social dynamic.  (If you're not, of course what I write next won't apply.  And either way, I'm sure that experience completely sucked; no one likes to be ostracized.) 

A women-only lesbian bar--especially in the late 80s--would have been a haven and a refuge from the patriarchal shitstorm of oppression and hassle lesbians faced everywhere else.  So if a man walked in--regardless of intent--it would be seen as a violation of the sanctity of that space they had carved for themselves.  Shorter version: "You have the entire world...why you need this bar, too, dude?" 

In contrast, the Boy Lounge patrons are punching down when they ostracize Blanca, a trans woman whom they perceive as lower status.  (And who, not incidentally, represents everything the "straight-acting" white gay boys have feared they'd be perceived as.  Internalized homophobia is a helluva drug.)  Not to put too fine a point on it, they expel Blanca because they want to banish that part of their identity.  And because her group is even less powerful and lower status than theirs, it's very different than a man walking into a lesbian bar, where the man is much more powerful.  IMHO.

Edited by Penman61
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Just started watching this because it's on Netflix.  It must be said....the actor/actress playing angel is absolutely gorgeous.  "Pretty" does her no justice.  She has like no bad angles....I can see why Stan is sprung.

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On 6/11/2018 at 12:19 PM, SnarkEnthusiast said:

The actress who plays Angel is so beautiful. Her and Blanca are the strongest actors imo. 

Damon is cute. He reminds me of a more boyish John Boyega.

Maybe it's because I'm 26 and never had a relationship myself, but I took Stan's speech in the diner at face value. I didn't get a closeted killer vibe from it but I'm also hugely naive to romance lol which is probably what they're going for with her longing to be validated in her gender identity. I didn't know Venus was murdered so I'm desperately hoping she's not the inspiration for her character arc. 😞

I'm just watching the show, but I think it's meant to be unclear if Stan is legit or if he turns into a murderer.

Everything about their first and second meeting made me scared for her, even though he didn't do anything.  The way he said he hates what is inside of him made me scared for her too.  I thought after she saw him at trump tower he might find her to kill her.  But then sometimes he seems so earnest and honest. I think the writers want to keep the audience on their toes.

angel is a treat to look at, and i say this as a straight woman.

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Ricky and Damon were so precious. It gave me all the wholesome and adorable feels. We need more young black gay men in happy couples in mainstream movies/TV.

Blanca's plotline felt heavyhanded. I would get it if she was new to the city but why is she arbitrarily challenging the system now?

When the other girl told him to go the place in Times Square I had forgotten it was the 80's...

OK, so Stan does see Angel as a woman. Good to know. Also, why do they insist on filming everything like he's going to do a murder? It makes me so nervous for Angel. Though before I knew he already had a family, I thought maybe they would make this into a fairytale where Stan was making so much money that he was able to take care of the cost of the operations and would then try to pass Angel off as his perfect Stepford wife. I think we're supposed to think he genuinely... well, not loves, but is interested in her in a sweet way. But all I can think about is he's definitely going to blow a lot of money he doesn't have making her a kept woman. They're telegraphing that plotline pretty hard.

Stan has weird standards. He doesn't want her in a Times Square sex shop but he was okay with her streetwalking? What did he think she was doing whenever he wasn't driving by? *eye roll*

I like the idea of realness as inhabiting all the roles mainstream society excludes them from.

Stan's "I'm no one" monologue just made him sound more Patrick Bateman-y. Angel, RUN, girl!

The actress who plays Elektra Abundance has a weird way of overenunciating. I don't think she's bad exactly. But it's like she's in Showgirls when everyone else is in Fame. She's undeniably fabulous though.

These episodes are way too long. 

Edited by aradia22
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Sad seeing the racism and trans-phobia that Blanca had to deal with so often, even within the LGBTQ community. I guess it shouldn't be surprising, as prejudice isnt limited to just straight white people (all groups of people have their issues and their assholes), but it always seems like people who have experienced hatred should know better on some level. But, as the other trans lady said, people at the bottom sometimes like to have people even further down the bottom to kick to make them feel better. I do hope this doesn't join the Ryan Murphy "all white gay men like me are shallow shits at best, horrible monsters at worst" theme that he got into in some of his other shows.

I saw it as a very easy "lesson." The kind of thing they would have had on Glee. Because it's a weird stand for Blanca to take all of a sudden and with no plan besides showing up all the time. But I think we're obviously supposed to see it from a 2019 perspective when drag culture is mainstream culture and transwomen are more celebrated (though of course there is still transphobia and I don't mean to downplay that). So, Blanca "wins" and all the gay white men who would have rejected her before would celebrate her now. 

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I loved that they approached that "white cisgender masculine" superiority that exists in the community... to this day.

Angel made a passing comment about mental disorder or something. I think there's also a sense that whichever group is the most "deviant" reflects badly on everyone else. I think marriage equality is wonderful but it was a battle that would be much more acceptable to mainstream heterosexual society than many others. Pop feminism flaunts the more attractive third wave feminists who openly discuss sex and tend to conform to many gender norms and still doesn't have much time for queer, fat, POC, trans, Marxist, etc. feminists. 

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I think all of the transwomen in the main cast are attractive, but I don't think that any of them can pass. Indya Moore has the most delicate facial features of all of them, but I don't think even she still couldn't pass. Her jaw is too square.

I think Angel totally passes. I would have a hard time clocking her if I didn't have a reason to suspect anything. I think Elektra passes too but as a handsome, mature woman. Sure, she's not exactly a natural beauty but... 80's. To me, Blanca doesn't pass but it may just be because I knew of MJ before watching this show. To use ANTM terms, they style her pretty naturally and I don't think she fits that catalog look but her face isn't odd enough for editorial. To the extent that she passes, I think it's due to her acting. As she tells Damon, she knows how to carry herself and how to behave. 

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On 6/17/2018 at 12:40 AM, TrininisaScorp said:

Man, I'm INTO this show.  Love the setting, era, subculture, and people.

Simple things we take for granted like cell phones, have an such an impact.

Blanca and Angel are my favorites.  From moment one, I found both compelling.

As usual with Ryan Murphy period shows, the music is ON. POINT.  Love it!

Blanca having her mother-son "talk" with sweet Damon was lovely to watch.  Damon isn't the strongest actor, but he certainly has a natural vulnerability.  I just want to hug him, keep him safe, and feed him good meals.

Ricky is super cute, but I'm a little concerned for inexperienced, innocent Damon.

Since we are aware of Blanca's diagnosis, I wonder what she's doing (if anything for treatment).  I don't recall AZT and the like being available until the 90s, so what treatments (if any) are available to trans woman without health insurance in the late 80s.  I worry about Blanca.  Her treatment at Boy Lounge made my blood boil and it is a great reminder of the lesson that people like to have someone to look down on. 

I adore Evan Peters from all his turns on AHS, and this is no different.  He's a creepy dick, and the continued juxtaposition of his kindness (the conversation with Angel about being a real woman was well done) and his utter dick-ishness (being jealous of other men watching Angel, living a double life, being fucking creepy) makes for good tv.  He had better not hurt Angel.  It occurred to me this episode that I'm probably just a little bit older than Stan's oldest child.  That's weird. LOL. 

The character painted with the broadest stroke is James Vander Beek's.  The guy is a Wolf of Wall Street, Donald Trump wannabe with all the garish me me me 80s excess to go with it.  I think that caricature is quick purposeful, and James is doing well with it.

AZT has been around since the late 80s, but it was used in much higher doses then, with awful side-effects.

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I do think all the characters (actresses, too) can “pass”,  or at least I don’t think of them as anything but women, except for the rare shot of a pronounced bicep. (And, of course, when the show reminds of me of the struggle and abuse they suffer.)

 But I tend to seek out anything with non-cis performers, and I really think my perception and brain have gone through a major shift in the ten years or so since I discovered RPDR. 

I’m not trying to pat myself on the back for being gender-blind or something like that, I think I just stopped subconsciously looking for “tells”, particularly in scripted dramas. 

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