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S01.E06: Love Is the Message


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(edited)

The show is so uneven. I loved that Pray Tell was featured this episode. Billy Porter was outstanding. I loved Pray and Blanca singing Home. I loved the soundtrack. Yeah, I am dating myself, but Diana Ross' I'm Coming Out and Whitesnake's Is This Love made relive my teenage years.

I was surprised by Patti/Angel/Stan. Angel showed some self-awareness. Patti stood strong and didn't cower. She didn't back down when she demanded her doctor test her or in the confrontation with Stan. He broke down, but going to Angel showed that he is finally questioning his sexuality.

James Van Beek's character is so repulsive. It is like watching Dawson's Creek twenty years later. He is exactly who I would expect a grown up Dawson to be.

ETA: Whitney Houston's You Give Good Love.

Edited by SimoneS
  • Love 12
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Things I enjoyed about this episode:

1. Both Patty and Angel were allowed to keep their dignity. Patty got herself tested, went to therapy, talked to Stan like a grownup. Two points for Patty!!

2. Pray Tell got a chance to mourn his boyfriend and embrace the life he has left. 

3. Darius, the guy hitting on Blanca was CUTE. Very cute. She should hit that and send him on his way (protected of course after she disclosed her status). 

  • Love 16
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Pray Tell and Blanca had me looking for kleenex when they were singing Home. 

I love the Patty/Angel/Stan storyline.

I loved Papi finally winning a trophy, but I fear for him in next week's previews.  Please don't let him fuck up!

7 minutes ago, Scarlett45 said:

3. Darius, the guy hitting on Blanca was CUTE. Very cute. She should hit that and send him on his way (protected of course after she disclosed her status). 

Yeah, she should have just hit that one time.

  • Love 10
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12 minutes ago, Scarlett45 said:

3. Darius, the guy hitting on Blanca was CUTE. Very cute. She should hit that and send him on his way (protected of course after she disclosed her status). 

Of course she would have to disclose, but I feel like once she did, word would get around and she would be viewed differently. 

  • Love 12
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1 minute ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Of course she would have to disclose, but I feel like once she did, word would get around and she would be viewed differently. 

Yeah I can see what you mean. 

  • Love 5
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Oh! This episode!

I boo-hoo cried--- the ugly cry, ya'll!--- then I sang out loud & danced in my living room! Repeat, & repeat again. In this series, the music & the portrayal of that cold, unknowing fear when the AIDS crisis first began & the horrible way sick people were treated (I'm a straight Black woman & I was a teenager then, but I remember it well... ?) are stand out.

In between crying & singing, I clutched my pearls when Angel & The Wife had their talk. Lawd... The fist fight rang false to me. Never been in one myself (Omg. Not the *face!*) but, from what I've heard, once you punch someone in the nose like dat, it's a wrap.

Anybody know the name of that beautiful song Pray first sang at the benefit? Oh, my!!! ? The rendition of Home was soo beautiful... I dunno if I can forgive the show for getting it stuck in my head again...

  • Love 8
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(edited)

I was holding my breath the entire time Angel was walking to her job at the end of the episode because I fully thought she was going to be attacked or something. I'm glad it didn't go that direction. And something about the red lighting on Stan's face and the way they were looking at each other was like, "Huh, in their own ways, they are each other's peep show."

Also I love that even though some characters aren't total focus in the episode, you'll see them pop up. I loved all of Elektra grooving to "Love is the Message" as well as calling Blanca a brick had mad me cackling. I like that in an episode with so much sorrow they still managed to get laughs in there.

Edited by BloggerAloud
  • Love 16
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(edited)

I wanted to love this ep, but I just don't.

I very much liked seeing Pray Tell blow up at Blanca's.  Yet I could not get past the even-handed reactions from that gathering.   It takes a lot of maturity to raise shields against diatribes like Pray Tell's - to not internalize the vitriol.  They sat there like past masters from academia.  They are fragile lambs and they just took it?  A very false note, for me.

Stan is one f-ed up dude.  Whoa.  That was some scary stuff on the couch.  That therapist's ass is on the line.  If Stan does anything and Patty lives to tell about it, she is fully vulnerable to liability.

I liked the vibe of the Patty/Angel talk.  Each were open and vulnerable to the other.  I just wish I could accept Angel as being that aware.  Still, that mutual vulnerability throughout the encounter is rare in TV and this was very well played.

The cabaret show was incredibly sad and morose.  I was watching the patients.  Oh, man.  They tried to get into the magnificent singing and to have a moment of uplift.  They could only be dying lumps.  Man.  

Edited by Lonesome Rhodes
  • Love 5
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(edited)

I cant believe I almost slept on this show. Tonight's episode was amazing and both it and Billy Porter deserve an Emmy nom.  I'm 35 and was just a infant/toddler during the worst of the crisis, so I love that the show is teaching my generation what it was really like and what folks really went through. I feel for those in Pray Tell's generation that had to live with the idea that HIV/AIDs would kill every one off before the disease became manageable. I was privileged enough to really come of age in the mid-to-late 90s when information, treatment, and resources were available almost everywhere. I think this is a really important show for  both straight and LGBTQ youth to learn from. 

I also love that Stan isn't blaming Angel for his marital problems. I was so afraid that he was going to attack her. I am glad hes exploring his sexuality.

Edited by AgentRXS
  • Love 12
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(edited)
3 hours ago, NowVoyager said:

Anybody know the name of that beautiful song Pray first sang at the benefit?

It's called 'For All We Know.'

It's an old standard recorded by everyone from Nat King Cole and Dinah Washington to Crystal Gayle and Donny Hathaway.

Edited by Dee
  • Love 2
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1 hour ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

Stan is one f-ed up dude.  Whoa.  That was some scary stuff on the couch.  That therapist's ass is on the line.  If Stan does anything and Patty lives to tell about it, she is fully vulnerable to liability.

Did I miss him threatening her?   All I remember is him getting upset when Patty told him that she was going to tell the kids he was on a business trip until she's ready to let him see him--so basically telling him he can't see their kids because of his affair.  And while I get why she might feel that way, I can see why Stan would be upset about it.

The songs they chose for the cabaret, while well performed, were kind of slow and sad.  Not exactly the pep Pray Tell was hoping to bring to the ward. 

  • Love 11
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3 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

Did I miss him threatening her?   All I remember is him getting upset when Patty told him that she was going to tell the kids he was on a business trip until she's ready to let him see him--so basically telling him he can't see their kids because of his affair.  And while I get why she might feel that way, I can see why Stan would be upset about it.

Agreed. I didn't think that Stan came off threatening at all. I thought Stan's devastation and anger at Patti forbidding him from seeing his kids was more than understandable. He should have been angry at himself, but I did like him punching Matt even though he got beat up. Matt is such an asshole. I wonder what his co-workers think about him? He will probably be their boss in a couple of years. 

  • Love 7
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Count me in as not thinking Stan is threatening to Patty.  I thought Stan was right that he was being set up by the therapist and Patty, and he handled it as best he could.  If it had been me, I would have gotten up and left.   

I like how the show is showing Candy and some of the other ladies more.  I can't remember the name of the really pretty one who had the talk with Elektra about the surgery, but I'd like to see more of her.

Ricky is growing on me and I'm glad he got his trophy too!

  • Love 3
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I was in choir in high school and we used to visit nursing homes. Every year when we sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," people would start sobbing. I was so used to singing that song from when I was a little kid that I never stopped to think about the lyrics. It was only after people kept crying that I realized singing a song with lyrics like "through the years we all will be together if the fates allow" to people who are stuck in any kind of place where you can't be home with your friends and family for Christmas is a recipe for sobbing. Depending on your situation, a song with lyrics that are usually interpreted as positive can be made sad, which is why my reaction to both Pray Tell's and Blanca's song choices was DAMN IT, YOU GUYS. Are you trying to get all of these AIDS patients to have a cathartic cry? There's no way they could have possibly thought that "For All We Know" and "Home" would cheer up dying sick people.

I understand why Patty wanted to tell Stan everything in front of her therapist. Telling your husband (1) you know he cheated on you (2) you talked to his mistress (3) who is a prostitute and (4) transsexual so (5) you want him to move out (6) but continue to pay the bills is A LOT of information, a lot of change, and potentially a lot of anger/confrontation. Having that conversation in a neutral location aka not at home (and without your kids around) with a third party present probably made her feel a lot safer. She had no idea how he would react to that conversation and frankly, she probably feels like she doesn't know him or how he will react. I mean, she probably never expected him to cheat on her or rent an apartment for his mistress so at this point she doesn't know who he is or what he's capable of. I don't know how realistic it is that all three of them are being very mature and self aware with each other about this now that it's all out in the open, but I appreciate that it isn't all yelling and crying and blaming each other.

Poor Pray Tell. Heh and realistically, I think you should get more than a day to cry/mourn when someone you love dies so Costas making him promise to get it all out of his system in one day seemed a bit much. The last thing i would want is my loved one feeling guilty for breaking a promise like that by crying more than a day. You can still do the "promise me that you'll move on and find love again" without puting such a strict time limit on crying!

  • Love 22
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11 hours ago, eejm said:

So much goodness tonight.  

I loved Pray Tell finding some peace with losing Costas and coming to terms with how he wants to live the rest of his life in light of his HIV.  (I hope Pray Tell and Blanca can hang on until drug cocktails come about in the 1990s!)

I loved Patty finding her voice and starting to find her way as an individual in light of Stan's deception.

I loved Stan standing up to Matt, because Matt is a gigantic dickface who needs comeuppance.

I loved Angel's speech to Patty about knowing who exactly who she is - and that she doesn't need to "prove it."

I loved Blanca seeing herself as a desirable woman again, definitely not desperate enough to slum it with a player like Darius.

I loved Papi finally winning a trophy, and a grand prize at that!  (I just love Papi, even though he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.)

And look!  Sandra Bernhard cameo!

I didn’t realize that that was Sandra Bernhard until she said, “thrush.” Then suddenly I thought, “Hey! I know that voice!”

  • Love 2
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49 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I understand why Patty wanted to tell Stan everything in front of her therapist.

I understand that, too, but Patty had already had sessions with the therapist without Stan's knowledge, so I can understand why he thought he was blindsided.  He probably thought that he was only there to hear what she and the therapist had already discussed and basically decided his fate.      

  • Love 5
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9 hours ago, BloggerAloud said:

I was holding my breath the entire time Angel was walking to her job at the end of the episode because I fully thought she was going to be attacked or something. I'm glad it didn't go that direction. And something about the red lighting on Stan's face and the way they were looking at each other was like, "Huh, in their own ways, they are each other's peep show."

Also I love that even though some characters aren't total focus in the episode, you'll see them pop up. I loved all of Elektra grooving to "Love is the Message" as well as calling Blanca a brick had mad me cackling. I like that in an episode with so much sorrow they still managed to get laughs in there.

I’m confused. I thought Blanca and Elektra reconciled in Mother’s Day. And Elektra wanted to redeem herself in general as a nurturing, caring mother?

  • Love 4
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Based on previews for next week--the plot is definitely going to take a turn. 

I feel like something bad will be brewing with Stan & Angel soon after he loses his job and fears that everyone will know that he is with a transexual. I was fearful for Angel when she was entering the sex shop because I felt Stan was going to attach her. 

I'm glad that for this next episode Papi will have a story on him as in previous episodes they have not shown his character much doing anything to bring him into the spotlight.

  • Love 5
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9 minutes ago, hoodooznoodooz said:

I’m confused. I thought Blanca and Elektra reconciled in Mother’s Day. And Elektra wanted to redeem herself in general as a nurturing, caring mother?

Initially I was confused as well, but then I began to think that friendly insults are just their way of communicating with each other.  We used to call it "playing the dozens."

  • Love 18
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7 minutes ago, hoodooznoodooz said:

I’m confused. I thought Blanca and Elektra reconciled in Mother’s Day. And Elektra wanted to redeem herself in general as a nurturing, caring mother?

I was wondering the same as well. It's like they have a love/hate relationship & in competition with each other. 

37 minutes ago, hoodooznoodooz said:

I didn’t realize that that was Sandra Bernhard until she said, “thrush.” Then suddenly I thought, “Hey! I know that voice!”

It was so nice to see Bernhard in POSE. Her character seems fun & caring.

  • Love 5
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9 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

Did I miss him threatening her? 

Nope.

The problem for the therapist is that Stan was broken thanks to her prompting.  She did not recognize how tightly wound he was, and she negligently urged him to go to a very, very, dark place.  We've already seen what can result.  That's just the beginning.  Stan is capable of most anything at this point.

Take a good look at him in the preview.  He could be the poster boy of one about to go postal.  

  • Love 3
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(edited)

Poor Pray, what a heartbreaking episode. Him clearly falling apart at the Ball, lashing out at the kids and Blanca, was so hard to watch, but I loved how things went with him in the hospital, trying to bring some happiness to the lives of his boyfriend and the other AIDS patients. Its nice that they got an emotional, caring moment before death. I also thought the guy who played Costas was really good, even in a few scenes. Even though he was clearly playing a person basically hours from death, he still played his emotional scenes with Pray really well, especially when he was asking him to move on when he died. It was also a nice showcase for Blanca and her voice. I love Prays friendship with Blanca, its so sweet and supportive. 

I am surprisingly into the Patty/Stan/Angel stuff, even though the stuff at the Ball and with everyone there is still my favorite. Its cool seeing Patty coming to terms with her crappy marriage, and I like that she clearly didnt really blame Angel for her marriage falling apart. I have no idea what to make of Stan. He clearly has some anger issues, but its hard to tell if he will actually become dangerous, or will just become more of an asshole. 

Happy that Papi and Ricki both managed to get trophies, especially Papi, who never seems to get a win. I have a soft spot for the guy, even if he isnt exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. And I like seeing the other Ball gooers more, even in minor scenes throughout the episode. It makes the world of the show seem more real and lived in. 

For all the 80s nostalgia all over the place in media right now, I think its important to remember the sad, messed up parts, and not just the campy music, neon outfits, and little kids riding bikes. 

Edited by tennisgurl
  • Love 15
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This episode was so good; tragic & beautiful, with hints of danger... The music this entire series really resonates with me. Can't get this song out of my head:

Watch "Stephanie Mills - Home" on YouTube

  • Love 1
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13 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

They are fragile lambs and they just took it?  A very false note, for me.

I wouldn't consider any of them, other than maybe Damon, to be all that fragile. I mean, Blanca and Angel dealt with Elektra's rude ass for years and had survived the ball scene for some period of time so they would be a lot more jaded about the world than just young things.

  • Love 7
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15 minutes ago, BloggerAloud said:

I wouldn't consider any of them, other than maybe Damon, to be all that fragile. I mean, Blanca and Angel dealt with Elektra's rude ass for years and had survived the ball scene for some period of time so they would be a lot more jaded about the world than just young things.

In terms of basic survival, they are fierce, fo sho.

But, it's built on a house of anxiety and shame.  Pray was an exemplar of strength and savvy and they had let him in, emotionally speaking.  Here he was being reduced right in front of their eyes.  This one person of hope was being destroyed - like most everyone and every good thing they have known.

And like a child who has suffered abuse at the hands of a lousy parent (Pray is not an buser, but the principle is the same), they can out up all manner of shields, but there is something abut that dynamic that whatever lies and hatred being spewed get internalized nonetheless.  It is so very sad and twisted. 

To me, everyone in the room, Blanca included, were helpless to truly deflect or dismiss those words the wounded Pray was spewing.  I am convinced they would hit home.  Those folks simply never had a real chance to develop the armour necessary to healthily or well cope.  This is definitely, however, a YMMV.  No question.     

  • Love 2
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I don't think Stan's violence necessarily means he'll go after Angel. He wasn't menacing Patty or the therapist, just upset that his kids were being taken from him, embarrassed to be caught, and taken aback that a supposed doctor's appointment turned into a biased interrogation about his infidelity and sexuality. His boss needed an ass kicking three weeks ago and quite possibly has the much punchable face of 1987, so that gets a pass for me.

Not sure where the narrative itself stands on the "is Stan gay" debate. He was so confident with Angel that he was straight, and while I understand why others assume he's gay and the lack of trans awareness in the 80s, he seems to be crumbling more with each suspicion and I don't really want the story to endorse the "sex with trans women as gay denial" stereotype.

Oh hey, Candy's beefcake is Laith Ashley from Strut! What a sexy man. Eye candy for sure, I hope they have a subplot.

  • Love 7
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I think one of the reasons that the kids didn’t lash back at Pray Tell at dinner is that in the previous conversation they had about confronting him, one of them (Damon?) mentioned that he had been acting strangely since they went for the HIV results. They are young but I think they were all smart enough to realize the possible implications: (1) he lied and has the virus (2) his boyfriend is already in the hospital with AIDS so he could still test positive later (3) he’s freaking out about the massive effect HIV is having on their community, particularly when he’s at the balls because anyone there could already have it or may have it in the future. The kids knew this wasn’t just a bad mood but that he was clearly going through something.

The other thing is that some (or all) of them came from families that didn’t accept them and there may have been some violence there. When confronted directly as Pray Tell did at dinner, sometimes abuse victims freeze or go silent. One person I known goes very still any time there’s yelling. 

  • Love 11
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45 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I think one of the reasons that the kids didn’t lash back at Pray Tell at dinner is that in the previous conversation they had about confronting him, one of them (Damon?) mentioned that he had been acting strangely since they went for the HIV results. They are young but I think they were all smart enough to realize the possible implications: (1) he lied and has the virus (2) his boyfriend is already in the hospital with AIDS so he could still test positive later (3) he’s freaking out about the massive effect HIV is having on their community, particularly when he’s at the balls because anyone there could already have it or may have it in the future. The kids knew this wasn’t just a bad mood but that he was clearly going through something.

The other thing is that some (or all) of them came from families that didn’t accept them and there may have been some violence there. When confronted directly as Pray Tell did at dinner, sometimes abuse victims freeze or go silent. One person I known goes very still any time there’s yelling. 

I agree with all this. The kids are young but they aren’t stupid. Plus they are secure that Blanca and Pray Tell really love them, they know his lash out wasn’t about them. Best to give him space. 

  • Love 11
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Why do I put myself through this every week?  I am just a regular woman who lived through the AIDS years.  I lost four people I knew, young beautiful men and I just cry and cry and cry remembering them and missing them.

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19 hours ago, SimoneS said:

I just re-watched Pray and Blanca's duet of Home. It is soo good and meaningful. The show should release it on streaming.

They did release it right after the show aired.  I bought both songs and have been listening to them continuously.

  • Love 1
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On a light note. Did anyone recognize Jiggly Caliente working in the dress shop?

Loved this episode. I did the ugly cry too.  I was a nurse in my late 20s when the aids crisis began.   I remember the death sentence these people received.  I also remember the bias by the hospital staff towards them.

  • Love 9
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15 minutes ago, howiveaddict said:

On a light note. Did anyone recognize Jiggly Caliente working in the dress shop?

Loved this episode. I did the ugly cry too.  I was a nurse in my late 20s when the aids crisis began.   I remember the death sentence these people received.  I also remember the bias by the hospital staff towards them.

No I didn’t. Who’s that?

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Noticed that was Jiggly right away. 

 

Damn, I am wrung out. Pray made me cry, then Pray AND Blanca made me cry, then Costas made me cry, then Pray and Costas made me cry. Pray & Blanca sure can sing. 

  • Love 6
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Agree that the song choices were wrong if the point was to cheer the patients up. That said, the singing was gorgeous.

Aw, Lil Papi won a category. I love him too. I’m scared by next week’s preview.

Blanca is Mother of the Year already because she takes care of her family. I just love her. ?

  • Love 8
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13 hours ago, howiveaddict said:

On a light note. Did anyone recognize Jiggly Caliente working in the dress shop?

I thought that was her...and I tried to watch the credits but either they used her real name (which I don't know) or I missed it because THE CREDITS ARE JUST TOO DAMN SMALL for these old (tear-filled) eyes of mine!  I figured someone here would let me know and you did!  Thanks!!!!

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Darius a word of advice: unless you ARE 1980s LL Cool J, please do not dress like him.   I was thinking "either he really is that cool or he's a player...looks like he's a player!" 

I think the Patty and Angel scene was a great one: both still managed to keep some dignity intact and Patty did everything she needed and had to do before confronting Stan and laying down the ground rules.  

Billy Porter has a stunning voice.  However, that cabaret was depressing.  If that was supposed to give them a bit of brightness to the time they had left, then they failed.  At least his lover told him "Look, cry for me for exactly one day.  Then go out and live your best life while you still can."  

I do have some issues on how heavy handed the show can be to the point I'm ducking anvils, but damn, the soundtrack continues to make me happy. 

  • Love 11
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5 hours ago, Red Bridey said:

I thought that was her...and I tried to watch the credits but either they used her real name (which I don't know) or I missed it because THE CREDITS ARE JUST TOO DAMN SMALL for these old (tear-filled) eyes of mine!  I figured someone here would let me know and you did!  Thanks!!!!

I cheated  when I recognized her. I checked IMDB.

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On 7/9/2018 at 9:52 PM, howiveaddict said:

A transexual who was on a season of RuPaul's Drag race.

A language note: Transsexual (two s's) and transgender are adjectives, not nouns - so one wouldn't say "a transsexual" just like you wouldn't say "a Black." And transsexual isn't used much anymore for a variety of reasons (though we do hear it a lot in this show because of the period in which it's set). Transgender is the term used almost all of the time now. Jiggly Caliente is a transgender woman.

  • Love 13
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