March 6, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

“Pose” Actress and Transgender Rights Advocate Angelica Ross Among the Honorees Truth Awards

The Annual Awards Show to Honor and Recognize LGBTQ + African Americans and Their Allies

By Staff Writer

Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) in association with award-winning actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph and her non-profit organization, The DIVA Foundation, are excited to announce that critically-acclaimed actress and transgender advocate Angelica Ross is among this year’s impressive list of award-winning honorees for the sixth annual Truth Awards.

The Truth Awards will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the Taglyan Cultural Complex, located at 1201 Vine Street in Los Angeles. The private and ticketed festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. with red carpet arrivals and a VIP reception. One of the most successful dance club artists in the history of US Hot Dance/Club Play Charts, CeCe Peniston will serve as the evening’s musical guest. She scored five major hit number one hits within a three-year span, including her signature dance hit, “Finally.”

The black-tie affair will honor trailblazing LGBTQ+ African-Americans whose personal and professional accomplishments have positively impacted the perception and image of the Black LGBTQ+ community. Also, BBLA will dole out scholarships to LGBTQ+ youth, pursuing vocational training and higher education. The Truth Awards embody the belief that members of the Black LGBTQ+ community and its allies who embrace and live their truth should be celebrated and honored.

Best known for her beloved breakthrough role of Candy Ferocity, co-founder of the House of Ferocity on the popular FX show, “Pose,” Angelica Ross will be feted with the Arts & Culture Award. A trendsetter and a trailblazer, she is the face of the new Louis Vuitton ad campaign. Plus, Ross is the first female transgender actress to land two series regular roles on television – that is, FX’s “Pose” and the current season of “American Horror Story: 1984,” both shows, helmed by the prolific creator/writer/producer Ryan Murphy.

Since studying theater at Florida Atlantic University, Ross has been featured in film, television, and live theatre. In addition to “Pose” and “American Horror Story,” her tv and film credits include the Emmy-winning series, “Her Story,” “Transparent,” and the short film, “Missed Connections.”

Her starring role in the Emmy-winning short form series “Her Story,” received Special Recognition at the GLAAD Media Awards, and her segment on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” won a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode. Ross also works behind the camera. She executive produced and starred in the short film “Missed Connections,” which went on to be an official selection at Outfest, the La Femme International Film Festival and the Baltimore International Black Film Festival in 2017. Ross will continue to combine her passion for acting and her skills as a producer in her newest endeavor as executive producer for the “King Ester,” a short-form web series with filmmakers Dui Jarrod and Caralene Robinson.

Ross is also president of Miss Ross, Inc. and the founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, a program that helps people lift themselves out of poverty through technical training, digital work creating a social impact and bringing economic empowerment to marginalized communities.

From the boardroom to tv and films sets to the Obama White House, Ross is a leading figure of success and strength in the movement for trans and racial equality. Named the “1st Food Soldier of the Year” in 2015 by social/political commentator Melissa Harris Perry, and one of the Top10 LGBT+ Executives by Financial Times, Ross is dedicated to empowering trans and gender nonconforming people through TransTech.

In season 2 of “Pose,” Ross’ character dies, shedding a light on the violent plight of trans women, especially women of color. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HNC), 2019 saw at least 26 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means. And the murder rate of transgender women continues to escalate.

Alongside Ross, the Truth Awards will honor celebrity stylist and interior designer power couple Jason Bolden and Adair Curtis, stars of Netflix’s “Styling Hollywood,” and owners of JSN Studio with a Business Leadership Award; producer/director Cheryl Dunye of OWN’s “Queen Sugar” with a Media & Arts Award; CNN political commentator and New York Times best-selling author Keith Boykin with the Advocate Award; Dr. Shaun Harper, director of USC Race & Equity Center, with the Excellence in Education Award, and finally, Jeffrey Wallace, president and CEO of LeadersUp with the Passing the Torch Award.

For more about the 2020 Truth Awards honorees, visit https://pitchengine.com/wyllisa-bennett-publicist-du-jour/2020/02/26/living-our-truth/002518195537058020865

The DIVA Foundation and its founder Sheryl Lee Ralph are especially pleased to continue their partnership with Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) on this effort. Both organizations believe a healthy Black community – one where individuals are allowed to live their truth, free of shame and stigma, and are recognized as equal and rightful members of the community – is a critical piece in the fight to also end HIV/AIDS. This year’s honorees were picked from various fields, including entertainment, fashion, beauty, business, finance and media.

“Times are certainly changing!” said Ralph. “In this current political environment, it’s important that we continue to support our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ+ community, and make it possible for them to live out loud and openly for the world to see.” She added, “Our acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community will encourage, inspire and motivate others to live their truth, unapologetically.

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