Angelica Ross from 'Pose' Was Discharged from the Navy Following Harassment over Sexuality

Actress and transgender rights advocate Angelica Ross, best known as Candy in "Pose," once opened up about enlisting in the Navy and being harassed by her fellow companions.

Coming out of the closet is never easy, and Angelica knows it firsthand. Back in 2019, the "American Horror Story" star appeared in an episode of "Black Women OWN the Conversation" to share her experience.

After making her go through a perilous situation, they let her go.


She revealed that her mother, a very devoted evangelical Christian, was not ready to accept that her son was gay - let alone being transgender - when she came out to her aged 17.

Angelica's mother would frequently tell her that she would go to hell for her sexual preferences, even going as far as to encourage her to take her own life.

Of course, receiving such a treatment from her mother left the actress devastated, but her mother's perception changed after watching an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

In it, a mother who had recently lost her LGBTQ+ son told Oprah and the audience that she had an epiphany during a Pride event.

Angelica Ross on September 01, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia | Photo: Getty Images

Angelica Ross on September 01, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia | Photo: Getty Images

That woman's experience impacted Angelica Ross' mother so profoundly that she realized she had to make amends with her daughter. They eventually did it, and Angelica revealed during the show the current stated of their relationship:

"We have a great relationship. Me and my mom have a very loving, healed relationship."


Unfortunately, Angelica went through more negativity before becoming the successful actress and entrepreneur she is today.

Back in 1999, when she was about 19 years old, she enlisted in the Navy, hoping that it would toughen her up as a man and even make him straight. Apart from that, she wanted to go to college, so opting for the GI Bill was "the only way" she could afford it.

The Navy accepted her and, after completing the necessary training, Angelica was stationed in Japan. One day, one of her supposed friends invited her to a party in the barracks where "about 15 enlisted guys and girls" were having beers.

Once she got there, they started asking her if she was gay. Scared, Angelica denied it, but it only got them angrier. After making her go through a perilous situation, they let her go.

Angelica Ross on November 21, 2019 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Angelica Ross on November 21, 2019 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

The following day, Angelica asked the officer in charge to send her back home, singed a document admitting she was gay and was discharged as uncharacterized, taking away the possibility to opt for the GI Bill.

One of the most upsetting aspects of that experience was that she couldn't tell the officer what had happened the previous night because her so-called friend warned her not to do it.

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I neither hide nor deny, or run away from my past. Every single step I've taken has brought me here, closer than I've ever felt to fully expressing the gift that is my life. And despite the attempts on my life, my own hands included, I'm #ALIVE. I'm blessed and forever grateful to discover my value and strength. I'm stronger than I thought and survived it all. Despite my physical condition on any given day, my soul smiles, because I "Know" myself in a biblical sense. I have learned to love myself from Beginning to End. I now know my life is valuable and worthy of protection, of love, and respect. I don't regret enlisting in the #Navy, to me it's part proof that I and many other #Trans and #LGBTQ people now and then, are willing to fight for our #Freedom(s) just as much as the next person, if given the opportunity to "Be All We Can Be" #transformationtuesday #veteran #Military #GirlsLikeUs #MissRoss #BeautifulAsIWantToBe #repost

A post shared by Miss Ross (@angelicaross) on


Angelica Ross' life has not been a walk in the park. Thankfully, her life changed in 2016 after participating in the web series "Her Story," which told the story of two struggling transgender women who live in Los Angeles.

The series was nominated to an Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama, which attracted the attention of TV producers to her work.

In 2018, her career skyrocketed after she landed the role of Candy Ferocity in the drama "Pose." The show revolves around the culture of African-American and Latino LGBTQ+ in New York City in the 80s and early 90s.

"Pose" has been praised ever since it premiered, and it has received nominations to Emmys and Golden Globes. In June 2019, it was renewed for a third season that is expected to air later this year.

The future seems to be bright for Angelica Ross. Not only she became Louis Vuitton's face for the 2020 pre-fall collection, but also was praised for her participation in "American Horror Story: 1984" and is expected to appear in its upcoming tenth season.

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