I recently caught up with my friend, B. Hawk Snipes, who worked on the show for 7 months, at first thinking he’d only be involved for a couple episodes. At a towering 6’3”, and even more magnificent in platforms, B. Hawk brings a unique chic and masterful moves as a repeat extra, which has only enhanced his persona as a fierce androgynous personality in the burgeoning NYC underground.
POSE has been refreshing series, partly due to its rich queer presence. I’ve been thrilled with the trans representation (played by trans actors), sharp New Wave fashion and the drama of the fiercely competitive 1980’s NYC ballroom scene. It seems networks are finally gaining insight to the importance of QTPOC representation in television!
“My experience on POSE was really great. It was my first time being featured more than once on a network TV show,” Hawk told me. “Being on set also taught me so much about voguing ballroom culture. I had mixed feelings about the current ballroom culture because of different stories I've heard, but spending so much time with the people who were around during the rise of ballroom, and the upcoming children who are continuing to carry the legacy, was beautiful. Everyday was a different learning experience and I've become apart of a new family.”
His relationship with both fashion and nurturing more feminine aspects of himself started at a young age. Growing up listening to Earth, Wind and Fire, RuPaul, Lenny Kravitz, and Cher influenced beyond music: they also informed his visual aesthetic. As a child, the disco reboot seen on ‘90s MTV combined with the maternal guidance of Oprah Winfrey planted a strong soul awareness with baby B. Hawk. Playing a “feminine butch queen” on POSE, inspired by the iconic Pepper LaBeija, has been a fruitful exploration in the varied multifaceted ways in which gender can be expressed.
B. Hawk’s signature fashion sense is always on point, but what strikes me the most is how down to Earth he is. With family from South Carolina and NYC, he has spent most of his life in the busy-ness of Bronx and strives to maintain positive relationships with those around him. The importance of community wherever he is one he believes in strengthening: “I've never had a relationship with an actual Vogueing House but I do have close friends that I feel are my chosen family. Family is Family, whether you’re connected by blood or not. I think that's one of the great messages people can relate and connect to with POSE.”
Photographer: Sydney Foster @Sydney.a.foster
Stylist: Beoncia Dunn @simplelivingfashion
Photo Editor: Parlay Bennaton @oneiphotography
Model: B. Hawk Snipes @jusBHawk