• Pose's Angelica Ross, left, and Senator Kamala Harris pose for photos backstage at the The Presidential Candidate Forum on LGBTIQ+ Issues. (Getty Images North America)Source: Getty Images North America
“You don’t show up for both of our LGBTIQ+ events? That’s obviously telling us all we need to know.”
Samuel Leighton-Dore

23 Sep 2019 - 1:39 PM  UPDATED 23 Sep 2019 - 1:39 PM

Actress Angelica Ross has taken aim at Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders after he failed to participate in last week's forum on LGBTIQ+ issues.

The Pose and American Horror Story star made history at the event, becoming the first transgender person to host a presidential forum.

Candidates to participate included Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Sestak, Elizabeth Warren and Marianne Williamson.

However, citing conflicting commitments, Sanders was not in attendance.

In an interview with The Guardian following the forum, Ross described Sanders' decision not to be involved as "a huge misstep."

“I’m going to risk being super real here for a second,” Ross told The Guardian.

“When you’re on the campaign trail, what’s happening a lot – and what a lot of these candidates have to avoid – is being seen as looking for a photo op," Ross continued, referring to Sanders' conflicting commitments on the day.

"To be seen in certain communities and spaces. I heard that he was not only visiting the [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] but also visiting an old black barbershop."

Ross added: "I’m already struggling as a black trans advocate to get folks in my own black community to understand that being black and being LGBTIQ+ are not mutally exclusive. What I hope Bernie would learn is you don’t have to pander to just one aspect of the black community.

"If he would have been at the LGBTIQ+ forum tonight, he would have seen we were talking about issues affecting people of color. I think it was a huge misstep on his part. And I’m not here for any of the excuses. I say: ‘Make it up to me. Make it up to us.’”

Following the event and her interview with The Guardian, Ross informed her followers that she would be taking a break from social media, with supporters of Sanders and US President Donald Trump reportedly flooding her mentions with hateful messages.

“Going to take a break from social media for a while and let me [sic] team run my accounts,” she tweeted.

The trolling came after Ross used the stage to criticise Trump's administration for its treatment of the transgender community.

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