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Creator Steven Canals says the decision to end the show was "difficult," but that "we've told the story we wanted to tell the way that we wanted to tell it."

By Joey Nolfi
March 05, 2021 at 09:09 AM EST
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The trailblazing ladies of Pose will take one final ballroom bow after the show's upcoming season 3.

Steven Canals — co-creator of the groundbreaking FX series about a chosen family of New Yorkers navigating the queer ballroom scene of 1980s and 1990s Harlem — announced Friday the show (also created by Ryan Murphy) will end with its third season, which premieres May 2.

"It was a very difficult decision for us to make, but this has been an incredible journey and we've told the story we wanted to tell the way that we wanted to tell it," Canals said on Friday's Good Morning America, referencing the show's history-making run as the series with the largest-ever cast of transgender actors on a mainstream network. "I, along with my incredible collaborators, never intended on changing the television landscape, I simply wanted to tell an honest story about family, resilience, and love."

The show quickly gained a steady following of fans after its 2018 premiere, which introduced Ryan Jamaal Swain's Damon, a queer dancer who travels to New York City after being kicked out of his family home. There, Damon is taken in by Mj Rodriguez's Blanca, a new house mother transforming a family of societal outcasts into local stars through a series of performances on the ballroom circuit.

Transgender stars Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, and eventual American Horror Story star Angelica Ross also made history across the program and beyond, as they each forged successful careers following their rise to prominence on the series.

Billy Porter, who plays Pray Tell, the outgoing emcee of the ballroom pageants, also won an Emmy for his performance in the program, making headlines as the first openly gay champion in the category.

Still, while Canals knows fans will be disappointed that the group's stories will end on season 3, they promise: "This season will be filled with all of the laughter, love, and tears you've come to expect from the Evangelista family."

According to a network release, the final season is set in 1994, when the ballroom circuit "feels like a distant memory for Blanca, who struggles to balance being a mother with being a present partner to her new love, and her latest role as a nurse's aide." In the meantime, the AIDS crisis becomes the leading cause of death for Americans aged 25-44, and Pray Tell grapples with his related health burdens — all while the rise of a fresh, new house forces the Evangelistas to consider their own legacy.

In an Instagram post, Rodriguez thanked her fellow castmates for showing "the world how #girlslikeus strive, triumph and persevere. We made herstory and more than anything....we scratched the surface, simply to make change! We successfully succeeded! No longer will [trans women] be seen as disposable, instead we will be seen As the [women] who have paved the way for change, for growth, and for being simply human just like everyone else."

Janet Mock, a transgender trailblazer herself who wrote, directed, and executive-produced the show across its run, also released a statement that noted her "life has been forever changed because of Pose, a drama series that centered around trans and queer people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and Black and Latinx people — without trepidation or apology. It's left an indelible mark on our culture, modeling that a TV show can be successful and entertaining while also casting authentically, hiring LGBTQ talent in front of and behind the camera, and moving people living on the margins to centerstage."

She continued: "I know the work my fellow writers and producers, our crew, and trailblazing cast did on Pose will live forever as a glittering, heart-filled, bright beacon of love, acceptance, family and community. I am grateful to FX for being our home, 20th Television for the support, to Ryan Murphy for your bold vision, to our audience for your love and loyalty, and to the ballroom community for trusting us."

Pose season 3 — containing seven episodes — premieres May 2 at 10 p.m. on FX.

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