Mj Rodriguez rose to prominence in 2018 with the premiere of FX’s Pose and her role as 1980s era house mother and ballroom queen Blanca. Following the series’ end this past June and pushback against award ceremonies lack of LGBTQ+ representation, the Emmys have reportedly nominated Rodriguez for an Emmy award in their outstanding lead actress in a drama series category, according to Variety, making her the first trans woman in history to achieve the consideration.
Last month, the GLAAD organization published an open letter to the Emmys on an online blog, urging the annual award ceremony’s voters to “make history” by nominating trans actresses on the show, including Rodriguez, Indya Moore and Angelica Ross.
“While Billy Porter became the first openly gay Black man to win an Emmy for his performance in POSE, and although the show also received a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series in its first season, more recognition is merited now,” the letter stated. “The talented transgender actresses, actors, and non-binary performers in this series have not yet been honored by Television Academy members, and their performances deserve acknowledgment.”
Following the news of Rodriguez’s recent Emmy nomination, GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis told Variety about the major opportunity, “Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez’s Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actress in a drama series is a breakthrough for transgender women in Hollywood, and a long-overdue recognition for her groundbreaking performance over the past three seasons of ‘Pose,’”
“I felt seen.” Mj Rodriguez (@MjRodriguez7) shares her emotional reaction to becoming the first trans best actress Emmy nominee.
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) July 13, 2021
In an interview with AP News, Rodriguez could barely contain her excitement, saying over a video call, “The moment my name was announced I just screamed,” The 30-year-old actress continued, “My godmother gave me the biggest hug, and I just remember falling into my boyfriend’s arms and just crying tears of joy. Tears of happiness. I felt so seen.”
The 2021 Primetime Emmys are set to premiere this September 19.