Mj Rodriguez to receive LGBTQIA+ trailblazer honor in LGBTQ critics’ TV awards

Pose star Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez, whose turn as determined drag ball empress—and nurse—Blanca Evangelista on that slice-of-life drama made her the first transgender performer to score a leading-role Emmy® nomination, will accept GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics' latest LGBTQIA+ Trailblazer Award in the group's Dorians TV Toast 2021 airing Sunday evening, August 29, 8pm ET, 5pm PT on Here TV and the PlanetOut channel on YouTube.

"I'm so thankful," Rodriguez says during an interview segment in the show, adding her GALECA Trailblazer award carries unique meaning because it comes from “my community." Though she is a Latina and Black trans woman, “Who I am is a human being first," stresses Rodriguez. Yet her status as a groundbreaking role model is not lost on her.

“There's a generation behind me that needs to know what transness looks like, and also how we are being represented in the world. I'm going to keep trying my best and instill hope."

Rodriguez, a pop/R&B singer as well as actress, recently released the video version of her summer hit tune, tellingly titled “Something to Say." She next stars with Maya Rudolph in the Apple TV+ comedy series Loot.

"Michaela Jaé is an extraordinarily talented actress and musician and it is our honor to celebrate her talents with the LGBTQIA+ Trailblazer Award," says GALECA's President, Monika Estrella Negra."With trans women of color being the most vulnerable in our society, it is inspiring to witness Michaela breaking down doors in order to let others in. This award is much deserved and I am so excited to see what the future holds for her."

Additional Dorian TV Award winners will be revealed across 15 categories in the two-hour program, a mix of award and magazine shows that celebrates the past TV season's best performances and shows, from general to LGBTQIA+-themed. A full list of nominees can be seen here.

Presenters include Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Beals, Olivia Newton-John (unveiling the Campiest TV Show), TitussBurgess (Best Unsung TV Show), Fran Drescher, Big Freedia, Saturday Night Live cast member Punkie Johnson, Michael Cimino (Love, Victor), Hannah Einbinder (Hacks), Leyna Bloom (Pose), Jesse James Keitel (Big Sky), Josie Totah (Saved by the Bell), Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.), ABC 7 (Los Angeles) entertainment reporter Karl Schmid, RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Gottmik (a.k.a. Kade Gottlieb), actor-comic John Lehr (Hulu's Quick Draw) and sitcom icon Jim J. Bullock (Too Close for Comfort, Alf).

Famed LA broadcasting veteran and LGBTQ rights activist Karel is the pre-recorded program's lively host as well as executive producer. “We're reinventing the way award shows are structured," says Karel. “We don't go for typical acceptance speeches. We hear from the winners about what drew them to their project, how it changed them, and what and who have inspired them. And viewers get to hear from the Society's journalists too, about how TV has expanded their world. Our format is entertaining, informative and relevant. TV's power, so evident in our lives, demands that."


GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics sponsors the Dorian Awards, honoring the best in film and TV, mainstream to queer+. The Society helps to remind bullies, bigots and the community's at-risk youth that the world loves the Q eye on great and unique entertainment. An all-volunteer nonprofit professional organization, GALECA consists of over 300 critics and journalists who write for a variety of influential media outlets in the United States, Canada, Australia and the U.K. Support the group and keep up with its doings @DorianAwards on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For more information, visit GALECA.org.

Photo courtesy of Jose Cuervo

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