Mj Rodriguez has become the first transgender actor to receive an Emmy nomination in a major acting category, according to Variety. Rodriguez is nominated in the lead drama actress category for her portrayal of house mother and nurse Blanca Rodriguez on FX’s hit series “Pose.”
This nomination is a giant leap for the transgender community in the entertainment industry. Following massive backlash against the show Transparent, which featured a cisgender male actor playing a trans woman, the industry has finally caught up with public and community demand that transgender people be represented authentically and with diversity, equality, and inclusion.
Before Rodriguez, who is also a recording artist, only two openly trans performers received Emmy nods: Laverne Cox for Netflix’s Orange is the New Black in 2014 and Rain Valdez of “Razor Tongue” - a short comedy or drama actress nom for 2020.
GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis reacted to the news with the following statement:
"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.”
“Additionally, the show's nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, as well as Billy Porter’s third nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, mark a historic show that undoubtedly raised the bar for trans representation on television and changed the way viewers around the world understand the trans community. As over 40 leading LGBTQ organizations pointed out in our open letter about POSE to Emmy Award voters, representation matters."