Mj Rodriguez Makes History As First Trans Person Nominated For Lead Acting Emmy

“Pose” star Mj Rodriguez has earned her first Emmy Award nomination, making history as the first transgender actor to earn a nomination for a leading role.

On Tuesday, the 30-year-old earned a nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Drama Series ahead of the 2021 Emmy Awards broadcast later this year.

Rodriguez has been widely lauded for her role as Blanca Evangelista on the hit FX series. The evocative series finale, which aired earlier this year, had Rodriguez’s Evangelista delivering a powerhouse performance rife with emotion and even a rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” 

The Emmys received plenty of backlash last year for overlooking Rodriguez’s performance on “Pose.” While fellow star Billy Porter received his second Emmy nod for his role on the show in 2020, BuzzFeed noted in July 2020 that “none of the women and non-binary actors on the show got that same honor.”

“Without Miss Blanca at the helm, Pose just wouldn’t be what it is today,” the outlet stressed.

Later in 2020, Rodriguez penned an op-ed for Emmys.com about being a trans, Afro-Latina woman “held in a box for so long” and not seeing herself properly represented within the film and television communities.

“There’s just not enough being done within the Black and Latino communities as far as representation is concerned, behind and in front of the cameras,” she wrote, imploring the Academy to “make change.”

“Diversity has always been pushed in my household so not seeing it fully exhibited and embraced breaks my heart. I do feel like there’s a lot of exposure around our identities as people of color, but there’s still much that needs to be done.” 

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