Mj Rodriguez Is 1st Trans Woman Nominated For Best Actress

Mj Rodriguez in POSE
Mj Rodriguez as ‘Blanca’ in POSE (image via Instagram)

Mj Rodriguez made history today as she was honored with an Emmy Award nomination for her role as ‘Blanca’ on the acclaimed FX series POSE.

Receiving a nod for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Rodriguez becomes the first trans woman to be recognized in a lead acting category.


Series co-creator Steven Canals celebrated the news on Twitter:

The third and final season of POSE garnered a total of 9 nominations this morning including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Billy Porter and Outstanding Drama Series. 


This is Porter’s 3rd nomination having made history himself when he took home the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role of ‘Pray Tell’ in 2019.

The series has been a trailblazer since its premiere in 2018 by featuring the largest trans cast in TV history. And yet, until now, none of the trans female cast members had been recognized by the Emmys.


“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,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

Ellis also called the series “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.”


More LGBTQ-inclusive nominations:

RuPaul’s Drag Race was honored with 9 nominations including Outstanding Competition Program and Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program for Mama Ru. Plus, two nods for RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked including Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.

Netflix’s Queer Eye garnered 6 nominations including Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program as well as Outstanding Structured Reality Program.

Schitt’s Creek star and creator Dan Levy picked up a nod for his appearance on Saturday Night Live in the Guest Actor in a Comedy Series category.


Non-binary actor Carl Clemons-Hopkins and gay actor Bowen Yang were nominated for their work on Hacks and Saturday Night Live respectively for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) and Hannah Einbinder (Hacks) were each nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Out actor Samira Wiley was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama for playing lesbian character Moira in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Satirist Randy Rainbow is now a 3-time Emmy Award nominee (he won in 2019) for Outstanding Short Form Comedy, Drama or Variety Series.


In the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited on Anthology Series or Movie, Ewan McGregor garnered a nod playing gay fashion designer Halston in the Netflix biographical series. Out actor Jonathan Groff was nominated in Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology series for playing King George in Disney+’s filmed version of the Broadway musical Hamilton as well as Paapa Essiedu for playing queer character Kwame in I May Destroy You.

Out actor Brendan Scannell was recognized in Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama for Netflix’s Bonding. Out performers Keke Palmer (Keke Palmer’s Turnt Up With the Taylors) and Paula Pell (Mapleworth Murders) were each nominated in Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series.

GLAAD has assembled a complete list of LGBTQ nominations here.


And you can find the full list of the 73rd annual Emmy Award nominations here. The 2021 Emmys will air live on CBS Sunday, September 19.


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