POSE’s MJ Rodriguez is making history being the first openly trans woman nominated in the “Lead Actress in a Drama Series” category for her role as house mama Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista.
“I do believe this is a pivotal moment. There’s never been a trans woman who has been nominated as a leading outstanding actress and I feel like that pushes the needle forward so much for now the door to be knocked down for so many people — whether they be male or trans female, gender nonconforming, LGBTQIA+, it does not matter,” Rodriguez told Variety. “A moment like this extends and opens and elongates the possibilities of what’s going to happen and I believe the Academy is definitely making it possible and their eyes are more than open. Yes, I do believe they’re going to continue, and I also feel like we’re going to keep speaking and encouraging and informing and educating people around the world. I think that’s the most important thing.”
In a statement per PEOPLE, the GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis spoke out on Rodriguez’s nomination calling it, “a breakthrough for transgender women in Hollywood, and a long-overdue recognition for her groundbreaking performance over the past three seasons of POSE.”
POSE has been nominated for “Outstanding Drama Series” for its final season which concluded on FX in June.
Billy Porter, 51, who portrays Pray Tell on POSE, was also nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series”. The 51-year-old has been nominated twice before and won in 2019, making him the first openly gay Black man to win the category.
The POSE actress is nominated against Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country), Uzo Aduba (In Treatment), Emma Corrin (The Crown), Olivia Colman (The Crown), and Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale).
The 73rd annual Emmy Awards will air live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS and Paramount+.