Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pose's Mj Rodriguez is the first openly transgender woman nominated for an Emmy in a major category

Rodriguez plays ballroom performer and house mother Blanca Evangelista in the drama series

Mj Rodriguez
Mj Rodriguez
Photo: Jamie McCarthy (Getty Images)

Mj Rodriguez has officially become the first openly transgender woman to receive an Emmy nomination in a major acting category for her performance as Blanca Rodriguez in the FX drama series Pose.

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The Ryan Murphy-created series centers around the Black and Latinx transgender and gay community of New York City, through the lens of ballroom culture. Pose captures all of the glamour of iconic ballroom performances, while also diving into the heart-wrenching realities of the AIDS epidemic within the LGBTQ+ community. The series features the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ+ actors ever for a scripted series.

Rodriguez shines throughout the show’s three seasons as underdog yet fierce performer Blanca. She moves up to establishing the House of Evangelista, and she eventually becomes a nurse and activist to help battle the impact of HIV and AIDS within her community. In addition to acting and delivering stunning ballroom performances, Rodriguez showcases her singing throughout the series.

Pose received 9 total Emmy nominations this year including: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series, Outstanding Contemporary Costumes, Outstanding Contemporary Hairstyling, and Outstanding Contemporary Makeup.

The final season of Pose continued filming throughout the pandemic, and wrapped up airing in June. 

In 2019, Billy Porter was the only cast member of Pose nominated for his portrayal of ballroom MC Pray Tell, making history as the first openly gay Black man to be nominated and win an Emmy in a lead acting category. While cheering for Porter, many people noted the glaring snub. Numerous standout performances from trans actors in the Pose cast—including Rodriguez, Angelica Ross, Indya Moore, and Dominique Jackson—were not spotlighted by the Emmys. Billy Porter received his third nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series this year.

You can see all of the 2021 Emmy nominations here.

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