Watch: Mj Rodriguez Talks to GLAAD about her Historic Emmy Nomination

Saturday September 18, 2021
Originally published on August 24, 2021

Mj Rodriguez as Blanca in a scene from the new series "Pose."
Mj Rodriguez as Blanca in a scene from the new series "Pose."  (Source:FX)

With the 73rd Emmy Awards coming up on September 19, GLAAD's Head of Talent, Anthony Allen Ramos, chatted with with Mj Rodriguez, who is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Blanca in "Pose." 

Rodriguez, the GLAAD release writes, made history as the first transgender woman to ever be nominated for an Emmy in a leading category. In the interview she talks about the impact of this moment for the transgender community and for people of color.

"I was totally surprised when I saw myself up there in that category," she told Ramos. "...it was written in the stars and now actually it is true. Now young women like myself, now the trans women who are ancestors of mine, they are smiling from above and they are rooting me on. I am glad that I can have this moment with other women in this category! These are really well-known women, legit actresses and I finally get to stand alongside these amazing nominees. That does not happen for a lot of trans women in the world and now it's going to start happening, hopefully. I see the pendulum moving. It is a monumental thing, it is a her-story thing, and I am here for it!"



Watch GLAAD's Anthony Allen Ramos speak with with Mj Rodriguez

Mj explained how motivated she would have been if a trans woman had been nominated for an Emmy when she was growing up. "I would have probably have had even more of a fire lit under me to just do what I love to do in achieve the dreams I wanted to achieve because there was someone... who looked like me.  I am a multitude of intersectionalities. Not only am I trans, I am a Black woman, I am a trans woman, I am a Latina woman... I am a woman. If I were younger and able to see that, I am sure that not only me, but other people who were like me, who are part of all of those intersectionalities, would say, 'I want to achieve the dream that she is achieving because she is making it happen, she has the confidence to do it.' "

She also addressed what being a role model is like for a new generation of trans youth.

"To think that there are younger ones who are looking to me for that, I am happy about it because this is my dream, I have always wanted to do this, and now I am seeing that I am built for it and I am just ready to keep inspiring."
 
"I love that I have been receiving so much love because that is what I am built on. When I see that younger ones are wanting to do that, it makes me want to do it more, and I just hope that they keep following. All of us have our moment where things come to an end... why not change minds now through positivity?"
 
"It is liberating... hearing it from your own community, it is just such an overwhelmingly beautiful feeling to know that you are influencing people who are inside of your community, people who are a part of the LGBTQIA community who look to you and talk to you... Now each and every last one of us who is a part of the LGBTQIA community are finally getting our chance to have space to navigate in the places that we never thought we would be able to navigate."