Michaela Jaé “MJ” Rodriguez made history Sunday night, becoming the first transgender actor to win a Golden Globe Award. Rodriguez won for her starring role as Blanca Evangelista in Pose.
Rodriguez’s win also marked the first-ever Golden Globe awarded to Pose, which premiered on FX in 2018 and ended its run in 2021.
Rodriguez Celebrates Win On Instagram
Rodriguez celebrated her win on Instagram, saying, “OMG OMGGG!!! @goldenglobes Wow! You talking about sickening birthday present! Thank you! This is the door that is going to Open the door for many more young talented individuals. They will see that it is more than possible. They will see that a young Black Latina girl from Newark New Jersey who had a dream, to change the minds others would WITH LOVE. LOVE WINS. To my young LGBTQAI babies WE ARE HERE the door is now open now reach the stars!!!!!”
“To the nominees we are Queens,” Rodriguez said, “I’m so happy to share space with you! Each and every last one of you women are phenomenal.”
Rodriguez continued to celebrate her win on Instagram Live saying, “This is for the LGBTQAI, Black, Latina, Asian [communities], the many multi-beautiful colours of the rainbow.”
“This is not just for me, this is for y’all. This is the door that opens for y’all.”
Hey I just want to say, I’m still on cloud 9. I will say this though. To the people who don’t see me as female or worthy of this award, I don’t care. I will still move how I always have and that’s through LOVE. The creator themselves put me here, and for that I will continue. 🙏🏽
— Michaela Jaé (Mj) (@MjRodriguez7) January 10, 2022
Rodriguez’s Win Celebrated by Pose Co-stars & Friends
Rodriguez’s win was celebrated by GLAAD’s Mary Emily O’Hara, who tweeted, “YESSSSSS!!!!!! Congratulations [Mj Rodriguez], you deserve this and so much more.”
— Mary Emily O'Hara (@MaryEmilyOHara) January 10, 2022
Pose co-star Angelica Love Ross posted a celebration video on her Twitter account and wrote on Instagram, “BLANCA!!!!!!!!!! Shouting congratulations to the incomparable [Mj Rodriguez]!!! Since season one you have been leading our family our cast with such heart and skill. Let’s celebrate!!!”
— Angelica Love Ross (@angelicaross) January 10, 2022
Pose co-creator Steven Canals posted on Twitter, “Congratulations to my [Love, Mj Rodriguez] who won a [Golden Globe] tonight for her performance in [Pose]!! Bravo Mutha Blanca!”
— Steven Canals (@StevenCanals) January 10, 2022
Co-star Billy Porter posted, “Y’all!!! Look at my sister!!! Can you say groundbreaker!?”
Rodriguez Also Secured Historic Emmy Nod in 2021
Rodriguez, 31, also nabbed a historic Emmy nomination in 2021 for Pose, when she became the first transgender actor to receive an Emmy nomination in a leading role category.
Rodriguez lost the Emmy to The Crown’s Olivia Colman.
“I do believe this is a pivotal moment,” Rodriguez said of her Emmy nomination in an interview with Variety. “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.”
Speaking to NJ.com about her 2021 Emmy nomination, Rodriguez said, “I think people finally see Michaela Jaé for who she really is. Mj has matured a lot. And now she’s grown into this strong Afro-Latina woman who is still fighting against the grain so that a lot of trans women don’t get typecast or get put into this box of how they’re supposed to act, whether it be in the world or on a television screen.”
Prior to her nomination, only two other transgender actors had ever been nominated for an Emmy; Laverne Cox and Rain Valdez.
Pose Becomes a Landmark in LGBTQ Television
Pose, created by Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy, chronicled two decades in New York City’s drag ball scene. The show also tackled the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis, homophobia, transphobia and the victimisation and murder of transgender people.
Rodriguez played Blanca, who evolves from being a sex worker, rejected by her family, to forming her own drag house and becoming a surrogate mother to her extended drag family. Blanca ultimately becomes a nurse and a legendary fixture in the ball scene.
Pose, which received critical acclaim throughout its run, cemented its status as a landmark in LGBTQ television history, with the show having assembled the largest cast of transgender actors ever on a scripted series.
In 2020 several Pose cast members, including Indya Moore and Angelica Ross, spoke out about the cast failing to secure an Emmy nomination, despite predictions.
Rodriguez Working Hard Since Pose Wrapped
Rodriguez has kept busy since Pose wrapped, appearing in the highly acclaimed tick, tick…BOOM! with Andrew Garfield and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as the upcoming Apple TV+ series Tarzana with Maya Rudolph. Rodriguez is also embarking on a music career and released her first single Something to Say in June 2021.
Rodriguez told EW, “I think right now I’m still young and I have so much to offer to the acting realm, to the film industry, and the music industry.
“Music has been my passion for years, and I want that to happen.”
Big Changes Mark 2022 Golden Globe Awards
The 2022 Golden Globe Awards was a marked departure from previous years in that the ceremony was not televised and had no host, no audience and no red carpet. Award winners were announced on Twitter.
The massive changes to the ceremony came amid the ongoing controversy regarding a complete absence of Black journalists amongst the Hollywood Foreign Press membership.
The 2021 ceremony was marked by a slew of celebrity boycotts, which used to be notable as a raucous and unpredictable event and a favourite with television viewers.