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Pose's Mj Rodriguez becomes first trans woman to be nominated for major acting Emmy

"I’m still on cloud nine… I truly can’t believe it"

2021-07-13

Words: Alastair James; picture: Mj Rodriguez as Blanca on Pose (FX)

Pose star Mj Rodriguez has made history as the first trans woman nominated for an Emmy in a major acting category.

The nominees for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards were announced yesterday (13 July) ahead of a ceremony in September.

Pose, which is on its final season, has also been nominated for Drama Series, with Billy Porter also receiving a nomination for Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

“Holy s**t!!!”

Rodriguez is of course best known for her portrayal of Blanca Rodriguez on the hit show, which focuses on the New York ballroom scene of the 1980s and '90s. The show is a major success for LGBTQ representation with a largely trans cast playing trans roles.

Writing on Instagram, Rodriguez said: "I’m still on cloud nine… I truly can’t believe it! Thank you @televisionacad I’m still gagging. I didn’t get on cam am that much cause I looked a mess!! Lord Jesus I’m #EmmyNominated"

 
 
 
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A post shared by Michaela Jaé (@mjrodriguez7)

Posting on Twitter as the nominees were announced, Pose co-creator Steven Canals said: “Holy s**t!!! @MjRodriguez7 just made HISTORY as the first Trans actress to ever be nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series”

Billy Porter previously won the 2019 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series gong for his role as Pray Tell. This will be his third nomination and the show’s second nomination in the drama category.

On Instagram, the actor said he was "so #grateful".

"I SEE YOU MICHAELA JAE!!!" he added, referring to Rodriguez. 

 
 
 
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A post shared by Billy Porter (@theebillyporter)

In a second, emotional post, Porter celebrated Pose's success and contribution to TV representation. "It’s important," he said. "Change has occurred. And we don’t talk about it a lot because I feel like we’re always inside of some sort of collective trauma, but I do want to bring light to the fact that lots of change has happened in the world."

"'Pose' has taught me to dream the impossible. What 'Pose' is, is something that was an impossibility until we came along."

 
 
 
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A post shared by Billy Porter (@theebillyporter)

Mj’s fellow nominees for Lead Actress in a Drama Series are Uzo Aduba (In Treatment) Olivia Colman (The Crown), Emma Corrin (The Crown), Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), and Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country).

Billy Porter faces up against Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country), Josh O’Connor (The Crown), Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton), and Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason)

Pose is up against Netflix’s Bridgerton and The Crown, as well as Amazon’s The Boys, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, The Lovecraft Country from HBO, and The Mandalorian from Disney+.

RuPaul’s Drag Race has been nominated for Best Competition Programme.

You can read the full list of nominees here.

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