On Sunday, January 9, 2022, Michaela Jaé “Mj” Rodriguez, 31, took home a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV drama for her role as the house mother and nurse Blanca on the FX show “Pose.” It marks the first time in history a trans actress has won a Golden Globe.
This is also the first Golden Globe win for “Pose,” which premiered in 2018.
Rodriguez made history for the first time in summer 2021 after becoming the first transgender performer to be nominated for a lead acting Emmy. Rodriguez did not end up winning that award.
While “Pose” has been hailed for the largest transgender cast in a scripted series and for hiring the first trans woman of color director, the show’s stars have been vocal regarding the lack of award recognition they have received.
In 2020, “Pose” co-stars Indya Moore and Angelica Ross spoke out against the Emmys for overlooking the show’s Black transgender cast in its list of 2020 nominees.
“Something abt trans ppl not being honored on a show abt trans ppl who created a culture to honor ourselves bc the world doesn’t,” tweeted Moore, who plays Angel Evangelista, a transgender sex worker pursuing a career as a fashion model. “Let’s call it cognitive cissonance.”
Moore — who is transgender and nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns — was named one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2019.
“But also, look at the weak-ass promotion. Most of us have never been on any talk shows except MJ, here and there,” Moore added in a separate tweet, responding to a fan who claimed that the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which bestows the Emmy Awards, only votes for “names they know.”
Angelica Ross, who played Candy Ferocity on the show — a Black trans woman who was murdered in a motel room in the second season — retweeted Moore and spoke candidly on Instagram about the snubs at the time.
“I want you to know from the jump that these tears are not about an award or a nomination,” Ross said. “Ultimately, I need y’all to understand that I’m so tired — those of you who know me know I’m not just working on screen or behind the screen but I’m working around the clock to get our society to value trans lives and Black trans lives.”
On Sunday, Rodriguez took to Instagram to celebrate her win.
“Wow! You talking about a sickening birthday present! Thank you! This is the door that is going to open the door for many more young talented individuals,” she wrote on Instagram. “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!!!!!”
Rodriguez also shouted out her fellow esteemed nominees, that were Uzo Aduba, Jennifer Aniston, Christine Baranski, and Elisabeth Moss.
“To the nominees we are Queens,” she told them. “I’m so happy to share space with you! Each and every last one of you women are phenomenal.”