Michaela Jaé Rodriguez Becomes First Trans Golden Globe Winner

The 47th International Emmy Awards in New York City
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez received a Golden Globe award for her role as Blanca in “Pose.”
REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Out trans “Pose” star Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez has landed a Golden Globe award for best actress in a TV drama, making her the first out trans person to receive a Golden Globe award.

Rodriguez starred as Blanca in the groundbreaking FX show, which recently concluded after three seasons and brought trans visibility to new heights on television with a storyline that focused on the experiences of transgender and other queer people of color in the New York City ballroom scene in the early ‘90s.

Rodriguez posted on Instagram shortly after receiving the award.

“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,” Rodriguez wrote. “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 won the award roughly six months after she made Emmy history when she became the first transgender woman to be nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress. Olivia Colman wound up winning that Emmy award for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown.”

The trailblazing nature of “Pose” has not always translated into national recognition. Billy Porter has landed three Golden Globe nominations and won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for portraying Pray Tell in “Pose” — making him the first out gay Black man to win a lead acting Emmy — but many viewers have decried the lack of awards given to many of the show’s out trans stars.

Notably, this year’s awards ceremony took place in the wake of a Los Angeles Times story detailing the striking lack of diversity among the voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which picks the Golden Globe winners. The event was not aired live on television and nominees were not on hand.