1:51 PM PST, January 10, 2022
Michaela Jaé “MJ” Rodriguez became the first transgender actor to win a Golden Globe Sunday in the ceremonies 79 years.
Rodriguez, who turned 31 on Friday, took home the award for best actress in a TV drama for her role as Blanca on the FX show “Pose” which ended after three seasons last June.
It was also the first Golden Globe for “Pose,” which premiered in 2018, NBC News reported.
The Golden Globes, which were not telecasted and had no stars present for the ceremony, announced winners online.
Rodriguez took to Instagram to make her acceptance speech.
“They will see that it is more than possible,” she wrote. “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 went on Instagram Live to give an emotional speech, according to NPR.
“This is for the LGBTQAI, Black, Latina, Asian, the many multi beautiful colors of the rainbow around the freaking world. This not just for me, this is for y’all,” she said. “There are going to be so many young individuals — young, talented thriving individuals — that are going to be able to trail in and storm in through the door. This is for y’all.”
It is not the first time Rodriguez made history at an award show. Last year, she was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a drama series at the Emmys, she became the first trans woman to be nominated in the category. Ultimately, she lost to Olivia Coleman for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown.”
“Pose,” which ran for three seasons, was a groundbreaking and game-changing series that examined LGBTQ+ life through the underground ballroom scene of New York City in the 1980s and into the 1990s. The show included the highest number of transgender actors ever cast for a scripted show and had the most recurring LGBTQ+ actors, according to NBC News.
At the heart of the series was family and the chosen support system the characters had, which advocates and fans have said echoes some real-life circumstances some LGBTQ+ youth and people of color have faced.
“Pose” co-creator, executive producer and director Steven Canals told Inside Edition Digital in June 2021 that the show took some time and convincing to get off the ground.
Canals was working on his MFA at UCLA in 2013 when he “did an assessment of the television landscape at the end of 2013. And at that time television was being dominated by straight white cis-gendered male antiheroes. “‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Mad Men,’ ‘House Of Cards,’ ‘Game Of Thrones,’ all great shows, but I wasn’t seeing people who look like me,” he said.
“There just weren’t trans people, regardless of race and ethnicity; were not populating airwaves in any significant way,” he said.
So Canals set out and wrote a show that he would want to see. It took two-and-a-half years to get greenlit to air, but he never envisioned the show to receive the outpouring of support from fans like it has.
Calling it a “humbling” experience, Canals is often stopped in restaurants, grocery stores and on the street by fans. Many thank him for what he has done and how the show has changed their lives.