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A closeup Mj Rodriguez on the red carpet at the Critics Choice Awards.

LOS ANGELES - JAN 12: MJ Rodriguez at the Critics Choice Awards 2020 at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, CA

Mj Rodriguez was ecstatic over her Emmy nomination on Tuesday and the LGBTQ community celebrated along with her as she made history as the first out transgender person ever to received an Emmy nomination in a lead acting category.


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“It’s a big step — a huge step forward for us — and I’m very, very thankful, and I just hope that it continues,” Rodriguez told The Los Angeles Times. “I never thought in a million years I’d be in this category with all these amazing women.”

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis stated: “Rodriguez’s Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series is a breakthrough for transgender women in Hollywood, and a long-overdue recognition for her groundbreaking performance over the past three seasons of Pose.

Many other LGBTQ community members received Emmy nominations in Tuesday’s announcement as well. The show Rodriguez co-stars in, Pose, which takes place in New York City’s ball culture of the late 1980s and early 1990s, was also nominated as an Outstanding Drama Series. Billy Porter received his third nomination for his role on the show.

The shows RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked and Queer Eye also received nominations in their respective categories. RuPaul and all five Queer Eye co-hosts (Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness) were nominated for their roles on the structured reality shows.

Actors on Saturday Night Live also brought home nominations for the LGBTQ community. Kate McKinnon is nominated as a Supporting Actress and Dan Levy is nominated as a Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for hosting in February 2021. Bowen Yang’s nomination for a Supporting Actor is also notable because he is the first featured player (as opposed to main cast) to ever receive such a nomination in the history of the show.

These out actors all received nominations as well:

  • Gillian Anderson (The Crown)
  • Emma Corrin (The Crown)
  • Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Hacks)
  • Hannah Einbinder (Hacks)
  • Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha)
  • Jonathan Groff (Hamilton)
  • Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale)


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The Emmy Awards will air on September 19 on CBS when we’ll find out how many of these nominations turn into wins.



Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager is the author of the award-winning Queer, There, and Everywhere: 27 People Who Changed the World, Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History, Kind Like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders, and A Child's Introduction to Pride: The Inspirational History and Culture of the LGBTQIA+ Community. Learn more about her speaking, writing, and more at www.sarahprager.com.