'Pose' Star Mj Rodriguez Makes Emmys History and Other Queer Nominations

Tuesday July 13, 2021

Mj Rodriguez as Blanca in a scene from the new series "Pose."
Mj Rodriguez as Blanca in a scene from the new series "Pose."  (Source:JoJo Whilden/FX via AP)

The announcement of the 73rd Primetime Emmy Award nominations Tuesday saw Mj Rodriguez make history, becoming the first trans woman to be nominated in a lead acting category. She is recognized for her role in the FX ballroom drama "Pose" where she plays house mother Blanca.

TVLine reports "Pose" earned nine Emmy nods for its third and final season, which wrapped up last month. The show earned a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series and Billy Porter earned another nom for Outstanding Actor in a Drama. Rodriguez's nomination is also the first time any of the trans stars on "Pose" saw Emmy love.

When voting for the Emmy nominations began last month, GLAAD shared an open letter urging voters to recognize "Pose."

"This television season Emmy voters have the opportunity to make history — an opportunity to celebrate an entire underrepresented community that hasn't been valued for their artistic vision, creativity, or contributions," the letter read. "From the beautifully crafted storylines to the remarkable cast performances, Pose broke new ground for transgender inclusion both in front of and behind the camera, leaving behind a legacy that will change the future of trans representation on television. In its final season, TV Academy voters must acknowledge the importance of telling and recognizing diverse storytelling, which includes the performances of trans people of color who have been overlooked for far too long."

A number of queer performers were also nominate for the upcoming Emmys, including Samira Wiley for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama for "The Handmaid's Tale," Hannah Einbinder for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for "Hacks," Kate McKinnon for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for "Saturday Night Live," Bowen Yang for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for "Saturday Night Live," and Dan Levy for Outstanding Guest Actor and a Comedy for hosting "Saturday Night Live."

The HBO Max comedy series "Hacks," which features a number of queer characters, picked up 15 nods, including Outstanding Comedy Series. "I May Destroy You" is nominated for Outstanding Limited Series with its star/creator/writer Michaela Coel earning a nod for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. Actor Paapa Essiedu, who plays a gay character named Kwame on the show, also received a nomination, and out actor Jonathan Groff was recognized in the same category for his role in "Hamilton." Ewan McGregor was also nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his portrayal is out fashion designer Halston and actor Michael K. William's earned an Emmy nod for Outstanding Support Actor in a Drama Series for his role in "Lovecraft Country" where he plays a father struggling with his gay identity.

On the reality front, the Fab Five (Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness) were all nominated for Outstanding Reality Show Host for "Queer Eye" as was RuPaul for "RuPaul's Drag Race." The competition show was also nominated for an Emmy (no love for "Queer Eye" this year!) as was "RuPaul's Drag Race Untucked."

Click here to check out more nominations.