Two years ago, FX's Pose changed television forever. The series, which broke ground as the first ever to have a predominantly trans cast, catapulted its star MJ Rodriguez to international stardom. MJ plays Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista, the straight-shooting, heart of gold mother of the House of Evangelista.
The award-winning actress continues to push artistic boundaries on and offscreen and is inspiring a whole generation of trans and nonbinary artists through her incredibly diverse career in theater, TV, and film.
Last fall, the Newark, N.J., native was honored at the Outfest Legacy Awards, telling the crowd, "Like many of you who are part of the LGBTQIA community, I'm sure you understand what a kid like myself goes through. I was the girl who was considered weird, quirky, different."
She continued, "To be now one of the most visible trans individuals, trans activists [is incredible]. I hope I spoke to all of you and to many of my sisters out there. I just pray that the work is seen through all of us and it's opening the door for young African-American women like myself."