Michaela Jae (MJ) Rodriguez, who stars as drag ball empress/nurse Blanca Evangelista on the hit series Pose, will accept GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics’ annual LGBTQIA+ Trailblazer Award during the organizations’ Dorians TV Toast 2021. Rodriguez is the first transgender performer to land a lead-role Emmy nomination, for her role on the FX show. The Dorian TV Toast 2021 will be broadcast on Here TV and the PlanetOut channel on YouTube on Sunday evening, August 29, 8pm EST.

“I’m so thankful, ” Rodriguez says during an interview segment in the show, adding her GALECA Trailblazer award carries a very unique meaning since it comes from “my community.” The importance of her groundbreaking portrayal is not lost on her. “There’s a generation behind me that needs to know what transness looks like, and also how we are being represented in the world. I’m going to keep trying my best and instill hope.”

Following the final season of Pose, Rodriguez has been pursuing a singing career and will be co-starring with SNL alum Maya Rudolph in the Apple TV+ comedy series Loot. Rudolph plays a woman who suddenly becomes a billionaire’s widow, while Rodriguez is the executive in charge of running the deceased’s charity foundation.

Dorian TV Award nominees include Jean Smart, Bowen Yang, Jason Sudekis, and the Marvel fantasy series WandaVision. Some of the presenters scheduled to attend the virtual awards event include Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Beals, Big Freedia, Fran Drescher, Tituss Burgess, Michael Cimino, Jesse Jame Keitel, Josie Totah, and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman.

More information about GALECA and it’s Dorian Awards can be found here.

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