The Advocate Named Michaela Jaé Rodriguez "Person of the Year"
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez continues to be a trailblazer.
This year, the actress made history when she became the first transgender woman to receive an Emmy Award nomination in a lead acting category for her role as house mother Blanca Evangelista in Pose. Now, she has been selected as The Advocate's Person of the Year.
"I'm still grasping and wondering and even perplexed that I got this far being a Black Latina trans woman," Rodriguez said to the publication. "That just has not happened for us. So, when it did, it really lit a fire underneath to just keep going and to also know that there are people watching me."
Rodriguez, who graces the cover of the magazine, was honored alongside others in the LGBTQ+ community including actress and filmmaker Natalie Morales, and Texas state representative Celia Israel. Rodriguez took to Instagram to share her excitement.
"@theadvocatemag thank you sooo much , I still think there's much more work I can do, but it feels good to know that I'm helping and being helped along that way, to still try and change this world. I truly love you all!" she wrote.
Rodriguez's powerful performances have broken ground for Afro-Latina trans women and made her a role model in the LGBTQ+ community, something the actress sees as an important responsibility.
"It felt great to just walk that red carpet and have the conversations and interviews that I had and just being able to sit at that table," she said. "I've always wanted a seat at the table. I've always wanted to be someone who was in the space to be a part of the conversation, to be a leading force in the conversation or to start it. And me being able to even have that nomination shows that I am willing and capable of it, you know?"
Rodriguez also spoke to the magazine about her singing and songwriting, in addition to upcoming projects that she hopes will showcase her versatility as an artist.
"The most important thing that I'm excited for, honestly, is people seeing me in a new light when it comes to my craft, seeing that I'm versatile and capable of doing many different types of characters," she explained.
Next up on her agenda: an upcoming EP and a role in Lin-Manuel Miranda's film tick tick BOOM!
"I'm not going to stop," she added. "I'm going to make sure that the door is constantly kept open. I'm going to put a little stopper in that door, so that it can open up as much as it can."