MJ Rodriguez Is First Trans Cover Star For LATINA

Earlier this year, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez smashed the glass ceiling by becoming the first trans actor nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Pose. The multi-hyphenate talent makes history again as LATINA’s first-ever trans cover star.

MJ Rodriguez makes history as the first trans cover artist on LATINA.
(photography by Natalia Mantini)

Centered on Rodriguez’s ability to tell stories and real-life role both on and off-screen as a protector, the actress/record artist opens up about her journey breaking into the industry, repping her hometown in Newark, NJ, and her Afro-Latinx identity.

One thing that I learned as an Afro-Latina, is that I should never, ever, ever be afraid — which I never was — but it was always instilled in me, to never be afraid of your heritage. – Michaela Jaé Rodriguez

Interviewed and written by Jasmin Hernandez, Michaela Jaé reflects deeply on her Emmy achievement:

I feel like it was an ode to my ancestors on how hard they had to fight within the trans community. ​I feel like it was also an ode to my Latino and Black ancestors who never got a chance to see, you know, the ones thrive before them or see the ones thrive after them.

And how she sees her beloved character, Blanca, as an inspiration.

I had my mother, I had my father, I had my second dad. I had the LGBTQIA community. I had all of those beautiful opportunities to be loved on. Blanca had none of that, and yet she still created it.

Read the full feature at LATINA.