Emmy Nominations: POSE Star Mj Rodriguez Makes History

Mj Rodriguez of POSE
Mj Rodriguez of POSE
Mj Rodriguez of POSE (via Instagram)

Mj Rodriguez made history today as she was honored with an Emmy Award nomination for her role as ‘Blanca’ on the acclaimed FX series POSE.

Receiving a nod for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Rodriguez becomes the first trans actress to be recognized in a lead acting category.

Series co-creator Steven Canals celebrated the news on Twitter:

The third and final season of POSE garnered a total of 9 nominations this morning including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Billy Porter.

This is Porter’s 3rd nomination having previously made history himself when he took home the Emmy For Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role of ‘Pray Tell’ in 2019.

The series has been a trailblazer from the get-go by featuring the largest trans cast in TV history. And yet, until now, none of the trans female cast members had been recognized by the Emmys.

“Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez’s Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series is a breakthrough for transgender women in Hollywood, and a long-overdue recognition for her groundbreaking performance over the past three seasons of POSE,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

“Additionally, the show’s nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, as well as Billy Porter’s third nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, mark a historic show that undoubtedly raised the bar for trans representation on television and changed the way viewers around the world understand the trans community.

In additional LGBTQ Emmy news, RuPaul’s Drag Race was honored with 9 nominations including Outstanding Competition Program and Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program for Mama Ru. Plus, two nods for RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked including Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.

Netflix’s Queer Eye garnered 6 nominations including Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program as well as Outstanding Structured Reality Program.

And Randy Rainbow received his 3rd nomination for Best Short Form Variety Series. He won in 2019.

GLAAD has assembled a complete list of LGBTQ nominations here.

You can see the full list of 2021 Emmy Award nominations here. The 73rd Annual Emmy Awards will air live on CBS Sunday, September 19.

Out Music: POSE star Dyllón Burnside Wants To Take You To ‘Heaven’

Dyllón Burnside
Dyllón Burnside
Dyllón Burnside (image via Instagram)

POSE star Dyllón Burnside recently dropped a new single, “Heaven,” as he returns his focus to music following the finale of his hit FX TV series.

In an interview with Pink News, Burnside reflects on how the music industry has changed since he stepped away from his days in the boy band 3D.

“Things are very different now,” says Burnside. “We just saw Lil Nas X kiss a man on the BET Awards, and while I think that still sends shockwaves through the Black community and through the hip-hop community, it’s so important – and it’s possible [for him to do that] now. We saw BET get behind it in a way that I don’t think they would have five years ago.”

“Now, there’s more space now for me to create the music that I want to make, to talk about what I want to talk about, to put the visuals out in the world that I want to put out, without being told it’s career suicide,” he added. “I think people are starting to get it.”

The 32-year-old artist also notes that queer artists still face a sort of censoring of male on male sexuality. “I push back against that,” shares the singer. “And that’s what I’m saying with ‘Heaven’ – that sex between men is not dirty. It’s holy, it’s sacred, it’s pure. I can relate it to my relationship with God because for me, it’s a spiritual experience.”

Check out Burnside’s new single, “Heaven,” along with some posts from his Instagram account.

‘POSE’ & ‘WandaVision’ Lead In Nominations For LGBTQ Critics 2021 TV Honors

Scenes from POSE and WandaVision (Eric Liebowitz/FX; Marvel Studios)

Take pride, Hollywood: GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, comprised of over 300 entertainment journalists in the U.S. and abroad, has announced its 2021 Dorian TV Award nominations.

“And I’m so proud,” says the Society’s newly-elected president, Monika Estrella Negra. “Our group’s nominations are diverse and fresh, signaling the overhaul of invisibility of marginalized communities and the heralding of a new generation of entertainment journalists.”

Disclaimer: I am a proud voting member of GALECA.

The final season of Pose, FX’s dazzling and powerful found-family drama, holds sway with six nods, starting with Best TV Drama. Disney+’s amusing (and TV-spoofing) Marvel fantasy WandaVision keeps an eye out with five nominations. And following closely with four nominations each: HBO’s grim Kate Winslet-lead murder mystery Mare of Easttown and vividly frank trauma tale I May Destroy You, as well as the heartrending AIDS crisis drama It’s a Sin on spinoff network HBO Max.

Spurred by passionate pleas in trade publication editorials by non-binary activists, as well as non-binary journalists and others in GALECA’s own ranks, the group’s membership recently voted to make all Dorian performance categories gender-neutral (as they were in the group’s first three years of existence, beginning in 2009).

Aiming to alleviate concerns that the elimination of gendered acting categories would cut the number of nomination-worthy roles by half—and leave out artists that might otherwise be recognized—the Society moved to note 10 nominees, rather than the usual five, for Best TV Performance and Best Supporting TV Performance.

In the chief performance category, venerable stars like Winslett (for Easttown), Jean Smart (Hacks) and past Dorian Award winner Billy Porter (Pose) are up against rising talents like I May Destroy You’s creator Michaela Coel and Thuso Mbedu (The Underground Railroad). In the supporting race, Dorian final-ballot voters will choose from the likes of The Crown’s Gillian Anderson, 
John Boyega of auteur director Steve McQueen’s anthology drama Small Axe, Saturday Night Live’s latest breakout Bowen Yang and Easttown standout Julianne Nicholson.

Showing the medium is still thriving amid a pandemic, GALECA’s short-list picks include lots of first-season shows, including the electric dramas Bridgerton, Lovecraft Country and P-Valley, the over-the-top showbiz satires Girls5eva (produced by Tina Fey) and Hacks, and Best Current Affairs Show contenders Ziwe and The Amber Ruffin Show.

And holding court in the group’s trademark Campiest TV Show arena: The annual flashy and drama-filled live music performance battle Eurovision Song Contest, the nasty nurse rehash that was Ratched, the ultra-irreverent WandaVision, and more.

Dorian TV Award winners will be revealed Sunday, August 29. Last fall’s Dorians TV Toast 2020 special, a mix of comedy, original music and meaningful tributes to winners, featured appearances by Janelle Monáe, Regina King, Hugh Jackman, Dan Levy, Josh Thomas, Laverne Cox, John Oliver, Damon Lindelof, Margaret Cho, Chad Michaels and the exuberant Porter. The program, hosted by groundbreaking gay activist and broadcasting veteran Karel, can be viewed for free on demand on Revry.TV.

Viewers who missed GALECA’s more recent special, Dorians Film Toast 2021 can tune to Free Speech TV (FSTV) on June 27, 4pm EST, 1pm PST. The three-hour show, also hosted by Karel, will be repeated on the channel over July 4 weekend as well.



The Crown

Lovecraft Country

The Flight Attendant

Ted Lasso

I May Destroy You
It’s A Sin 
Love, Victor 

I May Destroy You
It’s a Sin
Mare of Easttown 
Small Axe
The Queen’s Gambit

A Black Lady Sketch 
Love, Victor 
Search Party
We Are Who We Are

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You
Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
Thuso Mbedu, The Underground Railroad
Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision
Billy Porter, Pose
MJ Rodriguez, Pose

Jean Smart, Hacks

Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit
Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown

Gillian Anderson, The Crown

John Boyega, Small Axe

Pappa Essiedu, I May Destroy You

Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision

Marielle Heller, The Queen’s Gambit

Callum Scott Howells, It’s a Sin

Dominique Jackson, Pose
Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown

Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown

Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live

Lady Gaga, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Biden-Harris Inauguration
Jonathan Groff, “You’ll Be Back,” Hamilton 
Kathryn Hahn, “Agatha All Along,” WandaVision

Elton John & Years & Years, “It’s a Sin,” BRIT Awards 2021

Punkie Johnson, Anya-Taylor Joy, Lil Nas X, Kate McKinnon, Bowen Yang, “Pride Month Song,” Saturday Night Live
Bowen Yang (as The Iceberg That Sank the Titanic), “Loverboy,” Saturday Night Live 

Framing Britney Spears
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
Pretend It’s a City

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Amber Ruffin Show
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Big Mouth
Bob’s Burgers
Harley Quinn
South Park: The Pandemic Special

Nailed It
Queer Eye
RuPaul’s Drag Race
The Great British Bake Off

The Crown
Lovecraft Country
Small Axe
The Mandalorian

At Home with Amy Sedaris
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square
Eurovision Song Contest
To a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse)
Michaela Coel

Kathryn Hahn

Fran Lebowitz

Randy Rainbow

Bowen Yang    
(To a uniquely talented TV icon we adore)
Winner TBA

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics’ Dorian Awards, formed in 2009, go to all of film and TV, mainstream to LGBTQ, reminding bigots, bullies and at-risk youth that the world looks to the queer eye for leads on great and unique entertainment.
The Society currently includes approximately 300 active journalists, and 20 culturally influential Advisory Board members, based in the U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K. and beyond. 

News Round-Up: June 1, 2021

(image via Twitter)

Some news items you might have missed:

Pink News: Grindr announced last week it is the new sponsor for French professional rugby club Biarritz Olympique (above photo). In the app’s iconic black and yellow color scheme the jerseys will be worn by the French Pro Division Two team in the 2021/22 season.

POSE: How does it feel to be represented on screen? As Pride Month kicks off, the cast of the acclaimed FX series POSE shares the importance of representation in the path toward progress.

CNN: The Pentagon is reviewing a policy instituted last year that limits which flags can be displayed at military bases. If changes are made to the current policy it could open the door to allowing the rainbow Pride flag to be displayed.

WTOL: A video that has gone viral shows 14-year-old Tristan Torrez being attacked by a bully on the bleachers at his school. In the video, Tristan is grabbed from behind and pulled backward down the bleachers before the bully took the rainbow flag Tristan was wearing and beat him with it.

NBC News: Dozens of constitutional experts are sending a letter telling congressional leaders they have the authority to make the nation’s capital the 51st state. They argue that there is “no constitutional barrier” to the District’s “entering the Union through a congressional proclamation” just like the 37 other states that have been admitted since the Constitution was adopted.

Sacramento: A pair of white straight ‘Karens’ (top image) demanded that a queer black woman stop kissing her girlfriend in a hotel pool because “there were children present!“ You’ll note it’s the white women using f-bombs during the encounter even though “there were children present.” According to the poster, other (straight/white) couples in the pool were showing PDA, but they only insisted that only black queer woman stop.

Emmy/Grammy Winner Billy Porter Comes Out As HIV+

Grammy/Emmy/Tony Award winner Billy Porter
Grammy/Emmy/Tony Award winner Billy Porter
Grammy/Emmy/Tony Award winner Billy Porter (screen capture – THR)

After a deeply moving episode of the acclaimed FX series Pose on Sunday which drew in part from his own personal life story, Grammy/Emmy Award winner Billy Porter has come out as HIV+ today in a candid and revealing interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

I was the generation that was supposed to know better, and it happened anyway. It was 2007, the worst year of my life. I was on the precipice of obscurity for about a decade or so, but 2007 was the worst of it. By February, I had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. By March, I signed bankruptcy papers.

And by June, I was diagnosed HIV-positive. The shame of that time compounded with the shame that had already [accumulated] in my life silenced me, and I have lived with that shame in silence for 14 years. HIV-positive, where I come from, growing up in the Pentecostal church with a very religious family, is God’s punishment.

The 51-year-old actor also shares how Pose changed the equation for him:

Then came Pose. An opportunity to work through the shame [of HIV] and where I have gotten to in this moment. And the brilliance of Pray Tell and this opportunity was that I was able to say everything that I wanted to say through a surrogate. My compartmentalizing and disassociation muscles are very, very strong, so I had no idea I was being traumatized or triggered. I was just happy that somebody was finally taking me seriously as an actor.

Porter had made a pact that he wouldn’t tell his mother because he felt she’d already gone through so much due to his ‘queerness.’ But on the last day of shooting his scenes for Pose, he had an epiphany.

Then I woke up on the last day of [shooting] Pose; I was writing in my gratitude journal and my mama popped into my head. I was like, “Let me just call her.” Not two minutes into the conversation, she’s like, “What’s wrong?” I said, “Nothing.” She’s like, “Son, please tell me what’s wrong.”

So I ripped the Band-Aid off and I told her. She said, “You’ve been carrying this around for 14 years? Don’t ever do this again. I’m your mother, I love you no matter what. And I know I didn’t understand how to do that early on, but it’s been decades now.” And it’s all true. It’s my own shame. Years of trauma makes a human being skittish. But the truth shall set you free. I feel my heart releasing. It had felt like a hand was holding my heart clenched for years — for years — and it’s all gone.

While Pose may be coming to an end, the future is full of new adventures for Billy.

Every single solitary dream that I ever had is coming true in this moment, all at the same time. I’m getting ready to play the fairy godmother in Cinderella. I have new music coming out. I have a memoir coming out. Pose is out. I’m directing my first film. And I’m trying to be present. I’m trying to be joyful, and one of the effects of trauma is not being able to feel joy.

I celebrate Billy’s inspiring and uplifting journey to his truth, and his sharing it with us. Please read the full article (and watch the video interview) at The Hollywood Reporter.

DaShawn Usher, Associate Director – Communities of Color for GLAAD, issued a statement on Billy’s announcement:

“The tremendous levels of stigma facing people living with HIV today can only be broken by icons like Billy Porter showing the world that HIV is not at all a barrier to a healthy and successful life. People living with HIV today, when on effective treatment, lead long and healthy lives and cannot transmit HIV, plus medications like PrEP protect people who do not have HIV from contracting HIV, but these leaps in HIV prevention and treatment have largely been invisible in the news and entertainment industries.”

“When the groundbreaking show Pose goes off air in a few weeks, there will be zero television characters living with HIV. That is truly unacceptable when 1.2 million Americans and about 38 million people globally are living with HIV. Billy’s powerful interview needs to be a wake-up call for media and the general public that it’s time to end the stigma that people living with HIV face and to educate each other about HIV prevention and treatment.”

GLAAD and Gilead Sciences last year released a survey that measures American attitudes toward HIV/AIDS and people living with HIV.

Among those findings were only 55% of LGBTQ Americans and 51% of non-LGBTQ Americans report feeling knowledgeable about HIV.

First Look At Emotional Final Season Of POSE

Season 3 of POSE premieres on FX on May 2
Season 3 of POSE premieres on FX on May 2
Season 3 of POSE premieres May 2 on FX

The creators behind the acclaimed FX series POSE have released the trailer for the upcoming 3rd and final season premiering on May 2.

In the clip, we hear from the actors who have brought the compelling characters to life about where we find them in 1994.

Official synopsis:

In the final season of Pose, it’s now 1994 and ballroom feels like a distant memory for Blanca who struggles to balance being a mother with being a present partner to her new love, and her latest role as a nurse’s aide.

Meanwhile, as AIDS becomes the leading cause of death for Americans ages 25 to 44, Pray Tell contends with unexpected health burdens. Elsewhere, the emergence of a vicious new upstart house forces the House of Evangelista members to contend with their legacy.

Podcast: The Return Of POSE, Possible HIV Vaccine, Colton Underwood & More

In this episode of The Randy Report - France bans conversion therapy, Florida Republicans push "Don't Say Gay" bill, bad news for Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Rippon has good news, and the award-winning Western short film STEAM! premieres on Revry.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s episode of The Randy Report podcast:

• President Biden appoints an out police chief to head up Customs and Border Protections

• A new vaccine shows enormous promise against HIV

• Polling shows Americans overwhelmingly oppose anti-transgender legislation

• Colton Underwood, star of ‘The Bachelor,’ comes out as gay and gets some backlash

• The third and final season of the ground-breaking FX series POSE will premiere in May – click here for trailer

• And LGBTQ entertainment critics will have their say on the best in cinema from the past year at the Dorians Film Toast 2021

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Trailer For 3rd And Final Season Of POSE Is Here!

Screen capture from the Season 3 trailer of POSE

Screen capture from the Season 3 trailer of POSE

The trailer for the third and final season of the acclaimed FX series POSE is here!

From the official website:

In the final season of Pose, it’s now 1994 and ballroom feels like a distant memory for Blanca who struggles to balance being a mother with being a present partner to her new love, and her latest role as a nurse’s aide.

Meanwhile, as AIDS becomes the leading cause of death for Americans ages 25 to 44, Pray Tell contends with unexpected health burdens. Elsewhere, the emergence of a vicious new upstart house forces the House of Evangelista members to contend with their legacy.

Premiering in 2018, POSE made history with its number of transgender cast members including Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross.

During its first two seasons the drama garnered AFI and Peabody Awards and numerous Golden Globe nods. Series lead Billy Porter made history by being the first Black gay man to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Season 3 of POSE will premiere on May 2 at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on FX. The series finale will air June 6.

Podcast: POSE Announces Series Ending, Killer Uses Grindr To Find Victim, And More

In this episode of The Randy Report - France bans conversion therapy, Florida Republicans push "Don't Say Gay" bill, bad news for Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Rippon has good news, and the award-winning Western short film STEAM! premieres on Revry.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• A new Gallup Poll shows more people identify as LGBTQ than ever before

• Virginia has outlawed the use of the ‘gay panic’ and ‘trans panic’ legal defenses

• Houston police have arrested a man who assaulted and killed a man he met using Grindr

• The Equality Act begins its trek through Congress (again)

• The largest Protestant adoption and foster agency has announced it will open up its services to LGBTQ families

• And the creators of the acclaimed FX series POSE have announced the upcoming 3rd season will be its last

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report podcast