Mj Rodriguez just made history at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards by earning her first nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Blanca on the FX drama “Pose“.

She’s the first transgender performer to be nominated in one of the major acting categories.

Rodriguez’s nomination comes seven years after Laverne Cox became the first transgender person ever to be nominated for an acting Emmy (Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014 for “Orange Is the New Black”). And it also comes one year after the Emmys nominated two transgender performers, Cox for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for the final season of “OITNB” and Rain Valdez for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for “Razor Tongue”, for the first time ever in the same year.

Pose, meanwhile, wrapped up its groundbreaking run at the Emmys with several nominations for its third and final season. Not only did the series pick up another nod for Outstanding Drama Series, but Billy Porter earned his third consecutive nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, a category he won in 2019.  

In 2019, when the series was first nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, it also marked the first time any transgender person was named in the category, with producers Janet Mock, Our Lady J and Silas Howard listed among co-creators Steven Canals, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

While the nominations represent a watershed moment at the awards, Joanna Fang is the only open transgender person to win a Primetime Emmy, for Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) for her work on the documentary “Cartel Land”. (Cox has since won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Special as executive producer for “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word”.)

Speaking with ET last year, Valdez said a win matters because it makes more transgender storytelling possible. “For me, it’s leverage to keep going and keep creating because there’s still so much to make,” she explained. “There’s still so much to create. There’s still so much representation that we need to see because there’s just way too many negative depictions that have been created in the last hundred years that we have to combat. And so we can’t stop at one nomination or two nominations.”


The 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards air live on Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on CBS and Paramount+. In the meantime, stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Emmys coverage.

More from ET:

The Complete List of 2021 Emmy Nominations

Billy Porter on How the Emmy Win for ‘Pose’ Changed His Life

Janet Mock, Our Lady J Make Emmy History With Outstanding Drama Nomination for ‘Pose’