GLAAD will honor award-winning actress, singer, and activist Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize media that cover and represent LGBTQ people and issues fairly and accurately. Since 1990, the GLAAD Media Awards have become the most visible annual LGBTQ awards show in the world, sending powerful messages of acceptance to audiences globally.
“Michaela Jaé Rodriguez is an undeniable talent who is changing the way audiences understand trans people while breaking down barriers for the trans community and LGBTQ people of color within the entertainment industry,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Her performance as Blanca on Pose was one of the most important and impactful roles in the history of LGBTQ representation on television, and she continues to spearhead the future of trans visibility and inclusion in entertainment through her talent on screen, in music, and as a passionate activist.”
Rodriguez rose to fame with her critically acclaimed performance as Blanca Evangelista in FX’s Pose. Her portrayal as the young house mother living with HIV earned her a Golden Globe win and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role, making her the first trans woman to earn a win in the entire history of the Golden Globes and the first trans woman to earn an Emmy nomination in a lead or supporting acting category.
The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. Previous Stephen F. Kolzak honorees include Laverne Cox, Jim Parsons, Wanda Sykes, Troye Sivan, Ruby Rose, Chaz Bono, Stephen Warren, Melissa Etheridge, and Sir Ian McKellen.
In addition to her work as an actress and activist, Rodriguez is also breaking ground as a singer. “Something to Say,” the lead single off her upcoming EP, is a message of unity and love. Upon releasing the music video, Rodriguez shared that she hopes the track reminds everyone that “we are one!”
A Black and Latinx trans woman, Rodriguez has used her voice to publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement, urging fans to join her in the movement and advocated that racial justice organizations also prioritize protection of Black trans lives.
GLAAD announced 246 nominees in 30 categories for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Across categories, transgender and Black LGBTQ stories made a large impact, with nominees including Lil Nas X, West Side Story, Eternals, Pose, Sex Education, RuPaul’s Drag Race, We’re Here, Saved by the Bell, 9-1-1: Lone Star, Star Trek: Discovery, Batwoman, Changing the Game, I Am Jazz, Harlem, With Love, Twenties, BROCKHAMPTON, Mykki Blanco, among others. For a full list of nominees for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, click here.
The 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, April 2, 2022, are presented by Gilead Sciences, Inc., Hyundai, and Ketel One Family Made Vodka.
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