GO! Presents 100 Women We Love: Class of 2024

THE CULTURAL ROADMAP FOR CITY GIRLS EVERYWHERE

August 6, 2020

Mj Rodriguez

Photo by lev radin: Shutterstock.com.

“When I was little all I could think about was just being on some kind of stage, whether it be on a live stage, whether it be on a set stage,” actress Mj Rodriguez tells Variety. “It didn’t matter. I just wanted to try to see if I could make myself the person that I always wanted to be, to be truly comfortable in the skin that I was in.” Growing up, Rodriguez found that space in the ballroom community, joining her found family and ballroom house at 14. In this space, she was able to feel comfortable in her body and not afraid of being judged. Now, Rodriguez has once again found that community on FX’s “Pose,” which follows the ballroom scene during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in late-1980s/early-1990s New York City. As Blanca, the mother of House of Evangelista, Rodriguez is the caregiver and supporter of a number of LGBTQ+ teenagers and young adults who — although they’re fictional — are following in many of the actress’ real footsteps. As a trans woman of color, Rodriguez told the Times that she’s always lived “by simply existing” and that nothing’s changed now that she’s representing these communities on TV. “‘Pose’” has put a lot of trans women of color on the map, and shown that we have much more to our lives than just the stigma,” Rodriguez says in an interview with the New York Times. “It shows that we have chapters to our lives. We’ve always known this about ourselves, but a lot of people haven’t.” —IL

Click here to see all 100 amazing women from this year’s class of Women We Love!

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