‘Pose’ Star MJ Rodriguez Becomes First-Ever Trans Cover Model for LATINA Magazine

Lead Photo: Photo by Natalia Mantini
Photo by Natalia Mantini
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Michaela Jaé Rodriguez continues to break through the glass ceiling for the trans community and she has done it again. The actress is the first-ever trans cover model for LATINA Magazine and was honored by the publication for her authentic storytelling. Rodriguez, who starred in FX’s Pose, recently made history as the first trans actress nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The Afro-Latine multi-hyphenate performer is proud of her heritage and knows the strength that comes from embracing it.

“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,” Rodriguez tells LATINA in her interview. “Like, if you are culturally expressing yourself, never be afraid to express yourself, whether you’re playing Celia Cruz, Maluma, or Jennifer Lopez, never be afraid to do that.”

Rodriguez looks stunning in her photos giving us all of the ‘80s glamor shots realness we can handle. The minimalist nature of her photo evokes an inner beauty that can only come from having confidence in who you are and owning your full identity.

In her LATINA Magazine interview, Rodriguez further opens up about life as a “hood kid” growing up in Newark and her journey to discover and embrace her gender identity. It was when she played Angel in an off-Broadway revival of Rent that Rodriguez felt empowered to tell her own story of her gender identity journey.

You can read Rodriguez’s full LATINA Magazine interview here.