The Times podcast: Mj Rodriguez brings the joy

Mj Rodriguez
Mj Rodriguez is nominated for an Emmy for her performance as Blanca in the FX series “Pose.”
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Mj Rodriguez has busted through a tough barrier as the first transgender performer nominated for an Emmy in a lead acting category. Now that she’s wrapped up her successful run in the hit FX show “Pose,” will there be more great mainstream opportunities for trans performers in the future?


“Pose” took us into New York’s LGBTQ ballroom scene amid the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and early ’90s, and Rodriguez brought it all together as Blanca, the mother of the House of Evangelista. Regardless of whether she wins the Emmy next month for outstanding lead actress in a drama series, she’s already made history.

Today’s episode continues our collaboration with our sister podcast “The Envelope.” Rodriguez talks about her background as a musical theater performer and Berklee-educated songwriter, the night she learned that the part of Blanca was hers and how she feels the doors are opening up for trans performers. Plus we’ve got a clip of her new single.

Host: Yvonne Villarreal

Guest: Actress Mj Rodriguez

More reading:

How Mj Rodriguez and Billy Porter are saying goodbye to ‘Pose’

‘Pose’ cast celebrates Mj Rodriguez’s historic Emmy nomination: ‘About mf’n time’

Queer actors are finally playing queer roles. Next up? More chances to play it straight

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producer Denise Guerra and producers Shannon Lin, Marina Peña and Melissa Kaplan. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our intern is Ashlea Brown. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.