It’s about damn time somebody recognized the acting genius of Pose lead, and Out cover star, Mj Rodriguez. Outfest, Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ film festival, will honor the actress with its “Trailblazer Award” at its annual Legacy Awards Gala later this month, the event announced Friday.
“Pose came into living rooms across America as a radical idea, but what quickly became apparent in Mj Rodriguez’s Blanca is we all know her,” said Outfest’s Executive Director Damien S. Navarro in a statement. “We have that friend on the block who sticks up for the underdog, that mom we know fighting for a better world for herself and her family, and that piece inside of ourselves which faces the adversity of each day with bravery to try to make it.”
The “Outfest Legacy Awards Gala: A Benefit to Protect Our Past and Build Our Future” is an annual fundraiser for the non-profit dedicated to “promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBTQ+ stories on the screen.” It helps support the year-round work of the group which includes filmmaker and professional education courses, screenwriting labs, leadership training, trans acting workshops, and film restoration programs.
In honoring Rodriguez with the Trailblazer Award, Outfest will pay tribute “to an artist whose recent star-making success comes after years of hard work and acclaimed performances on stage,” a statement says — because any true fan knows that Rodiguez ain’t new to this, she’s true to this! She’s currently headlining sold-out, energy-packed shows at the Pasadena Playhouse of Little Shop of Horrors.
Previously announced honorees at this year’s awards include Scout Productions (the team behind Queer Eye) and Tanya Saracho, the creator, producer, and showrunner of Vida. The legendary Sheryl Lee Ralph will host the event which will also feature performances by former American Idol contestant-in-drag Ada Vox and coming Dana Goldberg.
Previous Legacy Award winners include Justin Simien of Dear White People, icon Rita Moreno, other icon Laverne Cox, Empire creator Lee Daniels (Empire), legendary choreographer and director Adam Shankman.
Tickets for the Legacy Awards, taking place Oct. 27, can be purchased here.