Photography by Luke Gilford for Out and Diet Coke.
Mj Rodriguez stars in the leading role in one of the most groundbreaking and award-winning series that debuted last year. Being an actor in a central role on a national television show is surely no small feat. Rodriguez depicts an incredible and compelling performance into her character, who happens to share a similar history through the various obstacles and hardships they’ve both overcome. While on set at Out and Diet Coke’s photoshoot, Rodriguez often alludes to her past struggles in life, and how she knew how to face them by living her life unapologetically.
“At a very young age, I knew about who I was. It was about how the world was going to get hip to me” says Rodriguez. She tells us that when she “started taking hormones at 24, that’s when I started living my truth.” Transitioning, she says, was a landmark moment in her life: she truly felt like she was finally herself.
Rodriguez recalls how overcoming challenges taught her to live her life in this unapologetic way. When asked to define what it means to be unapologetic, Rodriguez says, “There’s just no care in the world, that’s what living unapologetically is. You walk and live in your truth in every single moment.”
Rodriguez is often open about sharing her own personal story of transitioning in hopes of inspiring others with the life she lives. Sharing the advice she would give her younger self, Rodriguez speaks with conviction to declare, “I would tell my younger self: 'Live out loud even more. Keep living for you.'”