Transgender actress Mj Rodriguez to be honored at Puerto Rican Day parade

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mj Rodriguez has made history as part of the largest transgender cast ever assembled for a scripted television series.

She is one of five trans performers of color to be featured on "Pose," a series set in the ballroom culture of the city 30 years ago. Season two of the FX show begins next week.

Rodriguez will be honored in the National Puerto Rican Day parade in New York City on Sunday.

She is being recognized as the 2019 Trailblazer Honoree.

"Believe it or not, I've never really been to the Parade before, but goin' for my first time, and actually being around people who are just like me. It feels good. It's liberating. It feels good," Rodriguez said.

It's also a way to remind folks that Puerto Rico is still recovering from the worst natural disaster in the country's history.

"A lot of people still haven't got the care they needed since the last hurricane that has happened. You know and it's really just trying to rally us together, and we're a community and we're here to support each other," Rodriguez said.

The Newark, New Jersey native said it is important for that community to see her as a trans-figure.

"They need to see that because they need to see that I'm a normal person. They won't have to see me so much as the 'trans' figure but they'll see me as the woman who is trying to make her way for many other Hispanic Latina women of my experience," Rodriguez explained.

Rodriguez has been acting since the age of 11 but almost gave up just before she was auditioned for "Pose" which turned out to be the validation she always wanted.

"You want people to see you as who you are but also to see your talent, and when I went into that room and they fully saw me for who I was. They didn't tag any titles to me. They just saw the actress that was in front of them. That's when it was all solidified for me. That's when I felt OK I can make my stamp in this world," she said.

ABC7 will bring you the National Puerto Rican Day parade LIVE starting with our live coverage on Channel 7 and on abc7ny.com at noon running through 3:30 p.m. with hosts Joe Torres and David Novarro from Eyewitness News and Sunny Hostin from The View.

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