Entertainment

MJ Rodriguez Is The Newest Hollywood Sensation And Her Star Is Just Starting To Rise

mjrodriguez7 / Instagram

She’s beauty and she’s grace, and she’s one of the new faces in Hollywood representing trans women of color everywhere. While we all know MJ Rodriguez now as “Blanca Evangelista” from FX’s “Pose,” Rodriguez has been acting and performing for most of her life. It’s what got her here, to us.

If you’ve seen “Pose,” you should know that the accent is all real. Hecastmateses poke fun at how Rodriguez says the word “mother” (like any other Latina “mutha”). Pretty soon, you’ll be calling her Motha MJ támbien. Here’s what you should know about the freshest face in Hollywood.

MJ Rodriguez is half Puerto Rican and half African-American.

CREDIT: @PoseOnFX / Twitter

Her father is Puerto Rican and her mother is African-American. Both her parents have been pretty supportive of her transition and identity.

The Capricorn diva was born in Newark, New Jersey.

CREDIT: @mjrodriguez7 / Instagram

She was born on January 7, 1991, making the star 28 years old. Her “Pose” co-star and fellow Boricua, Indya Moore, threw her a surprise birthday bash.

Rodriguez grew up going to Catholic school.

CREDIT: @mjrodriguez7 / Instagram

Like most other Boricuas, we’re all recovering from that experience. Rodriguez went to the Queen of Angels Catholic School.

She started praying to become female when she was just 7 years old.

CREDIT: @mjrodriguez7 / Instagram

“Then I got into a stage of trying to be content with the person that I was betraying,” she tells Playbill. She lived in denial for many years before she started praying once again.

Rodriguez came out as gay/bisexual to her parents when she was 14 years old.

CREDIT: @REVRYTV / Twitter

“My mom is my biggest cheerleader,” she told Playbill. Even when Rodriguez was a child, she and her father were watching the 2005 film adaptation of “Rent” and she told her father, “I want to play this role.” His response? “In due time.”

That same year, she became involved with the ballroom scene.

CREDIT: @mrrpmurphy21 / Twitter

For those who are unfamiliar, the ‘ballroom scene’ isn’t about Tango. Madonna capitalized on the entirely queer-centered competitions with “Vogue.” Vogue is a style of ballroom dance.

“My house father saw something in me, she saw potential and taught me how to vogue,” she told ET.The experience on set [of “Pose”] was so reminiscent of that.”

At the same time she started praying to become a woman, she also decided to become an actor.

CREDIT: @mjrodriguez7 / Instagram

Her mother eventually enrolled her in the New Jersey Performing Arts Center when she was 11 years old. She became an eight-year veteran of the program and loved the stage.

Then, she landed the role of Angel in an off-Broadway production of “Rent.”

CREDIT: “MJ Rodriguez as ‘Angel’;” Digital Image. Playbill. 29 January 2019.

For her performance, she won the 2011 Clive Barnes Award, and she earned it. Rodriguez was Angel in her performance and it showed.

She was discovered by a Broadway star.

CREDIT: @REVRYTV / Twitter
Fredi Walker-Browne, the actress who played Joanne Jefferson in the Broadway version of “Rent,” was at one of Rodriguez’s theater performances and fell for her. She asked her to read for the role of Angel and got her the audition.

It was during her performance of Angel that she came back into touch with her childhood dream to become the woman she was meant to be.

CREDIT: @godlycia / Instagram

“Every single time I came out of the stage [door], I felt like there was some part of me that was missing,” she tells Playbill. The more empty she felt, the more room there was for her to take a closer look at what transitioning would be like.

So she took a hiatus to begin the transitioning process.

CREDIT: @mjrodriguez7 / Instagram

After “Rent” closed curtains in September 2012, she started hormone replacement therapy. “I’ve always felt I was the same person,” she tells Playbill. “There was never really any change; there was just evolving that had to take place. … I couldn’t put that in the public eye yet, because I wasn’t ready for the public eye to see it, so I had to take time to myself to figure a lot of things out. And, as you go through a transition, it’s not like, ‘Here are my boobs, and here is my butt!’”

When she told her agents she was no longer auditioning for male roles, she was terrified she’d be fired.

CREDIT: @mjrodriguez7 / Instagram

“I was really scared,” she admitted to Playbill.  “I didn’t know what they were going to think. To be quite honest, I was afraid that they would drop me, and I wouldn’t have had anyone to represent me, and I would be struggling again, but fortunately, after I sent the email, they said, ‘What? Are you kidding me? We love you.’ And they said, ‘It doesn’t matter. We still love you, and we don’t care.’ And things have been good moving forward.”

Soon after, she uploaded a video for a cover of a Hamilton song as her audition video.

CREDIT: MJ Rodriguez / Facebook

She uploaded the video to Facebook and got over 2,600 views. Within a week, her agents called to let her know she was being called in for an audition of “Hamilton.” She got the role as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds.

She was the first black transgender actress to appear in the Marvel Universe.

CREDIT: @MjRodriguez7 / Twitter

While her character didn’t speak, she exists through Rodriguez. You can catch her on the latest season of Netflix’s “Luke Cage.”

She’s even performed with Janelle Monáe on Stephen Colbert’s show in solidarity with everyone.

CREDIT: @elenaalvarez / Twitter

While Indya Moore was dancing for Katy Perry on “Saturday Night Live,” that same summer of 2018, Rodriguez was performing with queen Janelle on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” This was an act of trans activism right here.

Today, she’s becoming a trans icon, and even announced the GLAAD media awards nominations this year.

CREDIT: @mjrodriguez7 / Instagram

Only the theatre world knew of Rodriguez, really, until “Pose.” In less than a year, she’s announcing the nominations for the GLAAD Media Awards over a live stream. Brava! Her presence alone is an inspiration.

She’s even inspiring Lebron James’ daughter!

CREDIT: @kingjames / Instagram

King Lebron James had exactly this to say: “Nothing in this world is more POWERFUL than Colored Women!! Thank you all for continuing to not settle and setting great examples in life for so many looking up to you for inspiration/guidance and love!! My daughter is watching! #WomenPower💪🏾❤️👑”

Rodriguez hopes President Trump watches “Pose.”

CREDIT: @Variety / Twitter

When asked by Variety, she said, “I hope he does. Maybe it might change his mind set on certain things. I can’t really say that much about him because I’m not that much of a fan, but he is human. He should probably get a glimpse in on love a little bit more.”

It took “Pose” six months to find exactly the right role for Blanca, and it was Rodriguez.

CREDIT: @PoseBR / Twitter

This show has the largest cast of transgender actors as series regulars in a scripted series. It’s breaking all the barriers, and we got a Boricua to play the starring role.

Hint: Rodriguez wants us all to watch Pose.

Watch “Pose” on iTunes before Season 2 comes out later this year.

CREDIT: @awards_watch / Twitter

Get all the Boricua realness you need from these power stars like Rodriguez and Moore. Both are changing everything, and we get to watch them do it with flair.


READ: FX’s ‘Pose’ Is Giving Trans People Of Color The Representation They Have Never Seen Before

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Here’s Why Puerto Vallarta Is the Gay Beach Capital of Mexico

Culture

Here’s Why Puerto Vallarta Is the Gay Beach Capital of Mexico

ThatGayGringo / Instagram

Puerto Vallarta is one of the favorite Mexican tourist destinations of the LGBT community. There are hotels, bars, nightclubs, beaches, and even drinks specifically for LGBT travelers, and due to the safety and welcoming environment for these guests, it is the first city in Mexico to receive the Gay Travel Approved distinction by GayTravel.com.

But why PV? What made Vallarta Mexico’s top gay destination?

Let’s start back at the beginning.

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

In the south of Puerto Vallarta you will find the “Old Town,” also called “The Romantic Zone,” the tourist area favored by expats and foreigners who want to soak up local traditions. The Old Puerto Vallarta is also considered the gay neighborhood since 1980, when the gay community and retired Canadians and Americans bought land and properties in order to create gay-friendly businesses. Today there’s a wide variety of attractions with this focus, including bars, restaurants, stores, nightclubs, and both budget and boutique hotels.

In this zone is nestled the popular beach Playa de los Muertos, which, although not exclusively gay, for the last 20 years has been known as a gay-friendly beach (also called Blue Chairs, because of the many blue chairs placed by a gay resort which bears the same name), mainly in the high season, from November to March.

Why is this pristine beach the LBGT meeting point? Because the gay-friendly beachfront hotels in the area causes—and guarantees—a concentration of LGBT tourists, bringing a multicultural ambience where members of this community will be respected without discrimination. In the morning they can socialize and enjoy the party atmosphere, and in the afternoon walk holding hands under the dazzling sunset, in a romantic atmosphere free of hostility. Such is the high demand for LGBT-friendly vacation spots that the area has been extended to include the green chairs and as far as the north coast, in the elegant Oceano Sapphire Beach Club, owned by gays.

But it’s about more than just the beach.

Credit: David Stanley / Flickr

Unlike certain countries, laws against homosexuality never existed in Mexico. There is, however, a strong macho culture and religious influence which disapproves it—nonetheless the locals show respect. Under these circumstances, the growing community has led LGBT organizations to work to promote a change of culture in the pursuit of equality. Their work has gotten results: they have achieved recognition of gay rights, and implemented laws against the provocation and incitement of hate or violence against LGBTs, and also to guarantee equality in employment and public accomodation and services. Even more, in 2013 Puerto Vallarta legalized civil union between LGBT couples, followed by same-sex marriage in 2016.

This city organized its first Gay Pride March, and has hosted the Pink & Proud Women’s Party—the equivalent lesbian celebration—for the last four years, with assistance from the local Canadian and American communities. The multiple events in support of the LGBT community have marked out Puerto Vallarta as the “Mexican San Francisco.”

Now, there’s a giant and flourishing LGBTQ tourism industry that welcomes people from around the world.

Credit: Kristopher Roller / Unsplash

For the last 10 years, the number of LGBT visitors has increased in Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco, and in order to meet demand, the number of LGBT-friendly resorts and touristic attractions has also increased. Now three of every 10 hotels in Puerto Vallarta are LGBT-friendly, and most also offer weddings and other symbolic ceremonies.

Bars, nightclubs and other amenities are already focused on this market, and there are also tours—like the Gay VIP Bars Tour—and even drinks—like the Gay Tequila and the Gay Energy Drink—to make these guests feel extra welcome. As a result, Puerto Vallarta now hosts International LGBT Business Expos, with important conferences and events, including fashions shows, beach parties and music festivals to celebrate this booming market.

Puerto Vallarta remains the gateway to Mexico for many LGBTQ travelers.

Credit: kwhigam / Flickr

Some other cities have recognized the demand, and are now attempting to attract LGBT tourism to their destinations. Puerto Vallarta is not letting it happen: diverse businesses—no matter the sexual preference—are joining forces to create organizations to promote this targeted brand of tourism. The market gives consumers what they want, and they have identified this growing target and will not let it go.

Beyond the marketing, Puerto Vallarta became a platform to support gay rights, and the LGBT community knows it and feels welcome here. What really keeps the LGBT community hitting Puerto Vallarta is the activism, respect, and freedom they find in this beautiful paradise.

Salice Rose’s Ex Is On YouTube Right Now Attacking The Social Media Star Just Days After Announcing Her New Girlfriend

Entertainment

Salice Rose’s Ex Is On YouTube Right Now Attacking The Social Media Star Just Days After Announcing Her New Girlfriend

YouTuber Salice Rose has been notoriously private about her love life… up until last week when she introduced us all to her new bae. The Rose Family has erupted with joy for Salice in finding, if not love, then at least baeship with Brilynn. We’ve never seen another face that Salice has dated.

Then, one of Salice’s exes launched a YouTube channel of her own to explicitly talk about her relationship with Salice. In the video, Chas vents all her frustrations with the relationship and publicly airs out her side of the story. According to Chas, Salice was verbally and emotionally abusive, didn’t want her to have friends, and even donated her father’s ashes to Goodwill after one day’s notice to remove her stuff from Salice’s apartment.

Chas F’s channel already has 47k subscribers, and all her videos are about Salice Rose.

Credit: Chas F / YouTube

She created the channel about a week ago, just after Salice introduced her followers to her new girlfriend, Brilynn. According to Chas, it was hard to watch the video because just two weeks prior, they were “in each other’s phones” and talking about marriage, but Salice wanted to focus on her music.

Salice Rose has responded with a nearly hour and a half long retaliation video.

Credit: @salicerose / Instagram

“A message to my ex: I hope lying on my name all over social media made you happy,” Salice tweeted. “I hope you got all the fame you wanted. Because of YOU I’m in waves of depression. You spoke, my turn.”

In the video, she goes point by point to respond to each of Chas’s allegations.

Credit: Salice Rose / YouTube

Salice actually made the point of writing down each point that Chas made and tells her fans that the video would be the first and the last time she talks about that relationship again. 

Chas’ story is that Salice didn’t let her have any other jobs because she didn’t want her to be too far from her. Salice’s side, corroborated by her friends commenting in the background, is that Chas quit all her jobs of her own volition. According to Salice, she would absolutely tell her to “come home,” but didn’t expect her to actually quit her jobs.

According to Chas, Salice had the idea to hire her and their relationship started to fall apart from there.

Credit: @_andreasoto / Twitter

Chas shared that she had a feeling that taking the job would take away time from their relationship. They were spending all day together, and Salice takes her job very seriously. According to Chas, that made it difficult to spend time together without tension. Chas also said that she wasn’t getting paid enough to support anything other than her car bills. They started fighting, and Chas says that she didn’t have the opportunity to make any new friends.

The Rose Family is largely very sus of Chas’ accusations.

Credit: @ashliagius_ / Twitter

Chas said that she asked Salice to take on more responsibilities because she felt degraded by being paid to pick up dog poop. Salice had two dogs and Chas also had two dogs. According to Chas, the moment that she talked about getting other jobs, Salice started to treat her with disrespect and gaslit her.

Salice Rose opened her retaliation video by calling several Goodwills to ask if they accept human remains. They all said ‘no.’

Credit: @SaliceRose / Twitter

Chas says that Salice was going to mail her stuff out to Florida after they separated. Chas said she was calling and leaving voicemails to a mutual friend to arrange for Chas’s dad’s stuff to be mailed back to Florida. Through tears, Chas shares that two months after she moved out, she received an email with the subject line, “Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property” on June 7th.

One fan did some deep diving on Chas’ Instagram back to the day after that email, June 8th.

Credit: @nvmexme / Twitter

“I saw your ex’s vids and for a sec she made me think that you were the bad guy here,” tweeted @nvmexme. “But i mean everyone make mistakes yk? Anyways i kinda stalked her ig account and noticed that the same day say said that her things were going to be ‘donated’ Which was on june 8.”

Salice shared the email with her fans which clearly states that she gave Chas a month and a day from the receipt of the email to reclaim her property, which had already been in her apartment for two months.

There has been an outpour of support for Salice Rose after she responded to her ex-girlfriend’s video.

Credit: @salice_roseee / Twitter

Salice laid out her counterargument in an hour and twenty-minute video and went point by point off of Chas F’s video. She made a real point of taking on Chas F’s statement that Salice didn’t want her to have friends. As Salice lays out, she values friendships and argues that it is better for the relationship if both people have friends to hang out with outside of the relationship.

In other news, Salice’s debut R&B track became an overnight bop.

Salice has been teasing an entrance into a music career, and fans are shooketh that it’s actually here. Salice’s new bae, Brilynn commented, “Congratulations babe.”

Relationships are messy, but “Lullaby” is as smooth as can be.

Fans already can’t get enough of her new song.

Some are calling it the new summer bop. It does seem like fans have long been waiting for something like this from Salice Rose and they are letting everyone know that they need to check out this new song.

Watch Salice Rose’s response to her ex-girlfriend’s videos below!

READ: Salice Rose Just Awkwardly Introduced Us To Her Girlfriend And It’s Obviously Love

Paid Promoted Stories