Mya Taylor has made history as the first transgender actress to win a m major film award. Winning the Independent Spirit Award, she delivered an emotionally powerful acceptance speech for her performance in the comedy-drama ‘Tangerine.’
Photo: Mya Taylor
Mya Taylor delivered a critically acclaimed performance in the independent film ‘Tangerine,’ The movie itself, which had its world premiere at Sundance last yaer, has drawn notice as the director, Sean Baker shot it in its entirety with an iPhone. She and her costar Kitana Kiki Rodriguez portray friends — Alexandra and Sin-Dee Rella — who are in search of the latter’s unfaithful boyfriend on Christmas eve in L.A. as a pair of friends who trek through Los Angeles on Christmas eve to find Rodriguez’s unfaithful boyfriend. shot entirely with an iPhone.
Taking to the stage to accept the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 36th annual awards ceremony held in Santa Monica, California, Taylor said, “I have had a long journey through my 2015, because I had come from almost nothing. And then I got this role and this movie, and my life did a total 360.”
Later in her speech, she said of learning that the movie was going to be shot with an iPhone, “The first thing I thought is this movie ain’t going to be sh–. But it turned out amazing.”
She gave powerful, concluding words, acknowledging the magnitude of her trailblazing win that night. She said, ““There is transgender talent. There’s very beautiful transgender talent. So you better get out there and put it in your next movie.”
It’s another milestone for the transgender community which has seen Caitlyn Jenner rise to prominence and receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs after coming out publicly and before that Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox grace the cover of TIME magazine.
Now, in the year that’s seen the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, a night before the Oscars ceremony that’s seen a long, protracted discourse on diversity, it’s the Independent Spirit Awards that have delivered on diversity.
In winning, Taylor bested several more well known actresses including, notably Cynthia Nixon in ‘James White’ and Jennifer Jason Leigh in ‘Anomalisa.’ And, while she did not win, Taylor’s costar, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, received the Best Actress nomination; the award went to this year’s breakout star, Brie Larson for ‘Room.’
Laverne Cox was quick to praise Taylor on social media, in a lengthy and laudatory caption on an Instagram pic. After offering congratulatory words, Cox went on to reiterate what Taylor had said in her speech: “We have award winning talent and craft that just needs a chance to shine.”
You can see photos and the video of Mya Taylor’s Independent Spirit Award acceptance speech below!