TIME magazine honors transgender celebrity as one of its Women of the Year

TIME magazine selected 12 honorees for its inaugural 2022 Women of the Year issue, but only 11 of them were born female.

Transgender performer Michaela Jae Rodriguez, star of the FX series Pose, was lauded along with celebrities such as Amal Clooney, Kacey Musgraves and Kerry Washington in the special issue timed to International Women’s Day, which is Tuesday.

“Our 2022 Women of the Year list features 12 individuals who have reached across communities, generations, and borders to fight for a more inclusive and equitable world,” said the magazine in a Thursday essay, “How We Chose the 2022 Women of the Year .”

The honor comes with tensions rising over transgender women taking honors and titles designated for biological women as the transgender-rights movement flexes its considerable clout in politics, sports and entertainment.

Others include collegiate athlete Lia Thomas, who has smashed women’s swimming records, and “Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider, who was hailed by media outlets as the show’s winningest female contestant. Both were born male and transitioned as adults to female.

The 31-year-old Rodriguez, who told Playbill she started hormone-replacement therapy in 2016, won in January the 2022 Golden Globe award for best actress in a TV drama and was nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her work in Pose.

“I’m a trans woman, I am a Black woman, I am a Latina woman, I am a woman but I am also an actress who takes her craft seriously and I am also an artist who sings,” she told the magazine in to video. “I love what I do. I want to be the example for many other trans and many non-trans individuals out there.”

TIME magazine said it will host Tuesday a gala in Los Angeles for the 12 honorees timed to International Women’s Day.

“We can’t wait to be in the room with these incredible women, and to hear them connect over their ideas,” said the magazine.

The 2022 Women of the Year issue followed TIME’s 2020 100 Women of the Year project, in which the magazine went back and selected an outstanding woman for every year dating back to 1920.

“This was our way of correcting the record, addressing the legacy of a publication long known for its Man of the Year franchise, which only became Person of the Year in 1999,” said the TIME essay. “The response to that project was overwhelming, and it crystallized our desire to find more ways to highlight the impact that women have on the world.”

The other award-winners are software engineer Tracy Chou; NAACP official Sherrilyn Ifill; track-and-field champion Allyson Felix; Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman; poet Amanda Gorman; British midwife Jennie Joseph; Afghani journalist Zahra Joya, and civil-rights activist Amanda Nguyen.

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