Mya Taylor Becomes First Transgender Winner at Spirit Awards

Mya Taylor won the Best Supporting Female award at Saturday night’s Film Independent Spirit Awards, becoming the first-ever transgender actor to win an award at the ceremony in its 31-year history.

The Tangerine star beat out Jennifer Jason Leigh (Anomalisa), Marin Ireland (Glass Chin), Cynthia Nixon (James White) and Robin Bartlett (H.) to take home the independent film world’s equivalent of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

“First of all, no one tells you how nervous you’re gonna be when you’re up against other big actors for an award,” Taylor said while collecting the award.

“There are so many things that go through your head, like ‘Am I gonna trip on this long-ass dress getting up here?’ I have had a long journey through my 2015 because I had come from almost nothing and then got this role and this movie, and my life just did a total 360.”

In December, Bruce Jenner hosted an Academy screening of Tangerine in an effort to mount an Oscar campaign for Taylor. The film, shot entirely on an iPhone 5s, stars Taylor as a transgender prostitute who must traverse Los Angeles with a friend to find the source of a “scandalous rumor” on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, the first transgender artist ever to be nominated for an Oscar pledged to boycott the annual awards ceremony this week. In an essay for Pitchfork, singer Ahnoni, nominated for Best Original Song, charged the Academy Awards producers with “waving flags for identity politics and fake moral issues” before announcing he would not attend Sunday night’s ceremony.


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