Scroll To Top

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez Teases EP, Talks Citi's 'Chosen Name' Collab

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez Teases EP, Talks Citi's 'Chosen Name' Collab

The Loot actress tells PRIDE she’s working on new music while collaborating with Citi on its “chosen name” feature.


Michaela Jaé Rodriguez became a household name after her breakout role on Pose as Blanca, becoming the first-ever trans woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award in a major acting category and going to win a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama. As a result of her mainstream popularity and historic accolades, Rodriguez was picked to collaborate with Citi on its newest “chosen name” feature.

“Citi is an organization that is making waves and aligning in a way that a lot of banks have not aligned. It’s giving and allotting opportunities for young LGBTQ+ [people] to change their name at the drop of a dime,” Rodriguez said of her partnership with Citi. “It’s accessible. It’s easy. It’s not hard. And there isn’t a struggle when you go through it.

She explained, “For a long time, a lot of people who are a part of the trans community and the gender nonconforming community, there would be a long process of documentation, name-change affirmation, and birth certificates… and it would just be kind of deterring and a little degrading when you had to go through that process. Citi’s not doing that. It’s just making it easy for young people to feel comfortable in who they are.”

“Most people, when they’re not able to do that, they don’t go and change their names,” the actress noted. “They usually just feel defeated and don’t do it. So what Citi [is doing with the “chosen name” feature] makes it easier on them and gives them a confidence boost. I’ve said this before, but it gives them a sense of validation and solidification as to who they are.”

Outside of her work as an actress, Rodriguez has also released original music. In 2021, she made waves for releasing the sweet and catchy single “Something to Say” – with a music video that already has over a million views on YouTube. Now, Rodriguez is working on a brand-new EP.

Rodriguez teased, “I have an EP coming out next year. There’s one song that I’ve been pumping out and I’m just trying to promote: it’s called ‘Green Lights.’ It’s a song about girls out there who feel like they weren’t able to go through the green light, so they stopped at the red light because they felt like there was something holding them back.”

During the writing and recording process, Rodriguez felt like she was basically writing this particular song to herself – but instead of making it about being held back, the song turned out to be an uplifting anthem to empower herself and others.

You can watch PRIDE’s exclusive interview with Rodriguez below.

After achieving so much success, Rodriguez candidly told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show that she didn’t know if she would work after Pose. And yet, not only is Rodriguez still booked and busy – she’s a bigger star than ever before. In the last two years, Rodriguez made waves for starring in the critically-acclaimed film tick, tick… BOOM! with Andrew Garfield, as well as playing the strict-but-lovable Sofia on Apple TV+’s Loot.

“I see myself just constantly continuing just to be the example through my art and my craft,” she noted. “When people see me, or any other trans person who’s in the forefront, it just gives them hope and it gives them a sense of self. It makes them comfortable to be themselves. And they may take a good excerpt or a piece of inspiration from a film or a television show that I do, and that alone can really shift their narratives.”

We can’t wait to listen to Rodriguez’s new EP and keep up with all of her upcoming projects. Thankfully, this huge Hollywood star will keep inspiring LGBTQ+ people all over the world through her voice and through her work.

To learn more about Citi’s “chosen name” feature, visit

RELATED | TikToker Explains Being Trans to Her Kid Brother – And Is So Beautiful

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Bernardo Sim


Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.