TransMya Taylor made history this past week after becoming the first transgender performer to win a major film award.

The actress took home the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female for her work in Tangerine. The Independent Spirit Awards recognizes American movies made for less than $20 million.

Tangerine was one of 2015’s most memorable indie-films, and is now available on Netflix for streaming. The movie revolves around two transgender sex workers in Los Angeles and portrays the routine harassment black trans women face. The director, Sean Baker, shot the movie using only iPhones. It first premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

During her powerful speech, Taylor said “There is a transgender talent. There’s very beautiful transgender talent. So, you better get it out there and put it in your next movie.”

Taylor isn’t the first transgender to be nominated for an award. In 2012, Harmony Santana was nominated for her part in Gun Hill Road. Taylor is, however, one of the only African-American performers to score acting prizes during this awards season. Taylor was also honored with a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Actor.

Taylor ran up against Robin Barlette (H), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Anomalisa), Marin Ireland (Glass Chin) and Cynthia Nixon (James White). Taylor’s co-star, Kitana Kiki Rodriquez, was nominated for Best Female Lead but lost to Brie Larson (Room).

Backstage, Taylor revealed how big the win meant to her.

“When I look at acting, I don’t look at the money or the fame or anything like that. I went through a very, very hard struggle. And for me when I do stuff like this, I have to let other people know you can do what you put your mind to. Because the struggle was real for me, and I got out of it”

Taylor is proud to be an inspiration for the LGBT community and is looking forward to working on her next project, a TV show.

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