Mya Taylor

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Mya Taylor
Born (1991-03-28) March 28, 1991 (age 28)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Years active2015–present

Mya Taylor (born March 28, 1991) is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Alexandra in the 2015 film Tangerine.

Early life[edit]

Mya Taylor was born on March 28, 1991,[1] in Houston, Texas.[2] She was raised by her Christian grandparents, who at first did not know that she had come out as gay (pre-transition) in school. In 2009, she came out to them, which led to a lot of tension in the home. Taylor left and moved to California in May 2009 to live with another relative, but her gender identity led that relative to kick her out on the street.

Unable to secure legal employment at the age of 18, she worked as a sex worker in Hollywood.[3] She began going to therapy, and it was in her talks with her therapist that she decided that she was going to be true to herself.[citation needed] In January 2013, she came out as transgender.[citation needed] She has since reconnected with her mother, who coined her name, Mya.[4] She lived in an apartment with her eventual Tangerine co-star Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. It was at the age of 23, after five years of sex work and after four arrests for prostitution, Mya was approached by director Sean Baker and his co-screenwriter Chris Bergoch as she stood in the yard of Los Angeles' LGBT Center to star in their film Tangerine.[5]


Taylor is best known for her role as Alexandra in Sean Baker's 2015 film Tangerine.[6][7] The first Academy Award campaigns for openly transgender actresses supported by a film producer were launched for Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez for the film.[8] Taylor won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor for her performance in that film, making her the first openly transgender actress to win a Gotham Award.[9] She also won the San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress[10] and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female for the film.[11] She was the first openly transgender actor to win an Independent Spirit Award.[12]

In 2016 it was announced that ICM Partners signed Taylor and agreed to represent her for film and television acting and producing projects.[13]

Taylor played Marsha P. Johnson in Reina Gosset and Sasha Wortzel's 2016 short film Happy Birthday, Marsha![14] She is also in the 2016 short film Diane from the Moon.

In December 2017, it was announced Taylor had been cast in Dietland.[15] It began airing on June 4, 2018, on AMC.[16]

Personal life[edit]

When not in Los Angeles, Taylor lives in Jamestown, North Dakota, with her fiancé, James.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
2015 Tangerine Alexandra Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Seattle Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance, Female
2nd Place — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
2016 Happy Birthday, Marsha! Marsha P. Johnson Short film
2016 Diane from the Moon Diane Short film
2018 Myra Joy Post-production
TBA Stage Mother Cherry Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2018 Dietland Barbara 3 episodes


  1. ^ "Mya Taylor". OUTmedia. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  2. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (July 9, 2015). "Meet the Breakout Star of 'Tangerine,' the Sundance Sensation". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  3. ^ "'Tangerine' Star Mya Taylor Talks Hollywood Realness". Dinner Party Download. February 26, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  4. ^ McDonald, Soraya. "Mya Taylor is the face of this year's most improbable Oscar campaign". Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  5. ^ Ruiz, Michelle (February 26, 2016). "Mya Taylor and the Trans Actress's Dream of Going to the Oscars". Cosmopolitan.
  6. ^ O'Keeffe, Kevin (July 8, 2015). "Meet Mya Taylor, the Trans Actress Set to Take Hollywood by Storm". Mic. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Macia, Peter (July 9, 2015). "Tangerine Director Sean Baker and Star Mya Taylor on Making the Most Exciting Film of the Year". Vogue. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "Magnolia Pictures pushes Oscars nod for trans actresses | Spectrum". Archived from the original on 2015-10-19. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  9. ^ "Mya Taylor Becomes the First Transgender Actress to Win a Gotham Award". 1 December 2015.
  10. ^ "The San Francisco Film Critics Circle". 2015.
  11. ^ Mya Taylor Wins Best Supporting Female at 2016 Independent Spirit Awards - Hollywood Reporter
  12. ^ Mya Taylor Wins Best Supporting Female for 'Tangerine' at the 2016 Spirit Awards - Hollywood Reporter
  13. ^ McNary, Dave. "'Tangerine' Star Mya Taylor Signs with ICM". Variety.
  14. ^ Guerra, Joey (September 2, 2015). "Transgender actress Mya Taylor makes her presence known in 'Tangerine'". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  15. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (December 7, 2017). "AMC's 'Dietland' Enlists 'Tangerine' Breakout Mya Taylor". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  16. ^ Pederson, Erik (July 19, 2018). "'Dietland': AMC Sets Premiere Date For Timely Revenge-Fantasy Series Starring Joy Nash & Julianna Margulies". Deadline. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  17. ^ Walker, John (October 23, 2015). "'Tangerine' star Mya Taylor is determined not to be 'that person Hollywood forgets'". Fusion. Retrieved November 2, 2015.

External links[edit]