Tangerine actor Mya Taylor has become the first trans woman to win a major film award.

Taylor picked up the historic honour on Saturday evening at the Spirit Awards.


Speaking at the ceremony, Taylor said: “I have had a long journey through my 2015, because I had come from almost nothing. And then I got this role and this movie, and my life did a total 360.”

Going on, she joked she was out of breath, saying: “I feel fat”, to laughs and applause from the crowd.


One of the most critically acclaimed independent films of 2015, Tangerine was filmed on iPhones.

It was created by director Sean Baker, and features two friends who walk across Los Angeles on Christmas Eve looking for one of their unfaithful boyfriends.

“The first thing I thought is this movie ain’t going to be sh–,” Taylor joked “… But it turned out amazing.”

“There is transgender talent. There’s very beautiful transgender talent. So you better get out there and put it in your next movie,” she concluded.

Taylor was congratulated by Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox on social media for winning the award.


Cox wrote: “I am so happy, inspired and proud of #MyaTaylor for making history tonight becoming the first transgender actor to win at the #SpiritAwards. And I loved her call to action in her acceptance speech to the filmmakers in the room to put transgender talent in your films. We have award winning talent and craft that just needs a chance to shine. Thank you Sean Baker and everyone involved with the film #Tangerine for giving two trans women of color a chance to tell trans stories. Thanks you #SpiritAwards for recognizing this incredible performance.”

Check out Taylor’s amazing acceptance speech below: