Mya Taylor: Where is the Trans Actress Now?

Image Credit: Mya Taylor/Instagram

In ‘Tangerine,’ Mya Taylor portrays the role of Alexandra, one of the protagonists who helms the dramedy film’s chaotic narrative that unfolds across the streets of Hollywood. The story revolves around Alexandra and her best friend, Sin-Dee, two transgender sex workers who find themselves undertaking a haphazard venture. After serving a 28-day prison sentence, Sin-Dee learns about her boyfriend, Chester’s infidelity.

As a result, Sin-Dee becomes determined to track his mistress down, compelling Alexandra — who only wants to put on a great performance at a club later in the evening — to become a part of her friend’s messy odyssey. Taylor garnered significant attention after leading Sean Baker’s 2015 film and left an impression on the audience. For the same reason, the actress must have caught fans’ attention, leading them to wonder about her current personal and professional life.

Mya Taylor: From Texas to Hollywood

The ‘Tangerine’ star, Mya Taylor, was born in Texas on March 28, 1991, where she grew up in Richmond. She faced a tumultuous family life after her mother’s parole violation sent her to jail, leading then-13-year-old Taylor and her siblings to move in with their grandmother. While Taylor — assigned male at birth — always knew she liked women’s clothing and longer hair, she didn’t realize she was a transgender person until discovering that one of her aunts was a trans woman as well. Nevertheless, even though the realization improved her sense of self, it complicated her home life.

After facing rejection from her grandmother, Taylor ran away from home and moved to Hollywood, California, with her aunt. However, her relationship with the aunt posed its own problems owing to the latter’s constant criticisms and insults, as noted by the actress. Thus, in order to support herself, Taylor began working as a sex worker, with the Santa Monica and Highland intersection becoming her usual spot. In the future, this exact spot went on to become a part of her ‘Tangerine’ character, Alexandra’s story.

Taylor continued working as a sex worker until 23. In this nearly six-year-long period, the authorities arrested the woman four times. Around the same time as her departure from sex work, Taylor started medically transitioning through hormone therapy. As a result, she also began frequenting the LGBTQ Center in McCadden, where her paths crossed with Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch, who were doing research for ‘Tangerine.’ Consequently, Taylor ended up catching the filmmakers’ attention, and they decided to collaborate with them on their project. Furthermore, through her, the filmmakers also contacted Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Taylor’s roommate and eventual co-star.

Fatefully, ‘Tangerine’ turned out to be a massive success, with the film’s authentic and raw storytelling resonating with a widespread audience. As a result, 2015 shined a spotlight on Taylor, who— alongside Rodriguez— became the face of the first-ever Oscar campaign for trans actresses. Even though neither received an Oscar nomination, Taylor won other awards, such as the Gotham Independent Film and Independent Spirit Award. As such, ‘Tangerine,’ the actress’ feature film debut, ended up changing her life.

Mya Taylor Is Now a Nurse Who Still Pursues Acting

After ‘Tangerine’s’ impactful release, Mya Taylor signed with the ICM Partners talent agency in 2016. As such, she continued her acting career, starring in three short films, including the 2017 short, ‘Happy Birthday, Marsha!’ where the actress plays the titular role of Marsha P. Johnson. Likewise, she also added films like ‘Stage Mother’ and ‘Myra’ to her filmography and had a recurring role in ‘Dietland,’ before the show got canceled after one season.

Still, despite staying dedicated to her craft as an actress, Taylor realized she didn’t want acting to be her sole focus. Consequently, she began pursuing a career as a nurse as early as 2016— when she first left LA for North Dakota. By 2020, the woman was working as a nurse, facing grueling hours at the hospital during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, in an interview with Indie Wire, Taylor acknowledged how her transitioning helped her secure a career in North Dakota since it enabled her appear more cis-passing. “If people knew that I was trans, I wouldn’t be getting a job in any hospital or any nursing home in North Dakota,” said Taylor.

As it is, the actress is able to afford a comfortable living in North Dakota with her high-paying profession. Simultaneously, the woman also auditions regularly, keeping acting as one of her priorities. Recently, Taylor switched to Fusion Entertainment Talent Agency in 2022, adding the 2024 romance drama film ‘High Tide’ to her works. Furthermore, according to Variety, Taylor was working with her previous collaborators, Baker and Bergoch, to develop a TV show based on ‘Tangerine.’ While no new update has been made available about the project, fans can expect to catch the actress back on the big screen in her upcoming projects, ‘Captive Mind’ and ‘Phantom Moon.’

After Previous Relationship’s End, Mya Taylor Remains Private About Her Life

In 2015, Mya Taylor met James Behnke— 17 years older than the former— on Facebook, where she got to know the man. Eventually, she traveled to North Dakota to visit the man, and the two shared a first kiss at the airport’s baggage claim. As such, their relationship began, leading to an engagement soon after. The couple maintained a public relationship, with Behnke accompanying Taylor to events such as Caitlyn Jenner’s ‘Tangerine’ screening in LA.

In fact, Taylor’s initial move to North Dakota was influenced by her relationship with Behnke. However, the relationship ended up falling through. The actress hasn’t been publicly vocal about the relationship’s end, leaving little to no information about it available to her fans. Furthermore, although she maintains a presence on social media, including Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter), she seems to prefer keeping her personal life private. Consequently, Taylor hasn’t shared any updates about her current love life.

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