But it was only about two years ago that Taylor couldn't even get a job.
"What it means to have this trophy in my hand? When I look at acting, I don't look at the money or the fame or anything like that," Taylor told reporters after her win inside the Indie Spirit Awards' press room. "I went through a very, very hard struggle and for me, I just feel like when I do stuff like this, I have to let other people know."
"You can do whatever you put your mind to," she said, adding, "The struggle was real for me, and I got out of it."
"It was very depressing and everything, but I pushed and pushed and pushed," Taylor said. "Then when this opportunity came, it was an opportunity given from God and I took it. I guess it made up for all the struggles that I went through. So keep pushing."
In a recent period of unprecedented focus on the challenges facing transgender people, Taylor said that there has been a "shift" in acceptance.
"I see more people being open about different genders and different races and stuff like that," she said. "I mean, we could've avoided it a million years ago with all the sexism and racism and stuff like that."
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But, Taylor said, "I can easily just say people should be minding their business. It'll make life a lot easier. Don't worry about what somebody's gender is or who they're having sex with or whatever the case may be."
Next for the North Dakota-based actress – she has no plan to move back to Los Angeles ("I hate the heat") – is a TV series she is developing with her agency.
Taylor described it as "everything that Tangerine is, but it will be a lot more."
"It will be very educational, but it will be very funny and very dramatic at the same time," she said. A story to match its star.
"Think about watching Empire. You constantly want to know what's going to happen for the next episode," Taylor said. "That's what my s--- is going to be like."
Reporting by MARIAH HAAS