I first heard about Transparent, a show centered around an aging man who is finally coming out to his family as transgender, while watching the Golden Globes.
The crew accepted the award for Best Television Series (Comedy or Musical), and I am only slightly ashamed to say that I cried a little.
Transparent is full of topics like lesbians ruining marriages, drug-fueled attempts at threesomes, girl band members getting abortions, and most prominently, Mort (Jeffrey Tambor)’s painful transition to Maura.
As for NSFW content, an episode does not go by without people having sex, or seeing someone’s breasts. (Just a warning).
I don’t care what IMDB says, Transparent is not a comedy. Sure, there are some funny moments, but as Norman Lear said, the show “walks a line between hilarity and heartbreak.”
I was sad for Maura, and sad for all three of her children, who are struggling through life. No one is happy, and all the characters are selfish and confused. As much as I want to like this show, I can’t, because it stresses me out a little, and makes me unhappy. But the point is not how much I like it, but how important it is.
The visibility that Transparent brings to the transgender and genderqueer community is something rarely seen in mainstream television, and it’s something that will hopefully bring awareness and understanding to previously ignorant viewers.
Not to mention, with the exception of Jeffrey Tambor, there are actual transgender people playing these trans characters.
Jill Soloway, the creator of the show, has implemented what she calls a “transfirmative action program,” where she hires transgender candidates instead of cisgender people whenever she can. Additionally, Soloway has hired full-time transgender consultants to “steer her away from any pitfalls.”
I can only hope that Transparent will help to usher in a new era of television and films about more than just heterosexual cisgender people.
So no, I will not be watching season two, but I’m happy that other people will be, and I’m glad that this show exists.