“Our culture has caught up to Transgender 101,” Transparent creator Jill Soloway said of events that have transpired since the launch of her Amazon series, most particularly the very public transition of Caitlyn Jenner.
Soloway said recently that Jenner’s post-transition visibility and widely discussed speech in accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards last month only helps her further the storytelling on her Emmy-nominated comedy series. “[Jeffrey Tambor’s character] Maura doesn’t have to be perfect anymore because of people like Caitlyn Jenner,” she told AwardsLine. “We’re not doing ‘Trans 101’ anymore — we’re not having to introduce the world to the concept of a trans woman. Now Maura can be a little bit more human. She can make mistakes more, she doesn’t have to be exemplary, so that’s exciting as writers for us, to allow her to make some bad turns.”
This morning, Soloway described it as “taking the bubble wrap off.”
‘What is brilliant about this year is Maura is not the central figure but a gateway figure, form this decision to be authentic, and that’s where we’re throwing down,” jumped in Tambor. ‘Will you still love me if I change gender, education, religion, you name it. That’s where we’re throwing down in a very wonderful way. You get to see this year so may stories going out through this gateway. It’s becoming more than just a story about transparent, or transitioning. It’s about people seeking freedom — all of us.”
Soloway noted that Transparent has added a transgender writer on staff, named Our Lady J. “Just like women want to … not have their stories told by men, and that seems a reasonable request,” so too should trans writers and directors be telling these stories, the EP said.
Asked how the staff addition had improved her series, Soloway mentioned an episode in which a photographer uses technology to take childhood photos and “turn you into the gender that you weren’t assigned but you are,” which she called a “beautiful story.”
Tambor said this morning: “I have had some wonderful conversations, meeting wonderful people …. stopping me on the street and wanting to talk about the show. Mostly they want to talk about their families, and it has enriched my life. That has made me very grateful.”
Tambor agreed with one journalist who suggested his Maura character would be “envious” of the very public transition of Jenner. “Oh absolutely. Definitely,” he said, adding, “And we have met Caitlyn on a personal level — we love Cait.”
Added Tambor, “That killed the room,” misinterpreting a ballroom’s-worth of reporters’ silence as they madly typed that information into their laptops and mobile devices.
The series was renewed in June for Season 3, which Amazon said today will premiere December 4.