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Sept. 29, 2014: Transgender Main-Streaming

September 30, 2014

Mara and I watched the first four episodes of “Transparent,” a new, streaming TV show on Amazon. It’s about the father of three grown children who is transgender and starts living as a woman.

We were going to boycott it because the lead character, Mort/Maura, is played by Jeffrey Tambor, who looks like a guy in drag; and we felt that it wasn’t a fair representation of transwomen. We felt that image would be burnished in the minds of people who watch the show but do not know much about the transgender community, when in reality, there are many transwomen who look, well, womanly.

But the show got good reviews, we were curious, and Amazon was offering a 30-day free trial of its streaming service. So what the hell?

The show is more sensitive toward the trans community than we thought. There are other trans characters, and not all of them look like guys in drag. In fact, so far, they all look more female than the lead character. Also, the lead character is portrayed as the sanest person in a pretty dysfunctional family.

So we’ll keep watching.



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  1. georgiakevin permalink

    Thank you for writing such a fine review. I like you both had decided not to watch the show because I was concerned if a genetic male who isn’t trans portrayed the main character a woman who is trans than it is likely that this show wouldn’t likely be very sensitive to the trans community.

    • Point well-taken. The father of the creator/writer/director of the show is trans, and this is where she got the idea. So far, it’s been pretty sensitive to the trans community, but I also would have liked to have seen an actual transwoman — and there are plenty of trans actresses out there — play the lead, even though transwomen do play some of the smaller roles.

      • georgiakevin permalink

        i agree with you. Keep writing.

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