T.V. series “Transparent” is pushing boundaries in Trans Women’s visibility

Yesterday, Ms. Magazine released their list of the best feminist television shows to watch right now!  Check it out!

You might be as surprised as I was to find that neither the show GIRLS, created by self proclaimed feminist Lena Dunham, nor the comedic duo of Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer from Broad City seemed to make the list. I was, however, entirely pleased to find an amazing new t.v. series that I hadn’t heard of yet. This is one in particular that I would love to share with you.

Watch Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-3Q2W0I2Xc

Image result for the creator of transparent t.v. show

Transparent’s creator and director, Jill Soloway is making headlines as the first non-network television series to take home the award for Best Drama at the Golden Globes.

Watch the full acceptance speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lViHIuheqCs

Jill was interviewed by Ellen following her award where she spoke about her experience with a parent who began transitioning at the age of seventy-four.  Jill also speaks candidly about the need for trans women to see their lives represented on screen and her hopes to improve the lives and safety of members of trans communities through the creation of this show.

Watch Ellen Interview :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECFDXKuQ_so

During Jill’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, she made a powerful dedication to transgendered teen, Leelah Alcorn, who committed suicide in December.

Recent studies conducted in Washington, D.C. around transgender youth revealed that over 50% of transgender youth will have at least one suicide attempt before the age of 20. The numbers are staggering. More Inforamation and Statistics: http://www.vocativ.com/culture/lgbt/transgender-suicide/

Jill uses her experience and voice to shed light on a perspective that does is not often celebrated in today’s media industry. We know that even among trans women, experiences vary with access to privilege, but I can’t help but be excited for more shows that finally focus on trans woman.

Jill Soloway is  a woman using her own personal knowledge, experience and connection to community to create a show that will enhance the discussion around LGBTQ issues for some, and for others, provide hope that there is space for their story – on screen.  

Here are I love about the show- Transparent

1.) Nothing is more empowering to watch a woman own who she really is.  Trans women can teach this to a cis woman – any day.

2.) It Outlines Cis Privilege 
Trans women face such barriers that cis gendered women do not.  I was waiting while watching the episodes just knowing that there would be a scene in the bathroom as this is so often a place where trans women experience discrimination and violence. I remember being given a pin at my university with the words ” Pee in Peace.” I was confused as I read the slogan, but began to inquire and research the issues of prejudice trans women face with relation to using public restrooms. There are members of the trans activist communities fighting to have bathrooms that recognize the fluidity of gender and sex. Binaries create barriers.

3.) We learn – We get to hear and have insight into some of the day to day issues trans women face. Getting this insight can be used to be less ignorant around other peoples experiences. I would imagine that Jill’s closeness to the trans community comes in handy with respect to writing these scenes. If you are trans, I wonder which kinds of conversations and experiences you would feel are valuable to address to an audience?

4.) It combats Agism by focussing on a trans woman who is transitioning later on in her life. Jills mother began her transition at the age of 74.

5.) Another thing I found interesting is that because most protagonists of a family drama are heterosexual couples in their twenties or early thirties and their kids- often young or in high school, it’s rare to see a familial relationship between adult children and their parents. Recently in an interview I watched, I heard a woman in the film industry who reviews film projects say that she’ll usually gets a show that takes place in an old age home or a show about twenty somethings. The diversity of age in this show is one of the things I love

5.) It’s a quiet shot of Mona, the way her hand runs along a rack of women’s garments, the quiet swallowing of words, the courage in her eyes, a life longing to be lived, a truth longing to be said, there is a subtly to Jill’s style that manages to convey greatly to the audience such realism and reliability. It is believable. This subtly serves from comedy to drama, replicating the intersecting emotions that play through each day of our life.

The over arching theme of the show is about having the courage to be who you are.  Jill has posited this message cross sexual orientation and generational lines. Who doesn’t Love. That.

Many of the shows on this list represent an exciting time for women rising within the film industry. Jill Soloway is just one of many we can be inspired by!

Thanks to Jill and others in the film industry, working to transcend barriers in order to bring visibility to trans women’s lives and experiences.

Do you want to work with other women developing a character or show that represents your experience? Are you a member of LGBTQ community that is wanting MORE ( or more accurate) representation of your experiences? 

Be sure to get in touch with the Women’s Film Collective.  Follow us bellow in order to get more information of monthly online meetings or email herperspectivecollective@gmail.com to get in contact with the Women’s Film Collective.