Transparent’s Golden Globe Glory Is A Win For The Transgender Community

Above: Amazon's Golden Globe-winning Transparent is coming to Canada later this month
Above: Amazon's Golden Globe-winning Transparent is coming to Canada later this month

The week, Amazon Studios’ streaming service Instant Video earned a whole lot of credibility when its show Transparent took home the Golden Globe for Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor – TV Series, Musical or Comedy for Jeffrey Tambor. Transparent beat out other heavy weights like Girls and Orange is the New Black to win the award, marking the first major award an Amazon Studios show has ever received.

Transparent premiered in September 2014, and is only one season in but is already being praised universally for tackling an issue that no other show has ever focused on. Tambor plays Mort, a husband and father who has just come out to his family as transgender, and is in the process of transition into a woman named Maura.

The show’s creator and director, Jill Soloway dedicated the Golden Globe win to Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender girl whose recent suicide made headlines. Alcon posted a suicide note on Instagram saying she felt as though she would never be accepted (by her religious parents specifically) and would therefore never be able to transition and live her life as the woman she identifies as. Jeffrey Tambor dedicated his award to the transgender community as a whole.

The recognition Transparent received at the Golden Globes this year has proven that critics, and audiences want to see more diversity in television. Leelah Alcorn is not the only transgendered teen who has committed suicide because she felt so alone, judged, and hopeless. It is rare to see high profile celebrities in the media who can be role models for transgender people struggling to come out. But celebrities like Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), and shows like Transparent are giving the transgendered community hope, and the belief that they are not alone.

Often, a lot of the time discrimination happens because people are scared, or just don’t understand anyone who is different from them. Awareness is the first step in acceptance, and representation in the entertainment industry is a great way to spread awareness. Teenagers (and everyone else for that matter) need to know that they are free to be who they are, without fear, and without judgement.

There is a lot more hate in the world to deal with without worrying about what gender someone identifies as, and if they were born with the matching anatomy. Hopefully, as Jill Solway said in her acceptance speech, starting with shows like Transparent, we can start to “teach the world something about authenticity, and truth, and love.”

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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