Getting cast as a transgender woman character has been great for Jeffrey Tambor’s career. At the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night, he added another trophy to his shelf, taking the award for best actor in a comedy for his performance as Maura Pfefferman in Transparent. As in earlier wins, he made a point of thanking his transgender “teachers”—Van Barnes, Rhys Ernst, Zachary Drucker, Jenny Boylan—and, as the music started to play, he shushed the orchestra and made his views known on the question of whether it’s OK for cisgender actors to play transgender characters.
Now, listen to me. … I’m not going to say this beautifully. But to you people out there, you producers and network owners, and agents, and you creative sparks, please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions. Give them their story. Do that. And also, one more thing: I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television. We have work to do. I love you.