A Transparent Writer on Working for Diversity

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Photo: Amazon Studios

Ali Liebegott is a writer for Jill Soloway’s new television series Transparent, which stars Jeffrey Tambor as a transgender woman named Maura (known as Mort to his family until after the first episode). In an essay for Quartz, Liebegott writes about the responsibilities she has developing a transgender character for a mass audience who isn't just "diabolical diversity seasoning salt":

Can a TV show save lives? Can cisgender actor Jeffrey Tambor be enough of a first stepping stone for transwomen who’ve waited forever for any kind of representation? Could a transphobe somewhere see this show and feel something shift? With four new shows with trans content, will cisgender people pepper their scripts with trans characters to sell scripts? The thought of that makes me want to crawl back in bed.

But she did not! She continues:

From day one, I realized I had a unique responsibility as a queer, gender nonconforming writer working on a big television show. I owe it to my community. I hope that this show can not only give trans people positive visibility that will therefore make them safer in the bigger world, and more employable, and able to walk through the streets without the terror of violence. I want for trans people what I want for everyone: a fair living wage, health care, the absence of loneliness, freedom from addiction, a lemon tree in the front yard, and a TV show that they really love to watch.

This is a fantastic list of things to wish for everyone. The full essay is at Quartz