jeffrey tambor wants to be the last cis person to take on a transgender role

In his Emmy acceptance speech, the Transparent actor called on the industry to “give transgender talent a chance.”

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19 September 2016, 8:51am

In recent years, the transgender experience has been given more and more time across film and TV. But while audiences are welcoming the increasing diversity and time spent on LGBT issues, members of the community have taken issue with how they are often portrayed. Rather than allowing these projects to create work for trans actors, more often than not, the roles are given to cis individuals who are in turn rewarded with waves of praise and award recognition. Not only does this take away jobs, but as transgender actress Jen Richards pointed out in her criticism of the casting of Matt Bomer in the upcoming film Anything, the casting of non trans actors can lead to violence against the trans community. In a series of tweets last month, the actress stressed that it does this by reinforcing the idea that "trans women are 'really' men."

It's a conversation that was clearly on Jeffrey Tambor's mind when he accepted his second Emmy today for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role of Maura in TransparentDuring his speech he acknowledged the problematic nature of his win and casting, commenting that by giving trans roles to cis actors the industry was denying the trans community work and true representation.

He urged the industry, "Please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions. Give them their story." Adding, "I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender [character] on television." Transparent show-runner Jill Soloway had previously shared similar sentiments, saying that while she didn't regret casting Tambour, she's learnt a lot in the years since. And now understands more fully the need for trans people to be able to tell their own stories. 

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Text Wendy Syfret
Image via Youtube