Just last month I was fortunate enough to meet and spend some time with two key persons responsible for the creation and success of the hit series “Transparent.” As a Board member of PFLAG National, we honored the series’ creator, Jill Soloway, at the Straight for Equality gala held at the Marriott Marquis in midtown Manhattan. In her remarks, Jill spoke poignantly about the impetus for the series, which involved her father’s own transition.
Now in its sixth year, PFLAG National’s Straight for Equality Gala honors and celebrates some of the most powerful straight allies who are generating life-changing change through their work. The awards each year focus on areas key to moving equality forward, including the workplace, faith communities, entertainment, literature, sports, education, and more.
The highlight of every year those who support and are associated with the LGBT Community Center (“the Center”) of New York is the Center Dinner event. This year’s event was held on April 2 at Cipriani on Wall Street, and among the honorees that evening, Jeffrey Tambor of the hit Amazon series Transparent was honored with the evening’s Trailblazer Award. He was presented by long-time LGBT ally and fellow cast member, Judith Light.
It was definitely a personal highlight for me, as the only transgender individual on the Center’s Board, to have had the chance to meet and briefly chat with Jeffrey at the event. In his acceptance speech he spoke poignantly about the transgender community and acknowledged the contributions of the trans individuals in the room – all of whom he did not necessarily know.
I will forever remember how he reacted to me when I told him that so many parts of Maura’s (the trans character he plays on the show) transition mirrored mine. He simply looked at me with empathy and understanding and kept repeating, “I know, I know” – because I truly believe that in living into Maura and learning about the transgender and gender non-conforming community – he truly does.
Over the course of a mere two weeks, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to add my voice on the Huffington Post website: as a new blogger in their “Gay Voices” section, and as a guest panelist on “Huff Post Live.”
For the former, I was asked by my colleagues at PFLAG to write a piece about what the importance of trans allies means to me, especially as it pertained to my decision to come out at work a few years ago. Today, as it was then for me, the importance of allies – those individuals that advocate for and support members of a community other than their own – cannot be overstated. You can read the entire blog by clicking here.
The producers of Huff Post Live asked me to share, once again, my experiences raising my son in a segment about being a parent who also happens to be trans. The episode, which included other trans parents, provided a rich array of experiences that I hope you find engaging and informative.
PFLAG National is the nation’s largest organization uniting families, allies, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ). PFLAG is doing wonderful work, a good portion of which has to do with educating the community about, and providing support to, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals through its network of over 350 chapters across the United States.
As the only transgender identified member of the the National Board, I am truly honored to be a part of a collective of passionate and committed individuals, and am looking forward to adding my voice to the initiatives PFLAG has underway with regard to the development of allies for the transgender community, and bringing a greater level of understanding to the issues facing transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.
Click Here, to read the full press release.