Stephanie Meets the Creator and the Star of the hit series Transparent

Stephanie with Transparent series creator Jill Soloway, who received the SFE in Entertainment Award at the PFLAG National Straight for Equality Gala, March 30.

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.

Jeffrey Tambor & I_Center Dinner 2015

Stephanie with Golden Globe-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor of Transparent, who received the Trailblazer Award at the LGBT Community Center of New York’s Center Dinner gala on April 2.

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.