Jeffrey Tambor is no stranger to show business, but may be becoming a household name for the first time in his career. Not only is the star growing in exposure as an actor in Hollywood, he is becoming a beacon of hope for many.
Tambor recently reached a huge milestone in his career when he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical this past Sunday. This was the actor’s first Golden Globe win as well as his first nomination. Tambor won for his portrayal of Mort/Maura Pfefferman on the new Amazon Prime series Transparent. For those that are unfamiliar with the show, the reasoning for crediting Tambor’s character with two first names is because he takes on the role of a family patriarch named Mort who comes out to his fully-grown children as a transgender woman named Maura.
The creator of the show, Jill Soloway, wrote Transparent using actual events that were inspired by her family. Tambor’s character is solely based on Soloway’s very own transgender parent, hence the title, “trans parent”. Tambor showed much appreciation for Soloway on the night of the Golden Globes, thanking her graciously in his acceptance speech. The actor even went as far to say that she had changed his life for the better. Tambor also had many thanks to give to his supporting cast members and all others involved in making the show a reality. The star closed his speech by thanking his loving wife and finally dedicating his performance and his award to the transgender community, an act that has been making headlines since he made the statement.
The LGBT community, the transgender community specifically, have had a long trek in being highlighted in the mainstream media. Within the past few years, the industry has grown from showcasing trans characters as featured day players to top-billing them in awards-worthy mainstream projects.
Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black has grown into a hot commodity amongst TV viewers and showcases the likes of transgender actress Laverne Cox as one of the principal characters. Cox was nominated for an Emmy last year for her performance in the show and has even appeared on the cover of TIME magazine. Jared Leto won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar last year for his role as a trans woman in Dallas Buyer’s Club, a film that was seen by many across the nation. Tambor and Leto are both high-profile straight men who portrayed trans women and in doing so, have provided a loud voice for an entire population that previously had none due to the fact society would not accept them as society accepts individuals like Tambor and Leto.
The movement of beings who have experienced so much oppression being brought to the forefront of the entertainment industry is a beautiful shift in the world, one that will continue to thrive due to statements such as Transparent. The show has been renewed for a second season and also took home the Golden Globe for Best TV Series, Comedy or Musical – evidence that the common public have a desire to experience stories outside of the traditional Cinderella tale.
Individuals such as Jeffrey Tambor are considered to be a beacon of hope for those that have stood in the dark for too long. All episodes of Transparent can now be streamed on Amazon Prime.
Opinion by Cody Collier