Amazon’s hit TV show Transparent has racked up a slew of awards over its short run, including five Emmys, two Critics’ Choice Awards, and two Golden Globes, and Season 2 of the series is up for three more Globes at this weekend’s ceremony. But while the accolades are nice, one of the series’ stars says the show is doing far more than just collecting critical acclaim — it’s changing the way people view and interact with the transgender community.
In an interview with TheWrap, actress Melora Hardin discussed the cultural significance of Transparent and the overall success of the transgender movement in 2015. Hardin praised President Obama for becoming the first president to use the word “transgender” and for hiring a transgender woman at the White House to “oversee the transgender movement.”
“I just feel so fortunate to be on a show that’s really changing, I think, the way people might interact with a trans person,” Hardin told TheWrap. “I certainly didn’t have trans people in my life before the show. I’d met some trans people but I hadn’t had an opportunity to have relationships with them.”
Transparent, one of Amazon’s first original television series, follows the exploits of a Los Angeles family as they navigate the transition of patriarch Mort Pfefferman (Jeffery Tambor) into Maura Pfefferman.
In November, the White House held a screening of Transparent and transgender-themed film The Danish Girl as part of its “LGBT Artists Champions of Change” event, which honored nine people “for their artistry in advocating for the LGBT community.”
Hardin called the trip to the White House “really moving.”
“It seems to me that if you’re able to push through all the pain and all the prejudice and all the judgement, and become what you feel you are… the people that I’ve met who have pushed through that really difficult time and now are on the other side living as a woman, living as a man, they have a kind of kindness about them,” Hardin said. “It takes such extraordinary courage to actually become who you are in the face of everybody just looking at you like you’re crazy.”
“I just hope people can have more compassion,” the actress concluded. “If they fall in love with those characters on our show, then maybe when they meet a trans person in life, they can just sort of have more empathy for what they’ve had to go through to actually realize who they feel they are.”
Season 2 of Transparent is currently streaming on Amazon Instant Video. The series is nominated for three Golden Globes at this weekend’s ceremony, including Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical.