Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Margaret Fink, Hannah Frank, Matthew Hubbell, Alexandra Juhasz, Noa Merkin, Erica Rand, Tyler Schroeder, and Dan Udy for their thoughtful comments, and express my gratitude to Zackary Drucker for her time and, always, for her work.
1. J. Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (New York: New York University Press, 2005). [return to essay]
2. Transparent. Executive producer Jill Soloway. Associate producers Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst. Amazon streaming video, 2014-2015.
3. For example, see Debra Birnbaum, “‘Transparent’ Creates Trans-Positive Environment Behind the Scenes,” Variety, October 1, 2014, http://variety.com/2014/artisans/production/transparent-creates-trans-positive-environment-behind-the-scenes-1201317634/, accessed April 29, 2016; S. Nicole Lane, “Zackary Drucker On Queer TV, Irreverence, And Family,” The Establishment, December 16, 2015, http://www.theestablishment.co/2015/12/16/transparent-co-producer-zackary-drucker-talks-queer-tv-irreverence-and-family/, accessed April 29, 2016; and “OUT100: Zackary Drucker & Rhys Ernst,” OUT Magazine, November 6, 2014, http://www.out.com/out-exclusives/out100-2014/2014/11/06/out100-zackary-drucker-rhys-ernst, accessed April 29, 2016.
4. Lisa Cartwright, Screening the Body: Tracing Medicine's Visual Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995).
5. As a television show uniquely and intimately concerned with what it means to be Jewish in the United States in the 21st century, the series breaks new ground beyond its representation of Maura and her community.
6. See for example: Daniel Reynolds, “Is ‘Transface’ a Problem in Hollywood?” The Advocate, February 25, 2015, http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/2015/02/25/transface-problem-hollywood, accessed July 18, 2016; Laura Mandanas, “‘Transparent’ TV Pilot Features Trans Mom, Queer Women, Additional Delightful Things,” Autostraddle.com, February 12, 2014, http://www.autostraddle.com/transparent-tv-pilot-features-trans-mom-queer-women-other-delightful-things-223430, accessed July 18, 2016; Nick Duffy, “Transparent star: I understand frustration with male actor playing trans woman,” Pink News, October 8, 2014, http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/10/08/transparent-star-i-understand-frustration-with-male-actor-playing-trans-woman, accessed July 18, 2016; William Van Meter, “‘Maura Is Real to Me’: Jeffrey Tambor on His Role in Transparent,” Vulture.com, September 23, 2014, http://www.vulture.com/2014/09/jeffrey-tambor-on-his-role-in-transparent.html, accessed July 18, 2016.
7. Jenelle Riley, “Amazon, ‘Transparent’ Make History at Golden Globes,” Variety, January 11, 2015, http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/amazon-transparent-make-history-at-golden-globes-1201400485/, accessed July 13, 2016.
8. Olivia Armstrong, “Now You Can Watch ‘Transparent’ Without Amazon Prime,” Decider, January 22, 2015, http://decider.com/2015/01/22/transparent-streaming-free-amazon/, accessed July 13, 2016.
9. Stuart Hall, “New Ethnicities,” Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, edited by David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen (New York: Routledge, 1996), 441-449.
10. Darby English, How To See a Work of Art in Total Darkness (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2007), 7.
11. English, How To See a Work of Art in Total Darkness, 25-26.
12. Anastasia Kyriacou, “Review: ‘Transparent’ – the True Transgender Tipping Point?” Pink News, September 25, 2014, http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/09/25/review-transparent-the-true-transgender-tipping-point/, accessed July 11, 2016.
13. Cael Keegan, “Op-ed: How Transparent Tried and Failed to Represent Trans Men,” The Advocate, October 22, 2014, http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2014/10/22/op-ed-how-transparent-tried-and-failed-represent-trans-men, accessed July 11, 2016.
14. Mey Rude, “My Day On The Set Of ‘Transparent,’ Where Trans Voices Actually Get Heard,” Autostraddle.com, December 13, 2015, http://www.autostraddle.com/transparent-wants-to-give-trans-people-power-over-their-own-stories-and-in-the-industry-320237/, accessed July 11, 2016.
15. As Dan Udy points out in this issue, there is no unified transgender subject, and therefore it is questionable whether any trans consultant can truly speak to all of trans experience.
16. In addition to media commentary that describes trans consultants working to authenticate media and access economic opportunity, trans consultants themselves describe their labor in these terms. For example, Calpernia Addams sees her work as ensuring accurate and positive trans representation in Hollywood (“Op-ed: In Defense of Jared Leto,” Advocate, March 5, 2014, http://www.advocate.com/commentary/
2014/03/05/op-ed-defense-jared-leto, accessed April 29, 2016) and at a luncheon at the University of Chicago on May 8, 2015, Zackary Drucker described her work on Transparent as an economic opportunity.
17. Sabine Meyer, email to the author, April 20, 2016.
18. Although double casting is also an important artistic choice in American Horror Story (2011 - ), created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, it is a technique that is rarely employed in US television.
19. Drucker, May 8, 2015; Zackary Drucker, premiere of Southern for Pussy at Trans Tech Social in Chicago on October 28, 2016.
20. Zackary Drucker, email to the author, April 27, 2016.
21. Drucker, May 8, 2015.
22. Drucker, October 28, 2016.
23. Drucker, May 6, 2016.
24. Additionally, my decision to continue working on this project even when I realized that I would not be able to produce a watertight argument was partly inspired by the analysis of the gendering of argument in Erica Rand, “Hip Openers: On the Visuals of Gendering Athleticism,” Queer Difficulty in Art and Poetry: Re-thinking the Sexed Body in Verse and Visual Culture, edited by Jongwoo Jeremy Kim and Christopher Reed (Routledge, 2017) [forthcoming].
25. Danielle M. Seid, “Reveal,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 1, no. 1–2 (2014): 176.
26. Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives, 78.
27. Of course, passing is also an important issue for Jewish identity, although Eve K. Sedgwick argues that Jewish identity is easier to conceal than queer identities in Epistemology of the Closet (Berkeley: UC Press, 1990), 79.
28. Seid, “Reveal,” 176.
29. Seid, “Reveal,” 176.
30. Seid, “Reveal,” 176.
31. Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives, 10.
32. As Dan Udy observes in this issue, social media can marshal visibility towards capitalistic personal branding while simultaneously supporting collective political work.