When, at the age of 75 and after more than 40 years of marriage, a Chicago psychiatrist named Harry Soloway came out as transgender to his family, and said he would now be known as Carrie, his two grown daughters had very different reactions.
The oldest, Faith, was taken aback. “I was like, ‘Who is this new person?’” she recently told The New Yorker. “‘Who have I talked to for 40 years of life?’”
But for the younger sibling, Jill, the revelation eventually made sense. “No wonder I was so obsessed” with the subject of gender identity, she told an interviewer for The New York Times Magazine last year.
As many TV viewers now know, that family event was the catalyst behind the hit show “Transparent,” which in September won Emmys for both Ms. Soloway, as best director of a comedy, and Jeffrey Tambor, as best actor in a comedy for his role of Maura, a late-in-life transgender character modeled after the person Ms. Soloway now calls “Moppa.”
It recently unveiled its second series of streaming episodes to strong reviews. (The show “broadens its focus to the vast extended Pfefferman mishpocheh: children, in-laws, exes and long-gone ancestors,” wrote The New York Times chief television critic, James Poniewozik. “And it’s all the richer for it.”)
Ms. Soloway’s writing and directing of this Amazon show has made her something of an icon in the transgender community, one who has taken steps to ensure that the show be accurately reflective of the world it represents, including the participation of Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker, two transgender artists whose show about their relationship was displayed at the Whitney Biennial in 2014.
The show has also cast Ms. Soloway into any discussion where the word “transgender” comes up, most notably in the coverage of Caitlyn Jenner, the country’s most famous transgender woman.
Recently, Ms. Soloway came to her defense when Ms. Jenner was criticized for saying that the hardest part about being a woman was “figuring out what to wear.”
“Some trans women are really femme, some trans women are really butch,” Ms. Soloway told The Huffington Post, adding: “She’s a woman. Every woman has a right to be as femme or as not femme as they wish to be.”
An article last Sunday about Jill Soloway, the writer and director of “Transparent,” misstated the name she now calls the parent whom she has described as the inspiration for that TV show. It is “Moppa” not “Mompa.”