LGBTQ+ Jewish Life

What Can We Learn from the Pfeffermans?

Wes Hopper
March 7, 2016

Most people have at least heard of Amazon’s groundbreaking television show, Transparent, which along with transgender actress Laverne Cox of Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and movies such as Tangerine, are pushing transgender stories from the margins into the mainstream. But to single out Transparent simply for highlighting a topic that’s still taboo in most of the television world is to overlook the other half of the show’s DNA – its significant reliance on Jewish themes and customs to weave its tale. It may seem an arbitrary combination, as the show is based in part on creator Jill Soloway’s own Jewish family and transgendered parent, but advocacy for LGBTQ rights has a long history among progressive Jews.