Jeffrey Tambor, who you probably know from shows such as WordGirl and Transparent, won the Emmy award for Lead actor, Comedy yesterday for his role in Transparent.
He took this proud achievement as a chance to make a touching acceptance speech, in which he dedicated this award to the transgender community. In the show which he was awarded for, he plays the role of Maura Pfefferman. Maura is a retired college professor who comes out as transgender to her family, and begins her transition to living as a woman.
Jeffrey said: “I’d like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for letting us be part of the change.”
He then went on to thank the series creator, Jill Soloway, for the “privilege” of playing the role of Maura.
“I had a teacher who used to say you had to act like your life depends on it. Now I’ve been given the opportunity to act because people’s lives depend on it.”
Jill herself also won an award that evening, the Emmy award for Directing for a Comedy Series, and she also called for change on transgender rights.
“In 32 states it would be legal for the landlord to look her in the eye and say ‘we don’t rent to trans people’. We don’t have a trans tipping point yet. We have a trans civil rights problem.”
She then urged people to demand that action be taken by the US government to ensure equality for transgender people.
You can watch Jeffrey’s acceptance speech below.