Let’s just get this out of the way first: We realize that after a series of characters on this list where an out LGBT actor plays them, this is not the case for our #1 pick: “Transparent”‘s Maura Pfefferman, played by Jeffrey Tambor in a glorious, Golden Globe (and hopefully Emmy soon enough) winning role. But while we are absolute advocates of LGBT actors playing LGBT characters, the fact that the man behind Maura isn’t shouldn’t matter.
What should matter is that “Transparent” is such a remarkable series that portrays Maura’s story with writing, directing and acting that is basically unparalleled. Jeffrey Tambor is incredible. Series creator Jill Soloway is incredible. The rest of the cast (including another member of this list) is incredible. They have collectively offered us perhaps the most realized trans character we’ve ever seen on television (or the internet, technically, but what do we even say anymore). And it’s on a series that’s winning award after award and getting out to mainstream audiences in ways that are genuinely changing the world. But Maura isn’t just a poster woman for the transgender community. She is a complicated and flawed woman just starting a journey of self-discovery. And we certainly hope that many more seasons of “Transparent” come our way to let us witness it. Long live Moppa!