Transparent and queer politics

Ava Laure Parsemain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary/reference bookpeer-review


Broadcast on the streaming platform Amazon since 2014, Transparent centers on the life of the trans woman Maura Pfefferman as she transitions from male to female. One of the most trans‐ and queer‐inclusive television programs to date, it has been praised for promoting trans visibility and for offering positive and realistic depictions of queerness. Drawing on historical facts and on the expertise of trans consultants, Transparent aims to educate viewers by depicting the experiences of trans and genderqueer individuals as accurately as possible. As studies have shown, it challenges heteronormativity and explores the meaning of gender in an innovative manner, often in relation to age, ethnicity, and religion. In addition, the program seeks to empower women by crafting a “female gaze.” However, scholars and critics also highlight the series' limitations. Indeed, the Pfeffermans' privileged background, the casting of a White, heterosexual, cisgender man as the lead trans character, and the persistence of the “wrong body” narrative remain problematic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe international encyclopedia of gender, media, and communication
EditorsKaren Ross, Cosimo Marco Scarcelli, Ingrid Bachmann, Sujata Moorti, Valentina Cardo
PublisherWiley-Blackwell, Wiley
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781119429128
ISBN (Print)9781119429104
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Amazon
  • female gaze
  • gender
  • genderqueer
  • transgender
  • Transparent
  • trans visibility
  • trans women


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