Jeffrey Tambor took home the gold for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy series at the 2015 Emmy awards, but his acceptance speech was an emotional number.
"Thank you so much. I'm so honored. You know, I had a teacher who used to say, 'when you act, you have to act as if your life depends on it.' And now I've been given the opportunity to act because people's lives depend on it. I'd like to thank Jill Soloway for giving me the privilege and responsibility of Maura from the Pacific Palisades," he says.
Tambor plays a transgender woman on Soloway's critically acclaimed Amazon Prime series, "Transparent." As the show's lead, Tambor travels the journey of Maura, who decides late in life to transition to a woman and must discover her new identity as her children and ex-wife grapple with the major change happening in all of their lives.
It is based on Soloway's real life experience when her father transitioned into her "moppa" Carrie. In her win for directing "Transparent," Soloway encouraged people to act for the transgender civil rights issue.
"Something interesting about my moppa Carrie, she could tomorrow go and try to find an apartment and 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,'" says Soloway. "We don't have a trans tipping point, we have a trans civil rights problem. So go to transequality.org and vote to pass the trans equality bill. Thank you."
The most heartfelt part of Tambor's speech was when he echoed Soloway's sentiments and thanked the transgender community.
"And I'm going to wrap up by saying, not to repeat myself, but to specifically repeat myself: I'd like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community," says Tambor. "Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for your for letting us be part of the change."