×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Transparent’ Star Judith Light on Trump’s Transgender Military Ban: ‘It’s Just Very Upsetting’

Judith Light has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ equality since the early 1980s, and she’s currently up for an Emmy for her performance in the breakout Amazon hit “Transparent,” playing the ex-wife of the transgender woman played by Jeffrey Tambor. So when Light made a previously scheduled visit to Variety‘s New York offices on the morning that President Trump announced his ban on transgender people serving in the military, the issue was top of mind.

What did you think of the news this morning?
Judith Light: I just heard about it. I don’t know a lot about it yet, or the specifics of it, so I don’t want to go into it in full depth, but I will say the first hit of it was extremely unsettling to me, and very worrisome. Any time there is discrimination poised directly at another group of people, and in particular in this case at the transgender community, it is very, very disturbing. And I think unnecessary. If there are these grand and glorious and brave and courageous people that want to go into the military, that is their choice and we make that available to them. They are great soldiers. All of our soldiers.

It’s like when Harry Truman said he was going to integrate the armed forces, and everybody was up in arms. We see how magnificently it has worked, but it took someone with great courage to say, “I am doing this.” I think about the extraordinary people that I know, these extraordinary people discounted, in such an off-handed way — it’s just very upsetting. We’ll see what the next step is in how we move to reverse that, in whatever way we can.

Has being on “Transparent” increased your connection to the transgender community?
There’s no question about that. Just being on a show where we’re talking about transgender issues so prominently — it’s about time, and it’s important and essential that we do so. There’s not a person out there that doesn’t have somebody in their family that comes to them and says, “Excuse me, I want to tell you that I’m not the person that you thought I was.” What it takes to do that, to risk losing love, losing family, losing your culture, your religion, your law. Everything. Talk about bravery, and courage. It’s remarkable to me. I’m in awe of this community. It’s stunning. Beautiful.

More Legit

  • Tootsie review

    Broadway Review: 'Tootsie'

    The new Broadway adaptation of “Tootsie” is old-fashioned and proud of it — and it’s a surefire crowd-pleaser, in this musical spin on the 1982 film comedy with Santino Fontana in the Dustin Hoffman role. Robert Horn (book) and Tony-winner David Yazbek (score) have a high old time poking fun at theatrical rituals — the [...]

  • Kelli O'Hara

    Listen: How Kelli O'Hara Brings #MeToo to 'Kiss Me, Kate'

    “Kiss Me, Kate” is one of the best-known titles in musical theater. But in this day and age, the “Taming of the Shrew”-inspired comedy’s depiction of the gender dynamic seems downright, well, problematic. Listen to this week’s podcast below: Kelli O’Hara is well aware of that, and so were her collaborators on the Roundabout Theatre [...]

  • All My Sons review

    Broadway Review: 'All My Sons' With Annette Bening

    Don’t be fooled by the placid backyard setting, neighborly small talk and father-son joviality at the start of the Roundabout Theatre Company’s blistering revival of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” starring Annette Bening and Tracy Letts. There are plenty of secrets, resentments and disillusionments ahead, poised to rip this sunny Middle Americana facade to shreds. [...]

  • A still image from The Seven

    How Magic Leap, Video Games Are Defining Future of Royal Shakespeare Company

    At the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon, Sarah Ellis has the difficult job of figuring out where theater of the 1500s fits into the 21st century. As Director of Digital Development, a title which might seem out of place in an industry ruled by live, human performances, Ellis represents a recent seachange on [...]

  • Gary review

    Broadway Review: 'Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus' With Nathan Lane

    Nathan Lane and Kristine Nielsen, two of the funniest people on the face of the earth, play street cleaners tasked with carting away the dead after the civil wars that brought down the Roman Empire. Well, a job’s a job, and Gary (Lane) and Janice (Nielsen) go about their disgusting work without complaint. “Long story [...]

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content