Jill Soloway on coming out as non-binary and the anger and grief of #MeToo hitting “Transparent”


When Jill Soloway won an Emmy Award for their groundbreaking Amazon series "Transparent" two years ago, they enthusiastically encouraged the audience to "topple the patriarchy." Six weeks later, the election of Donald Trump reminded us all that the patriarchy remains still very much untoppled.

In 2018, Soloway is boldly calling out inequity and challenging established norms around power and gender in Hollywood. On “Salon Talks,” Soloway shared their book "She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling the Patriarchy," out October 16, a memoir, both personal and political, about coming out as non-binary and grappling with what to do when the #MeToo movement inspired revelations about the star of their own show, Jeffrey Tambor.

Part of toppling the patriarchy, Soloway explained on “Salon Talks,” is wrapped up in how we see gender. “All these misconceptions about gender don’t do anything to help us,” Soloway said. Instead, Soloway is advocating for many definitions of gender.

“Somebody like me who is saying very actively ‘I identify with the they pronouns,’ I can go down to the DMV In California and say ‘Let’s change my gender marker to X.’ I can do so very proudly and easily because of my privilege,” Soloway said. “It’s my belief that this could create a new class of people who connect around a certain way of feeling other.”

Challenging established systems of all kinds in Hollywood and beyond and candidly using their family and their own experience as inspiration, Soloway has at times been the canary in the cultural coal mine. But, Soloway says, "I feel like this must have something to do with my purpose, and I'm just trying to stand up on the wave of it."

Watch the video above to hear Soloway reflect on how they reacted to #MeToo hitting “Transparent” and their next project, a “Transparent” musical.


Photography by Jill Greenberg. Watch Jill's TedxTalk on the Female Lens and the problem with only seeing the world from a man's perspective. And find out more about Jill's initiative Alreadymade., a mission to hire more female photographers and content creators.


Subscribe to SalonTV’s YouTube Channel to watch SalonTV's live interview and music shows "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage," airing daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. Click here to watch more “Salon Talks” interviews.

More From Salon Talks Full Episodes