June July 2016
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The Advocate

Transparent Creator Jill Soloway Comes Out

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What readers will learn about Jill Soloway from the lengthy profile by The New Yorker is that she is an introspective, self-aware, and very outspoken woman who turned her experiences into award-winning entertainment: her upbringing as an outsider, her parents’ divorce, a soul-crushing chain of Hollywood industry catastrophes, her feminism, and her fascination with and simultaneous revulsion toward femininity. 

And those who read the article all the way to the end (spoiler alert) will also learn, Soloway is dating a woman. She confirmed that she is out in an email to The Advocate. And she’s not dating just any woman; as befits the woman who does nothing in a small way, the executive producer and creator of Transparent revealed in The New Yorker she is in a relationship with the iconic poet Eileen Myles. “We had pretty much an instant connection,” Soloway told the magazine. 

And in typical Hollywood fashion, Soloway only met her new love because her writers decided to model a new character in season 2 of Transparent on Myles. They met in person by sheer coincidence and worked feverishly to find time between their busy schedules just to talk on the phone.

Then her writers presented Soloway with a journal Myles wrote, purchased to help with character development. 

“I open it up, and the first thing it says is ‘Whoever falls in love with me is in trouble,’” Soloway told The New Yorker. “It was like she wrote to me without even knowing that I existed.”

Soloway also revealed to the magazine that she and her husband, Bruce Gilbert — Transparent’s music supervisor — are separating, amicably. “We’ll always do the Jewish holidays together,” Soloway told writer Ariel Levy.

And of course there is the revelation that catapulted her to success: not just her parent’s coming out as transgender, which led her to create the Amazon hit Transparent, but how that information revealed to Soloway who she is, as her sister and collaborator Faith told Levy:

“For Jill, it was: This is why I am the way I am. This is why I have these feelings about being female in the world.”

Soloway told the magazine about her lifelong obsession with gender issues and her bedrock feminist ideals. After another in a series of career setbacks, many revolving around men, Levy writes, Soloway was working on a production to explore “the mystery of intimacy” when the person she had thought of as her father told her she was a woman named Carrie. “The most intimate patriarchy in her life toppled,” wrote Levy. 

Read more about Soloway and how she evolved as a person and her perspective on gender identity in the profile by Ariel Levy, here.

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