Jeffrey Tambour in “Transparent”; Amazon(NEW YORK) — You could rename 2015 the year of the transgender — the country received an education in what it means to be a transgender woman or man thanks to hit TV shows, actresses, reality stars, and one really famous former Olympian.

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce, made her debut on the cover of the July issue of Vanity Fair. Since then, the former Olympian and reality star has become a conduit for understanding transgender issues. Fans watched Keeping Up with the Kardashians and even an E! special, About Bruce, which aired in May, as Bruce became Caitlyn, including undergoing undergoing facial feminization surgery. Later that month, E! announced a new reality show titled I Am Cait, which further detailed her gender transition. 

Although it seemed the public may have had enough of Jenner — the July premiere of I Am Cait only attracted 2.73 million viewers — the reality star scored a second season of I Am Cait, to premiere in 2016. Also, the ESPYS, the annual awards show for athletes presented by ESPN, honored Jenner with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, given to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. She also won a Teen Choice Award for Social Media Queen in August and was named one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year in October.

Jenner made her transition even more permanent in September when she filed documents in Los Angeles to legally change her name.

Amazon’s Transparent
The groundbreaking Amazon show Transparent took center stage in 2015, and also took home many awards. Created by Jill Solloway, the series stars Jeffrey Tambor as a late-in-life transgender woman. In January, Tambor won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical. The series also won the award for Best Television Series — Comedy or Musical. By February, Solloway, Tambor and the series at large had taken home a Directors Guild of America Award and two Satellite Awards, which are awarded by the International Press Academy. The series also took home trophies at the GLAAD Media Awards and the Critics’ Choice Television Awards. And at the Primetime Emmy Awards in September, Transparent won five awards, including one for Tambor and Salloway. Transparent season two debuts in December.

Laverne Cox
Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox continued to break down barriers. After becoming the first transgender woman of color to star in a TV series when her Netflix series debuted in 2013, and the next year becoming the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a primetime Emmy award in an acting category, Cox this year she became Madame Tussauds’s first-ever transgender figure, in honor of Pride Month in July. She also became the first transwoman to pose nude for Allure magazine in April.

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Source: General Entertainment