Thanks to her runaway hit "Transparent," Jill Soloway has become one of Hollywood's most high-profile advocates for transgender equality, and she told HuffPost Live on Tuesday that she's disappointed by the negative reactions to Caitlyn Jenner's Glamour "Women of the Year" honor.
One of the loudest critics has been James Smith, whose wife, New York City police officer Moira Smith, received a posthumous "Women of the Year" award after she was killed on 9/11. In a letter to Glamour's editor-in-chief, which he also posted on Facebook, Smith said Jenner's award was "insulting" to his wife's memory. "Was there no woman in America, or the rest of the world, more deserving than this man?" Smith wrote.
Soloway responded to Smith's reaction on HuffPost Live, explaining to host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani why the widower's words are unfortunate.
"It's sad," Soloway said. "There's this feeling of the binary -- this kind of either/or -- that a lot of people get really attached to, and a lot of people are powered by anger and looking for a reason to be angry. And if he's wanting the kind of attention around giving [his] wife's award back, it sounds like he's probably just really wanting to express anger to the world."
Jenner also took heat for comments she made to Buzzfeed at the Glamour event, where she said the hardest part about being a woman is "figuring out what to wear." The remark drew criticism from people who thought the focus on fashion diminished the more serious struggles women face.
Soloway told HuffPost Live it's important to honor the entire spectrum of gender expression -- and to remember Jenner's background as context for her words.
"Some trans women are really femme, some trans women are really butch. Everybody's different, and Caitlyn happens to be from a family -- I'm a huge Kardashians fan -- everybody in that family talks about hair and makeup and clothes all the time. It's their hobby to look good, so that's where Caitlyn comes from," Soloway said. "Whether or not she has a right to do that -- of course she has a right to do that. She's a woman. Every woman has a right to be as femme or as not femme as they wish to be. And it's absolutely awesome that Glamour has honored her."
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