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Jeffrey Tambor’s Emmys Speech Moved Us to Tears

He dedicates his win to the transgender community

Liz Raftery

Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor made Emmys history Sunday, becoming the first actor to win an Emmy Award for playing a transgender character.

Tambor, who spoke about "the responsibility and the privilege" he was given when he landed the role of Maura Pfefferman in Amazon's groundbreaking series, dedicated his award to the transgender community.

"I had a teacher who used to say, when you act, you have to act as if your life depends on it," a visibly moved Tambor said. "And now I've been given the opportunity to act because people's lives depend on it."

Transparent's Jeffrey Tambor: Maura Pfefferman "was very real to me"

His win came on the heels of Transparent creator Jill Soloway winning the Emmy for Best Comedy Directing. Soloway, who based the character of Maura on her own parent, used her own speech to point out that it is still legal to discriminate against transgender people in several states.

Tambor was the first non-CBS star to win the Best Actor in a Comedy award since 2009.

"I'd like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community," he said. "Thank you for your patience, thank you for your courage, thank you for your stories. Thank you for your inspiration thank you for letting us be part of the change."