Jill Soloway, the creator of Transparent, recently published a memoir, She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling the Patriarchy.
The book details the process of creating the award-winning (and very Jewish) TV show, Soloway’s parent coming out as transgender, as well as their identity as a non-binary person (Soloway prefers to use the pronouns “they/them”). To promote the book, Soloway participated in a Times Talk with comedian Hannah Gadsby and the gender editor for The New York Times.
As such “conversation” events go, after a discussion, the floor was opened to the audience questions. And guess who popped up, looking very much like a normal person, to ask a question? Orange is The New Black star and new Jewish mama, Yael Stone.
Stone, who shared her traumatic birth story on Instagram this summer, welcomed her baby, Pemau, in May. So what did the Australian actress — who did not identify herself — have to ask Soloway and Gadsby?
“Hi Jill, Hannah,” she begins, wearing a wintry sweater and large glasses. “I just had a baby. And the baby has a vagina.” (Gadbsy, in the background, says “uh-oh!”)
Stone continues, “And I had to get a passport. And on the passport, I had to say, male or female. And ever since I did that, I’ve just been thinking, how do I make space for the gender of this baby?”
Soloway says, “you should have just put male.”
“I should have?” Stone replies, then smiles and says, “just to fuck around.”
Soloway replies: “It’s a way to do it, there’s a percentage chance the baby’s male even though it has a vagina.”
“Right,” Stone answers, and finishes her question: “I guess my question is, as this baby is growing, how do I make space with language and clothes and people?”
Gadsby humorously points out that the baby’s passport won’t last long. There are many more passports to come in the future, she adds, so Stone can “let [herself] off the hook with the passport.”
Soloway then jumps in, talking about raising gender free children. “I think anytime you can provide that neutral landscape,” they explain, “and allow the child to follow their own bliss… would be a good start.”
You can watch the delightful exchange at 1:05, below — or sit back and watch the illuminating conversation in its entirety. It’s worth it!