Jill Soloway Cites ‘SNL’ Sketch ‘It’s Pat’ as ‘Awful Piece of Anti-Trans Propaganda’

TCA 2017: “Transparent” creator was asked by TV critic for an example of transgender portrayal in media that “broke your heart”

Last Updated: August 4, 2017 @ 4:00 PM

“Transparent” creator Jill Soloway called early 1990s “Saturday Night Live” recurring sketch “It’s Pat” an “awful piece of anti-trans propaganda” on Friday during a GLAAD panel at the Television Critics Association press tour.

The “I Love Dick” executive producer was prompted by the following question, which one media member posed to the entire “Transgender Trends on TV” panel: “In the representation throughout history, do you recall the first time you saw yourself represented in a way that just broke your heart?”

Soloway cited the skit as a “hateful, hateful, awful thing to do to non-binary people — to create this character that the whole world laughed at openly.”

“We didn’t understand that at the time, but looking back at that, what an awful piece of anti-trans propaganda that was handed out for many, many years,” Soloway continued. “So, that’s one that I look back at with a lot of sadness, that that was part of our culture.”

Soloway later cited Pidgeon Pagonis as an example of an intersex person who has had a positive impact, answering the flip side of the original question. Pagonis played Baxter on Soloway’s Amazon series, “Transparent.”

“Pat” was an androgynous fictional character created and performed by Julia Sweeney. The general joke of the popular sketch centered on the inability of others to determine the character’s gender. The skit was adapted for a feature-length movie in 1994, which starred Sweeney, Dave Foley, Charles Rocket, Kathy Griffin, Timothy Stack and others.

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