But Howard believes his life experience proved the key part of his resume, allowing him to approach the characters differently than seasoned filmmakers.
"This was a chance to bring my perspective to this show. Matt Damon said that thing about diversity not mattering behind the camera," he says, referring to the star's comments on "Project Greenlight," for which Damon later apologized. "I mean, how could it not matter who's behind the camera? Directing is all about point of view."
Howard has several TV and film projects in development and has just finished a round of meetings with executives at companies run by the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Lena Dunham. He is moving back to Los Angeles from New York (he has been teaching at Cornell this semester). He is in a long-term relationship, and his girlfriend, who lives in New York, will be moving with him. (The notion of "transamorousness," nontrans people who have trans lovers, is covered in his "Transparent" episode.)
Howard also has worked on "Hudson Valley Ballers," a Web series about a pair of comedy writers produced by Lorne Michaels' company and starring Paula Pell (who wrote the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler movie "Sisters"). He has developed a project at HBO and finished a short about the San Francisco icon Bambi Lake.