‘Transparent’ Makes TV History with First Full-Frontal Nude Scene by a Trans Person

‘Transparent’ Makes TV History with First Full-Frontal Nude Scene by a Trans Person

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The newly released fourth season of the Amazon dramatic series Transparent features transgender actress Alexandra Billings in what many are saying is the first-ever full-frontal nude scene for a trans actress in a television series.

In the show, Billings plays Davina, the friend and mentor of lead character Maura, a transwoman who came out in her older adulthood.

The nude scene occurs in the second episode, entitled “Groin Anomaly.” In the scene, Davina lays naked and face-down on her bed as her boyfriend massages her back. When he massages a painful area, she squeals and rolls over, exposing her breasts and penis to the camera.

RELATED | Actor Brian Michael of ‘Queen Sugar’ Comes Out as Transgender After Playing Trans on TV

Billings has said she specifically requested a nude scene from the show’s lead creator Jill Soloway. Regarding the scene, Billings says:

I don’t think it’s ever been done before, where you see someone who’s a trans body that was pre-op, especially of a certain age, who looks a certain way. I wanted to show everything, but I said I don’t want to be objectified. I don’t want to be sexualized. And I don’t want to be fetishized. I thought Jill’s way of showing it was brilliant.


Here’s a slightly censored image still from the Transparent full-frontal scene:


Billings has proved a groundbreaking trans actor and activist in other ways

Most folks might not realize that Billings was the first openly trans actress ever to play a trans TV character through her appearance in the 2005 TV movie prequel Romy and Michelle: In the Beginning.

According to The Daily Beast, Billings was also originally cast in the lead role of the 2005 trans dramedy Transamerica but later lost the role to cisgender actress Felicity Huffman in order for producers to get more financial backing for the film.

RELATED | Is It Ever OK for Cisgender Actors to Play Transgender Roles?

Billings is also a cabaret singer and has used her notoriety to raise awareness about transgender political challenges, lifetime experiences and the history of trans activism.


Here is a reel of Billings’ TV roles throughout her career:

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