Trace Lysette

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Trace Lysette

Trace Lysette is an American actress. She plays Shea on the Amazon Video web television series Transparent (2014–present). Lysette is a transgender woman, and one of the first trans people to appear as a non-transgender person on prime time television in a speaking role.

Early life[edit]

In her late teens, Lysette was a track athlete and performed as a showgirl in bars around her native Dayton and Columbus, Ohio. She worked as a hairstylist and makeup artist before beginning her acting career. Her television debut was a guest appearance in an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit[1] as one of the first trans people to appear in a non trans speaking role on primetime television.


After working in non-transgender roles, Lysette chose to come out during her audition for the Amazon series Transparent. On the show, she plays Shea, a transgender yoga teacher and friend of Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor).[2] After Lysette originally auditioned for the role of Davina, Transparent creator Jill Soloway wrote the role of Shea for her.[3] The third season of Transparent contains a storyline in which Shea has a romantic relationship with a cisgender heterosexual man, which has been called "a groundbreaking TV moment for a trans character."[3]

She has also appeared in guest roles in shows such as Blunt Talk and Drunk History.[4] She also made an appearance in the documentary series I Am Cait.

In 2017, transgender actors and actresses including Lysette (with the help of GLAAD and ScreenCrush) were part of a filmed letter to Hollywood written by Jen Richards, asking for more and improved roles for transgender people.[5][6]



Year Title Role Notes
2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Lila Episode: "Internal Affairs"
2014 Coffee House Chronicles Rachel Episode: "Tran-sitions"
2015 The Curse of the Fuentes Women Gloria Television film
2014–present Transparent Shea 10 episodes
2015 I Am Cait Herself 3 episodes
2016 - 2019 Drunk History Sylvia Rivera, Elizabeth Eden 2 episodes
2015–2016 Blunt Talk Gisele 3 episodes
2018 Pose Clothing Store Saleswoman Episode: "Love is the Message"
2018 Midnight, Texas Celeste Episode: "Drown the Sadness in Chardonnay"

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist Ref.
2017 "Name for You" (Flipped) The Shins
2018 "Girls Like You" (Original, Volume 2 and Vertical Video versions) Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B [7][8][9]
"SOS" Cher
2019 "WTP" Teyana Taylor [10]


  1. ^ "GLAAD chats with Trace Lysette, star of Transparent and Blunt Talk". GLAAD. 2015-09-17. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  2. ^ "Transparent's Trace Lysette on her personal connection to Shea's journey this season". 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  3. ^ a b "'Transparent' Star on Josh and Shea's Groundbreaking Romance: "It's Just Boy Meets Girl"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  4. ^ Kellaway, Mitch (2015-04-15). "After Years of Hiding in Hollywood, Trans Actress Trace Lysette Is Finally 'Living Out Loud'". Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  5. ^ "New Video Breaks Down Why Hollywood Needs Transgender Actors | HuffPost". 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  6. ^ Reynolds, Daniel. "Trans Actors Ask Hollywood for Roles With Dignity and Depth in Open Letter". Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  7. ^ Amatulli, Jenna. "Maroon 5, Cardi B's 'Girls Like You' Video Is A Star-Studded Dance Party". HuffPost. Archived from the original on May 31, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  8. ^ Glicksman, Josh. "Maroon 5 Releases New Version of 'Girls Like You' Music Video: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  9. ^ "Maroon 5 – Girls Like You (feat. Cardi B)". Spotify.
  10. ^ "Teyana Taylor Is a Voguing Cinderella in 'WTP'". PAPER. 2019-01-24. Retrieved 2019-01-24.

External links[edit]