Transparent breaks ground with full-frontal nude scene starring trans actress Alexandra Billings
During the second episode of Transparent‘s fourth season, which debuted on Amazon Sept. 22, Davina (Alexandra Billings) is getting massaged by her boyfriend when he hits a nerve. She squeals in pain, and then flips over onto her back, exposing her breasts and her penis.
This might seem unremarkable in the context of Transparent, a show committed to telling the stories of humans of all gender identities, but in the context of television as a whole, it’s groundbreaking to see a trans person completely nude.
“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,” Billings, 55, told the Daily Beast. “I’m not built like a model. I’m built in a very specific way, and I’m at a point now where I’m okay with my body. I like it. I don’t love it, but I like it. I’m okay with it. I’ve made peace with what I look like. I’ve traveled through years of not only my HIV and also my silicone injections and all the things we go through in order to survive. 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.”
And creator Jill Soloway’s way of showing it was casually, just an everyday moment between Davina and her partner.