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Amazon’s ‘Transparent’ Shows TV’s First Transgender Full-Frontal Nude Scene

The fourth season of Amazon Studios’ comedy-drama series Transparent made history by unveiling what many television observers are calling TV’s first full-frontal nude scene from a transgender character.

The second episode of the fourth season, titled “Groin Anomaly,” sees transgender actress Alexandra Billings (Davina) lying completely naked on her stomach on her bed being sensually massaged by her boyfriend. “My kidneys,” Billings’ character grunts, prompting a painful turn onto her back that exposes her breasts and penis.

“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 told The Daily Beast in an interview published Sunday. “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.”

Jeffrey Tambor and Alexandra Billings in Transparent (Amazon Studios, 2014)

Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent (Amazon Studios, 2014)

“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 OK with my body. I like it. I don’t love it, but I like it,” the 55-year-old star told the outlet. “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.”

This has been a banner year for boundary-pushing TV dramas. In May, the third episode of Starz’s fantasy drama American Gods featured two Muslim men engaged in what many television critics considered the most explicit gay sex scene in TV history.

The fourth season of Transparent, which also stars  Jeffrey Tambor and Gaby Hoffmann, premiered on Amazon on September 22.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson

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