Who is Trace Lysette, the actress who accused Jeffrey Tambor of sexual harassment?

This month, actor Jeffrey Tambor was accused of sexual harassment by two women. His second and most recent accuser, actress Trace Lysette, is Tambor’s co-star on Transparent, the Amazon original series about a transgender woman coming out to her family.

Tambor first made headlines on November 8th when his former assistant, a trans woman named Van Barnes, accused Tambor of sexually harassing her. Lysette added her voice to Barnes’ when she posted her account on Twitter on November 16th. In her post, Lysette included a graphic description of Tambor’s actions. She wrote that the incident took place during the filming of Transparent‘s second season.

Lysette plays an LGBTQ educator and yoga instructor named Shea on the show. Her character is close with Tambor’s character, Maura, and later befriends Maura’s son, Josh. Like her character — and Tambor’s first accuser — Lysette is an openly transgender woman.

Lysette began her acting career in 2008 after moving to New York from Ohio. She had previously tried to become a model, and later a hairstylist.


Lysette initially auditioned only for cisgender roles, and her first official acting job was a guest appearance on Law and Order: SVU. She decided to come out as a trans actress after she was cast as Shea, and now she plans to audition for both trans and cis roles. In addition to Transparent, she currently has a recurring role on the Starz comedy Blunt Talk.

Despite Tambor’s behavior, Lysette wrote in her post that she wants Transparent to continue.

"My hope is that Amazon can find the good in this, and use this as an opportunity, a teachable moment, to re-center the other trans characters in the show with the family members instead of just pulling it. Let our brilliant writers continue to craft something that is entertaining and creates a social change the way they know how. Don't let the trans community suffer for the actions of one cis male actor."


Lysette’s allegations remind us to never forget transgender women in discussions about sexual assault and harassment. Her courage is empowering, and we’re heartened to see her using her platform to make a difference.