Marc Malkin Senior Film Awards, Events & Lifestyle Editor Trace Lysette is in a hotel room on 8th Street in New York City when she jumps on a Zoom video call with Variety to talk about her new movie, “Monica.” In just a couple of hours, she’s set to walk the red carpet at the indie drama’s premiere at the IFC Center. “I used to turn tricks a few blocks from there,” Lysette says.
Like so many trans women, Lysette once turned to sex work as a means of survival. “I was a young person alone in New York doing God knows what to survive,” says Lysette, who was raised in Ohio. “Last night we had a screening at The [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community] Center here.
That was so heavy for me because I got my gender identity therapy there 20 years ago.” Over the last few years, Lysette has been building a career in Hollywood.
She is most known for her work on “Transparent” and as one of Jennifer Lopez’s fellow strippers in “Hustlers,” but “Monica” is being applauded as her breakout.