Actor-director Jay Duplass says in an op-ed that his onscreen romance with transgender actress Trace Lysette on the Amazon Video dramedy Transparent change his life.

In the show's third season, Duplass' Josh Pfefferman has an affair with Shea (played by Lysette), a transgender woman.

“I've been told that Josh's love interest in Shea is quite possibly the first of its kind on television. A cisgender man takes interest in a trans woman simply because he is attracted to her … not a fetish, not a secret, not an experiment,” Duplass, 44, wrote.

“Like Josh, I now experience the wide spectrum of gender on a daily basis, when only a few years ago it seemed like one of two boxes to check at the doctor's office. On Transparent, I work closely with LGBTQ and gender nonconforming people who are now my close friends – truth be told, we're all more like family. So when I'm asked what it's like to have an onscreen romance with a trans woman, my reaction is often something akin to, 'Oh, you mean Trace? I guess I forgot she's trans.' But it wasn't always this way. I grew up in a small, old-school Catholic world, imprinted with an above-average number of categories and judgments. I wasn't exposed to trans people in media or real life, didn't even know any openly gay people until college, and I've had fewer sexual partners in my life than Josh has in season one. So yeah, Transparent opened my heart and my mind, but it also changed my world.”

Duplass added that his experience on Transparent had affected his filmmaking with his younger brother Mark Duplass.

“It's been a while since Togetherness, the last project Mark and I wrote and directed ourselves. We're in the process of opening our personal storytelling to a bigger, more inclusive world. But it's not about being PC or cool. We just believe it's our responsibility, especially being straight white cisgender males who are now experiencing some success, to stand up and advocate for all voices,” he said.