Byers was born on July 26, 1984, in Butler, Pennsylvania, though she was raised in the Cayman Islands by deaf parents. Because of this, Byers grew up learning sign language. She received her bachelor's degree in Theater Arts at the University of South Florida in Tampa after moving to the United States. She would later receive her Master's of Fine Arts in acting while attending the University of California, Irvine.
Upon moving to New York City, Byers performed in Off-Broadway productions such as Venus Flytrap: A Femme Noir Mystery and Rent. Following her performance in a couple Chicago productions, Byers was cast as Anika Calhoun in the FOX drama Empire. In 2015, Byers, known as Gealey at the time, became engaged to her Empire costar Trai Byer. The two of them married on Grand Cayman Island on April 14, 2016.
Byers published a children's book based on her experiences being bullied as a child for having deaf parents in 2018 — I Am Enough. She wrote it hoping to empower and encourage children to love and accept themselves.
- Byers has also appeared in Empire, another television series created by FOX.
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