Mindy Kaling, Laverne Cox and other stars have welcomed actress Josie Totah’s decision to come out as transgender.
The 17-year-old star, who has featured in Glee, Champions and Jessie, made the revelation in a powerful essay for Time magazine in which she said she regretted allowing herself to become known as a gay boy.
https://t.co/Ltz8ttemoB For so long I’ve been trying to hide who I was. And I did it in fear. In fear that I wouldn’t be accepted or loved. I know now more than ever I’m ready to take the step to becoming myself. I am Transgender and this is my story.
— josie totah (@josietotah) August 20, 2018
Totah introduced the essay on Twitter by writing: “For so long I’ve been trying to hide who I was. And I did it in fear. In fear that I wouldn’t be accepted or loved.
“I know now more than ever I’m ready to take the step to becoming myself. I am Transgender and this is my story.”
And stars rushed to congratulate her on taking the step of coming out publicly.
Champions creator Mindy Kaling, who starred in the fantastic Ocean’s 8 this year, praised her star, writing: “I love you, Josie.
“I’m so glad you’re able to speak your truth and live as your authentic self. You’re also so damn talented – I can’t wait to write for you again! ❤️💕❤️💕❤️”
I love you, Josie. I’m so glad you’re able to speak your truth and live as your authentic self. You’re also so damn talented – I can’t wait to write for you again! ❤️💕❤️💕❤️ https://t.co/OjIoI9Wpb3
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) August 20, 2018
Laverne Cox, who has struggled to blaze a trail for trans actors with her roles in shows like Orange is the New Black, wrote: “Congrats Josie on stepping into yourself. Best of luck in college. #TransIsBeautiful.”
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) August 21, 2018
Legendary lesbian actress Jane Lynch told Totah: “I support you, my friend! Love you.”
I support you, my friend! Love you. https://t.co/Vh6zORmkpy
— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) August 20, 2018
Groundbreaking trans activist Janet Mock said: “Welcome to the sisterhood, Josie!
You’re such a talent. I loved you on CHAMPIONS, and can’t wait to see you shine! #girlslikeus”
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) August 21, 2018
Fellow trans teen and reality TV star Jazz Jennings tweeted: I’m so proud to see you living in your truth!! Keep being you💖.”
Im so proud to see you living in your truth!! Keep being you💖 https://t.co/rR8SgfLRs2
— Jazz Jennings (@JazzJennings__) August 21, 2018
Sense8 star Jamie Clayton, who earlier this year criticised Scarlett Johansson for briefly taking on a trans role in a film, said: “HUGE FAN of yours!! Congrats Josie!!! ☺️✨”
— Jamie Clayton (@MsJamieClayton) August 21, 2018
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Crystal Chappell, who starred on Days of Our Lives, tweeted: “Totally support you Josie!”
Totally support you Josie! https://t.co/5fq8btzIqm
— Crystal Chappell (@crystalchappell) August 21, 2018
In her essay, Totah described having profound anxiety about her gender identity, adding that she felt she was lying by allowing people to believe she was gay.
Totah also wrote that she wore girls’ clothes under her clothes, and had a crippling fear of going through male puberty.
She also spoke about her faith, and said she has “come to believe that God made me transgender.”
Going forward, she said she hoped to play female roles so she won’t have to “contort” herself to play a boy.
She added that she will “gun for those roles” because “it’s a clean slate – and a new world.”