entertainment

'Champions' star Josie Totah has revealed she identifies as a transgender female

The actor has starred in a number of films and TV shows including 'Glee' and 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'

2018-08-21

Glee and Spider-Man: Homecoming star Josie Totah now identifies as a transgender female.

The 17-year-old actor currently stars alongside Mindy Kaling in the NBC sitcom Champions and in a letter published in Time Magazine, Totah reveals she was “shoved into a box” when it came to gender and sexuality but is now able to speak the truth.

Josie tweeted out the article and wrote: "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."

In the letter, she details how she would be mesmerised by the likes of Lea Michele when she was a part of Glee but admits it was hard because that's what she wanted to do.

She said: “When I was on the show Glee, I’d stand back and watch Lea Michele. She was fabulous.

“And it was fun to see her and the other girls wear dresses and put on lavish musical numbers. But it was also hard because I wanted that to be me.

“My pronouns are she, her, and hers. I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah.

Josie goes on to say she always knew “on some level” that she was female and asked to wear dresses as soon as she was able to speak.

But during her child acting career, she was constantly asked how it felt to be a “young gay man” and she would be introduced that way at LGBT+ rights organisations.

“I almost felt like I owed it to everybody to be that gay boy,” she added.

“I was afraid I wouldn’t be accepted, that I would be embarrassed, that the fans who knew me from the time when I acted in a Disney show would be confused.

“Like many trans people, I developed serious anxiety as I hid who I was. In some ways, I felt like I was lying by letting people believe I was that gay boy.

“I also couldn’t be myself. I hid the girls’ clothes I really wanted to wear under sweatpants and sweatshirts.

“And I had an enormous fear of male puberty. Once I got on the hormone blocker, which basically stopped my testosterone, that part changed.

“I wasn’t waking up every day and panicking. ‘Is there hair on my face? Is my voice getting deeper?’

“Those changes are very hard, if not impossible, to reverse. And I knew that I was giving myself what I needed, that I didn’t have to be afraid of that anymore.”

Watch Josie steal the show in Glee below: