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Transgender Pose star Indya Moore says show helped to deal with ‘trauma’

Indya Moore has candidly detailed how they felt their role as Angel in Pose helped them deal with the trauma they felt as a transgender child.

The actor, 26, identifies as a transgender non-binary entity, meaning they do not see themselves to be exclusively feminine or masculine and use the pronouns they/them. 

Indya plays Angel Evangelista on the show, a transgender model and sex worker and described the FX series as a ‘reflection of their childhood’.

Honest: Indya Moore has candidly detailed how they felt their role as Angel in Pose helped them deal with the trauma they felt as a trans child

Speaking to NET-A-PORTER’s digital title, Porter magazine, Indya explained how they felt they had been through the same thing as the characters on screen.

Discussing the deeply personal experience they felt from being on the show, they said: ‘I think that our society underplays the level of trauma that trans folks experience as kids… 

‘[Pose is] a huge mirror, a reflection for so many of us into our childhood. It was anxiety-inducing in some ways, but it was also really affirming. I think it was cathartic, because reading that script, it was like, ‘Wow, I went through this.’

Indya  also commented on how Pose helped them understand their younger self: ‘I feel really, deeply connected to my inner child… 

‘I don’t know if a lot of our community knows that we get to do that, but I think it’s important to be reminded that we get to be in touch with our inner youth and that place that has been threatened and taken away from us so many times in our lives. 

Open: The actor, 26, described the FX series as a 'reflection of their childhood', which they found anxiety-inducing but also affirming - which was a 'cathartic' experience

Open: The actor, 26, described the FX series as a ‘reflection of their childhood’, which they found anxiety-inducing but also affirming – which was a ‘cathartic’ experience

‘Our innocence, our human curiosity, exploring clothing, fashion, toys… These things are so gendered. And, as a result, kids get punished for it and then we’re gaslit and told that we were confused by ourselves, but it’s really the world around us that’s confused.’

At the age of 14, Indya left their parents’ home due to what Moore describes as their parents’ transphobia, and entered into foster care. 

Indya has previously spoken about how they were sex-trafficked for a year, after someone told them they would give them money to pay for their hormone replacement drugs.

Explaining how difficult it was to comprehend their situation, Indya told Elle in 2019: ‘I didn’t understand what sex trafficking was at the time. The language I knew was that they were, basically, my pimps. I was just a kid.’

Chat: Speaking to NET-A-PORTER's digital title, Porter magazine, Indya explained how they felt they had been through the same thing as the characters on screen

Chat: Speaking to NET-A-PORTER’s digital title, Porter magazine, Indya explained how they felt they had been through the same thing as the characters on screen

Now, Indya has reflected on the experience of homelessness after coming out as queer as a teenager: ‘If your understanding of home is rooted in everything that you’ve gone through as a trans person at home, then you start to question life. 

‘You know, you grow up in this life believing that you may never have safety or peace or that you are undeserving of home… Like, what do I have to do to access that? Imagining home felt like something that was inaccessible to me. [But] I knew that there would be love, that there is community and that there is support.’ 

Much of Indya’s childhood was spent in the Brox, which they described as a ‘melting pot’, of people from all around the world.  

They said: ”There’s a lot of survival in the Bronx, and I think it’s a place that has been stigmatized deeply as the less-preferred borough of New York, but [that’s] also idolized as the birthplace of hip-hop.’ 

Indya also praised Raquel Willis, the Black trans activist and writer: ‘She’s been really helpful around helping to organize a community [in New York]. I’m so grateful for everything she’s done.’ 

‘We need community; you need people who love you in this life. You need people around who know you. We tend to lose ourselves [in] our survival. And when we have people around us who know us beyond our survival, they can help us to reground when things get really, really hard.’ 

On their hopes for the next chapter, Indya said: ‘I just want a life of happiness and peace. I love my community. I want us to have what we need. I want us to have access to healthcare, security and shelter and love. Opening up those channels for my people is really important to me. That’s where I’m at.’

In character: Indya plays Angel Evangelista on the show (pictured in series 1)

In character: Indya plays Angel Evangelista on the show (pictured in series 1)

Indya has previously spoken about the complexity of identifying as transgender and non-binary, coming up with a novel way to stop people ‘misgendering’ them. 

The actor asks agents at the Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles to donate money to a ‘gender jar’ in the Century City office whenever anyone refers to the star by a gender.

Indya told the Hollywood Reporter back in 2019: ‘I think we’re at around $2,000 so far. I thought it would be a great way to hold people accountable. The more you misgender people, the more you have to spend.

‘My choice to identify as nonbinary — though I typically express in femme ways — is to constantly disrupt the notion of the gender construct. 

‘Binaries force us into performative expectations that none of us purely live up to, and when we choose to live outside of those expectations we experience violence — trans and gender-variant people experience the worst kinds. 

‘Gender binaries aren’t just harmful to people who are trans and queer, they are harmful to all of us.’

To see the full interview with Indya Moore read Porter and/or download the NET-A-PORTER app for iPhone, iPad and Android. 

Experience: Discussing the deeply personal experience they felt from being on the show, they said: 'I think that our society underplays the level of trauma that trans folks experience as kids

Experience: Discussing the deeply personal experience they felt from being on the show, they said: ‘I think that our society underplays the level of trauma that trans folks experience as kids

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