Josie Totah Comes Out as Transgender

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At only 17-years-old, Josie Totah is already serving as an inspiration to millions with her courageous story.

The child actress is most known for her previous roles in Disney Channel’s Jessie, Fox’s Glee, and Mindy Kaling’s comedy creation, Champion.

Evans Vestal Ward/NBC

In a recent statement with TIME, Totah expressed her experience with reporters and other figures of the industry consistently assuming her gender and sexuality and decided to set the record straight with her identity. Josie Totah is a transgender female, using the pronouns she, her, and hers.

 

 

Just like any other teenager struggling with self-discovery, Totah doesn’t hesitate to be open about her fears and insecurities with the change. “I’m scared that I’ll be judged, rejected, made uncomfortable, that people will look at me differently,” Totah said. “But when my friends and family call me Josie, it feels like I’m being seen.”

Totah’s influence emphasizes the importance of having a young role model among the LGBTQ community. Her message of self-acceptance, and how normal it is to be totally afraid to be yourself, continues to be an inspiration.