Glee's Josie Totah Comes Out as Transgender Female

Glee's Josie Totah Comes Out as Transgender Female

We are so proud of Josie Totah for writing such a powerful and moving essay to open up to the world about her gender identity.

The 17-year-old star, formerly known as JJ Totah and best known for her work on shows like Glee, Jessie, and Champions, has come out as a transgender female.

In her essay for Time, Josie opens up about being shoved into the “gay boy” box in Hollywood and how people in the entertainment industry kept assuming her identity.

“Numerous reporters have asked me in interviews how it feels to be a young gay man. I was even introduced that way before receiving an award from an LGBTQ+ rights organization. I understand that they didn’t really know better. I almost felt like I owed it to everybody to be that gay boy. But that has never been the way I think of myself,” she wrote.

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

Josie credits Jazz Jennings and her TLC series I Am Jazz for helping her realize her identity and being the catalyst for her seeking out hormone replacement therapy.

“There are still things that scare me. Identity documents can be hard for transgender people to change. I’m afraid of that moment when someone looks at the ID, looks at the photo, looks at the gender marker – looks at you. I never want to feel like I’m not allowed in somewhere because of who I am. I’m scared that being transgender is going to limit me in that way. And I’m scared that I’ll be judged, rejected, made uncomfortable, that people will look at me differently,” Josie wrote in her essay.

She added, “But when my friends and family call me Josie, it feels like I’m being seen. It’s something everyone wants, to feel understood. And, as a semi-religious person who went to Catholic school, I have come to believe that God made me transgender. I don’t feel like I was put in the wrong body. I don’t feel like there was a mistake made. I believe that I am transgender to help people understand differences. It allows me to gain perspective, to be more accepting of others, because I know what it feels like to know you’re not like everyone else.”

Read the full essay on Time.com.

(Note: Josie requested that production photos from her work be used instead of current photos)

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Photos: NBC
Posted to: JJ Totah, Josie Totah
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