‘It’s a clean slate’: Former child actor Josie Totah comes out as transgender

An actress known for her TV roles in Glee, Champions and Jessie has come out as transgender in a powerful essay for Time magazine.

Josie Totah said she was “grateful” for roles she has played over the years, but regretted allowing herself to become known as a gay male rather than as a transgender female.

Josie Totah (Randy Shropshire/Getty)

Totah, who is now 17, said that as a child, she wanted to be able to sing with girls rather than play soccer with boys. When she moved into the entertainment industry, she found that people kept assuming her identity.

“Numerous reporters have asked me in interviews how it feels to be a young gay man,” she said in the essay.

She goes on to say that she felt like she owed it to herself and everybody else to live as a gay male. However, when she was 14, after watching a documentary with her mother about a girl who was transitioning, she realised that she was transgender.

She told her mother in the middle of the show. Three days later, she met with her paediatrician and was referred on to a specialist and put on a hormone blocker.

She describes having profound anxiety about her gender identity, and felt that she was lying by allowing people to believe she was gay.

Mike Coppola/Getty

Totah also says in the essay 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, Josie hopes to continue her acting career and to play roles she hasn’t had the opportunity to play. She hopes to play female roles going forward so that she won’t have to “contort” herself to play a boy.

She added that she is going to “gun for those roles” because “it’s a clean slate – and a new world.”