Monday, Time magazine published an editorial in which the 17-year-old shared her news and revealed her new name.
She wrote, “My pronouns are she, her, and hers.” “I identify as a woman, more precisely as a transgender woman. The name I go by is Josie Totah.”
Totah said that while she is thankful for the acting chances she’s had, such as on “Champions” and “Glee” and in “Other People,” she feels “like I let myself get put into a box: ‘J.J. Totah, gay guy’ “
When she was young and growing up in a small town in Northern California, many assumed she was homosexual.
“I was the type of child who preferred singing with the girls to playing soccer with the lads on the playground. Then, as I entered the entertainment world, I found myself performing that part, and people continued to assume my identity.”
This included being asked how it felt to be a young gay man in interviews and being announced as such when presenting an award for an LGBTQ organization.
“I accept that they simply did not know better,” wrote Totah. “I almost felt obligated to be that homosexual boy for everyone. However, that has never been how I have viewed myself.” She stated that she was concerned about confusing her admirers, but had an early understanding of this.
“When I was five before I knew what the word gender meant, I would always tell my mother I wanted I were a girl,” she wrote. Since I could talk in complete terms, I demanded a garment. I have always been aware that I am female.
However, it solidified roughly three years ago when I was 14 and watching the television program “I Am Jazz” with my mother.”
The documentary series “I Am Jazz” covers the lives of transgender teenager Jazz Jennings. Totah wrote that, like Jennings, she decided to undergo a medical transition. Now she claims she intends to continue her work while attending college.
Totah remarked, “I can only imagine how much more enjoyable it will be to play someone who shares my identity as opposed to having to contort myself to play a boy.”
“I will pursue those roles, whether as a transgender woman or a cisgender woman. Because it is a new beginning – and a new planet.”
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In a new personal essay, J.J. Totah, who used to be on the show “Champions,” said that she is transgender and goes by the name Josie.
Totah, who has been in shows like “New Girl” and “Glee” as well as Disney’s “Jessie” and “Sophia the First,” wrote that she always let people think she was a gay man and only recently said that she was LGBTQ. She did say, though, that she has recently learned that “hiding my true self is not healthy.”
“I know more than ever that I’m finally ready to take this step toward becoming myself. I want to be on my own. So, everybody pays attention: you can jump on or jump off. In any case, this is where I’m going “In her essay for Time, she wrote about it. “I use she, her, and hers as pronouns. I see myself as a woman, and more specifically as a transgender woman. I’m called Josie Totah.”
Totah, who is 17, said she has always known she is a girl, but it “crystallized” about three years ago when she saw “I Am Jazz,” a reality TV show about a transgender teen. Totah was moved to start hormone replacement therapy after learning more about Jennings’ journey, which included gender confirmation surgery in June of this year.
Jazz Jennings is “doing great” after having surgery to change her gender.
“As I tried to hide who I was, I got very anxious, just like many other trans people do. I felt like I was lying in some ways when I let people think I was that gay boy.
I couldn’t be myself, either. I put sweatpants and sweatshirts on top of the girl’s clothes I really wanted to wear. And I was very afraid of becoming a man “she typed. “When I started taking the hormone blocker, which stopped my testosterone, that part of me changed. I wasn’t panicking every day when I woke up. “
Does my face have hair? Is my voice getting deeper?’ It would be hard, if not impossible, to go back on these changes. And I knew I was giving myself what I needed, so I didn’t have to be afraid of that anymore.”
The actress wrote that being called “Josie” makes her feel more “seen,” even though she is still afraid that being transgender will lead to discrimination. As she goes to college and keeps acting, she’s excited to take on roles she never thought she’d be able to do.
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“Everyone wants to feel like they’re getting it. And because I went to Catholic school and am a semi-religious person, I have come to believe that God made me transgender. I don’t think that I’m in the wrong body.
I don’t think anyone made a mistake. I think I’m transgender to help people see how different people are, “she typed. “It helps me see things from other people’s points of view and accept them more because I know how it feels to know you’re different from everyone else.