At the young age of 14, Indya Moore moved out of her parents’ home in the Bronx due to transphobia.
“My [birth] parents loved me dearly, but we were having issues with my identity being [recognized at home],” says Moore. “They thought I was essentially in harm’s way because of the way I existed.” — Indya Moore, in her interview with Christian Gollayan for The New York Post
She knew she wasn’t a man from the very beginning, even if her body didn’t agree.
“Toddlerhood,” she says, “I just knew I was the farthest thing from a man. I’ve known that my whole life.” — Indya Moore, in her interview with Allison P. Davis for The Cut
She entered foster care and was shuffled around constantly. On top of that, young Indya was relentlessly bullied and eventually dropped out of high school during her sophomore year.
However, she did not let these horrific experiences deter her from her dreams. She began modeling at the age of 15. She got her foot in the door modeling for both Dior and Gucci, despite the horrendous way the fashion industry usually treats transgender women models.
I didn’t learn about Indya Moore until I laid eyes on her in Pose on FX in 2018. She played Angel, a character that immediately stole the hearts of many by the end of the first episode.
Angel is a young transwoman forced into sex work due to the discrimination against trans people in the workforce.
She leaves Elektra’s House of Abundance with Blanca to start the House of Evangelista. She is a force to be reckoned with on and off the ballroom floor. The audience watches as she navigates finding love as transwoman, growing confidence, and learning the same lessons most young adults do. Angel just wants to “love and be loved.”
If the world didn’t know who Indya Moore was, they certainly found out as Pose went on to break through transphobia and anti — LGBTQ beliefs in general. The show quickly became a household name and a popular conversation topic. They went on to be nominated for various awards. The cast simply being in the room of the Golden Globes meant the world to LGBTQ people around the world.
Pose made history, whether people want to acknowledge it or not. Janet Mock became the first trans woman of color to direct a TV episode. She also wrote and produced for Pose. It was the first show to showcase multiple transgender acters. It is also one of the first shows to solely focus on LGBTQ lives as they navigate the cold world.
Indya Moore became a breakout star at the age of 23 and wasted no time using her platform to speak up for various topics from feminism to anti — LGBTQ propaganda to racism.
The model and actress is still young and learning. She’s human just like us. When she makes a mistake, she doesn’t hesitate to own up and apologize. However, what she won’t do is back down and be silenced.
Here is an excerpt of an interview Indya did for GQ.
Alim Kheraj (GQ): I wanted to ask you about social media. You’re active online, and you discuss a lot of important topics. How do you find a balance between that and avoiding frustration with the world?
Indya More: Honestly, I really haven’t found the balance yet. The only time I’ve ever felt like I needed to measure my activity and involvement in holding people accountable for being violent on social media is when I think about the things that I might lose for saying something. That’s the only time I end up thinking about it. I feel like being vocal on social media, especially working in an industry that is very Eurocentric. I’m [vocal] in my activism for black and brown people, and I’m deconstructing subconscious internalized and externalized racial prejudice. I always feel like I’m going to offend somebody.
But I’ve always thought that people who come from a place of offense, negativity, and oftentimes hate and ignorance come on very strong. Whether it’s the president, or somebody on Twitter, or a comedian that is banking off of violent rhetoric, it’s always very strong. To me, it’s really interesting to see how docile and kind and quiet and subtle those who are on the defense are. It’s so ironic that people who are on the offense approach marginalized identities, but we’re not meeting them with the same force that they’re coming at us with. So I feel like it’s important for us to approach that with strength. I think that when they come five times with fire, it’s important for us to come back ten times with water.
The actress, model, and activist is ready to add another title under her belt. She is diving into the world of Executive Producer for a new TV show named Magic Hour.
“I think people with varying experiences need to be creating. The show, which is called Magic Hour, is geared towards centering queer people of color in various occupations and circumstances in the realm of sci-fi. I appreciate sci-fi, because it imagines realities beyond the ones that we’re used to seeing. In sci-fi, you have so much leeway, and a range to imagine things outside of what we typically understand. When we move in that direction, we get to imagine things that aren’t [usually] allowed to be imagined. There’s no pressure from any kind of social normative rules.” — Indya Moore, in her interview with Alim Kheraj for GQ.
The show Pose did wonders for Indya. She is now reunited with her mother, who fully accepts her for who she is. Her mom now uses feminine pronouns. Pose reunited Moore’s family.
However, her new platform has also brought danger to her life. An ex boyfriend began threatening her once she stepped into the spotlight. He never let his family or friends know that she was trans, but he always knew. With her out in the open, his way of life has been compromised and his only way to retaliate was against the young star.
Indya Moore is an inspiration to all LGBTQ people — specifically black queer people.
She is tangible proof that despite all the hate and bigotry in the world, we can still accomplish our dreams. She inspires me to continue to use my voice to fight for trans rights and highlight LGBTQ stories.
She has a heart of gold and passion that vividly shows in everything she does. Instead of shying away from hard topics like LGBTQ bigotry, racism, and sexism, she uses her platform to speak for all of us.
She reminds me that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Her work gently, but firmly tells me to keep going — to keep fighting. I don’t know her personally, but in my mind I tell her I will.
I know I’m 4 days late, but here is my first piece of my Black History Month Celebration series.
I’ll make up for it somehow. I wanted to do something different than what I was taught all my years in public school. So instead of picking names that everyone already knows like Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou, and Jackie Robinson, I want to write about younger, black — specifically queer — creators. I picked people that I personally think are dope and want to share them with you guys.
I chose Indya Moore to kick off my Black History Month Celebration because I’ve been scared to write about her for a while. Her work means so much to me that I felt like I’m not a good enough writer to cover such brilliance.
She’s such a huge inspiration to me that I just had to go ahead and write to the best of my ability. I have a whole list of people to choose from, but my heart told me to write about her first.
I hope you enjoyed my first installment of my Black History Month Celebration series and I hope you stick around for more.