‘Champions’ star Josie Totah, formerly known as JJ Totah, took to Instagram on Sept. 14 to post her first public photo since coming out as transgender three weeks ago in ‘Time’ magazine
Josie Totah, 17, claimed she was “ready to be free” when she came out as transgender in Time Magazine on Aug. 20 and she proved it in her first official photo as a woman. The pic, which she posted to Instagram on Sept. 14, shows Josie, who is formerly known as JJ, looking gorgeous in a white tank top, slim black pants and white sneakers while standing on a bridge over water. “what’d i miss?,” the Champions and Glee actor captioned the photo.
Josie’s new photo is one step in the direction she’s always wanted to go and in her touching essay for Time, she revealed that fear is what held her back from coming out earlier. She explained that people who knew her just assumed she identified as a gay boy, which is why she would often get cast in those types of roles. “In the past, I’ve halfway corrected people by telling them I identify as LGBTQ,” Josie wrote in the piece. “But I realized over the past few years that hiding my true self is not healthy. I know now, more than ever, that I’m finally ready to take this step toward becoming myself. I’m ready to be free. My pronouns are she, her and hers. I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah.”
Although Josie revealed she always felt like a girl since as long as she can remember, she didn’t officially start transitioning until after she watched the TLC documentary series, I Am Jazz, when she was just 14-years-old. The series documented a boy the same age Josie was at the time and his transition from man to woman. “As I learned more information about hormone replacement therapy, I knew that this was what I had to do,’ she explained. “I looked over at her in the middle of the show and said, ‘This is me. I’m transgender. And I need to go through this.'” With the support of her mother, Christine, Josie met with a pediatrician and a specialist who put her on hormone blockers just three days after her decision. Once things started changing, Josie felt more and more comfortable with who she was and less worrisome. “I wasn’t waking up every day and panicking,” she admitted. “‘Is there hair on my face? Is my voice getting deeper?’ Those changes are very hard, if not impossible, to reverse.”
Shortly after Josie tweeted out her Time essay last month, many of her former co-stars, including Mindy Kaling, responded with their support. “I love you, Josie. I’m so glad you’re able to speak your truth and live as your authentic self. You’re also so damn talented – I can’t wait to write for you again!,” Mindy’s tweet read.