Josie Totah has publicly come out as transgender, and now she is posting her first photos since revealing her truth. Josie has starred in a number of shows, from playing Stuart Wooten in Jessie to Skeeter Parham in Liv and Maddie. She even voiced Prince Jin in Sofia the First and starred in the Mindy Kaling-produced comedy Champions.
Josie previously opened up about her story in an essay published by Time.
"For so long I've been trying to hide who I was by pretending I’m someone I’m not. And I did it in fear. In fear that I wouldn’t be accepted or loved. I tried so hard to become a person that I knew I never was. But I’m realizing I can’t fake it forever. I know now more than ever I’m ready to take the step to becoming myself. I am Transgender and this is my story," she wrote on Instagram.
Josie explained in her essay, "In the past, I've halfway corrected people by telling them I identify as LGBTQ. I wasn't ready to be more specific. I was afraid I wouldn’t be accepted, that I would be embarrassed, that the fans who knew me from the time when I acted in a Disney show would be confused. 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. So, listen up y'all: You can jump on or jump off. Either way this is where I'm heading."
We're so glad the star is speaking her truth. She continued on to explain how she would like to be identified.
She added, "My pronouns are she, her and hers. I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah."
Josie explained how she always identified as a girl, even when she was young and didn't really understand the whole concept of gender. And then, she saw Jazz Jennings on TV and finally realized her truth.
"When I was five, long before I understood what the word gender meant, I would always tell my mother that I wished I were a girl. Since I could speak in full sentences, I was like, 'Give me a dress!' I always knew on some level that I was female. But it crystallized about three years ago when I was a 14-year-old watching the show I Am Jazz with my mother."
Josie is heading off to college now, and she's ready to take on a whole new chapter.
"This week, I’m going off to college. I'm also going to continue my acting career, and I am so excited to do both things as myself. I plan to play roles I haven’t had the opportunity to play. And I can only imagine how much more fun it’s going to be to play someone who shares my identity, rather than having to contort myself to play a boy. I'm going to gun for those roles, be it a transgender female or a cisgender female. Because it's a clean slate — and a new world."
You go, Josie!
This post was originally published on Aug. 20, 2018, and since has been updated.