“Champions” Star Josie Totah Comes Out as Transgender

"I'm ready to be free."

In a moving new essay for Time, Champions actor Josie Totah has come out as transgender.

“I know I’m lucky to be able to do what I love,” writes Totah, referring to working as an actor. “But I also feel like I let myself be shoved into a box: ’J.J. Totah, gay boy.'”

“My pronouns are she, her and hers. I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah.”

Totah explains how this was not an overnight decision, and that she “always knew on some level” that she was female, but it was while watching the reality series I Am Jazz, about trans teen Jazz Jennings, that it “crystallized.”

Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

In addition to playing a gay theater kid on NBC’s Champions, Totah also had roles in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Glee, where she wrote how she was jealous of what the other female actors got to do in the show’s musical numbers:

“When I was on the show Glee, I’d stand back and watch Lea Michele. She was fabulous. And it was fun to see her and the other girls wear dresses and put on lavish musical numbers. But it was also hard, because I wanted that to be me. It’s a feeling I’ve experienced in nearly every project I’ve worked on.”

Totah starts college this week, but plans to keep acting, and in her essay she writes about how she is excited to go after female roles:

“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.”

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."