We’re all looking for role models to inspire us and remind us that we’re not alone. We look to leaders and public figures and celebrities to remind us of what we could be and to empower us to be proud of who we are and where we come from. And 24-year-old Latinx actress, model, muse and icon Indya Moore is a role model we could all look up to and learn from.
Sure, Moore is talented and gorgeous. But she is so much moore than just a pretty face. Indya Moore is transgender and Latinx. She is a model and an actress. She is an activist and an icon. Her identity and her legacy go beyond any single label, and there are countless reasons to love and respect the star of FX’s hit show Pose. And while it’s hard to narrow down that list, we’ll try. Here are 10 reasons we’re obsessed with Indya Moore.
1 She is a Proud Latinx American
While she was born in the Bronx and grew up in various boroughs through New York City, her mother is originally from Puerto Rico and her father from the Caribbean. And while she is proud of her Latinx roots, she also is very open and honest about how she doesn’t feel anyone needs to be identified as one ethnicity. Rather than identify solely as Latinx, she often talks about herself as Afro-Taína, connecting more to her indigenous ancestors rather than the Spanish colonizers who destroyed that culture. And culture and ancestry has always been very important to Moore. “Something that was very important to me: that my ancestors loved me. And that I am my ancestors’ dreams,” she has said.
2 Her Groundbreaking Role as Angel in FX’s Pose is Changing the Game for Transgender Actors
It’s no secret that Pose is breaking down boundaries in Hollywood and is changing the game for trans actors. From the storyline to the talent on screen to the gifted writers and directors behind-the-scenes, this show is making history. The FX drama was recently renewed for a second season, to be released this year, and it will go down in television history for assembling the largest cast of transgender actors ever to appear as series regulars on a scripted show, as well as the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ actors ever for a scripted series. The show, which stars 5 trans actors, tells the story of 1980s LGBTQ ballroom culture in New York City. It follows its characters as they navigate the city’s diverse social scenes, and it showcases LGBTQ youth rejected by their birth families, who find refuge and purpose in the House of Evangelista.
The show demonstrates that there is more than one way to be trans, and if you ask Indya Moore, it’s a show and a role that has forever changed her life. Her character “just wants to love and be loved,” and Moore plays the role with strength, tenderness, empathy and humanity that challenges stereotypes of what it means to be queer.
3 She Values Self-Love and Self-Confidence
A lifetime of fighting to be accepted by others has helped Moore to recognize the importance of self-love and self-acceptance. She has never been willing to settle for less than she deserves. In a NY Post interview Moore explains that “people who have trouble finding acceptance and love in their life settle for whatever they can get,” and that she was never willing to accept anything less than her dreams. That inability and unwillingness to waver from her goals and her values helped her get to where she is today.
And every day Moore reminds herself about the importance of self-love. “I think, first and foremost, the thing to set the foundation of your day is loving yourself,” she said in an interview for W Magazine. “I tell myself this as I say it to you, and anyone else who’s reading this in the future, it’s just a reminder of, “Yo, forget about the world’s projections and the list of expectations for everyone else that you’re going to encounter during the day, and think about why you love you and why you deserve to love you.”
4 She Knew Early On Who She is, and Advocated for Herself from the Start
Ever since Moore was a toddler she knew that she did not identify as male. In fact, she says that she knew her whole life she was not a man, but she struggled to find acceptance from her family and her community as she embraced her gender identity. “My [birth] parents loved me dearly, but we were having issues with my identity being [recognized at home],” says Moore to the NY Post. “They thought I was essentially in harm’s way because of the way I existed.” That lack of acceptance from her family led Moore to leave home at the age of 14, and she then was shuffled around the foster-care system throughout New York City. She was bullied and struggled to find people who accepted her for who she is and how she lived. That discrimination forced Moore to learn to advocate for herself from a young age. She knew she had to demonstrate how she believed she should be treated and to demand what she deserved.
5 She is Fully Aware of and Appreciative of What Pose has Done for her
Moore does not take for granted the opportunities that have been given to her, and the platform that she has as a direct result of those opportunities. Her role on Pose has changed her life, and she knows that her presence on screen will also change the lives of others. After a lifetime of feeling like she was not fully seen or appreciated and accepted by others, having a chance to play a role where she feels understood is a big deal. Not only has her role in Pose given her fame and a following of fans who want to hear what she has to say and who respect her, but it has also helped her reconnect with her family. Starring in Pose was a personal turning point for Moore — once the show aired she reconciled with her mother, who struggled to accept her for her gender identity during her youth. Since then her mom has accepted Moore for who she is and is referring to Moore by “she” and “her” pronouns. As she said in an interview for The Cut, “this show brought me my family back.”
6 When She is Confronted with Hate, She Leans Towards Activism
In the face of hate or injustices, Moore does not shy away from difficult conversations or controversial topics. She uses her fame and her social media status to fight against misinformation and bigotry. She leans towards activism instead of accepting the status quo and she fights to protect the rights of transgender people, and all minorities. She believes that more often than not hate and racism stem from ignorance and a lack of information, and she is on a mission to use her existence to promote healing and acceptance.
And she doesn’t limit her activism to LGBTQ issues. Her role on this show helps her raise conversations to counter homophobia and transphobia, gender rights and civil rights, and she sees it as her duty to be present both on screen and on social media and to show others that she is there for them, standing up for what is right.
7 She Does not Take Her Opportunities for Granted
In an interview with Teen Vogue for its Young Hollywood Class of 2019 honors, she explains that this show, and her role in it, does so much more than just entertain. It’s about more than just fame and superficial entertainment. Her character is reality and this show is life. Moore recognizes and appreciates the power she has as her fame and her platform grows. And she is not taking any opportunities to incite change or inspire others for granted. Pose is more than just a TV show. “This actually brought families together. This influenced cis people’s perspectives in a way that made trans people safer to be around them. It got to reaffirm the value and necessity and the legitimacy of trans people’s lives. It got to break down a lot of stigma,” she explained.
8 She is Ready for Trans Actors to Play Roles that Go Beyond Gender or Oppression
While she appreciates and is forever grateful for her role as Angel, Moore also looks forward to a day when trans actors and can more than just play the role of a trans person. She believes that trans actors should be able to play any occupation and to go beyond just representing the pain and oppression experienced by trans people in the world. And while she is proud to portray a role that other LGBTQ viewers can relate to and see themselves in, she argues that trans people should be the heroes, not the victims and should have roles that allow them to go beyond being oppressed or dissected for their gender identity.
9 She Started Her Own Production Company
In addition to her acting and modeling gigs and her activism, Moore also is the founder of Beetlefruit Media, Inc., a production company focused on storytelling in various mediums. Her company aims to tell stories about disenfranchised groups in a variety of genres, including sci-fi, horror and comedy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the company already has projects in various stages of production in Tokyo, New York and Atlanta. And this project is a part of Moore’s master plan to be more involved in all aspects of Hollywood. She told Teen Vogue that she is interested in expanding her skill sets and working as a showrunner. “I want to hire everybody that nobody wants to hire. I want to accumulate as much power that I can [and] give it away. I’m not trying to be a savior or anything. I just want to do what isn’t being done. It’s just really frustrating how people are just so selfish in this industry. It makes me very angry.”
10 Moore Wants to Create a Dialogue About Social Justice and Trans Rights
Mj Rodriguez, Billy Porter, Indya Moore
FX’s ‘Pose’ TV Show Presentation, Panel, PaleyFest, Los Angeles, USA – 23 Mar 2019
Pose has the power to start conversations about gender identity, acceptance and to provide LGBTQ viewers with characters they can relate to. But it’s more than that. It creates a dialogue for members of the LGBTQ community as well as for cis-gendered viewers who never thought they needed to talk about these gender issues. This show, the characters and Moore’s portrayal of Angel all have allowed viewers to create empathetic relationships with characters that they might not have otherwise related to or paid attention to. Moore is working to help create a world where no one is oppressed because of how they live or who they are, and where conversations about humanity and acceptance are encouraged. “There’s no reason to negatively impact the welfare of someone who is non-violent, innocent, and is not endangering other people’s lives,” she said. “There’s no reason why those people should not have their right to self-determination, especially when it’s not hurting other people.”