JJ, who is now known as Josie Totah has finally gathered up enough courage to identify as transgender in an essay published in Times Magazine last Monday.
The Champions star said “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,” Josie writes, recalling how she was initially hesitant to identify specifically. “But I realised 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. My pronouns are she, her and hers. I identify as female, precisely as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah.”
Josie continued “Like many trans people, I developed serious anxiety as I hid who I was. In some ways, I felt like I was lying by letting people believe I was that gay boy. I also couldn’t be myself. I hid the girls’ clothes I really wanted to wear under sweatpants and sweatshirts. And I had an enormous fear of male puberty.
Once I got on the hormone blocker, which basically stopped my testosterone, that part changed. I wasn’t waking up every day and panicking. “Is there hair on my face? Is my voice getting deeper?” Those changes are very hard, if not impossible, to reverse. And I knew that I was giving myself what I needed, that I didn’t have to be afraid of that anymore.”
Josie has finally found a way to live her truth, and we are happy for her. Josie’s full essay on her gender identity can be accessed in Times Magazine.