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Indya Moore becomes the first trans person to feature on the cover of Elle

Indya Moore becomes the first trans person to feature on the cover of Elle

Indya Moore Elle

Indya Moore has become the first trans person to feature on the front cover of Elle Magazine.

The actress and model is featured on the magazine’s June issue with an accompanying article profiling their experiences.

The 24-year-old Moore is best known for their starring role in hit TV series Pose, where they star as sex worker, Angel. Moore’s preferred pronouns are they/them/theirs.

Pose, which began airing on Fox last year, has received high praise for casting trans people in starring roles.

 

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We don’t always have access to the tools we need to break wall, break ground & Reconstruct space invading infrastructure that is designed homogenously & exclusively. so many of us use our hands, arms legs & feet, have died in the process too, Just to weaken these infrastructures enough so that people with tools and break them. I am so grateful for them- all the trans and gender non-conforming people who have attacked these walls, chipped and even broke part of and so much the infrastructure down with bare fist and foot. I am so grateful for everyone within the infrastructures who have chosen to listen, watched, stepped out to see the people around these structures that have been marginalized and locked out for having different experiences & have helped to break down these structures of priviledge and take that labor from those who die because of a lack of access, and fall short of visibility because of lack of access & safety… There is so much more work to do- so much more listening so much more intentionality, & vindicational work that must be done for marginalized people. ELLE: @elleusa Editor in Chief: Nina Garcia @ninagarcia Photographer: Zoey Grossman @zoeygrossman Stylist: Charles Varenne @charlesvarenne Hair: Hos Hounkpatin @hoshounkpatin Makeup: Vincent Oquendo @makeupvincent Manicure: Marisa Carmichael @marisacarmichael

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‘They expected me to be masculine or to perform the way they thought young boys should perform’

In an interview with Elle, Moore spoke about how their parents struggled to come to terms with them as a trans youth.

‘Because I was assigned male at birth, they expected me to be masculine or to perform the way they thought young boys should perform. And I did not,’ Moore says.

‘They didn’t understand. They had never experienced what it was like to have a family member who was genderqueer.’

Victim of sex trafficking

Moore says they left home when they were only 14-years-old. They later became the victim of sex trafficking.

They discusses how they were contacted on Facebook by people who offered them hormone therapy in exchange for sex.

‘They told me that they had a lot of friends who were trans and they wanted to help me in my process, and that they could help me to get the money that I needed to be a woman,’ they say.

‘They told me that all I had to do was play with these men who will come in for a moment to see me and play with me and then they’ll give me money.’

Looking back, they say they ‘didn’t understand’ what sex trafficking was at the time.

 

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@Sergio thank you for loaning your most intimate space To us. When they asked me where my safe and favorite place in nyc to do this was i mentioned you. Thank you sergio. @elleusa @ninagarcia Thank you for choosing @alphajada . she made my heart sing my truth for hoursbin a way I could barely feel labor from- something about her made me feel the safest i’ve felt yet in an interview to be so vulnerable- She listened patiently and with love. With every scene of my life that I shared I saw her in her eyes experience it with me. She accompanied me to the pharmacy after hanging out with me at my fitting for the Paley fest with @iancogneato, went with me to a pharmacy to cop my hormones & then sat with me in a restaurant at like 3 am cus we was both mad hungry and held so much space for my shock of noticing my ex- who I later realized wasn’t my ex after all. She was there for me like a friend i knew for years but also like a safe stranger I met and of whom we were getting to know each other. It was a healing interview- and i never thought something like that could be possible, I hope @alphajada & I can still be friends. @zoeygrossman GURL. the way you shot me to life is gagworthy and gagconic. The way you trusted me made me trust you. Our relationship through your camera was so personal and intimate and synergetic.. when I explained to you what my prime lighting was & when I told you i was afraid of my complexion being whited out, you listened intently. You saw me how I see myself, And reflected that in our photos. Thank you for making me feel beautiful and giving me the space to channel that . @makeupvincent & @hoshounkpatin I love you guys so much and am so grateful you flew out to LA for me for this project. You manifested a cunt fish and gag and made it hair and makeup, thank you Both for being so helpful present loving and sincerely dedicated to make me look right. ELLE: @elleusa Editor in Chief: Nina Garcia @ninagarcia Photographer: Zoey Grossman @zoeygrossman Stylist: Charles Varenne @charlesvarenne Hair: Hos Hounkpatin @hoshounkpatin Makeup: Vincent Oquendo @makeupvincent Manicure: Marisa Carmichael @marisacarmichael

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‘I just knew my life was going to change’

However, Moore found their big break when cast by Ryan Murphy for Pose. When recruited for the show, they experienced an almost instantaneous move from homelessness to stardom.

‘I just knew my life was going to change. I knew I had a chance to teach the world something that would help more people to be safe,’ they say.

In a video accompanying their cover story, Moore talks about how trans liberation and remaining socially conscious are at the forefront of their mind.

‘I don’t know how to have fun,’ they say. ‘When I’m around people having conversations about their day, I’m looking at them, like, “What could they possibly be talking about? How are we not talking about deconstructing white supremacy right now? How are we not trying to save trans people?”‘

Moore adds: ‘I don’t know who I am outside of someone who’s just trying to be free and find safety for myself and for others.’