Josie Totah’s (of the television sitcom Champions) personal essay at Times.com about her identity as a transgender woman is generous, thoughtful, and hopeful. I am excited for her “clean slate,” her “new world,” and most importantly, all of her exciting new acting roles!
There are still things that scare me. Identity documents can be hard for transgender people to change. I’m afraid of that moment when someone looks at the ID, looks at the photo, looks at the gender marker – looks at you. I never want to feel like I’m not allowed in somewhere because of who I am. I’m scared that being transgender is going to limit me in that way. And I’m scared that I’ll be judged, rejected, made uncomfortable, that people will look at me differently.
But when my friends and family call me Josie, it feels like I’m being seen. It’s something everyone wants, to feel understood. And, as a semi-religious person who went to Catholic school, I have come to believe that God made me transgender. I don’t feel like I was put in the wrong body. I don’t feel like there was a mistake made. I believe that I am transgender to help people understand differences. It allows me to gain perspective, to be more accepting of others, because I know what it feels like to know you’re not like everyone else.
Also, hat tip to Jazz Jennings and her groundbreaking series I am Jazz for helping young trans people (and their loved ones) like Josie.