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Transgender ‘Pose’ Actor Indya Moore Opens Up About Their Experience With Sex Trafficking

The man who brought us Glee, Ryan Murphy, has gone on to turn that success into a series of other hits.

Last year he introduced the world to Pose.

Pose follows several social circles in New York in the late 80s. While centering on the ball culture made famous in the film Paris Is Burning, it also looks at the NYC artist scene and the Reaganist conservative yuppie culture.

Pose has been critically acclaimed for its honest look at tensions in New York City during the AIDS crisis. It also received accolades for the cast which is largely made up of people of color and features several transgender people portraying transgender characters.

See Hollywood? It can be done.

And the cast it features is absolutely fire!

Watch a trailer here:

Transgender actor Indya Moore, who portrays Angel Evangelista in the show, is even more fire in real life as an LGBTQ+ advocate.

But, they* revealed a rather scary secret about their past to Elle.

Moore said that they were coerced into sex trafficking in order to pay for their hormones during their transition.

They said:

“I didn’t understand what sex trafficking was at the time. The language I knew was that they were, basically, my pimps. I was just a kid.”

Moore says that they were trapped by these people who said it was the easiest way to afford their hormones.

“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.”

They explained:

“I stayed with them, and they had men come over and have sex with me.”

Now at 24, Moore is luminous.

But it was only recently that their life changed.

While spending time on Rikers Island for an assault charge, they were bullied so fiercely by the all-male inmates that they attempted suicide.

But now, they’re bringing people their story.

“I just knew my life was going to change.”

They added:

“I knew I had a chance to teach the world something that would help more people to be safe.”

We thank you, Indya, for taking the time to open up.

*Editor’s Note: Elle magazine chose to use she/her pronouns in their article however Indya Moore identifies as non-binary and prefers they/them. Our article reflects Moore’s preference.


Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.