10 Facts About Indya Moore That Will Make You See Them in a Whole New Light

Getty | Rodin Eckenroth

Here's what you probably already know about transgender and nonbinary actor Indya Moore: they star in Pose, they're a total knockout, and they take any opportunity they can to free the nipple. But despite being one of Time's 100 most influential people in the world for 2019, not everyone knows their story. Before becoming Angel Evangelista on Pose and one of Louis Vuitton's newest faces, Indya contended with years of abuse, discrimination, and misgendering, and they're done with being silenced. Indya Moore is inspiring as hell, and here are just a few fascinating facts about the rising star that prove it.


They Were Raised a Jehovah's Witness

Indya was born to a Puerto Rican mother and Catholic immigrant father from the Dominican Republic who were both practicing Jehovah's Witnesses. As a child, Indya started acting in a way that their parents interpreted as traditionally "feminine," and they used punishment in an attempt to alter their child's sexuality. "Because I was assigned male at birth, they expected me to be masculine or to perform the way they thought young boys should perform," they explained in a May 2019 interview with Elle. "And I did not. They didn't understand." However, they learned to accept this as a lack of comprehension rather than cruelty. "They had never experienced what it was like to have a family member who was genderqueer," they added.


They Have Never Taken Acting Lessons

Before appearing as Dijon in the 2017 indie flick Saturday Church and then landing their breakout role in 2018 as Angel Evangelista in Pose, Indya had never taken a single acting lesson. "I never took acting classes, so I think my process was a lot more heady and method," they explained to Variety in June 2019 when asked how they got into character. "It was a lot of emotional and psychological work for me to place myself in the environment that she existed in, but when you step into a character, you live in them, and you live like them, for whatever the scene is or whatever story you're being called to tell."


They Entered Foster Care at 14

Because of what they perceived as their parents' transphobia, Indya made the difficult decision to leave home at 14, eventually dropping out of school in 10th grade. After leaving home and entering the foster-care system, they went in and out of several foster homes and group homes, living in all five boroughs and facing plenty of abuse and discrimination. "My [birth] parents loved me dearly, but we were having issues with my identity being [recognized at home]," Indya told the New York Post in May 2018. "They thought I was essentially in harm's way because of the way I existed."


A Trans Foster Parent Introduced Them to Hormone Therapy

It was a foster parent who first allowed Indya to try hormone replacement therapy. The foster parent fortuitously happened to be a trans woman, and she let Indya try out hormone therapy using her own supply. "I remember not feeling as sad," Indya recounted to Elle. "I just felt more connected to my body. I felt free. I felt attractive. I liked the way I looked in the mirror." Unfortunately, when that foster parent cut Indya off from her supply, they were forced to use alternate means to get hormones, including trading sex with men for money.

They Don't Just Want to Be a Stock Trans Character
Getty | Alberto E. Rodriguez

They Don't Just Want to Be a Stock Trans Character

Though Indya loves being able to bring one more trans character to the small screen, they want to see a day where cis people not only accept trans characters but actually identify with them. "I definitely would like to see more of my talent being utilized outside of it being about my gender and the pain that comes with being ostracized by society," they told Teen Vogue in February 2019. "I think that's the only use that people see trans people for right now. The only time people are finding a use for our performance or our ability to act is to demonstrate pain, the pain of [being ostracized], the pain of our gender being dissected." They don't want to just be a representative — they want to play a character who's both multifaceted and relatable.


They Want to Study Biotechnology

After leaving school at 15, Indya broke into modeling, later earning their GED while simultaneously pursuing their professional career. Though they're interested in holistic medicine, being trans has given them a desire to learn more about the science that makes hormone replacement therapy possible. "I'm actually an aspiring biotech student," they revealed in an April 2017 interview with AFROPUNK, "but I don't really have the capacity to balance bills and school, considering the time I have to dedicate to acting and modeling. I dropped out in the 10th grade, got my GED, and went straight into working, so I'm looking to explore school again after I have my career stable."

They Could Imagine Themselves as a Showrunner
Getty | Rodin Eckenroth

They Could Imagine Themselves as a Showrunner

When asked by Teen Vogue what else they could see themselves doing in show business besides working as an actor, Indya revealed they would want to pursue showrunning. "If my capacity expands in a way that'll allow me to carry that, those responsibilities, I would love to be a showrunner," they said. "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."


They've Reconnected With Their Parents

Indya's parents may not have been able to understand their experience growing up, but 10 years after leaving home, their parents are now accepting and open to learning. "I'm so grateful to have parents who were committed to being in my life unconditionally and who realized that was important, regardless of their opinions on my life," they told the Evening Standard in October 2019. "Eventually my mother started using my pronouns, which were she/her at the time, and that made us so much closer. Now, I'm like, 'Ma, it's they/them now,' and she's like, 'Ah, make up your mind.' It's a little more complex for people who understand gender in very conventional ways, but I'm just grateful for her support."


They Met Their Partner on Social Media

Indya is very private about their romantic life, but they confirmed to the Evening Standard that they are seeing someone — a queer poet, songwriter, and activist based in Chicago — and they've been together since January 2019. "I heard a song they were featured in and it was so beautiful, about their vision of what a world without violence and marginalization looked like," Indya explained. "Then I hit them up on Instagram, slid into the DMs. We were talking for about a year and a half before we actually met up and connected. They've really helped me to be grounded in my life right now and they've been really helping me to achieve my goals."

They Want to Play a Superhero
Getty | Dimitrios Kambouris

They Want to Play a Superhero

Teen Vogue asked Indya what their dream role would be, and they revealed that they'd love the chance to play a superhero, whose ability would ideally be superstrength. "I want to also deconstruct the expectation of me being always very feminine," they said. "I want to demonstrate strength in the ways that men see themselves all the time, but with my body. I think that would be cool. I want to play She Hulk."