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    Updated on May 14, 2019. Posted on May 13, 2019

    Indya Moore Is The First Trans Person To Cover Elle Magazine And Their Story Is Equal Parts Heartbreaking And Inspirational

    The breakout TV star opens up about being a sex-trafficking victim and using their role on FX's Pose to teach the world.

    I swear on my mama, I've never been more excited about a magazine cover than I am about this one:

    Zoey Grossman / Elle

    Seriously. Ask my co-worker Morgan. I gasped when she showed me this pic on ELLE's Instagram page.

    Not only does Pose star and runway model Indya Moore look beyond stunning, but they've also become the first trans person (and one of Haitian, Dominican, and Puerto Rican descent, at that!) featured on an ELLE USA cover in the magazine's 34-year history.

    Thank you for having me as your first experience covering a trans person. I know I will not be the last. so excited to see Elle leverage their platform to help other talent of trans xp find visibility, & the safe space to be acknowledged & vulnerable in this powerful way. https://t.co/W8BrD5Id4N

    FYI, ELLE Brazil and ELLE UK featured a trans person on their cover in November 2016 and September 2016, respectively.

    Also, while Indya identifies as non-binary, and prefers singular "they" and "them" pronouns, most people refer to Indya using "she" and "her" pronouns (so much so that Indya allowed writer Jada Yuan to use "she" in the profile). Jada referred readers to this recent Instagram post, in which Indya fleshes out how she navigates self-identification as a trans, non-binary public figure.

    "I usually keep [my preferred gender pronouns] to myself to make it easier for others, because I don't feel like a lot of ppl are ready yet," they wrote. "I'm also aware how cis-assumed/binary I look, so thats also why I feel conflicted."

    The groundbreaking cover story recounts the 24-year-old star's turbulent childhood and adolescence, which included being "overdisciplined" by their parents for expressing their identity and, subsequently, entering the foster system at age 14.

    Elle

    "A lot of times, when parents overdiscipline their children, especially when they’re queer, their intention isn’t to hurt them," the South Bronx native told ELLE. "They think they’re saving their children from harm. But they don’t realize that they’re causing harm, that they’re doing to their kids exactly what they’re afraid of the world doing to them."

    Indya also opened up about being sex trafficked, a means through which they could afford hormone replacement therapy. A group of strangers had approached the then-teen on Facebook, promising to "help [Indya] get the money that [they] needed to be a woman."

    Elle

    "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," Indya divulged. "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."

    The raw profile continues on to disclose Indya's suicide attempt, and spotlight their radical use of Instagram to combat transphobia, racism, and other social justice issues.

    Elle

    "I just knew my life was going to change," they said, recalling how they'd landed the role of Angel on FX's award-winning series Pose. "I knew I had a chance to teach the world something that would help more people to be safe."

    Elle

    AND THE CATEGORY IS??? A ROLE MODEL!!! THANK YOU FOR SHINING YOUR LIGHT WITH THE WORLD, INDYA.

    FX / Via giphy.com

    Check out the full ELLE cover story here.

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