Catrina Yang Farrell
April 26, 2021

Indya Moore: Activist, Actor, and Model

With the LGBTQ+ Day of Silence having just passed, MEDIAGIRLS Editorial Intern, Catrina Yang Farrell uses this blog post to celebrate Indya Moore–a trans and nonbinary actor, activist, and model–and highlight some of their powerful work in fashion, film, and advocacy.

As a transgender black woman who identifies as nonbinary, Indya Moore is no stranger to hardship and discrimination. Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, they were punished for their sexuality and exposed to conversion therapy. At the age of 14, they entered foster care and went in and out of several foster and group homes. However, despite these hardships, Moore has taken every opportunity to raise awareness and fight prejudice and hate with acting and activism. 

Pose and Trans Visibility

In the TV-series Pose, Moore’s mesmerizing and raw portrayal of Angel, a transgender sex worker in the 1980s highlights the realities of trans women of color and what it means to be marginalized. Pose has altered and challenged the film industry as having the most extensive cast of transgender actors ever to appear on TV. The beauty of the show is more than simply the employment of trans actors: it embodies and embraces the narratives of trans individuals, powerfully displaying the diversity of the community. 

The Fashion Industry and Queer Representation

In the fashion industry, Moore has stepped into the limelight and became a topic of global conversation when they posed as the first transgender woman for many fashion houses and magazines like ELLE US in June 2019 and Vogue India in October 2020. Being the first transgender woman to be covered by high-end influential fashion magazines is a huge step not only for Moore, but for the industry itself. Their visibility has touched individuals worldwide and has opened the doors for marginalized groups who have long been kept from the limelight.  

Moore has now been on the cover of  three Vogue magazines: India, Italia, and Spain. The world is excitedly waiting for more covers of Moore, as well as more representation of queer-identifying individuals. Moore’s Instagram post of the cover of Vogue India Moore exclaims, “Let’s get a trans, Indian person on the cover!” By never shying away from being honest and pushing society’s boundaries, Moore has forever changed the fashion industry.

Activism

As Moore’s platform has grown, they have made sure to use it to aid others. Through Instagram and CashApp, they raised over $20,000 in aid for approximately 400 queer and trans individuals struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic. On their linktr.ee, Moore provides links for anti-racism education, bail funds, aid for rebuilding Black businesses, supporting incarcerated black trans women, and multiple funding and petitions for individuals murdered due to prejudice. 

For each of their posts on Instagram, Moore spends time educating and spreading awareness of police brutality, transgender rights, minority rights and makes sure to call out non-trans actors who have taken on trans roles. They have never stopped fighting for marginalized communities and take every opportunity to spread awareness, information, and love. 

Photo from Indya’s Instagram. 

What’s Next for Indya Moore?

What’s next for Indya Moore? Moore has openly discussed how they want to be more than just a trans character, “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.” Moore is an extraordinarily talented actor but beyond that they are an individual we should all look up to and learn from. I’m excited to see what they will do next and how they will continue to change our world.

 

Catrina Yang Farrell is from Taipei, Taiwan. She is currently pursuing a BA in English Literature with a focus on minority experiences at Simmons University. She hopes to use literature to instigate discussions with others on those oppressed’ history and narratives.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image is from Indya Moore’s Instagram.