Indya Moore has said playing a sex worker on Pose after being one in real life has proved to be cathartic.
The star – who is transgender and non-binary (a person who does not define themselves exclusively as masculine or feminine) – plays sex worker Angel Evangelista, who is looking for love in the show.
Moore, who use they/them pronouns, told ES magazine: “It has really destigmatised sex work, not only for people watching the show but for me, too – I had internalised so much shame.
“I felt really ashamed of having been a sex worker and, coming into this industry, it was something that I feared I would be outed for and that it would harm me.”
“To be able to talk openly about [it] and not fear losing my job because of it is really beautiful and liberating — I just never thought that I would have that,” they added.
Moore ended up in sex work in order to fund hormones to transition.
They said: “I lied about being an adult so that I could be a sex worker.
“No kid should be a sex worker, no kid should be sex trafficked.”
Pose is set in the underground world of the 1980s transgender ballroom culture.
Since finding fame on the programme, Moore has been able to use their platform to speak out.
They said: “I thought a lot about the fact that here I am, being celebrated on the red carpet for essentially existing as my authentic self, when on the street, black trans women are being murdered and punished and terrorised for it every day.
“I’ve never had anything to lose. And I understand that there’s a game and that there’s an expectation for me to play, but I don’t want to play.
“But then, one could argue that I’m playing right now, sitting in this interview and appearing on the cover of a magazine. It’s a very odd paradox, but I think it’s important to utilise every medium we can in order to access holistic liberation.”
This week’s issue of ES magazine is out on Thursday October 17.