Pose star Indya Moore has been using their platform to raise awareness for transgender women of color as well as to raise money directed at helping those within the transgender and queer community that are in desperate need during the pandemic our nation still faces.
What We Know:
- Indya Moore is one of the stars of FX’s hit show Pose which portrays New York City’s Black and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in the 1980s. On-screen Moore plays Angel Evangelista, a trans sex worker who becomes the mistress of someone she meets while working at the Chelsea Piers. In 2019, Moore became the first trans person to be featured on the cover of the U.S. version of Elle magazine and the same year, Time magazine named Moore one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
- Moore, who prefers gender-neutral pronouns, has used their platform from the show to amplify the voices of the LGBTQ community and inspire change, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. “Black trans women are impacted most heavily by anything affecting everyone as a whole,” Moore told NBC. “Black trans folk don’t have access to community, they don’t have family or other folks to rely on, and a lot of black trans folks often depend on sex work to survive” so they focused their attention on helping this community during a time of crisis.
- Moore acknowledged that their fanbase, now amassing over 1 million followers on Instagram, consists of people who are fans of the show and tend to have more “disposable income and are in more privileged circumstances”. So through their Instagram, Moore explained, “I try to use myself as a conduit to connect my fan base to my community… It can be hard to create a conduit between the most privileged folk and the most vulnerable, and so I came up with the simplest way to do it.”
- On March 17, Moore posted a message on Instagram that they would be giving money to the first 50 Black trans and queer folk who are in need via CashApp. This started as an independent initiative where Moore used their own funds to get money to those in need during the health crisis. Moore said, “Redistribution of wealth [has] been important. But now it’s imperative!” Their goal was to get funds directly to those who need it.
- What started out as Moore donating their own money to others quickly grew and turned into a wealth distribution program run through social media. Moore’s followers started to donate money to Moore’s CashApp account and then they diverted those funds directly to those who reached out for help, giving about $50 per person to mostly Black trans folks, specifically women, but also “Latinx, Asian, indigenous, queer, trans, disabled and differently-abled folks as well”.
- Moore said they have raised over $20,000 so far, and the money has gone to help people with food, rent, and gender-affirming care. Moore was receiving so many donations that CashApp temporarily suspended Moore’s account for going over the maximum daily amount.
- Moore has said that the whole process has been very overwhelming, telling Vogue, “A lot of people have responded very generously and given upwards of $1,000. But it’s been heartbreaking too. I get DMs from trans teens who are 15 or 17 asking for funds to support their moms or their families. A lot of trans people are afraid of losing housing or can’t pay their cell-phone bill, which is their only connection to their loved ones.”
- “It’s really important to me to prioritize those who will always be thought of last, if thought of at all,” Moore said about focusing their efforts on the transgender community. “I am prioritizing the needs of black trans women first, the ones who are least likely to have friends, boyfriends and families checking in or present at all.” So far this year, 15 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been fatally shot or killed by other violent means, and the average life expectancy for transgender women in America is 35-years-old.
- Moore has also been a large advocate during the Black Lives Matter movement, pushing for the inclusion of specifically “Black Trans Lives Matter” in the protests and conversation, sharing on Twitter, “BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER is making sure that Trans (queer) liberation moves coexistently with black liberation so Noone is left behind to continue experiencing violence because of who they are within black identity”.
Hope I explained this clearly because I am tired of explaining it. pic.twitter.com/S1WOvBR2RB
— Black trans life is precious (@IndyaMoore) June 15, 2020
Moore shares that the pandemic has amplified existing inequalities and injustices that are pervasive in the black and brown trans and queer communities and they will continue to use their platform for support and change. Moore continues to raise and distribute money to those in need via CashApp as well as work with the FX team on the #FeedTheLove campaign working to address the growing issues of hunger during the coronavirus crisis. For anyone who wishes to donate, you can find Moore’s CashApp here.