- Indya Moore, a breakout star from the hit show "Pose," faced foster care and unsupportive parents in their youth, like many trans young people today.
- They told Insider the support they received from other adults and older adolescents in their life is what helped them become the person they are today.
- Moore spoke to Insider about the ways adults helped support them in their journey to self-acceptance as a trans young person in honor of "The Journey," a campaign with Orbitz to help raise $50,000 for the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA).
- Here are Moore's four tips for adults looking to support trans youth.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Indya Moore, one of the stars of "Pose," knows how difficult it is to be a trans kid.
While their parents are supportive now, it wasn't the case when they first came out as queer when they were 14 years old.
Their parents' inability to accept their queerness at the time landed Moore in foster care, a reality for many trans and queer youth.
Moore told Insider that, despite the hardships, it was the supportive people along the way that were crucial for them to become the person they are today. One of the people they thank is their sister, who was the first person to recognize their queerness when they were around six years old.
"She told me that no matter what, no matter if I come to be gay or straight or whatever, that I will always have love in her. My sister was creating a foundation of understanding for me that I will have love no matter what I feel challenged by in this world," Moore told Insider. "That messaging was very important."
Studies have shown trans youth thrive when they have the support of their families, making acceptance and love essential to their journeys and development. According to a 2016 study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, trans youth are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations when they have the support of their parents.
In an interview with Insider, Moore shared their top tips for adults looking to support trans youth as part of "The Journey" campaign — which asks other LGBTQ people to thank someone in their life who has helped them in their journey to self-discovery. Orbitz will match every "thank you" it receives from other LGBTQ people by donating $20 to the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association up to $50,000.
Don't just offer advice
While giving advice might be the first instinct many adults have when trying to support trans young people, Moore encourages adults to go deeper.
"A lot of times those weren't the things that made me feel held and supported and loved or cared for or seen as a three-dimensional human," Moore said. "The things that make me feel like a three-dimensional person, a multi-dimensional person was being trusted."
Moore said the adults that were vulnerable with them when they were young were ultimately the ones who taught them they could share their emotions and be vulnerable.
"When you trust us, you affirm that we are capable of love. When you are vulnerable with us, you teach us how to be vulnerable," Moore said. "I feel like these are the building blocks of what creates a grounded adult out of trans kids."
Be supportive without focusing on gender and sexuality
There is increasing acceptance for trans youth in society, though that progress is slow. But, among parents who do support their trans child's truth, it's possible to be supportive in the wrong ways.
According to Moore, supportive adults can often focus too much on a child's transness.
It's more important to remember, this is a child like any other.
Moore wants adults to show trans youth they are complex, multi-dimensional beings that go far beyond their gender.
"Don't make supporting them about their sexuality, who they like, or what they don't like or what their gender feels like, because none of these are who we are," Moore said.
Nurture their curiosity for everything, and help them imagine any future they want
All children need their curiosity and creativity nurtured.
For trans children, there are often more barriers to doing that, whether it's because they live in an unsupportive household, or simply don't see themselves represented in media. It can be difficult to imagine a future, Moore said.
Introducing them to any possible life path early, and letting their imagination roam, is so important.
"I want to encourage adults to make those pathways for curiosity," Moore said. "Introduce us to different experiences in this world, with art, with sports. Let us have access to these things so we can figure out and realize some of the possibilities that are there already for our futures."
Adults exposing children to travel, educational opportunities, clothing, makeup, and other ways to express themselves can help trans kids discover themselves holistically.
Tell them you will love them no matter who they are
Moore's sister was the first person to offer unconditional love along their journey through their queerness, but she was not the last.
They told Insider when they entered foster care due to their parent's inability to accept them when they came out at 14 years old, they found a few mentors along the way.
"I think the love and the care feels so pulled back in foster care, even more so than in school sometimes. Finding love and support in foster care was very difficult," Moore said. "But I did meet these two incredible people. One was a therapist of mine. Her name is Lily and another was a social worker. Her name is Angie."
"I'm so grateful that I was able to receive love because that was also transformative for me growing up," Moore said.
Learning you can be loved and deserve to be loved is crucial for the development of trans children.
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