Transgender actress Hailie Sahar has
credited her mother with helping her find the courage to come out.
Sahar plays Lulu Abundance in the FX
drama Pose. She also portrays Jazmin on Freeform's Good
Sahar transitioned when she was a
teenager. The daughter of a Baptist preacher in Los Angles, Sahar
said that she did not want to “bring shame” to her family with
her gender identity.
She spoke with Justin Sylvester, the
openly gay host of E!'s Just the Sip, about her “extremely
“The beautiful thing is that I have
my mother to thank," Sahar said. "My parents were divorced
when I was about 1 years old, and my mother is the example of what I
would call perfection, if there was such a thing as perfection in a
human. My mother lives by love and just embracing who you are, as
long as you're not hurting anyone, so I had that as an example. As I
got a little older, I started to pay attention more to that, rather
than the structure of the church."
"Rather than, this is what you
should do or you shouldn't do or you're going to Hell, I started to
pay attention to who God really is, and God is love, and my mother
demonstrates love. And so I was like, huh, I want to be like her. I
want to live like that. And so, with that, I had more of a freedom to
express myself and to be my authentic self and it's thanks to my mom,
"You have to take into
accountability [you're a] teenager and I come from a very strict
Baptist family. I didn't want to bring shame upon my family and I
didn't want to be condemned. I knew that I was a good person and so
that was very challenging for me."
"I actually ran away when I was a
teenager and put my mom through so much," she continued. "But
I was trying to find myself and I was trying to get away from that
strict teaching that my father's side of my family was instilled in
me, and not to say anything bad about them, because I love my family,
but it was a lot of pressure on me, and my mother's voice was in my
head, and my personal love for God was in my heart, and I understood
who God is on a personal level, and I knew that God made me who I am.
I realized one day that God loves me and God is love, and love does
not judge, love is pure, and love is kind."
"So it was those things that I had
to recondition with my thinking to accept, and once I did that, I had
the courage to be myself and in that process – and I'm still in
that process – I started to own that and what that looks like and
what that means for me, and telling myself, this is my life, and I'm
gonna live my life the way I want to live it and I'm in control of
Sahar added that as a child she dreamed
of being a mom.