AceShowbiz - "Pose" star Angelica Ross left her fiance after eight years together because she refused to keep quiet about her transgender identity.
While the actress didn't share details of her relationship, she revealed during the virtual ATX TV Festival she couldn't "live in his shadow and protect his image of being a straight male in the world."
"Even with the fact that he won't really take you home to see his family or they honk outside the door and take him to dinner or… threaten your relationship all the time or whatever, this is the best it's going to get," she explained while sharing the struggles transgender women face in relationships.
"The audacity that I had to say that I deserve more and to love myself enough to leave that and bet on myself after years of having to figure it out."
The star of the FX show accepted the festival's inaugural Breakthrough Award during the virtual event and admitted that the process of learning to love herself was extremely tough.
"I am very pleased with where my life has gone, how I've blossomed into the woman I am now," she began, "but I wasn't as secure in myself and my body, in my appearance."
"I was always terrified of being found out and so in my acting classes in college… I was just so nervous. My teachers didn't know, no one knew because for my safety on campus."
And Ross confessed she never thought she'd realise her acting ambitions because she feared she'd have to keep her true self hidden.
"I would never get to greatness hiding parts of myself in the sense that as an actor you need to be able to let go into the role and not be worried about what I look like, what I sound like," she said.
"I am someone who is just breaking through, I'm just beginning… even though I'm 40 years old, you are seeing me just break the surface."