Hunter Schafer said this week she’d like to shift the public’s focus away from her trans identity.

“I just want to be a girl and finally move on,” the Euphoria star said in a new GQ cover story, adding that she’s even hesitant to say the word “trans” in interviews.

“As soon as I say it, it gets blastoff,” she said. “It took a while to learn that, and it also took a while to learn that I don’t want to be [reduced to] that, and I find it ultimately demeaning to me and what I want to do. Especially after high school, I was sick of talking about it. I worked so hard to get to where I am, past these really hard points in my transition, and now I just want to be a girl and finally move on.”

In high school, Schafer was highly publicized for being the youngest plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which banned trans people from using public bathrooms that didn’t match the gender on their birth certificate.

“I felt like I had to make my art a response to everything that was happening in North Carolina when that’s not really what I wanted to be making art about, necessarily,” she said, reflecting on her work as a visual artist and fashion designer, as well as actress and model. “I think I felt like, ‘Oh, I’m trans. I should be making art about this.’”

The shift away from that focus has been very intentional for Schafer. “It has not just happened naturally by any means,” she said. “If I let it happen, it would still be giving ‘Transsexual Actress’ before every article ever.”

Elsewhere in the profile, the actress also opened up about her grief following the death of fellow Euphoria actor Angus Cloud, who died last summer at age 25 from an accidental drug overdose.

“I’ve never had a friend that I was that close to and that was my age pass before,” she said. “It’s really surreal. It doesn’t make sense. And yeah, it’s new. It’s a new kind of grieving.”

Schafer added that Cloud had been “really one of the heartbeats of Euphoria. It’s always the people that are just kind of a little too good for the world and a little too pure. He was a fucking angel. He was sunshine.”

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