In a new podcast interview,
singer-songwriter Shea Diamond states that transgender people are
denied the ability to dream.
Diamond, 42, ran away from home at age
14. She knew from an early age that she identified as a woman. She
spent 10 years in a men's prison for robbing a convenience store to
pay for gender affirmation surgery. She wrote her transgender anthem
“I Am Her” while in prison.
Appearing on the LGBTQ&A podcast,
Diamond said that she had thoughts of suicide as a teenager.
"You've got to understand my
experience before I got incarcerated,” Diamond
said. “You've got to understand, nobody wants a trans child. I
was a trans child. Nobody wants a trans child. And this is not to
demonize my parents. It's not. Because we don't know the things that
we know now.”
“A lot of us killed ourselves because
of the experience that we had in our households. And I was one of the
ones who was going to. I was going to. At 14-years-old, I was going
to end my life. I was not going to write 'I Am Her,' to live the
tale, to say that. But I had to be stronger than all the doubt I had
in my heart and my mind. I had to be stronger than all the ridicule,
all the harassment, all the neglect that happened in my life."
“Nothing has changed since the days
of Sylvia and Marsha,” she said, referring to pioneering
transgender activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
on transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson premieres on Netflix.)
“We've lost the ability to dream
because people have taken that away from us. They've told us that
because we're queer, because we're black, because we're trans,
because we're gay, because we're fat, that we can't obtain this
dream. And so that's been embedded in our minds.”
Diamond added that it's hard for her to
fully trust her success.
“I just don't feel like we're
respected as human beings, so how can we be respected in art? It has
to be, maybe they're ridiculing me. Maybe I'm the butt of the jokes.
Maybe reality is going to smack us back in the face,” she said.