NYC-based singer/songwriter Shea Diamond is sending a powerful message of hope in her new video for song Seen It. In collaboration with It Gets Better Project– the worldwide movement inspiring changes and support for LGBT youth who are bullied, Diamond waxes on the women who enlivened her, including Nina Simone and Patti Labelle, her incarceration, and the hard road she travelled to become the woman, and voice she is today. Watch below! (via Out)
“I knew, at a very young age, I loved to sing. My voice was effeminate and I remember feeling afraid to sing in the church choir. The fear of my own voice left me feeling like an outcast.
No longer able to hide my truth, I ran away from home at 14 years old, becoming a temporary ward of the state. I grew tired of the shuffle from foster home to foster home, so at 17, I was emancipated and sought out independent living. Desperate to find the financial means to transition to my true gender, I committed a crime in 1999 and was sentenced to 10 years in a men’s prison. I was afraid that I could possibly die in a prison system designed to ensure correctional jobs over human lives.
While incarcerated, I spent time talking to other like-minded women of trans experience about their stories. It was because of these women and the community I was a part of in prison where I really found my voice. I was locked up but my mind was free!”