“There’s an outcast in everybody’s life, and I Am Her,” wails breakout singer/songwriter Shea Diamond, whose soulful debut, “I AM HER,” reflects on her life experience as a transwoman of color. “There’s a dark cloud in everybody’s sunlight, and I Am Her.”
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, ShaGasyia “Shea” Diamond was raised in Memphis and moved to Flint, Michigan with her family “for a better life,” though the artist’s life shifted drastically when she ran away from home at age 14 and became a ward of state, living in foster homes. By 17, Diamond decided to live independently, searching for ways to finance her transition—one of which caused the singer to be sentenced to men’s prison for 10 years.
“I was afraid that I could possibly die in a prison system designed to ensure correctional jobs over human lives,” Diamond says. “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.”
After being released from prison in 2009, Diamond moved to NYC where she began pursuing her musical dreams and found a recording studio to create what’s become, “I AM HER.” The self-reflective anthem is a testament to Diamond’s admirable growth, packed with confidence and lyrical remedies for those who’ve “felt shunned for simply being who they were.”
Armed with the backbone of multiple layers of marginalization, Diamond is an icon for the everyday American, whose lives are constantly being invalidated by the Straight White Cisgender Man—Trump, among the lot. Watch “I AM HER,” Below: