This fall, rising singer/songwriter Shea Diamond released her debut single, "I Am Her"—a coming of age trans narrative, she told OUT, written to empower "people who may not be the typical idea of female or that you would think to call "her.'" Today, Diamond shared a follow-up acapella rendition of her breakout track in honor of Marsha P. Johnson, the queer black drag queen we recognize today as a key pillar of the Stonewall riots.
"I’m thankful that my trans sisters sacrificed in this movement so women like me are able to be whomever we choose," Diamond wrote on her Facebook, announcing the live video. "Marsha P. Johnson, our founding mother, made it possible for us to take advantage of rights we never knew someone had to fight for. Now, as a trans woman of color, I’m free to be the artist I never dreamed I’d get the chance to be. I’m able to finish where they left off and give our youth something to believe in."
In Diamond's black-and-white clip, she powers through "I Am Her" alone in a recording studio, highlighting the potency of her lyrics without the song's original bluesy rock production. "There's an outcast in everybody's life and I Am Her," she booms, featuring photography of Marsha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera projected behind her as a reminder of all the queer martyrs who've worked tirelessly for greater social acceptance today.
"Interest in trans people has usually been on our gender identity or our gender expression instead of on our talents,” she told OUT. "Now we’re at a point where people are looking at us a little differently—there are a lot of talented people in our community who need space, visibility, and opportunity."
Watch Shea Diamond perform "I Am Her" live, below