Featuring Mila Jam
Mila Jam is an award-winning NYC nightlife recording artist, entertainer and CEO of artist collective THEJAMFAM (@thejamfam6). From touring internationally with the hit Broadway musical Rent to performing alongside Grammy Award-winning producer Mark Ronson (The Lilly Allen Show), she’s danced for Jody Watley, Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite) and the late James Brown and has opened for Natasha Bedingfield. Mila has made candid appearances on MTV News, MTV. com and Perezhilton.com. Mila Jam won Best Music Video (2013) for her single “Masters of the Universe” and Best Dance Entertainer of the Year for the New York City Nightlife GLAM Awards.
We had the opportunity to interview author Mila Jam, whose essay “Home: A Transgender Journey” appears in All the Women in My Family Sing. This is what we learned…
What inspired you to write your essay for this anthology?
A lack of published stories from black women of trans experience.
What is one of the most memorable challenges you have experienced as a woman of color in the twenty-first century?
Being favored in social settings for being a beautiful Black woman and immediately being turned away when it is discovered I am trans. This is an ongoing challenge. All the while, my Black trans sisters are senselessly murdered for simply existing. It is all unacceptable.
Give an example of women’s roles in today's social justice movement.
As a performing artivist (artistic activist), it’s always been important for me to see empowered women in the arts breaking down barriers that perpetuate negative stereotypes about who we really are and what we look like. Comedienne Amanda Seales talks about racial & cultural injustices in her work. My sister and best friend actress Laverne Cox constantly sheds light on the injustices of transwomen of color. These Black female entertainers have huge roles in the social justice movement.
What have your experiences been in leadership as a woman of color?
Emboldening. Empowering. Awakening. When I am able to be authentically me and embraced, I shine. There’s more than enough fear imprinted on the experience of being a woman of color. The greatness is growing through that knowing I belong.
What do you most hope readers will take away from reading this book?
That more than one story resonates with someone and inspires them to share their experiences.