Our Lady J is an Emmy-nominated writer, producer and musician. She is the first out trans woman to perform at Carnegie Hall and the first out trans writer to be hired in a television writers room.
A classically trained musician, Our Lady J has been playing piano since she was four years old. In high school, she attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts to further her music studies. As a classical and pop performer, she has collaborated with the American Ballet Theatre, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Mark Morris Dance Group, pop singer and songwriter Sia and Broadway performer Natalie Joy Johnson. In 2013, she released “Picture of a Man,” her critically acclaimed first studio album.
As a writer and producer, Our Lady J has worked on Pose and Transparent. She has been awarded two Peabody Awards and nominated for three Writers Guild Awards and an NAACP Image Award.
“It’s been humbling to be a part of something that’s not only entertaining, but important to so many people,” she told fashion designer Christian Siriano for Interview Magazine. “While writing on Transparent, I saw just how many folks had been starving for accurate reflections of their lives in the media, but these attempts had been blocked by prejudices within the industry for so long. I think we owe the current wave of trans representation to the generations of activists who worked tirelessly to break down these prejudices, and I feel so lucky to be living in a time where this newfound freedom allows me to write authentic characters and truly queer storylines.”
Our Lady J is an advocate for the transgender community and works to destigmatise HIV and AIDS, as someone who is HIV+ herself. She explained to Good Morning America how her experience as an HIV+ individual inspired some of her writing for Pose.
“I literally ran from where I was living in Brooklyn at the time,” she recalled. “To Manhattan, I put on my sneakers and ran across the Williamsburg Bridge, not knowing what to do. And as I was crossing that bridge, I remember hearing a voice in my head that said, ‘I’m gonna survive, I’m gonna survive, I’m gonna survive, I’m gonna thrive.’ As I was running, that voice changed into, ‘I am surviving, I am thriving.'”Tags: Activism, Diversity and Inclusion, entertainment, LGBTQ+, music, TV