If I could only hear one song for the rest of my life: It would definitely be my girl Aaliyah because she was a beast—young, beautiful, gifted and taken from us way too soon. Listening to Aaliyah send you back to a time when we all had small waist lines and the world seemed new. If your girl only knew. “Rock the Boat,” “Try Again,” “We Need a Resolution,” “4 Page Letter,” I can literally go on and on. She is gone, but never forgotten. As an artist, I’m grateful for what she brought to music, as her sound is still unmatched.

My own song that I’ll be happy to retire: As a Black trans woman being erased, deemed disposable, I can’t afford to retire a song. The stage was never set for a Black trans woman to be on it, but we can be tolerated as spectators. I sang “I Am Her,” the first song I wrote, over a million times before pop icon Justin Tranter discovered it. We all have to run this race we call life, but there will definitely be more obstacles for trans women to jump over while fighting for our lives. You will hear Shea Diamond songs, your grandkids and their kids will all hear it. I won’t silence myself, nor will I allow the world to silence me.

My own song that I’ll never get tired of performing: “American Pie.” This song reminds us all that the LGBTQ+ [community] is here to stay and, yes, we want our piece of the American dream that has been withheld from us for too long. We deserve love. We deserve support. We deserve happiness, adequate healthcare, safe housing and we deserve any opportunity afforded to any other red-blooded American. The feeling I get when I perform this song is like a queen sitting on her throne. I feel the power of our trans ancestors moving, reminding me what they fought for, and I sit in that privilege that they provided. Today, we are finally able to ensure our people are represented. Someone around the world is just now discovering the “American Pie” song for the first time.

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