Singer, actress and transgender rights activist Mila Jam debuted a video for the title track of her latest EP, Pretty One, to commemorate the observation of Transgender Day of Visibility.
On Wednesday, the 32-year-old released the video for “Pretty One” as a celebration of self-empowerment and “the goddess in me,” she told HuffPost.
“I want [viewers] to be inspired to really dig into their own reflection and to find what it means to be their own ‘pretty one,’ and to define that for themselves,” Jam said.
As Blavity previously reported, March 31 has been observed as a day of celebration of the accomplishments of trans and gender-nonconforming people since 2009.
No justice, no peace. #BlackLivesMatter— EVOL.LGBT (@evollgbt) June 5, 2020
Black trans artist Mila Jam is pictured in this powerful image, standing unclothed on a city crosswalk. Written in white all over her body are the words "STOP KILLING US."
⠀#nojusticenopeace #georgefloyd #sayhisname #stopkillingus pic.twitter.com/F3MqyaQawh
Last year, the LGTBQ+ community experienced the deadliest year on record in the country’s history as 44 transgender and gender-nonconforming people were victims of reported violent crimes, according to the Human Rights Campaign. This year, at least 12 trans or gender-nonconforming people have been killed in the U.S.
As an activist, Jam is passionate about getting people to recognize the plight of the LGTBQ+ community, but as an artist, she said she sees herself highlighting the community’s joy through her creativity.
“We’re still dealing with senseless murders, and I don’t want to overshadow or ignore any of that,” she said. “We have to remind people we are here and we are seen. Even when you don’t know us, we’re still here. I want to reiterate how wonderful and gifted we are as a community and focus on the beautiful things we’re contributing to the conversation.”
The release of Pretty One marks the start of a busy year for the 32-year-old Aurora, Illinois native. Recently, she teamed up with Taiwanese music artist Evangeline for an unreleased song called “Time Waster,” which she detailed as “an anthem for people that waste your time.” There’s also speculation that Jam’s planning to develop a video for the dance single “Fierce,” her collaboration with singer Ultra Naté and Pose diva Angelica Ross, HuffPost reports.
Outside of her music career, the “Cheesecake” artist is also the host of “OutSPOKEN with Mila Jam,” a LinkedIn Live series that highlights the 32-year-old’s conversations with various community members and thought leaders on experiences related to transgender life.
“I’ve always been passionate about making a statement,” she said. “I always have something to say. It just comes with the territory. I want the world to know my opinion matters, my experience matters. You don’t have to accept it or like it, but I want people to know that I accept it and I like it.”
In an interview with Yahoo, Jam said she believes a major step in creating an environment of ideal inclusivity is acknowledging and accepting the proper pronouns of others.
“Honoring someone’s pronouns is really a way to show that you’re listening, that you’re including and that you’re caring about people,” she said. “Your pronouns — let people know.”
“We live in a world that’s not black and white. We can learn something from each other,” she added.