Sheryl Lee Ralph. She is the only purpose why I accepted the position of Roxie Hart in Chicago on Broadway. I nearly turned it down. I simply keep in mind operating into Sheryl at Janet Jackson’s party. I used to be like “Sheryl, I gotta ask you a query. … I’ve this chance with Chicago on Broadway, however I do not know if I need to take it.” And she or he mentioned, “Take it. I already know why you are hesitant. They are not gonna pay any of us what we’re price.”
I did not even have to inform her. She mentioned, “This isn’t about them. That is about your second. And that is about the truth that you deserve this. You are going to have the ability to present the world what Black trans girls can do. And we’re going to pack that viewers to come back see you.”
And so many individuals did come out to see me, from around the globe. I signed autographs till each single individual was gone. Followers of American Horror Story and followers of Pose. It was such an excellent expertise. It was the toughest factor that I’ve ever completed in my whole life. I’ve by no means labored more durable, eight reveals every week. That was loads, for 2 months straight. However it’s due to Sheryl Lee Ralph [that I did it]. I’m so glad that not solely she sees me and sees my expertise, however she affirms it. She encourages me, she’s at all times there to pay attention. She’s simply actually an actual sister.
Did you develop up with faith and spirituality?
I grew up in church listening to that [I was valuable] on a regular basis. After which I obtained hit with messages that I used to be an abomination and that I used to be a sin. However these issues didn’t ring true to my religious expertise. So my drive initially got here from clarifying that disconnect. Individuals have been saying one factor, however the spirit in me was saying one other factor. So I needed to determine it out.
What was that course of like for you?
Me and God had an issue for a minute. To the purpose the place I used to be like, “Alright, I prayed it away, I fasted, I did all of the issues. If that is not gonna work, then I will take my life.” I’m amongst that variety of so many Black and trans LGBTQ folks, and just about simply LGBTQ folks generally, the place our suicide charges are so excessive.
I used to be 16. I simply keep in mind trying on the Lord’s Prayer on my mother’s wall within the toilet as I used to be taking her medicine. Earlier than I absolutely handed out, Jesus spoke to me and mentioned, “What you are doing? I do know who you’re. I already know. Rise up off the ground. Choose up your cross, and stroll.” We’ve got heard that so many occasions, about that factor that you simply assume is a burden that’s yours to hold. It is a present. You simply have to choose it up and stroll with it, and perceive that as life goes on.
It is not that it will get any lighter. Being Black in America would not get any simpler. Being trans in America would not get any simpler. However child, I obtained these weapons and I’m sturdy with it. There’s not a lot that may take me down. And if it does, it is solely momentary.