Our Lady J has been the first to do many things.She is the first out transgender woman to perform at Carnegie Hall as well as the first out transgender writer to be hired in a television writers’ room.
But she recently crossed another first off her list: performing at the prestigious Lincoln Center in Manhattan.
"I'm just so grateful to be here," Our Lady J told "Good Morning America," as she got ready for the performance. "When I realized the show was sold out, it really humbled me. I feel like anything is possible, and I'm glad I've stayed awake and alive for those possibilities."
Although Our Lady J began her career as a pianist and musician, she temporarily gave up music to write for television in Hollywood.
"It kind of feels like I had to stop making music to go educate the world through television," she said.
Our Lady J was first hired as a writer on Amazon's "Transparent," and now works has a writer and producer on Ryan Murphy's FX series, "Pose."
"Jill Soloway was looking for a writer for 'Transparent' and realized that there had been no out trans writers who had been hired into writers' rooms up until that point," Lady J said.
Our Lady J made her-story when she became the show's first transgender writer.
No pressure at all, being the only out trans woman.
"No pressure at all, being the only out trans woman," Lady J told "GMA." "It was a lot of pressure actually."
Our Lady J said there was a little less pressure when she joined the "Pose" writers' room. The hit Ryan Murphy series about the ballroom community in the '80s and '90s has the largest transgender cast of a scripted TV show.
"There are more trans people working in Hollywood than ever," Our Lady J said. "Ryan Murphy insisted on two transgender writers for 'Pose,' so Janet Mock and myself are both in the writers' room."
While music is Our Lady J's first love, she has the opportunity to tell her story through shows like "Pose."
I had all the bad information that everyone else had about HIV.
She wrote her experience of testing positive for HIV into the show when Billy Porter's character Pray Tell finds out he has the disease.
"I had all the bad information that everyone else had about HIV," she said. "It's a lot of educating that I have to do, it became so exhausting, I thought there has to be a better way, give me a bigger microphone, let me put this on TV, so I did."
Our Lady J went from fear of surviving to absolutely thriving.
She has been nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe, she's collaborated with Sia, and been praised by Dolly Parton, just to name a few!
Our Lady J couldn't contain her excitement about getting to return to the piano to perform a catalog of new music to a sold-out show at Lincoln Center.
"It's music that requires listening," Our Lady J said. "Some music you can bob along to, but my music requires you to open up your mind and ears and listen."
Editor's note: This was originally published on Feb. 20, 2020.