Meet Jamie Diaz—if you haven’t already made her acquaintance. Convicted in 1996 of aggravated robbery, Diaz is serving a life sentence in a Texas penitentiary for men. Diaz—a trans woman—has used these past decades for personal and artistic growth, developing a colorful drawing and painting practice from inside.
Fortuitously connecting in 2013 with Gabriel Joffe—who was a volunteer for the advocacy organization Black and Pink—Diaz continued to create artwork as circumstances allowed, initially mailing her finished work to Joffe, who is trans non-binary. Eventually Daniel Cooney Fine Art in Manhattan took an interest and Diaz had a solo show at the gallery last year, communicating with co-curator Joffe by phone during the opening.
Beautifully told in Karla Murthy’s 20-minute documentary LOVE, JAMIE, Diaz—who will be eligible for parole beginning in 2025—relates her story of resilience, regret, devotion, shame, and hope, powered by a strong desire for acceptance and a place in the world.
LOVE, JAMIE screens this weekend at Outfest Los Angeles 2023. See links and info below for details.
Directed by Karla Murthy
Outfest Los Angeles 2023
Screening in SHORTS: IS THIS THE REAL LIFE, IS THIS JUST FANTASY?
Sunday, July 16, at 11 am
Directors Guild of America
7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles
Black and Pink
Daniel Cooney Fine Art
LOVE, JAMIE won the Outfest Los Angeles 2023 Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Documentary Short Film.
Karla Murthy, Love, Jamie (2023), Jamie Diaz artwork, from top: Our Flaming Queer Hearts Will Not Be Denied, 2020; Even Flowers Bleed 2, 2014; In the Realm of Mortal Existence, 2014; Stop the Mistreatment of Trans and Queer Prisoners, 2016 (detail), A.B.O. Comix. Artwork © Jamie Diaz, courtesy the artist and Daniel Cooney Fine Art.
Film stills, from top: Gabriel Joffe (left) and Jamie Diaz; Joffe; Daniel Cooney. Images and film poster courtesy Greene Fort Productions.