My name is Mila Jam and I’m from Columbus, Georgia. So I created this drag persona, Britney Houston, who is the Pop Parody Princess of Music Videos. I was having a moment of success and I got a call and I was asked to be on a big TV show in London and after getting all these followers on YouTube and on my channel and doing these parody videos and lip synching, I was like, “Oh my God this is such a cool opportunity, I’m so excited to go to London and do something fun.” I got to go to London for two days, all expenses paid, they had a driver for me waiting for me, my own hotel, accommodations, a trip around London, going to the London Eye, I had back-up dancers that I was not told I was going to have, and I was performing with Grammy Award-winning producer Mark Ronson. And I’m on stage lip synching with Mark Ronson lip playing on the guitar next to me. And I’m feeling it and I’m into it, we have choreography and dancers and the crowd is just loving it. And as superficial as it kind of came off, it just felt so half-fulfilling. It felt like, “This is great but it’s kind of not me, it’s an act” and I was just kind of like, “I want to be myself.” And it kind of ate me up so much that I had an epiphany. I was like, “This is the moment that I’m able to see that I can achieve my dreams and I can be in front of people and successful and amazing” and I just felt like there was something missing. And that was my transition.
I stopped performing Britney Houston material, I took down my channel, I had all of these subscribers and followers and I literally went back to zero. I started completely over. So I told all my friends, I told my family who was very supportive of Britney Houston and I officially came out to them saying, “I’m a woman. I’ve always been a woman, but that’s just not been the shell and it’s time to catch up with that, it’s time to make sure the shell reflects who I really am on the inside.” It was probably the most rewarding thing that I’ve ever done and the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And the biggest feeling was the day I got a call from a producer who was starting a record label and he was like, “I’m looking for musicians and artists to sing on my label and make music” and I was like, “Me me me me, that’s me, that’s me!” And we had a meeting and we cut a demo and we worked on some music and we came up with a song and I created my first single. And it was just one small night at a small bar here in New York City that we did a launch party. I remember getting ready for the event, I had to take a subway to get there, I was really sort of broke, I didn’t have any money to seem as fabulous as I wanted to come off, and I got there, there were maybe 30-50 people, and I got on that stage and I sang my heart out, and there were my dancers from my music and my friends there cheering me on. And it was just the beginning of the foundation of starting my journey really as a woman, as a musician, as an artist, and not a mockery of someone else. It was just the exact opposite of being in London and being on stage with Mark Ronson and the dynamic was startling. And it didn’t matter to me that there weren’t that many people in the audience, it didn’t matter to me that I wasn’t on a hit TV show, I was just entering my truth and I was starting the foundation for all the great things that are supposed to come for me later on.