Outfest Winner ‘Love, Jamie’ Gets Premiere on PBS American Masters Shorts Series

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Trans people are among society’s most vulnerable as well as its most demonized. It’s rare to see unbiased portrayals of trans people in mainstream media, but on Monday, June 3, viewers can see “Love, Jamie,” the story of a 66-year-old Mexican-American trans woman who’s spent almost 30 years in a men’s prison in Texas, as part of PBS’ inaugural American Masters Shorts series.

Artwork, courtesy Jamie Diaz

“It is my hope that the film will … open the hearts of those who don’t know people like us,” said Jamie Diaz, the film’s subject. “I believe it is important to shed as much light as possible on inequality as well as show the humanity, integrity, and courage of our people.”

The documentary series is a new digital-first offering about artists who defy the odds to create remarkable work. In addition to “Love, Jamie,” the series includes: “Searching for Augusta Savage,” “Becoming Yamazushi,” “Weaving Nature,” and “Dear Corky.”

“Love, Jamie” (20 minutes) is an uplifting start to June’s LGBTQ Pride month. (The film won the OUTFEST Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Documentary Short at its premiere last year in Los Angeles.)

From Emmy-nominated director Karla Murthy, the film introduces Jamie as an exceptionally talented artist, who cobbled together her artwork with found materials (paint brushes made of hair, paint leftover from prison projects).

Her work came to light–and eventually into a solo show at a New York City gallery in 2022—after Gabriel, a volunteer for an organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ people who are incarcerated, began corresponding with Jamie. Love, Jamie is how she closed each letter.

Director Karla Murthy

Director Karla Murthy

“As Jamie’s incredible story of perseverance becomes more important every day, we want to offer this film as a celebration of life and resiliency and dignity, said Murthy. “This is a story about a beautiful friendship, creating one’s chosen family and the restorative power of art.”

The correspondence between Jamie and Gabriel continued over 10 years (Jamie was scheduled for release from prison May 31, 2024), with Jamie’s letters resembling mini canvases, on which the breadth of her talent was revealed.

“I feel so blessed and honored to be in such a position to share my art with the world,” said Jamie, regarding her participation in the short film.

“What I would like audiences to take away from the film is love and understanding. To look at my art and the story of my friendship with Gabriel and feel the love, hope, and pride we share.”

“LOVE, JAMIE” will release on PBS.org, the PBS app, and the American Masters YouTube channel on June 3, 2024 in honor of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month.

To watch American Master Shorts click here;

For more information on “Love, Jamie” click here.


Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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