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our hearts and souls on trial

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Wade Adams doesn’t know what he would have done if he’d been born in a time or a place without internet access. Life would’ve been hard enough just being an Adams and liking to sing. It would’ve been hard enough even with being enrolled at Carmel High, where glee club training is provably as harrowing as any sports’. It would’ve been hard enough without waking up every day and realizing he’s still inside a body that had never really felt like his own.

Without access to the right information, Wade knows how unlikely it is that he would’ve gained even the beginnings of tools to maybe do something about it. He suspects he’d be in a very bad place indeed if he hadn’t come across possible explanations for why Unique was and is more than just a character he can become.

The trouble is, the closer Vocal Adrenaline gets to Regionals the more apparent it becomes that there ‘re limits to what talking to strangers on the internet can help with.

Trying to find a doctor whose allegiance’d be to Unique first, getting proper documentation on ‘dysphoria’ or whatever term their collaborative efforts result in… Getting people around her to use the words she’d like once she decides on some… All that can come later. Right now, it’s about Regionals. If he – she, it’s going to be ‘she’ if she gets her wish – if she tries to think further ahead than that she might lose her mind. Which she might do anyway. Wade has nightmares about never truly discovering Unique’s potential if he keeps her locked up, if he doesn’t show her to the world and lets her explore.

Back when Wade had been first a freshman singing and dancing in support of Jesse and then a sophomore backing up Sunshine, the question of who the audience was seeing if they happened to look at the black kid didn’t matter so much. And during those rare times she’d caught herself fantasizing about one day taking lead, she’d always had the feeling that if she found the right words with which to present her cause then Ms. Corcoran’d be supportive and willing to take the risk of letting her perform as a woman, for the sheer daring of it if not out of regard for Unique as a person.

Now Ms. Corcoran’s long gone and Dustin’s been fired and Jesse of all people is running the show. He has grudgingly allowed Wade to keep the place Dustin awarded him but Unique cannot predict his reaction to her real self at all.

Most of Vocal Adrenaline hopefully won’t care one way or the other, at least as long as they win competitions. If Wade becomes Unique and they come second or worse it might be a death sentence.

Ideally, Unique’d set up a meeting with another trans or genderqueer person a little older than her who’d relate to her passion for performing. She needs her some face to face time, but she’s too smart to try and meet strangers and none of her closer skype and chat room contacts live anywhere near. No one she‘s met in real life is in her situation.

Lacking any kind of closer match, Wade who is Unique gathers all her courage and seeks out the girl who knows what it’s like to succeed as a strong, black woman and the boy who once won Sectionals with a duet he sang with his boyfriend.