Faery Tales, Transformations and Music Part Three
First of all, to share some of Heather and Alex's music, I would wish to direct you to two U-tube performances by them. Heather's was recorded in a low-light scenario and you do not get a really good look at her face...however, you do clearly get the power and dynamism of her performance and her voice. The song is "Faery Queen" a ballad story she wrote of a young woman who faces down the the Faery Queen in a fiddle playing contest to save the man who is her fiance. It is a Celtic "Devil Went Down to Georgia" song, and I swear you expect the fiddle to burst into flames before it is over!
The second Utube is of Alex performing a re-write of the "Faery Queen" that he wrote - "He of the Sidhe". In this re-storying, he - Alex - was stolen by the faeries when he was a child and a changling was put into his place - Heather. This is another variation of the transition story from Alex's viewpoint, post transition. So, Heather has been coming and going from Faeryland all these years at will, while Alex has been trapped there...and he finds the courage to face down the Faery Queen himself in a fiddle playing competition and wins his freedom to return to mortal lands. And the Faery Queen says " This fiddle bright I lay aside, it's brought me little joy - I lost one world to a red head girl and now to you my boy!" Here is Alex's performance of "He of the Sidhe" - which is well lit and visible! And you can clearly see he has lost none of the dynamism of perfomance and singing!
Now...here is the personal part of what Heather and Alex's journey has meant to me. And I PROMISE it is the truth...
When Dreamweaver and I got the video of Heathers last concert - "Live - Everafter", we of course threw it into the dvd player immediately! Understand, that Heather was a West coast artist. I live on the East coast and had never seen her perform in person. All I had ever seen was pictures of her on her CD's. And a number of my friends had commented on the physical resemblance between her and me - and it was there, superficially. We share the red hair and the Scottish descent and genetic heritage. We might have been - oh - distant cousins. And yes - I play guitar, and bodhron (Celtic frame drum that Heather plays)...and we both are SCAdians (medieval reenactment group)...and she and I are both filkers and have played at Sci-Fi cons. Um...a lot of similarities there... a little eerie. I don't play the fiddle though...
I am also GID. Gender Identity Disorder. I feel male in a female body and wrestle deeply with the paradox and sometime depression and pain and stress of this. When I found out that Heather had transitioned, it hit me like a bomb for more than just being a fan of Heathers! It hit me as another person who is also GID and struggling with the journey!
But I had NO IDEA what was about to happen when Dreamweaver and I hit play on that DVD of Heather's last concert! The concert started...Heather walked onto the stage...and my jaw dropped. The resemblance between us had ceased to be superficial. She looked like me (back when my hair was long), she moved like me. Our hands looked the same. The body language and facial expressions...suddenly we looked like twins! They say everyone has a double...mine is evidently Heather Alexander! The illusion was seamless. And yes, if you looked hard and analyzed tight details, the differences were there...her ears are shaped differently from mine. Her nose is longer. Her chin is more pointed. And so forth. But those differences are simply swallowed up in the sum of the whole - it was like seeing myself in a mirror! Literally - her hair parts on the opposite side of mine, which means to my eye it is correct - like what I see in my reflection!
I sat there with my mouth STILL hanging open, and finally snuck a look out of the corner of my eye at Dreamweaver just to see what her reaction was. She was sitting there, pale, stunned and her eyes as wide as saucers. I said to her, "Um...are you seeing what I'm seeing?" and she replied in a shaky voice "Oh yes...she looks just like you!" We watched, utterly blown away by both the power of the concert and the stunning identical resemblance between Heather and myself. By the end we were in tears, literally. The final blow of the dvd is a brief clip of Heather with her dog Tycho. In that, she evidently has her hair pulled back and braided so tight she appears to have short hair. In that moment, given my hair is short, the resemblance becomes even more overwhelming! I managed to get a frame of that picture...here it is.
And, here is a picture of me. Remember, the identical resemblance exists mostly because of body language and the way we move, and mobile face expressions. It tends to not be as apparent in a still shot. And in some pictures, the comparison disappears altogether. However, I think here you can see that the resemblance is pretty spooky, even in still shots. ( in both pictures, the red hair is not exactly true to color.)
After the DVD ended, Dreamweaver and I sat there in shock for awhile. (I'll admit we backed up and ran it again and no...the resemblance did not go away. If anything it got spookier!) Then we made a mad scramble for the internet and googled Alexander James Adams. We simply HAD to see how the transition came out. Sure enough, there he was, laughing and bearded and blonde. We stared for a minute, and I finally cleared my throat and said what was hanging unspoken in the air between us since the moment Heather had walked on the stage in our living room. "If I were to transition, you are probably seeing a good possibility of what I would look like..."
I have to admit the roof sort of fell in then. We had been aware of my GID for awhile. We had talked about it. Researched it. Dreamweaver has been amazingly supportive and honest and understanding, stating a commitment and willingness to stand by me no matter what.
But in that moment, looking at Alex, the reality of our situation hit us full force. Understand, I have no intentions of transitioning, for a number of personal reasons, not the least of which is I have had a hip replacement, and that kind of extreme "cosmetic" surgery is utterly prohibited by possible complications with the new hip. Also, While I do wrestle with being male internally, there is much about myself I like as a woman - I am very androgynous in gender traits. Transitioning could and would change things about myself that I am not willing to risk at this point, no matter how great the dichotomy between being female and feeling male is.
And yet, seeing Alex suddenly made what we are going through together with my GID suddenly real, in a way that it hadn't been before. It was a transformative moment for us, if somewhat earth shaking.
So, that is the Faerytale of Heather and Alex and how these two people have affected my life, enriched it, made me a better person, and brought joy and transformation to me. Like all faery tales, it should have a happy ending. And it does....Alex is happy and whole now, in body, and heart in a way that Heather could never be. I have reached a new understanding and peace of my own about my journey on this "road less traveled". Alex's music (and Heather's) will continue to fill my life and heal my heart.
And finally, Alex met a wonderful woman named Kore. and they are now blissfully, happily married! And Heather is with the Fae in Faery land, fiddling to her hearts delight!
So...for the traditional ending of a good Fairy Tale....
They all lived happily ever after!