Keys of Life – A local trans musician went through hell to get here – By Catherine Caperello

Vivacious 29-year-old Desiree Hines has a laugh that fills the First Unitarian Church just as grandly as the pipe organ she plays there. As part-time music associate, her hands move across three tiers of keyboards, her feet work pedals and when she pulls out the stoppers, the great hall explodes with sound.

As a transsexual African-American female organist, Hines has encountered her fair share of discrimination in a field dominated by white men. But along her rough road she’s developed a commitment to visibility. The director of the Traverse Arts Project (TAP)’s upcoming LGBT festival, Hines sat down to talk with PW about her long journey.