For Transgender Singer, It's All About the Music

No Assumptions

Openly gay entertainers have frequently been subject to snide comments and even physical harm. Kevin Aviance, a transgender artist with several No. 1 singles on the Billboard dance chart, was attacked by several men outside a bar in New York last year. He suffered a broken jaw and damaged an already injured knee.

It was eight months before he would perform again. Only now does he feel comfortable playing a full show.

"What I love is people applauding me as a performer," said Aviance. "After the attack, people were applauding me for being a survivor, and it messed with my psyche." Aviance said he refuses to be haunted by the attacks and has returned a stronger performer than ever.

Despite any obstacles that Silveira and the Cliks might face, he remains fiercely positive. The band is scheduled to hit the road again this weekend. Some of its shows are even scheduled for traditionally conservative places, such as Kansas City, Mo., and Omaha, Neb.

"We've had great experiences touring so far, and it's important to go to those areas," said Silveira. "I don't want to assume anything about anyone in the same way I don't want them assuming anything about me."

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