Against Me! leader Tom Gabel comes out as transgender
Against Me! singer Tom Gabel has come out as transgender, revealing her new name as Laura Jane Grace.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gabel opened up with her struggles with gender dysphoria over the years. She also revealed that her wife, Heather, will stay with her during and after the transition.
"For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news," she said. "But she's been super-amazing and understanding."
The process of transition will involve the taking of hormones and electrolysis treatments.
Rolling Stone reports that Gabel is the first major rock star to undergo a public gender transition.
Gabel said to the magazine, "I'm going to have embarrassing moments and that won't be fun, but that's part of what talking to you is about - is hoping people will understand, and hoping they'll be fairly kind."
Though the news comes as a surprise to the punk community, it had been hinted at in Against Me!'s lyrics for some time - in the 2007 song "The Ocean", Gabel sang, "If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman My mother once told me she would have called me Laura." On "Bamboo Bones", Gabel sang, "What God doesn't give to you, you've got to go get for yourself."
Fellow punk band The Gaslight Anthem has voiced support for Gabel's transition, posting on their Tumblr, "How about you leave the guy alone. How about you let another human being make a decision about their lives without your snide prejudices and bigotry? This is one of the hardest decisions a person can make. From my limited understanding of the subject, it means feeling your whole life like you were born in the wrong skin. That’s something that 99% of us can’t understand. Weither you agree or don’t, it’s not your life. It’s not your family. it’s not your band, it’s theirs."
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation also came out in support of the singer, saying in a statement, "Tom's decision to live life authentically is a not only a personal step forward, but one that will advance the national discussion about treating transgender people with fairness."