This week, Tom Gabel, lead singer for the punk rock band Against Me!, announced in Rolling Stone that he is planning to make a transition from male to female. The 31-year-old rocker claims that he suffers from gender dysphoria and will take hormones and undergo electrolysis to help his transformation into a woman. He will now go by the name Laura Jane Grace. He also will stay married to his wife, Heather and continue living his life with her and their 2 year-old daughter.
After I heard this news, a lot more things started to make sense when it came to Against Me!’s music. One song in particular became quite clear. The song “The Ocean” off their album, New Wave. Gabel sings, “If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman/ My mother once told me she would have named me Laura, I’d grow up to be strong and beautiful like her.”
I think that this is another huge step in the right direction for the LGBT community. Having people like Tom Gabel and Chaz Bono come out and tell their stories helps people who may not be so comfortable with the idea learn and understand. Many of my manly-men guy friends who love Against Me! have really been amazing about the news. I’m not sure why I expected them to be any different, but I hope that more people can see the light and understand (with no judgement) what it means to be transgender. I cannot imagine being that completely uncomfortable in my own skin, and I think that Gabel is a courageous human being for deciding to do this . More power to Gabel! It’s hard not to admire Gabel and his family for being so brave and open with their lives.