Tom Gabel at home
In the machismo-dominated world of punk rock, the femininity of ciswomen (women born with female physical attributes) is often trivialized, persecuted, and masked in an effort to seemingly "hang with the boys." But today, with the announcement that she will move forward to spend her life as a woman, Tom Gabel of seminal punk rock band Against Me! chips away at the misogyny and transphobia that runs pervasively--not just in music and entertainment--but in society as a whole.
In an all-revealing interview with Rolling Stone that will hit newsstands this Friday, Gabel admitted to struggling with gender dysphoria disorder privately for many years--many more subconsciously--and that even less harrowing than the idea of coming out with this information publicly was the idea of coming out to her wife, Heather, with whom she has a daughter. Fortunately, Gabel told Rolling Stone that Heather has been "super-amazing and understanding," and the two will remain happily married.
Gabel's decision to go public about her dysphoria at this point in time coincides with the commencement of her transition, which will begin shortly with hormones and electrolysis treatments. But the decision to undergo this dizzyingly complex, difficult process in such a transparent manner was a conscious effort on Gabel's part to shed light on the reality of an oft-silenced group in a context that has never really seen anything like it before (this is, of course, not to trivialize Life of Agony's Keith Caputo and Fuel's Mike Kirsch, who have also recently revealed their dysphoria and transitions).
Gabel's announcement has been met with an outpouring of support from the music community, the LGBT community, and everyone who realizes the obvious injustice of forcing another human to live their life disingenuously. Catch Gabel's newly-minted identity, Laura Jane Grace, as she fronts Against Me! on tour with legendary British rockers The Cult this spring, and look out for the punk outfit's untitled upcoming sixth studio effort, featuring a new song aptly-titled "Transgender Dysphoria Blues," out later this year.
Congratulations, Laura. You have our unflinching support.
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