Tom Gabel, lead singer for the band Against Me!, told Rolling Stone he has a condition called gender dysphoria and has announced plans to become a woman. From The Post’s Celebritology blog:
The 31-year-old — whose band is best known for the rock hit “Thrash Unreal” — plans to remain married to her wife, but will change her name to Laura Jane Grace. This revelation comes just as Against Me! embarks on a U.S. and European tour and recently performed an unreleased song called “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.”
AP has more details on the singer’s transition.
The 31-year-old tells Rolling Stone that as a kid he felt disconnected from his body and has a condition called gender dysphoria. He plans to take hormones and undergo electrolysis. He also is considering gender reassignment surgery.
Says Gabel: “Growing up, my experience with transsexualism was nothing but shame.”
Gabel says his new name will be Laura Jane Grace. He says he’s not attracted to men and will still be married to his wife. They have a 2-year-old daughter.
The Reliable Source column looked at high profile gender reassignments and the early reactions from fans of Against Me!
There were messages of support on the band’s Facebook page, but some ugly outbursts on other music forums. The news surprised fans of the band, whose liberal-activist politics are wrapped in a macho aesthetic — growly voices, loud guitars, tattooed lumberjack arms. (Of course, their song “The Ocean”is getting a new listen:
And 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.)
Truth is, it’s not just new territory for punk rock.
The list of VIPs who have undergone gender reassignment in a very public way (excluding those like tennis player Renée Richards, who became famous only after surgery) may begin and end with Sonnyand Cher’s kid, Chaz Bono, who announced his transition from female to male in 2009; it later became a theme for his reality show. (His rep declined “to comment on others’ journeys.”) But Larry Wachowski, half of the publicity-shy sibling team that directed “The Matrix” movies, never discussed her change-of-gender until press materials last year for a new movie casually referred to her as “Lana Wachowski.”