Tom Gabel is punk to the core and his band Against Me! has released some truly great albums in the genre. In a surprising announcement Gabel has come out as transgender and revealed that he will begin living his life as a woman including taking a new name.
Tom informed Rolling Stone that he has struggled with gender dysphoria for years and has every intention of beginning the transition process involving hormone and electrolysis procedures. He will legally change his name to Laura Jane Grace and remain married to his wife, Heather.
“For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news. But she’s been super-amazing and understanding.”
This is a shocking revelation and as far as RS can tell it’s the first time that a major rock star has come out as transgender. This was part of the reason that the always outspoken Florida front person felt compelled to share the news.
“I’m going to have embarrassing moments,” says Gabel, “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.”
In March Tom performed an as-yet-unreleased song called “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” at a show in Corpus Christi. No one knew at the time that it was autobiographical. Here’s that, looking back on it now – deeply personal, performance:
Music can set you free folks.
I’ve been a fan of Tom’s and this news, however surprising it may be, doesn’t do anything to change that. Here is a clip of Gabel doing a killer rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Reason to Believe.”