Entertainment » Music

Front Man of Punk Band Comes Out as ’First Transgender Rock Star’

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday May 10, 2012

Tom Gabel, the lead vocalist and founding member of the Florida punk band Against Me!, told Rolling Stone on Wednesday that she is transitioning into becoming a woman.

Gabel, 31, revealed to the music magazine that she has dealt with gender dysphoria for years and will soon undergo hormone therapy and electrolysis treatments in order to become female.

Rolling Stone says that Gabel will stay married to her wife Heather who has been "understanding." They have a two-year-old daughter together.

"For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news," says Gabel who will now take the name Laura Jane Grace. "But she's been super-amazing and understanding."

Before speaking with Rolling Stone, Gabel only told a few family members and friends about becoming a transgender person. The magazine also notes that "this is first time a major rock star has come out as transgender."

"I'm going to have embarrassing moments and that won't be fun," Gabel said. "But that's part of what talking to you is about - is hoping people will understand, and hoping they'll be fairly kind."

Pitchfork Media, an indie music review website, points out that Gabel sang about his new name in the Against Me! song "The Ocean."

"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."

Against Me! formed in 1997 in Florida and have released five studio albums since 2002. Their last album, 2010's "White Crosses," peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200.

The band started recording their sixth studio album in February 2012.

Watch a clip of Against Me!'s Gabel performing an acoustic version of a new song called "Transgender Dysphoria Blues:"


  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-05-11 20:46:27

    I have to say I’ve never heard of you or your band Laura, but I admire your courage. I have only positive thoughts I’m sending your way for a smooth transition with the happily ever after part included.

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