Punk rock star Tom Gabel comes out as trans
Against Me! punk rock singer Tom Gabel has come out as transgender and revealed plans to live as a woman with the support of her wife and band.
In an interview with US publication Rolling Stone which the magazine suggested was “the first time a major rock star has come out as transgender”, Gabel explains how she had dealt with issues relating to gender dysphoria since childhood.
“Growing up, my experience with transsexualism was nothing but shame,” Gabel says in the interview due to be published on May 11.
The 31-year-old who is best known for songs like ‘Trash Unreal’ and ‘White People for Peace’ said she had only told a few friends and family about her plan to soon begin hormone treatment and undergo electrolysis before agreeing to the magazine interview.
Gabel says she will continue to live with her artist wife, Heather, and their two-year-old daughter.
“For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news,” Gabel says.
“But she's been super-amazing and understanding.”
The singer has also received an outpouring of support since her announcement came to light.
Openly gay twin sister rockers Tegan & Sara said Gabel’s announcement was “so incredibly brave” while the members of indie-rock band Fun. also tweeted their support.
“Reading about Tom Gabel coming out as transgender = inspiring. Always been a fan but it’s even more amazing to know how strong & brave she is.”
Gaslight Anthem singer Brian Fallon meanwhile challenged fans and others making bigoted remarks to consider the consequences of their actions.
“How about you leave the guy alone,” Fallon wrote.
“How about you let another human being make a decision about their lives without your snide prejudices and bigotry? This is one of the hardest decisions a person can make ... Whether you agree or don’t, it’s not your life. It’s not your family. It’s not your band, it’s theirs.”
Gabel, who wants to eventually be known as Laura Jane Grace, says she is aware of the challenges that may lie ahead of her.
“I’m going to have embarrassing moments,” Gabel says, “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.”