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Against Me!’s Tom Gabel Sparks Intense Debate On Sex Change, Dr. Drew “It’s Strange How People Become So Attacking.”

As previously reported, punk rock front man, Tom Gabel from Florida’s Against Me! recently divulged that he will soon begin his transformation from man to woman. According to Rolling Stone, Gabel has struggled with gender dysphoria for years, and will finally begin the process of transition, by taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis treatments.

Gabel’s announcement has resulted in intense debate both online and on-air.

This KROQ morning duo Kevin & Bean, opened up the phone lines to get listeners’ thoughts followed by a call to Dr. Drew, co-host of Loveline and his own program on HLN, for a physician’s opinion on the rocky road that lies in front of Gabel.

“It’s a very complicated topic, that I’m not an expert in it, but I have come across it quite a bit,” starts Drew. “It’s hard to get your head around.”

“The male to female transgenders/transsexuals are often becoming females to become lesbian.” Drew jokes about having to get out a blackboard in order to diagram it. “So, wait a minute, you’re cutting off the penis off and you’re with women now and you cut your penis off so you can be with women…” “Lesbian is a certain construct of the human being and if that’s what you’re attracted to, you’re only going to be with a lesbian if you’re a female.”

Dr. Drew goes on to explain what the transition entails. “It’s a very lengthy process and it’s easier to go male to female than female to male. The male to female [surgery], that’s been pretty well perfected. Some will say that they’re so satisfied with the surgical transition that they really can’t tell that it’s not female.”

Gabel is married with a two-year old child, and the couple plans to stay together to which Drew weighs in with, “That’s good, that’s nice for the kid but let’s be fair, the kid’s gonna… whoa, that’s gonna be hard… got some explaining to do.”

Bean inquires, “Are they always happier after they have the surgery or do they still have demons because of this gender dysphoria?”

“Not typically, but often,” says Drew, “have a lot of serious ongoing mental health issues. And some are very happy. Some do make the transition and are really grateful they did it and are happy. Often they’re aware of this dysphoria about their gender early on. They’ll say, ‘when I was four or five I was aware of this but just couldn’t’ do anything about it.'”

Bean addresses the hundreds of hateful comments were posted to yesterday’s story about Gable, “You cannot believe how they’re doing nothing but calling him a freak show. Why do people have such a visceral reaction against somebody making a change like this for their own well being?”

“We live in a country where you’re supposed to be egalitarian and letting people live their own lives,” continues Drew, “yet when people do anything that’s the least bit alternative it’s strange how people become attacking.”


Listeners Weigh In:

More from Loveline With Dr. Drew And Psycho Mike

One Comment

  1. Voodoo says:

    Oh please, as if KROQ doesn’t incubate and encourage that kind of behavior from their listeners (and their employees!) This is a station steeped in the most insidious kinds of hateful culture (racism, homophobia and rampant misogyny). Bean is surprised at the response? Right…

  2. Sarah Tylet says:

    As always, thank you to the whole group for being so sensitive and supportive of the Trans community. Thank you also for allowing me to share my daughters story yesterday. I am so proud of my daughter and everyone else who have transitioned or is in the process. You are the most courageous and heroic people I know. Not many people, Trans or otherwise, have the strength and conviction to honor who they really are. God bless you Tommy and know that you have many people supporting you.
    Mom of a 9 year old MTF

    1. Peter says:

      I was shocked to hear about what you are doing to your son at so young an age, and using the rationale that “it is what he wants” is absolutely ridiculous. Children want all kinds of things that are bad for them, and it is the job of parents to reign in those desires and establish appropriate boundaries. To encourage such an outlandish desire at such a young age (2 years old? Really?) is the height of parental irresponsibility, and will undoubtedly have effects on this kid for the rest of his life.

      I was also disappointed in how disingenuous Bean was in this discussion. He summarized the comments on the Tom Gabel article with “these people basically want him dead for a decision he has made” — I didn’t read one comment (nor did Bean on the air) that indicated anything close to that. I understand that he thinks of it as a perfectly legitimate choice, but to so blatantly try to marginalize those who disagree by outright lying is shameful.

      1. Sarah Tyler says:

        Oh and it was at the age of 6, with the guidence of psychologists and endocrinologists that we made the decision to let my child live as the gender she identifies with. At the age of 2 is when she established that she was not a boy. Perhaps you weren’t using your listening ears because I talked about the struggles we had, the help we sought, and the self mutilation that occurred because my child was not able to be who she really is. Again, a suicide attempt is what prompted us to finally consider the reality of what was really happening with our child. My husband is a police officer btw, not given to indulging whims of self expression. I run a support group for parents of Trans kids and I have 32 parents in it who have children from ages 5-24. We are in contact with other groups like ours that are even bigger. Just so you know. Open a blog!

  3. Sarah Tyler says:

    I never at any time said “this is what my son wants.” Do you really think that this is the life I want for my child? To have to encounter the narrow minded ignorance that you are espousing? To fear the threat of violence for being born different? You have no idea what you are commenting on and why don’t you at least watch the trailer on the website I listed on my comment, and if you still feel the same then I pray you never have a child who is “different.” I’d rather have a child who is happy and healthy than one who is dead because of people like you.

  4. It truly broke my heart to read some of the comments on KROQ’s story on this. I don’t claim to 100% understand it, but as an open minded person I respect Tom/Laura’s choice. I can’t even imagine the struggle that must go on inside him/her. I was an Against Me! fan before this and I will be an Against Me! fan after this. I do hope that within my lifetime we see a day where folks can stop being hateful to what they don’t understand. No one is saying you have to have a sex change operation, but I know for a fact that it is wrong to discriminate against someone who makes the tough choice to do just that.

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