It’s been nearly 40 years since David Bowie disturbed conservative parents with his gender-bender appearance as androgynous alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. Other than Marilyn Manson, who bent social norms largely for show, there are relatively few notable modern-day displays of real transgenderism is entertainment.
In an in-depth interview by Decca Aitkenhead for British newspaper, The Guardian, former Against Me! frontman Tom Gable, now known as Laura Jane Grace, shared the decision-making process for taking her feelings, family, friends and fans head on.
Having begun taking hormones just a month ago, the singer doesn’t yet have the appearance of a woman, aside from hair and makeup.
Grace’s first intuition of her feminine side showed itself was at five years old. Grace explains, “The first time I had that moment, when I knew, was seeing Madonna on a televised concert. And I thought: ‘Why not me?”
Years later when the Internet offered windows into alternate lifestyles, Grace used it as a means of better understanding her feelings saying, “If you’re a transsexual, it’s an incredible resource.”
Despite her new understanding of these urges to be a women, Grace suppressed her feelings almost completely when she married. It wasn’t until fatherhood came knocking that honestly with herself, friends, family forced her to deal with the issue head on.
“Just thinking about the role model that you’re going to be for your child, and what’s the most important lesson you can teach them?” Grace continues, “Wanting to be honest was an example that I wanted to set.”
In the weeks and months since her coming out via Rolling Stone, it’s been less than smooth with family members. Although her mother and younger brother were accepting, her father, a military man, hasn’t spoken to her since the announcement. In contrast, her fans appear to have embraced her with open arms, despite fears of bottles being hurled her direction.
–Jay Tilles, CBS Local