The Trans-Ballad of Laura Jane Grace
[N]ot that I think this deserves any kind of explanation…-‘The Disco Before The Breakdown’
Being a long time fan of Against Me!, I’ve tried to follow all of the comments, articles, zines, interviews, etc., discussing Tom Gabel’s “transformation” to Laura Jane Grace. Suffering from what has been labelled ‘gender dysphoria’ (perhaps something of a misnomer as gender is an ideological construct–that in and of itself may be the most likely culprit to much of the abuse that comes from expectations regarding our ‘sex’), Gabel decided to become Laura Jane Grace. He is now a her. Unlike many in the punk rock community (and larger music community–as Against Me! is far from being an underground band), I do not feel the need to offer commentary on the whys, the hows, and the biological essentialisms/social constructivisms that may or may not determine what constitutes a person. Rather, I can only imagine that Laura Jane Grace will continue to be one badass punk-rocker that thrives in a community that, in theory, offers an alternative to the patriarchal and hetero-sexist elitism of ‘mainstream’ politics–though, I know that is far from the truth. But this is what makes her such a strong representative of an often flailing and failing community. It’s why we’re so proud to claim her as one of our own. The baptism of punk rock runs deep. It knows no ‘gender’, because it knows better.
Rock on, Laura Jane Grace.