Lifestyle & Belief

Against Me! singer Tom Gabel's lyrics chronicle long struggle with gender identity (VIDEO)


Singer Tom Gabel from Against Me! performs onstage during KROQ's LA Invasion concert held at the Home Depot Center on September 15, 2007 in Carson, California.


Paul Butterfield

Against Me! singer Tom Gabel has come out as transgender, and plans to begin the transition from male to female, the punk rock musician told Rolling Stone Tuesday.

Gabel's announcement is the first time a major rock star has come out as transgender. The 31-year-old singer has been dealing with gender dysphoria for years, and has confronted gender identity in her lyrics for years, Spin Magazine reported

Here, we round up some of Gabel's most poignant hints that she was transgendered. 

More from GlobalPost: Tom Gabel, married punk rocker, considering sex change

1. "The Ocean" (2007) 

Gabel explicitly described his feelings about his gender in 2007's "The Ocean," from the Spin Album of the Year "New Wave." 

The song starts off with the lyrics "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."

2. Harsh Realms (2008)  

Gabel's 2008 song "Harsh Realms" contains hints that the singer was struggling with making a decision about his sexuality.

The lyrics: "I feel the weight of the world crushing down on me / And time seems so linear / Decisions seem so absolute / Yeah it's a harsh realm."

This version was performed in Brooklyn for Spin Magazine. 

3. Transgender Dysphoria Blues (2012) 

At a concert in Corpus Christi, Texas in March 2012,  Gabel performed an acoustic, as-yet-unreleased song called "Transgender Dysphoria Blues."

"At the time, few fans could have realized how autobiographical its lyrics truly were," wrote Spin's Devon Maloney. The song, however, was the most forthright admission of the singer's transgendered identity yet. 

In a 2010 interview with JBTV, Gabel was directly questioned about his gender confusion.

"Do you put on panties when you're at home?" asked the interviewer. "A lot of your songs, and it's been a pervasive theme throughout your records, you've sung about dressing up in women's clothes, the idea of gender non-conformity."

"The idea of gender confusion is a topic that fascinates me, for sure," Gabel replied. 

The singer will go by the name Laura Jane Grace, and will stay married to her wife Heather. Against Me! kicks off their tour with the Cult next month, according to Entertainment Weekly