Laura Jane Grace is more than just the frontwoman for American punk rock band Against Me! She is also someone leading a gender identity revolution in a way that has never been done before — from the outside in.
When Grace walked into an interview I did with her back in 2014, she looked at me wide-eyed and said, “Oh my God, it’s you.” I was flattered she knew who I was. Grace and I share a kinship that probably few can understand. We are both rock musicians and bandleaders (me with Toronto’s the Cliks), who came out as transgender at the peak of our professional careers to mass mainstream media attention. Against Me! Formed in Florida 20 years ago and has released seven studio albums.
In May 2012, at the age of 32, she came out as transgender and started the physical transition from male to female, taking hormones, undergoing electrolysis and other necessary steps, including the selection of a new name, Laura Jane Grace. Against Me!’s next album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which Grace produced, dealt with gender dysphoria — the psychological distress a person feels when assigned the opposite gender identity at birth — and was finally released in 2016 after a series of lineup changes to the band.
...In trying to help others with gender dysmorphia, particularly those who sing for a living, as well as people who simply want a better understanding of what transgender people might experience daily, Samaritanmag spoke to Grace about her voice on hormones, using public restrooms on the road, Donald Trump’s views on transgender rights, and whether or not it’s okay for strangers to ask about her transition.
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