Against Me! Singer Comes Out as Transgender

She described to Rolling Stone the gender dysphoria and shame she felt growing up

By Sam Schulz
|  Wednesday, May 9, 2012  |  Updated 4:27 AM PDT
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The lead singer of Against Me!, born Tom Gabel, told Rolling Stone she is transgender and is changing her name to Laura Jane Grace.

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The lead singer of punk band Against Me! has become the first major rock star to come out as transgender in her new interview with Rolling Stone.

The 31-year-old, who was born Tom Gabel but is changing her name to Laura Jane Grace, described to the magazine the intense gender dysphoria and shame she experienced growing up, as well as her plans for transitioning.

She said she plans to begin hormone treatment and to undergo electrolysis and possibly gender reassignment surgery as part of her transition.

"I'm going to have embarrassing moments," she said. "But that's part of what talking to you is about — is hoping people will understand, and hoping they'll be fairly kind."

Gabel had hinted at her gender identity — and the inspiration behind her new name — in her band's 2007 song "The Ocean," The Guardian reported.

"If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman. My mother once told me she would have named me Laura," she sang in it.

In her Rolling Stone interview, Gabel stressed that her transition will not affect her marriage to wife Heather, with whom she has a 2-year-old daughter, and that her being transgender does not indicate any change to her attraction to women.

According to The Associated Press, Against Me! is going on tour with The Cult later this month. The June issue of Rolling Stone, featuring the full interview with Gabel, hits newsstands Friday.

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