The lead singer of punk rock band Against Me!, Tom Gabel, sat down with Rolling Stone recently and shared some surprising news with the music journal: Gabel identifies as a transgendered individual, and will undergo treatments to begin living life as a woman—officially under the name Laura Jane Grace.
As the head songwriter for Against Me!, Gabel is responsible for penning nearly all of the band's lyrics. Looking back, many Gable's lyrics detail a constant struggle with gender identity:
3. Transgender Dysphoria Blues
"You know it's obvious / But we can't choose how we're made / You want them to notice the ragged ends of your summer dress / You want them to see you like they see every other girl"
"Transgender Disphoria Blues" is a new, unreleased track by Against Me! that the band played live back in March. Gabel's lyrics cry out for attention as a female, and yet to most probably sound like role-playing, which bands often do (girls singing in a guy perspective and vice versa).
2. Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists
"But I'm not gonna tell anyone / What I'm really thinking about / Keep the conversations on the surface / Just keep on smiling"
Though it doesn't mention Gabel's inner identity conflicts specifically, "Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Stomping Fists" is a song that details the inner torment Gabel feels while keeping a huge secret from the world.
1. The Ocean
"If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman / My mother once told me / She would have named me Laura / I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her"
Probably the most direct reference to Gabel's gender dysphoria, "The Ocean" specifically mentions Gabel's desire to live as a woman and alludes to Gabel's newly chosen name of Laura Jane Grace.
Looking back on Gabel's lyrics, the singer/songwriter has a deep history of bravely detailing his gender dysphoria struggles in song. Gabel's honest songwriting is truly admirable. We wish you all the best, Tom!
Do you know of any other Against Me! songs where Gabel admits to having identity struggles? Let us know in the comments!