Laura Jane Grace, the singer-guitarist from Against Me! who was formerly known as Tom Gabel, made her debut in her first performance since coming out as transgender.
Grace and the band performed in San Diego and played six new songs, including one titled “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.” She earned wild applause during a particular line of another song that goes, “If I could have chosen / I would have been born a woman.”
Though Grace says she’s open to having a dialogue about her transition with fans, she kept stage banter to a minimum and never brought up her coming out or new name in between songs. Since many of the concertgoers were Cult fans who weren’t familiar with Against Me!, the show wasn’t exactly ideal for a punk-rock heart-to-heart.
For his part, longtime fan Jimmy Gomez, 23, doesn’t think Grace needs to explain anything.
“She did it for herself, not for anybody else. This is about her,” he said. “She’s doing something she really loves now and she’s really happy – that’s really awesome.”
Good for her. It takes some serious strength to get up there and take center stage like that. Call me corny, but she really is a rock star.