If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman
April 9, 2013 7:16 PM   Subscribe

Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace talks about her first year as a woman since publically coming out as transgender last year. She'll address it further on Against Me!'s upcoming album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Laura Jane has already played the title track live, along with other songs from it like Osama bin Laden as the Crucified Christ. The album may have been delayed by the departure of their fourth drummer, Jay 'son of Max' Weinberg. Punknews has officially endorsed Mikey Erg as a replacement.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (24 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
That last link about Mikey Erg is simply hysterical. Great post.
posted by solarion at 7:29 PM on April 9, 2013


It's nice to see an article like this in a publication like Cosmo. (Although to be fair, it's not a magazine I read so perhaps they do this all the time). I also loved the included photos.

The HRT won't change my voice though—only surgery can do that—but I like my singing voice, so I don't really care about that.

This was something I was unaware of, I'd simply assumed HRT caused such an effect.
posted by Harpocrates at 7:32 PM on April 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I saw them live this year and last year, and nothing's changed. Laura's voice, her stage presence, and the packed crowd were all there. Though I never imagined I'd see AM! in Cosmo.

I forgot to link Laura's appearance on House of Style, which I can't view in my country.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:36 PM on April 9, 2013


This is a nicely constructed post.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:00 PM on April 9, 2013


I saw Against Me! on one of their first dates after Laura Jane's announcement... and it was AWESOME.
posted by raihan_ at 8:16 PM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Awesome fantastic amazing post and thank you. I've only ever been to one AM! show, unfortunately, from about 6 years ago. But I found the tour shirt the other day, and was thinking about Laura Jane and wondering how she was doing. And now I know! I'm glad it's going well so far, that's she's still able to perform, and people are still showing up to shows.

I loved the section she wrote on intimacy. Its a real fear, and a subject that I think crosses everyone's mind when hearing about a couple going through transitioning together. But the conclusion is just so simple, and beautiful. "I am a woman. Soon I will have a vagina. So, like, we'll be lesbians. Duh."
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:39 PM on April 9, 2013


This was something I was unaware of, I'd simply assumed HRT caused such an effect.

HRT does cause this effect in female-to-male transgendered people, but it does not work the other way around. It's testosterone that causes a person's voice to "drop" and once it has, it can only be reversed with surgery.
posted by mek at 9:02 PM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love what Laura's wife Heather said: "I always thought I was just straight. But now I know that really the right girl hadn't come along yet."
posted by BlueJae at 9:10 PM on April 9, 2013 [26 favorites]


I must admit, my first thought when I heard about her transition was that I was afraid her voice would change with hormone therapy; I'm so glad that isn't the case. It's an interesting juxtaposition because to my ear her voice is kind of uber-masculine, so hearing that voice come out of a woman is awesomely meta-punk. I can't wait to hear their new album since they obviously have some seriously deep material to work with this time around.

And, damn, Laura's wife is so supportive and wonderful - what an inspiring relationship. Makes me embarrassed for ever bickering with my husband over stupid shit if they can work through that with so much grace and understanding.
posted by gatorae at 9:10 PM on April 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


HRT does cause this effect in female-to-male transgendered people, but it does not work the other way around. It's testosterone that causes a person's voice to "drop" and once it has, it can only be reversed with surgery.

The extent to which it can be reversed with surgery is... limited. And involves a hell of a lot of potential complications which are not pretty.
posted by Dysk at 10:13 PM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah. Much of the transitioning process involves vocal training, as I understand it.
posted by lumensimus at 10:15 PM on April 9, 2013


The short section at the end where Heather speaks is very thoughtful and awesome. I know they are rehearsed answers to common questions but, still, I thought they were pretty insightful.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:19 PM on April 9, 2013


There's a saying in the trans community: Passing is 90% above the neck. Deal with facial hair and voice and eyebrows and you're much less likely to be mistaken for your birth gender.
posted by egypturnash at 10:26 PM on April 9, 2013


To be honest, Laura Jane currently looks less stereotypically feminine than lots of glam and hair metal singers I've seen but that's obviously a stylistic choice.

I like that her daughter's named 'Evelyn', presumably after one of AM!'s best songs.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:41 PM on April 9, 2013


The article linked from the Mikey Erg article in the post is pretty adorable...
Unbeknownst to him on March 11, 2013, Mikey Erg found himself as a candidate for the currently empty drummer's seat in Against Me!. An online petition was started, now with 800 signatures and counting, that was addressed to AM! asking them to instate the pop-punk legend behind the kit. Though the campaign wasn't his doing, Erg decided to ride the wave and now finds himself gunning for that number one spot.

[...]

Still, despite his sunny nature, Erg does have a terribly black mark on his record that may threaten his campaign. In April 2011, Erg was arrested for drinking in public. He wound up doing eight full hours of hard time. Though he technically wasn't convicted of anything, he did have to pay a fine by mail. Will such a dark past affect Erg's chances?

"No," he says assertively. "I hope that wouldn't affect me. That was a long time ago. I was a totally different person then."

He sounds like a cool guy, and I hope he gets the job! (And lasts longer than their last several drummers.)


Ooh! I was really touched by the bit in the Cosmo article about Against Me doing a live version of ('mats classic) Androgynous w/ Joan Jett, and wondered if it was out there- it sure the heck is! Aw!
posted by hap_hazard at 11:36 PM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like that her daughter's named 'Evelyn', presumably after one of AM!'s best songs.

Fuck it, this song still brings me close to tears.
I make fun of AM! a little bit, but that doesn't stop the fact that their music was gut wrenching and really hit me in the heart when I was in my early 20s. They were so important to me in the way that everybody should have with a rock and roll band and/or a punk band.

And now I'm about to turn 30 and everything is a little bit strange.
posted by entropone at 5:39 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


If only there were similar sympathy for a 6'8" woman basketball player, Brittney Griner.
posted by Carol Anne at 6:29 AM on April 10, 2013


Isn't Griner a very different case? I haven't heard that she is trans at all.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 6:40 AM on April 10, 2013


Beginning of the article:
At age 5...

OK and I'm done. *skims the paragraph for requisite mention of childhood validity, trying on women's clothes, ok yup*

I know this is written for a COSMO audience, but come on now. What else are you going to do? Include a pre-transition photo? A photo including makeup application? Oh wait.
posted by Theta States at 6:44 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah. Much of the transitioning process involves vocal training, as I understand it.

Yes and no. For most, probably. In my case, I think I tried for a little bit when I was starting out and hadn't figured out what I was doing, and now it's more like 'fuck it, and fuck those transphobic norms that made me think it was a good idea ever, too'.
posted by Dysk at 8:37 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hmm. Coolest trans celeb: Laura Jane Grace or Lana Wachowski?
posted by klangklangston at 9:38 AM on April 10, 2013


Dysk: and fuck those transphobic norms that made me think it was a good idea ever, too'

I agree with this so much. I'd like to give you a shout out for talking about this stuff, you have helped me immensely in my own struggles to figure out just WTH I "am".
posted by roboton666 at 9:45 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Coolest trans celeb

Justin Vivian Bond (though there needn't be only one, natch).
posted by octobersurprise at 7:16 PM on April 10, 2013


Hugs all around.
posted by odinsdream at 8:58 PM on April 10, 2013


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