Against Me! Singer Tom Gabel: I'm Transgender

10:13 AM PST 05/09/2012 by Gary Trust, Billboard
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The punk singer is set to begin the process of living as a woman via hormones and electrolysis treatments.

Tom Gabel, the singer for Florida punk rock group Against Me!, has come out as transgender, and plans to begin living as a woman under the name Laura Jane Grace.

According to Rolling Stone, the punk singer is set to begin the process of living as a woman via hormones and electrolysis treatments. Gabel will continue her marriage to wife Heather Gabel.

"For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news," Gabel said of her wife. "But she's been super-amazing and understanding."

While gender-bending imagery has informed musicians from Bowie to Gaga, Gabel's transition will mark the arrival of what the magazine dubs rock's first "major" transgender figure -- a responsibility she doesn't take lightly.

"I'm going to have embarrassing moments and that won't be fun," Gabel said. "But that's part of what talking to you is about - is hoping people will understand, and hoping they'll be fairly kind."

The singer says that she has dealt with gender dysphoria privately for years. On "The Ocean," the closing track on Against Me!'s 2007 major label debut New Wave, Gabel sings, "If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman/ My mother once told me she would have named me Laura, I'd grow up to be strong and beautiful like her."

Along with New Wave, Against Me! released its fifth album, 2010's White Crosses, on Sire Records. Gabel, a native of St. Augustine, Fla., founded the group in 1997 at the age of 17.

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