Especially in its earlier days, there was something aggressively masculine about the punk band Against Me! Yes, the group preached inclusive, radical politics. Still, Tom Gabel’s screaming, jagged vocals delivering searing lines like, “Can anyone tell me why God won’t speak to me?/Why Jesus never called on me to part the fucking seas?,” called to mind the bloodied revolutionary, the punk prophet growling his heart out at underground shows in basements (which was, of course, exactly how the band built a following in the late ’90s and early 2000s). Our culture informs us from a young age that these figures (typically) are men.
That’s one of the reasons it was such a big deal when Gabel announced via a 2012 Rolling Stone feature that he would start identifying as Laura Jane Grace, that hormone therapy and electrolysis treatment would pave the way for eventual surgical transition to female. More