Last year, Against Me! singer Tom Gabel came out as transgender and shared that he’d begun the process of becoming Laura Jane Grace. While the road to complete physical transformation is a long one, to her fans and to her family — which includes a wife, Heather, and two-year-old daughter Evelyn — Gabel was quickly accepted as a woman. There have been challenges along the way, but the rewards of Gabel’s astounding bravery have gifted upon Grace an admirable show of support. In a new first-person piece for Cosmopolitan titled “My First Year as a Woman,” she explains just how she made it through and what she has experienced while transitioning.
In the piece, Grace explains that she first came out to Heather in early February. By mid-May, after attending the requisite therapy sessions to prove she was of sound mind, she’d begun taking hormones that “softened my skin, made my hair grow faster, and redistributed some of my body fat — my arms slimmed down and weight moved from my chest to my hips. And yes,” before you ask, “I’m starting to develop breasts.” In June she found an ally in tourmate Joan Jett, who joined Grace onstage to sing the Replacements’ “Androgynous.” By September, she’d worked up the nerve to wear a skirt in front of her fans. Grace says she was surprised by the number of fans who “stuck by” her.
Grace explains that the medication won’t affect her voice and that though she plans to undergo sexual reassignment surgery, she isn’t interested in changing the way she sings. She details her fears — that Evelyn will be teased about her daddy, that Heather will lose interest in Grace sexually post-op — but portrays an inspiring, positive outlook. Oh, and quite awesomely, Grace educates her daughter about the transition by showing her music videos and album covers for the New York Dolls, Boy George, David Bowie, and Freddie Mercury. “Face your fears, I say, but choose the right skirt to do it in,” Grace writes at one point. We have a feeling Evelyn will understand that just fine.