Jump to content

Tom Gabel Comes Out as Transgendered

Recommended Posts


WOW. Apparently I'm a month or so late hearing this, but I was kind of shocked.

Tom Gabel is the vocalist/guitarist for the punk band Against Me!. I don't know how many of you follow the punk scene, but about a decade ago they released "Reinventing Axl Rose", one of the most respected and influential punk albums in recent history.

I'm wondering if hormone therapy will change his singing voice, because he's got this rough-around-the-edges punk-rock snarl that is decidedly masculine. I've seen these guys live a few times...now I'm hoping they come back, because I want to hear Laura's voice.

If I'm not mistaken, Tom/Laura might be the first rock star to transition genders while still active/touring. It'll be interesting to see the reaction of the general public. The punk scene as a whole (fascist-punks aside) are generally very supportive and welcoming of LGBTQ people, and a strong distaste for gender binaries and traditional social views of masculinity/femininity, so the few comments I've seen so far have been positive.

He's said that he plans to stay married to his wife, and stay with his daughter.

I must say, I didn't see this coming, but I probably should have. Listen to the second verse to this song (starts around 1:30). The one that begins "If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman. My mother once told me she would have named me Laura."

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HvWeP18RpmM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



Link to comment

It's tough to say whether the media or music people or fans will accept that.

Just look at how people act when a musician expands the genres/formats they sing or play in.

Or look at how people act about child singers. They make fun of the boys' high voices and boyish looks, while others go into fanboy/fangirl worship mode. Then when the boys' voices change and they step out of the spotlight while their voices and bodies adjust, the public forgets. Then the talented kid, now an older teen heading into young adulthood, has to start all over, plus meet up to expectations, when they can't be that boy anymore. It isn't quite as harsh for the girls, but it affects them too.

I bring that up because it's the voice change and looks sort of thing.

Hmm, as for the general public, the German (Austrian?) singer Bill from Tokio Hotel [ sic, German spelling ] caught lots of negatives from the public for his gender-bending looks and voice.

I dunno. Drag is not my thing. I'm not transgender. Uh, I'm glad to be male, I happen to like guys. But that means some people don't like that, about me or anyone. Since I'm gay, hey, I know what it feels like inside to like someone, something, which some people do not understand. (....So avoiding saying, "grasp," hahaha.... Ahem....) I get it that it's difficult understanding it inside your own skin and mind, too.

But online, I've seen at least one transgender person, F to M. I knew her when she was female, and when she came out as gay, and then when she came out as transgender. And whew, the hormone therapy! She was aggressive before that. With the hormones, wow, get outta town, yikes! During that, he confided in me a little, then dropped out of site for a long while, before returning online occasionally. (That person's in science fiction fandom, so though I haven't met him in person, other people I know have.)

What came through was, first, that she, later he, was already that way, in personality, mindset, feelings. Her family kicked her out, because they couldn't have a gay daughter. Or a transgender daughter or son. Friends became surrogate family. What also came through was, this was how she, he, really felt. He's now been living as a man for a few years.

This was around the same time I was coming out. I'd never known anyone (as far as I knew) who was transgender. It was kind of an eye-opener. I didn't know what to think when he dropped out of sight for so long, and we're not in touch much anymore, though I've said hi when he has.

Surprisingly enough, I have run into a few transvestite or maybe transgender guys (as women) before. -- One of those, I still think of as an early clue how my mom thought of gay people, when I was a kid. (That poor guy didn't deserve my mom's defensive reaction, looking back on it.)

And again, well, y'know, when you're gay, it means you like what some people think is strange and you get lumped in right along with anyone gay, bi, transgender, and a few other things besides, by people who can't wrap their heads around, for example, why a guy might like guys (and guy parts) or why a guy or girl might feel like they're in the wrong body, or wrong clothes and manners, at least.

Yes, life has made me more radicalized and outspoken than I used to be. I tend to be quieter about it in person. But I'm not as quiet as I used to be.

Anyway -- I hope the transition goes well and people accept the new Laura. Ya gotta be yourself, after all. -- So what if being out isn't always a picnic. I'd rather be out than in. Freedom to be yourself is a good thing. (And yes, if someone's under 18 and it's not safe to be out yet, then OK, wait until you can be how you want, and then figure out what suits you best.)

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...