Punk singer Tom Gabel from Against Me! comes out as transgender and plans to begin living as a woman


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The Independent US

Tom Gabel, the married lead singer of Florida punk rock band Against Me!, has revealed plans to become a woman.

Taking on the name Laura Jane Grace, the 31-year-old singer tells Rolling Stone magazine's June issue that she suffered gender dysphoria for years and as a child felt disconnected from her body.

Gracel says she will soon begin the physical transition by taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis, and is also considering gender reassignment surgery.

"Growing up, my experience with transsexualism was nothing but shame," she says.

Grace says she is not attracted to men and will still be married to wife Heather.

"For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news,.. but she's been super-amazing and understanding," Grace tells Rolling Stone.

The couple have a two-year-old daughter.

Because Grace is the first major rock musician to come out as transgender she says she felt it important to talk openly about it to the magazine.

Following the announcement of the news on Rolling Stone's website, 'Tom Gabel' soon became a trending topic on Twitter, with other punk musicians and fans offering messages of support.

Itch, of recently disbanded UK ska-punk band The King Blues wrote on the micro-blogging site: "Take pride in being whoever the f*ck you want to be @tommygabel"

New Jersey punk rockers The Gaslight Anthem left a message on their blog criticising those that had condemned Grace's decision.

Attributed to not one single band member, but signed off 'Gossip Girl XOXO', the post read: "How about you leave the guy alone. How about you let another human being make a decision about their lives without your snide prejudices and bigotry?"

Against Me! are best known for the song 'Thrash Unreal', and although not widely recognised in the mainstream music scene in the UK, have released five full-length studio albums. Their 2005 album Searching for a Former Clarity reached number one in the US Billboard Heatseekers chart.

The group will go on tour in the US with The Cult later this month.

The June issue of Rolling Stone, which features the full interview, comes out in the US on Friday.

*This article previously referred to Gabel/Grace with the pronoun 'he'. For sensitivity, this has since been changed, with the female pronoun - used in the original Rolling Stone news article - adopted.