The Florida punk band Against Me! has been defined, until now, by its politically and socially charged songs and lead singer Tom Gabel's gruff vocals. But it's a safe bet that news coming from an upcoming issue of Rolling Stone is going to overshadow everything else about the group. According to a story set to hit newstands this Friday, Gabel plans to start living as a woman with her wife, Heather, under a new name, Laura Jane Grace. While Gabel has dealt with gender dysphoria for years, she is finally set to make a physical transformation, and will soon start taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis treatments.
"I'm going to have embarrassing moments," Gabel tells Rolling Stone, "and that won't be fun. But that's part of what talking to you is about—is hoping people will understand, and hoping they'll be fairly kind."
What this means for the future of Against Me! is unclear, though the subject will apparently be broached in the story. As Pitchfork points out, Gabel has hinted at being transgender, at times loudly, before now. In the Against Me! song "The Ocean," she sings, "And 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." Gabel also performed a new song called "Transgender Dysphoria Blues" earlier this year. [via Rolling Stone]