Last week, North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, President Barack Obama stated his support of gay marriage, and Mitt Romney was accused of bullying a gay student during his high school days.
Meanwhile, singer Tom Gabel of band Against Me! announced that he planned treatments to undergo a sex change. Gabel has been living with gender dysphoria, a discomfort with one’s biological sex, for years. He will begin the transition by taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis treatments.
According to Rolling Stone, Gabel will take the name Laura Jane Grace and stay married to wife Heather. "For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news," Gabel said. "But she's been super-amazing and understanding."
Gabel said that he has dealt with gender dysphoria since childhood. According to the Daily Beast, in the 2007 Against Me! debut album New Wave, Gabel sang about the issue in “The Ocean.”
“If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman,” Gabel sang. “My mother once told me she would have named me Laura/I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her/One day, I’d find an honest man to make my husband.”
Fasterlouder.com reported that Gabel had an uncomfortable meeting with his Against Me! bandmates to reveal his intentions. Gabel said, “We had the most awkward hug ever, and then they left. And the second I shut the door, I was like, ‘What the **** did I just do?’ ”Gabel says that the band plans to continue.
MTV reports that musicians have come out as transgender in the past. Electronic artist Walter Carlos underwent surgery in the 1970s to become Wendy Carlos after also suffering from gender dysphoria, and last year, Life of Agony singer Keith Caputo became Mina Caputo.
The Gaslight Anthem, a band from New Brunswick, has announced their support of Gabel’s decision. They posted on Tumblr: "So Tom's gonna be Laura now… and in 2012 I still find people on the internet commenting on another persons life how they insult and condemn a person for his choices. How about the people who go through this and never find peace and end up committing suicide? Would you rather that? Or maybe he could become a raging drug addict and ruin his life and family? Would you rather that?"
The band continued: “Whether you agree or don't, it's not your life. It's not your family. It's not your band, it's theirs."