Rock star's fears over revealing plans for sex change
- 16 December 2013
- From the section Music
In 2012 Tom Gabel, singer with punk rock band Against Me!, went public with the decision to live as a woman.
The 33-year-old is now known as Laura Jane Grace.
In an exclusive interview for Radio 1 she talks about gender dysphoria, when a person feels trapped inside the body of opposite sex.
She told her band mates: "I just said to everyone, 'I'm a transsexual, I plan on pursuing gender transition and that's that.'
"I kinda felt like I dropped kick everyone in the face. I wish I had a picture of everyone's face right after I'd said it."
Laura is still with her wife Heather and they have a three-year-old daughter together.
"Heather has embraced referring to me as 'she' and 'her' but there is definitely awkward moments," she says.
"I'm fearful over what she'll eventually think of me."
Laura says she knew she felt different at a young age.
"I believe I was probably four years old, I remember watching a televised concert of Madonna and feeling a sense of identity with her."
She says for years she'd been secretly dressing as a women and hiding the evidence.
She says she eventually asked herself, "Am I gonna be 60 years old and get caught dressed up in women's clothes, and have to suffer that kind of embarrassment, or do I just own it?"
As a teenager Laura says she turned to drink and drugs to help her cope with her inner feelings.
"When I would get stoned I felt like I could accept myself better and it didn't trouble me," she said. "Drinking made me forget about it."
At the moment, Laura is receiving hormone replacement therapy but isn't sure whether she'll have a full sex change operation.
"It's not all about surgery, trans people live a happy life without the need for surgery."
Her family has been extremely supportive, she says, apart from her father who no longer speaks to her.
Laura's story will be played as part of the documentary, My Transgender Punk Rock Story, at 9pm on 16 December on BBC Radio 1.
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