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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Have You Read Josh Eells's Story About Tom Gabel Coming Out as Transgender? You Should.

Posted by on Tue, May 15, 2012 at 11:59 AM

This month's Rolling Stone (with Peter Dinklage on the cover) is the first Rolling Stone magazine I've bought in probably half a decade. It's smaller and thinner than I remember. It's pricier, too ($4.99? Really?), but it was totally worth the cost just to read (and re-read) Josh Eells's story about Tom Gabel, the lead singer of Against Me!, who came out as transgender last week. Most people know by now that Gabel is going to start living her life as a woman—she's going to take hormones and eventually change her name to Laura Jane Grace. And while thousands of people have commented on the blog post announcing the news, re-posted it on Twitter and Facebook (and it's been linked to just about every other music-related blog in the world), I hope just as many people read the full story to see the person who's behind the admittedly surprising "Famous Rockstar Is Becoming a Woman" headline.

Eells does a wonderful job telling Gabel's story. I feel so many writers could've taken advantage of her generosity and used this opportunity to write a darker, heavier piece. It's the first time a famous musician has come out as transgender, after all, and her transformation still leaves so many unanswered questions. It'd be really juicy to focus on all of the dramatic possibilities—Will the band stay together? Will the marriage last? Will the fans support her?—but Eells's piece is very straight-forward. He celebrates Gabel's bravery and paints everything in a very optimistic light. He recognizes the dark places she's been over the years, of course, but then ultimately focuses on Gabel's strength and the happiness she feels now that she's being true to herself.

We get to see what it was like when Gabel told her wife (she didn't know which pronoun to use at first either), her bandmates (they got stoned and decided they needed to work out to protect her), and her mom (who sounds awesome). We get to see a very vulnerable side of Gabel, but even more importantly we see her sense of humor, kindness, and excitement. Instead of being all about the adversity, it's about the triumph. It's really, really inspiring.

Basically, it's an amazing story, it's told especially well, and everyone in the world should read it.


Comments (7) RSS

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ingopixel 1
I loved the piece so much!

I was also struck by how she really sounds exactly like an articulate girl who is about to enter into her adult life. She's like a teenager about to become a realized person and it's fascinating and heartwarming and I just want to hug her and talk about makeup with her.

When she asked her fan "will you be my friend?" I almost lost it. She's so brave and so sweet and so unlike the anarchist, aggressive, fighting-against-the-man frontman of Against Me!

I can't wait to follow her journey.
Posted by ingopixel on May 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
T 2
I checked everywhere I went over the weekend that had magazines for sale and could not find a copy of this to save my life. They only had the previous issue, so I assume all the places I looked just hadn't put it out or gotten it yet. I'm fucking dying to read this.
Posted by T on May 15, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Estey 3
Thanks for the tip, Megan. Going to pick up that issue of RS as soon as possible.
Posted by Estey on May 15, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
Megan Seling 4
You didn't get this from me:

Have at it before it gets pulled.
Posted by Megan Seling on May 15, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
bunnypuncher 5
I'm being a sap and buying the magazine so I can have it ~*forever*~
Posted by bunnypuncher on May 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
john t 6
First time a famous musician has come out as transgender?

Wendy (formerly Walter) Carlos's Switched On Bach was a platinum selling album — not famous enough?
Posted by john t on May 15, 2012 at 9:37 PM · Report this
More, I Say! 7
Great article! @Megan - woohoo! Thanks for the link!!
Posted by More, I Say! on May 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this

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