Meet Tom Gabel, the married singer from the punk-rock band Against Me! who reveals her plans to begin living as a woman in the upcoming June issue of Rolling Stone. Considering that celebrities still debate whether they should come out of the closet as lesbian or gay, this confession’s not only extremely brave but also groundbreaking. Tom Gabel’s the first major rock star to to come out as transgender.
While she at first only told a small circle of people about her decision to become a woman, she realized that as a transgender rock star she had a responsibility to the public to be open and honest about becoming a woman. A woman named Laura Jane Grace who’s going to stay married to her loving wife.
She tells Rolling Stone, “I’m going to have embarrassing moments,” says Gabel, “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.”
And we applaud her for her for her openess when it comes to talking about this major life transformation. Contrary to what so many people believe, being transgender’s about a lot more than cross-dressing. It involves hormones, electrolysis (for men becoming women) and in some cases, even surgery. It’s not a lighthearted decision that someone wakes up one day and makes. Most people struggle with their feelings for years before understanding why they feel the way they do.
Her decision to be honest with the public about being transgender will change people’s lives. If they see a punk rocker admitting to being transgender and taking the necesary steps to be more comfortable in her own skin, they too will feel better about themselves and their feelings. It’s that easy for a celebrity to use their powers for good. (And not for scandalous massages. Cough, cough John Travolta.)
If only more celebrities would be up front and honest about themselves and who they really are away from the cameras, they could also serve as positive role models for the public. They too could make one more person feel okay about who they are and how they feel.
Maybe Tom Gabel will start an honesty trend in Celebri-land. Fingers crossed.