Tom Gabel, the lead singer of American punk rock band Against Me!, has revealed that he is transgender and plans to live as a woman.
Gabel told Rolling Stone magazine that he has dealt with gender dysphoria since he was a child and will begin taking hormones and electrolysis treatments to begin the transition.
Gabel says he will eventually take the name Laura Jane Grace and will stay married to his wife, Heather.
“For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news,” the 31-year-old singer told Rolling Stone. “But she’s been super-amazing and understanding.”
Gabel, the first major rocker to come out as transgender, says he wanted to speak openly about the process.
“I’m going to have embarrassing moments,” Gabel said, “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.”
Gabel’s announcement took many people by surprise, but he has received tremendous support on Twitter from fans and the music industry.
New Jersey rockers, The Gaslight Anthem, released a lengthy blog post slamming those attacking Gabel’s choice.
“How about you leave the guy alone. How about you let another human being make a decision about their lives without your snide prejudices and bigotry? This is one of the hardest decisions a person can make,” the band wrote.
By Wednesday morning, many were taking notice of the support for Gabel.
On “New Wave,” the band’s 2007 major label debut, Gabel hinted at his gender dysphoria in the song, “The Ocean.”
“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/One day, I’d find an honest man to make my husband,” Gabel sang in his distinctive growl.
The band began recording its latest album “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” earlier this year, and said it is a concept album about a transgender prostitute.
The band began playing the deeply personal title track at shows this year.
Against Me! Formed in Florida in 1997 and in 2002 released their breakthrough album, “Reinventing Axl Rose.”
There is no word yet what Gabel’s plans will have for the future of Against Me! Rolling Stone says it will have more details in its issue which hits newsstands on Friday.