laurajane Laura Jane Graces First Year As A Woman

(Gillian Laub)

Last night I was playing catch-up in my Google Reader (what will I do when it’s gone?) and found this amazing Cosmopolitan piece that Jezebel had linked to, about Against Me! lead singer Laura Jane Grace’s first year living as a woman. You’ll remember that around a year ago, Laura, who was then known as Tom Gabel, announced to her family, her band and her fans that she had been living with gender dysphoria as long as she could remember, and that she was planning to start living that authentically. It seems that everyone has been beyond supportive:

“Can we talk?” I asked my wife, Heather, on February 6, 2012, three days before her birthday. Maybe this wasn’t the best timing, but I couldn’t wait any longer. The pressure that had built up inside me for 31 years was about to burst. We lay down on our bed, Evelyn, our 3-year-old, napping in the other room, and looking into my wife’s beautiful brown eyes, I made my confession: “I’m a transsexual.” I buried my head into her chest and explained that this was something I’d been struggling with all my life. I wasn’t sure how Heather would take it. She said something like “That’s all you were going to tell me?” She later told me she thought I was going to say I had cheated on her or wanted a divorce—which she said would have been worse for her. She told me at that moment—and kept telling me—that she wasn’t going anywhere. The day after I told Heather, I shared the news with my band—they were stunned but really supportive. I hadn’t intended to tell them. Sitting in our studio, the words just came out of my mouth. Momentum carried me.

She goes on to talk about parenting, her fans, sex and everything else. At the end of the piece Laura’s wife tells it from her own point of view:

Cosmo: When Laura revealed her secret, what went through your mind?

Heather: It broke my heart to know she’d been going through this on her own for so long. I wasn’t mad, because I can’t fathom how hard it was for her to tell me after having been married for six years. I know other couples split up over this, but I never considered leaving. I did fear, at first, that the thing that would make her feel most like a woman would be being with a man. But she said, “Just think of me as a lesbian!” After that, lots of things started to make sense.

It’s a lovely read, and it’s great to see a major magazine like Cosmo doing such an honest piece about a trans woman in the public eye.

Laura Jane was also just on MTV’s House of Style talking beauty tips and fashion, and also just about her life, and watching it, I just like her. What a cool role model for trans people.