|Posted by Transgender Education Collaboration on May 28, 2012 at 8:25 PM|
By M Kelley
In case you have not heard, Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of Against Me! recently came out as transgender in the Rolling Stone. And I, and others, admit that it was not a completely horrible piece of journalism, as many transgender stories end up being.
And I have to admit, that I think that is partially because this story is so darn awesome, at least in my books. And it helps that Laura Jane Grace is also pretty darn cool.
I talk a lot about visibility on this blog. Her story is what I am talking about. A high profile rock celebrity coming out as transgender? That opens up a lot of people's minds who previously knew nothing about Transgender issues. The article itself is fairly educational, and even references a book I also find wonderful- Whipping Girl by Julia Serano. So L.J.G. and this article are doing a lot of great educational work, just by being out.
But another blessing of Transgender Visibility is that it can help build the community. I know in the case of L.J.G., I am feeling greatly inspired from her story. Like I have someone to look up to. Even if I've been out for a few years and she has only been officially out for a few weeks.
She comes from a military family, like me. A divorced family, like me. With conservative parents that she hadn't even told at the writing of the article, like me waiting until I was sure of myself before coming out to much of my family. She also has a loving wife who is supporting her, just like me. Knowing that there are others out there blazing the same trail as you means a lot. Especially when you are travelling the often tough Transgender trail of life.
And you know what else, she has an amazing singing voice, that has been part of the reason Against Me! has been so successful, much like I have been complimented for my voice in public speaking- but both of us know that those voices are very masculine. But as I have told a few people I have talked about her story with, what her voice sounds like when singing or talking, or what my voice sounds like, does not invalidate our identities. She is a woman, no matter if she has a voice that sounds masculine or not. She is an incredibly brave woman at that, as she pioneers a unique journey in her own life.
I am excited for Laura Jane Grace. Her story inspires me. I think her future looks amazing. I hope others come out because of her. I hope others embrace their identity more fully because of her, I know I am going to.
Thanks Laura Jane Grace, from a fan.