Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Transgender Musician

In the current issue of Rolling Stone, a popular musician named Tom Gabel (of punk-rock band, Against Me!) announced he's starting the transition to becoming publicly female.  Honestly, I've never heard of Gabel but I certainly wish him well on this difficult journey.

Gabel has chosen a new name, Laura, and plans to stay with his current wife Heather.  They have a two year old girl, with whom Gabel recently painted his toes.  Heather doesn't see any reason why they need to break up. 

I hope they can maintain their relationship but past history is discouraging.  A famous transsexual, Jennifer Finney Boylan, wrote about her transition and described how, in the years following it, her marriage changed and became unworkable.  While every relationship is different, the strong forces Boylan described will strain Gabel's marriage to Heather.  Similarly, Chaz Bono's relationship with his girlfriend, Jennifer, failed after his transition despite their fervent efforts to maintain it.

Gabel said in his announcement that he hasn't told his parents yet because he expects his father (who works in the military) to never speak to him again and his mother to cry uncontrollably with sadness.  As hard as it will be for Gabel to inform his parents, I hope they don't learn about this from reading the news or a magazine.


  1. I've read a lot of negative things in the trans community about this situation. I am very sad/disappointed to hear the backlash. I do believe she will experience extremely tough situations in the future, and I wish her the best in her life.

  2. I heard about this on the radio the other morning. I really wish her the best. I can't even imagine how hard this kind of situation would be. I hope she gets to paint toes with her daughter for years & years.

  3. What an amazing story. I can imagine it will be very difficult but even if they couldn't make it work together at least hopefully they will be there for their kid whether they are together or apart...
    By the way I was constantly thinking of you when were at that club last night and how you would have loved wearing such clothes in a setting like that.

  4. Interesting story. I can't imagine it would be easy being the partner and personally I don't think I could continue an intimate relationship under these circumstances. I'd imagine the best I'd offer is a very close friendship. Hope he tells his parents soon.
    Hugs my sweet one

  5. It is a difficult situation for everyone - but specially for the person making the decision.
    I take my hat off for him, many of us (myself included) do not do certain things because other things hold us back and it takes great courage to stand up like that.

  6. There was a movie about this on HBO with Tom Wilkinson called "Normal". It dealt with this exact situation and was so realistic and moving... I highly recommend it. It was so brilliant and honest in its portrayal you could understand and sympathize with everyone affected by this very courageous decision...

    1. I saw that. Yes, it was very good. We need to understand everyone's perspective in a situation as complex and difficult as this.

  7. That must be so hard for her to face that disappointment from her parents and the whole world in general. But I'm really happy that she's being truthful. No one should have to hide who they are.

  8. I saw this article and wondered if you'd read it.

    Heather seemed very determined to make it work. I hope they find their way together going forward.

    I guess at some point people feel they've had enough, that living in a personal prison isn't worth the cost. The consequences of freeing yourself and living authentically are worth taking the chance on. Wishing Laura all the best~

  9. I hope they will make it, and it sounds like they have a really good chance!

    I know I've told you about one of my very favoritest singers, Lucas Silveira of The Cliks, who happens to be FTM transgender. Pure awesomeness in his voice, pre- and post-testosterone. And he writes his own stuff. And he loves animals. Win.