The provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me provides a searing account of her search for identity and her true self. Read more...
The provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me provides a searing account of her search for identity and her true self.
It began in a bedroom in Naples, Florida, when a misbehaving punk teenager named Tom Gabel, armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a headful of anarchist politics, landed on a riff. Gabel formed Against Me and rocketed the band from its scrappy beginnings-banging on a drum kit made of pickle buckets-to a major-label powerhouse that critics have called this generation's The Clash. Since its inception in 1997, Against Me has been one of punk's most influential modern bands, but also one of its most divisive. With every notch the four-piece climbed in their career, they gained new fans while infuriating their old ones. They suffered legal woes, a revolving door of drummers, and a horde of angry, militant punks who called them "sellouts" and tried to sabotage their shows at every turn.
But underneath the public turmoil, something much greater occupied Gabel-a secret kept for 30 years, only acknowledged in the scrawled-out pages of personal journals and hidden in lyrics. Through a troubled childhood, delinquency, and struggles with drugs, Gabel was on a punishing search for identity. Not until May of 2012 did a Rolling Stone profile finally reveal it: Gabel is a transsexual, and would from then on be living as a woman under the name Laura Jane Grace.
Tranny is the intimate story of Against Me 's enigmatic founder, weaving the narrative of the band's history, as well as Grace's, with dozens of never-before-seen entries from the piles of journals Grace kept. More than a typical music memoir about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll-although it certainly has plenty of that-Tranny is an inside look at one of the most remarkable stories in the history of rock.
- ISBN-13: 9780316387958
- ISBN-10: 0316387959
- Publisher: Hachette Books
- Publish Date: November 2016
- Page Count: 320
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-11-14
- Reviewer: Staff
In 2012, Grace, the founder, guitarist, singer, and songwriter of the Gainesville punk band Against Me!, came out as transgender, a secret shed kept for some 30 years in the spotlight. In this riveting and at times harrowing biography, Grace recounts in unflinching detail her path to self-realization. In many ways, Graces story follows the arc of many rock biosplenty of drugs, sex, broken marriages, lots of time spent in dingy vans on exhausting tours that left the band penniless and at each others throats, and, eventually, a major label record contract that left the band disillusioned and in tatters. That story would be enough for a compelling book, but Graces gender dysphoria adds a remarkable twist to the tale. Bolstering the narrative with years worth of journal entries, Grace intimately shares her difficult journeya story not for the faint of heartas the she deals with her own personal transition, along with the scorn of a reactionary punk scene that resents the bands success and a music industry that wants only to cash in. She survives, and today Against Me! has entered a new chapter. This brutally honest, soul-searching memoir reads like precisely thatone chapter, in a life story that has many more to come. (Dec.)