I woke up this morning to my wife asking me, “You’d tell me if you were going to become a woman, right?”. It was too early for a headache and I hadn’t had my coffee yet. She told me she had just heard the news that Tom Gabel, singer of Against Me!, announced that he is making the transition from man to woman.
Wow. This is the first, wait, second, nope, third time a well-known musician has come out to the public with plans to make a gender transformation. I grew up knowing Against Me!, though I was more into rockabilly/old school punk at the time, so this news is relevant to my wife and I. Tom and I were both born in 1980, we both play guitar and sing, we both have daughters that are around the age of two, so it hits close to home and I understood my wife’s light-hearted way of sharing the news.
The full story, in Rolling Stone on newsstands this Friday (really? newsstands?), will explain how she plans on nurturing and co-parenting her 2-year-old daughter (Evelyn) with her wife, Heather.
“For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news,” says Gabel. “But she’s been super-amazing and understanding.”
Where science, technology, cost and freedom intersect in order to give way to new opportunity, gender identity disorder is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. Our children will be raised in a world where LGBT individuals have the right and access to a comfortable lifestyle. That’s freedom and that’s pretty cool.
Some have argued that GID is not a mental disorder, but rather that the diagnostic criteria reflect psychological distress in children that occurs when parents have trouble relating to their child’s gender variance. Specific medical evidence suggests that behaviors and experiences seen in transsexualism are labeled abnormal and constitute a dysfunction. A middle ground also exists where the diagnosis be made of gender dysphoria without emphasis on gender nonconformity.
Whatever the case, Tom will now go by the name Laura Jane Grace and will help raise her daughter in an open-minded and loving home, just like any other family. You gotta respect the amount of balls it takes to come out to family and the public about your decision, especially when confiding in your spouse.
If it were the other way around where his wife came out and said she would now be a man, I think things would be a little different in the family, media and public opinion.
I’m gonna leave it at this: There are way more f*cked up parents out there. We only have one life to live. If you can prove to your children that you can survive and do whatever makes you happy in life, lovingly and responsibly, then you have succeeded as a person and as a parent.