Against Me! singer Tom Gabel has come out as transgender to Rolling Stone. Gabel has plans to start living as a woman and will take the name Laura Jane Grace.
The punk rock singer will remain married to her wife, Heather. "For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news," Gabel said. "But she's been super-amazing and understanding." The couple has a 2-year-old daughter.
Gabel is 31 years old and told the magazine she has long felt disconnected from her body. The singer suffers from gender dysphoria, and plans to take hormones and undergo electrolysis treatments. The magazine reports Gabel is also considering gender reassignment surgery.
The Gaslight Anthem has spoken out against critics of Gabel on the band's tumblr:
So Tom's gonna be Laura now... and in 2012 I still find people on the internet commenting on another persons life how they insult and condemn a person for his choices. How about the people who go through this and never find peace and end up committing suicide? Would you rather that? Or maybe he could become a raging drug addict and ruin his life and family? Would you rather that?
(The band said they used "he" to refer to Gabel because they were unsure whether or not the singer had began living as a woman. According to GLAAD, the singer is still using the name Tom but will transition to Laura.)
GLAAD's president, Herndon Graddick, also expressed support for the punk rocker. "Tom's decision to live life authentically is a not only a personal step forward, but one that will advance the national discussion about treating transgender people with fairness," he said. "As more and more Americans get to know people who are transgender, they're coming to embrace and celebrate them."
According to the magazine, Gabel is the first major rock star to come out as transgender.
Against Me! is known for their song "Thrash Unreal," and the group will begin touring with The Cult later this month. The June issue of Rolling Stone hits newsstands Friday.