This is the story of a woman named Laura Jane Grace, who was born in the body of a boy named Tommy Gabel, and spent the next 31 years of her life trying to get out.
It starts a long time ago, back when Gabel was 4 or 5 years old and had just watched a televised performance by Madonna. It was the moment Laura first let herself be known, when the boy who spent skinned-kneed summers dressed as a cowboy or Superman realized she was not actually a boy at all. And not surprisingly, given her strict upbringing on military bases across the South (Gabel's father is a retired Army major), she didn't understand how to process this rather pertinent bit of new information. All she knew was that, for the first time in her life, she felt somehow different.