Against Me!‘s transgender singer Laura-Jane Grace “identified” with Madonna when growing up.
The punk rockers frontwoman announced last month she was changing her name from Tom Gabel and would start living as a woman, and has talked about the influence strong females had over her while growing up. In a video interview with MTV Grace said:
When you’re younger, you don’t necessarily get it, but I just completely identified with Madonna. Watching Rosemary’s Baby, and seeing Mia Farrow with a boy’s haircut, was another moment I remember thinking, ‘That’s me, that’s what I’m going to grow up to be, that’s the kind of woman that I’ll be.’
Grace also described the thought process which led her to realise she identified as female, and how starting hormone replacement treatment has felt “empowering”.
She added: “As you grow older, you realise that this isn’t something that goes away. When you are younger you have these moments where you’re like, ‘I’m going to choose to be male. I will be male. This is it. I’m going to take all my women’s clothes that I have secretly hidden away under my bed, I’m going to put them in a garbage bag and throw them in a dumpster and that’s it, I’ll swear off this behaviour for the rest of my life.’
“Then you realise – I’m 31 – you get to that point where this isn’t something that’s going away. And then you start hearing so many other people’s stories and you realise, ‘that’s me, this is what I’m going through’.”
Grace also thanked her wife, Heather, for standing by her during such a difficult time, and said he hopes people are as understanding toward their two-year-old daughter.
She added: “For my daughter, I’m just hoping that it doesn’t affect her in any kind of negative way, as far as kids can be cruel to each other, you know.”