“Life is transition, everyone is in transition, that’s just the way it is.”
Against Me! rocker Laura Jane Grace says this in the trailer for her new AOL reality series, So Much More, which will document her new life and include the stories and experiences of other trans people. Born Tom Gabel, the singer never felt right in the skin of a man and it always seemed like Gabel was “pretending to be someone else.” It wasn’t easy, but in 2012, Gabel chose to take on the name Laura Jane Grace and undergo the transformation process to become a woman.
Though Laura knew she’d be happier as a female, she worried about the impact the change would have on wife Heather, but her spouse was very supportive at the time, “For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how [Heather] would accept the news. But she’s been super-amazing and understanding.”
As of January 2014, the two live separately, but Laura describes their 4-year-old little girl as the “light of [her] life,” and hopefully that gives Laura something positive to focus on when the struggles of transitioning are particularly heavy.
Speaking with other trans individuals has proven to be helpful as well, Laura says in the trailer, “I’ve met gender-variant people from all walks of life all at various points in their journey. Hearing their stories and then being able to relate myself to it is what I need right now … I’m not who I was yesterday and I’m not the person I’m going to be tomorrow. I’m just figuring out as I go along, just as everyone else is doing.”
Laura prepared for this the moment she chose to make the switch. In a 2012 interview about transitioning, Laura acknowledged that the journey would have its ups and downs and tough times, but that the ultimate end would be worthwhile, “I’m going to have embarrassing moments, and that won’t be fun. But that’s part of what talking to you is about — is hoping people will understand, and hoping they’ll be fairly kind.”
That same year, she divulged to MTV News that other trans people encouraged her to make the big decision once and for all, as she was meant to live another way and wasn’t alone in wanting change, “You get to that point where you’re like, ‘This isn’t something that’s going away.’And you start hearing so many other people’s stories, and you realize, ‘That’s me. This is what I’m going through.’ … life improves every single day. I try to make a step every single day, no matter how big or how small.”
That applies to all of us. Whether you’re trans or not, Laura is correct that life is a transition itself, and it takes a courageous person to live another way and share those experiences with the world through a TV series. Here’s hoping Laura gets whatever peace she may need and that viewers can have the same thing after watching her show.
Featured image via The Guardian.