"Let’s not frame this as a rebirth.
Transgender Dysphoria Blues doesn’t reinvent Against Me! – it crystallizes everything that the band has grown to be over the past decade. But there’s something incredibly cathartic about getting to hear Laura Jane Grace (formerly known as Tom Gabel) sing about what she’s been singing around for years. All the subtext buried in the band’s back catalog, all the tension that comes with living invisibly female in an androcentric industry and a transphobic society, it’s all finally laid bare."~ SASHA GEFFEN, Album Review: Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues, consequence of sound
"It was around this time that Gabel started sprinkling his lyrics with oblique confessions... the most blatant reference came in a song called "The Ocean," off their 2007 album, New Wave.
In retrospect, the lines are almost shockingly direct:
If I could have chosen I would have been born a woman / My mother once told me she would have named me Laura / I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her / One day I'd find an honest man to make my husband
Gabel says he thought he was "completely outing himself" with a lyric like that. He expected to be confronted – a part of him even craved it. But if anyone suspected anything, no one brought it up. "When we did that song, I was like, 'What is that about?'" says Butch Vig, who produced Against Me!'s last two albums. "He just kind of laughed it off. He said, 'I was stoned and dreaming about what life can be.'"
"I must have listened to him sing that song 500 times," adds the band's manager, Jordan Kleeman. "And I never thought twice.""
~JOSH EELLS, The Secret Life of Transgender Rocker Tom Gabel, rolling stone
[song link added][also see, Laura Jane Grace's Fresh Start]
sources for vids/notes:
Against Me! website