Laura Jane Grace has never felt more like herself.
The Against Me! rocker, born Tommy Gabel, has begun hormone therapy and finally feels “in control” of her life.
“I never thought any of this would be possible,” Grace told MTV News in her first interview since coming out as transgender to Rolling Stone. “It was just something that, conceptually, I could never realize. But…my life improves every single day. I try to make a step every single day, no matter how big or how small.”
But while Grace knows she’s on the right path, not everyone in her life has been supportive of her journey.
“It’s completely ended my relationship with my father,” said Grace, whose father is a retired Army major and obviously never knew that his son was hiding women’s clothes under the bed and was engaged in a constant, painful struggle with the instinct that he had been born a boy but wanted to be a girl.
But, overall, Grace has been “completely blown away by the majority of people’s reactions,” including those of his wife and bandmates.
“I was really, honestly excited” to come out, she said. “When I first told my wife, immediately it was just like this huge weight being lifted off my shoulders, and subsequently every other person that I’ve told, that feeling was more and more there.”
People have “been more than respectful and more than supportive, and it’s been, for me, completely humbling,” Grace said.
“We didn’t want to make it melodramatic,” Against Me! bassist Andrew Seward told MTV. “It was kind of simple in a way. It sounds cheesy, but it’s not: You just want your friend to be happy. When this came out, I think the bottom line for all of us was just ‘be happy’.”
And it certainly sounds like Grace is happy.
“It feels like I’m in control of my life, and I’m in control of my person, and that’s empowering,” she said. “Saying to someone, ‘I’m a transsexual,’ is the most empowering thing I’ve ever felt in my whole life.”