Shape Shift with Against Me!

Against Me! brings together an eclectic crowd of those who challenge gender norms and open-minded punks

Against Me! performing at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood, California on September 14, 2017.

Against Me! performing at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood, California on September 14, 2017.

   When talking about the punk band Against Me!, it is natural that the word “transgender” will arise. Leadsinger Tom Gabel announced in the May 2012 issue of “Rolling Stone” Magazine his transition to become a female, Laura Jane Grace.

  Since mid 2012, Grace has released a YouTube series called “True Trans,” published a book entitled “Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout,” and released and toured two albums with Against Me! entitled “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” and “Shape Shift with Me.”

  With the opportunity to see Against Me! five times in concert and meet Grace before the Against Me! concert with The Gaslight Anthem at the Hollywood Palladium in 2014, its is incredible to see the beauty she brings to Against Me!’s eclectic crowds about not conforming to the standards of society, specifically regarding gender.

  Before an Against Me! concert at the OC Observatory on September 25, 2015, while going through security a man who was either a transvestite or in the early stages of transitioning to become a women was declined to be checked by security as a women and forced into the men’s line. This sense of ignorance by security completely contradicted the sense of gender expression Against Me! stands for.

  During an Against Me! concert with Bad Religion at the Hollywood Palladium on November 4, 2016, a quiet man in front of myself turned alive during the Against Me! set through screaming lyrics of gender freedom, specifically, “you want them to notice the ragged ends of your summer dress, you want them to see you like they see every other girl, they just see a [blank], they’ll hold their breath not to catch the sick,” from their song “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.”

  Though these concert provide a haven for those who dare to conform from the standards of gender, Against Me! also attracts open-minded punks with love to give through punk rock. As seen by the waves of people bouncing, singing, and moshing to songs from the band’s seven LPs.

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