Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
These days, there's nothing that anyone else can say better about the new life that Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! is living than she can. Her passions aren't new. They're just being shown in pure form for the first time. The facade is off as the makeup came on, as the black nail polish gave way to brighter colors. Grace, who stopped by for a rare solo show and session here in Rock Island two weeks ago, sings on her band's new record's title track, "Transgender Dysphoria Blues":
"Your tells are so obvious,
shoulders too broad for a girl.
It keeps you reminded,
helps you remember where you come from.
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 faggot.
They'll hold their breath not to catch the sick.
Washed off on the coast,
I wish I could've spent the whole day
alone with you.
You've got no cunt in your strut.
You've got no hips to shake.
And you know it's obvious,
but we can't choose how we're made."
Recorded here, with a beat that she said she's been sitting on for two years, it's so beautifully obvious now how much else she's been sitting on for years. There's new bliss for Grace these days, even as the pain of intolerance and human cruelty still doubles down. She's herself now and that should bring happiness, in time.