Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout (Paperback)
This one is for the former (& current) punk kids, the badasses who bend & transcend gender, the reluctant sellouts, the folks who don't feel their narrative is straight-forward. Laura Jane Grace, front-woman/founder of the band Against Me! &--as indicated by the title--somewhat infamous "sellout" & trans activist has lived. Reading these selections from her years of journals is an immersive, raw experience. I have too many feelings about this book & its author to fit in one little blurb! Read it!— From AJ
ONE OF BILLBOARD'S "100 GREATEST MUSIC BOOKS OF ALL TIME": The provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me! provides a searing account of her search for identity and her true self.
It began in a bedroom in Naples, Florida, when a misbehaving punk teenager named Tom Gabel, armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a headful of anarchist politics, landed on a riff. Gabel formed Against Me! and rocketed the band from its scrappy beginnings-banging on a drum kit made of pickle buckets-to a major-label powerhouse that critics have called this generation's The Clash. Since its inception in 1997, Against Me! has been one of punk's most influential modern bands, but also one of its most divisive. With every notch the four-piece climbed in their career, they gained new fans while infuriating their old ones. They suffered legal woes, a revolving door of drummers, and a horde of angry, militant punks who called them "sellouts" and tried to sabotage their shows at every turn.
But underneath the public turmoil, something much greater occupied Gabel-a secret kept for 30 years, only acknowledged in the scrawled-out pages of personal journals and hidden in lyrics. Through a troubled childhood, delinquency, and struggles with drugs, Gabel was on a punishing search for identity. Not until May of 2012 did a Rolling Stone profile finally reveal it: Gabel is a transsexual, and would from then on be living as a woman under the name Laura Jane Grace.
Tranny is the intimate story of Against Me!'s enigmatic founder, weaving the narrative of the band's history, as well as Grace's, with dozens of never-before-seen entries from the piles of journals Grace kept. More than a typical music memoir about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll-although it certainly has plenty of that-Tranny is an inside look at one of the most remarkable stories in the history of rock.
About the Author
Laura Jane Grace is a transgender musician best known as the founder, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me!. Since coming out as transgender in a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she has become an outspoken advocate for transgender awareness. She has a daughter and lives in Chicago.
Dan Ozzi is a New York-based writer and has served as the editor of VICE's music site, Noisey.
"An ambassador for the gender revolution currently sweeping through public restroom policy and National Geographic covers [and] a potent tool for empathy that hasn't quite existed in pop culture....Grace and co-writer Dan Ozzi spin green room drama and rock star recklessness into a gem of a rock bio that belongs on a shelf alongside Hammer of the Gods and Get in the Van."
—Paste Magazine, Best Nonfiction Books of 2016
"A full-length tell-all about Grace's lifelong journey to discovering, accepting, and at last publicly acknowledging her true identity....[told] with daring candor...the memoir establishes her as at once a transgender icon and a modern day heroine."
—Harper's Bazaar, Best Books of November
"In this riveting and at times harrowing biography, Grace recounts in unflinching detail her path to self-realization....The story [of the band] would be enough for a compelling book, but Grace's gender dysphoria adds a remarkable twist to the tale....[a] brutally honest, soul-searching memoir."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Laura Jane Grace has pulled off the near impossible. With her first book, Tranny, she has added a new perspective to a vastly over populated genre of music-based literature.
In doing so, she has also managed to tell her own deeply personal, at times heartbreaking, story of her struggle with gender identity in a society still content to ascribe gender using an archaic binary system that drives so many transgender people to despair.
This book is a mandatory read for anyone interested in gender identity, intellectual punk rock, or an engrossing account of a great rock and roll band, subjects that may sound mutually exclusive but here are inextricably linked."—Shirley Manson, lead singer of Garbage
"The real power of Tranny comes from Grace's journal entries, which tell the real-time story of a quest for self that winds through addiction, divorce, and, ultimately, action to address the agonizing dysphoria."—The New York Times Book Review
"Tranny is an intimate, sometimes appropriately messy account of Grace's career as a musician and agitator, full of on-the-road indulgences and off-the-clock struggles. It's as honest as any Against Me! tune, and just as hooky."—Wired