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October 21, 2014

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The punk-rock world stands up for Against Me!’s gender-changing frontman

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Against Me!’s Tom Gabel, soon to become Laura Jane Grace.

The Details

Against Me!
Opening for The Cult, with The Icarus Line
May 26, 8 p.m., $45
M Resort, 797-1000

Las Vegas will be packed with punk bands and punk fans this weekend, as the annual Punk Rock Bowling festival hits Downtown. The most punk-rock move of all, however, comes courtesy of the frontman for a band playing not on 6th and Fremont, but at the M Resort—Tom Gabel of Against Me! In the current issue of Rolling Stone, the 31-year-old singer and guitarist announced his plans to change his gender and begin living life as a woman named Laura Jane Grace.

In a Punk Rock Bowling interview with the Weekly’s Chris Bitonti (see Page 56), Hot Water Music’s Chuck Ragan—who has toured frequently with Gabel over the years—talked about his friend’s big news.

What are your thoughts about [Gabel’s] announcement?

I thought it was really brave of him—to make that step and come to terms with who he feels he truly is. Laura Jane Grace is as much of a dear friend as Tom Gabel ever was. If anyone believes a certain way, I’m gonna back them up all the way. That’s just one of the duties of being a friend.

Do you think punk fans will react the same way?

They better, otherwise we’re coming after them! (laughs) In all seriousness, I felt really honored to be a part of a community that was so open-minded supporting people doing things out of the norm, because when I was a kid, that’s what punk was all about. It was a mind-set, about you being exactly who you wanted to be, no matter what your school or your parents or the church said.

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