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Laura Jane Grace Blasts Arcade Fire Over 'We Exist' Video

Against Me! singer says indie rockers should've used transgender actor for gender-rights-themed video

May 22, 2014 5:20 PM ET
Laura Jane Grace Against Me! Arcade Fire
Laura Jane Grace
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, who is transgender, has criticized Arcade Fire's casting choice for their "We Exist" video, a clip that stars The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actor Andrew Garfield dressing like a woman and fighting off violent drunks at a bar. "Dear Arcade Fire, maybe when making a video for a song called 'We Exist' you should get an actual 'trans' actor instead of Spider-Man?" she tweeted.

How the Trans 100 Is Changing The World

Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler had described the song as being "about a gay kid talking to his dad" and coming out. At Coachella, he introduced the words by saying, "The right to marry anyone you want is a human rights issue."

Against Me!'s latest album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, contains many songs about finding one's gender identity. The anthemic single "True Trans Soul Rebel," specifically confronts the fears a person feels when wanting to come out as transgender, something Grace did in the pages of Rolling Stone in 2011. "You become more brave about presenting femme, but you're still closeted, so you have nowhere to go," Grace told Rolling Stone earlier this year. "You end up in a weird motel in the middle of nowhere, wandering down halls, hoping nobody sees you."

In other news, Grace will star in a series, So Much More, that documents her transition. The show has not yet announced its premiere date, but will debut on AOL's On Network.

A new television series called TransAmerica that Tyra Banks is producing will air on VH1 later this year or early next year. It stars transgender advocate Carmen Carrera and four other transgender women living their lives in Chicago. "TransAmerica is a groundbreaking docuseries that will blow the roof off stereotypes and set the record straight as we experience the lives of these fun, stunning women," Banks said in a statement.

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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