The Gaslight Anthem are speaking out in support of Against Me! singer Tom Gabel, who comes out as transgender in the new issue of Rolling Stone. In a Tumblr post written shortly after news broke last night, the band defended Gabel’s decision to live as a woman and chastised punk fans who have been insensitive about the revelation.
“So Tom’s gonna be Laura now… and in 2012 I still find people on the internet commenting on another persons life how they insult and condemn a person for his choices,” the band wrote. “How about the people who go through this and never find peace and end up committing suicide? Would you rather that? Or maybe he could become a raging drug addict and ruin his life and family? Would you rather that?”
“How about you leave the guy alone. How about you let another human being make a decision about their lives without your snide prejudices and bigotry?” the post continues. “This is one of the hardest decisions a person can make. From my limited understanding of the subject, it means feeling your whole life like you were born in the wrong skin. That’s something that 99 percent of us can’t understand. Whether you agree or don’t, it’s not your life. It’s not your family. It’s not your band, it’s theirs.”
The Gaslight Anthem were not alone in showing their immediate support for Gabel. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) released a statement on its blog that reads, “Tom’s decision to live life authentically is a not only a personal step forward, but one that will advance the national discussion about treating transgender people with fairness.” GLAAD president Herndon Graddick also tells Rolling Stone, “Tom is displaying extraordinary courage by coming out as transgender after already establishing herself as a rock star. For many of the band’s fans, this may be the first time they’re actually thinking about transgender people and the bravery it sometimes takes in order to be true to yourself. We’ve seen nothing but support from Tom’s fanbase online, and we hope her story will help countless transgender youth who have not had someone like her to relate to before.”