When Against Me! agreed to sit down with MTV News for their first on-camera interview since frontwoman Laura Jane Grace announced she was transgender, they made two things abundantly clear: No topic was off limits, and they wanted to hear from their fans.
And all week, we've been rolling out prime examples of the former — Laura's frank discussion of her life-long struggle with gender dysphoria, her bandmates' acceptance of her new life, and the painful process of coming out to family and friends. But today, we're going to focus on the latter.
Because we asked AM! fans to submit questions for Laura and the band, and they delivered. And, true to their words, Against Me! answered as many as they possibly could (they did have to soundcheck for the night's gig). And we can think of no better way to wrap up the week than by bringing those answers to you now.
From questions about how Laura's new life will affect Against Me!'s new album — "It's a huge part of it," bassist Andrew Seward said, though Laura was quick to add "I think it's up to us to make a record that speaks for itself" — to how her life would have changed if she'd been born a woman on the outside ("I think I probably wouldn't have gotten arrested so many times when I was younger," she laughed), the band's fans made it clear that, not only have they been following this story from the beginning, but they can't wait to see what happens next.
Tellingly, though, we received questions from young men and women who, like Laura, were struggling with their own gender — many of whom now look up to her as a role model. And as she did throughout our interview, Laura did her best to answer with the kind of humility and honesty that made our chat so compelling in the first place.
"I've been completely blown away; the most amazing part for me is the amount of trans men and women who have been coming out to the shows and meeting them after and talking with them. I'll have a lot of them come up to me and be like 'It's amazing, what you're doing, and I look up to you so much,' " she said. "And it blows me away, because I look at them, and they're so much further along in their transition, and it's like 'What you're doing for me, by being here right now, is beyond whatever you think I'm doing for you.' Just being able to make that connection ... because I had no friends in that world. And to make those connections, that is half of what I wanted to accomplish by coming out, to be part of that community."