Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of Against Me! who publicly began her transition in 2012, has spoken up about some of the toughest moments of her experience, both publicly and privately, in an extremely revealing new tell-all interview.
In a one-on-one audio chat with Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast, Grace talked about some very hard facts about her current life: first, that she is going through a tough divorce; and second, she once attempted suicide after opening up about her transition.
Though she’d credited wife Heather with being one of her biggest and most “respectful” supporters after she came out to her, the two called it quits the following year in August 2013. “That’s when it all went to sh-t,” she explained. “Life has a tendency to do that sometimes.”
“We’re not in a good spot. Not really, we don’t really talk,” she added, clarifying that her transition process was not to blame for the split. “I think it’s all on me. I had a suicidal nervous breakdown about a year after coming out, and I just dissolved as a person.”
Grace said that she did attempt to commit suicide at that time by mixing “pills and alcohol” because of a “combination of things.”
“There was the mental side where I legitimately lost the foundation of why I was transitioning because I saw that my marriage had gotten so far away from me because I had been … scared,” explained Grace. “I was working on a record. I was transitioning publicly. I had a studio, so I was just locking myself in my studio 10 hours a day working on [the Transgender Dysphoria Blues] record which I legitimately needed to do. But also I was hiding.”
“And then realizing my marriage had fallen apart, that crushed me,” she went on to add. “And then at the same time too, I started having this weird reaction to the hormone replacement therapy I was on -- it turned out, once I got to Chicago and I got medical help that I had been living with a parasitic infection in my intestines. So, at the time I had been on estrogen, progesterone, and spironalactone. So, apparently, the progesterone had been converting into prednisone which was causing these crazy hot flashes. So, I was waking up in the middle of the night and my arms would be clenched to my chest, and I couldn’t take them down … I was really messed up.”
Also difficult to grapple with were the decisions of two of her band mates to leave the group for “various reasons.”
But when asked whether she thought their departures had anything to do with her public transition, Grace admitted that the entire process “did set off a chain of a bunch of changes are now going to take place,” but that their individual reasons are separate.
As for the rest of her experience with music world, she certainly does not regret the decision to announce her transition first to get ahead of any possible criticism.
“People in the punk scene are, in general, kind of homophobic and kind of sexist,” said Grace. “So if I had not come out and just started wearing eyeliner or expressing femininity, I think people would have been way more unaccepting than if I had just said, ‘Look, this is what’s going on and can you please f--k off while I go through this?’”