How Is The U.S. Doing When It Comes To Accepting Transgender People? Laura Jane Grace Weighs In
Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace is a brave person -- from coming out as a transgender woman in Rolling Stone to penning her truly heartbreaking (yet, god-this-is-amazing) record Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Now, she has decided to lay it all bare in her new webseries, "True Trans With Laura Jane Grace."
She's a brave, inspiring person, yes, but she also admits that she doesn't have it all figured out yet -- and neither do any of us, really.
When Grace was given the chance to create her own show for AOL Originals, she jumped at the opportunity to reach out to all the people she had admired from afar over the years -- other people dealing with gender dysphoria, an issue she had been grappling with for as long as she can remember. Over the course of touring with Against Me!, Grace spoke with different people every day -- sometimes several interviews occurring each day -- and learned that she's not the only one in a constant state of flux and learning.
"It was really reassuring just hearing how varied everyone's end-definition of what gender means to them is," Grace told MTV News. "Reassuring in my own way in still trying to figure that out. Having other people say it who are further along in their transition or further along in life -- [who] just have more experience -- hearing them be like, 'Well, I don't really know, I'm still kind of figuring it out,' was like, 'OK, you know, I'm in a good place.'"
And, it seems, the U.S. as a whole is slowly learning and growing along with Grace and the people she met on her journey.
"I think there's a lot of momentum behind people beginning to understand gender identity and the differences in the gender spectrum and where people fall," she said. "I think that it's great seeing things like Laverne Cox on the cover of Time magazine or seeing a transgender CEO [Martine Rothblatt] on the cover of [New York magazine]. Maybe the headline that went along with that was a little sensationalist," she added, referring to the title of the piece, which was, "The Highest-Paid Female CEO In America Used To Be A Man."
When she was a kid, the 33-year-old said, the only representations she saw of transgender people were in films like "Silence Of The Lambs" -- remember the horrifying serial killer, Buffalo Bill? It was all "horrible misrepresentations like that," she said, adding that we've come a long way from base character sketches like that.
Still, there's a lot to be done when it comes to understanding and accepting transgender people -- something she hopes more education will help accomplish. In the meantime, she said, she wants to clear up that the "biggest misconceptions [about being transgender] are the connections between gender and sexuality -- people think that those are exclusive things and they're very different things."
"The idea that this is what it is to be a man and this is what it is to be a woman is just a flawed way of thinking and it's not representative of the way it is in society," she added.
"True Trans With Laura Jane Grace" premieres on AOL Originals on October 10.