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Laura Jane Grace Talks Transitioning, Family, And The T Word On “The Daily Show”

“As an artist, as a writer, words that have power are always going to be interesting to me.”

Trevor Noah invited Against Me! lead singer Laura Jane Grace to The Daily Show Thursday, to talk about music and her memoir, Tranny: Confessions Of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout.

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The transgender punk rocker is happy to defend using the “T word” in the title of her book. “As an artist, as a writer, words that have power are always going to be interesting to me,” Grace told Noah. “I’m going to want to explore them.”

Now 36, she also addressed what her transition has put her through the last few decades: “I didn’t hear the word ’transgender’ until I was 19 or 20, so I spent a good period of time in my life wondering, ’Am I schizophrenic?’ or ’Did I have like twin souls living inside of me warring for control?'”

Against Me!
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Grace stressed that she believes trans Americans need more than anything right now is understanding.

“I say it all the time: I think really the problem is a lack of education. If you think back to school—what a joke sex ed was. There is no gender-identity class—the difference between gender identity and sexual identity, it never was really explained to you. So, if that wasn’t explained by your parents, their parents or their parents, how can you expect most people to have an understanding of gender?”

Against Me! will be on tour with Green Day beginning this spring.

Writer, producer and public speaker Dawn Ennis was the first out trans journalist in TV network news. A widow raising three children, she's the subject of the documentary "Before Dawn/After Don." You can find her on YouTube, Twitter and LifeAfterDawn.com.