Laura Jane Grace’s New Memoir Could Tick Off A Lot of Trans People

What's in a name?

Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace is one of the best known transgender artists in America. So it makes sense she’s releasing an autobiography tracing her journey from childhood to Florida’s punk scene in the 90s to 2014’s acclaimed Transgender Dysphoria Blues, her first album as an out trans woman.

But the name, Tranny: Confessions Of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, could irk some people who are triggered by the t-word.

laura jane grace tranny
Instagram

“For me, it’s like saying the F-word to a gay man, or the N-word to a person of color,” author Jenny Boylan has said. “It’s a word I associate with beatings, being diminished, being on the receiving end of violence.”

Boylan’s colleague—and Call me Cait co-star Kate Bornstein—sees it differently.

Noam Galai/WireImage

“I identify myself as a non-binary trans person. I call myself a ’tranny.’ I’ve been a tranny for 30 years,” said Bornstein on a recent episode. (She’s actually wearing a “tranny” necklace in the photo above.)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09:  Jenny Boylan, Laverne Cox, Judith Light and Jeffrey Tambor attend the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards In New York on May 9, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for GLAAD)
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for GLAAD

And then there’s Laverne Cox (with Boylan above). “The reality for me, as a trans women, is I believe there are so many more intense issues we should be focusing on in the trans community—the homicide rate is crazy, the unemployment rate, discrimination. So I like to focus on those things,” the Orange is the New Black star told Andy Cohen in 2014.

“Language certainly is important, but I like to focus on other issues that are just more important.”

Whatever the book is called, it’s sure to be a real page turner.

From Hachette Books:

A searing account of her search for identity and true self, Tranny reveals the struggles and victories that Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of the cult punk rock band Against Me! experienced in her quest for gender transition.

Illuminated by Laura Jane’s never-before-published journal entries reaching back to childhood, Tranny is an intensely personal and revelatory look inside her struggles with identity and addiction. Grappling with everything from sex, drugs, failed marriages, music, and soul of a punk rock star, this memoir paints a vivid portrait of one of the most revolutionary transgender icons of our time.

Tranny: Confessions Of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout is out November 15, 2016.

h/t: Stereogum

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery