Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Whole Tom Gabel Thing

I don't really have much of a comment. If he's serious, and he wants to be a she, for sincere and honest reasons, well, then,  don't let any of us stop you, go forth as you will. I still have my doubts that this is the case. Beardly Folk-punks gone pop punk married with small children don't exactly fit the demographic of the Trans folks I've known, but it's a big world, I could be wrong. I've also never known a trans who didn't "experiment" first, then make the transition quietly. Considering there are no photos I've seen where Tom is showing any feminine traits, nor is there a known history of sexual experimentation, and there's this big announcement, out of the blue, with only 1 verse in 1 song as a "sign", I really do have my doubts about the reality of this.
So, if this is some kind of stunt- maybe even well-intentioned- I'm not the biggest fan of Against Me!, so I can't say I'd care all that much. But, it would pretty much rule out your Career, as an earnest "authentic' musician.

That having said, I'm posting this more or less because of the massive reaction this announcement has created.
Everything from really extreme antipathy, to dogmatic expression of faith. What I haven't seen in all that is anything like my reaction. So I'm adding it.

 I'm totally comfortable being a dude. I don't think I'm exactly a Manly man, nor am I a boy, nor am I a guy or a bro, I'm what gets called a Dude, and I'm good with that. I'm married, with a grown son,  and all that, and I also know what it's like to kiss a man, and to wear a dress. I also have many family members and friends who lives totally different lives from me- and yes, that includes transgendered people. Mostly, for those who choose different paths from me, I understand at least a little bit about why they would choose differently from me. As for being judgemental, well, that's more about the individual than whatever group they might be identifying. ( This is reason  #486 why I hate the whole "identity politics" thing. Just because you're a "Queer Afro-Asian Person of Colour" doesn't mean a thing about how smart, or right, or nice you are, all of which is far more important than what gender, orientation, or race you happen to be labelled) . But, the path I understand the least is the "transformer"- I don't just mean transgendered, or coming out of the closet as gay later in life, although they're part of this- I mean anyone who follows first one life then, abruptly, exchanges it for another.  I'm not saying that I am judging such changes, because I've made a few changes myself, I'm saying I am mystified by them. To this day, I couldn't tell you why I gave up running a radio station, and leaving the west coast for life in the rural east. I don't fully understand it, myself.  I can point to a couple of specific things, and I can give you an over generalization, like I just didn't feel like it was the life for me, but I cannot claim to understand. So much the more then, that I cannot understand why someone who's a husband and a father would want to change their gender. I just don't understand it. I could understand with someone like, say- ok, here's a scenario- Kurt Cobain. Let's say he, instead of shooting himself, came out as transgendered, at that time in his life. It would make some sense to me- the self-loathing, the identification with -ahem- "strong" women like Courtney, the obvious dissatisfaction with his own body- all of it would click into place. But, with this guy, by all accounts, he appears to be in a good place. There's no suicidal impulses, no self-destruction, and so on. This would seem like a sudden turn, and that I don't understand.
You can call me every name in the book, but that won't make me understand.  So this is the comment that I'd like to see addressed in our media- Why?

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