Tranny : punkrockin kaupallisimman anarkistin tunnustuksia

by Laura Jane Grace

Hardcover, 2018



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Helsinki : Like, [2018]


The provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me! provides a searing account of her search for identity and her true self.

User reviews

LibraryThing member heroineinabook
As I'm more of a post-punk person, what I knew of Laura Jane Grace, and Against Me!, was on the periphery of my musical circle. At best I knew they were a punk band from Florida. However, when Laura came out in 2012, suddenly she was everywhere. Not just in the music world but also in main stream news. (I remember one commenter on a news piece about Laura's struggles being trans said, "Well, he doesn't look he would be trans." I asked, "what the fuck does that even mean, 'doesn't look like'?" I also pointed out the commenter mis-gendered Laura and of course, I heard crickets.)

Since then, I've been following Laura on and off through the years to see how she was doing and I recall her smiles were so big it was hard not to fall a bit in love with her. So when I was on my way to the checkout desk at my local library and saw this book on the "NEW" shelf, I grabbed it. I've made 2017 the year I was going to read anything not written by white cis people as much as possible and I wanted to know more about Laura's story.

The book is very Dickensian in nature, "In the beginning, I was born and then this is what happens." I almost gave up after 50 pages as the writing is sometimes halted, it felt forced. But once Laura gets into her late teen years, as Against Me! starts to coalesce, she really gets going. I loved the diary entries and I wish there were more of those and less "story" fillers. I get why these bits of writing exist, but the filler writing has a different voice than the diary entries and that is why often the overall story feels stilted.

Also, more pictures please.

One more thing -- several readers pointed out Laura's story seemed to be shifting -- in that it was written to simultaneously give the story of Against Me!'s rise to fame as well as the build-up and resolution of Laura's struggle. I too agree with this sentiment. I get she was using her experiences in the music industry as a parallel of her own life but the way it was written, both come out not fully realised.

Overall, I really liked this book. Laura's story, albeit heartbreaking, in the beginning comes full circle as in the end, as just as in the beginning, she is born. Laura was more open about her struggles in the end, especially the epilogue, which I think came to pass as she became more comfortable with telling her story. I just wish the book as a whole was edited for voice consistency.

I would highly recommend this book, even with its faults, to anyone looking for a good biography and / or has an interest in music and / oris looking for an honest read.

(I read Laura burned her diaries when the book was finished / published and a part of mourned. As a prolific diarist myself, even if I was a total bitch in my earlier life, those are the touch stones of what makes me, me. But I understand why -- the death of Thomas meant the birth of Laura, her true self.)
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22 cm


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