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Publisher's Summary

One of Billboard's 100 Greatest Music Books of All Time: 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. It began in a bedroom in Naples, Florida, when a misbehaving punk teenager named Tom Gabel, armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a headful of anarchist politics, landed on a riff. Gabel formed Against Me! and rocketed the band from its scrappy beginnings-banging on a drum kit made of pickle buckets-to a major-label powerhouse that critics have called this generation's The Clash.

Since its inception in 1997, Against Me! has been one of punk's most influential modern bands, but also one of its most divisive. With every notch the four-piece climbed in their career, they gained new fans while infuriating their old ones. They suffered legal woes, a revolving door of drummers, and a horde of angry, militant punks who called them "sellouts" and tried to sabotage their shows at every turn. But underneath the public turmoil, something much greater occupied Gabel - a secret kept for 30 years, only acknowledged in the scrawled-out pages of personal journals and hidden in lyrics.

Through a troubled childhood, delinquency, and struggles with drugs, Gabel was on a punishing search for identity. Not until May of 2012 did a Rolling Stone profile finally reveal it: Gabel is a transsexual, and would from then on be living as a woman under the name Laura Jane Grace.

Tranny is the intimate story of Against Me!'s enigmatic founder, weaving the narrative of the band's history, as well as Grace's, with dozens of never-before-seen entries from the piles of journals Grace kept. More than a typical music memoir about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll - although it certainly has plenty of that - Tranny is an inside look at one of the most remarkable stories in the history of rock.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Laura Jane Grace (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Featured Article: The Best Trans and Nonbinary Listens


As our society becomes more inclusive, some of our most underrepresented communities are getting a much-needed opportunity to tell their stories. For this list, we’ve come up with some of the best trans and nonbinary listens, across all genres and age categories. And because we know that authenticity is important to listeners, our selections are almost exclusively written by queer, trans, and nonbinary authors.

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What listeners say about Tranny

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Powerful story and performance.

This book started off like a trip down memory lane. I grew up in Gainesville and knew many of the locations and people in it. It's amazing to hear. I felt voyeuristic to be hearing a person I know confess so personally and completely her innermost feelings and experiences. I find myself wishing all the amazing people I've met would write their stories so I could see into their lives and understand them like this. I think everybody has a story worth hearing, and this one is no exception. Definitely not your run of the mill rock star coming of age story. I'm also a huge fan of authors reading their own autobiographies. It makes the experience that much more pleasurable. Thank you Laura for letting us know this part of you.

10 people found this helpful

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Required reading for "unlearning" false everything

What made the experience of listening to Tranny the most enjoyable?

This is the first book I've ever read/listened to in its entirety in one sitting. It’s the type that is so important, it will become required reading in college classes across the country some day.
For a community that has been close to my heart AND a topic, I felt somewhat "in the know" about, many years before ever hearing the word "trans-anything; I still have so so much to unlearn. Laura Jane Grace's book will make you laugh, break your heart, and possibly change your life, regardless where you come from on the transgender/transsexual/gender subject. I could not be more grateful to Grace for being willing to share her personal story of what gender dysphoria & transitioning feels like, especially in the days before the internet or resources were available, and kids were left to suffer in silence and/or isolation.
I also loved the book because I too grew up on punk rock & have always despised the ridiculous notion of one dictating to another who and/or what is "real" punk, but didn't realize how many people actually suffer (and I mean suffer) because of it.
I related to her love for travel, living in a hotel, and dealing with the politics of playing with other bands. I mostly connected being on tour & traveling around the country in a van. The few times I got to go out on the road as crew member for a band of close friends was the best time of my life, so I already love memoirs like Rollin's & Ramone's, and following the career & tours with Laura Jane Grace's band, Against Me!, was just as exciting, if not more candid. I'm only familiar with a few songs from Against Me!, but now looking forward to hearing more, especially going through all lyrics.

What other book might you compare Tranny to and why?

I'm looking for one now...

What does Laura Jane Grace bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Because she is the author, little things like tone add context that I wouldn't have picked up on.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I'm still going through a lot of emotions, including crying often, since reading this book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • FV
  • 01-30-17

Appeals beyond a single genre

Great story. Recommend to anyone interested in punk music, music bios, gender issues, self-exploration and discovery, human issues in general. I enjoyed the journal-based narrative... feels like intimately going back in time with the author. Also a great trip down memory lane for anyone who grew up in Florida ... from the old Gainesville music scene & famous venues to the state drug culture, there are some spot-on details and lots of nostalgia.

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Whoa

This was a very honest tale of a punk rocker. I've been a fan of Against Me! and Laura Jane Grace for some time now. I was actually at many of the shows you mentioned in Arizona. I really didn't realize there was that much disfunction with Warren. I also cannot believe the utter poverty Laura put herself through before her transition. I understand the drug use in the punk scene, I just didn't realize how hard it was to make it as a punk rock band. I do think Against Me! could still stick with their current sound and be as big as Green Day. I'm super happy that Laura narrated her audiobook as well. I find her voice very soothing. I could honestly listen to Laura, Nick Offerman, Diane Rehm, and Terry Gross all day in that order. I'm a punk with a wide range of tastes and Laura delivered. Thank you for your brutally honest story.

5 people found this helpful

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Huh...

I thought for sure that I would turn this off and never listen again, after the first fifteen minutes...
This person comes across as very honest and self-aware...especially at an early age...as such, it made for a pretty fascinating way to spend a few hrs...
Needless to say, after the first fifteen minutes I was hooked.
I have zero interest in gender issues, nor am i a fan of against me...my intention when dropping a credit, was to continue listening to books by musicians about being musicians, ie...life in the road, etc....
On that end...it did not disappoint...
It just turns out that LJG has had an interesting life otherwise, and from my perspective, told an overall well written account of it.

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Incredible!

There is no way I couldn’t become immediately attached and invested in Laura’s story. It is heartbreaking, personal, triumphant, and most of all relatable for so many. I am awed by her perseverance and courage, and she spoke so many words I myself have thought or told myself so many times...I hope that I can soon see her on stage. What a victory.

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loved it!

Against me is one of the best
Laura Jane does an amazing job... her struggle is real.

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Incredible

I have been waiting to listen to this book since it's existence was first announced and was not disappointed. Even after watching all of the episodes of True Trans, listening to Against Me! since middle school and also watching countless interviews, this book has given me such a beautiful and real insight to the life of someone I admire. Laura, well done, and thank you for letting us in.

3 people found this helpful

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Pages Read by Laura Jane Grace Make You Stronger

(*Pints of Guinness still do the trick and also pair nicely with this wildly powerful reading by LJG and anything Against Me! related at all, really)

Bad puns and titles are all I can contribute to a silly little review, it seems. Thankfully, this work speaks for itself and doesn’t need any help persuading the literary community of it poignancy.

This brave, brash, beautiful book speaks for itself and needs no other validation. THE HONESTY OF THE CONTENT IS UNMATCHED.

If you’re a punk, a member of the LGBTQA+ community, a friend, family member, or ally of these communities, a sucker for a fearless memoir that doesn’t read like a CSPAN broadcast, or simply just a curious browser drawn to know more: please, listen to or read this immediately. It’s important and it’s beautiful, just like you.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, a glossed over happy little tale. It’s the story of a badass trans woman in a heavily male dominated music scene, a pretty big public spotlight, pissed off people left and right and everything else beautiful and gritty along the rough roads she’s traveled.

Pardon the cliché, but with the utmost sincerity I can attest to the life changing powerhouses that are Against Me! and Laura Jane Grace. To them all, I must thank you for changing and empowering myself and my entire hometown diy scene. Thank you for helping to lead us intobetter, safer .

2 people found this helpful

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Melancholic and Fascinating. A true Gift.

I'm a career long fan of Laura and even though I expected the sadness in this story, it's important to hear the struggle and fight directly from a person I admire so much for her bravery and for her talent, to better understand the work she's done.
My all time favorite songwriter and a talented author and narrator as well. Worth the credit.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jameswilliamhindle
  • 03-25-17

amazing

funny exciting moving inspiring frustrating captivating; one of the best memoirs i have read : highest recommendation

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  • Sam
  • 01-22-17

Perhaps the best rock autobiography I've ever read

A truly amazing read. I was worried it would be about nothing but gender dysphoria but Laura really goes deep into the punk scene, telling stories about how the Against Me! fans embraced them then turned against them, and the later embraced them again.

Loved it.

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  • Francesca
  • 01-19-17

Amazing. beautiful. impowering

best thing ive ever read. laura is so great . such emotion is felt . beautiful all round.
Love you laura!!xx

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr
  • 12-01-16

Was Blown Away

I admit as a fan of the band there may be a slight bias involved here. But as someone who has read a lot of similar books, they do not get more open and honest than this. The fact that I listened to this whole book (all 6 and a half hours) in a single night with a half hour break in the middle should tell you exactly how into the story I got. The addition of her journal entries written at the time lends an air of authenticity to the tale. Laura Jane herself reads it and makes a decent job of it. Well worth the download...

1 person found this helpful

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  • JRQ-CDF
  • 09-07-21

Super interesting

Having been a fan of Against Me! Since hearing them on a no idea records compilation many years ago I’ve always found their music and attitude to be quite amazing.

This was a brilliant way to hear insights into the band that you may not have done already, told through the lens of Laura’s story, often sad, sometimes funny, would definitely listen again.

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  • Sebrina Autumn Calkins
  • 03-13-21

This is everything I needed right now

Truly raw, open, honest, funny, moving, depressing and oh so positive and affirming.

Laura Jane Grace is truly a legend and inspiration.

Heartily believe EVERYONE hears this, whether it's we trans folx seeing ourselves in Larua and everyone else being welcomed into her personal journey and our experiences.

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  • Shane
  • 04-05-20

fantastic

This was amazing to listen to! Such a wonderful story, very raw. I'm glad this book is out here in the world.

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  • RickMurray666
  • 02-07-19

Heartbreaking and honest.

Go and listen to White Crosses the album, ,by her band,,Against Me!.........especially Because Of The Shame.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-08-20

One of punk rock’s finest

I read Tranny not long after it came out and loved it! Have been hanging out to listen to Laura Jane narrating the book herself and she didn’t disappoint. Raw and honest, it will stay as one of my faves!

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  • Danielle Newbury
  • 07-14-21

enjoyed every moment of it

I'm a long time Against Me & Laura Jane Grace fan & this book didn't disappoint. some amazing muso moments & some heartbreaking personal times. loved it & im a little sad I've finished it now 😭 Have purchased a hard cover version to keep & read again 🖤

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  • Lola-Mae
  • 05-19-18

Human and raw

Laura has a way of writing that is conversational and easy to follow. I cringed at the male privilege that marked so much of her experiences but found her story one of humanness and vulnerability. It’s one long truth bomb about gender, fame and accountability. I enjoyed this immensely.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-13-17

loved it!

I loved Tranny! A great story, a sad story, a funny story but overall a real story I absolutely loved it and wish all of the best to Laura Jane Grace in the future!

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  • Katie Batty
  • 05-11-17

Loved it!

Great mix of stories from the road and behind the scenes of against me's music, plus insight into gender dysphoria