Gender Dysphoria | Ep. 2 | True Trans

– My earliest memories
are of gender dysphoria. I felt lost, at times
like I couldn’t survive. It took until I was 31
to publicly come out as a transgender woman. Nothing has been the same since. While on the road, I’ve
met gender-variant people from all walks of life, all at various points in their journies. Hearing their stories and then being able to relate myself to it is what I need right now. (melancholy guitar music) – When I was maybe four or five years old, there was a televised Madonna performance. I just remember standing
in front of the TV, and it was like my first
moment of self-recognition, of being like, “That’s
me,” not only gender-wise but also like, “That’s what I want to do. “I want to be exactly like that.” I remember vividly experiencing that and seconds later, realizing
the misalignment in my body. – I felt very feminine
and very female-like since a very early age. – I felt I had no one to talk to. I had no resources to go to. – I just kinda put it off, and I didn’t have anyone. I had no idea what to
do with these feelings. I had no idea that it even was a valid feeling to experience. – I remember being a young child around six or seven years old, and playing with my sister’s clothes and playing dress-up and stuff like that. When I would play that
role, it just felt right, and it just felt like me. – I didn’t know it was gender dysphoria. We didn’t have those words in my town. – People didn’t even know
it was going on with me. A lot of therapy I had, they would just say I’m a
very male-identified female. They didn’t have the tools, and I had no idea. I just felt like a guy. I always felt that way. Voiceover: Since I was 19 years old, I’ve just been on tour. The band usually plays
like 200-plus shows a year, so there is time off
when you’re in the studio or whatever but other than the studio, it’s all living on the road. – I would love an Americano
and whatever he’s having. I don’t know how to
exist without caffeine. Come on, testosterone, don’t fail me now. – Are you really trying? – Yes, I’m really trying; (bleep) you. – Oh, my God! That’s going down in the record books. – Do you feel like if there was one thing that you wish could have
been there for you – – My parents are pretty lenient. I think they always
kinda saw me as a tomboy, let me wear what I wanted, but with school and
everything ’cause I’m like, “Okay, I’m in a group of all
these seventh-grade girls “and I want to be like
one of them and I’m not. “I don’t want to wear make-up, “and I feel like a freak because of it.” It was more personal struggles with it, knowing that there was something off but not knowing what it was. Voiceover: I would explain it as saying a feeling of misalignment
between the way you feel and the way other people perceive you, a feeling that your
gender does not line up with your assigned gender at birth. – When you’re too young
to know what it is, it turns into shame, being five years old and being like, “I want to be a girl. “I feel like I should have been a girl,” and then knowing that,
if you would express those feelings to someone else, that they wouldn’t be
accepted or understood, and that you’d be shamed for it. – The earliest age that I knew I was struggling with my gender was four. I felt like I couldn’t bring
it up with my parents at all or they’d disown me. – I always felt really pressured by them to be very normal, very assimilated. All these things that I
knew I wanted for myself, I didn’t really feel like I could act on. – I grew up in a really
strict religious household. Their answer to my gender issues was to take me to a therapist
and put me in a hospital and try and lock me away. At that point, it was worse because I was in puberty
and I didn’t want to deal. – When I hit puberty, it makes you super
hyper-aware of everything because your hormones are running wild and your body is starting to change, so all of the things
that you’re already aware about yourself become that
much more exaggerated. – I definitely shut down during puberty. I became really awkward. I remember not being
able to take a shower. I hated touching my body. I felt like my body wasn’t mine. It was somebody else’s. Voiceover: Things happen to your body. Then, I realize, “Oh, my God, “I’m actually really a girl!” (laughs) That was devastating for me. Voiceover: Ninety-four three, WCLY, the radio show for music fans. Laura, welcome to “Spinout.” – Thank you so much for having me. – Is it possible this record
maybe needed to happen more than any other
“Against Me” record, Laura? – I wasn’t necessarily
writing for an audience when I was writing the songs. I was really writing to
save my life, you know. I think I was just a pretty depressed kid, and then a pretty nervous kid. I think nervous would be
the best way to put it. – For most of my life, in
early adulthood and that, I was not a happy person
because I hated life. – I tried to kill myself
probably eight times, ten times, from a period of about 10 to 16. I’d tell my parents it was because I was supposed to be a boy, and they’d just tell
me, “No, quiet, sshh.” – For me, coping mechanisms
were definitely drug use. – I definitely used drugs and alcohol to cope and hide the way I felt. – To disassociate myself
with the rest of the world, you drink and you do drugs, and you completely blank out all of everything that’s
going on with you, and your feelings. – There was a period of
time where I thought, “Maybe I’m schizophrenic. “Maybe this is just some kind of split personality disorder that I have, “where there’s this one side of me “and there’s this other side of me. “Maybe that side will
eventually disappear, “and I can just forget that
it was a part of my youth.” – It’s 9:40; what time do we play? – Five minutes. – Sweet! – This is a song about
celebrating gender diversity as a thing of beauty. It’s called, “True Trans Soul Rebel.” – For me, a major part of coping was the punk and hard-core community that I think saved my life in a way, and helped me look at the world through a (mumbles) type of lens. – I (mumbles). I picked up guitar at 13, and I started playing in a band. – Any time I was taunted or bullied, I would just sit behind
the piano and play. – For me, what always
attracted me to punk rock was the idea that it was
about smashing gender roles. – I remember (mumbles) about these men who dressed like women, but I didn’t know what transgender was. I knew there were alternatives, and I was just holding on
until something was revealed.


  1. Trans men and trans women obviously deserve our support.  I think all the support they're asking for, really, is to be treated like men and women, to be given the same respect that we give everybody else.  

  2. Why does she pathologize herself and others? Thats stupid, calling oneself "gender dysphoric" means to call yourself mentally ill and to act as if the stigmatisation through the psychiatric lobby would be helpful. That´s not emancipation, that´s submissive and simply stupid.

  3. Thank you so much for touching on gender dysphoria. I'm genderqueer, and sometimes it's just so fucking hard to deal with and it's added to my depression majorly. Showing this video to my mom who's always been really supportive of me really helped me show her how I feel sometimes and it's brought us even closer. I appreciate it so much, Laura. <3

  4. thanks for erasing nonbinary people in your definition of gender dysphoria… I thought you were better than that but honestly I was kind of expecting this show to fuck up but hoping it wouldn't. and it did, spectacularly, especially with your selection of almost exclusively white thin able-bodied trans people.

  5. I don't what the derogatory terms are for actually. incidentally solicitors did warn us of the multiple sueing cases that can be presented over clinicians and their so called no how too. obviously the pain suffering and injuries not to mention violence by "sickos"
    can cause serious harm.  I mean was john a paedo then as we had etc in essence over a religion ? and about abused trans children and adults ? for what its worth you do have our full support over the problem.

  6. This is quite a nonsense. I remember feeling like I wanted to be a boy around age 9-10. But it lasted for only a week and it never returned again! It is normal to fantasize about the other sex in childhood, that's how you discover yourself and the world around you.
    Tom says exactly what the real problem with him is: split personality disorder. However he wasn't advised to seek help because he wasn't dangerous to his surroundings and didn't behave hysterically. He 'just' dresses like a woman.

  7. as one who only came out a year ago its hard when my parents don't care or don't bother to talk with me about it and when we do it turns into a fight

  8. Oh my gosh, my feelings. First we see/hear her awesome mother, than January who helped her the way kinda Laura helped her. She is such an idol, not only to me. You rock! <3

  9. "I wasn't necessarily writing for an audience when I was writing the songs. I was really writing to save my life." Well Laura, yours wasn't the only life that the album saved.

  10. I have to listen to the last album again. Last time I did, musically, it didn't click with me so I wasn't a fan. Maybe next time it will be different.

  11. around 4:49 i have the same issues. i hardly ever shower and never touch or look at my chest when putting on a bra and its really difficult cause i cant do much about gender dysphoria at 14

  12. I loved this band before I found out she's trans! cool coincidence! I nevet imagined there would be a trans singer!

  13. Discovering that I had gender dysphoria was like being born again, or actually like truly being born in the first place. I began existing in the world instead of in a parallel universe. I am now an actual person instead of an NPC in someone else's video game, unable to speak what I really feel. Some people do not realize why it is such a big deal — but that's why. People take living as themselves in the world for granted. I do not. Imagine being so forced to be unaligned to who you really are, to be ashamed of how you really feel, from an early age, that the first time you feel an authentic feeling as who you really are you nearly faint. Yep. It's nice to have feelings now, and to be able to express them. People just cannot imagine what that is like — when the world says you do not exist, and furthermore you cannot exist, and it is shameful that you exist. you do not fit in anywhere, and all social relationships are taxing and draining to a horrific degree. You are so isolated. No wonder that transgender people have the highest suicide rate of any group. To say that I love Laura Jane Grace, or this series, is such an understatement it seems silly… LAURA THE LIBERATOR OF SOULS sounds more like it.

  14. This is so surreal to watch when I used to live in Bloomington and met Atticus at my first Against Me show lmao

  15. I relate to sooo many of these stories. I really needed this, ofc I've heard trans people describe their stories before, but it's nice to get that variety and also to see someone you look up to telling their story as well.

  16. Holy shit im pre T and i know to speak from tne fucking chest. Trans men! Speak from your chest! Your vouce sounds terrible when you don't!

  17. There is no such a thing as gender dysphoria. Some people are born with hormone imbalance. They tend to become gay, or just tomboy or effeminate boy. But now this society make them trans.

  18. THIS IS WHY TRANSGENDER WERE BAN FROM THE MILITARY BECAUSE THEY ARE MENTALLY UNSTABLE? Or it’s because of the high cost of their hormone treatment?

  19. I personally don’t have gender dysphoria but I came here to learn more, and after reading the comments I hope you all persevere through everyday and just live a life of happiness!

  20. When I started puberty I reacted by becoming almost hyper-feminine, I had short hair but I was like "hey look I'm stil a girl!! I have boobs!! Look at my boobs and my face and ignore the fact that I'm clearly compensating for the fact that I cant stand the way people look at me" I wanted to control that and I never talked about how I felt and so It took a long time to realize that this is what I wanted. I didnt know what a trans person was even longer to find out that ftm trans men were a thing. Now I'm starting my transition and I look in the mirror and see a feminine man but everyone else sees a woman and I just want to change that

  21. I'm cis but my heart goes out to all the trans people who are struggling to survive. It's so sad that people have to feel like this, deal with crippling depression, dysphoria, distress and their disagreeing relatives. You all are so valid and strong. You deserve to feel happy and be happy with who you are. I hope you all will find love and will transition well. Just stay strong, things will eventually get better ♥ I love ya'll

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