Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout
Arrested and abused by cops as a teenager, this is the story of Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace coming of age. Her growing up happens all haywire, with brutal internal and external conflicts to contend with, and no peaceful resolution to neatly tie up the narrative. Memoir requires diving headfirst into the ugliest and toughest parts of our life while still maintaining perspective. The process can eat authors alive and not do the reader any favors either. But Grace and her co-author really nailed it. Gender dysphoria is happening behind the scenes throughout the very public life that she leads. Instead of getting sucked into the misery, you're invited to walk with her, and it's rough going at times but overall it really works.
This book is also an excellent window into the music industry, as Grace follows the path from super DIY, banging-on-buckets, sleeping-in-the-van punk to arena rock. It's a parable about how the punk scene eats its own and how bullying politics and hurt feelings don't leave a path forward for anyone involved; that even "famous" people are real people whom we can actively harm. I love that it's a coming-out story about a personal transformation that she turns into a social transformation.
Check out our Gender is Over! toplist for more titles on gender and trans memoirs.
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