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Against Me! Singer Tom Gabel Opens Up About Growing Up With Gender Dysphoria

Tom Gabel
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

As previously reported, Against Me! leader Tom Gabel has revealed to Rolling Stone that he’s transgender. Now, more details from the full article — which will be featured in the upcoming issue of the magazine — are emerging.

Gabel has been suffering from gender dysphoria for many years now, according to the publication. “Growing up, my experience with transsexualism was nothing but shame,” she says “It was something very hidden, and dealt with very privately.”

Gabel recalls early on in her childhood when she realized she was different from most kids. She was about four or five when she saw pop queen Madonna on television for the very first time and wanted to be like her. Gabel played with Barbie dolls, something her military father was not too fond of.

“For me, that was a moment when I remember, ‘OK, I’m obviously doing something that’s not OK in my dad’s eyes,'” she says. “But even when I would play G.I. Joes, I wouldn’t play war — I would make up stories.”

Gabel’s parents divorced when she was 11 years old and she moved to Florida to live with her mother. That was the first time she experienced severe depression.

“It probably had a lot to do with where I was puberty-wise, and hormones,” Gabel concludes. “But that was a period of extreme dysphoria — of just not wanting to be male.” There were times when she would pray to God to become a woman: “Dear God, please when I wake up, I want a female body.” When her prayers weren’t answered, Gabel turned to the devil, pleading: “I promise to spend the rest of my life as a serial killer if you turn me into a woman.”

Look for the full interview with Gabel in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, which hits newsstands this Friday (May 11).

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