“Laura Jane Grace has a lot to get off her chest, so it’ll be best if you give one of the most essential punk records of our era your full and undivided attention”, Drew Beringer writes in a review of Against Me!’s new record Transgender Dysphoria Blues. I think those words pretty much describe the whole thing about this album. The lyrics are stunningly honest and emotional. The opening track, for example, exclaims the following: “You want them to see you like they see every other girl / They just see a faggot / They hold their breath not to catch the sick”.
You know how they say books can help increase empathy? Well, the same goes for a lot of music out there. You don’t have any own experience of being a transgender woman in today’s society? Don’t worry, Laura Jane Grace gives you glimpses of her everyday life and how she reacts to people’s behaviour towards her. I cannot emphasize enough how I think we should all embrace what Against Me! is offering us with Transgender Dysphoria Blues. There is love. There is anger. There is hope. A lot of the time, I get very sad listening to the record. Laura Jane Grace sings “Standing naked in front of that hotel bathroom mirror / In her dysphoria’s affection, she still saw her mother’s son” in Paralytic States, one of my favorite tracks so far. To live with who we are as well as who we’ve been isn’t always easy. But we have to learn how to carry the truth within us to stay strong. Somewhat strong, at least.
There’s not much else for me to do than to recommend Transgender Dysphoria Blues to all of you. I know for sure that by the end of 2014, this will be my favorite or second favorite album of the year. Thank you Laura Jane for writing this. These songs are and will be very important and valuable for so many people in their struggle with identity, depression, self-loathing, bullying or other difficulties in life.
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