Laura Jane Grace - True Trans (Episode 1) (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Laura Jane Grace

True Trans (Episode 1) (2014)

AOL Originals

True Trans is an AOL-produced show focused on Against Me! lead singer Laura Jane Grace, who came out as transgender in 2012. The show looks at Grace's post-2012 journey along with other trans people’s stories.

Episode one, “Growing Up” looks at Grace’s childhood featuring talking heads from her mom, Bonnie Grace, Against Me! guitarist James Bowman and Grace herself. Shots are interspersed of Grace playing solo guitar parts from various songs from Transgender Dysphoria Blues which is a nice touch. Interesting stories are told about her childhood, such as, her father being in the military and travelling, her first experiences with punk rock, meeting Bowman, and her difficulties conforming.

Punk rock is talked about but with little focus on trans issues. It’s the same as almost everyone’s experience with punk, getting into it due to feeling like an outcast. It would be interesting to hear more experiences related to trans issues in punk in later episodes.

Most of this episode focuses on Grace’s childhood without the focus being on her struggles with gender dysphoria, until the end, when she talks about trying to ignore her feelings and trying extremely hard to fit in. Most of this is delved deeper into in the other three episodes which were released at the same time. The episodes, however, feel too short at eight-minutes long. If all four episodes released so far were combined, it would be a lot easier to actually sink yourself into it.

Overall, though, True Trans is a wonderful look at the trans community. The description talks about the community being “woefully underrepresented and misunderstood in the media” which couldn’t be more true. Luckily, True Trans is full of heart and Laura Jane Grace comes across as an extremely relatable person.