Must Watch: Laura Jane Grace Of Against Me! Talks About Her Transgender Coming Out

Earlier this year, Laura Jane Grace of the band Against Me! came out as transgender in a revealing interview with Rolling Stone. Since then, Grace (formerly known as Tom Gabel) and the band have been touring the country — with Grace’s wife Heather and daughter Evelyn in tow. MTV caught up with Grace on the status of her transition and how life is different — and better — since she made her trans struggle public.

Grace’s interview highlights how absolutely life-changing and necessary the transition to become a woman has been for her. For people living with gender dysphoria — that is, people who feel as though they are born in the wrong gender — coming out can literally be the difference between life and death. Having the secret, “kills you. It slowly kills you inside,” she told interviewer James Montgomery. “I can’t exist as a woman in hotel rooms alone and then come home and pretend to be someone else. I’ll end up killing myself.”

Grace also explains that living a trans life and having a family can absolutely work — as long as you allow for flexibility and openness. “There are going to be a lot of things about me and my life that don’t line up. The fact that I identify as female, that my name is Laura, that I want you to call me ‘she’ or ‘her,’ but it’s all right for my daughter to call me ‘Daddy’ – that might not line up for some people, but that’s all right.” [MTV]