Laura Jane Grace is an American punk musician. She tends to be known for being the frontwoman of Against Me! However, it is interesting to note that Grace is also the frontwoman of a solo project called Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers.
1. Born in Gainesville, FL
Grace was born in Gainesville, FL, which is the center of its own metropolitan area in North Central Florida. However, she didn’t spend much of her childhood there. This is because Grace was born to a military family, which moved from military base to military base.
2. Mail Ordered Her First Guitar
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Grace became interested in music at a young age. This can be seen in how she mail ordered her first guitar using money that she had earned by mowing lawns when she was still eight. Initially, Grace took guitar lessons from a military officer’s wife. However, she eventually went on to teach herself how to play the guitar.
3. Moved from Naples to Naples
Grace was still 12 when her parents went through a very unpleasant divorce. Thanks to this, her mother brought her and her brother from the city of Naples in Italy to the city of Naples in Florida where her maternal grandmother lived.
4. Did Not Have a Good Time in Her New School
Moving can be extremely stressful. Unfortunately, Grace seems to have been harder-hit than others. She has stated that she was constantly bullied in school. Something that contributed to a number of serious issues. For example, Grace skipped school on a regular basis, which culminated in her just dropping out of high school. Similarly, she started drinking as well as taking drugs when she was still in school, with the result that she went on to struggle with said issues for years and years. On top of this, Grace also suffered from depression, though she was unlucky in this because both sides of her family were apparently prone to that particular issue.
5. Is an Anarchist
Grace has stated that she is an anarchist. Such politics is often seen in a very negative light, as shown by how anarchist is sometimes used as a synonym for rebel, insurgent, and subversive. However, modern anarchism tends to be less interested in violent revolution than its predecessor from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Position-wise, anarchism is pretty straightforward. It is skeptical of authority, so much so that it calls for the rejection of every single kind of involuntary hierarchy. As such, one can make the argument that anarchism is pretty utopian in nature. It is interesting to note that while Grace herself is an anarchist, she seems to be pretty cynical about the chances of true anarchism working out to say the least.
6. Was Influenced By a Personal Incident
Generally speaking, people’s experiences play a huge part in making them who they are, with politics being no exception to this rule. In Grace’s case, it isn’t hard to see why she might be less than enthusiastic about authority. As the story goes, she was 14 when she was walking on a boardwalk, told to get off of the boardwalk by a police officer, got off of the boardwalk, told to get off of the boardwalk by the same police officer a second time, and replied that she was off of the boardwalk. In response, the police officer slammed her into a police car, threw her face-first into the pavement, arrested her, and then had her charged with resisting arrest and battery. Grace’s mother hired an attorney who she could ill-afford, who proceeded to lose the case with the result that Grace was convicted as an adult of both felonies. Said incident politicized her. As for Grace’s politics, well, suffice to say that isn’t the kind of experience that leaves people with a sense of fondness for the authorities.
7. Embraced Punk Music
One of the reasons that Grace embraced punk music was because she was attracted by its ideals. The music genre started out as a rejection of mainstream rock as well as the mainstream culture represented by that mainstream rock. As such, punk music had a very noticeable sense of nihilism to it. Naturally, it was anti-authority as well, so it should come as no surprise to learn that anarcho-punk is one of the sub-genres that emerged from it.
8. Influenced By Crass
Speaking of anarcho-punk, Grace was influenced a great deal by Crass, which is considered to be one of the pioneers of the sub-genre. In short, early punk rock incorporated anarchist imagery. However, it didn’t do so in a serious way. Instead, the anarchist imagery was meant to shock people more than anything else. It wasn’t until Crass and Poison Girls came along that certain parts of the punk movement started taking anarchist ideas and ideals more seriously. Grace was influenced by Crass because she felt that the band was genuinely bringing about change by making their music.
9. Has Spoken Out about the Close-Minded Thinking of the Punk Movement
Unfortunately, things are rarely simple. For instance, while the punk movement is often associated with open-mindedness, it can be pretty close-minded at times. To name an example, chances are good that interested individuals have heard one or more examples of commercially successful punk bands being called sellouts as well as addressed with similar criticisms. Something that hit Against Me! Besides this, Grace has stated that while she joined the punk movement because she thought it would be open-minded, she was disillusioned by its sometimes close-minded thinking.
10. Transition Didn’t Just Solve All of Her Problems
Grace came out as transgender in 2012. When talking about her memoir, she mentioned being concerned that people would expect a story in which transition solved all of her problems because things weren’t that simple for her. Grace mentioned that she hadn’t actually completed the work of her self-acceptance by the time she came out to her family as well as her fans. Furthermore, she has also mentioned feeling pressure from her status as a role model for the transgender and LGBTQ community because of her concern for others.