LCD Soundsystem’s keyboardist and synth player, Gavin Russom, has come out as transgender.
In a new interview with Grindr’s INTO, Russom said she has been wanting to come out for years. “This is my fifth decade being alive, and in each of those decades, there’s been a time where I’ve tried to say, ‘Hey, I think I’m transgender!’ This was even before that word existed.”
She added that she “could not imagine” continuing to pretend to be someone she’s not on stage for the next year, especially as the band prepares for its upcoming tour and album cycle in support of American Dream, due Sept. 1. Coming out has left Russom feeling more connected to her bandmates and their catalog, she told INTO.
Of course, the transition has not been without challenges. “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been,” she said, “but I have my good days and my bad days. On my bad days, it really sucks, and I wait until I get home to go to the bathroom—which is such a basic thing.” There is also the issue of LCD’s forthcoming tour, which will see them cross into states that have passed or are deliberating legislation that discriminates against trans people, like North Carolina and Texas. She referred to the use of public restrooms as “unpleasant” at best and “scary” at their worst.
“I am someone who has spoken out on both women’s rights and trans rights for a long time, but when I started to transition myself, that was one of the most shocking things,” said Russom of discovering her own prejudices. “I’m carrying so many of these things around with me. That’s been challenging to work through — having those preconditioned societal ideas of what transgender women can do.”
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Russom told INTO that she hopes to be a model for “anybody who is struggling with their gender identity or who wants to come out and is afraid to,” she said. “What would be better than giving someone permission to do that through my performance? That’s the ultimate. It’s what other people gave to me, so I’d love to pass that along to other people, too.”
Read Russom’s full interview at Grindr’s INTO.