The title track of Against Me!’s sixth studio album, “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” addresses a certain concern that fans of the politically charged band might have.
Its opening lines, belted by frontwoman Laura Jane Grace and set to potent percussion and driving guitars, show that her powerful vocals haven’t been altered by her gender transition.
“Your tells are so obvious,” she sings defiantly. “Shoulders too broad for a girl.”
Against Me! is coming to Music Farm Columbia on Wednesday, June 15.
The group started in 1997 as a solo act featuring Grace (then known as Tom Gabel) and a guitar. A fully formed band pumped up that sound by 2001.
In 2012, Grace revealed that she had been living with gender dysphoria – or gender identity disorder – since she was a child.
She explores it in “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” an angry paean of self-discovery that reveals a shifting identity and ideology while confronting stereotypes, stigmas, shame and misogyny – even within punk culture.
Grace recently wrapped up filming a documentary series called “So Much More” by AOL. The series shows Grace interviewing the band, Against Me! fans and others about gender issues.
“She was able to interview different people in different cities that have very interesting and touching stories to tell,” drummer Atom Willard told the Sacramento Bee in 2014. “It’s a really great thing. Some of these stories are really inspiring and heart-wrenching to tell.”
The band has been embracing inquiries about Grace’s transition because it’s bringing awareness to the transgender and queer community, Willard said.
“Basically, whenever you release a record, you’re going to have a question that’s asked time and time again,” he said. “For me, if that group of questions is going to be about … (gender) dysphoria, it’s fine by me to talk about something that really needs to be talked about. It’s cool to be opening up this hole of information and knowledge that a lot of people haven’t been aware of.”
Willard is “really proud” that Against Me! has provided a voice in the punk scene for the transgender community, he said.
The drummer said being a part of Against Me! has given him “the golden ticket” to inspire others to live the life they want to live, like Grace is doing.
“To stand next to Laura on stage and support her in her journey and everything else, and have people be moved and motivated to make a change in their own life – it’s like I couldn’t be happier,“ he said.
If you go: Against Me! with Frnkiero and the Cellabration, Annie Girl and the Flight in an all-age show, Wednesday, June 17. Doors open at 7 p.m.; shows start at 8 p.m., Music Farm Columbia, 1022 Senate St.; www.musicfarm.com or www.ticketfly.com.