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LCD Soundsystem's Gavin Russom Comes Out as Transgender

Gavin Russom
Gavin Russom

The 43-year-old musician opens up after five decades of silence. 

Gavin Russom, who's known for playing synthesizer and percussion in New York-based band LCD Soundystem, has come out as transgender.

In a new interview withGrindr, the 43-year-old musician reflects on her journey of self-acceptance, saying, "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."

Russom began quietly coming out earlier this year, shortly after LCD Soundsystem announced it'd be getting back together after disbanding in 2011. She said she "could not imagine" spending the next year on tour and publicly identifying with the wrong gender. "My body rejected it in the same way that it now utterly rejects going into a men's bathroom or when somebody calls me 'sir,'" she told Grindr.

Now, Russom says she's "the happiest I've ever been," and feels she can connect better with LCD Soundsystem on stage and through their music. But difficult days are inevitable, especially existing as a trans woman in a country that's become increasingly unsympathetic towards individuals like her. Though she's protected under national nondiscrimination laws, Russom admits using public restrooms can be "unpleasant" and "scary."

As a newly out trans woman, Russom takes her role as a public figure seriously, and plans to actively create spaces for other trans people, as well. "For anybody who is struggling with their gender identity or who wants to come out and is afraid to, what would be better than giving someone permission to do that through my performance?" she said. "That's the ultimate. It's what other people gave to me, so I'd love to pass that along to other people, too."

Russom's first appearance since coming out will be for a DJ set at Chicago's Berlin nightclub on Thursday, July 13 to kickstart Pitchfork weekend. The party is aptly called Femme's Room, and focuses on "celebrating all identities and forms of femininity and femme expression." For more information, click here.

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