Gavin Russom, the synth player and vocalist for the band LCD Soundsystem — as well as a designer and engineer of custom analog synthesizers for electronic music — came out as transgender in an interview and in an as-told-to essay published today, one on Into, the blog for Grindr, and the other in Pitchfork, respectively. Russom, who is 43, uses she/her/hers pronouns and will continue to go by "Gavin" for now.
According to the interview in Grindr, Russom started the process of "coming out" in early 2017. "This is my fifth decade being alive,” she told interviewer Nico Lang, “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 first joined the beloved band in 2010, when they were working on what was supposed to be their final album, This Is Happening. (LCD Soundsystem famously announced their retirement in 2011. A documentary, called Shut Up and Play the Hits, chronicled the band's final farewell concert in Madison Square Garden. The band then reunited in 2015 and will release an album in September 2017.)
"The general feeling in the group is that [me coming out] will make the band better," Russom said. She added, "I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, 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."
Just two months ago, Russom appeared on Saturday Night Live, performing "Call The Police" with LCD Soundsystem. As of then, she was not officially "out" as a trans woman. According to Pitchfork, Russom will DJ at the Pitchfork Music Festival on July 13, her first set since coming out.
In the personal essay on Pitchfork, Russom admits that, despite her status, she's still nervous to come out. She writes, "I know so many trans women who have lost their jobs when they've come out. It's a very unfortunate reality. There was a fear and awareness that my ability to do this really is a privilege—and it shouldn't be, but it is."
She also thanks the transgender activists who have made it possible for her to come out. "I feel a tremendous gratitude to know there are people out there—many of whom have much less of a degree of privilege than I do—who have been fearless enough to do the work."
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