On 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace dove deep into issues of gender identity and her coming out as a transgender woman, and she’s recently launched an advice column over at Noisey that’s covered everything from appropriate pronouns to tattooing as a form of therapy. But this kind of openness wasn’t always so easy, as “Pretty Girls (The Mover)” from Against Me!’s 2005 album Searching For A Former Clarity proves. Though not the first song of hers to do so, the track hinted at Grace’s gender dysphoria, stopping just short of revealing everything. As she discussed with The A.V. Club at Rancho Recordo in Fenton, Michigan, Grace changed a key line, swapping “gender identity” for “irresponsibility” out of fear that she’d out herself—and the simple song about a crush never felt right to her after that. It wasn’t until the band was touring on Transgender Dysphoria Blues that the song became a staple of live sets, and the line about gender identity re-emerged. It speaks to Grace’s ability to continue updating songs in search of the truth, and this stripped-down take on “Pretty Girls (The Mover)” foreshadows her upcoming “Killing Me Loudly” solo performances, which promise music, spoken word, and Grace’s uncompromising aura.
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