Was Our "Against Me" Review Transphobic? rock nyc's Stephanie Lowther Responds
(rock nyc editor Iman Lababedi wrote in a review of Transgender punk rocker lead singer of Against Me: “To say Laura Jane Grace is an unconvincing looking woman is to understate state the case” and also “It is one thing to want to be a woman, it is another to not really look in the slightest like a woman” and the Transgender Community was deeply insulted. See original review here. We asked rock nyc’s Stephanie Elliott Lowther , a transgendered woman, to respond to the complaints)
Before everyone starts chasing after Iman in a lynching mob/Keystone cops style can we please take a step back and look objectively at the review? I don’t believe any review is totally meant to solely support an artist and often questions asked and commented on are stating what others may be thinking yet may be afraid to say because of political correctness.
Iman states twice in the review that he is neither involved in trans rights or is a fan of Against Me, so in many ways having an objective view could be mnore helpful in the longer term all round.
Whilst I agree that there is no defined view of what femininity is and how it is to be presented, I do feel Iman may have been more considerate in that part of his report though at no point does he refer to Laura as he or in a male pronoun So even though Iman may not personally identify with Laura’s own interpretation of what it is to be a woman, he has used the correct pronouns .
You simply cant argue with someone over having a viewpoint, the world would be a much duller place if this was the case. And there’s many transphobic articles and authors out there other than to waste your time on slagging off Iman Lababedi. I have been friends with Iman for quite a while and am an openly transgendered female , I can assure you I have never felt anything other than accepted by him so please don’t label him as such because that simply isn’t the case.
An artist who stands up on stage to perform for paying members of the public is going to put themselves up for judgement in a sense; the publicity from this article is probably doing Laura much more good than bad as it has got many people talking about it , and her.
In this world there are going to be people we don’t understand and we aren’t going to find all women fit into a certain mould, diversity is an amazing thing so I for one would like to see as much diversity as possible. I also know that Iman is not against diversity even though he can only call things as his eyes see them.
I don’t find his article transphobic in the slightest even though I do understand it could have been written in a kinder sense, there are many of us living in transition and the fact we are transitioning in public is bound to put us under a certain amount of scrutiny: would you rather people thought things yet were afraid to say them? I wouldn’t .
In conclusion I would say the author states he is neither a fan or follows the trans rights stuff so in many ways a viewpoint from someone who isn’t allied with such can only be a good thing , even though he didn’t find Laura to be “his cup of tea” he did refer to her as “she” and my own interactions with Iman tell me he is a million miles away from someone who is transphobic.
Theres maybe lessons to be learnt on both sides here and staging a witchunt is not going to help anyone .