Marketing: Thoughts on the Media’s Role in Against Me! and Laura Jane Grace’s Future

Written by Cheryl Rafuse Posted in: Marketing on June 01, 2012

By now everyone has heard about Tom Gabel’s (now Laura Jane Grace’s) gender dysphoria. People in general seem to be pretty accepting, the main worry for fans is that her voice will be altered by hormone therapy. I’m not so worried about that. My main concern for Against Me! and Laura is mainstream media’s tendency to create media circus freaks out of perfectly normal people and situations.

For instance, the reason you should go see Against Me! is because they are a radical band with a penchant for putting on high-energy, intense shows. But how the media is starting to spin it is a little different since Laura’s coming out: “See Against Me Singer Play First Show as Laura Jane Grace” reads the headline on a recent Spin article. This one isn’t so bad, but I can only imagine how the media could tie this story up with bows and ribbons and media agenda, which is against Laura’s style. Against Me! is about gritty reality and confrontation. She said once in an interview with Rolling Stone: "I'm interested in autonomous thinking. I'm interested in being my own authority and not answering to anybody else."

My question regarding this is whether or not Laura stays out of the media, will the media turn the story around and create another Lady Gaga-esque media circus?

Lady Gaga declared herself an icon to the gay community. She used it as a marketing strategy and gained an enormous following by using that to her advantage. Laura Jane Grace seems to want her transition to be public knowledge, but will the media create a figurehead out of her? Against Me! definitely has roots in politics. Fans should be wondering if all the hype will get to the band. If it becomes all about Laura, how will the other band members react?

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