Chicago Reader, “Laura Jane Grace writes for her rights”

“Chunks of Grace’s story are missing: one part of the book’s title that’s not properly reflected in the narrative is her history with anarchism. Against Me!’s catalog from the early years is chockablock full of lyrics extolling leftist extremism. Take the chorus for 2002’s “Baby, I’m an Anarchist!,” which references the 1999 Seattle protests during the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference: “ ’Cause baby, I’m an anarchist / You’re a spineless liberal / We marched together for the eight-hour day / And held hands in the streets of Seattle / But when it came time to throw bricks / Through that Starbucks window / You left me all alone.” But the few instances of capital-P politics in Tranny are merely references to anarcho-punk bands and nonprofit organizations; listening to Crass and volunteering with Food Not Bombs won’t make you an anarchist. Readers with no grasp of the subterranean anarcho-punk scene will likely struggle to understand why Against Me!’s jump to indie label Fat Wreck Chords in the early 2000s was met with such scorn. Grace recounts how punks poured bleach on the band’s merch and tagged their van—punk zine Maximum Rocknroll encouraged readers to attack Against Me! for “selling out”—but she doesn’t elaborate on why former fans would turn on the band so violently.”

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