Musician Gavin Russom – who plays synth/percussion and sings backing vocals for LCD Soundsystem – has come out as transgender.
“Over the last year and a half, I went from my trans identity being something I was in touch with and worked through in one way or another, to suddenly this shift where it’s on the front burner,” she told Pitchfork. “Now it’s time to become a whole person.”
Russom, who officially joined LCD Soundsystem in 2010, spoke to the publications about her public announcement and coming to terms with her gender identity. “This is my fifth decade being alive,” she said, “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.”
Her decision to come out now was prompted by the New York-based band’s approaching tour – another year spent on the road denying her true self was an unbearable thought.
“My body rejected it in the same way that it now utterly rejects going into a men’s bathroom or when somebody calls me ‘sir.’” she told Grindr. The electronic musician shared a similar sentiment with Pitchfork: “There was legitimately something unmanageable for me about living as a cis man. I was working so hard just to present this image of myself that ran very deeply counter to who I really am.”
Russom said her bandmates have been “really supportive” and that her time working with the critically-acclaimed group last year really helped. “Working with LCD Soundsystem all last year and then having a solid block of time off to focus on self-care was really important for me. This is what came out of that.”
Earlier this year LCD Soundsystem debuted three new songs from their upcoming album “American Dream” at a gig in New York. The popular dance-rock outfit will headline the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago next Friday; the night before, Russom, who is also a solo performer, will DJ at Chicago’s Berlin club for the first time since coming out as a trans woman.
Russom intends to use her public platform to help others like her. “For anybody who is struggling with their gender identity or who wants to come out and is afraid to,” she said, “what would be better than giving someone permission to do that through my performance? That’s the ultimate. It’s what other people gave to me, so I’d love to pass that along to other people, too.”