When Gavin Russom DJs at Berlin Nightclub in Chicago next week, it will inevitably be a celebration of coming out, performing her first set as an out transgender woman.
The founding member of LCD Soundsystem, which finished a tour of festivals last year and is out with a new album later this year, shared a new photo of herself today as part of the flyer for Thursday’s Femme’s Room party at Berlin. The party is known for celebrating all identities and forms of femme expression.
Russsom is also telling her story today to Pitchfork, shared in one long statement about her coming to terms with “internalized transphobia” and coming out.
“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,” said Russom, who uses female pronouns and her old name. “Now it's time to become a whole person.”
“What makes this time different is that I'm in a stable moment in my life,” she said.
Russom, who is almost 43, said that in her early twenties she was on the way to transitioning, even dressing in a gender nonconforming way or “explicitly feminine.” She talked to others about what she was going through, but also experienced harassment “that was part of my daily experience.”
“Sometimes, if they happened to be walking behind me at enough distance where they would read me as feminine, they would catcall me,” she remembered. “Getting closer to me, they would see me as masculine and then become very angry. I was assaulted on a number of occasions.”
When Russom decided to deal head on with what she calls “internalized transphobia” and “transmisogyny towards myself,” she took time away from her career and from dating, quitting social media for a while, and focused on her own health. A local clinic in New York happened to include a number of trans specialists on staff. “It was a great place for me to test things out in a totally safe environment,” she told Pitchfork. They and other trans people made all the difference.
“I feel a tremendous gratitude,” said Russom, “to know there are people out there — many of whom have much less of a degree of privilege than I do — who have been fearless enough to do the work.”