LCD Soundsystem’s Gavin Russom Comes Out as Transgender: ‘It’s Time to Become a Whole Person’

Gavin Russom LCD Soundsystem
Gavin Russom of LCD Soundsystem performs live on the Main Stage during the Wireless Festival in 2010. Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Embracing her true self. Gavin Russom, LCD Soundsystem’s synth player and keyboardist, came out as a transgender woman in an interview published on Thursday, July 6.

“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,” Russom, 43, told Grindr. “Now it’s time to become a whole person.”

The musician revealed that she was “on [her] way to coming out into transitioning” in her early 20s, but faced “a lot of violence and harassment” and didn’t go through with it. “Sometimes, if [people] happened to be walking behind me at enough distance where they would read me as feminine, they would catcall me,” she told the publication. “Getting closer to me, they would see me as masculine and then become very angry. I was assaulted on a number of occasions.”

The musician also revealed the difficulties she experienced in dealing with her transition in the past: “[They] led me into some self-destructive behaviors, particularly around addiction and substance abuse. In the past, it consistently clouded or interrupted my ability to get into the kind of relationship with myself I needed to.” Added the rocker, “I had to really work on that stuff and get it out of the picture.

After touring and recording with LCD Soundsystem last year, Russom took time off to focus on self-care, ultimately finding comfort in support groups geared toward what she describes as “trans-identified people of color” in New York City.

“I feel a tremendous gratitude 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,” she said. “I think the most helpful thing was talking to people with different transgender experiences, especially those with upbringings, economic circumstances and ethnic backgrounds different than my own. It allowed me to hear all these different perspectives and see the ways in which the trans experience is so varied and so individual.”

Russom will DJ publicly for the first time as a trans woman at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago on Thursday, July 13. LCD Soundsystem is currently on their 2017 world tour across North America which will end on Saturday, December 13, in New York.

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