Lewis Walsh, drummer for WA alt rock trio The Love Junkies has bravely come out as transgender. The 24-year old Walsh wrote a candid and emotional piece, published via Tone Deaf earlier today, detailing his struggle with concealing, and coming to terms with, his trans identity.
In the article Walsh begins by addressing fans who have seen The Love Junkies play in the last six months and probably noticed the drummer wearing make-up and a dress. “That’s because I’m transgender,” said Walsh. “And I’ve recently come out.”
Walsh revealed his earliest exploration with gender as stealing a pair of his mum’s heels at age four or five and modifying his clothes to achieve “some kind of ‘girly’ appearance” after watching the beautiful woman who reveals the letters on Wheel Of Fortune.
As Walsh progressed through childhood, his desire, and shame, to identify as female grew in secret. Sadly, by age 12 Walsh had penned his first suicide letter and “planned out how to do it.” “A theme,” as he wrote, “that continued on and off until hopefully last year.”
In 2013 Walsh broke with his longterm girlfriend and sold their home. Left with nothing Walsh said he was “suicidal for what felt like the millionth time in my life.” Wanting a change in his life, Walsh decided to confide in his bandmates, brother, and best friend, who, to their credit, all accepted Walsh for his true self.
“They all reacted amazingly well,” Walsh stated. “Mitch [Mcdonald, The Love Junkies’ singer] told me to come to a jam in a dress and we’d get drunk and make a night of it. Robbie [Rumble, The Love Junkies’ bassist] said “so your [sic] like that Laura Jane Grace [from Against Me!] chick”. Walsh added that “gigs have become quite a safe place for me to dress up,” although he does often face tiresome questions from punters.
Concerning questions of “how do you identify your gender?” and “do you plan to transition?”, Walsh said he is unsure on both fronts. The drummer notes he still maintains “traditionally masculine personality traits” like playing the drums aggressively and a love for watching sports.
On the other hand, Walsh says he “can’t deny” that he wishes he were born female, but is fearful of a surgical transition that would require his gentiles to be sliced, being on hormone medication for life, come at great financial cost, and could jeopardise his current relationship.
Walsh wrote that he still carries a “change of boy clothes and makeup remover” whenever in leaves the house incase he finds himself in a situation where wearing conventionally thought of woman’s clothing is too awkward, even for himself.
Yet the young Walsh remains hopeful that “one day this wont be the case” and we’ll live in a society where “it will be the norm to see a guy in a dress just as it is normal to see a woman in cargo pants.” We hope that for ya as well Walshy. We admire you greatly.
You can read Walsh’s full article on Tone Deaf.
Photo: The Love Junkies – Brisbane, Black Bear Lodge 12/06/14
images by Rebecca Reid