The Axis of Awesome lead singer Jordan Raskopoulos has come out as a transgender woman in a video that was published on the band’s YouTube channel.
"No shit, I'm a girl," Raskopoulos says in the light-hearted but moving video titled What happened to Jordan's beard? Gender dysphoria, or gender identity disorder, is something the 34-year-old comedian has been grappling with her entire life.
"[It's] something that I can remember dealing with ever since I was a kid," she says. "I learned early on to be ashamed of it and to keep it a secret and I did a really good job of hiding it from everybody, including myself in a lot of ways."
While on tour in the U.K. in 2014 Raskopoulos decided she couldn't keep living the lie anymore and began coming out to friends and family.
Understandable, the life-changing event led Raskopoulos to question her place in entertainment and her role as the lead singer in her band.
But other trans entertainers like Laura Jane Grace from Against Me! led Raskopoulos to continue doing what she loves.
"Being trans doesn't mean you have to give up on your life, or your friends, or your family, or your career, or your achievements. I'm going to continue doing exactly what I was doing before and I'm going to be f***ing awesome," she says in the video.
Undoubtedly this is a positive message for the Australian transgender community, a community that has an attempted suicide rate of 45 per cent. A community in which 90 per cent of people have faced abuse.
According to the LGBTI Health Alliance, at least 36.2 per cent of trans Australians "met the criteria for experiencing a major depressive episode in 2005", compared with just 6.8 per cent of the general population.
Raskopoulos is at least raising awareness about trans people in Australia and as a result of the video, fans outside of the trans community have shared their support.
"It's great that you found the courage to stand up and just be yourself," Kai commented.
"It doesn't really make a difference to me. Your still the same person with the same ideas [sic], your just more comfortable with yourself and that's good [sic]! Keep it rocking guys."
"I kind of hate to be this superficial, but Jordan you look beautiful," says Casey Harrigan. "Damn, girl! I am going to be copying your whole outfit, like immediately. Those earrings are so rad."
Members of the trans community have also been commenting on the video to show their support and thank the comedian for coming out.
"So proud of you! As a trans guy, I can understand how hard it is to be true to yourself under the pressure of everyone around you," said Jesse. "You're genuine, valid and deserve to be loved for all that you are. I can't wait to see the awesome stuff you come up with in the future."
Another person commented about their own experience being trans, which resulted in strangers sharing comments of support.
"Great to hear it, Jordan. I've been struggling with that exact same realization myself lately, and while I'm still not sure how to approach it to people in real life, at the very least having an answer — and people like you to show me it can work well — make me confident in moving forward with it," said Cleretic.
So much good is coming out of Raskopoulos' video, let's hope that the good vibes and positivity has a greater impact on the acceptance and understanding of the community as a whole.
Video: The Axis of Awesome/YouTube
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