Aussie musical-comedy trio The Axis of Awesome may be best known for highlighting the fact that all pop songs use the same four-chord progression. But now, lead singer Jordan Raskopoulos has a new claim to fame: outspoken transgender advocate.
Yesterday, Raskopoulos released a YouTube video, ostensibly to address the issue of facial hair. In it, the vocalist/comedian answers the titular question—”What’s Happened To Jordan’s Beard?”—with a straightforward and moving response: she’s a woman.
Though Raskopoulos has known for many years that she identified as a woman, she only decided to come out at the end of 2014 while on tour. “Sitting by myself in a hotel room, I decided that if I wanted a shot at a happy life and a happy future, then I needed to transition,” she explains in the video.
After coming out to her family, friends, and bandmates, Raskopoulos started her transition a year ago in March 2015. In the video, she discusses the fact that she considered switching careers, fearing that her transition and being a performer were “mutually exclusive.” But once she began to engage with the work of fellow trans artists, like The Matrix director Lana Wachowski and Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace, she realized she could still have a career while living her true gender.
“I’m gonna carry on doing what I love,” said Raskopoulos in the video. “Because being trans does not mean you need to give up on your life, or your friends, or your family, or your career, or your achievements. I am going to continue doing exactly what I was doing before, and I’m going to be fucking awesome.”
Raskopoulos’s words are reflected in her actions. Though last year was a quiet one for The Axis of Awesome on account of Raskopoulos’s transition, the band’s latest album Viva La Vida Loca Las Vegas was released today. And in addition to her work with the band, Raskopoulos spent much of the past year blogging about trans issues under the pseudonym Nicola Fierce. Her articles cover everything from a Trans 101 guide to analyses of I Am Cait and Transparent. Far from slowing down, Raskopoulos seems to have become even more prolific since her transition.
And as for the fans and the haters? Raskopoulos welcomes warm and supportive messages, but she has one request: “Don’t be a dickhead.”
Thankfully, most people have taken that request to heart, tweeting kind and congratulatory words since the news broke.
I'm honoured to know @JordanRasko. She deserves all the happiness in the world!
— Tommy Murphy (@mrtommymurphy) February 15, 2016
— Henry (@st_henrii) February 15, 2016
But perhaps the most heartwarming tweet came from Laura Jane Grace, who Raskopoulos cited as one of her inspirations.
— Laura Jane Grace (@LauraJaneGrace) February 15, 2016
The video linked in Grace’s tweet is, of course, The Axis of Awesome’s cover of Grace’s own “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.”
Screengrab via The Axis of Awesome/YouTube