Jordan Raskopolous, lead singer of Australian comedy band Axis of Awesome, has come out as transgender in a new video titled "What's Happened to Jordan's Beard?"
Axis of Awesome, a comedy trio featuring Raskopoulos, Lee Naimo, and Benny Davis, are best known for their viral "Four Chords" song and have toured internationally.
Raskopoulos told BuzzFeed News she hopes her story can help other transgender people.
"When I was growing up there was no one like me in the media that I could look up to," she said. "I want to be, for others, the person that I needed when I was young."
The video starts by asking where Raskopoulos's beard went, and looking at how fans reacted when she first shaved it off.
“The truth of the matter is that there is a very good reason I got rid of my beard… that reason is that I am transgender."
“Gender dysphoria is something I can remember dealing with ever since I was a kid, but I learned early on to be ashamed of it, and keep it a secret," Raskopoulos said.
While on tour in the UK in 2014, Raskopoulos was sitting in a hotel room when she realised she had to transition.
“If I wanted a shot at a happy life and a happy future, than I needed to transition.”
Since she started transitioning in March 2015, Jordan says there’s been a lot of physical and emotional changes – but one really big one:
She initially thought she might have to give up performing. However, after finding inspiration in the stories of other prominent trans women in entertainment – including film director Lana Wachowski and Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace – Raskopoulos decided to keep going full steam ahead with her Axis of Awesome career.
"Being trans does not mean you have to give up on your life, your friends, your family, your career, or your achievements."
Raskopoulos told BuzzFeed News she has "no doubt" that Axis of Awesome fans will accept her.
"They're amazing and I'm overjoyed with the support I've received since releasing the video," she said.
"But you can't release anything on the internet without risking the attention of a few trolls and it was important for me to get a word in before the haters."
Raskopoulos said the public coming out is, in many ways, "a relief" – and she's excited to get back into doing what she loves most.
Oh – and one other thing.
Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Lane Sainty at email@example.com.
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