Two months ago, Gavin Russom danced like no one was watching on national TV. As LCD Soundsystem debuted new songs on “Saturday Night Live,” Russom could be spotted just over James Murphy’s shoulder, lost in a groove. The band’s resident synth and electronics wizard, who joined officially during the recording of 2010’s This Is Happening, was wearing a T-shirt nodding at Octavia E. Butler—the sci-fi pioneer whose Patternist series offering an alternate history of humankind had become a recent source of comfort for Russom.
“Butler even uses the word transition to describe this moment in the Patternists’ lives: They have these latent powers and then suddenly something would shift where their process accelerated,” Russom says. “A lot of that felt like what happened to me. 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. Now it's time to become a whole person.”
After touring and recording with LCD Soundsystem last year, Russom took time off to focus on her own self-care, ultimately finding support in New York City’s large and diverse community of trans women. The step-by-step process has led Russom here: “A new photo that reflects how I feel comfortable expressing myself, feminine pronouns, and I'm using my old name.”
Her name carries clout in the electronic music world. Over the last two decades, Russom established herself by creating custom analog synthesizers for Murphy’s DFA Records, as well as via her musical output with Delia Gonzalez and the Crystal Ark. As a solo performer, most often under the moniker Black Meteoric Star, Russom’s heavy acid-house and techno bubbles with the fire and creativity of early Detroit acts.
On July 13th, the eve of LCD’s headlining set at Pitchfork Music Festival, Russom will DJ publicly for the first time as a trans woman during Femme’s Room, a popular monthly party celebrating femme and queer culture. Russom was asked to DJ the event, held at Chicago’s Berlin nightclub, before the organizers knew she was trans. “Having not said anything about my gender identity or transition, it felt like this amazing synchronicity,” she says, “one of those moments where the universe is tapping you on the shoulder, [saying], ‘It's OK, it's real.’” Continue reading...
This has been reposted from Pitchfork.