"Heels are great for performing because they immediately correct your posture for singing, so you have your power stance down," says Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of punk band Against Me. Grace talks extensively about fashion, performance, and gender with model Joan Smalls in the new episode of MTV's House of Style, all while giving a tour of her closet. "For a lot of transsexuals, it's really important to pass in public," she explains. "And while I understand that, I don't mind being identified as a transsexual when I go out." She also shows Smalls her current clothing "goal" — a pair of black leather short-shorts that she hopes to soon feel comfortable enough in to wear on stage.
"When you're younger and you're trans, it's not like you have a lot of options," says the singer. "Usually you're so nervous when you go into a store, and it's about what's the first thing you can see that you can grab, and put in your cart or put in your bag, and get away with." Grace was so ashamed to be seen shopping for women's wear that she sometimes stole people's clothes. Later in the video, she takes a simple black dress out of her closet. "This is the dress that I wore the first time I went out in public dressed female to meet my psychotherapist," she explains. "Mossimo, in particular, it's at Target — it's one of those things, as I was talking about, it's right there on the rack when you first walk in. Quick swipe. Easy. But I like their stuff, too."