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Ex-ABSU Guitarist Details Being Fired From Band After Coming Out as Transgender

Former Absu guitarist Melissa Moore said back in 2018 that “the most fucked up transphobia” was to blame for her exit from the band. The comment followed a post in which she publicly came out as a transgender woman, urging her friends and followers to “not vote for Republican scum” in the coming midterm elections, and was only a brief note posted in a Facebook group.

Now, following Friday’s announcement that Absu’s longtime drummer and vocalist Proscriptor McGovern (Russ R. Givens) has re-branded the outfit Proscriptor McGovern’s Apsû along with bassist Ezezu (aka Paul Williamson) — after initially announcing Absu’s allegedly permanent dissolution earlier this year — Moore has taken to social media to provide further details about the treatment she endured from her former bandmates after coming out as trans.

Moore says she was kicked out of the band while on tour in 2017 after revealing to her bandmates that she’s trans, alleging that they immediately began treating her differently. In a screen-shotted text message exchange (embedded below), Givens blames Moore’s “decision” as a threat to the legacy of the band. The full statement reads as follows:

“Proscriptor aka Russ Givens and Ezezu aka Paul Williamson are transphobes who threw me out of Absu like a piece of trash because I’m trans. This is not the whole story, I’m just starting it here right now…it’s really hard and painful for me. I need to find a way to talk about this in more detail “If they just recorded a full new 12 song album that’s none of my business, but it’d be incredibly disappointing to learn that after kicking me out they still used my playing and songs. I hope that’s not the case. “During our final tour in 2017 I told my bandmates that I’m trans. This was the moment everything changed between us. I didn’t ask them to call me a different name or use different pronouns. I just let them know I was trans, and that’s it. They started treating me like a pariah. Like, they didn’t even want to share a hotel room with me. I figured their obvious negativity would resolve itself once the realization had time to settle. Nothing was different about my performance in the band or my quality as a person. “Shortly after that, Russ fired me in a text message (attached). When he references “your decision” he’s talking about my “decision” to transition. “After receiving this text I called Russ back and told him he couldn’t use my playing or my songs on the album we just recorded. His response: ‘Uh, why?’ I said, ‘First tell me why you fired me,’ and his response was ‘You fired yourself…with your decision.’

Moore currently plays in the band Sonja and runs the Toxic Femme trans/non-binary apparel brand.

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