[Image credit: Steve Thrasher]

PVRIS vocalist Lynn Gunn presented the Icon award to Laura Jane Grace, founder of strident punk band Against Me!, at the APMAs.

Read more: And the 2017 APMAs winners are…

As the founder of Against Me! (along with guitarist James Bowman), Grace brought a great sense of raucous character and excitement to America’s early-2000s punk underground with such acclaimed works as Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose and Searching For A Former Clarity. Five years ago, Grace came out as a transgender woman, backing up her conviction and determination with the release of Transgender Dysphoria Blues, the first release on her owned-and-operated Total Treble imprint. That attitude and vision was further manifested on that album’s follow-up, 2016’s Shape Shift With Me.

In this year’s APMAs issue, Grace told AP that “I look at it as a collective effort. When you’re trans and you’re still hidden about that, when you see other trans people, you feel like the universe is putting that for you to help push you on your way.” Yet as the current social climate has been more receptive and responsive to the LGBTQ community, Grace has been celebrated for giving this culture a forward-facing figurehead, defining and embracing gender/social politics to a generation that’s never been more aware and accepting. The indisputable fact that her uncompromising music prefers positive affirmation to market share cements Grace’s stature as a bona fide icon.

“Four years ago, I was here at the APMAs giving this exact same award to my hero Joan Jett. This is both surreal and incredible,” reflected Grace.

Grace also spoke about the award at the LGBTQ in Music Panel, “I did not get involved into punk rock for terms like icon … I'd like it to be reflective of an iconic scene.” said Grace.

Check out some tweets reacting to her truly amazing speech!

Watch Against Me!'s amazing performance below!

Catch Against Me! on tour this fall:

09/02 – Winnipeg, MB @ Garrick Theatre
09/03 – Saskatoon, SK @ Louis’ Pub
09/05 – Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
09/06 – Calgary, AB @ Marquee Room
09/08 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
09/09 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market
09/10 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
09/12 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
09/12 – San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
09/12 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
09/15 – Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
09/15 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory-North Park
09/19 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
09/21 – El Paso, TX @ Tricky Falls
09/22 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
09/23 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
09/24 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
09/26 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
09/27 – St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
09/30 – Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
10/01 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
10/03 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
10/04 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
10/05 – Buffalo, NY @ The Waiting Room
10/06 – Toronto, ON @ The Phoenix
10/07 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
10/08 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre
10/10 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Lounge
10/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
10/13 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
10/14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
10/15 – Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony
10/17 – Norfolk, VA @ Norva Theater
10/18 – Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre
10/20 – Nashville, TN @ The Cannery Ballroom
10/21 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
10/22 – Atlanta, GA @ CenterStage
10/24 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room
10/28 – Gainesville, FL – The Fest @ Bo Diddley Plaza

Read more: Take a look at the rest of our 2017 APMAs coverage