Gerard Way was born in Newark, New Jersey to Donald and Donna Lee Way. He was raised in Belleville, New Jersey and first began singing publicly in the fourth grade, when he played the role of Peter Pan in a school musical production. His maternal grandmother, Elena Lee Rush, was a great creative influence who taught him to sing, paint, and perform from a young age. He has referred to her in interviews, quoting that "She has taught me everything I know".
At the age of 15, Gerard was held up at gun point, as stated in a recent Rolling Stone article: "I got held up with a .357 Magnum, [I] had a gun pointed to my head and [was] put on the floor, execution-style." The incident did not, however, impinge on his views of the world. He went on to say that "no matter how ugly the world gets or how stupid it shows me it is, I always have faith."
Way was working for Cartoon Network in New York City during the September 11, 2001 attacks. Seeing the effects of the attacks first hand prompted Way to change his views on life in the following weeks. He told Spin magazine, "I literally said to myself, 'Fuck art. I’ve gotta get out of the basement. I’ve gotta see the world. I’ve gotta make a difference.'" To help deal with the emotional effects the attacks had on him, Way wrote the lyrics to the song 'Skylines and Turnstiles,' which has since been regarded as "the first song by My Chemical Romance".Soon after, the formation of My Chemical Romance began.
In many interviews Way has stated that music turned out to be an effective outlet to deal with his long-time battles against depression, alcoholism and prescription drug use. The use of music as a way to resolve personal battles has caused Way to...