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 said 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." 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."
Gerard Way attended Belleville High School until he graduated in 1995. Deciding to pursue a career in the comic-book industry, he attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1999.
He's currently 31.