Against Me! to Play North Carolina in Protest of Anti-LGBTQ Laws
Published Apr 14, 2016Last week, Bruce Springsteen cancelled an upcoming show in North Carolina to show support for the LGBTQ community in the wake of the state's recently passed "Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act." Also known as House Bill 2, the law mandates that transgendered people must use public bathrooms that correspond with the biological sex listed on their birth certificate, and no longer requires businesses to uphold policies against sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination.
And while other artists like Ringo Starr and Bryan Adams have followed the Boss's lead and cancelled shows in states passing discriminatory legislation, Against Me! are taking a different, but equally defiant, stance against House Bill 2.
Frontwoman Laura Jane Grace — who has become a beacon for the LGBTQ community since coming out as a transgender woman in 2012 — has announced that her band will go ahead with playing a previously scheduled show in Charlotte on May 15 as her own form of protest.
"What something like HB 2 does is it makes trans people fearful, and when you're being made a target, the natural inclination is to go into hiding," Grace told the Washington Post. "That's why going there now and being visible is all the more important."
Grace also spoke to Buzzfeed, applauding other artists for taking a stance against the new law.
"Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen aren't transgender," she said. "For them to say, 'I think this bill is messed up and I'm not going to go here and be part of the state,' that seems like the effort of an ally, which is really commendable."
Nevertheless, she reiterated the importance of being present and drawing attention to the anti-LGBTQ legislation. She also highlighted the differences between her band and the megastars that have spoken out so far. "No one would care if we canceled," she said.
Grace is set to release a memoir about her life and experiences with gender dysphoria called Tranny. It's due out on November 15.