Laura Jane Grace Will Perform in North Carolina 'As a Form of Protest' Against Anti-LGBT Laws

laura-jane-grace-against-me-bonnaroo-2015
Michael Hurcomb/Corbis

Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! performs at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Against Me’s Laura Jane Grace won’t be backing down over North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT laws. There won’t be a boycott of the state. On the contrary, the transgender artist is coming to play as a “form of protest”. 

Grace has confirmed the punk-rockers will visit Durham next month as planned, despite its controversial law which dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use.

Ringo Starr Cancels North Carolina Show to 'Take a Stand' Against Anti-LGBT Law

Several mainstream stars including Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr have canceled shows in North Carolina in protest (Bryan Adams has scrapped a show in Mississippi for its own, aggressive anti-LGBT law), while the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Billy Ray Cyrus, Gregg Allman and Jimmy Buffett have spoken out against discriminatory rules.

Grace, who came out as transgender in 2012 and will release the memoir Tranny later this year, spoke with BuzzFeed News about how her band would handle its scheduled date in North Carolina.

“I’m going to create an event around the show as a form of protest to say that despite whatever stupid laws they enact, trans people are not going to be scared. They are not going to go away,” she said. “I think the real danger with HB2 is that it creates a target on transgender people specifically. When you feel targeted as a trans person, the natural inclination is to go into hiding. But visibility is more important than ever; to go there and have the platform of a stage to stand on and speak your mind and represent yourself.” 

Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace to Release Memoir 'Tranny' Later This Year

She also commended the likes of Springsteen and Adams for being “allies” and noted that North Carolina’s transgender residents are stuck in a difficult situation. “They live here. They pay taxes. They are prisoners to it.”

Grace made her mind up on playing North Carolina weeks ago. In a pair of tweets posted March 31, she wrote: “It was suggested to me in an interview that we might cancel our May 15th show in Durham, NC because of the states HB2 bill. Hell no!. I'm even more eager to play North Carolina 'cause of the bill! Let me know if there's any activist groups that can come table the show.”

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.