Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace to Play North Carolina Show to Protest Transgender Bathroom Bill
To protest or not to protest? Both actions can make a statement, and for Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, she's decided to go ahead with a concert in Durham, N.C. even though there are other artists boycotting the state in the wake of the new HB2 bill, otherwise known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.
For those unaware, the bill is seeking to make transgender people use the restroom that is gender noted on their birth certificate, and those who have not taken surgical or legal steps to change the gender notation have no current right under state law to use public restrooms of the gender with which they identify.
Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr are among the first acts to boycott the state over the law, while there has been discussion of the NBA All-Star Game being moved out of Charlotte as well. However, Grace, who identifies as a transgender female, has decided more good would be done by playing her band's scheduled date in Durham and shining a spotlight on the topic.
Speaking with Buzzfeed, Grace explained, “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.”
During a separate interview with Newsweek, the musician recalled one of the first instances of her transgender status leading to a bathroom confrontation. “A guy jumped out in front of me and blocked me from entering the restroom. He stood there with my daughter on the other side of him inside the bathroom," says Grace. "Seeing a way bigger person than me obviously willing to enact violence [was frightening]."
In a series of tweets, Grace revealed her stance on playing the show:
The band is set to play on May 15 in Durham as their final May date, with a pair of shows booked in June as well. See Against Me!'s current tour schedule here.