We all know about North Carolina’s House Bill 2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which prevents trans people from being able to use the correct restroom. Instead, they are forced to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate, which leaves trans people either in a situation where they may very well be arrested, or in potential physical danger.
Laura Jane Grace recently said (accurately, I might add), that “an attack by a transgender person against another person in a bathroom has never been documented. There are more incidents of straight senators having issues in bathrooms than transgender people.”
Speaking of one of the few openly trans people in the music industry, who is a part of the band Against Me! and all of her bad-assery… well, guess what? She’s making her way to North Carolina for a show next month and she is not going to back down even though the state seems to be… against her! (Sorry, couldn’t resist).
Last month, she was excited to announce the news on Twitter: “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.”
Her invitation to the community is real and she is planning “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 goes on to say, “This is all kind of happening in the moment. I’m doing what I can do and I’ll make the most of going to North Carolina.”
There have been several artists including Ringo Star, Bryan Adams, and Bruce Springsteen who have cancelled their shows in North Carolina in protest, but, Grace puts it best when she says, “Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen aren’t transgender. 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.”
But as a trans woman, Grace is proud to stand up against the bill and is looking at her visit as a “form of protest.” She is excited about this because she recognizes that, “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.” As trans folks know, it takes a brave soul to have that kind of visibility and stand up for your community, and personally, I am grateful that there is someone out there with such a strong voice standing up for trans rights.