North Carolina has come under fire for its recently-passed Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, otherwise known as HB2 or the so-called “bathroom law.” The legislation requires North Carolinians to use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth, which advocacy groups have protested as an attack on LGBT rights. Various members of the entertainment industry have joined the protests, including Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, who recently canceled concerts in North Carolina, and porn company xHamster, which shamed some of its hypocritical patrons.
There is one musical act that intends to play in North Carolina as scheduled, though. Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace is refusing to stay out of North Carolina despite the law, announcing plans to play in Durham next month but with a protest in tow. In a BuzzFeed interview, Grace says the band will perform on May 15, but she plans to work with local activists 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.” Grace also put out a call on Twitter for activist groups to help her “table the show.”
Grace notes that HB2 targets “transgender people specifically,” calling the law’s focus on bathrooms “ridiculous.” But while she acknowledges the efforts of allies like Springsteen and Bryan Adams, she says now’s not the time for trans people to go into hiding: “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.” She’s also showing solidarity with the trans people who do live in North Carolina and don’t have the option to merely opt out of being in the state: “They live here. They pay taxes. They are prisoners to it.”