It seems that just about nobody in music is behind North Carolina’s House Bill 2, the discriminatory bathroom bill that forces trans people to use the bathrooms corresponding to the genders listen on their birth certificates. And people in music are finding different ways to protest it, whether it be canceling shows or issuing statements. But rather than canceling her planned show in Durham, Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, who is trans, recently said that she’s play the show as “a form of protest.” She wasn’t kidding. Last night, the band started their show with Laura Jane Grace burning her birth certificate.
As The Washington Post reports, Grace told the sold-out Motorco Music Hall crowd, “The way you affect change is by empowering the grassroots movement, by empowering the people.”
Before the show, she said that she supported Bruce Springsteen canceling his own show but also explained why she played hers: “Bruce Springsteen pulling out of a concert has a noticeable financial effect. That’s lost revenue for the city. No one will notice that much if I cancel the show; it only hurts the fans and the people who have already bought tickets, and the people who could possibly be educated in a situation like that.”
She also pointed out that the law doesn’t just involve bathroom rights: “You know, there’s been a lot of focus on just the bathroom part of HB2, but one of the other huge parts is that it takes away a transgender person’s right to sue for discrimination on the state level and that is huge. I mean, if someone else has the right to sue for discrimination and I don’t, how that is constitutional?”
Here’s the video of her burning the certificate:
— Kathryn (@kwymer6) May 16, 2016
North Carolina is currently in the midst of a legal battle with the Department Of Justice, which claims that H.B. 2 violates civil rights law.