Yesterday, we published a piece about musicians and companies withdrawing from North Carolina and Mississippi in protest of recently passed laws that discriminate against the LGBT community, particularly the transgender community. We argued that it did more harm than good for the citizens of those states, and that performing and voicing positive opinions would be more beneficial. A lot has happened in the few hours since that piece was published, but the most important is that Laura Jane Grace, leader of punk band Against Me!, announced she’d be performing in North Carolina as “an act of protest.”
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Grace explained her decision. “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.”
Grace, who is a trans activist and has been extremely visible and vocal about her life experience ever since coming out as trans years ago, also commended Springsteen and other straight artists for speaking out about the bill, but criticized their decision to pull out of shows, arguing that trans people who live in North Carolina don’t have the choice to leave, or to boycott their state. “They live here. They pay taxes. They are prisoners to it.”
She later confirmed that she would be speaking about trans rights on stage. Against Me! are scheduled to perform in Durham on May 15.