Boycotting concerts in North Carolina over HB2 is a somewhat murky issue in that it can deprive the people it’s trying to fight for of their own empowerment, but also can have a swaying impact on the boycottee’s economy. As such, Beyoncé’s performance in Raleigh, NC (which happened despite the boycott, but almost didn’t happen because of lightning, last night), may have pleased the many fans in attendance while disappointing some who would have hoped she’d take a more staunch stance, especially when articles wondering if Beyoncé would be the next star to boycott (following Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr, Bruce Springsteen) ran in the likes of Vulture.
Of course, protest concerts — like that planned by Against Me!’s Lara Jane Grace — are another, perhaps even more powerful option. Beyoncé didn’t exactly do one of those, either, but she did post a statement yesterday denouncing the bill on her website. Regardless of whether it’s wholly sincere or conveniently timed or both, the breadth of Beyoncé’s voice and the lengths to which anything she posts online are carried are certainly helpful in continuing to raise awareness about the state’s insidious new legislation.
“North Carolina has been drawing the attention of the masses for new legislation that blocks cities and local governments from passing anti-discrimination measures that could protect gay and transgender people,” begins the post. “As The Formation World Tour makes its stop in the Tar Heel state in the midst of such a controversial time, we think it is important for us to bring attention to those who are committed to being good and carrying on the message of equality in this core of controversy.”
Her site then gives a rundown of how House Bill 2 or the “Bathroom Bill” (in that, among other things, it prevents transgender people from using the bathrooms of their identified gender) came to be, as a nullifying reactionary measure against Charlotte’s anti-discrimination legislation. The rest of the article is devoted to advocating for people to donate to Equality NC:
Among the many organizations doing the good work to get this bill overturned, there is Equality NC, a local organization dedicated to securing equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) North Carolinians.
Speaking to the Charlotte Observer, Chris Sgro, executive director of the charity, said:
HB2 affects everyday North Carolinians and is an issue that will not go away. There is only one solution. We must fully repeal HB2. Beyoncé bringing attention to the fight for equality is a good step in that direction.