Many people were surprised when they heard Laura Jane Grace vow to play in North Carolina after the state passed HB2, the infamous “bathroom bill” prohibiting people from entering restrooms that do not match their birth certificate. Some artists – Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Stephen Schwartz – have decided to avoid the state altogether in boycott of the bill.
Grace, however, saw the show as an opportunity make an impact of her own, while rebelling in true punk style. The frontwoman made the decision to go on with the show and give all proceeds to fight efforts to repeal HB2. Some fellow musicians, such as Brandi Carlile, Cindy Lauper, and Jimmy Buffet, are taking the same course of action. Grace took it a step further when she made the decision to reject the construct of genders by burning her birth certificate in the middle of her show. Check out the video below.
— Kathryn Wymer (@kwymer6) May 16, 2016
The act set both entertainment and social media on fire on well. If Grace wanted to get people talking, she accomplished her mission; her act was one of the highest trending discussions of the week on social media. According to Daze Digital, here’s what she had to say about the viral moment:
“I’m going 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 had more to say about the bill and its repercussions. “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?”
The issue of transgender rights is one the singer-songwriter has been vocal about for obvious reasons – in 2012 Grace came out as transgender. She has since written music and a memoir about the related struggles she has gone through while transitioning, not only to express herself but to shed light on a community of people who are underrepresented in the entertainment industry.