This is Laura Jane Great!
Against Me! is one of the most popular bands in punk rock, and they just so happen to have a transgender woman as their lead singer.
While that fact doesn’t usually factor in when they’re deciding on tour dates, the current anti-transgender attitude in North Carolina forced Laura Jane Grace to actively think about performing in the state.
Most LGBT-friendly musicians have cancelled their NC concerts due to Gov. Pat McCrory‘s bigoted bathroom bill, but Laura actually went the opposite route when deciding what was best for her trans fans.
The 35-year-old singer has been an out transwoman for four years now, so instead of backing out of her show, Against Me! took to the stage in Durham on May 15 where Laura burned her birth certificate onstage!
Now, two weeks later, the trans activist spoke to Vulture about her controversial decision, saying:
“I didn’t even think twice about performing in North Carolina two weeks ago, on Sunday, May 15, in Durham. I’m not a resident of North Carolina, but I do work in the state — my band has played there at least once or twice a year for almost the past 20 years, and I pay taxes in the state. If you’re a trans person living in North Carolina, it’s not like you have the option to be like, You know what? I’m gonna boycott my state — I’m not going to work today. I’m not gonna shop at the store. So my solution was never gonna be, I’m just not gonna play in North Carolina. That’s ridiculous. I love North Carolina. It’s a beautiful state.
Things did feel different before the show, though. There was a charge in the air. I definitely may have been having panic attacks every half-hour. At times, my mind was even jumping to the fear of What if a crazy comes to the show and tries to kill me? What if someone jumps up onstage and does something? What if someone targets the show? What if you’re endangering people? Those thoughts were real to me, and really, really terrifying. I was just hoping that everyone would be safe and nothing would happen because of the show.
Before the show I set my birth certificate on fire in front of everyone. That was to emphasize the illogical nature of current laws. It’s one thing to say, ‘You have to use the bathroom that corresponds to your identification.’ If that’s the case, I should be able to go, ‘Okay, well, tell me how I can change my identification.’ But if you’re then telling me, ‘There’s no way you can change your identification,’ that’s where it’s f*cked up — you’re putting people in an unwinnable situation. In order to start hormone replacement therapy, which I’ve been on for about four years, I had to undergo months of intense psychotherapy and have a licensed therapist write a letter saying I’m not insane. That should trump a birth certificate. That should be proof enough that this is real.
We’re so proud of you, LJG!
Do U think musicians should start returning to North Carolina yet??
[Image via Laura Jane Grace/Instagram.]