Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace became one of the loudest musical protestors of North Carolina's HB2 bill on Sunday, burning her birth certificate onstage. "Goodbye gender!" She declared onstage in Durham.
The controversial House Bill 2 forces transgender people to use restrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates. It is a particularly close issue for Grace who announced she was transgender in 2012.
Early this year, Grace was encouraged to cancel the Durham show, but she refused by tweeting: "Hell no! ... I'm even more eager to play North Carolina 'cause of the bill! Let me know if there's any activist groups that can come table the show." That was after a slew of music heavyweights like Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr and Bruce Springsteen canceled concerts in North Carolina in protest of House Bill 2.
"I think the real danger with HB2 is that it creates a target on transgender people specifically," Grace told Buzzfeed in April. "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."
More trans-rights activists are stepping out in North Carolina. Moogfest, an electronic-experimental music fest in Durham this weekend, will feature a keynote address from Sirius Satellie Radio co-founder Martine Rothblatt, a transgender woman. "I would rather be part of a protest festival than basically just be a silent voice walking away from it," she told The New York Times.Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace talks about playing their North Carolina show as a "protest" against the state's anti-LGBT law. Watch here.