laura jane grace pens heartfelt essay on the decision to play in north carolina

The Against Me! front woman and vocal transgender advocate explains why the band kept its tour date in the home of the anti-trans Bathroom Bill.

by Jack Sunnucks
26 May 2016, 4:00pm

Image via Instagram

Against Me! front woman Laura Jane Grace, who is transgender, has written an emotional essay about the band's decision to play in her home state of North Carolina after the introduction of the discriminatory Bathroom Bill. "I didn't even think twice [about the decision]," she writes on Vulture, continuing that transgender citizens of North Carolina can't choose not to engage with their state, their home: "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.'"

During the show, Grace burned her birth certificate live on stage in a protest against the draconian law. She captioned the picture of her doing said burning with "BURN GENDER BURN!! GENDER INFERNO!!" which is pretty genius.

The singer's lyrics have long dealt with her gender dysphoria, both implicitly and explicitly, through songs like "The Ocean" and "Searching for a Former Clarity." She hopes that by performing in her home state, she can give a little bit of hope and visibility to young people dealing with gender issues. "At that show in particular, there were a lot of younger kids — really young kids who are struggling with gender identity and struggling with that kind of discrimination. When I came out, I had no community. I didn't know any trans people. So back then, to go on tour and immediately have people who would wait around after shows to say hey, to say they were there if I needed a friend — that meant the world to me."


Text Jack Sunnucks

north carolina
Laura Jane Grace
Against Me!
bathroom bill