Demi Lovato made her position on North Carolina’s transgender bathroom law clear during a performance at the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night by donning a T-shirt featuring the so-called gender inclusivity symbol.
The 23-year-old pop star performed her hit song “Cool for the Summer” at the annual awards show at theT-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas wearing the shirt, in what was apparently a political statement in opposition of HB 2, the North Carolina law that mandates that transgender individuals use public restrooms that correspond with their biological sex.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 23, 2016
Lovato and her tourmate Nick Jonas cancelled two scheduled concerts in North Carolina last month, joining other artists who have boycotted the state in opposition to the law.
“North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 law is extremely disappointing, and it takes away some of the LGBT community’s most basic rights and protections. But we will not allow this to stop us from continuing to make progress for equality and acceptance,” Lovato and Jonas said in a joint statement made through LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD last month. “We know the cancelation of these shows is disappointing to our fans, but we trust that you will stand united with us against this hateful law.”
In a statement Sunday, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis praised Lovato for her choice of T-shirt, calling the pop star a “fearless ally for LGBT equality and acceptance.”
“By wearing her support for the transgender community, Lovato is raising critical visibility for vulnerable LGBT North Carolinians and sending an invaluable message of support to transgender people everywhere,” Ellis added.
Jonas, who performed his song “Close” alongside pop singer Tove Lo Sunday night, told Ellen DeGeneres last month that cancelling the shows was “incredibly frustrating” for the pair.
“But in our minds it’s the right thing to do,” he added, “and hopefully our fans will stand united with us.”
Lovato was nominated for Top Social Media Artist at the awards show, but lost out to Justin Bieber, who also performed. R&B singer The Weeknd and Adele were the night’s biggest winners.
See the full list of winners from the Billboard Music Awards here, courtesy of Billboard.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum