WATCH: Trans Punk Rocker Burns Birth Certificate Onstage to Protest North Carolina Bathroom Law


Laura Jane Grace, transgender lead singer of punk rock bank Against Me!, set fire to her birth certificate during a concert Sunday at the Motorco Music Hall in Durham, North Carolina to protest the state’s recent passage of its so-called transgender “bathroom” law.

Grace’s on-stage spectacle and Against Me!’s performance was in protest of North Carolina’s HB2, which mandates that men and women use the public restroom in accordance to the sex assigned to them at birth.

“The way you affect change is by empowering the grassroots movement” is “by empowering the people,” Grace, who came out as transgender in 2012, shouted at the crowd.

Against Me! previously announced the decision to turn their May 15 concert in North Carolina into a protest performance last month.

Grace reaffirmed the band’s decision to play North Carolina in an interview with Buzzfeed.

“I think the real danger with HB2 is that it creates a target on transgender people specifically,” Grace told the website. “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.”

As Breitbart News previously reported, Against Me! plan to donate the proceeds from their Sunday show toward efforts to repeal HB2.

The band’s sold-out show in North Carolina came on the heels of a high stakes legal battle between the state’s governor and the Obama Department of Justice.

After the March 23rd passage of HB2, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory sued the U.S. Justice Department in defense of the law, asking the federal courts to decide its fate.

The Justice Department countered and filed its own lawsuit on the grounds that the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act is in violation of federal civil rights laws.

Since its passage, North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act has caused several progressive entertainers and businesses to boycott that state in protest of the legislation.

“You know, there’s been a lot of focus on just the bathroom part of HB2, but 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,” Grace told The Washington Post, in reference to one of the provisions in the law. “I mean, if someone else has the right to sue for discrimination and I don’t, how that is constitutional?”

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson


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