Why Laura Jane Grace Is The Biggest Bad Ass In Rock and Roll
  • THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2016

  • Posted by: Don Saas

Let's be honest. If you're not a straight, white, cisgendered male, the American South is a shithole place to live. You've got male lawmakers trying to find new ways to subvert Roe v. Wade every day and find new ways to define what women can and can't do with their bodies. You've got white legislators and white cops finding new ways to excuse the unprovoked murder of people of color. And you have heterosexual, cisgendered lawmakers persecuting the LGBT community at every turn.

That third sort of bigotry is making the most waves in the music world at the moment after North Carolina passed a law forbidding transgender folks from using bathrooms that matched their gender identity and it also struck down employee protections for LGBT works against discrimination from their bosses. Basically, a lot of this can be easily boiled down to "fuck North Carolina and anyone who voted for the legislators who enacted HB2" and a host of musicians have taken a stand against the bill.

Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and many others have decided to cancel shows in North Carolina in protest of the bill. Boycotting performances in an entire state is a big move for musicians whose concerts are huge money generators. Back in the 80s, at the height of public outrage about South Africa's apartheid policies, socially conscious artists would boycott performances in South Africa in solidarity with the disenfranchised, oppressed black South African population, and it's reassuring to see artists today be willing to make similar stands against American states that are oppressing LGBT people.



However, one notable artist that's refusing to boycott North Carolina is transgender Against Me! frontwoman, Laura Jane Grace. Laura Jane Grace is one of the most visible members of the trans community in the contemporary music scene, and while it's absolutely appropriate for cisgendered, heterosexual allies of the LGBT community to boycott shows in North Carolina, Laura Jane Grace deciding to play is an act of radical, political bravery, proving that visibility for trans artists is a necessary sign of support for any trans folks living in North Carolina who don't have the economic privilege to leave their state.

Laura Jane Grace did a long interview about why she and her bandmates are deciding to play the show (which you can read here). Grace wants the performance to be a stand against the oppressive, cisheteronormative regime of NC while also giving activists a chance to organize and educate anyone who attends the show and Grace will be imploring fans to use gender-neutral bathrooms during the show as a show of solidarity with any trans attendees at the concert.

Laura Jane Grace is one of the biggest bad asses in rock & roll, and we salute her.

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