Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace, who publicly came out as transgender in 2012, sent a powerful message to transphobic legislators this weekend.
While performing in Durham, North Carolina on Sunday, Grace protested the state’s HB2 bill, which forces people to use the bathroom that matches the gender they were assigned at birth. Grace burned her birth certificate onstage while saying, “Goodbye, gender!”
On Instagram, Grace confirmed that it was her actual birth certificate and added, "BURN GENDER BURN! GENDER INFERNO!!!!"
Several musicians, including Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam, have canceled shows in North Carolina as a way to publicly protest the bill. Rolling Stone writes that Grace had previously told fans she would not do the same, tweeting, “It was suggested to me in an interview that we might cancel our May 15th show in Durham, NC because of the states HB2 bill. 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.”
Grace explained her decision to the Washington Post before the concert: “Bruce Springsteen pulling out of a concert has a noticeable financial effect. That’s lost revenue for the city. No one will notice that much if I cancel the show; it only hurts the fans and the people who have already bought tickets, and the people who could possibly be educated in a situation like that.”
At the show, Grace urged fans to fight against the bill, saying, “The way you affect change is by empowering the grassroots movement.”
In 2014, Grace released an album documenting her transition called Transgender Dysphoria Blues. She has also advocated for trans rights outside of her music, including speaking out against HB2. She previously told BuzzFeed, “I think the real danger with HB2 is that it creates a target on transgender people specifically. 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.”
Watch Grace burn her birth certificate in this video below:
Top photo: Instagram/Laura Jane Grace
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