Why We Need to Talk About What is Going on in North Carolina

Artists Are Adopting Different Attitudes Towards the New Anti-LGBT Law

April 20th, 2016

Tomorrow, the 20th, in Raleigh, North Carolina, it a Pearl Jam concert was supposed to happen. Yesterday morning, the band announced on its Twitter that they were cancelling the event due to the HB2 law.

Pearl Jam posted a handwritten letter in their official Twitter account, saying that “The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens”. The HB2, also named the Public Facilities Privacy Security Act, stipulated that transgender people must use bathrooms and locker rooms according to the “biological sex” listed on their birth certificate, despite how they identify.

In a protest over the same law, a lot of artists are reacting in the same way as Pearl Jam. Last week, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and even Cirque du Soleil pulled out shows in North Carolina, in protest over the discriminatory law. In a similar act, Bryan Adams canceled a concert in Biloxi, Mississippi, because of the law HB1513. This one has different terms from the HB2, but it that also discriminates the LGBT community, once it allows religious groups and private business to refuse services to gay people.

Anyhow, this type of boycotts are not the only way artists are reacting to the new anti-LGBT laws. Artists like Mumford and Sons and Duran Duran went through with their shows, and donated all their profits to LGBTQ advocacy groups. The initiative emerged from a North-Carolina couple, on the form of a simple website: ( “North Carolina Needs You”.

As its explained in the website: “North Carolina Needs You is here to encourage artists of all kinds, from musicians and comedians to dance troupes and festival organizers, to keep their dates in North Carolina—and even to schedule new ones—in order to generate the social and financial capital necessary to win in November and beyond.” So, this is a platform that encourage artists to use their shows as a way to raise money and awareness for these issues, and also help to link them with the organizations.

Cindy Lauper is another artist who is standing up for equality and donating all her commissions from her show on June 4th to one of the associations.

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