Laura Jane Grace:
Laura Jane Grace & Against Me play London Music Hall June 23rd and she’s a hero to so many people in the LGBT community who we’re grieving with in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre this weekend. She’s been speaking about pride and tolerance since she became the first trans-gendered front-woman with a brave Rolling Stone cover story in May of 2012, but she’s also spoken up about what happened this weekend, especially since she grew up in Florida:
“It’s completely f*cked up,” Grace says. “It was the first thing I read this morning and – just terrifying. It was so f*cking alarming between that and the shooting that happened with the singer from The Voice on Friday. Even going to the Bataclan in Paris, that just seeps into reality in this really f*cking alarming way. You’d ideally want to think that venues and shows and clubs, places where people are going to dance and celebrating and enjoying life would be the safe place, but it’s clearly not. To think that whatever crazy f*cking religious wars or whatever wars are happening out there are leaking into those areas, it’s so f*cking terrifying.”
For the singer, the issue pivots around the ease of access to firearms.
“[Guns] were such a part of the culture growing up,” Grace says. “Same people who are telling you, ‘Oh the government is trying to take away our guns,’ are living in extremes where it’s like, ‘Don’t you think this is f*cking a little bit out of control that they have that f*cking access to weapons?’ And for what?”
Grace says that, despite the fear of violence, it doesn’t mean that live shows would be curtailed or canceled. “In a show environment, you’re putting so much trust on everyone – venue, audience, everything,” she says. “But it can’t change. The only alternative to not doing shows, or having events or places like that, the idea of heightened security, of metal detectors or body scans before you can go into a place like that to enjoy yourself just seems so fucking New World Order and crazy to me, too. I don’t know what the solution is, other than gun control, frankly. It’s insane.”
Against Me! performed in Durham North Carolina last month, and Grace burned her birth certificate while onstage to protest the state’s HB2 bill, otherwise known as the “bathroom bill,” which seeks to force transgender people to use the restrooms associated with their gender assigned at birth.
She says the anger and hatred that has been fomenting recently has begun to intensify. “I feel that fever spreading between everything that’s happening with the election and so many other talking points, even with North Carolina’s [bathroom bill]. You really feel that tension and divide. It’s evident where you look at where the election and who the candidates are and how far right or far left it might be.”
“It’s a horrible thought to say you should react differently – to be less out there, to be less visible, to have less pride, literally. But at the same time, be safe,” Grace urges. “I don’t know what fucking advice to give to people in these types of situations. Trying to put myself in those situations, in a nightclub or in a show space or a signing to have something like that happen, there’s nothing you can tell someone other than fucking survive.”
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/laura-jane-grace-talks-orlando-shooting-need-for-more-gun-control-20160612#ixzz4BUggiDKq
Just this weekend at Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, Pearl Jam’s saturday night set was used as a platform to speak about that same bathroom bill, on the night that would turn into a disaster in Orlando. From Rolling Stone:
Vedder called out by name the bill’s sponsor, Representative Susan Lynn, who has been pushing for the requirement that students in public school grades K-12 and higher education institutions use the bathroom corresponding with their sex at birth, The Tennessean reports.
“Susan Lynn — she’s promised to bring it back when the session resumes in the fall,” Vedder said, referring to Lynn’s temporary withdrawal of the bill this past April in the face of legal obstacles.
“Dear Susan: Susan there’s a timeline right? This is the present. You’re all in the present. I can see you’re in present. I am in the present. This is past. And that’s the future is this way. You don’t want to preclude us from getting into the future. I want you to be on the right side of the future.
“Because this generation, this generation, and the ones to come they’re more tolerant, they’re more understanding, they’re more empathetic of others. And Susan you can either be part of history or you can be history. These people want you to make the right decision, am I correct?
“Susan’s made a promise to do this, we want to tell Susan: Susan, look, it’s OK in this case to break your promise. You’d be very proud, I believe.” Watch the video HERE
The song Make It Stop (September’s Children)
Have a listen to the lyrics:
Bang, bang go the coffin nails, like a breath exhaled,
Then gone forever.
It seems like just yesterday, how did I miss the red flags raised?
Think back to the days we laughed.
We braved these bitter storms together.
Brought to his knees he cried,
But on his feet he died.
What God would damn a heart?
And what God drove us apart?
What God could?
Make it stop.
Let this end.
Eighteen years pushed to the ledge.
It’s come to this,
A weightless step.
On the way down singing,