The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Ani DiFranco Cancels N.C. Show in Protest of Anti-LGBT Law

ani difranco

Ani DiFranco is the latest musician to cancel an upcoming show in North Carolina in protest of the state's anti-LGBT law.

DiFranco was scheduled to headline Durham's Festival for the Eno on July 4, but today she announced that she will not be performing, in protest of House Bill 2.

"Today I stand arm in arm with my community, friends, family and fellow citizens in condemning this unjust law," the Grammy-winning singer said in a statement today.

House Bill 2, which was introduced, passed by the full general assembly, and signed into law all on March 23, struck down LGBT-inclusive municipal antidiscrimination ordinances statewide and prohibits cities from adopting any new ones. It also expressly requires transgender people to use public bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match their gender identity.

The folk singer, who has previously stated that she identifies as queer, said she was excited to perform in Durham, but cannot travel to the Tar Heel State "in good conscience." 

"When one of us is oppressed, all of us are oppressed, and only through the strength of our collective action will change occur," said DiFranco. "I wish to add my voice through this small action to the chorus of all of those working to make our world a more loving and accepting place."

She addressed her fans in the state directly, suggesting that they attend the festival despite her cancellation. "To those who live in North Carolina, and do not have the tool of staying away to voice your dissent, please take a moment to look at the Festival for the Eno." 

She closed her statement with a call to action: "And don’t forget to vote!" 

On Wednesday, Cyndi Lauper announced she would be playing a scheduled show in North Carolina, but all the proceeds would be donated to a local LGBT organization.

Eariler the same day, Ringo Starr announced the cancellation of his June 18 show in protest of HB 2. In a press release, Starr says that he "stands with those fighting against the bigotry of HB 2." He apologized to his fans, saying, "I'm sorry to dissapoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love."

On Friday, Bruce Springsteen announced he was canceling a show in Greensboro because of his opposition to HB 2. "Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them," he said in a statement.

Comedian Joel McHale donated all of the profits from his recent performance in Durham to the LGBTQ Center of Durham to protest HB 2. 

DiFranco joins a growing list of entertainers and businesses canceling events and expansions in the state. 

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