Cyndi Lauper Turns Raleigh Concert Into Benefit for LGBTQ Community
Add Cyndi Lauper to the list of artists who are raising their voices in protest of North Carolina’s new Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (aka, HB2). But rather than cancelling her upcoming show in the state, a la Bruce Springsteen, the iconic singer will use the event as a benefit.
Signed last month by Gov. Pat McCrory, HB2 dictates that people must use the bathrooms that match the sex indicated on their birth certificates; opponents of the law argue that it’s discriminatory toward the transgender and LGTBQ communities.
"Sadly, once again, the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have been trampled on with the recent passage of HB2 in North Carolina ... The pressure to repeal HB2 is building, and it is beautiful," Lauper says in a statement. "In the dark haze of such oppression, people and companies are stepping up to fight back against this unjust law and ensure that all North Carolinians are treated with dignity and respect, especially the transgender community. I have seen time and time again what can happen when people join together to do what is fair, and the effort to repeal HB2 is the right and fair thing to do."
The artist continues by saying that "the best way I know how to make a difference is what I have strived to do my whole life, and that is show up for my family, friends and fans in the LGBT community." Therefore, Lauper will be donating the proceeds from her June 4 concert at Raleigh, N.C.'s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts to Equality North Carolina, to aid in the organization's efforts to repeal HB2; additionally, Lauper's manager and agent will be donating their commissions from the show.
"I look forward to coming to North Carolina and standing up for equality and fairness," Lauper concludes. "If we truly want an inclusive society, we all have to include ourselves in the effort to make that happen. This is the best way I know how to include myself and urge you to join me in the best way you know how."
Lauper's stop in Raleigh is in support of her upcoming country project, Detour. Set for release on May 6, the disc features 12 covers of classic country songs -- and plenty of country guest stars. Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Jewel and Willie Nelson all make appearances.
“When I was a really young kid, country music was pop music, so this is what we grew up listening to,” Lauper says. “These songs are part of some of my earliest memories.”
In addition to Lauper, Brandi Carlile has decided that she will continue with her planned concerts in the Tar Heel State, to give her fans a chance to "come together, let our voices be heard, not stand down and make a joyful noise in the face of this insult of a law.” Through her Looking Out Foundation, proceeds from the shows will be donated to the ACLU Foundation of North Carolina; she’ll also invite “several grassroots organizations” to be part of the events.
The State of Tennessee is also looking to pass similar legislation. Currently known as HB 2414 and SB 2387, these measures would force transgender students to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identities. Emmylou Harris, Chely Wright, Ty Herndon and others have denounced the proposed laws.
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