“We are working with the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina. The show is taking a political turn because of everything that’s going on in the state. They have decided to come and speak to the audience before tonight’s show and the girls are going to be taking a photo in front of our restrooms.” said Slane.
Battle of the Seasons saw their decision not to boycott performances in the state like artists Bruce Springsteen, Maroon 5 and Cirque du Soleil have as one that empowers North Carolina’s queer community.
“We just wanted to come here and we wanted to make a statement, and we know that there are a lot of young trans people in our audience, a lot of people questioning their gender identity and a lot of queer people who are here to celebrate,” Performer Courtney Act said.
Carrboro resident Sam Peterson attended the Durham show and said the impact of HB2 played major role in the show.
“There was a very long, passionate speech about LGBT rights and transgender rights and the marginalization of an already marginalized population,” Peterson said. “They also had Equality North Carolina and HRC... that organization came up and spoke and were handing out postcards to sign to send to McCrory.”
Prior to the May 18 Charlotte show, the RuPaul BOTS Instagram posted a statement letting fans know gender-neutral restrooms would be available for the night.
“To the transgender and gender diverse people in our audience and of North Carolina, we love you, we are you, we support you and we stand with you,” the statement said.
A similar statement was posted to Act’s Instagram before the Durham show – she recruited O’Hara to film her dancing through different gendered restrooms backstage while playing Michelle Williams’ gospel anthem “Say Yes.”
Act said moving to America from Australia was a major inspiration for her political and social work.
“Just in the last few years of living in America, I’ve become so fascinated by the black civil rights movement and the women’s liberation movement and the queer movement and the trans movement,” she said.
“It’s just so cool because living here in the US, it feels like this is where change happens and I’m living in the center of it all.”