Note: I wanted to make this into a video, but at the moment I am so busy with other things that it’s easier to write this and post it. Also: North Carolina is not the only state that passed a law about washrooms. Mississippi passed a similar law right around the same time.
I agree with Ringo’s decision to cancel the concert in North Carolina. I have a lot of friends who are transgender and this is one of the many issues that affect them. Trans people just want to go to their preferred washroom in peace. A trans person has never been arrested for harassing someone in a washroom. Here’s an interesting article on that. And here’s another article.
I can understand fans in North Carolina’s disappointment with this decision. They were looking forward to seeing Ringo or Bruce Springsteen. Some of them (including some from out of state) I imagine have made travel plans. People are individuals and not everyone in North Carolina is prejudiced against trans people. Mumford and Sons and Cyndi Lauper took an interesting approach with donating all the profits from their concerts in North Carolina to an LGBT charity and I respect their decision.
But there are more important things than concerts. Human rights are more important than a concert. I respect Ringo Starr’s and Bruce Springsteen’s decisions and I have a lot more respect for them since their announcements that they would cancel their concerts.
I am supportive of boycotts of destinations that are not respectful of human rights. Remember South Africa during apartheid? Older fans of my blog will definitely remember it. In the 80s there was a song by Artists United Against Apartheid called “Sun City”. Even though Sol Kerzner, the owner of Sun City offered lots of money for bands to play at his resort, many bands said no. Principles and values were more important than money. Many musicians did not want to support the apartheid South African government by spending money there, you know VAT on purchased goods and stuff. Other bands, like Queen, played there anyway because they just wanted to make the fans happy, they didn’t think music was political. Similarly, today there are musicians like Roger Waters boycotting Israel. Musicians like Heart, Cheap Trick, and Willie Nelson cancelled their concerts at Sea World due to a documentary called Blackfish (which I highly recommend you watch) that exposed the animal cruelty and the dangerous conditions for the employees.
I have talked about this before on this blog and I’ll say it again, I am bisexual. There are still people who are prejudiced against people who are attracted to people of the same sex. There are laws in many countries that do not respect the existence of LGBT people.
I love to travel. I love to meet people of all walks of life and learn about their cultures. My dream is to travel for a living. I admit when I was younger I went to Jamaica and Belize, two countries with anti-gay laws. At the time I did not know about these laws and I didn’t have a choice because to go because I was under 18. My parents were the ones who picked where we went on holiday.
Like musicians who boycotted Sun City, I will boycott countries that have laws against gay people. By visiting these countries, buying things that most likely have VAT on them, which goes to the government, I am in turn supporting these laws and the governments that make and enforce these laws. I do not wish to support these laws. I support equality. If a country’s government doesn’t respect my existence, it doesn’t deserve my money. Once these anti-gay laws are repealed, I may consider visiting these countries.
I am not alone in this opinion. There are many others like me who will not visit countries that have laws against LGBT people. It’s proven that anti-LGBT laws hurt tourism.
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