Cyndi Lauper Explains How She's Forcing Change in North Carolina in Reaction to Bathroom Bill

Cyndi Lauper Late Night H 2016
Lloyd Bishop/NBC

Cyndi Lauper Late Night H 2016

Lauper requested a non-gender-specific bathroom, and the venue already has instituted it as a permanent fixture.

Cyndi Lauper fully supports the boycott of North Carolina over the state's controversial so-called "Bathroom Bill," which many find unfair to the state's transgender community. But, as she's stated before, she's not canceling her June 4 show in Raleigh, the proceeds of which will be donated to Equality North Carolina.

While a number of prominent musicians have said they are avoiding the state and canceling their shows, Lauper explained why she's forging ahead during an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers on Thursday night. "I thought if I didn't play North Carolina, big fat deal," she said. "Who would care?"

She's making her own statement by adding a Raleigh-specific request to her rider for the show. "Let's make it a rally," she said, comparing the upcoming N.C. gig to one she played in Florida at the suggestion of activist-singer Harry Belafonte, who urged her to shed light on the killing of Trayvon Martin by getting together with Martin's mother and making noise about the teen's murder. "On my tour rider, I have to have a non-gender-specific bathroom, 'cause that's on my rider."

In fact, said Lauper, the venue decided to make the non-gender-specific bathroom a permanent fixture, and it's already instituted it in advance of the singer's gig. "Because they knew it was the right thing to do, and in rock 'n' roll, we should think like that. We should be forward-thinking, for everybody."

Jim Lavery, general manager for the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, told Billboard that the venue had, indeed, already forged a plan to accommodate the request in Lauper's rider. "When we got [the rider], I sent her manager a picture within minutes of the request," said Lavery. "As a city facility, we welcome all people, and we had already had discussions with some of our other clients who had made similar requests."

Lavery said his team also has created non-gender-specific facilities in place at other affiliated venues, including the Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center, where attendees at the 2015 Raleigh Comic Con event had made a similar request. "We're glad to accommodate anyone."

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