RALEIGH (WTVD) --Cyndi Lauper performed Saturday at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts and spoke about the controversial House Bill 2.
The Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winning artist says she decided not to back out of the concert because she knew about the LGBT center in Raleigh. She said she was donating proceeds from the concert to Equality NC, a LGBT group in North Carolina. Lauper spent time with LGBT youth and allies before the concert got underway at 8 p.m.
"You have to embrace life." Lauper says. "And you can't make kids be what you want them to be. They are who they are. It's our responsibilities as adults to nurture them as they are."
HB2, the controversial so-called "Transgender Bathroom Bill," requires individuals to use bathrooms and locker rooms that aligns with their biological sex in government buildings, schools and universities.
HB2 also blocks LGBT individuals from suing for discrimination in state courts.
In addition, the new law denies cities and towns from their own anti-discrimination and pay wage rules. Proponents say HB2 protects the safety of women and children.
Saturday, Lauper spoke to LGBT youth who feel threatened by HB2.
Teenager Jenna Travis identifies as "non-binary" - which means they does not identify with one sole gender. "It was awesome to have the opportunity to be heard and to be listened to," Travis said.
"They are our future. The youth of this country are our future," Lauper said. "If we don't embrace our future and help them succeed, we are not going to get very far in this world."
Lauper said part of her show will be about educating people about what transgender means.
Jenna Travis shared the stage with Lauper Saturday to share their personal story. Travis told the audience House Bill 2 makes them feel unwelcome in North Carolina.
"Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk to so many people and really tell our story," Travis said while speaking to the crowd at the concert.
"You don't have to thank me," Lauper replied. "I'm always going to be there for you."
Fans are glad Lauper didn't cancel her show.
"I love that she is taking a moment to speak out and educate people," said Sarah Pollicastro, a concertgoer.
The NC Republican Party reacted to the Lauper's stance on HB2:
While Republicans are focusing on raising teacher pay and improving our growing economy, the Roy Cooper democrats and the Hollywood left continue their zealotry in favor of grown men accessing young girls locker rooms. It's bad policy and bad politics for their side." - Dallas Woodhouse, executive director, NCGOP
Numerous bands and musicians have cancelled shows in North Carolina due to HB2 such as Bruce Springsteen, Maroon 5, and Pearl Jam. Others, like the band Death Cab for Cutie, said they will perform but will donate proceeds to LGBT groups.
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