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A beautiful act of resistance in the face of a terrible law in North Carolina

Courtesy of Ryan Lavalley

After protesting in front of the North Carolina governor’s mansion all day, Micky Bradford just couldn’t take it anymore.

“I was tired. The most I could do was dance away my anger, frustration, and sadness,” Bradford said in a telephone interview Friday.

So she started voguing. Right next to the police officers protecting the governor’s residence.

“It’s important to see a black trans woman be unafraid of police and policing,” Bradford said of her dance.

Bradford, 25, was in front of the governor’s mansion on Thursday night to call attention to legislation the governor signed into law that bans transgender individuals from using public restrooms that don’t match the sex listed on their birth certificates.

The bill Bradford was protesting, signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory, also denies LGBT people any protection from discrimination at work or housing. That means that it’s perfectly legal for a gay couple in the state to get married this weekend—and get fired for being gay when they go to work on Monday. The law “strips away legal recourses,” as Bradford put it.

State legislators introduced the bill in response to an antidiscrimination ordinance approved in Charlotte, the state’s most populous city.

Bradford, who said she was an “Army brat” born in Germany and raised in North Carolina, said she was concerned the law would harm LGBT people of color in multiple ways because it includes provisions against county governments creating living wage ordinances that pay more than North Carolina’s $7.25 minimum wage.

Bradford is organizer with the civil rights groups Transgender Law Center and Southerners On New Ground.

Bradford’s full performance begins around the 15:00 minute mark in the video below: