Last May, while many artists were canceling their North Carolina tour stops, Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace took to the stage at Durham’s Motorco Music Hall and burned her birth certificate. She was protesting HB2, a state law mandating that the state’s trans residents use public bathrooms that align with the gender they were assigned at birth. Grace felt she could do more good by playing her band’s scheduled concert and making a statement of resistance in front of an audience.
The singer, … read more

This week on “Lady Problems,” the MTV News podcast dedicated to pop culture’s treatment of women, Hazel Cills and Teo Bugbee sub in for host Rachel Handler to talk to former AfterEllen editor-in-chief Trish Bendix about the implosion of lesbian media. Bendix worked with AfterEllen for ten years, when the site was one of only two lesbian media companies on the internet. But when AfterEllen was taken over by Evolve Media, for the first time, the fate of the site rested on the decisions of mostly … read more

Every week, MTV’s writers and critics assemble and weigh in on new hotness, chart trash, and glimmers of hope in the pop music landscape. This week’s roundtable includes Sasha Geffen, Doreen St. Félix, Molly Lambert, David Turner, Hazel Cills, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Charles Aaron, and Simon Vozick-Levinson.
Katy Perry, “Rise”
St. Félix: Yes, the Olympics are dramatic. They’re about adversity — this year more than ever, as the athletes have to battle Zika and political turmoil in addition … read more

Against Me! are back and gearing up for a jam-packed second half of the year. Not only will singer Laura Jane Grace release her memoir, Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, this fall, but the band will also release its seventh studio album. Shape Shift With Me, the follow-up to 2014’s stellar Transgender Dysmorphia Blues, drops September 16 via Against Me!’s own label, Total Treble.
Along with announcing that exciting news on Monday, the Floridian rockers also shared … read more

mtv founders contributor I was privileged to have been raised on some of the best names in rock and roll. Growing up in a musical household half an hour from the Jersey Shore, my adolescence was set to the soundtrack of my father playing Billy Joel on the piano after dinner and my mother blasting Prince and Bruce Springsteen whenever she drove my younger brother and me anywhere. That early exposure eventually transformed into a zeal for experiencing live music. From sixth grade on, I saw concerts … read more

When the four dudes in Modern Baseball venture out for their new 34-date tour later this week, they’ll do so ensnared in the typical minutiae that comes with being a band on the road. There’s the 11-hour trek to Indiana to fetch the “fake bus thing” they’ll use to traverse the country, singer Brendan Lukens tells me over the phone, all the while navigating publicity for the band’s third album, Holy Ghost, released on May 13. All standard procedure.
And then there are the less common … read more

Maroon 5 have joined the growing protest against North Carolina’s anti-trans HB2 law by canceling their shows in Charlotte and Raleigh.
The band announced on Facebook today (May 20) that it would be pulling out of its North Carolina concerts in support of members of the state’s trans community. A new law known as HB2 makes it illegal for trans people to use public bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity; it also disempowers people from filing discrimination lawsuits on the basis of … read more

Last night (May 15), Laura Jane Grace of punk band Against Me! made a fiery statement in protest of North Carolina’s anti-trans legislation.
An infamous new law mandates that people in North Carolina must use public bathrooms that align with the sex marked on their birth certificate. Some musicians have boycotted the state in protest of the discriminatory law, but Grace decided to show up and speak out in person.
At the Motorco Music Hall in Durham, Grace set her birth certificate on fire in front … read more

When events warrant, MTV staffers gather together in our virtual secure bunker to discuss the political news of the day. Monday’s topic: Boycotts as weapons; when they help, and when they don’t. How do you find that balance where you’re disrupting a community in the name of equality without abandoning the very members of that community you’re seeking to support? Here today: Ezekiel Kweku, Jane Coaston, Michael Catano, Julianne Ross, Jamil Smith, Kaleb Horton, and Marcus Patrick Ellsworth.
Kweku: … read more

An Indian band comprised of six transgender women released its first music video and single, a phenomenal cover of Pharrell’s “Happy” on Wednesday (Jan 6). 6 Pack Band has managed to breathe new life into a song that saturated U.S. airwaves throughout 2015 by offering up a message of solidarity and hope to India’s “hijra” community.
In addition to being impossibly catchy, the song “celebrates togetherness by depicting a more welcoming world” by raising awareness for India’s … read more

2015 was a year of empowering words and actions for the social justice community and also a year that revealed some of the absolute #worst the world has to offer.
In just 12 months, we’ve had some great conversations about what it means to treat one another with dignity and respect and how we can better pursue a world where equality is a reality — and not just an idea we pay lip-service to. Here’s just a few of the stand-out social justice BAEs that have made us scream “Yaaas” into our … read more

In case you needed a reminder: Cool, thoughtful women absolutely killed it in 2015.
Though women faced many attacks this year, including the tragic shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, there were also many moments when women banded together and triumphed. As 2016 is fast approaching, let’s look back and celebrate the moments — and the women — who made 2015 a year of forward-thinking female badassery. 11 Times Gender Norms Got The Middle Finger in 2015 Amber Rose’s SlutWalk … read more

As of Monday (Dec. 7), it’s been 834 days since Miley Cyrus’ infamous opening performance at the 2013 Video Music Awards. And yet, twerking, tongue-wagging Miley is still the most distinguishable and readily recalled image many people have of her.
To some degree, that’s totally understandable. In her quest to prove she’s beaten the odds and overcome the mindscrew of child stardom, Miley came in like a wrecking ball, toting a natural ability to provoke. It was an especially productive time … read more

One of the great tragedies of any book lover’s life is that there will always be more good books to read than there are hours in the day or spaces on your bookshelf. Prioritizing which book to read next can be more agonizing than the dilemma Hamlet found himself in. Some books are just better if you read them at a certain time in your life, and some are ideal for reading as a young adult because of the ideas they propel you to think about. What Your Favorite ‘Baby-Sitters Club’ Character Says … read more

She may officially turn 66 on Wednesday, but Caitlyn Jenner is celebrating her first year living publicly as a woman. “Technically it is my ‘first’ birthday, and I got to share it with a couple of my daughters today,” Jenner said at Logo TV’s Beautiful As I Want To Be web series launch party on Tuesday in Los Angeles. “We had a wonderful lunch. But, certainly, since coming out, this is my first birthday.” Caitlyn Jenner
Tibrina Hobson / Getty
Jenner donned a black, tight, mid-length dress with a … read more