Why I Will Still Visit North Carolina

(And every other state that has done something stupid)

North Carolina is making news recently for enacting a law that includes a mandate that transgender people must use public restrooms that correspond to their gender at birth – and known in the media as the Bathroom Law.

Along with the social media frenzy that has justifiably jumped on the law for being discriminatory, unwarranted and simply wrong, celebrities, including Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Michael Moore have cancelled appearances in the state. Many more powerful business leaders have followed suit, calling for a boycott of the state.

While I understand the passion behind taking such a stance, I am not a fan of boycotting as a way of showing political strength or outrage. While I certainly do not agree with the Bathroom Law, I can’t imagine avoiding the state because of a law I do not agree with. I would much rather stand in protest with those in the state who disagree (And there are many), rather than stand across the state line, shaking my head.

Can you really look at the state you’re living in and say all is right with the world? In Michigan, Governor Snyder is currently trying to distance himself from the catastrophe in the city of Flint where his own staff members created an ugly water crisis that resulted in the entire city’s water being contaminated with heavy dosages of lead. It is a horrible situation resulting in many people calling for the governor’s impeachment.

While our current governing body does not reflect my political or moral beliefs, I am relieved that the nation is not singling Michigan out as a state to avoid when planning this year’s summer vacation. And I don’t believe Michael Moore has talked about leaving our great state. What’s the difference, Michael?

Michigan is a beautiful state with unfortunately, real problems – problems that cannot be fixed by moving away and staying away. So while I understand the passion behind the current boycotting of North Carolina, I would rather see people stand beside those in the state who are fighting for people’s rights, and fighting for positive change. Along with many beautiful people, I hear that North Carolina has some pretty awesome parks and brew pubs. Maybe I need to change my vacation plans…

 Heidi McCrary / Author