Lara Americo is a musician, artist, and activist in Charlotte, North Carolina. Not only has Lara spoke out against the discriminatory North Carolina bill HB2 and HB142, but she also fights discrimination through her music and other art forms.
This weekend at BOOM Festival Charlotte Lara performed at the International House. Before she went on stage Lara spoke with CLT tales about her performance, future projects, and current passion behind her musical and artistic songs and pieces. You can view the full length interview here!
Music, film, and other art forms
Lara released her first full-length album titled She/They about her experiences as a transgender woman of color living in Charlotte. She/They was inspired by her journey of transitioning, which she spoke about to us during our interview. “Being trans is something that you can’t really express with words easily, so I try with music and art. Those songs are just another way I try to express that to people so that they get it a little better and realize that we are just humans,” says Lara.
Although much of her music is grunge and queercore inspired and about her trans identity, she is actually branching out and working on something a little different. She’s currently working with JoRa, a post punk/ glitter punk duo making music and expecting an album to be done by this June. She also wants her next solo album to be more collaborative than it typically is. Usually Lara works on her solo music completely alone and plays all of the instruments on the tracks. Now she is in the process of making a film inspired by Barbarella and will be making a new album that will be the soundtrack to this film.
This Barbarella inspired film will have a similar space theme, but be socially conscious and include important messages. Some of the featured messages will be on trans issues and queer issues, as well as the topic of sexual consent. Unlike many other solo projects, Lara hopes to collaborate with other artists and even write songs for other artists to perform for this film.
Although Lara does use art as a way to speak out against discrimination, she used her speaking platform to make public appearances and speak out against HB2 and HB142 as well. Americo was the voice of the ACLU campaign and Change.org this summer, when House Bill 2 passed in the North Carolina General Assembly. She has also been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, and on Democracy Now!
In her interview with CLT tales Lara discussed the passion behind her activism for trans rights. “I think that anytime there are marginalized communities that are being targeted by the government it’s important to speak out. It’s hard to do that when you are transgender, because most people who are transgender don’t even want others folks to know that they are transgender. They just want to live there lives and sometimes be as cis as they can. It’s really important for folks to stand up for themselves, and I always make an effort to try and control the narrative so it won’t be controlled for us.”
“HB2 or HB142 are both forms of discrimination against transgender people. So, I think more people should speak up,” says Lara. For direct links to her experiences in various social justice activism and other transgender topics, you can check out her blog posts here!
Regardless of the format in which Lara is communicating her beliefs, all of her work has the same message, “We are all humans, and we are all one on this planet, and all of these divisions we create make that harder to realize.” Lara’s meaningful messages about inclusiveness and equality paired with her unique and multifaceted artistic abilities make for one talented musician, activist, and human being. In this short amount of time Lara has been able to accomplish so much, and her path of creativity and activism seems to only be growing outward.