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Jan. 13-26 . 2017

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inside

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Organizations ready for civil rights fight!

Across the area, mobilization and other efforts are underway as the U.S. braces for a Republican-led adminsitration and push back from Conservatives. page 5

qnotes news & features

news. views.  arts. 5 entertainment. TOY purchases new home   5 Advocates return to court   6 News Notes: Regional Briefs   7 News Notes: U.S./World Briefs   7 Organizations ready for fight   9 Democrats ramp up for elections

a&e / life&style 15 16 18 19

Tell Trinity Dishing with Buff Faye Q Events Calendar Our People: Jack Kirven

opinions & views   4 He’s been our president 13 Spiritual Reflections

more news & features

Our People: Jack Kirven Health & Wellness columnist shares life in the fitness world and more. page 19

Dishing with Buff Faye Shelita Bonet Hoyle believes in giving back to the community and spreading cheer. page 16

Jan. 13-26 . 2017

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qnotes connect Jan. 13-26, 2017 Vol 31 No 19

arts. entertainment. news. views. goqnotes.com twitter.com/qnotescarolinas facebook.com/qnotescarolinas

contributors this issue

Rev. Nancy Ellett Allison, Buff Faye, Maria Dominguez, Lainey Millen, Paul Schindler, Jeff Taylor, Trinity

front page

Graphic Design by Lainey Millen Photography: Time Out Youth Center Mission:

The focus of QNotes is to serve the LGBT and straight ally communities of the Charlotte region, North Carolina and beyond, by featuring arts, entertainment, news and views content in print and online that directly enlightens, informs and engages the readers about LGBT life and social justice issues. Pride Publishing & Typesetting, Inc., dba QNotes P.O. Box 221841, Charlotte, NC 28222 ph 704.531.9988 fx 704.531.1361 Publisher: Jim Yarbrough Sales: x201 adsales@goqnotes.com Nat’l Sales: Rivendell Media, ph 212.242.6863 Managing Editor: Jim Yarbrough, editor@goqnotes.com Assoc. Editor: Lainey Millen, specialassignments@goqnotes.com Social Media Editor: Jeff Taylor, jeff@goqnotes.com Production: Lainey Millen, x205 production@goqnotes.com Printed on recycled paper.

Material in qnotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2017 and may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent of the editor or publisher. Advertisers assume full responsibility — and therefore, all liability — for securing reprint permission for copyrighted text, photographs and illustrations or trademarks published in their ads. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers, cartoonists we publish is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or photographs does not indicate the subject’s sexual orientation. qnotes nor its publisher assumes liability for typographical error or omission, beyond offering to run a correction. Official editorial positions are expressed in staff editorials and editorial notations and are determined by editorial staff. The opinions of contributing writers and guest columnists do not necessarily represent the opinions of qnotes or its staff. qnotes accepts unsolicited editorial, but cannot take responsibility for its return. Editor reserves the right to accept and reject material as well as edit for clarity, brevity.

charlotteobserver.com/1166/ a local news partner of The Charlotte Observer

upcoming issues: 01.27.17: LGBTQ in the Workplace Advertising Space Deadline: Jan. 18 02.10.17: Love & Lust/Black History Advertising Space Deadline: Feb. 1

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Commentary

He’s been our president Reflections on President Barack Obama by Paul Schindler :: guest contributor

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oo cerebral. Unwilling to engage in bare-knuckles political war with his Republican enemies. Naïve, in fact, about his ability to find common ground with a GOP determined to undermine, even delegitimize him from Day 1. Those are the typical knocks — especially from progressives — aimed at Barack Obama, the first Democratic president to win a majority of votes twice since Franklin Roosevelt and the one who finally delivered on Harry Truman’s pledge nearly 70 years ago to reshape health care in America. That goal achieved even as he brought the nation back from its worst economic slump since the Great Depression — to an unemployment rate just over 4.5 percent as he leaves office. These common critiques have been paralleled by dissatisfaction among LGBTQ activists, especially during the president’s first term. The White House equivocated on the push to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” (DADT) intending a military review of that policy to forestall the need for immediate repeal. The failure to push the Employment NonDiscrimination Act (a measure the community now agrees was insufficient, anyway) at the same time missed the slim window of Democratic congressional control. Obama hesitated on marriage equality, only pushed over the line in advance of his reelection by his loquacious vice president. Journalists and historians will weigh all these questions for a long time to come — and activists can rightly claim credit for keeping pressure on their ally/ president to turn the poetry of campaigning into meaningful governing prose. But with just a week to go until Barack Obama leaves the White House, one thing cannot be denied: he was our president in ways no one ever had been before. To be sure, despite candidate Obama’s lofty 2008 rhetoric, specific action on LGBTQ issue came slowly. Still, after more than a decade’s delay, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed in 2009, and the new administration ended a policy dating back to 1993 that barred entry and immigration into the U.S. by HIVpositive non-citizens. Even as the administration moved too cautiously for advocates on DADT repeal, it took the first of what in time would be many significant steps to advance the community’s interests through administrative actions. Hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding — essentially all of them — were required to grant visitation rights to patients’ same-sex partners. In the early ramp-up of Obamacare, the Department of Health and Human Services made clear it would work to end discriminatory barriers to transgender people receiving appropriate health care. In global affairs, Hillary Clinton, while secretary of state, told the world that gay rights are human rights. In its earliest response to lawsuits challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the administration stumbled badly, relying on discredited, even offensive justifications for the 1996 law. But when given the opportunity of a case in a federal judicial circuit that had no existing precedent on how sexual orientation discrimination claims should be evaluated, Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, came through. Faced with Edie Windsor’s suit in the New York-based Second Circuit, the Justice Department analyzed the issue from scratch and determined that the statute merited heightened scrutiny, a demanding judicial standard it could not survive. From that point forward, the administration would not defend DOMA in court. It is hard to overestimate the significance of the U.S. solicitor general declining to defend a law before a federal appeals court or the Supreme

Court. By the time DOMA arrived at the high court in 2013, it was left to the House Republican leadership to argue on its behalf. By then, of course, Obama had endorsed marriage equality, and when the underlying question of same-sex couples’ right to marry reached the Supreme Court two years later, the Obama administration was once again on the side of our community. On the evening of June 26, 2015, when the marriage victory was handed down, The White House was bathed in rainbow lights. In his second term, Obama endorsed the framework for a more comprehensive non-discrimination measure — going beyond employment to incorporate all the protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act — though the new Equality Act has been stymied in the GOP Congress. But by then, the president had issued an executive order barring sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination by businesses contracting with the U.S. government. As in other areas, Obama became increasingly bold in using executive action to advance important policy goals on our community’s behalf. The Department of Health and Human Services has been in court defending its regulation that discrimination under Obamacare based on gender identity is illegal sex discrimination, a position pioneered by presidential appointee Chai Feldblum at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an agency that has affirmatively litigated to establish the precedent that both gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination are already protected under the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s sex discrimination prohibition. The Education Department, applying that analysis, informed public schools they must allow transgender students access to bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. The Justice Department sued the state of North Carolina for its notorious HB2, an action announced in a dramatic press conference where Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, “Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself…No matter how isolated or scared you may feel today, the Department of Justice and the entire Obama Administration wants you to know that we see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward.” And that is where Barack Obama brought his presidency over the course of eight years. The cautious ally had, in fact, become the fierce advocate he once pledged to be. As we prepare to battle the anti-LGBTQ officials Donald Trump has named to helm the agencies mentioned above — which have recently worked so hard for our well-being — let’s always remember that there is another way. : : — Paul Schindler is the founding editor-in-chief and associate publisher for Gay City News in New York. Reprinted with permission. [Ed. Note: On June 29, 2016, The White House released its “Fact Sheet: Promoting and Protecting the Human Rights of LGBT Persons.” This lengthy report detailed all of the accomplishments that President Barack Obama achieved for the LGBTQ community during his term in office through the end of June. If and when an update to this report is made available, qnotes will update this story to include more achievements. Visit bit.ly/2iZJqyW to read the fact sheet.]


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LGBTQ Youth

TOY finds that there’s ‘no place like home’ Youth organization purchases permanent location by Lainey Millen :: qnotes staff

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Dec. 29, 2016, the Board of Directors of Time Out Youth Center (TOY) closed on the purchase of its first permanent location since the organization was established 25 years ago. Located at 3800 Monroe Rd. in East Charlotte, the property has a building with 7,400 square feet of space, as well as ample parking and a plot of land that would facilitate development in the future. The purchase price was $875,000. Renovations will start this month, with a grand opening scheduled for April 9. The organization supports LGBTQ youth, ages 11-20, and offers them vital programs, fostering unconditional acceptance, and creating safe spaces for self-expression through leadership, community support and advocacy. In a September 2016 announcement, TOY shared that the current 3,000 square-foot space located at 2320 N. Davidson St. was purchased by a developer on Aug. 31, 2016. The new owners seek access to the property during the spring of 2017. Over the last number of months, properties were inspected and investigated with key requirements in mind, especially ample space to house all the programs that TOY provided, as well as strategically planned expansion options and services, including building a 10bed transitional living shelter for LGBTQ homeless youth by 2020. After researching other rental spaces and conducting a detailed cost analysis, the board “felt the purchase was a prudent investment and worthy of the community’s support,” the center shared. TOY conducted a study in 2015 to research and quantify the needs and interests of LGBTQ homeless youth. This study was undertaken after the center identified LGBTQ homeless youth as a crucial-need demographic. The center published and distributed the “LGBTQ Homeless Youth of the Carolinas Needs Assessment” in September 2016 (see bit.ly/2iCqbxX). The report served as a call to members of the community — policy makers, service providers, funding agencies and donors — to act on recommendations from this project, the center added. The property is already zoned for both current and future shelter plans. Rodney Tucker, who has been executive director of the organization for the past five years, disclosed, “We’re now operating on a $550,000 annual budget, with six full-time staff, three part-time staff, more than 100 volunteers and a dedicated board of directors. We’ve accomplished so much for the youth of our community, but when legislation like HB2 comes forward, we still have a lot to do to protect our youth and encourage them to become full participants in our community.”

The single-level space on Monroe Rd. sits near the intersection of Monroe Rd. and Eastway Dr./ Wendover Rd. and is right on a Charlotte Area Transit Authority bus-line route with stops adjacent to the front of the building. It will also provide a meeting space for community groups, and a few office spaces will be available for rent to related LGBTQ youth groups. “The center is here to stay,” stated Board Chair Michael Condel, who is a senior vice president at Wells Fargo. “We were already outgrowing our N. Davidson St. space, and with the attention that HB2 received in the state and national press during the past year, there were increased demands for services from youth, parents, educators and allies. The center is in a strong financial position to consider this option. We knew we would have to move one day, so we’ve been preparing. We’ve built up our reserves, and we had the down payment for the purchase without adversely affecting our operations.” Condel added, “With this purchase, we are also announcing an ambitious five-year campaign to raise $3.4 million dollars. Usually there is a ‘silent campaign’ before announcing the public part of capital campaign; unfortunately, with a move imminent, we don’t have that luxury. We’ll be fast-forwarding our fundraising, and will be calling on the community to invest in our future with a capital gift, an annual operating gift and/or a legacy gift.” The five-year capital campaign monies will cover the cost of the building purchase and renovations, expand programs and services, build an LGBTQ homeless youth transitional living shelter by 2020, add to operating reserves by establishing a quasi-endowment fund through the Foundation for the Carolinas, and allow the center to remain debt-free, the organization said. All 16 board members have made a pledge to the capital campaign, TOY shared. They are: Condel (president), Erin Goldstein (vice chair), Malone Lockaby (treasurer), Layton Campbell (secretary), Sara Abadi, Chris Arnold, Victor Armstrong, Jessica Chapman, Doug Driggers, Brittiny Ingram, Joseph Lewis, Barry Pettinato, Sherie E. Pearsall, Scott Stover, Chris Triolo, Jenny Yum and Connie Vetter. Youth board members are Ashlynn Anderson, Tori Cornejo and Dani Swinderman. TOY reported that figures through November of 2016 showed that the center had over 4,152 sign-ins for use of the after-school drop-in space (compared to 2,300 sign-ins during all of 2015). TOY provides safe space for activities and workshops, counseling services among dozens of other youth programs.

Time Out Youth Center closed on its new center location located at 3800 Monroe Rd. on Dec. 29, 2016.

Key staff for phase one include: John Fryday, Fryday & Doyne Architecture (architect); Keeble Construction (contractor); Dan Kirsch (development and strategy); TruPack Movers; PNC Bank (financing); and Chris Thomas, Partner, Childress Klein (commercial realtor). Started in 1991, TOY’s founder Tonda Taylor held her first support group meeting with just four lesbian and gay youth. The group went on to work with clergy, educators and young people to change the landscape and local environment for LGBT youth. In its first few years, it hosted the area’s first LGBT youth prom, challenged those who were non-inclusive in their practices and was part of national initiatives on LGBT youth and more. Since its inception, TOY has grown exponentially and has locally and nationally partnered with a number of organizations and youth organizations, received support from them and has been the recipient of numerous grants. TOY has also established satellites in Gaston and Cabarrus Counties. TOY was a 2014 David Bohnett Foundation Cyber Center grant recipient. The grant totaled $34,487 that covered the acquisition of computers and other associated costs to set up an IT workspace. Today it is a state-of-the-art facility. The organization also has a library that houses literature to meet the needs of LGBTQ youth. For more information about the Time Out Youth Center, the new building or the capital campaign, contact Tucker at rtucker@timeoutyouth.org or visit the organization’s website at timeoutyouth.org. : :

HB2 Update

After failed HB2 repeal, LGBTQ advocates return to the courts Legal battles to continue the fight for transgender rights by Maria Dominguez :: qnotes contributor

RALEIGH, N.C. — The repeal of House Bill 2 (HB2), North Carolina’s notorious anti-LGBTQ “bathroom bill,” failed. After Charlotte City Council fully repealed its “triggering” non-discrimination ordinance, the state’s legislators tried to pull one over on LGBTQ advocates by proposing a repeal that included a six-month ban on non-discrimination protections. The move was so controversial that the session ended without so much as a vote on HB2 repeal. The failure of the legislature to repeal HB2 has disappointed LGBTQ allies everywhere. “Night TV” show host Seth Meyers compared the GOP’s antics to “losing a bet and paying it off with Monopoly money.” Local activists had more to say. “As a trans North Carolinian, I find this

decision troubling and, sadly, not surprising. The cultural misunderstanding of our people, quite literally, places us in daily danger and, often, kills us,” said North Carolina AIDS Action Network volunteer Liam Hooper in a statement. “It is my hope that we can create a groundswell of education that fosters greater awareness and compassion to overturn this legislation for the greater good of all of us.” But this disappointment is not the end of the fight against HB2. A lawsuit supported by the ACLU of NC and Lambda Legal, Carcaño v. McCrory, is still pending in federal court. The suit had been postponed while a similar case went to the Supreme Court from Virginia. After the failed repeal, ACLU’s director of the LGBT & HIV Project had some choice

words for the fickle legislators: “The legislature may not be willing to undo their unconstitutional overreach and respect the rights of LGBT people, so we’ll just have to see them in court,” ACLU’s James Esseks said. On top of already pending lawsuits, other organizations are determined to fight HB2. North Carolina’s chapter of the NAACP has vowed to fight the law, as well as the state’s other controversial legislations. “We have always stood against extremism whether perpetrated historically by Democrats or Republicans,” said North Carolina NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. “Our lawyers are pursuing every legal option for challenging these unconstitutional laws.” The North Carolina NAACP plans to call

on the national branch of the organization to institute an economic boycott of North Carolina until the legislature makes several serious changes, including a full repeal of HB2. The North Carolina NAACP also seeks to ensure fair redistricting, court access, and a reversal of the special legislative power grab enacted by the North Carolina GOP in December. Meanwhile, boycotts and protests against HB2 have continued. Most recently, the Business History Conference, slated for Charlotte, N.C. in 2018, has officially moved to Baltimore, Md., citing HB2 for its decision. The conference is expected to bring $120,000 in spending to its host city, adding further economic damage to the millions North Carolina has lost since HB2’s conception in March 2016. : :

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news notes: carolinas compiled by Lainey Millen :: qnotes staff

Trans candidate seeks Dem party chair CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Janice Covington Allison has announced her bid for the chair position for the North Carolina State Democratic Party. Allison has a 46-year history as an active member of the state’s Democratic Party. “If I am elected Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, there will be some changes,” she said, adding that her goal is to provide more transparency for the party. “My goal, if elected, is to elect more Democrats to office so that we can take our state back from the Jim Crow Republicans of our state and eliminate bad bills such as restricting abortions, offshore drilling, fracking and, of course, the North Carolina HB2 law. We will prevail.” Some of the work she has done for the Democratic Party includes: worked with various campaigns on a statewide level, as well as former Gov. Bob Scott on education along with the Department of Community Colleges as an instructor specialist; appointed to serve on the Centralina Council of Governments Region F; elected by the people of the 8th Congressional District as the first transgender woman in history as a delegate to represent North Carolina at the 2012 Democratic National Convention; elected as the first transgender woman delegate by the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party to the 12th Congressional District in 2013; received the Harvey Milk Award; board member of Trans United for Hillary national campaign; elected to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa. as a standing committee member; plus other awards and political and community service work. info: bit.ly/2jjvzTk. ncdp.org.

Charlotte Church holds MLK service

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Metropolitan Community Church of Charlotte, 7121 Orr Rd., will hold a special service focusing on the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr on Jan. 15 at 10:45 a.m. Reading and songs associated with the Civil Rights Movement and King will be offered. Guest speaker will be Rev. Amy Lambert-Burns. The following Sunday, Jan 22, the church will begin its three-part sermon series on their mission statement during worship services, starting with “We are a Christian community of faith actively showing God’s love in service to each other and to our community.” A couples workshop will be held on Feb. 11 with Rev. Wanda and Collis Ford serving as facilitators. The session is interactive in nature and is focused on enhancing relationships and not “fixing” them. Space is limited. Registration and fees will be collected prior to the start of the workshop to cover the cost of materials, refreshments throughout the day and possible after-workshop gathering. Signup begins Jan. 15 and continues through Feb. 4. Call 704-563-5810 or email the church at mymcccharlotte@yahoo.com for information or sign up at the church. info: mymcccharlotte.org.

Former gay inmate files suit

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Arthur Blake has filed suit against Mecklenburg County Sheriff Irwin Carmichael and his employees for a brutal assault due to his being gay by another inmate in 2014, The Charlotte Observer reported. Jack Sussman, the defendant’s attorney, asserts that proper steps were not taken to protect Blake by the sheriff’s department deputies. He also said “Jailers also harassed and demeaned Blake because he’s gay.”

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The lawsuit further said due to feeling unsafe, Blake pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter plus other charges to “speed up his transfer out of the jail,” the Observer added. Marilyn Porter, Carmichael’s attorney, has disputed the charges. A jury trial has been called because of the complaint. info: charlotteobserver.com.

Comedic production to be staged

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Queen City Theatre will mount its production of “An Act of God” from Jan. 26-Feb. 4 at the Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. The comedy stars Steven Martin, Kristian Wedolowski and Christopher Jones and was written by David Javerbaum. Glenn T. Griffin serves as director. “After many millennia, and in just 90 minutes, God (assisted by His devoted angels) answers some of the deepest existential questions and mysteries that have plagued mankind since Creation,” the theatre company shared. The show is recommended for teens and adults. Show times are 8 p.m. on Jan. 26-28, 31 and Feb. 1-4. A 7 p.m. show will be held on Jan. 29. A special discounted performance will take place at 8 p.m. on Jan. 31 with limited tickets at $17 using the promotional code QCTCGO2. Visit bit.ly/2ipVqZM to secure a seat. General admission tickets are $23-$35 and are available online through CarolinaTix, as well as student and senior discounts. info: queencitytheatre.com. carolinatix.org.

Youth org plans move

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Campus Pride has announced that it will be moving into a new dedicated office space during 2017. In order to furnish the office, the organization is seeking second-hand office furniture in good order including chairs, desks, filing cabinets, bookshelves, a conference table and more. Email ally@campuspride.org to learn more or to make arrangements to contribute to

Campus Pride which serves LGBTQ youth. info: campuspride.org.

Local company nets certification

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) has announced that Create-ster, LLC has received its certification as an LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) through the chamber’s Supplier Diversity Initiative. Create-ster, LLC now has the distinction of being the first, and currently only, certified LGBTBE in the Charlotte Metro region, the organization said. It is now nationally recognized as a diverse supplier by the NGLCC, its organizational allies, and corporate partners. It is eligible to participate in the NGLCC’s corporate partners’ supplier diversity programs, can take advantage of educational opportunities promoted by the NGLCC, as well as work to foster business-tobusiness relationships with other LGBTBEs. “America’s top corporations are eager to do business with the LGBT community, which is reflected in the ever-growing list of NGLCC corporate partners,” said Justin G. Nelson, president and co-founder of the NGLCC. The NGLCC, its organizational allies, and corporate partners now nationally recognize Create-ster, LLC as a diverse supplier. The firm joins the ranks of over 912 certified LGBTBEs. “The Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce (CLGBTCC) looks forward to assisting more local LGBT businesses in becoming LGBTE certified with the NGLCC,” the CLGBTCC board stated. “Our goal, as the LGBT chamber, has always been to facilitate economic proliferation for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We encourage our CLGBTCC members and other LGBT businesses in our community to reach out to us to assist you in the opportunity to become LGBTE certified.” info: nglcc.org. create-ster.com.

Lupie’s closes location

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Business Journal has reported that Lupie’s Cafe in Huntersville, N.C. has closed. Plans are on the drawing board to bring a taproom and expanded craft-beer offering to the iconic restaurant located east of Uptown Charlotte near the old Charlotte Fire tower property. Retired founder Lupie Duran’s daughter Larkin will work alongside Huntersville manager Amanda Dickinson to bring the concept to fruition. Lupie Duran has been a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community who has been a fixture among eclectic restauranteurs for a quarter of a century. info: bizjournals.com/charlotte. lupiescafe.net.

Triad ‘Akron’ movie screening upcoming

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Out at the Movies Winston-Salem will screen “Akron” on Jan. 14, 7 p.m., at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, ACE Theatre Complex, 1533 S. Main St. The film tells the story of college freshmen David and Christopher who fall in love after they meet while playing football. Consequently, tragedy arose which could potential tear them apart. “Akron” stars Joseph Melendez and Edmund Donovan, along with Winston-Salem resident Amy da Luz. It was the winner of the 2016 OUT at the Movies International LGBT Film Fest Best Narrative Feature. Tickets are $7/general and $6/seniors and are available in the lobby beginning at 6:15

p.m. Cash, checks and credit/debit cards are accepted for payment. For those who purchase tickets in advance online are eligible to participate in a drawing for two all-access passes for the fall film festival. The organization is now accepting sponsorships which begin at $100. Packages include series screenings, festival tickets, an invitation to a sponsor/filmmaker reception and other perks. More information will be made available as the event nears. For tickets and/or sponsorships, visit the organization’s website. For other queries, call Rex Welton at 336-918-0902 or email outatthemoviesfest@gmail.com. info: outatthemovieswinstonston.org.

Theatre company mounts ‘Zanna’

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Theatre Alliance will stage “Zanna Don’t” from Jan. 20-29 at 1047 Northwest Blvd. The play tells the story of life at Heartsville High in a world where homosexuality is the norm and heterophobia is rampant. It begins on day one of the school year. Among the characters in this show is the school’s personal cupid, Zanna, who brings loving magic. The “big man on campus” chess champion has a crush on the new quarterback in town. The football star is eager to fit in, and his cool quotient rises when he’s cast as the lead in a controversial student musical about straight people in the military called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Through the show, a young man and woman fall in love, throwing the school into massive confusion, anger, and pain. Jamie Lawson serves as the artistic director, with music directed by Tommy Jackson. The cast includes John C. Wilson, Mary Upchurch, James Crowe, Ann DavisRowe, Stephen Melaga and Seph Schonekas. The ensemble features John C. Wilson as Zanna. M.K. Amos, Alex Photo Credit: Dancing Lemur Boese, Jimmy Photography/Jenny L. Viars Felt, Casey Kern and Logan Welborn. The book, music and lyrics are by Tim Acito, with additional book and lyrics by Alexander Dinelaris. Performances are Jan. 20-21 and 26-28 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 22 and 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18/adult and $16/students, seniors and are available online or at the theatre’s box office. Student rush tickets, which cannot be reserved in advance, are $14 before any performance which go on sale five minutes before show time with current, valid student ID. Attendees must wait in a standby line until five minutes to show time, at which point, available seating is released. This is limited to one ticket per student and all seats are subject to availability. info: wstheatrealliance.org.

Center launches men’s group

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — North Star LGBTQ Community Center, 930 Burke St., has announced the formation of its Journey support group for men over 55 who are struggling with identity, aging and finding commonplace in the community. The first meeting will be on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. and will continue every first and third Tuesday.

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Soldiering On

Charlotte organizations look forward to fighting for LGBTQ rights in 2017 It looks to be a big year for our local orgs by Jeff Taylor :: qnotes staff

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ast year was a difficult year for North Carolina politically. House Bill 2 opened up the LGBTQ community for discrimination and landed the state firmly in the national spotlight for the worst reasons. Then the LGBTQ community had to witness Charlotte repealing its expanded non-discrimination ordinance on the hopes of an HB2 repeal that never came. To make matters worse, Republicans managed to maintain their supermajority in both the House and Senate, which allows for them to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. They have also gone to work doing their best to strip power away from Cooper before he had even taken office, by limiting gubernatorial hirings and appointments. So the need to continue, and indeed intensify, the fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community is as pressing as ever. Going forward together with strength Campus Pride is preparing to move into a new office space this year, as is Time Out Youth Center, which began outgrowing its space. Both will continue their work with LGBTQ youth and young adults, who are particularly vulnerable to discriminatory laws such as HB2. Campus Pride held a protest at the Charlotte Government Center after the failed HB2 repeal attempts, to remind people that real lives are at stake when we talk about people’s rights, and is poised to continue these efforts. Transgender and gender non-conforming support group Genderlines is planning to hold an HB2 discussion with community leaders and elected officials, with MeckPAC pushing the effort as well. The meeting was planned for Jan. 7, but inclement winter weather resulted in the event being postponed. A new date had not yet been announced as of press time. Genderlines founder Paige Dula told qnotes that Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Charlotte City Councilmember Julie Eiselt had expressed interest in attending the event, and that Bishop Tonyia Rawls had agreed to moderate.

They added that now they intend to expand “into local state “As a community, it is critical that we move from a one- or House and Senate races to ensure our local legislators are two-issue focus and see ourselves as part of a larger LGBTQ always in touch with their movement that has the unique needs of local constituents, in keeping trans people, people of color, elders, low with our success in making all income folks, people with disabilities, politics local.” youth and immigrants at the center,” Meanwhile, they will still said Rawls. fight to make sure “Charlotte She noted that her group, The maintains a pro-Equality city Freedom Center for Social Justice, does council and expands the this through their campaigns and efforts, current majority to a vetosuch as the Yes, You Can Go Campaign, proof majority through direct which placing trans-affirming safe action,” and also to focus on restroom signage in businesses. intersectionality. They also have a Do No Harm They pledge to “advocate Initiative, working with communities for the most at-risk, bringing of faith to “reduce the harm caused to the forefront the drastic by the misinterpretation of sacred texts and by harmful denominational The North Carolina and Charlotte LGBTQ communities are differences experienced by policies,” as well as the Transgender poised and ready to take the fight for civil rights to the streets, people of color, trans people, Faith and Action Network, and the NC courtrooms and government entities to secure equality. and our youth versus those Intergenerational Programming, the Photo Credit: Rawpixel.com via Adobe Stock who have the most privilege. Our intersectional work will latter of which partners with the NC include areas like HIV/AIDS awareness, Welcoming Schools in NAACP and other social and civil rights groups. CMS, and the struggles of the immigrant community.” When contacted by qnotes about their plans for the upcomAnother support group for transgender and gender noning year, MeckPAC said the question helped them highlight their conforming people, Transcend Charlotte, also intends to expand issues and priorities for the year, and used the opportunity to their work. update its website with their answer to qnotes . Most notably, it “We will continue to expand our services and build strong wishes to expand into state elections. partnerships with other providers so all trans and gender non“Ensuring that the LGBT community has elected officials who conforming people feel they have a network of support despite will advocate and support our community is paramount to its any negative individual experiences or government sanctioned advancement,” they wrote. “This is why candidate evaluations, barriers,” said executive director Trey Greene. endorsements, and the continued advocacy on off-election years It is through local leadership that gains can be made and will remain as pillars of MeckPAC and its mission. Historically, maintained, so it gives hope to see such strong organizational this process meant Charlotte City Council and the Mecklenburg work taking place in Charlotte. : : County Board of Commissioners.”

news notes: u.s./world compiled by Lainey Millen :: qnotes staff

State tobacco census released FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — In 2016, LGBT HealthLink conducted its biannual tobacco census which surveyed all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico to determine the level of LGBTQ inclusion in their tobacco control work, expressly about implementation of the updated LGBT Best and Promising Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs. Results to this survey showed that 53 percent of respondent’s participating in the program demonstrated higher grades in 2016 when compared to 2014, indicating improvement in adoption and increased uptake of LGBT best and promising practices. In addition, two-thirds of respondents reported having technical assistance opportunities with LGBT HealthLink in the past year. Of those who got help, a majority found HealthLink’s technical assistance “extremely helpful” and “integral to our programming.” North Carolina received an A with 23 out of 25 points garnered. South Carolina showed no participation and thus no grade. info: lgbthealthlink.org.

QUICK HITS ————————————————————————————————— Protester.io launched its campaign to take down the White House’s website whitehouse. gov on inauguration day, Jan. 20. On that day, hundreds of thousands of Americans are going to Washington, D.C. to march in protest of the inauguration of Donald Trump. Millions more around the country will be joining the cause from home. For those who cannot make it to the nation’s capitol on inauguration day, one can still participate by occupying whitehouse.gov online. info: protester.io. whitehouse.gov. An article published by The National Law Journal by NHeLP Board member Donald Verrilli, Jr., and Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor regarding the effort in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is available to download in PDF from the NHeLP website. “Americans deserve to have the president-elect and the Republicans in Congress tell them the truth about what will happen to them after the ACA is repealed,” Verrilli and Taylor wrote. “And they deserve it now, not after their health care has been stripped from them.” info: healthlaw.org. Soulforce has released a video explaining what it means when it is said that the organization’s collective mandate is to “sabotage Christian supremacy.” info: soulforce.org.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reported the first homicide of a transgender/gender non-conforming person in 2017. Mesha Caldwell, a Black transgender woman, was killed in Canton, Miss. on Jan. 4. info: avp.org. In light of the unprecedented threat to LGBT civil rights represented by the incoming Donald Trump Administration and 115th Congress, Equality California announced that it has hired its first national policy director, veteran political strategist Valerie Ploumpis. Ploumpis will lead Equality California’s legislative and administrative programs in Washington, D.C. Also, Equality California has called on the LGBT community and allies to support Planned Parenthood. info: eqca.org. The February/March issue of the The Advocate, “Time to Panic: Being LGBT in Trump’s America,” looks ahead at America in the age of Trump. “What should we do when America — the standard-bearer of freedom — elects an anti-LGBT demagogue? Panic, yes. Then fight like hell,” the publication said. Following the 2016 Presidential election, Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen turned to LGBT advocate Larry Kramer for guidance on turning despair into action. info: advocate.com.

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Election 2017

Democrats ramp up for special 2017 elections They hope to break the GOP supermajority, which grants them veto power by Jeff Taylor :: qnotes staff purple state, we need to get back to sane, RALEIGH, N.C. —A federal court ruled in reasonable government.” November that North Carolina would have to “That’s what people my age are looking for,” redraw 28 House and Senate districts by March Jackson, 34, said of the role of social media in the 15, 2017 for special primary and general elections campaign. “They want to be politically involved, in November, and already the battle has begun. but they’re not going to go to their local precinct The districts have yet to be drawn, and the meeting. There needs to be an alternative.” decision is under appeal, but Democrats are Of the 28 districts to be redrawn, nine are already gearing up with a “Pipeline Project” to Senate districts and 19 are House. get out the vote and to recruit candidates to run Republicans currently hold 35 seats in the for office. Senate, to the Democrat’s 15. They currently hold Republicans ran unopposed last year in over 74 House seats, to the Democrat’s 46. They have a dozen elections, with Democratic challengers held a three-fifths majorhard to find in light ity in both chambers, givof the uphill battle ing them a veto override, they faced at the since 2013. hands of districts “While not every disdrawn heavily in trict in the state must be the GOP’s favor. redrawn, almost every Democrats hope district near a major city fairer districts will be. And despite the will give them a fact that the same folks fighting chance, who drew the maps last making a run time will be allowed to more attractive draw the maps this time, for prospective (left to right) Rep. Craig Meyer and Sen. Jeff Jackson the result will almost candidates. certainly be a significant increase in the number The Republicans currently hold a supermaof competitive seats,” Jackson says. jority in both the House and the Senate, allow“The only question is whether we can get ing them to override Gov. Cooper’s veto. folks to go vote in a special election.” Sen. Jeff Jackson and Rep. Graig Meyer For more information about the Democrat’s have launched campaigns of their own, in con“Pipeline Project” visit ncdp.org/pipeline-project. junction with the “Pipeline Project,” to drum For Jackson’s campaign go to jeffjacksonnc.com/ up awareness and support for the initiative. gameplan-2017 and for Meyer’s go to graigmeyer. They have both set up pages on their websites com/ourshot. : : dedicated to the upcoming elections, as well as relying on social media to get out the word. Jackson calls his “2017 Gameplan North Carolina,” and Meyer calls his “Our Shot.” Jackson told The Charlotte Observer that within 24 hours of the site going live on Jan. 3 he had 20,000 page views and more than 5,000 sign ups. He also set up a Facebook event for voting day. Meyer has also turned to Facebook, launching a Facebook Live series on Jan. 2. “This is our collaborative effort to bring North Carolina back to sanity, back to a middle,” Meyer said in that first episode. “This is a

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spiritual reflections by Rev. Dr. Nancy Ellett Allison :: guest contributor

Are you nine miles off? In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is surrounded by all the wrong people. He introduces Jesus with a genealogy spiked with five (see bit.ly/2iJTFrF) women who all have questionable sexual histories. He ends his nativity narrative with a visit by magicians (heretics) from foreign lands who don’t worship the “right” God. We Bible Belt folk don’t call them magicians, we call them “Wise Men,” but that’s a courtesy translation. Fortune-teller, you know, call 900-111-1234, might be more accurate. Nevertheless, God got the attention of these “heretics” in a way they understood — through the stars. Unfortunately, while The Star got their attention — it didn’t lead them to Jesus — it led them to Jerusalem and King Herod. They were nine miles off their mark. The Star’s direction was powerful, but it wasn’t until Herod’s scribes (whom you notice did not choose to

What road and direction are you traveling toward spiritual renewal and a good life? Photo Credit: rolffimages via Adobe Stock

make the journey) searched the Scriptures and pointed the Magi toward Bethlehem, that they were able to make a course correction. The wise men don’t resist this counsel; they reorganize their minds — no longer focusing on a powerful king but now looking for a child with no credentials. What gave the Magi this much intentionality and flexibility? They have traveled for weeks or years to get to Jerusalem and the seat of power; yet with new information, they readily set their faces in a new direction. Instead of just following their “passion,” these wise ones query: “What is life asking of me?” When they hear a fresh interpretation, their minds are trained to search for truth, not consistency or convenience or the shoring up of current beliefs. They have a moral lens through which they view the world; they are chasing after God; they are yearning for new revelation and a deeper insight into the meaning and purpose and value of life. They

have committed themselves to a faith journey, spiritually and physically. Journalist David Brooks asserts that there are four major commitments which shape our lives: the commitment to remain single or to choose a spouse and a family, the commitment to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith and to a community. Within these commitments, lies our capacity for making and keeping promises. When we ask, “Am I really serving my highest good?” we’re searching out our commitments and the New Year is as good a time as any to ask if we might be nine miles off the mark. It’s happened in my life; perhaps it has in yours as well. You set off on a journey. It had all the markings of being “the right thing” — religious support, family encouragement, popular approval, but somewhere along the way you discovered you were at least nine miles off the mark. It may be relational, it may be financial (how we spend our money) or vocational (how we earn our income, invest our time) or spiritual (how we experience God and find meaning for our lives). We all make some wrong calls in life. And it is both futile and irresponsible to try and ignore and avoid the reality of those errors. That’s the New Year’s challenge: to take the stuff of our lives and somehow make a new beginning. We can be like Herod’s scribes and ignore the truth that lies right in front of us, or we can be like the Magi, following the revelation we have, listening to informed voices, heeding the insight of God’s word and make a course correction — no matter how certain we once were that Jerusalem, not Bethlehem, was our destination. It may be the hardest nine miles we ever travel, to make ourselves vulnerable enough to go and kneel in front of a small child, to step away from our self-sufficiency and yield to God’s course correction in our lives. We want our lives to matter. We want to thrive professionally. We want to meet the needs of others, giving them our best. We want in all ways to choose life. Matthew gives us this story to remind us that, as we work against the power of evil, we are choosing life. In the darkest season of the year, Christians celebrate the light of Christ coming into this world. It is a light which penetrates the darkness; it is a light which will never be extinguished; it is a light which all — heretics included — can help lift high. The Magi are warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and so, Matthew writes, they “left for their own country by another road.” By another road can also be translated “with another way” — they left for their own country with another way — the way of new life and light, the way of course correction. Wise ones still query: “What is life asking of me now?” : : — Rev. Nancy Ellett Allison is senior pastor at Holy Covenant United Church of Christ in Charlotte, N.C.

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News Notes continued from page 6 For those who are interested in Journey, there will be a meet and greet with the facilitator on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. In other news, the center is also in need of volunteers, hosts for fundraisers, programming ideas and event and regular pledge support to help sustain the work of North Star. Email outreach@northstarlgbtcc.com to volunteer or learn more. North Star also has confidential HIV/STI testing dates set for the next few months from 5-7 p.m. Dates are Jan. 10, Feb. 7, March 7, April 4 and May 2. POSSE conducts the testing. A benefit concert for the center will take place on Jan. 22, 1 p.m., at Twin City Hive Coffee Lounge, 301 Brookstown Ave. #300. Enjoy original voices and songs while supporting North Star. For those youth who wish to become part of the Youth Leadership Council, email Rayce Lamb at outreach@northstarlgbtcc.com. Meeting dates and times are Jan. 21,12 p.m., Feb. 4, 1 p.m., and Feb. 18, 12 p.m. This is open to current high school students in the surrounding Winston-Salem area. info: northstarlgbtcc.com.

Triangle Network loses member

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Raleigh Business and Professional Network has announced that Stephen “Steve” Edward Zamparelli died on Dec. 30.

A memorial service and committal, in addition to visitation afterward was scheduled for Jan. 7 from Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal, 121 Hillsborough St. Zamparelli is survived by Chris Yetter, his husband of 41 years and the first network president; siblings Alfred Zamparelli (Polly) of Spring Hill, Fla.; Dolores Zamparelli Benoit of Louisville, Ky.; Michael Zamparelli (Robyn) of Somerset, Ky. and Largo, Fla.; and Brian Zamparelli (Edna) of Mooresville, N.C.; and numerous nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews. With a career spanning decades, Zamparelli’s positions included ski instructor, construction laborer, store clerk, gas station attendant, loan officer, house flipper, antique devotee, B&B operator, real estate appraiser and ultimately with SAS for the past 20 years. While a gas station attendant, he met Yetter and they shared a life filled with travel and venture worldwide. Zamparelli found a permanent home at Good Shepherd and felt connected to the church’s message of God’s love for all people. “Steve always tried his best to find that bit of God’s reflection in everyone he met, knowing that it was there regardless of how buried, hidden or disguised it might be,” his death notice shared. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 121 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27603. info: raleighnetwork.org. cgs-raleigh.org.

South Carolina ASO observes awareness day

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Affinity Health Center will take part in the annual observation of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) which occurs on Feb. 7, with this year’s national theme being “It Takes a Village to Fight HIV/AIDS.” The national event is an HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative designed to encourage Blacks across the U.S. to get educated, get tested, get involved and get treated around HIV/AIDS, as it continues to devastate Black communities. At Affinity, the focus will revolve around “I Am My Brother/Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/ AIDS” and the AIDS service organization will join with the community to provide an entertaining and educational event for the public on Feb. 4, 12 p.m., at the War Memorial Building, 199 S. Cherry Rd. Participants will be encouraged to “get educated, get empowered, get involved, and start effective conversations around HIV/AIDS.” Free food, giveaways, educational opportunities, community partner information, speakers, youth group performances and more will be available. The rates of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the South have been some of the highest in the U.S. And, in 2014 an estimated 44 percent of new HIV diagnoses were among African-Americans. South Carolina’s African-Americans comprise 28 percent of the total population and 72 percent of the total individuals living with HIV. Those who cannot attend the Feb. 4 event are encouraged to visit Affinity Health Center at 500 Lakeshore Pkwy. for free HIV, hepatitis C, chlamydia and gonorrhea testing from MondayThursday, 8:30 a.m-6 p.m., during the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 2. info: affinityhealthcenter.org.

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tell trinity by Trinity :: qnotes contributor :: trinity@telltrinity.com

What about the second date? Dearest Trinity, Before I go on a second date with someone I really like, I thought I’d ask what should a second date be all about? Second Thoughts, Memphis, TN Dearest Second Thoughts, A second date is like… (No, that won’t work). Second dates are to roses as… (No, too flowery). Ah yes, a second date is just… a damn second date, nothing more! It’s not an appointment with the wedding planner, real estate agent or God! So, pumpkin, have fun and be your positive, upbeat, trouble-free self. Don’t be hypnotized by looks and charm. And, please, let your date spill his or her guts first! Dear Trinity, I just started dating someone whom I know is not for me. But he’s so attached to me! How do I dump him? Dumping Needs, Atlanta, GA Dear Dumping Needs, While being honest often works, there is always that one psycho-spoiled date who cries, “me and my feelings” and who isn’t ready to hear that you just don’t want to suffer through his smoking, drinking and boring “oh my ex

stories.” Sometimes you just need something potent and powerful that gets him running. So, darling, if after you say, “I’m madly in love with you and want to move in tomorrow!” and he’s still not speeding away, then go for the gold with, “I’m a straight (or gay) Trump supporter!” (Find creative and interesting ways of putting distance between you and someone you want to walk away from. My cartoon gives you some tips on how I’d approach it.) Hey Trinity, I love my boyfriend of two years, but he takes lots of drugs and acts like a fool. Not to mention, we haven’t had sex in months. I feel responsible, but I don’t love him this way and he won’t change. Help! Drugs And Love, Boston, MA Hey Drugs And Love, Wow! Two years and in love? How great. But drugs and no sex, not so great! Listen, say you fell in love with a beautiful home in Kansas and moved in not realizing (because love is blind) that you’re now in tornado country. Then suddenly you see a tornado. Should you feel responsible for the tornado and ride it out, or should you get the hell out before you really get hurt? Yes, he’s your boyfriend, but he’s not your responsibility,

a&e

and you’re not responsible for his “twisted” life. Honey, when you’re dealing with drugs, you’re dealing with a tornado, and you must protect yourself! If he won’t get help first, then second, protect yourself and get out until he does get help! In other words “Dorothy”— don’t waste time dreaming of ruby slippers to appear when in reality he sold them for drugs! Hello Trinity, I did something unspeakable to my lover. I try, but I mess up when it comes to boundaries, good boundaries! I’m at a loss for words now, and I’m being completely ignored. Boundaries Without Boarders, Baltimore, MD Hello Boundaries Without Boarders, To save your butt one last time memorize: Trinity’s Loyal Tips For Boundaries You Should Never Cross   1. Never flirt with your spouse’s best friend, sister or boss behind his or her back! It always backfires!   2. Never talk about the awful sex you both are having in front friends, coworkers and especially his parents!   3. Never borrow your girlfriend’s car, money, jewelry or diary without asking!   4. Never euthanize the pet of your friend, relative or lover without complete permission!   5. Never bring up during a fight something that’s been “put to rest,” such as cheating or lying!   6. Never bounce a check, especially on a

friend, relative or the person sleeping next to you every night.   7. Never, boast about you or your lover’s money, especially at family reunions!   8. Never throw out your roommate’s favorite old shirt, shorts, shoes or tacky college posters without making a therapists appointment first!   9. Never, insult your in-laws to their face or to their ears! They never forget! 10. Lastly, never bite the hand that feeds you, makes you feel sexy or helps make your rent payments! : : info: With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity hosted “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama performed globally, and is now minister of sponsor, WIG: Wild Inspirational Gatherings, wigministries.org. Learn more at telltrinity.com.

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dishing with buff faye by Buff Faye :: qnotes contributor :: info@bufffaye.com

‘Shelita’ Whole Lot of Pride Charlotte is blessed to have a vibrant and growing drag community full of many types of queens — camp queens, beauty queens, bearded queens, new and old queens too. Of course, the true test of a queen is whether they can stand out, entertain and keep standing in those heels for the long run. This column features one of the newer queens to the Queen City who has taken the scene by storm since she arrived — Shelita Bonet Hoyle. Shelita and I met to do her interview at one of my favorite places called McKoy’s Smokehouse & Saloon. You know, that’s the type of place where butch drag queens go to eat. She and I felt right at home there as we started talking. My first question, “Where did Shelita come from?” “I actually started as a joke. My original drag persona was a funny, fiery redhead, Southern housewife named Shelita Hoyle Buffet. (Pronounced as ‘she’ll eat a whole buffet’).” Shelita and I laughed as she continued: “I had pledged my fraternity at Appalachian State and my best friend Charlie wanted me to do something ‘super gay.’ She convinced me to do the amateur drag show Photo Credit: contest on campus. I never After Six Photography wanted to do drag — in my eyes it was a gay stereotype. But she convinced me to do it .” Shelita paused for a moment. “But before I got the chance to compete, Charlie was killed by a drunk driver in a car accident. After that, I felt like I needed to do the drag show in honor of her too.” Shelita smiled as she remembered Charlie. “And I didn’t even win the amateur drag show. I got third. But I went back again the next year. I never won, but I made people laugh and I loved that. Charlie was known for making everyone laugh, her hugs and cupcakes too, so it filled that missing piece for me with Charlie at the time.” Wow. It didn’t take long. But I quickly learned that Shelita and I personally have a lot in common. Shelita was in a fraternity in college. She and I have also lost a loved one dear to us from a drunk driver. She and I both started drag under a guise of being a funny queen. We both like to make people laugh. And, she likes to eat too. Her original name was even “buffet!” Oh my god. Twinsies! Shelita went on to talk about how she moved on from the drag show contest on campus after a few years of competing and never winning. But then she found Club Cabaret in Hickory an hour away from campus where she did the bar talent show and won. “I consider that to be the birth of Shelita actually — Dec. 1, 2011.“ “The first song I ever did was ‘show me your pussy’ mixed with Margaret Cho. I got to know the bar staff at Cabaret after performing

the talent show. I didn’t even have a pair of eyelashes, that’s how elementary I was. Then I started meeting people who helped me,” Shelita said. Shelita’s drag family is “complicated” as she puts it. Her original drag father is DJ Bonet who works behind the scenes doing a lot for her — stoning, djing, hair and makeup. “Then we graciously welcomed Baby Valentino Knight Adams into our family because DJ Bonet and him became a couple. It was like it was meant to be. And recently I became a drag daughter of Paisley Parque who I look up to and look for advice. We truly are a family. I talk to my drag family more than my biological family. Family is so important for all of us, especially in the gay community.” A lot has changed for Shelita since that December. She currently holds the title of Miss Charlotte Pride, which she won six months ago, and she previously had won the titles of Miss NC Unlimited Newcomer, Miss Unlimited Newcomer and Miss Gay North Carolina USofA at Large. “As Miss Charlotte Pride, I believe in community and giving back to the community. I have been to every major Pride in North Carolina. I think it is real important that LGBTQ young people especially have that family to turn to, have those positive role models to look up to, so I also volunteer regularly with Time Out Youth. If I had half of their strength and bravery, I am so impressed by these young people.“ For just over a year now, already Shelita has done a lot in the City of Charlotte. She can be found hosting and performing at local bars like Chasers Nightclub plus she supports many of the local drag entertainers. “In my mind I was going to move to Charlotte, fall madly in love and it was going to be happily ever after. I wanted to experience a city that had culture, where drag could be a staple in the community. That’s what brought me to Charlotte — and what better place to be a queen at then in the Queen City, right?” Keep your eyes out for Shelita. The next items on her “to do list,” as she calls it, is winning North Carolina Entertainer of the Year and Miss North Carolina Gay America. She may need another year to check those off. Until then, give her a bag of Cheetos or a Snickers bar! She’s hungry and full of Pride! : : DRAG TIP: Shelita’s drag tip is “Whether there is one person or one thousand, always put on a show!” — Buff Faye calls the Queen City her home and loves men who cook dessert (plus she loves to raise money for charities). Find her at your favorite bars and hot spots. And don’t forget her monthly Saturday night shows, Sunday drag brunch and regular Friday night party bus. Learn more at AllBuff.com. Follow on Twitter @BuffFaye

SHOUT OUTS: Don’t forget Buff Faye’s Xtreme Drag Makeover Brunch at Pure Pizza on

Saturday, Jan. 14 benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Call for reservations 980-430-1701. Seating is limited.

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Back to the ‘Flintstone’© Era by Brianna Johnson, PharmD. RPh

“Eat your fruits and veggies — they’re good for you!” Did you ever hear this as a child? Or were you made to eat those chalky but surprisingly flavorful Flintstones Vitamins©? Oftentimes, as children grow up into adults and begin to make their own health choices, they tend to leave important vitamins out of their diet by not consuming enough grains, fruits, or vegetables. It is just as important for an adult to get their vitamins as a growing child. But how do you know which ones you need, how much you should take, and what bottle to pick? Some essential vitamins and minerals to an adult diet include vitamin A, B, C, D, E, K, and calcium. Each of these vitamins contribute to your overall health by affecting a different part of your body and its systems. Vitamin A is good for our eyes. It can be found in leafy dark green vegetables Vitamin B helps with energy levels, can affect cholesterol, protein structure, maintain DNA health, and deals with red blood cell growth. Foods that contain vitamin B include fortified cereal, whole grains, meat, fish, beans, and eggs. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that assists in wound healing and forming connective tissue. Many citrus

fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and leafy green vegetables contain vitamin C. Vitamin D helps maintain and strengthen our bones. This vitamin is not abundant in our foods, but is in fatty fish, cheese, and eggs. The United States adds vitamin D to milk for consumer health. Vitamin E is important for our cells and potentially aids in brain health. Nuts, seeds, vegetables, and leafy green vegetables all have vitamin E. Vitamin K plays an important role in how quickly blood clots when we bleed. It is found in high amounts in leafy green vegetables. Calcium works alongside vitamin D to help maintain and strengthen our bones. Milk, kale, collards, and some beans contain calcium. Some foods have calcium added to them to help increase our intake. The best way to get these vitamins is to maintain a healthy well-balanced diet, but sometimes a little help is needed. When selecting a vitamin at the store, it is important to remember that these supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Which brand you choose truly does matter in this case because they may not all be equal. It is best to look for brands with a seal on their label that says “USP Verified” — this means that the company volunteered to have their product tested to prove the supplement truly contains all the label says it does in the reported amounts.

People may require different daily amounts of supplementation. Recommended daily amounts depend on gender, age, and body requirements (in pregnancy or other diagnoses may require more). It is best to speak with your physician or pharmacist before you begin a supplement so together you can determine which is right for you and the correct amount. Citations: • Office of Dietary Supplements — Vitamin D. (2015, February 11). Retrieved January 04, 2017, from bit.ly/1k0Oli3 • Office of Dietary Supplements — Vitamin E. (2016, November 3). Retrieved January 04, 2017, from bit.ly/1porZea • Wax, E., RD. (2015, February 2). Vitamin C. Retrieved January 04, 2017, from bit.ly/29IXGfU • Vitamins & Minerals. (n.d.). Retrieved January 04, 2017, from bit.ly/1GAvJzL • Valencik ML, Mastick CC. Chapter 10. “Metabolism and Vitamins/Minerals.” In: Janson LW, Tischler ME. eds. The Big Picture: Medical Biochemistry. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2012. bit.ly/2i1Jjoh. Accessed January 04, 2017. • Baron RB. Nutritional Disorders. In: Papadakis MA, McPhee SJ, Rabow MW. eds. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2017. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2016. bit.ly/2jkzZxz. Accessed January 04, 2017.

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EVENTS

Submit your event to our calendar!

January-February 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. SEP JAN MO Parade Tryon St., Charlotte 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee presents the 2017 Carolinas HealthCare System Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade. The parade will march down Tryon St., beginning at 9th St. and ending at Stonewall St. More than 100 community organizations, marching bands and step and drill teams will participate. More information is available online. facebook.com/events/593805520820039.

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Continues through Feb. 5 ‘Crimes of the Heart’ Theatre Charlotte 501 Queens Rd., Charlotte Times vary In this Pulitzer Prize-winning Southern Gothic screwball comedy, three eccentric sisters in Mississippi are all in the middle of separate life crises. Babe is out on bail after shooting her husband, Meg has left Hollywood for a psych ward and Lenny is facing her 30th birthday with no romantic prospects. Tickets cost $27. More information and tickets are available online. theatrecharlotte.org.

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You can submit your event to our comprehensive community calendar presented by qnotes, the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Visit Gay Charlotte. Submit your event at goqnotes.com/eventsubmit/ and get a three-forone entry. All Charlotte-area events will appear on each of the three calendars at qnotes (goqnotes.com), Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce (clgbtcc.org) and Visit Gay Charlotte (visitgaycharlotte.com).

‘Keepsake: A Musical SEP JAN MO Memorial Benefit’ Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., Charlotte 9 p.m.-2 a.m. A benefit for those affected by the tragic fire at Oakland’s Ghost Ship, which was home to many members of the LGBTQ community, will be held at Snug Harbor. Donations are encouraged, with all funds going to the Oakland Fire Relief Fund, which can be found at youcaring.com/firevictimsofoaklandfiredec232016-706684. Performers will include Mint Hill, Human Pippi, Bob Fields, High Cube and DON4LD. More information is available online. snugrock.com.

Women’s March Statewide Individuals and groups will particpate in local Sisters’ observances of the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. “On January 21, 2017 the country will unite in Washington, D.C. and we will unite in Charlotte, N.C. for the Women’s March on Washington,” organizers shared on Facebook. “We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.” Added was, “We just witnessed a campaign in which racism, classism, sexism, Islamophobia, homophobia, and other ugly forces were used as tools to divide us. Those tactics put people and policies

in charge that will hurt every single one of us. We will build bridges, not walls, knowing that a blow to one is a blow to all.” More information is available online either through the national site or locally-focused ones. womensmarch.com. Women’s March on Charlotte First Ward Park 301 E. 7th St., Charlotte 10 a.m. womensmarchoncharlotte.com. Women’ March on Asheville Pack Square Park 121 College St., Asheville 11 a.m. facebook.com/WomensMarchAVL. Women’s March on Raleigh Moore Square 200 S. Blount St., Raleigh 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Charlotte Symphony Altsounds: Brahms vs. Radiohead’ Knight Theater 430 S. Tryon St., Charlotte 7:30 p.m. A symphonic mashup of Brahms First Symphony (1876) and Radiohead’s OK Computer (1997). The Charlotte Symphony, conducted by Steve Hackman, attempts to make something new and beautiful from two works produced more than a century apart. Tickets cost $29. Tickets and more information are available online. blumenthalarts.org.

‘Charlotte Does Aretha Franklin’ Stage Door Theater 130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte 8 p.m. The Charlotte Music Heroes presents its fourth installment of “Charlotte Does” musical concerts, this time setting the focus on the legend Aretha Franklin. Previous artists in the series have included Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, and Al Green. Tickets cost $14 in advance and $16 the night of the show. More information and tickets are available online. blumenthalarts.org.

North Carolina Democratic SEP JAN MO Party 2017 Legislative Reception Little City Brewing and Provisions Co. 400 W. North St., Suite 120, Raleigh 6-8 p.m. The North Carolina Democratic Party is hosting a fundraising drop-in where it will thank the 2016 candidates and elected officials and look forward to the work ahead. Complimentary beer, wine and finger food will be available. Ticket prices vary. Tickets and more information are available online. secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/ leg2017.

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facebook.com/ events/349823032061399. Women’s March on Black Mountain Town Square State St., Black Mountain 10 a.m. facebook.com/ events/1484774311550157. Triad NC Women’s March Location/Time TBD facebook.com/ events/106270443196035. Women’s March on Winston-Salem Parkway United Church of Christ 2151 Silas Creek Pkwy., WinstonSalem 11 a.m. facebook.com/ events/243966462693580. Tri-County Women’s March Littlejohn Community Center 644 Old Greenville Hwy., Clemson facebook.com/ events/366294173744852.

Charlotte Symphony: SEP FEB MO Second City Guide to the Symphony’ Belk Theater 130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte 8 p.m. The improv comedy troupe that helped launch the careers of such stars as John Belushi, Mike Meyers, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert offer up their unique take on the symphony, with original orchestral pieces as well as works by masters. Tickets start at $29.50. More information and tickets are available online. charlottesymphony.org.

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Q&A with Jack Kirven Fitness guru talks of his origins and healthy living by Maria Dominguez :: qnotes contributor The readers of qnotes are quite familiar with Jack Kirven’s expertise on health and wellness. Though Kirven writes for the paper, his primary focus is one-on-one training, having worked for several years as an inde-

dance technique, choreography, production, multimedia events, fitness, performance art, dance history and identity-based performance art. [Now I’m a] personal trainer and wellness coach. Why should physical health and wellness be a priority for qnotes’ readers? Americans are surrounded by an unhealthy environment of fast food, etc. It’s easier to make dangerous choices than healthy ones. We’re a largely sedentary culture in the USA, constantly stressed out and sleep deprived. LGBTQ people are more likely to experience the types of traumas that undermine self esteem, and can lead to destructive habits or patterns meant to be comforts. It becomes doubly important for us to take good care of our bodies, hearts and minds.

pendent wellness coach. Not many coaches have Kirven’s qualifications; he possesses a terminal degree in dance from the prestigious University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and has taught at universities as well as high schools. Kirven’s purpose in life is to guide others in healthy living, and he leads by example. Jack Kirven radiates the self-love and determination necessary to truly enjoy a productive, vigorous life. How did you get started in your career? I was literally, a bouncing baby boy. My mother couldn’t keep me in cribs, I never slept, I was walking at eight months, and running by 12 [months]. The final straw was when I called her into a room and screamed, “look at this!” I climbed the top of her bureau, did a front flip off it, landed on my back on the bed, somersaulted off there and then ran away. She and dad decided enough was enough. I definitely would not have wanted to be any of my teachers in elementary school. They bought my sister and me a big, round trampoline. We went through four trampolines before I went away to college. The trampoline wasn’t enough, so mom enrolled me in competitive gymnastics at seven. By 12 some of the boys on the team were already on their first and second surgeries, so she enrolled me in ballet “to improve my gymnastics.” A year later the ballet remained and gymnastics was done. I majored in Dance, and then went to UCLA and earned an MFA in Choreography. When I finished UCLA in 2002, I also got certified as a personal trainer. It was a natural evolution for me. What professional positions have you filled? I was an educator for several years, first as a full-time high school dance teacher, and then as a professor at several universities for

What advice would you give someone who knows they’re out of shape, but struggles with motivation to change? Avoid comparing your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20 [Janet Jackson said] “Never compare. When you compare, someone wins and someone loses. Often, you are the one who loses.” Set small goals leading towards a large goal. Take baby steps, one goal at a time: drinking more water day by day by gradually cutting out a sweet and/or caffeinated beverage each day and replacing it with water over the course of weeks. Once the water is under control, add another pattern and another until your entire lifestyle has been incrementally improved. Avoid beginning or ending anything cold turkey, whether it’s smoking, exercising, stretching or anything else. You have to give your body and nervous system time to adjust to the new normal. Focus on building habits, and don’t shock your system. Do activities and eat foods you enjoy, so that you associate wellness with reward rather than punishment. There are no short cuts. There are no mysteries. Ignore gimmicks, fads, shots and pills. Stick to the fundamentals. Work very intensely for brief sessions, and take rest days between those intense sessions. How does self-love factor into fitness? People often have a preconceived idea of how they should look, rather than how they should feel. Value yourself enough to get healthy, and the sexy flows from there. What is your favorite form of exercise? Calisthenics, weight lifting dumbbells and interval training. How would you describe your “happy place”? My dream home, a small 1,000-sq-ft Englishstyle cottage with lots of land for gardens and wilderness, similar to the Bag End in “Lord of the Rings.” Where do you dream of traveling? Already traveled a lot, to Europe: France, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Brazil… [I] want to see New Zealand. : :

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QNotes, Jan. 13, 2017