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Meetings: Program: Time: Membership: Information:

Third Tuesday of every month, except when there is specialized programming, plus monthly socials to promote networking and friendship A wide variety of topics of interest to appeal to the diverse LGBT community After work with a cash bar social and heavy hor d’oeuvres with dinner and program following Visit the website for application options and benefits. Call 704.565.5075 or email for more details or write to The Charlotte Business Guild P.O. Box 33371 | Charlotte, NC 28233



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qnotes connect

Jan. 18-31, 2013 Vol 27 No 19

arts. entertainment. news. views.

contributors this issue

Paige Braddock, Rosendo Brown, Matt Comer, Kevin Grooms/Miss Della, Charlene Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, David Stout, Trinity, Brett Webb-Mitchell

front page Graphic Design by Matt Comer & Lainey Millen Illustrations:,,,

news & features

  5 LGBT staffers prepare for Creating Change conference   6 News Notes: Regional Briefs   9 Documentary explores amendment

a&e / life&style

11 Heart & Soul: New congregation provides a home 12 Drag Rag 12 Cover of the Year: 2012 15 20 Questions 15 Community Expo 16 Tell Trinity 17 Out in the Stars 18 Fabulance 18 Jane’s World 19 Q events calendar



opinions & views

  4 Editor’s Note   4 On Being a Gay Parent 18 QPoll

Material in qnotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2013 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.

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Editor: Matt Comer x202 Assoc. Ed.: David Stout Production: Lainey Millen x205 Printed on recycled paper. a local news partner of The Charlotte Observer

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editor’s note by Matt Comer ::

Facing an uncomfortable and ugly truth What do you do when you discover that your forefathers did in fact own slaves? Personally, I never wanted to face such a question, but in early January I found myself doing just that. My love for history has given me the impetus over several years to trace my family’s history and genealogy. As a hobby, my amateur genealogical research comes in fits and starts, woven into my free time away from work, school and other involvements. With much research already compiled by other family members both close and distant, I’ve been able to track down a great deal of my family’s history. So, as the New Year came and went, I found time once again to pour over old family documents online and at the library. My thoughts about Black History Month were fresh in my mind, too, as I prepared for our newspaper’s coverage of several topics of importance in the African-American LGBT community starting in this issue and continuing into next. The timing of all this seems to have come by near-divine intervention — that at this perfectly-appointed time, while preparing for Black History Month soon after the 150th an-

niversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, I would stumble upon the kind of evidence I’d long feared might pop up in my family history. My seventh-great-grandfather, Thomas Comer, died sometime around 1793 or 1794. His will, dated in 1794, bore the brunt of the unfortunate history. Thomas died with over 800 acres of plantation property in Halifax County, Va. In addition, the will included more than a dozen slaves to be inherited by Thomas’ wife Frances. After her death, the slaves and their families were to be inherited by Thomas’ children. “I give and devise that my son John Comer,” Thomas wrote of my sixth-greatgrandfather, “shall have my negroes Stephen, Lucy and Rose with their future increase.” I’ve read the will several times now, cringing each time. Its language is antiquated. It’s also ugly and harsh, reflecting the inhumane moral standards (or failings, if you will) of the time it represents. I don’t yet know what happened to Stephen, Lucy or Rose or to any of the other captive people mentioned in the will: Murrcar, Fillis, Bess, Dicy, Chloe, Jese, Isaac, Fellis, Betty and Joe. But, I plan on finding out. Indeed, I find such a task obligatory.

on being a gay parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell :: qnotes contributor

Educating North Carolinians One of the adages I’ve passed on to generations of students I have taught since 1989 is this: All education is continuing education. We are taught in modern society that education can take place in classrooms — and, now online courses. Since we were in preschool programs and all the way through grad-



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uate programs, education in these contexts and programs is only part of what is education. Education can take place in workshops we attend at a community center or community of faith, going to a public lecture by an aspiring academic, continuing education credits for a job or reading a book or journal article. We can

In terms of genealogical research, white folks have it easy. Take my family, for example. I’ve had the luck of being born into a family of avid genealogical enthusiasts. Research completed by relatives, both close and distant, is easily obtainable. And, their work was made all the more easy for them due to one factor and one factor alone: My family is white. This near ease at which I’ve been able to track down old family burial sites and build a family tree is something I know cannot be taken for granted. For many black Americans, tracing family lineage into the pre-Civil War era is difficult at best and sometimes impossible. Several obstacles stand in the way, but chief among them is slavery. Considered property instead of people, slave families were often torn apart as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and siblings were sold away by their white owners. Slave marriages reflected the cruel reality of that “peculiar institution,” as couples often vowed themselves to each other “until death or distance do we part.” Records of births and deaths were rarely kept, though bills of sale sometimes documented slaves’ lives and histories. In a time before birth certificates, slave families weren’t even given the opportunity to record their family histories in other ways. No wills. No family bibles. No land contracts or deeds. I think it is in genealogy where white privilege — all the obvious and the sometimes less-obvious historic, political, economic and societal advantages white people are simply born into when compared to people of color

— can become most personally apparent. Racism and white supremacy is interwoven at a regular clip, whether through direct evidence of past familial slave ownership or the simple fact that one’s family had fair-enough colored skin and “pure”-enough blood to receive all the legal privileges and liberties of recording their own existence. Such freedoms were never granted to black slaves and their children. In fact, they were explicitly and consistently denied by law and by practice. My genealogical research must now be expanded. In addition to researching my own family’s history, I’ll work hard to learn more about Stephen, Lucy, Rose and each of the other slaves my family once owned. The stories and history I seek for my family must include the stories and lives of these people. To ignore their existence would be an historical travesty — a continuance of the white privilege my forefathers and their children and their children’s children received when they saw fit to enslave an entire class of people. Me and my siblings and cousins — we are each who we are today not only because my great-grandfathers eventually made our births possible, but also because they built lives for themselves and future generations of their white children, each of us included, on the backs, blood and lives of others. So, what can I do? Certainly, I can’t change this history. And, I can’t change these uncomfortable or ugly facts about my family’s past. But, I can help to put a human face on the people history has all-too-often forgotten. This time — for Stephen, Lucy and Rose and all the others — it won’t be so. : :

even go to an art museum, throw ourselves into music venues that we would normally side step, take a walk in a park and read about the different flora and fauna, take a cooking class, or…well, once the reins of a formal education are off of us, we are free to learn and educate ourselves as much as we want. The importance of education is rising in Oregon, one of my adopted home states, where I am writing this column. Oregon, like North Carolina, is one of the 31 states with a constitutional ban against marriage equality. In 2004, Karl Rove and then-President George W. Bush singled out Oregon and a few other states to put anti-marriage equality bans in state constitutions in hopes of

getting conservative votes out for the presidential election.Oregon, like North Carolina, is a state with a split personality: there are large pockets of blue-tilting and Libertarian cities and burbs in the state, surrounded by even larger red pockets of conservative voters tied tightly to institutional religion. Even though I feel more free to be a gay dad in Portland than I do in any city in North Carolina, the folks leading the LGBTQ group here — Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) — do not feel it is not quite time to push amending their state constitution. Says Jeana Frazzini, the executive director of BRO: “Our guiding

see Gay Parent on 18


LGBT org staffers prepare for national conference Staffers from groups in Charlotte, Raleigh and Columbia to attend Atlanta’s Creating Change conference by Matt Comer ::

CHARLOTTE — Non-profit staffers, students, activists and other community members across the Carolinas are preparing to attend this month’s Creating Change, the annual conference of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. This year, the event will be held in Atlanta, slated for the last weekend in January. The conference, the largest of its kind, draws about 3,500 people from across the country each year. The 2013 event marks the conference’s 25th anniversary. Laurie Pitts, programs and services director for Charlotte’s Time Out Youth, is among several non-profit staffers across the state planning on attending the Atlanta event. Pitts attended the conference for the first time last year. “I loved it and I learned so much,” Pitts said. “It’s an excellent place for folks who identify as or work with LGBTQ folks and youth, in particular.” Pitts said the conference gave her an opportunity to meet and network with professionals and community volunteers doing work similar to hers.

“Normally, we do this work in a bubble, because we often are the only agency around that has been doing this for,” she said. “It was really great to get other perspectives from agencies that have been around for a while and do things a little differently.” James Miller, executive director of the LGBT Center of Raleigh, is also attending the conference. He’s taking at least one board member and a volunteer and two students from a local high school’s gay-straight alliance. “It is and forever will be the premier networking event on my calendar,” Miller said of the conference. “I am able to envelop myself with such esteemed leaders in the LGBT movement.” Miller first started attending Creating Change conferences several years ago. Last year’s event in Baltimore was the first time he attended as an executive director of a nonprofit. He said the conference has been a helpful resource in his development as a leader. “There is no better way to cultivate relationships than this face-to-face conference and you get to come away with tons of

resources that you never might have known otherwise,” Miller said. Pitts will be accompanied by Time Out Youth’s newest staff member, Micah Johnson, who works as the group’s director of school outreach and gay-straight alliance support. Pitts said the conference will give her and Johnson opportunities for conversations that aren’t usually possible at home. “I’m excited for just having these conversations and seeing how other agencies are dedicated to being youth-run and youth-directed,” Pitts said. “It’s a really great meeting of the minds that doesn’t happen, especially in this area. It’s not likely that I’m going to be able to sit down with 100 folks who do some version of this work and have this conversation. It just doesn’t happen here.” Other groups across the Carolinas are also planning to attend. South Carolina Equality Executive Director Ryan Wilson is planning to head to Atlanta with two interns and Columbia’s Harriet Hancock LGBT Center is taking seven youth leaders and six board members.  Campus Pride, a Charlotte-based national

Gay Youth’s New Burden, Part II Part two of our series, Gay Youth’s New Burden, exploring HIV infection rates among young people was originally scheduled to be published in this issue. However, due to space constraints and other production schedule requirements, the second part of our series will instead be published in our Feb. 1 print edition. Part three will follow on Feb. 15. We regret any inconvenience to our readers. You can follow the series and its special online-only exclusives at Our first of several online-only exclusives is available online now. : : non-profit, will also be in Atlanta. On Thursday, Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer, staffer Jess McDonald and others will lead a day-long seminar for LGBT college students. The group is also providing funding through an Alliance For Full Acceptance grant to help several Carolinas-area students attend the conference. : : more: Stay tuned to qnotes and goqnotes. com from Jan. 24-27 for more coverage of the upcoming Creating Change conference. Check in for exclusive interviews and features from the conference, including interviews with local and regional leaders and features with national LGBT movement leaders.

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news notes: carolinas. nation. world. compiled by Lainey Millen | David Stout | Matt Comer


Concerns have been expressed by alumnae, such as Annie Webb who graduated in 2005, that the school might become a coed campus. “The board will not consider becoming a coed institution,” the college’s trutees’ chairman Charles Blixt told the Journal. “This is the oldest women’s college in the country, and we intend to remain so.” Harper Jane Tobin, director of policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality in Washington, D.C., felt that the “male student should remain at Salem College. … It’s not fair to punish someone who has come to terms about who they truly are.” College President Susan Pauly has sent an email to alumnae on the subject asking them, “In light of our mission to educate women, how do you view the issue of transgender students in the traditional college program at Salem?” At press time, the situation was under review by the board of trustees. As a religious institution, Salem College is exempt from Title IX which prohibits discrimination based upon gender. — L.M.

Film screenings slated


Charlotte Group surveys LGBT youth

CHARLOTTE — Are you 13-25 and live in North or South Carolina? If so, then you are invited to participate in Time Out Youth’s (TOY) LGBTQ Youth and Young Adult Survey. TOY is embarking on this query on a regional scale to take a look at what youth are saying and experiencing to enable TOY to advocate for those needs. Participants must meet the Feb. 1 deadline. A drawing for a $50 iTunes gift card is available for those who complete the survey. To join in, visit TOYlgbtq2013. They want to gather a good cross section of responses and ask that the survey be shared within the Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr communities, as well as friends and associates. info: — L.M.

WINSTON-SALEM — Out at the Movies will screen the classic comedy, “The Adventures of Pricilla, Queen of the Desert,” on Feb. 23, 6 p.m., at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ Ace Theatre Complex, 1533 South Main St. Immediately following the screening will be an after-party with complimentary snacks/ cash bar in the lobby of the historic Nissen Building, 310 W. 4th St. After 10 p.m., the party will continue at Elixir, 411 W. 4th St. “Pricilla” is a cult favorite among the LGBT community and stars Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Bill Hunter and Terence Stamp. Donations to Equality Winston-Salem will serve as admission to the event. Contributions of $25 or more will enable attendees to receive two drink tickets for the after-party. On March 9 at 7 p.m., Out at the Movies will screen “How to Survive a Plague.” Tickets are $6/adult, $5/seniors and students and will be available when the doors open at 6 p.m. the evening of the showing. (See Triangle/Durham listing below for more information on the film.) info: — L.M.

Trans student seeks accommodations

WINSTON-SALEM — The WinstonSalem Journal reported on Jan. 11 that a trans student at the all-female Salem College wants to remain there to complete his studies will undergo gender reassignment surgery in February. Salem College was founded in 1772 by Moravians and is now a four-year liberals-arts women’s school with enrollment of over 1,000 students. Men who are over 23-years-old take courses there through the Fleer Center for Adult Education, but are not permitted to live on campus.



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Equality NC seeks feedback

RALEIGH — Equality North Carolina (ENC), in order to meet its 2013 New Year’s resolution to serve its supporters, communities and state like never before, is asking for participants in a quick survey. Specifically, they are committed to becoming the state’s primary source for news, education and civic engagement on LGBT issues. They have pledged to be more accountable to the needs of LGBT North Carolinians and its allies in every part of the state. And, in the process, its goal is to take the lessons and successes from 2012 — arguably the most significant year for the LGBT movement in North Carolina and the nation — and translate them into new victories for LGBT Equality in the South, Executive Director Stuart Campbell shared. ENC has promised to take the results and turn them into positive changes in how the statewide LGBT advocacy organization works for its constituents in 2013. To join in the survey, visit survey/. info: — L.M.

Documentary slated

DURHAM — “How to Survive a Plague” will be presented on Jan. 24 at the Carolina Theatre, Fletcher Hall, 309 Morgan St., at 7 p.m. The film is the story of two coalitions— ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) — whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time.

Couple gets dissed by restaurant owner NEW BERN — WCTI-TV, a FOX affiliate, reported on Jan. 10 and 11, that a restaurant owner Ed McGovern of The Stingray Café, 520 S. Front St., on Dec. 4, presented a married lesbian couple, Ariel and Shawnee McPhail, with a condemning letter in the parking area, after they had completed their meal and paid their bill, which stated: “God said in the last days that man and wom[a]n would be lover of self, more [than] the lover of God. That man and woman would have unnatural [affection] for one another. Then, the coming of the Son of Man, who is Jesus. So please, look at your life. See how it hurt[s] everyone around you. And ask the Lord to open your eye[s] before it [is] to[o] late. The Love of Christ P.S. my daughter also was gay. It destroy[ed] her life and my grandson.” It seemed that McGovern disapproved of lesbian couples kissing outside his restaurant, but said that he gave the letter to the couple out of love. This was not the first time he has done this. Shawnee McPhail claims that they were not kissing, but simply holding hands and that she and her partner did not engage in public displays of affection. She added, “Secondly, if I did kiss my wife in public, what married couple would you go to and say, ‘how dare you. You cannot hold hands and you cannot kiss in public therefore you deserve my judgment.’” McGovern’s behavior is not illegal, Photo courtesy of Equality North Carolina though one might argue it could constitute harassment. North Carolina law does not prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in such areas as housing, employment or public accommodations. “While the discriminatory experience Arielle and Shawnee faced at New Bern’s The Stingray Café is not isolated, we, as a community, must roundly condemn it and ask that this diverse Eastern North Carolina town remain on the right side of history by refusing to tolerate it,” Stuart Campbell, executive director of Equality North Carolina (ENC), said in a press release. ENC is dedicated to securing equal rights and justice for LGBT North Carolinians. In order to help this coastal community heal from this incident, ENC has pledged to make New Bern a stop on its upcoming Town Hall tour and to publish a list of business establishments in New Bern and beyond who have pledged to value equality for all North Carolinians, including their LGBT patrons and employees. Representatives from ENC plan to travel to New Bern in February to open a dialogue and engage residents on LGBT issues. To stay updated on the details on this latest stop on the 2013 “Making Our Voices County” Town Hall Tour, sign up for ENC’s Online Action Network at — L.M. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and 1990s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making, producers say. This documentary will be screened as part of Full Frame Film Festival’s Winter Series. It is a 2013 Academy Award nominee and has netted various awards from festivals, critics, and more, across the nation. Admission is free and open to the public. info: — L.M.



Lawsuit: Service members win full pay

Score a ‘victory’ spot

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute is holding a candidate and campaign training from Feb. 14-17 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, 340 N. 3rd St., in Phoenix, Ariz. As part of the event, they have launched their “Onward to Victory” contest which will provide one online mock election candidate who receives the most votes with the chance to win an all-expenses paid spot at the training. Deadline for voting is 12 p.m. on Jan.

31. The winner will be announced on Feb. 1. Included is free registration, accommodations and travel. The contest is a chance for those thinking about running for public office or interested in working on an LGBT candidate’s campaign the opportunity to experience the Arizona training. This is a perfect time for Carolina candidates and others who are interested in the election process to gain powerful tools to mount a successful campaign. Application to attend is available online. To participate, visit onwardtovictory. — L.M.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Jan 7, the government agreed to settle a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of 181 former service members who had their separation pay cut in half due to a Defense Department policy targeting service members honorably discharged for “homosexuality.” Under the terms of the settlement, plaintiffs will receive their full pay, which amounts to approximately $2.4 million. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Mexico filed the lawsuit. Federal law entitles service members to separation pay if they have been invol-

news untarily and honorably discharged from the military after completing at least six years of service in order to help ease their transition to civilian life. — D.S.

‘Advocate’ ranks the ‘Gayest Cities’

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — National LGBT magazine The Advocate has compiled its fourth annual list of the “Gayest Cities in America” and the results sidestep many of the expected gay hotspots. As the feature notes, “Outside of fabulous soirees and mimosa brunches, there is much more to LGBT life in America.” “We never know which cities will make the list until we start tallying the points,” said Matthew Breen, editor in chief of The Advocate. “So it’s a nice surprise to us as well when an unexpected place delivers more gay cred than we expected. But the dialogue this list sparks is the ultimate goal.” The list can be read online at 2013/01/09/gayest-cities-america-2013 — D.S.

High Court sets Prop. 8, DOMA dates

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Hollingsworth

v. Perry, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, on March 26. The very next day, the High Court will hear oral argument in United States v. Windsor, a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Enacted in November 2008, Prop. 8 eliminated the right of gay and lesbian Californians to marry. Early last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a landmark ruling upholding the August 2010 decision of the Federal District Court that found Prop. 8 unconstitutional. Enacted by Congress in 1996, DOMA nullifies the marriages of gay and lesbian couples for all purposes of federal law. The broad reach of the law affects such matters as inheritance rights for surviving spouses, the ability to file joint tax returns and immigration rights for gay Americans with non-citizen partners. — D.S.

Hagel nomination met with concern

WASHINGTON, D.C. — LGBT rights groups issued statements ranging from concern to outright opposition to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. During his time in the U.S. Senate, Hagel scored an

abysmal four percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard and 14 percent with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. “With our country facing so many important battles ahead on such crucial issues as immigration reform, climate justice and gun control, it’s baffling why President Obama would spend political capital on a nominee who so clearly is at odds with his Administration’s values,” said Heather Cronk, managing director for LGBT rights group GetEQUAL. — D.S.

National Cathedral will marry gays

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marriage equality advocates applauded the Washington National Cathedral’s announcement that it will begin celebrating weddings of gay and lesbian couples. The Cathedral is the most visible faith community within the Episcopal Church. Following recent victories for marriage equality across the country and particularly in Maryland and here in the nation’s capital, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, observed, “It is now only fitting that the National Cathedral follow suit. We enthusiastically affirm each person as a beloved child of God — and doing so means including the full participation of gays and

Marketplace Charlotte

lesbians in the life of this spiritual home for the nation.” — D.S.

Global Celibate gay bishops allowed

LONDON, England — For the first time, the Church of England will allow gays to serve as bishops provided they pledge to remain celibate. (Note that this change applies to gay men only, as women are not permitted to serve as bishops.) Historically, Anglican clergy are allowed to marry. The celibacy requirement for gay bishops was a compromise between liberals, who advocated for full equality, and conservatives, who initially rejected the idea outright. The move is certain to further widen the split that has developed between liberal Anglicans in the U.K., Canada and America — The Episcopal Church (USA) — and conservatives, particularly in Africa. Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, who heads the largest province in the Anglican Communion, said the decision “could very well shatter whatever hopes we had for healing and reconciliation within our beloved Communion.” — D.S.

Plaza Midwood

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Documentary seeks to explore impact of 2012 amendment Producers say they want to cut through division, promote healthy conversation by Matt Comer ::

Producers Will Clegg & Lauren Schneider interview Diana Travis and MaryAnn Mueller in their Charlotte home. Photo Credit: Christina Birkhead.

CHARLOTTE — Two Charlotte natives are on a quest to record history and explore how last year’s anti-LGBT state constitutional campaign affected the lives of North Carolinians. Producers Lauren Schneider and Will Clegg have been traveling the state to interview individuals, couples and activists. They want to know how Amendment One affected daily life and how the campaign transformed Carolina politics. “This is a post-campaign look at what happened, what people’s experiences were during the event and lead up to the actual vote,” says Schneider. The film-making team, which recently held a fundraiser for their effort at the Visulite Theatre, say they want their film to tell all sides of the story. “Our goal is to be as unbiased as we can be and to talk to as many people as we can to foster a healthy, civil conversation,” Schneider says. “After all the backlash, the media, the vote and during the campaign, there were some destructive conversations around these issues. We want to bring some

healthy, positive conversation and do some bridge building between as many viewpoints as we can.” Schneider and Clegg, who are joined in the effort by Christina Birkhead, have conducted dozens of interviews already. They’ve spoken to couples, activists, legislators and religious leaders. They’ve been sure to find people from both sides of the issue, though finding amendment supporters willing to speak on camera has been more difficult. “It has been challenging to find those people,” says Schneider. The film, still in production with more than $50,000 in successfully-raised funding via, will seek to show what Schneider says are “beautiful stories on both sides.” Schneider adds, “People are so much more tolerant and understanding than the media and political system would have us believe they are.” : : info:

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Heart & Soul: New congregation provides a home Charlotte welcomes new predominately African-American and LGBT faith community by Matt Comer ::


new, predominately-LGBT faith congregation in Charlotte is reaching out in new ways to a community often underserved among inclusive faith institutions in the Queen City. ReBirth Church, headed by Pastor Ra’Shawn Barlow-Flourney, serves a predominately African-American congregation – people he says are looking for inclusive and safe worship opportunities. “We are making this space available for everybody,” he says. “It’s very important to have a safe space where our community can worship, where you know you are going to be welcomed and received and where you don’t have to worry about what your pastor will say behind the pulpit that makes you feel less than.” ReBirth joins an already-diverse, inclusive faith community in Charlotte. The new congregation meets in space owned by the Metropolitan Community Church of Charlotte, the city’s oldest predominately-LGBT congregation. Up the street, Unity Fellowship Church of Charlotte attracts a predominatelyAfrican-American and LGBT congregation. In Plaza Midwood, New Life Metropolitan Community Church meets at Holy Trinity Lutheran.

ReBirth has grown quickly since their first worship service last July. Membership is up to around 60 people, says Barlow-Flourney, who is currently in the process of moving from Spartanburg, S.C., to be with his congregation in Charlotte. Barlow-Flourney says he’s been pleased with his church’s reception in the city. He hopes a new welcoming and affirming church opens more doors. “I believe there is enough room at the table for everyone to reach,” he says, noting that a variety of local churches can reach out to different people desiring unique connections. “Each congregation or church brings something different,” he says. “We have a lot of males in our church; in some inclusive churches, there might be more females. We attract a younger population of people as well.” For Barlow-Flourney, his church, more Pentecostal in style though non-denominational, represents an opportunity for black LGBT people to have expanded opportunities. He says he wants people to have the opportunity to worship freely and to connect to people who are like them. For a community that often has deep ties to faith, having such a welcoming environment is important. “One of the things we’ve done in the African-American community is that we have been hidden for so long,” he says. “Religion has been a huge factor for us and family is a huge factor for us, but you really have not seen a strong LGBT person of faith stand up.” Making African-American faith experiences more welcoming starts at the grassroots level, he says: “It starts off with us. We help to do that. It’s all done one voice at a time.” Barlow-Flourney knows the church has often been an integral part of the AfricanAmerican experience, a common comfort for those seeking inspiration.

“It goes back into slavery times,” he says. “Those were the moments, those were the hymns, those were the things that brought them through, having a religious institution they could worship in.” For many, comfort comes in familiar routine. “There are some people who are churched and it is a routine in life,” he says. “They are accustomed to it, just like brushing their teeth in the morning. But, it is something accustomed to the African-American community because it gives them a sign of freedom.” The black church has, at times, also been a catalyst for change. Barlow-Flourney says he’s been pleasantly surprised how some black churches have begun to stand up for equality. “I was shocked to see some AfricanAmerican Missionary Baptist churches stand up and say [North Carolina’s anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment] was not right. To see that was awesome,” he says. But, as in all faith communities, there’s more work to be done. “It’s still a challenge,” he says. “It’s going to take one step at a time. Things won’t change overnight.” Barlow-Flourney also hopes to see inclusive change in other ways. He calls Sundays the most segregated day of the week across the nation. At his own church, he wants to reach out and welcome as many people as he can and says he wants straight people and Caucasian and Latino people to feel comfortable at his church. “I’ve challenged our outreach team all the time,” he says. “Who do we reach? Do we just reach to gay people? Reach them all. It’s a kingdom mindset.” In his prior work for a church in South Carolina, Barlow-Flourney says he saw first-hand how intentional outreach can have amazing effects.

Pastor Ra’Shawn Barlow-Flourney uses medical instruments to demonstrate a portion of his Jan. 6 sermon comparing the church to a hospital for those in need of healing. “The church I used to work for, their pastor was white but it was largely attended by African-American people,” he says. “He found the right people in the right spots to do the right outreach.” That outreach, he says, extends to other congregations, too. “We’re too small to be divided,” he believes. “We need help and collaborations and partnerships with other congregations to do work for the masses.” When Barlow-Flourney isn’t thinking about outreach or partnerships, though, he’s deeply committed to to pasturing his flock. His style, he says, is one of practicality. “We can be so much into our books that sometimes we don’t use life practices in church environments or church experiences,” he says. “We have to be able to apply the Bible and have it to real life situations.”

He’s a fan of demonstrations and interactive worship experiences. The last Sunday of 2012, he encouraged his congregants to write down their burdens on pieces of paper and to toss them in a small casket sitting in the church. Later, they buried it. “It was so powerful,” he says. “People were dealing with hurt and depression.” The next Sunday, Barlow-Flourney pulled out medical equipment and mocked checking his blood pressure and heart beat. The church is like a hospital, he said, for those who need healing. “I can’t use so many ‘thees’ and ‘thou arts,’” he says. “People just want to know what it is, how can the word apply to my life and how can I better from it. I train up our people to do just that.” : :

Learn more Learn more about ReBirth Church at The church worships each Sunday, 3 p.m., at MCC Charlotte, 1825 Eastway Dr. You can contact them at 855-216-8800.

Jan. 18-31 . 2013




drag rag by Miss Della qnotes contributor

Let’s make 2013 ‘legendary!’ Greetings, my dear readers and the hapthe “original” contest (y’all know I don’t say piest of new years! I hope you all had good the skinny or little girl) Nece Sexton won Miss holidays and are ready to make 2013 legendMusic City and her alternate was Christina ary. I, for one, am looking at doing some things Alexandria Victoria-Regina Lowe. Vivaca Starr differently myself now that I am a year older won Miss Rhode Island with RU Kelly Brooks. and I lost my dear, sweet Mother in December Lakia Mondale won Massachusetts with RU as many of you may know. I thank all those Anastacia Rexia. Anjila Cavalier won Florida who called, sent texts and sent beautiful flowwith RU Alyssa LeMay. Iroc Octavia Goodness ers and cards. Your kindness will not be soon won TX with RU Xacora Martinez and Eternity forgotten. It makes one think about life in new V. Collins won Miss Lone Star State. For the ways, for sure. At Large contestants, we have Miss Alabama, I wanted to start off by saying sorry for Victoria Taylor and her RU Kinsey Malone; failing to mention two other Music City, Tonna lovely “ladies of the stage” DeMore and runnersat Miss Macy’s holiday party up Rebecca Valentine in the last column — Tara and Raine Beau Brite; Storm and Monica Lovitt. Tennessee, Danielle You can’t always remember DeLong and Extasy everyone, but how did I miss Grey; Sun Coast, those girls? Kamden Cass and I understand Dorae RU Nicolette Ashton; Saunders, our Miss U.S.ofA. Indiana, Ginger Ale and at Large, has already made RU Danielle Avalon; the trip to her first prelim, Rhode Island, Ariel Miss Kansas. I hope they Gibbs with RU Victoria treated the gal well. I told Starr; Massachusetts, Dorae the 40s would be the Mariah Moore Sky and best. She’s only had a few RU Kris Knevil; Kansas, months taste of them and Moltyn Decadence I wish her the best. The and RU Sara De La winner of this contest was Hoya; Miss Florida, the gorgeous Lindsay Paige Jasmine Skiies; Miss (Whitney’s daughter, who TX, Kristina Starr; Miss has eyes to match!) and her Arkansas, Akasha runner-up was Dutchess Jessica Raye, a recent ‘returner’ to Mazzaratie Steele Divina. I look forward to Raleigh, NC, Miss Unlimited Classique Adonis, and, finally, catching up with Dorae at Photo Credit: Lucinda Costner Photograpy Miss Lone Star State, Miss Scorpio at the end of Kayla Monroe.  January, if not before. Hopefully, I will also Well, kids, that does it for me. I wanted run into Skyler Monet that night to congratuto dedicate this column to a lovely queen late her on recently winning Miss Charlotte who recently passed in St. Louis, Miss Sasha Newcomer. Nicole. We’d been friends for years although  Our pic this time is of my sis from way we’d lost contact. She’d competed at Miss back, Jessica Raye, the current Miss USA Continental, Miss Gay America and Miss EOY Unlimited Classique. Our birthdays are actuthat I know of. A lovely boy queen who was so ally within days of each other and I love her pretty I always thought she was my transisdearly. She is now living back in Raleigh, tor sister. Turns out she was just a fishy, good after a brief stint in Knoxville, TN, and before make-up artist who excelled at her craft. A that in Myrtle Beach. Jessica got her start in fallen star, a risen angel. : : pageantry right here in NC (where she’s from) [Ed. Note: The staff of qnotes wishes to extend and I hope to see the ole gal soon. our deepest condolences to Miss Della on the     I will close with results from Allloss of her Mother. ] American Goddess and At Large prelims. I info: Drop me a line, OK? really like that system and its owner, Scott. For

2012 Cover of the Year Our readers had the chance to vote for a total of eight finalists for their favorite 2012 Cover of the Year. The votes are tallied and the results are in! Congratulations to photographer Randall Whitworth, whose photograph appeared on our March 31, 2012, print edition — chosen as the 2012 Cover of the Year.



Jan. 18-31 . 2013

Jan. 18-31 . 2013



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20 Questions Connie Vetter, Charlotte by David Stout ::

right now for our little dog and pony show. You know how we do.

Charlotte attorney Connie Vetter is well known in the LGBT community, both for her professional and civic endeavors. Through her advocacy in a number of state and local organizations, she has worked to make North Carolina — and the Queen City in particular — a better place for us all. At the moment, she’s moving into the home stretch of what might be her largest undertaking yet: co-chairing the Human Rights Campaign 2013 North Carolina Gala. The event is hurtling toward its Feb. 23 date which almost certainly means she — like all of the Gala Committee members — is absolutely swamped with things to do. Naturally, that meant 20 Questions had to speak with her

Do you have a tube of lip balm on your person right now? I always have lip balm in my right coat pocket, my messenger bag, my nightstand and my car. I don’t like dry lips. What’s the first song you remember loving and wanting to hear again and again? “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder. Do you usually know the day of the month without looking or asking? Yes, if I’m at work. No, if I’m on vacation. Have you ever played the game Dungeons & Dragons? No, but I did get into the tunnels under Ohio State and that was fun/scary/creepy. How do these films rank based on the number of times you’ve seen them: “Aliens,” “The Fly II,” “Predator 2,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”? I haven’t seen any of them. I saw “The Fly” and almost walked out. What is the ideal color for a puppy? One that matches your furniture and carpet! I have a white dog and dark furniture and floors. It’s a battle with dog hair every day! How would you finish this sentence: “For the first time in years I feel…” …the many joys of an amazing new relationship. Have you ever lived in a household that subscribed to “TV Guide”? No. Growing up, we only got four channels, so it wasn’t difficult to keep up with programming. How long has it been since you’ve jumped on a trampoline? Too long!

Which professional athlete is the ideal combination of strength and beauty? Wow! Who can choose? Can you name 10 state capitals from memory? Yes, on a good day. What game would you most like to play on “The Price Is Right”? I have no idea. Have you ever been a spectator at a monster truck rally? No, but I’ve wanted to. I went to lawn mower races this summer and I grew up going to demolition derbies and tractor pulls. I love that stuff. What smell takes you right back to your childhood? My mother’s baking. Is there a book on your bedside table right now? No. I don’t have time to read these days. Chocolate milk, milk chocolate, or chocolate milkshake? Got to be milk chocolate. I’m not a fan of chocolate milk or chocolate milkshakes. How old is your oldest article of clothing? A bowling shirt from my grandfather. Are you more likely to call heads or tails at a coin toss? I like to surprise myself. Who was the object of your first celebrity crush? Hmmm, that would be Lindsay Wagner on “The Bionic Woman.” Why should folks come to the 2013 HRC North Carolina Gala? It’s a fun night supporting a great organization that is working every day to change the lives of LGBT people — and having a lot of success doing it. You get to dress to impress, you will be inspired by amazing speakers and you can win incredible trips and items in the Silent Auction. We are planning a fun-filled night, so come on out! — For more information on the 2013 HRC North Carolina Gala, visit

‘Lyfestyles Expo’

connects community The LGBT Lyfestyles Expo was held on Jan. 12 in Uptown Charlotte at the Carole Hoefner Community Services Center. Two dozen businesses and community groups turned out to chat it up with community members and connect them to services and programs. Among them was the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte and the Human Rights Campaign, and others. The expo was organized by Crystal Long, a new member of the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte Board of Trustees. : :

Staffers from Rosedale ID were at the Expo, handing out information about their services and safer sex information. A community member speaks with representatives from Wells Fargo. Members of Chi Psi Omega Fraternity sit with Expo organizer Crystal Long, center, at the fraternity’s table.

Jan. 18-31 . 2013




tell trinity by Trinity :: qnotes contributor ::

Put it down, get out of the house and start meeting people Hello Trinity, Lately, I’ve been experiencing an immense amount of self-sexual fulfillment, if you know what I mean. My neighbors are starting to complain about the noise and my friends are concerned. Is it dangerous to my health? Self-fulfillment, Baltimore, MD Hello Self-fulfillment, When your therapist said, “Take some personal time for yourself,” she didn’t mean this. If masturbation is the word your beating around the bush about, then no it’s not dangerous, but obsessive acts of any kind can lead you down a dangerous path. If you’re going totally insane, then put everything down and get out of your house. Exercising, dieting and going out with friends will absolutely make you less of a handful. And, lastly, honey, if your neighbors keep complaining, then practice a little selfcontrol while you’re self-fulfilling. Take a



Jan. 18-31 . 2013

day off, unplug the internet and try screaming into a pillow rather than down a hallway. Dear Trinity, I never feel comfortable going out anymore. Gay men nowadays are so beautiful and built. I just want to be OK with being regular. What’s someone regular like me to do? Regular Joe, Topeka, KS Dear Regular Joe, The gay male world can be pretentious and frightening. And, why aren’t “Regular Joes” or “Regular Gay Folk” who feel too skinny or fat, too old or young with blemishes and pimples, crossed eyes and four eyes who are uncontrollably introverted, be given better rights. A special committee called UGLI (Underappreciated Gays and Lesbians who are Ignored) should be formed. But, for now, pumpkin, remember, “If you can’t beat ‘em, don’t join ‘em, but rather get in front of ‘em and make

it look like a parade!” In other words, you must be better, prouder and more aggressive than your frenemies. Don’t be shy be shinny! (Start marching and create your own parade like I have done as shown in my cartoon.)

tion, these quick oneliners can make or break the whole night. So, darling, don’t get scared, get wordy, witty and wild with…

Hey Trinity, I met you at a party last month and you snubbed me off. Are you getting so popular that you’ve acquired airs about yourself? Yours Dissatisfied, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Trinity’s Popular Pickup Lines

Hey Dissatisfied, If I offended you, I apologize, but just for the record I am not the type to snob anyone. Some common mistakes of snobbery include: someone being shy, nearsighted or just simply not noticing someone. Also at parties people get caught up in conversations or are not able to see everyone. Yes, sweetie, being ignored is cruel, but being open-minded to someone not noticing you and giving them another chance makes you betterr. Dearest Trinity, I’m not the best with words, especially when I need to approach a stranger. It seems like every pick up line has been used. What do you say to meet someone new? Speechless, Venice Beach, CA Dearest Speechless, Usually, just throwing my head back with a smile gets me what I need or lands me in jail. But, once I’ve talked my way out of incarcera-

After you’ve tried:   1. H  ello, my name is…and I just wanted to say hello.   2. A  re you from around here? Do you have a light? Or, is someone sitting here?   3. Y ou look awfully familiar. I’m…   4. D  idn’t we meet at a party not to long ago? Then try these:   5. P  ardon me, but don’t we share custody of a child in Pakistan?   6. Y our eyes, they’re like deep magnets. Are they yours?   7. E xcuse me, but didn’t we share a romantic evening in Rome just recently?   8. I may look like a tough girl, but I’m really just a nice guy.   9. H  ey, didn’t you and I share a prison cell together. Lastly, this one never fails: 10. H  ello, I was told by my psychic that we were supposed to meet tonight. Go get ‘em! : :

info:With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity hosted “Spiritually Speaking” a weekly radio drama performed globally and is now minister of WIG: Wild Inspirational Gatherings, Learn more at


out in the stars by Charlene Lichtenstein :: qnotes contributor

January 18 - 31 Both Mercury and the Sun move into Aqueerius and wreak happy havoc in our orderly little lives. And, not a moment too soon! We shed our inhibitions and embrace the world with verve, zest and a bit of optimism. Give it a squeeze and don’t expect to slide along strictly on your personal oil. CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) Your mercenary tendencies can get the better of you if you cannot balance your value system with your valuation system. Not everything has a price tag, pink Cap. Sometimes you can do something extravagantly special for someone else without expecting a payoff or monetary reward. Of course, those times are few and far between. AQUARIUS (01.21-02.19) This is your birthday month Aqueerius. Set your sights on a new year with an eye to improving the outer you. Why not experiment with a new look? Everyone will notice and may not even laugh. Remember, this is the time when you draw attention to yourself by just breathing. Pack the breath mints, just in case you decide to do the garlic thing. PISCES (02.20-03.20) As much as you try to fade into the background, you can run, but you cannot hide. And, why should you? Guppies have every right to be loud, proud and right in the center of attention. It’s getting pretty stuffy in that closet of yours. Knock, knock. Open up and come on out. You have nothing to lose but your straight jacket. And, you gain extra storage space! ARIES (03.21-04.20) The social world gravitates to you — and you love it. Proud Rams seek popularlity plus and want to be accepted and part of the crowd. Such a waste of raw talent! Don’t waste your precious time on simply dancing along with the hoi polloi. You should call the tunes and strike up the band. But, avoid polkas and anything with harmonicas. TAURUS (04.21-05.21) As you graze through life, take note of any byways, detours and greener pastures that lead you to the next territory. It is time to wring every drop of experience from your sweat rag and make it pay off in impressive ways in your corporate arena. Choose your fights carefully, queer Bull. It would be a shame to be the plate du jour when you were counting on being the head chef. GEMINI (05.22-06.21) Events that unfold can make pink Twins glow. Grab the world by the orb, but be mindful of subtle signals that could  send you hints about surprises around the corner. What you think is open season may just be a short window of opportunity. Decide and do after careful consideration. Taste everything that life has to offer except that graying liverwurst. CANCER (06.22-07.23) Gay Crabs set the world

on fire and can wind up with heartburn if they over-indulge. Use your insatiable appetite to tie up a few loose ends or create some new ties that bind. Before you tighten the knot, seek some psychological centering. Are you falling into the same old patterns of hide and seek? Lie down and tell me all about it, bubbele. LEO (07.24-08.23) Don’t let yourself be held back by convention. The fates now set you on a course of over-the-top antics that are bound to get you into mischief. Oh, enjoy! It may seem that you can do no wrong. Take every advantage. Your appealing attitude converts even your most vociferous detractors. Prepare for your deep bow proud Lion and don’t wear undies. VIRGO (08.24-09.23) It isn’t healthy to work so hard, queer Virgin. Stress builds to a breaking point and you are spread too thin among your assorted commitments. Try your best to cut the excess and attend only to the critical. You will feel much better and will be more effective. Spend your time preparing for the future and stop looking in the rear view mirror, unless you are ready to park. LIBRA (09.24-10.23) Romance is in the air. Your heart is filled with the possibility of a fantasy forever complete with the pitter patter of little feet. But, be warned proud Libra — your honesty could create a host of unintended awkward moments that can upset your carefully constructed applecart of desire. What goes up must come down. Gee, how sad is that? SCORPIO (10.24-11.22) Queer Scorps want to be alone. Okay, not alone per se, but sequestered in quiet surroundings where you can relax, recharge and rejuvenate your essential oils. Don’t retreat too long. Before you feel totally out of touch, reconnect by hosting a big festive event complete with all the trimmings and the brimmings. And, add a bit of secret sauce, you saucy thing. SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) You need to look no further than your own backyard for fun, entertainment and gratification. Gay Archers might be peering over their back fence green with envy at the greener grass next door. No need to let the greedy gremlins bite. Actually there is everything you need close at hand and, yet, not underfoot. Stop, look and listen — then act. : : © 2013 Madam Lichtenstein, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Entertainment. info: Visit for e-greetings, horoscopes and Pride jewelry. My book “HerScopes: A Guide To Astrology For Lesbians” from Simon & Schuster is available at bookstores and major booksites.

Jan. 18-31 . 2013



Gay Parent continued from page 4

principle is to minimize harm.” They will not be pushing for the amendment in 2013 because it is an off year for voting and the electorate skews more conservative. State leaders believe that Oregon can’t afford to fail again on gay marriage — politically, financially or emotionally. LGBTQ families would be hurt and outside donations for another campaign may not be there. So, while states like Illinois, New Jersey and others who don’t have constitutional amendments on their books make us all drool with envy, the facts are the facts, no matter how much we don’t like them. To North Carolinians who care about marriage equality, here’s the educational lesson for the next few years: Oregon serves as a model for what we could and should be doing here and currently aren’t in regards to marriage equality. They’re purposefully educating the public about the issues of marriage equality and we here are not. LGBTQI and straight allies in Oregon are being



Jan. 18-31 . 2013

encouraged to talk about love and commitment more than about rights and privileges. Here, Equality NC seems to be more focused on making change happen legislatively than through grassroots education. In going onto the group’s website, I looked for “education” and found nothing. No one is leading an educational movement on a grassroots level here to reverse the hateful amendment and allow North Carolina to be open to marriage equality in the near future. In North Carolina, we should be doing what they are doing in Oregon, with LGBTQ people reaching out to cities, but also rural areas, faith communities and businesses, without vilifying opponents. LGBTQ people are sharing stories about ordinary people wanting normal things, like a family. Unlike Equality NC, BRO is pushing others to tell their stories, which is politically smart. Signature gathering for the November 2014 ballot initiative is beginning in 2013, with people spending time in farmers’ markets,

summer concerts and other grassroots locales. LGBTQI people and straight allies are doing the long-term groundwork necessary to change a culture: they are educating the populace one person at a time, right where they live. Friends in North Carolina: before I move out of North Carolina because of its shame-filled amendment, I’m ready to educate North Carolinians, reversing the amendment, replacing it with marriage equality in our state and ready to pop champagne glasses (or sparkling juice) from Murphy to Manteo for all who wish to marry. How does 2014 sound to you for such a change? Let’s try a new “ENC”: Educate North Carolinians…for change! : :

qpoll What do you think of Equality North Carolina’s outreach efforts, educational awareness initiatives and advocacy strategies? See the options and vote:


What’s in a name?

Jan. 21-25 • Charlotte
 No Name Calling Week
 Time Out Youth marks the national No Name Calling Week with various events. The national awareness week seeks to solve name-calling and bullying in schools by creating dialogue. Local events to be announced. For local information contact Micah Johnson at For information on the national movement, visit


Every Wednesday • Charlotte Free HIV & Syphilis Testing Free HIV and syphilis testing provided by the Mecklenburg County Health Department every Wednesday at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, 2508 N. Davidson St. 5-7 p.m. 704-333-0144. Jan. 19 • Charlotte Annual MLK Parade Join the Human Rights Campaign in marching in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Parade in Uptown Charlotte. Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Phifer and N. Tryon St. Look for people carrying the HRC flag. After the parade, join the group for lunch and drinks. Location TBA. Jan. 19 • Charlotte Youth support A new youth support group, “Skittles,” for youth ages 11-14. Held the third Saturday of every month, 11 a.m., at Time Out Youth, 1900 The Plaza. Jan. 23 • Charlotte Free Yoga class Takeover Friday hosts a free yoga class with Flex and Fit, 550 S. Tryon St. 7:10-8:10 p.m. Complimentary parking in garage. Please bring mat or rent one for a small fee.

their voices during the group’s premiere event. Directed by Jeremy Nabors. Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1902 Perry St. 7:30 p.m. Free. Donations accepted. 919-3605242. VoxVirorumTriangleMensChoir. Jan. 25-27 • Durham Fabufest! 2013
 iNSIDEoUT holds its retreat for youth ages 13 and older. Location TBA. events/449721155090937/. Jan. 30 • Raleigh Polyamory discussion The LGBT Center of Raleigh hosts the Triangle Area Polyamory group for a discussion on polyamory and ethical nonmonogamy. Learn the basics of loving, honest, committed relationships with multiple partners, including communication, relationship dynamics, stereotypes and more. LGBT Center of Raleigh, 411 Hillsborough St. 7:30 p.m. 919-832-4484. Feb. 2 • Charlotte Pretty Things Peep Show Take a peek into the past when you see The Pretty Things Peepshow performing their vintage vaudeville extravaganza. Sideshow stunts, classic burlesque, circus acts and live music by the Pretty Things houseband, The Peeping Toms,

make this an unforgettable night of glitz and glamour. You won’t want to miss a single one of their 22 thrilling acts including sword swallowing, juggling, glass walking, contortion, hula hoops, whip cracking, comedy, magic, beautiful dancing girls and more! The Chop Shop in NoDa, 399 E. 35th St. 8 p.m. $10/advance. $12/door. More information at prettythingsproductions. com and, by email at and by phone at 704-765-CHOP (704-765-2466). Feb. 6 • Charlotte National GSA Day Time Out Youth recognizes National GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Day. For more information on local efforts organized around National GSA Day, contact Micah Johnson, mjohnson@ Feb. 12 • Charlotte Panel: Young Adult Leadership Campus Pride hosts a local forum and panel discussion on the topic, “Meaningful Involvement of Young Adults in Charlotte LGBT Organizations.” Come and hear from young adults how they feel about leadership and learn how your organization can have meaningful outreach and involvement for young adults. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, 2508 N. Davidson St. 7:30 p.m. 704333-0144.

Jan. 23-27 • Atlanta
 Creating Change The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hosts its annual National Conference on LGBT Equality, “Creating Change,” the largest LGBT conference of its type in the nation. The event marks the conference’s 25th year, featuring workshops and seminars, appearances by national movement leaders and celebrities and Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey’s annual State of the Movement address. Conference will be hosted at the Hilton Atlanta. Registration is open now with details available at Jan. 24-Feb. 9 • Charlotte
 ‘Next to Normal’ Queen City Theatre Company presents their production of the musical “Next to Normal,” winner of a 2010 Pulitzer Prize and three Tony Awards. The production is described as an “electrifying and powerful rock musical” telling the story of suburbanite Diana, her husband and her 16-yearold daughter and 17-year-old son as she struggles with bipoler disorder. Recommended for ages 15 and older. Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. Jan. 25 • Charlotte Barn Dance Southern Country Charlotte hosts its monthly barn dance. Hartigan’s Irish Pub, 601 S. Cedar St. 10 p.m. Free/SCC members. $5/non-members. Jan. 25 • Durham Debut Concert Vox Virorum Men’s Chorus will showcase

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Jan. 18-31 . 2013

QNotes Jan. 18-31, 2013  

As part of Black History Month, QNotes explores the heart and soul of LGBT people within faith communities. Also, news and features from acr...

QNotes Jan. 18-31, 2013  

As part of Black History Month, QNotes explores the heart and soul of LGBT people within faith communities. Also, news and features from acr...