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inside

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news & features

Flip Benham’s failed shout down arts. news. views. with Mayor Vientertainment. Lyles at march did not go well Jan. 21 - goqnotes.com/57620

arts. news. views.   5 entertainment. HRC North Carolina Gala

  5   6   7   9 10 11

STD Testing Update News Notes: Regional Briefs News Notes: U.S./World Briefs Asexuality Explored Advocacy Lessons Triangle Empowerment Project

Vital support provides respite to the homeless page 11

CMS board adds LGBTQ support after heated debate Jan. 24 - goqnotes.com/57653

more news & features …

LGBTQ rights advocates tell Amazon to bypass Raleigh Feb. 3 - goqnotes.com/57878

a&e / life&style 17 18 19 22

Our People: Judson Gee Dishing with Buff Faye Tell Trinity Q Events Calendar

opinions & views   4 Guest Commentary 16 Spiritual Reflections

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online

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Raleigh LGBTGQ emergency housing

‘Architect of HB2’ gets a primary challenger Feb. 3 - goqnotes.com/57884 Dishing with Buff Faye

Spiritual Reflections

Clever lines to say to someone when you find them attractive page 18

A look at human sexuality from a biblical perspective page 16

Single and queer in Charlotte? Speed date on Valentine’s Day Feb. 3 - goqnotes.com/57897

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qnotes connect Feb. 9-22, 2018 Vol 32 No 21

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

contributors this issue

Rev. Chris Ayers, Buff Faye, Ivy Gibson-Hill, Stan Kimer, Lainey Millen, Jeff Taylor, Trinity, Jerry Yelton

front page

Graphic Design by Lainey Millen Photography: Personal Collections Mission:

The focus of QNotes is to serve the LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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 Staff Writer: Jerry Yelton, jerry@goqnotes.com Production: Lainey Millen, x205, production@goqnotes.com Printed on recycled paper.

Material in qnotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2018 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: 02.23.18: Gay & Gray/Black History Advertising Space Deadline: Feb. 14 03.09.18: Spring A&E Advertising Space Deadline: Feb.. 28

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GUEST Commentary

Why transgender health care is primary care Southern states face challenges by Ivy Gibson-Hill :: guest contributor

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ne hundred and twenty-five miles. That’s how far many of the trans people who we work with at Gender Benders in Upstate South Carolina have to drive to find a medical provider who will treat them with dignity and respect. For these folks who live in places like Cowpens, South Carolina, a simple trip to the doctors office often means driving to Augusta, Georgia to the Equality Clinic or Charlotte to see someone in the Charlotte Transgender Healthcare Group. This trip takes about four and a half hours in the car round trip, and costs a someone a whole day of work and around $25 in gas just to get to their appointment. Simultaneously to all of this we know there are affirming doctors who want to treat trans patients in nearly every small town across the South. So, why don’t they? Why do we see this enormous gap in services for Southern rural trans folks? It’s not typically because these providers have malice or ill intent towards trans folks. Contrary to that many providers deeply care about LGBTQ people, but they still aren’t providing Hormone Replacement Therapy, or meeting the basic needs of trans patients. This is rooted in the belief that trans folks need to see specialists in order [to] receive care. The truth is that treating a trans patient isn’t all that different from treating any other patient. I mean, sure, we’re cuter than a lot of nontransgender folks — but, if a medical provider is providing hormone therapy for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Low Testosterone for anyone, they should also be able to provide Hormone Replacement Therapy for trans folks. We also know that trans folks see unemployment rates that are three times higher than the national average, with black trans folks facing rates that are four times higher, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey conducted by National Center for Transgender Equality. According to the Williams Institute an estimated 1.4 million adults in the U.S. identify as transgender, and more trans people live in Southern states than any other region of the U.S. When we add all this up it’s easy to see that the current state of healthcare for trans folks in the rural South is inaccessible at best. This is why the Gender Benders have been offering trainings to medical providers and working with places like the Greenville Health System, Carolina Center for Behavioral Health and Spartanburg Regional Hospital around trans issues. Gender Benders is a grassroots organization for transgender, gender non-conforming folks and our friends and families. We developed a three-pronged approach to serving our people. The first leg of what we do is connecting people to the resources they need to lead full and healthy lives. The second leg of what we do is engage in activism and education to create safer communities for our people. And the third leg of what we do is hold intentional space for people to develop relationships with other trans and gender nonconforming folks. We collaborate with doctors who do specialize in working with trans folks to create resources like this insurance fact sheet that outlines helpful information about alternative coding for trans healthcare. The sad reality for many trans people is that we have to provide this information to our healthcare professionals in order to get our care coded in [such] a way that insurance will help offset the cost. Keep in mind, this is for those of us who are fortunate enough to even have insurance. Another piece of this work for us is connecting people with resources like Trans in the South: A guide to Resources and Services, which I maintain in my role with Campaign for Southern Equality. The resource guide lists trans-friendly primary care providers, mental health professionals, HIV/AIDS care organizations, legal resources and more. This helps connect people to the care they need, but it’s still not enough. Almost 25 percent of trans people who took the U.S. Transgender Survey reported not seeking out a medical professional when they needed to see one for fear of

mistreatment. A 2014 study on suicidality in the trans community by the Williams Institute found that 60 percent of trans people who aren’t able to find a doctor attempt suicide. Knowing this — and aware that the Trump administration is working to legalize trans health care discrimination— we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this deprivation of resources the trans community faces when it comes to nearly every sphere of life, but in healthcare particularly. Transgender health care is primary care. We have the ability to bridge this gap, and make adequate health care available for trans folks who live in the rural South. We must dispel this myth that trans care is specialty care. We must empower medical providers with resources for treating trans folks. We must make healthcare accessible for trans people. Access to healthcare is among the most basic of human rights. Every person should have access to at least one primary care physician in their town that will treat them with dignity and respect. : : — Ivy Gibson-Hill is a co-founder and the executive director of Gender Benders. Ze also serves as the LGBTQ Rights Toolkit coordinator with Campaign for Southern Equality where ze is working to launch the new Southern LGBTQ Health Initiative. Gibson-Hill lives in a small town outside of Greenville, S.C. where ze has worked as an advocate for trans, gender non-conforming, and LGBQ people since 2004. NOTE: This piece, which is being reprinted with permission from the author, was first published in The Advocate. Learn more by visiting southernequality.org, lgbtrightstoolkit.org and genderbenders.org.


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Organizational Spotlight

HRC North Carolina’s annual gala held on Feb. 17 LGBTQ non-profit holds its biggest annual North Carolina fundraiser and celebration in Charlotte, N.C. by Jerry Yelton :: qnotes contributor

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able to offer community building for their own members, but n Feb. 17, the Human Rights Campaign North Carolina through community events and volunteer drives, they have been will hold their 23rd Annual Gala at La Meridien, 555 S. able to give back more than $100,000 throughout the city. McDowell St., North Tower. Tatiana Maslany, an actress who gained prominence in Operating under the slogan, “Together We Rise,” the gala plans “Orphan Black,” will receive the 2018 an award and recognition to honor and highlight the community in new and exciting ways. as an ally for LGBTQ equality on screen. Keynote speaker for the event is Human Rights Campaign This year’s gala entertainment comes in the form of Johnny National Press Secretary Sarah McBride. She made national Manuel, a young man from Flint, Mich. who was a contestant on headlines when she came out as transgender while serving as “America’s Got Talent.” He uses his voice and talents to highlight student body president at American University. And, she interned important struggles and his own lived experiences. He is curat the White House and was the first out transgender woman to do rently recording his debut record. so. McBride became the first openly transAuctioneer and special guest for the event is Dana gender person to address a major party Goldberg, a comedian who has shared the stage with political convention when she spoke at the former President Barack Obama and actresses Jane 2016 Democratic National Convention in Lynch and Kathy Najimy. Philadelphia, Pa. When asked about why events that honor North This year, the gala is chaired by Carolinans and showcase talents like Manuel, Dan Joy Bowling and Louis Kemp, two local Mauney, one of the local Human Rights Campaign Charlotte activists who stepped up to directors, said the gala is a place for people to see their lead the gala evening of excitement and voices represented and know, “I’m not alone — I can be activism. Kicking off with a silent auction with items donated from local non-profits and businesses, and cocktail reception, the event’s program, dinner and entertainment will begin at 7 p.m. Every year, the gala honors a Johnny Manuel “Pioneer of the Year,” someone who has contributed to the lives and visibility of LGBTQ people in North Carolina, and an “Organization of the Year,” given to an organization that has furthered LGBTQ progress in the state, plus an “Ally for Equality.” Dan Kirsch was chosen as the “Pioneer” recipient. He has a long history of LGBTQ activism in Charlotte and the Carolinas. He was a part of the founding of One Voice Chorus, OutCharlotte LGBTQ Cultural Festival, the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte and the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund. Through this work and outreach throughout the community, he has worked on countless campaigns and issues from film societies to helping fundraise for LGBTQ homeless youth. The “Organization of the Year” is Stonewall Sports. Started just over three years ago, Stonewall began as a group of friends that saw an opening to bring together a chapter of the national program to be a part of the Charlotte community. Now with 15 different active leagues, serving over 1,500 people, they are able to offer active, engaging opportunities to many Charlotteans. Stonewall Charlotte has not only been Human Rights Campaign Carolina Gala Co-chairs Joy Bowling and Louis Kemp.

a part of a larger organization where I can belong and express myself and be accepted.” Earlier on the day of the gala, registration for Federal Club and Federal Club Council ticket holders opens at 4:30 p.m. where attendees can have a preview of and participate in an early silent auction and reception at 5 p.m. Table captains are welcome. They host tables of 10. Visit the website for more details. Preferred parking is provided by the hotel at $7 for gala attendees. Tickets are $125/Federal Club and $250/regular and are available online. Guests may select an alternate vegetarian meal option. A special rate of $149 is available for those who wish to stay at the hotel. When calling 800-325-3535 to book a room, request the HRC dinner rate. Prior to the festivities, several events are being held as a lead up to the gala. On Feb. 16, enjoy a Rise Up Takeover in the hotel lobby from 7-11 p.m. DJ Little Betty will be on hand spinning tunes and a cash bar will be available. Admission is free. On Feb. 17, get up early for the Rise & Run Fun Run which begins at 9 a.m. and is being held in conjuction with Front Runners Meet Up. Participants will meet at People’s Market, 1315 East Blvd. After the gala until midnight, Rise & Celebrate at CJ’s of Le Meridien with a cash bar and ‘90s music and dance party. Or, Rise & Relax at the Equality Lounge at the hotel for conversation and a cash bar. Admission is free. On Feb. 18, Rise & Dine at Boulevard 1820, 1820 South Blvd., for a brunch, mimosas and drag queens at 11 a.m. Brunch is $20 and a cash bar will be available. All door ticket proceeds will benefit the work of HRC. Volunteers are always needed at the gala. Sign up online at bit.ly/2nLnpax. For more information, visit hrccarolina.org. : :

Community Health

Expansions in STD testing ensure faster, easier linkage to care Developments in STD testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia allow patients to learn their results faster than ever by Jerry Yelton :: qnotes contributor

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any within the LGBTQ community are familiar with the rapid testing platform available for HIV and syphilis testing, involving a quick finger prick and 15-20 minute wait time (for more information on testing sites in the Carolinas, see goqnotes.com/55870). New updates in the field of fast-result STD tests are now here for two of the most omnipresent and underdiagnosed STDS, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Cepheid, a company that makes many of the non-STD-related

tests already present in the hands of physicians, has released the Xpert CT/NG test that is “capable of delivering accurate results while patients are still present in the clinic,” said Dr. Edward W. Hook III, the direct of Jefferson County, Alabama’s STD Control Program. “Delays in treatment can lead to complications in about 1 in 25 infected women awaiting test results.” With the innovation of this new test, results can be returned to patients within 90 minutes, allowing for linkage to care to be immediate.

Through a quick urine or swab sample, a healthcare provider can run the test and have results back in less than an hour and a half, as opposed to multi-week wait times associated with sending off tests to labs half a state away. With diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia on the rise but absolutely treatable, these tests open the door for quicker diagnosis and care, which can drastically reduce the complications that are too often associated with long-term undiagnosed STDs. : :

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

Community lends hand to church

in New York, Charlotte or around the world,” said Blumenthal President/CEO Tom Gabbard. “Beyond his artistry, we are also celebrating the achievements of ‘one of our own’ who grew up in Rock Hill, S.C. His family has deep roots in our community and were beloved arts leaders. That’s an inspiring story to our kids today who are dreaming of what their futures might be.” The gala musical tribute will feature performances by local high school students who participate in the Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards (also known as the Blumeys), including 2017 Blumey Awards Best Actress and Jimmy Awards Best Dancer winner Anna Hertel. An exhibit of Long’s work is currently on display at the Mint Museum at the Levine Center for the Arts, 500 S. Tryon St., in Charlotte, N.C. Tickets begin at $25 and are available online. A $15 advance and night of Student Rush is also offered at blumenthalarts.org/rush. info: blumenthalarts.org.

Church presents Williamson event

Community members came to the rescue to help Wedgewood Church with repairs and grounds work after vandals damaged the property.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An overwhelming outpouring was shown to Wedgewood Church after vandals damaged the rainbow front doors to the building with grafiti saying “Fags Are Piedofhiles.” Friends and supporters of Wedgewood came together on Feb. 3 for a service and painting event. Those who gathered were welcomed by Co-Pastor Rev. Malu Fairley-Collins who explained the purpose of the event. Rabbi Dusty Klass, associate rabbi at Temple Beth El led the group in an interfaith prayer. Songs were performed during the ceremony. And, several clergy members, including Co-Pastor Rev. Dr. Chris Ayers and Rev. April Smith, along with Patrick Schober (Myers Park Baptist Church) explained the opportunities available for the day’s activities. Volunteers sanded the front doors and heard plans for the future painting of them, painted a canvas, mulched the landscape and painted the river rocks on the grounds. Rev. Fairley-Collins delivered a recommitment for justice for LGBTQ people and blessing. Supplies were donated by Sherwin Williams/Eric Di Croce, Jasper Blue, and Hensons’ Inc. along with a video surveillance and recording system. Additionally, the church GoFundMe raised its goal amount in one day. Additional contributions can be made via check to Wedgewood Church and mailed to 4800 Wedgewood Dr., Charlotte, NC 28210 or online at the church website. info: wedgewoodchurch.com.

Charlotte Blumenthal to mount Long tribute

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Blumenthal Performing Arts has announced that a musical tribute to the Carolinas’ own William Ivey Long will be held on Feb. 24, 8 p.m., at the Knight Theatre, 430 S. Tryon St. The Tony-award winning costume designer and Broadway icon will be honored with an array of original music featuring the talents of Christine Ebersole, Andy Karl, Laura Osnes and BeBe Winans. York, S.C. native Charles RandolphWright will direct the production along with David Dabbon who serves as musical director, arranger and conductor. In addition to onstage stars, others will send their greetings and admiration by video during the evening’s show. William Ivey Long

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Long’s work has earned 15 Tony Award nominations and six Tony Awards for Best Costume Design. He won a Drama Desk Award and was nominated for an Emmy for his work on “GREASE Live!” broadcast on Fox TV. He re-imagined designs for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” also for FOX, dressed Mick Jagger for The Rolling Stones tour “Steel Wheels” and designed for dance legends like Twyla Tharp and the NY City Ballet. Among the Broadway shows designed by Mr. Long are: “The Producers,” “Hairspray,” “Chicago,” “Cabaret,” “Cinderella,” “Crazy for You,” “Guys and Dolls,” “La Cage aux Folles,” “9 to 5,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Nine,” “On the Twentieth,” “Bullets Over Broadway” and “Grey Gardens.” “This is a signature event in our 25th Anniversary Season year of celebration. Our theater fans have loved William’s designs in so many Broadway shows, whether

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — St. John’s Baptist Church, 300 Hawthorne Ln., will hold a sermon and book reading with George Williamson entitled “Born in Sin, Upended in Grace,” at 10:30 a.m. In a moment of spontaneous adventure while in college, Williamson joined a group of fellow Wake Forest University students who joined the Greensboro, N.C. sit-in movement, the first whites to do so, and this before “sit-in” was even a word. His college mentor, Mac Bryan, bailed him out, introduced him to the words “civil disobedience” and launched him into a lifetime of addressing the U.S.’s racial history. Afterward he became highly aware of corruption, the threat of nuclear weapons and U.S. warmongering habits and “imperial impulses.” He also saw the inherited and reinforced patterns not just of sexual discrimination, but also misogyny, followed by an increasingly “prophetic engagement with the forces of homophobia” (especially within the church) and “devoted pastoral presence within the LGBTQ community.” Lunch will be offered for $10 per person between worship and the book reading. Email Jacquelyn McAbee at jmcabee@sjcharlotte. org to make a reservation for lunch. Those who do not want lunch can join the conversation without making a reservation. info: stjohnsbaptistchurch.org.

Hildreth kicks off campaign

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Community activist and MeckPAC board chair Jamie Hildreth has announced his bid for a County Commission seat and will hold a reception and fundraising event on Feb. 22, 6:30 p.m., at The Morehead Inn, 1122 E. Morehead St. Contribution levels are $1,500, host; $1,000, co-host; $500, patron; $250, supporter; and $100, friend. Suggested individual tickets are $50 and young professionals are $25 and are available online at act.myngp.com. info: facebook.com/voteJamieHildreth.

Band hosts concert

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Pride Band kicks off their 2018 season on Feb. 24, 5 p.m., at Myers Park Baptist Church, Heaton Hall, 1900 Queens Rd., with “Con Spirito” featuring works by Dimitri Shostakovich, Aaron Copland, Frank Ticheli, Samuel Hazo and Richard Rodgers. Tickerts are $15 and are available online or at the door. info: charlotteprideband.org.

Condoms hit the runway

CHARLOTTE, N.C — The annual Condom Couture runway fashion show will be held on Feb. 24, 7 p.m., at The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. The event features 20 local designers who use condoms to create fashionable, wearable art that promotes safe sex. Proceeds go to benefit Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. Radio personality Ramona Holloway will serve as host. Designers are Leah Mulligan Cabinum, Edith Covarrubias, Cathay Dawkins, Edelweiss De Guzman, Buff Faye, FROCK Shop/Caroline Cook, Sara Johnson, Merissa Jones, Amberle Linnea, Rocio Llusca, Teddy Manywounds, Corey/ Taylor/Shannon McGovern, MissyPunkVintage/ Missy Beach and Jocelyn Logan, MyMarlow/ Hunter Andrews, Bree Stallings & Robin Sexton Stallings, Kat Sweet, Keisha Thrift, TuxedoKat Productions/Kat Wyllie, Nicci Wiggins and Yarn Work NC/Sarah Terry Argabrite. Tickets are $30 for general admission and standing room only and VIP tickets range from $150-$3,000 depending upon sponsorship level selected, and are available online. The event sells out fast, so order tickets quickly. info: condomcoutureclt.com. ppsat.org.

Church welcomes new pastor

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Metropolitan Community Church Charlotte welcomes its new clergy member Rev. Todd Goewey as he takes the pulpit on March 4 for worship services at 10:45 a.m. at 7121 Orr Rd. In other news, longtime community member Ed DePasquale has been in the hospital after a fall in his new apartment and is now in rehab. On Feb. 15, DePasquale will celebrate his birthday and the community is encouraged to send him birthday cards to lift his spirits. Send them to 6000 Park Dr. South #243, Charlotte, NC 28270. info: mymcccharlotte.org.

Eastern Bingo brunch upcoming

GREENVILLE, N.C. — The Pitt County AIDS Service Organization Drag Brunch will be held on Feb. 11, 11:30 a.m., at Scullery, 431 Evans St., with the show beginning at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for brunch and a $10 contribution to the AIDS service organization. Reservations are encouraged as the event is often sold out. Contact the restaurant to reserve a table at 252-321-1550. info: picaso.org.

Triad Museum seeks staff

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Elsewhere, located at 606 S. Elm St., is seeking a communications manager for its organization with a start date in April. The position calls for someone to collaborate with a team of arts administrators and interns in the promotion and documentation of the public museum and international residency. This job will require regular management of promotion, website, social media, audio/ visual documentation and design. Candidates must be comfortable with and have experience with: web and social media platforms; Adobe software applications; audio/visual equipment; MailChimp; and video/audio editing software as a plus (FCPX, Premiere, Audacity). Ideal candidates should be highly detailoriented, focused on communications writing, design and dissemination of information in an


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arts-based non-profit setting. They should also be personally outgoing and thrive in a very collaborative and often public work environment, as well as comfortable managing multiple deadlines with intern support. It is suggestsed that applicants have have two or more years communications field experience suggested. For more information on the job description and how to submit a resume and cover letter, visit goelsewhere.org/opportunities. info: goelsewhere.org.

Triangle ‘Bent’ in production

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Justice Theatre Project begins its run of “Bent” on Feb. 9 at Umstead Park United Church Of Christ, 8208 Brownleigh Dr. The production, which takes place in 1934 Berlin, Germany on the eve of the Nazi incursion, tells the story of two gay men during the early days of the Holocaust. It is a lesson in history, a cautionary tale and a tragic love story about the Third Reich’s persecution of gays and the pink triangle, a sewn-on badge of shame for gay men in the Nazi concentration camps. Community discussions and events during the performance run include: Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m., and free meet the cast and opening night reception in the lobby after the show; Feb. 10, 2 p.m., and free childcare provided by SeedArtShare (reservations required); Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m., with 6:30 p.m. pre-show discussion by Stan Kimer, “Inclusion in the Workplace” using humor, communication and employee development; Feb. 11, 3 p.m., $15 admission day; Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m., with pre-show discussion at 6:30 p.m. by Sara Thompson, “Germany Then and Now. Transparency and Treatment of Others;” and Feb. 18, 3 p.m., with audio description for the visually impaired and visually impaired patron and driver admitted free with reservations. During intermission at select shows advocates will staff tables featuring a non-profit agency that will share their story and inspire the audience. Each group will be given approximately five minutes at the end of the extended intermission to address the audience and promote the work being done by their non-profit. Tickets are $22/adults, $17/seniors and military, $15/groups and students and are available online. info: thejusticetheatreproject.org.

Network welcomes Carrboro mayor

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Raleigh Business and Professional Network will welcome Carrboro, N.C. Mayor Lydia Lavelle at its meeting on Feb. 14, 6 p.m., at 18 Seaboard Restaurant, 18 Seaboard Ave. #100. Lavelle will share news and information about her town and about its advocacy at a local level for LGBTQ rights. Her discussion revolves around state and national politics, informed by her scholarship as a law professor at North Carolina Central University. Dinner reservations are available online at bit.ly/2E3AmYh. info: raleighnetwork.org.

Ball benefit upcoming

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Red Ribbon Ball 2018 to benefit the Alliance of AIDS Services - Carolina, will be held on Feb. 17, 8 p.m., at Stockroom at 230, 230 Fayetteville St. The event includes served hors d’oeuvres, coffee and dessert bar, wines and beers and dance music by DJ Fred. A special perfor-

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youth to enhance their communities and the well-being of other youth. “Equality NC is elated that Todd has been appointed to the State Youth Advisory Council by Governor Roy Cooper,” said ENC Interim Executive Director Matt Hirschy. “It is so important Regional to have LGBTQ representation on the State’s Youth Rosendahl gets state appointment Advisory Council to ensure CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Time Out Youth Dr. Todd Rosendahl that youth participating in the Center (TOY) and Equality North Carolina program can live their true selves without fear (ENC) announced that Dr. Todd Rosendahl, ENC of discrimination. Todd’s extensive experience and TOY joint director of youth policy, has been and knowledge will be a valuable addition to the appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper to the North Youth Advisory Council.” Carolina Youth Advisory Council. “We are so proud of Todd’s appointment to the The State Youth Council is comprised of State Youth Advisory Council,” said TOY Executive youth and adults working with local governDirector Rodney Tucker. “His dedication to the ment agencies to address the needs of their Charlotte region has made a profound impact to local peers. Rosendahl will be a critical part in protect and save the lives of LGBTQ youth.” ensuring the success of the council by organizinfo: timeoutyouth.org. equalitync.org. ing programs and projects for participating mance by Sidecar Social Club will add to the “elegant evening.” Creative semi-formal and formal attire is suggested. Tickets are $75/general admission and $100/Friends of the Alliance VIP and are available online at bit.ly/2nBSC0e. info: aas-c.org.

Chorus kicks off Spring season

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus is engaged in its open rehearsal period, which began on Feb. 6, and encourages selfidentified male singers of all sexual orientations to attend. Rehearsals begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays throughout February at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough St. New singers can join at any time during the month. Auditions are not required to join the chorus. However, singers must be prepared to undergo a voice placement exercise with the artistic director. The Spring season consists of an annual spring concert, various community appearances like Out! Raleigh 2018, and an international performance at Unison Festival 2018 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In addition to singers, the chorus is also seeking non-singing volunteers to help with concert publicity, concert administration and social media. Email Ken Drayton at president@tgmchorus.org or Tyrese Howard at communications@ tgmchorus.org to learn more. info: tgmchorus.org.

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

Moretz film nets Sundance top jury honors

professed, ‘Yep, I’m Gay,’ on the cover of Time magazine (1997), before a weekly sitcom called ‘Will & Grace’ brought an openly gay character into primetime (1998), and of course, long before same-sex couples won the right to get married in all 50 states (2015). In the early ’90s, it was not a good idea to double-date to the school formal, then wind up making out with the prom queen in the back seat of your boyfriend’s car.” However, The Guardian shared that in the introduction of the film at Sundance, its director Desiree Akhavan said “there were no queer

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John Hughes films when [she] was growing up.” The publication also said that the film would be a “panacea for gay kids for years to come, so for that our prayers have been answered,” in their review coverage. The writer also said that it was the “best thing she’s done” when dissecting Moretz’s performance. Co-stars in the film are John Gallagher Jr., Forrest Goodluck, Jennifer Ehle, Sasha Lane, Emily Skeggs, Owen Campbell, Quinn Shephard and Melanie Ehrlich. info: apnews.com. variety.com. theguardian.com.

QUICK HITS —————————————————————————————— Soulforce will present a 60-minute digital self-defense webinar class entitled “Biblical Literalism: Self-Defense Class for Bible-Based Attacks” to wrestle with the conversation of “biblical literalism and weaponized scripture” on Feb.12, 7 p.m. All registrants will also receive a digital copy of Soulforce’s newest theological resource, “Breaking Open: Biblical Literalism & Inerrancy,” and a copy of the recorded webinar via email after the call. Registration is required. info: bit.ly/2EJ7FN9. ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ film still

PARK CITY, Utah — “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” received the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award on Jan. 22. It stars Chloe Grace Moretz in the lead role. The film focuses on a 12-year-old Montana teenage girl who is sent to a conversion center, The Associated Press reported. It was adapted from an Emily M. Danforth novel and takes place in the early 1990s.

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The teen’s conservative aunt and grandmother come to live with her after the death of her parents in a car crash. Subsequently, she develops a relationship with her best friend. In accepting the award, Moretz dedicated it to victims of LGBTQ sexual conversion therapy. Variety’s review said that it was a “shame neither the book nor the movie existed back then. . That was before Ellen DeGeneres

The American Military Partner Association condemned a Republican National Committee vote passing a resolution backing Donald Trump’s attempt to kick transgender service members out of the military and block qualified transgender recruits from entering the military. The resolution states the military should consider transgender people as having “a disqualifying psychological and physical condition.” info: militarypartners.org.

The Gangway, the oldest continuously operating gay bar in San Francisco, Calif., announced that it was shuttering its establishment located in the Castro district. In light of that, some community members have posed the question of whether places of historical significance to the LGBTQ culture should be protected. info: kgoradio.com. Equality California announced its endorsement of Gavin Newsom for California governor. Newsom is currently California’s lieutenant governor and previously served as the mayor of San Francisco. info: eqca.org. The Salvation Army has opened a homeless shelter for LGBT people in Winnipeg, Canada, LGBTQ Nation reported. In separate quarters

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Exploring Sexuality

Asexuals still fighting for visibility as research piles up in support of asexuality as an orientation Stigma exists both within the LGBTQ community and outside of it by Jeff Taylor :: qnotes staff

Sabrina Caitlin

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ong before Sabrina Caitlin heard the term “asexual,” she knew she was different. “Growing up as a guy, I was expected to be the dog out there basically, going for it all the time,” she told qnotes. “I just didn’t. I had a girlfriend or two in high school, but that’s about it. We really didn’t try to do anything. They didn’t last very long, of course.” Caitlin married young, at 19, but her lack of interest in sex wasn’t an issue. “Turns out, she was asexual too,” she said. “Neither of us ever had much interest in the sex act.” “We were interested in each other, we cared about each other intimately and we liked having that intimate relationship. It’s just we didn’t care about the sex act. She didn’t find it comfortable, and it wasn’t a big deal to me. I just happened to luck out and didn’t know it.” It wasn’t until much later that she began to put the pieces together, with the aid of the Internet. “I didn’t have language for it or anything, but I started to get an inkling. And I guess about 10 years later is when I started looking [for information on the topic of having no sexual desire], which would be probably in the mid-’90s when the Internet got a little more built up,” she recalled.

Asexuality spectrum The concept of a spectrum for the LGBTQ community is nothing new, but is often still misunderstood when it comes to asexuality. Many are surprised to learn that asexuals can be happily involved in romantic relationships, which often include a sexual component. “Asexuality is a spectrum all its own,” Caitlin explained. Meaning there are asexual people who have no interest in romance, and those who do. “I’m somewhere closer to the romantic side, but not quite all the way over.” Caitlin also identifies as demisexual, meaning she only has interest in having a sexual relationship with someone with whom she has formed a close emotional bond. “How I look at a relationship is, I want the intimacy and the vulnerability,” she explained. “The sex act is for the partner. If they need it, no biggie. I enjoy it too. Sex, I enjoy, I’ll admit it. It’s not this imperative that says, ‘I gotta have it.’ I’ve gone years without it, just because I don’t have that drive. But when it happens, I enjoy it.” Yet the simple fact that she has an interest in romantic relationships has often resulted in erasure, she said. “I have a lot of friends who are bisexual, and they go through a lot of the same things I do, just with the one major difference,” she observed. “We get erased in relationships. If you’re “[a guy]” dating a girl, you’re seen as heterosexual. If you’re dating a guy, you’re seen as homosexual. They don’t see you as bi. Same deal with me as ‘A.’” Still, Caitlin, who transitioned in 2013, said she experiences far more discrimination as a member of the transgender community than as an asexual person. “People sort of just ignore you when you’re asexual,” she said. “You’re not bothering their daughters, you’re not bothering their sons, they’re happy. You’re just another friend who’s safe.” However, that erasure can also make it difficult to find and build a community, Caitlin said, in part because if someone is in a relationship, it can be hard to know if they are asexual. “It’s only after transitioning and being on my own that I became aware that there is a community,” she said. “It’s very small in Charlotte. There’s only a few of us that I know of, because we tend to be very private. We don’t broadcast it.” Understanding asexuality as an orientation There is a growing understanding of asexuality as a sexual orientation, but admittedly there has been little research done in the area compared to other orientations and identities. Dr. Nicole Prause, principal investigator at the Sexual Psychophysiology and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, explained in a 2015 interview with Medical Daily (bit.ly/2BRpmqW) that, primarily, sexual orientation comes down to “behaviors, emotions, and cognitions.”

“There’re lots of challenges to asking these questions,” Prause said. “The science around this has been stigmatized for so long.” The research into asexuality is still relatively nascent, but an understanding is beginning to build in the scientific community that backs up what asexual people have been reporting for years. University of British Columbia researchers Lori Bratto and Morag Yule published a study in the April 2017 issue of the Archives of Sexual Behavior concluding that asexuality appears to meet the criteria for classification as a distinct sexual orientation. Further, they stated that it does not appear to be the result of, or a symptom of, a psychiatric condition, or a disorder of sexual desire. “Although lack of sexual attraction was first quantified by Kinsey, large-scale and systematic research on the prevalence and correlates of asexuality has only emerged over the past decade,” they noted in the study’s abstract (bit.ly/2E1aSq3). Bratto and Yule concluded by encouraging further research into the area. Through further study and communication, it is hoped that the asexual community can gain more acceptance and understanding from inside and outside of the LGBTQ community. : :

Asexuals marching in Pride London in 2010. Photo Credit: Peter O’Connor. CC license 2.0

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Biz Beat

Advocacy lessons learned from the USA’s marriage equality battle Two books and a panel discussion by Stan Kimer :: guest contributor

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ighting for equality and dealing with gross inequities in human society has been a hot subject from the distant past through today, and it will no doubt continue far into the future. Over the centuries, many societal inequities have been addressed when the adversely impacted parties advocated for their own rights working with fair-minded allies. Here in the USA, we abolished slavery followed by the long and continuing journey for racial equality. We have seen that same gradual change with our female population starting with our granting them the right to vote, continuing to address workplace equality, moving on now to tackling the unfortunate prevalence of sexual harassment. (See links to other related articles on these issues at the bottom on this article.) And now one of the most stunning movements in modern American history has culminated in the Supreme Court granting marriage equality for same-gender couples across all 50 states, about a half century after “homosexuality” was removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s classification of mental disorders. Given how long some equality battles have taken, this progress is extraordinary! Two recent books explore on how engaged volunteers had tremendous impact in this marriage equality victory; they will be featured at a panel discussion at Quail Ridge Books, North Hills, 4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd., in Raleigh, N.C. on Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. The panel discussion, moderated by Tracy Hollister with David Collins, Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, will examine the role volunteers and plaintiffs played in winning the right to marry for same-sex couples years before most thought possible. And how can the lessons they learned be applied to other LGBTQ causes? Tracy Hollister, longtime advocate and Marriage Equality USA staffer, will share her own and others’ testimonies from “The People’s Victory: Stories from the Front Lines in the Fight for Marriage Equality” on how volunteers made a difference. “The People’s Victory” is an inspirational roadmap for anyone who has felt passionate about an issue, but has questioned

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right to marry. Indeed, Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes were surprised to be thrown into the limelight (hence the term “accidental activists”), being schooled by cultural messages that being gay would come at an extreme cost, include loss of family and friends, threats involving housing and job security and even threats of physical violence. This event is co-hosted by the Raleigh Business and Professsional Network, Human Rights Campaign Triangle, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Triangle, Equality North Carolina and the LGBT Center of Raleigh. Do consider attending this panel discussion and/or obtaining these two books. As well as being inspired by this change for equality in America, readers may learn several lessons that can be applied to the social or justice issues in one’s life. For those who would like to invite Hollister and Collins to come to local bookstores, universities or employee resource groups, email Hollister at hollister.tracy@gmail. com and Collins at oldprof40@gmail.com. ••••• Tracy Hollister will moderate a panel with David Collins, et. al.

whether one person’s contribution can make a difference. David Collins, author of “Accidental Activists: Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas,” will join with the subjects of his book, Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, to tell of love too-long denied recognition and the emotional pain that led them to sue Texas for the David Collins

Some previous articles about race and gender social issues: • “Sexism, Racism and the Dynamics of Power” I examine the power dynamic as critical when we discuss the societal and workplace issues of sexism, sexual harassment and racism. bit.ly/2ExWsyR. • “Five Provocative Recommendations to Address Sexual Harassment” (in the workplace) The latest fiasco with Harvey Weinstein followed by the “me too” social media campaign has raised the visibility of sexual harassment and predators. As an HR professional, I am very disconcerted about abuse in the workplace and wrote this article in response. bit.ly/2GIZ6CE. • “Divided We Stand — Racism in America from Jamestown to Trump” Reviews and summarizes a book by David R. Morse that chronicles the many forms of racism present within the U.S. from the founding days up to current times. bit.ly/2nDdymO. • “Facing the Truth — Racism Still Persists in the USA.” Though a good number of white people believe that the racial discrimination of the past is eradicated, the black community for the most part, as well as statistical realities, would indicate otherwise. bit.ly/2BQomDd.


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life

Healthcare Spotlight

LGBTQ emergency housing agency making strides in Raleigh LGBTQ emergency housing project and community organizing pushes forward in 2018, hoping to make its biggest year yet. by Jerry Yelton :: qnotes contributor

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winter, so she was forced to ocated in the Triangle area of North Carolina, Triangle sleep in an abandoned buildEmpowerment Center (TEC) is a non-profit readily and exciting. She was so cold, one of her edly serving the LGBTQ community, providing necessary toes was frozen and had to be services to those who are unstable in finances and housing. TEC amputated. We knew something has been operating for a few years now, but has just in the past had to be done, so we created three years opened their Ground Up Housing Solutions (G-Up) Ground Up Housing Solutions to offer housing to those without the resources to secure it for to help people in emergency themselves. For 2018, Executive Director Miguel Hunter hopes to situations. With our program, expand the organizations’ reach and local community awareness we were able to transition her to about the important issues on which TEC works. her own two-bedroom apartAs of press time, TEC is one of, if not the only running ment. She is currently doing emergency/transitional housing program that targets chronigreat now…We have numerous cally homeless LGBTQ adults in the Triangle. “Housing is a big stories of LGBTQ youth who have issue for many,” Hunter says. “Especially when it comes to their been kicked out and disowned healthcare. In our area, there simply are not enough resources by family members and ostrafor housing, so we collaborate and do what we can.” Through cized by their church members partnerships with other community organizations and agencies, all because of how they identify.” TEC is working to develop a network of resources that will allow those without stable housing to acclimate themselves and find, as Hunter describes it, “a safe haven around emergency housing for those who are chronically homeless.” In sharing the history of TEC, Hunter shared a story of one particular client who really stood out to him. “About three years ago, we had a transgender woman (age 22) who was put out of their parents’ home. It was difficult to try to find a place for them to go where they could feel safe. We tried the homeless shelter, but they did not feel safe there since they had been there before and were bullied, threatened and harassed by other residents.” This is a reality far too often felt by transgender An image of the housing available as an emergency resource for LGBTQ homeless in the Triangle. individuals who are sent G-Up is one of many programs nationwide that has anout of their families’ homes. Feelings of isolation can continue to swered the call to include LGBTQ residents in a safe, comfortplague them, and many resources are unfortunately unsafe or able environment to allow them the time to find resources and alienating because of other residents and even staff. be connected to proper, necessary care. G-Up works with other “[This resident] feared for her life and told our agency they partners throughout the Triangle like Duke University, Ryan would rather freeze to death than go back there. This was during White NC TAP6 Program and the Community Empowerment Fund. Together with these resources and many others, they are working to create more permanent housing solutions and develop community outreach in three ways: educational, social and volunteering. The three communities most frequently served by TEC are minority gay/bisexual/down low/same gender-loving men, transgender women of color and those living with HIV. By A group of residents and visitors during an open house event.

A group of members and community liaisons work together to discuss the important needs of the community. creating opportunities for their clients to learn more about intersectional identities, bond with others in similar situations, and create connections through the community via volunteering, TEC allows their clients to learn more about themselves and others, broadening their worldview and expanding the all too important work of stabilizing housing for those who are often left without a home. As they move forward in 2018, TEC plans to expand access to PrEP/PEP (pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis), HIV/STD testing and community resources. They are looking for volunteers, case managers and further linkage to care opportunities. They encourage and ask for anyone who would like to be involved with TEC to reach out to them via their website at triempowerment.org. : :

Two founding members of the housing program on the front porch of the house. Both Greg (right) and Damon (left) have died. Damon was a hate crime victim in Fayetteville, N.C.

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news

Quick Hits continued from page 8 in an existing shelter which had been used to house American refugees from the Trump administration, the one-year pilot program will consist of 15 rooms and a common lounge area. This is a departure from what has been viewed as an organization with an anti-LGBTQ stance. info: lgbtqnation.com. Gay Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) has unveiled their black LGBTQ icons in honor of Black History Month. info: glad.org. The Victory Institute has announced that their 2018 internship and fellowship programs application season is open. In other news, Charlotte, N.C. City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield visited the organization’s new headquarters during her time there as a board member of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. A Facebook livestream was recorded in which she talks about the caucus’ work and the initiatives to protect affordable housing. info: victoryinstitute.org. bit.ly/2GMLsyw. The Treatment Action Group has released an updated Training Manual for Treatment Activists: Hepatitis C and HIV Coinfection. info: treatmentactiongroup.org. #QTHEVOTE, a digital voter registration platform for the LGBTQ community and their allies, launched on Feb. 1 as its flagship website went live. info: qthevote.com. vote.org.

The ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute to be held from July 18-25 in Washington, D.C. for rising high school juniors and seniors in the fall of 2018 is accepting applications. info: bit.ly/2EbNedR. The Equality Federation has launched its 2018 Legislative Action Center where visitors can see the legislation introduced in their state that will shape the future of the movement for LGBTQ equality. info: equalityfederation.org. Pride Fort Lauderdale will celebrate the nation’s only “Love Pride” on Feb. 11 on Fort Lauderdale Beach. info: pridefortlauderdale.org. Celebrity Cruises held the first legal samesex wedding at sea when Francisco Vargas and Benjamin Gray exchanged their vows aboard the Celebrity Equinox. info: celebrity.com.

U.S. and worldwide and was described as the number one most social cable series of the night. info: viacom.com. The Jewish National Fund has announced its 2018 Birthright Israel trip gift application season that includes one for participants to attend the LGBTQ Israeli Pride. This is open to 20-26 year olds who have never traveled to Israel. Participants will discover Israel through the lens of the LGBTQ community. info: jnf.org. israelwithisraelis.com. The Emmy-winning reality show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” has been rebooted and premiered on Feb. 7th on Netflix and has moved from New York City to Atlanta, Ga. The show’s “fab five” stars include Tan France (fashion), Bobby Berk (design), Karamo Brown (culture), Antoni Porowski (food and wine) and Jonathan Van Ness (grooming). info: netflix.com.

The award-winning gay comedy mystery web series “Where the Bears Are” launched a Kickstarter campaign for a seventh season. The campaign runs through March 1. info: kck.st/2E38N0Q.

Celebrity make-up artist Jonathan Fernandez, the newest star of Season 8 of Love & Hip-Hop New York, recently opened up on the show about the traumatic gay conversion therapy he was subjected to at the age of 10. info: bigmachinemedia.com.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season three premiere was the most-watched “All Stars” episode, drawing 895,000 total viewers, according to a Nielsen survey. It trended number one in the

The Gay Christian Network has changed its name to the Q Christian Fellowship to reflect the inclusivity and diversity of its community. info: qchristian.org.

Filming began Jan. 18 on “Relish,” a motion picture that will spotlight the struggles of today’s transgender teens. info: facebook.com/pg/RelishTheMovie. Rainbow Voices Mumbai, India’s first LGBTQ choir, teamed up with with singers from LGBTQ choirs around the world — including those from the U.S., the Netherlands, England, Australia and France, as part of Mumbai Pride Month. info: nbcnews.com. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs recorded 52 LGTBQ hate-based homicides in 2017 — an average of one each week — a sharp increase from 28 single-incident anti-LGTBQ homicides in 2016 (excluding those who were killed in the Pulse Nightclub massacre), The Huffington Post reported. info: bit.ly/2rwgVkP. LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed 23 candidates from across the nation who can help transform the political landscape in 2018. info: victoryfund.org/ourcandidates. The Woodard Racing Organisation recently announced the signing of LGBTQ racing professional Freddy Niblack. info: woodardracing.co.uk. Non-binary artist Shamir has graced the cover of WUSSY Mag’s “The Sex Issue.” info: forallhumans.co.

Funding Forward 2018, a gathering of grantmakers committed to LGBTQ issues, will take place from March 14-16 in New Orleans, La. info: lgbtfunders.org. The Southern Equality Fund has announced the four recipients of their HIV/AIDS contest grand round. Each organization is receiving a $2,500 grant to support an innovative project promoting HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the LGBTQ South. info: lgbtinthesouth.org. Atlanta-based HIV activist Daniel Driffin joined forces with a global AIDS research organization in honor of National Black HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day on Feb. 7. info: amfar.org. The documentary feature, “TransMilitary,” will premiere at the 2018 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas in March. The film is the first feature length film project to receive funding from the GLAAD Media Institute, announced in late 2017. info: glaad.org. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program launched the second international Corporate Equality Index on Jan. 17 in Santiago, Chile. info: hrc.im/equidadCL. GLAD has called on Massachusetts to end its delay in granting full legal parentage to nonbiological parents. A court decision was rendered a year ago and the Commonwealth has yet to implement the decision, leaving parents and their newborn babies in legal limbo. info: glad.org.

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views

spiritual reflections by Rev. Chris Ayers :: guest contributor

Thank God for Love and Lust!

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enises, testicles, abs, biceps, buttocks, hair, eyes, fingers, clitoris, vagina, labia majora, labia minora, nipples, sexy toes — and that’s not all God created. You have to admit, God did a pretty good job, particularly when you consider God could have done things much differently. God created bodies. God created hormones. God created sex drives. God created lust. And most importantly, God created love. You know, life is hard. A lot of crappy things happen to people. Thank God that on the journey of life we experience love and lust. With respect to the latter, you can’t beat Song of Songs 7:1-9 for a better description. How graceful are your feet in sandals, O queenly maiden! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand. Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, overlooking Damascus. Your head crowns you like Carmel,

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and your flowing locks are like purple; a king is held captive in the tresses. How fair and pleasant you are, O loved one, delectable maiden! You are stately as a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its branches. O may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples, and your kisses like the best wine that goes down smoothly, gliding over lips and teeth. The passage is even better in Hebrew. For those of you who haven’t taken Hebrew, you’ll have to use your imagination. Ok, let’s just say “navel” is not the best translation. Now some fuddy-duddy Christians, embarrassed by the love and lust of this account, a long time ago tried to make the case that this text is about Jesus’s love of the church. Really? I don’t think so. Do you think we are stupid? Leave it to the church and the Christians to mess up love and lust. What ignites your lust? For me, it was my wife’s eyes and beautiful brunette hair and her off-the-chart attractive hands and fingers. Yeah, her fingers really turned me on. I don’t know why, but her fingers rang a bell.

Isn’t it interesting the way we are wired, the things that attract us? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for boobs and buttocks, but if my wife didn’t have her eyes and hair and hands and fingers, I don’t think we would have gotten married. Of course, it wasn’t all about physical attraction. Far from it. But physical attraction was a bit overwhelming to say the least. In seminary I had a professor of Christian ethics whom students accused of being bland. When it came to his comments on sexuality, however, nobody accused him of being boring. He thought so highly of God-created sex, he suggested that after having sex people should sing the doxology. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise God, all creatures here below; Praise God above, ye heav’nly host; Praise God, Son, and Holy Ghost! To be honest, I’ve never sung the doxology after sex. Singing is not in my skillset. My wife, in fact, asks me to stop singing in the car when she just can’t take my sorry singing. I don’t blame her. But if I could sing, I would sing the doxology after sex with my bride.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Thorne via Wikimedia CC SA 3.0 Unported License

Hey, I hope a church or clergy member didn’t teach you incorrect things about your sexual orientation, gender identity, sexuality and lust. Life can be so hard, and you don’t need the church messing up how you feel about God, your self, your body and others. I hope you find the love of your life, and I hope you enjoy all forms of intimacy, including sex. One day, unless you die early, you will be old like me, but you’ll never stop loving and lusting. I was apecrazy about my wife the first time I saw her, and I’m ape-crazy about her to this day. Last month anti-LGBTQ graffiti was spraypainted on the doors of Wedgewood Church, the church I serve as a co-pastor. The vandal or vandals are so wrong about my LGBTQ friends.The day is surely coming when the love and lust of all people is celebrated. : :


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life

Our People:

Q&A with Judson “Jud” Gee Financial Planner by Torie Dominguez :: guest contributor “Make it a great day.” That’s the surprising valediction with which prominent financial advisor, LGBTQ ally and philanthropist Judson “Jud” Gee ends his cell phone’s outgoing voicemail message. Find him unable to take your call and at first you’ll hear the basics. Gee introduces himself, confirming that you’ve reached your intended digital destination; he names his place of business, JHG Financial; he vows to return your call as soon as possible, and suggests that a text might net you a quicker response; he cautions against disclosing personal financial information over voicemail. And then, seemingly out of nowhere: “make it a great day.” I was caught off guard by its earnest friendliness, and charmed to discover how naturally that personal concern could emerge from a professional encounter. It’s a happy balance that suits Gee flawlessly. The Charlotte native and University of North Carolina at Charlotte Economics grad is quick to share his good fortune at having fallen for his now-wife, Sherry, more than 26 years ago, and been married for 17 and counting. With a decade of LGBTQ advocacy under his belt, he’s proud to have served several terms on the Grants Committee for the Lesbian and Gay Fund, worked with the LGBT Chamber of Commerce and spent time as president of the

LGBT Community Center before its unfortunate dissolution. A longtime sponsor of Charlotte Pride and numerous North Carolina Human Rights Campaign Galas, Gee has extended his community outreach to include the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte and LGBTQ affirmative One Voice Chorus, among other organizations. Just as importantly, as managing partner at JHG Financial Advisors, LLC, he’s dedicated himself and his firm to the unique financial and estate planning needs of LGBTQ+ individuals and families. That means expertise in wills and living wills, powers of attorney, visitation arrangements, revocable trusts, and, critically, making the most of federal protections against increasingly hostile and discriminatory state law. It’s no stretch at all to place Gee among our community’s most valuable and passionate allies. Here, he chats with qnotes about his favorite causes, ultimate pastimes, and the real meaning of home. Which of your achievements are you most proud of? I’m most proud about my involvement in multiple charities over the last 15 years. My Grandmother Gee taught me that giving back by rolling up your sleeves will come back to in spades, and she was correct. Right now I’m

Judson Gee loves to fish!

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

Are you single? Looking for love this Valentine’s Day? My husband and I have been together nearly 23 years now. It all started with him saying hello and something silly to make me laugh. So, don’t be too shy to strike up a conversation with that beautiful babe this Valentine’s. To help you out, I scoured online and even tried my hand at this list of my favorite silly, really cheesy pick-up lines. Get’em laughing and the rest will fall into place. 1. R  oses are red, violets are blue, I can’t rhyme but can I date you? 2. If you were a potato, you would be a sweet one. 3. Do you like Star Wars? Because Yoda only one for me! 4. Are you my appendix? Because I have a funny feeling in my stomach that makes me feel like I should take you out. 5. Are you an interior decorator? Because when I saw you, the entire room became beautiful. 6. Is your daddy a baker? Because you’ve got some nice buns! 7. Do you have a map? I’m getting lost in your eyes. 8. Do you have a sunburn, or are you always this hot? 9. I was feeling a little off today, but you definitely turned me on. 10. I don’t have a library card, but do you mind if I check you out? 11. Do you work at a coffeehouse? Because I like you a latte. 12. I thought happiness started with an H. Why does mine start with U? 13. Are you a campfire? ‘Cause you are hot and I want s’more. 14. If I were a cat, I’d spend all nine lives with you. 15. Are you a banana? Because I find you a-peeling. 16. Are you Netflix? Because I could watch you for hours. 17. I know milk does a body good, but how much have you been drinking? 18. If I could rearrange the alphabet, I would put U and I together. 19. I’m no Fred Flintstone, but I can make your Bedrock. 20. Are your parents bakers? ‘Cause they sure made you a cutie pie! 21. You’re like pizza. Even when you are bad, you’re good. 22. I must be in a museum, because you truly are a work of art. 23. You don’t need keys to drive me crazy.

Photo Credit: Roxy Taylor

Silly, Cheesy Pick-up Lines for Valentines Day

24. You may fall from the sky, you may fall from a tree, but the best way to fall…is in love with me. 25. Guess what I’m wearing? The smile you gave me! 26. I don’t know you, but I think I love you already. 27. Here’s the key to my house, my car… 28. Forget about Spiderman, Superman and Batman. I’ll be your man. 29. Is your body from McDonald’s? C’ause I’m lovin’ it! 30. My doctor says I’m lacking Vitamin U. 31. Hey, don’t frown. You never know who could be falling in love with your smile. 32. Are you a bank loan? Because you’ve got my interest. 33. Did you sit in a pile of sugar? ‘Cause you have a pretty sweet ass. The key to the heart is laughter. You can find more of these cheesy pick-up lines on the web at PickupLinesGalore.com and other websites. Remember: make them laugh, then leave the rest to Cupid and vodka! Don’t forget the smile. DRAG TIP: Leave your phone at home or put it in your pocket. Its the ultimate turn-off to be talking with someone and see them look at their phone. : : — Buff Faye calls the Queen City home and loves nights with her husband and dogs (plus she loves to raise money for charities). Find her at your favorite bars and hot spots. Plus don’t forget her monthly Friday and Saturday night shows, Sunday drag brunch and regular Friday night party bus. Learn more at AllBuff.com. Follow on Twitter @BuffFaye

SHOUT OUTS: Exciting news! BeBe Zaharia Bonet from RuPaul’s Drag Race is coming Sunday, Feb. 18 to The Bar at 316.

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

Sex, traveling, escorts & strip clubs Dearest Trinity, I’m a 41-year-old gay businessman who likes visiting (male) strip bars when I travel, especially in Montreal. Even though most of the guys are hard-edged, younger and usually bi or straight, I’m thinking of hiring one as a “paid traveling companion.” What do you think? Companion For Hire, Madison, WI Dearest For Hire, If you’re looking for love, you may be looking in all the wrong places. Strip clubs house strippers-slash-hustlers, which makes you their John-slash-sucker. Listen, gay single men go to gay singles bars to meet other gay singles; everyone else goes to strip clubs for fun not to make business deals. If you’re serious about a traveling companion, then hire a “professional” with references by checking the Internet like “rentmen.com.” Hiring escorts today is way more professional than 10 or 25 years ago, honey, which makes much better business sense…than pulling someone off a dance pole! Hello Trinity, I always wake up happy and ready for the day, maybe because I don’t drink coffee and go to bed early. But my partner is constantly miserable for the first hour of the day. Help! Morning Moans, Vancouver, BC

Hello Morning Moans, Unfortunately, some people just wake up cranky, slow and/or in need of caffeine. So, for the first hour, pumpkin, just leave your partner alone! Use that hour to run a marathon, plan a vacation (from him/her) or plant vegetables for world peace. (Take a tip from my cartoon and find your own serenity in a way that matches your personality or lifestyle. Just sayin’!) Dear Trinity, I’m just a late person, that’s all. But I’m running out of excuses. Any hints? Always Late, Philadelphia, PA Dear Always Late, Being late doesn’t require excuses, just early communication. Yet, if you lose all voice, hand and cellular access try blaming it on: traffic; train or subway accident; liquor store, florist or pharmacy line; car, computer or work problem; sick child, spouse or pet; fire, bomb threat or power outage and, sweetie, the most popular — lost keys, got lost or lost track of time. Hey Trinity, I met someone last week and had two great phone conversations, but suddenly no more calls. I’ve left messages. What now? Call Me Maybe, Seattle, WA

a&e

Hey Call Me Maybe, Sometimes people get busy or lazy, so, darling, you can only wait…and read: Trinity’s Sound Tips For Why It Has Nothing To Do With You When Your Date Doesn’t Call Back   1. She may think it’s best to wait a week or two before calling back someone. Some people just take their slow, sweet time (ugh).   2. He may not be able to deal with anyone right now because of mental, emotional, physical or spiritual problems. So, be glad you don’t have to deal with his problems either!   3. S  he may be dealing with an urgent matter, like a sick friend, relative or pet. So, it may be a week or so before you get a call.   4. H  e may not be able to find your number, address, email or the five business cards you gave him. So, after a week call one last time!   5. S  he may be too busy with work, bills, family or self-indulgences. So, leave no more than two messages in one week’s time and stay busy!   6. H  e may have been hit by a car, been maimed or died! So, don’t be too quick to think unkind thoughts!   7. She may have just used you for your charm, sexual ability and free meals. So, next time, don’t give “it” away so fast.

  8. He may not want to tell you about his STDs. So, next time have much safer sex and get tested.   9. She may not be interested and not know how to say it. So, if the sex was great, give thanks and move on! 10. Lastly, he may not want to disclose his other boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband and/or threeway. So, welcome to the most common reason! 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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++++++++ Sponsored Content ++++++++

from the Rx pad……

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It’s American Heart Month! Ways to Keep the Ol’ Ticker in Good Shape The month of February is all about the heart. Along with Valentine’s Day and Black History Month, February is also American Heart Month — a month dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and empowering a heart-healthy lifestyle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported heart disease is responsible for one in every four deaths in the United States each year. Some of the major contributors to heart disease include physical inactivity, behaviors such as consuming an unhealthy diet or using tobacco, and having uncontrolled high blood pressure. The good news is heart disease can often be prevented when people make heart-healthy choices. This February provides a great opportunity to learn about healthy lifestyle habits for maintaining a healthy heart. Have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved ones and encourage them to make small changes so they can take control of their heart health. A simple, small change can make a huge difference! Want to make a difference during American Heart Month? Here are a few heart health tips: Be active. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise roughly 5 times a week. Regular exercise can help keep your heart strong and healthy.

Choose healthier meals. Limit foods which are high in salt, saturated fats, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages that put you at risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels within personal treatment goals will go a long way for your heart. Schedule regular visits with your primary care provider. Your primary care provider is the most qualified individual to guide and provide you with invaluable lifestyle advice. Schedule an appointment today if you haven’t had one in a while. Take your medications as prescribed. Taking your medicine as prescribed is important for controlling chronic conditions and overall well-being. A personal connection with your pharmacist is an important part of medication adherence. Call your local pharmacy if you need assistance with taking your medications. After all, pharmacists are experts in medicines. Educate yourself. Ask about your family health history and the risk factors for heart disease to spread the knowledge. Knowledge is power, and when you equip yourself with what you need to know to inspire others to live a heart-healthy life, you’re one step ahead in

making a difference for your family and community. Together, we can all help prevent and eliminate heart disease by implementing healthier lifestyle choices. Your heart is one of the most important organs in the entire human body. Show your heart some love this month, and all year round.

Photo Credit: udra11 via Adobe Stock

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EVENTS

Submit your event to our calendar!

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 threefor-one 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).

February-March 2018 Moral March on Raleigh & HKonJ People’s Assembly 2018 Corner of Wilmington and South Sts., Raleigh 8:30 a.m.

SEP FEB MO

Queen City Conversation: Know Your Rights Little Rock AME Zion Church 401 N. McDowell St., Charlotte 6-8 p.m. The Mecklenburg County NAACP will hold a Queen City Conversation on civil rights and criminal justice reform. Community organizer Andrew Fede will host, journalists DaShawn Brown and Michael Graff will moderate and Attorney Benjamin Crump and District Attorney Spencer Merriweather are the featured speakers. Record expungement counseling will be provided by The Freedman Law Group and The Corbett Law Firm. The event is free and open to the public. More information is available online. facebook.com/events/2005003119821024.

SEP FEB MO

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A coalition of progressive groups and individuals will descend on the streets of Raleigh to call for a progressive, inclusive and fair North Carolina for the Moral March & Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Assembly. Folks will begin assembling at 8:30 a.m. for a pre-rally and people’s gathering beginning at 9 a.m. The march starts at 10 a.m. More information is available online. hkonj.com. naacpnc.com. –––––––––––––––––––– Stonewall Sports Meet Up Resident Culture Brewing Company 2101 Central Ave., Charlotte 1-3 p.m. Stonewall Sports Charlotte will hold its first social meetup of the year. Spend time with Stonewallers and learn about the new Adventure Club and get answers to your questions answered about upcoming kickball and softball leagues. More information is available online. stonewallcharlotte.leagueapps.com.

Queer Speed Dating SEP FEB MO Comic Girl Coffee 1224 Commercial Ave., Charlotte 7-10 P.M. LGBTQ community members are invited to a speed dating event at Comic Girl Coffee. The night will also feature live music from Mama, Damiyana and Lara Americo, and an artist talk and comic workshop by Ria Aubry Taylor. This is a free event. A $10 corsage can be purchased online at bit.ly/2s3HT3p. More information is available online. facebook.com/events/777318482452155.

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Human Rights Campaign Gala Le Meriden Hotel 555 S. McDowell St. 5:30-10 p.m. Join HRC North Carolina for their annual fundraising gala. Entertainment will be provided at the dinner by “America’s Got Talent” artist Johnny Manuel. Actress Tatiana Maslany will be presented the 2018 Ally for Equality Award. Regular priced tickets cost $250, with discounts for some members, as well as students, active duty military and seniors. Tickets are available at bit.ly/2s0gjEl. More information is available online. hrc.org/events/north-carolina-gala.

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Democratic Women of SEP FEB MO Mecklenburg County Honor Mayor Vi Lyles Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church 401 N. McDowell St., Charlotte 6:30 p.m. The Democratic Women of Mecklenburg County will honor Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, the city’s first AfricanAmerican female mayor. Lyles will lay out her priorities for the Queen City going forward. There will also be a dance performance by Miss Rilee Crayton. More information is available online. facebook.com/events/150157562433814.

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Charlotte Symphony SEP FEB MO Youth Fest Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center 130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte 7:30 p.m. The Charlotte Symphony and both of its youth orchestras perform side-byside for an annual performance that is always much anticipated. Tickets range from $10-$20. Tickets and more information can be found online. blumenthalarts.org.

Feb. 9-22 . 2018

Queen City Black Heritage SEP FEB MO Festival The Carole Hoefener Center 615 E. 6th St., Charlotte 1-5 p.m. The 2018 Queen City Black Heritage Festival, with the theme “Past, Present, & Future,” will feature over 40 blackowned companies. Food, crafts, culture, art and more will be on display and on offer, including some giveaways. This is a free event. Those interested in being vendors can register at bit.ly/2DtUJ04. More information is available online. facebook.com/events/783328995186770.

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Dinner & A Movie: SEP FEB MO ‘Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin’ Providence Baptist Church 1201 Oakland St., Hendersonville 5:30-8 p.m. Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin is most famous for organizing the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. The openly gay Rustin dedicated his life to protesting injustice and advocating for rights. He was posthumously given a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. The documentary “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin” will be screened, followed by a discussion on the film. A potluck dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. More information is available online. facebook.com/events/128042074664882.

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HIV Criminalization: Moving Beyond Blame and Stigma LGBT Center of Raleigh 324 S. Harrington St., Raleigh 12-2 p.m. “Punishing Disease” author and sociologist Trevor Hoppe, of the University at Albany, will join Carolyn McAllaster, of Duke University School of Law, and Hector Salgado, of Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina, in a panel discussion on HIV criminalization. The National Black Justice Coalition’s Mandy Carter will moderate. The event is co-sponsored by the LGBT Center of Raleigh and the North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN) and is free and open to the public. More information is available online. facebook.com/events/393818021058361.

SEP MAR MO

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life

Our People continued from page 17

the program lead for Project Healing Waters which helps our disabled veterans acclimate back into society via the therapeutic outlet of fly fishing and various aspects such as fly tying and rod building. What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about the community and helping people understand how being financially independent can help us reach our goals. What helps you relax when you’re feeling stressed? Fly fishing is my biggest outlet, but also staying in shape is on the top of list too. What cheers you up when you’re feeling down? Being around people who support me to include my Team at JHG Financial. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The best advice was not only to tithe by giving back monetarily, because my family was blessed having help start Jefferson Pilot (now part of Lincoln Financial — think Eagles stadium), but to actually get involved. Being on Boards, actively sharing my strengths on committees, and dynamically doing things like day builds with Habit for Humanity. The stories you hear while working beside the people who will soon own those homes is simply life changing. How do you spend your free time? My wife and I travel from one end of the state to the other quite frequently. We have a coastal house as well as a home in the mountains on the Watauga river, therefore most weekends are dedicated to outdoor activities with our close friends. We’ve all heard that smell is the sense most strongly tied to memory. What scents do you find most evocative? Fresh flowers in bloom comes to mind! If you won a multi-million-dollar jackpot, what would you do with the money? Of course 10 percent would be dedicated to charities, but then we would upgrade our properties at both ends of the state. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Night owl for sure! What household chore do you avoid at all costs? All of them!

think the present is where I would want to be. Although I’ve done some extensive traveling, North Carolina sure does have a lot to offer with the highest peaks on the East Coast and, of course, our coastal area is gorgeous. Being able to travel to both in 2-3 hours from Charlotte, and a touch of all seasons makes this HOME. What do you like most about yourself? I think being involved is what I do best. Whether it’s being involved with my wife and closest friends out and about, or assisting my clients in reaching their goals via planning, or helping out the community via charities I’m involved with, it’s being in the now that really gets me off. What aspect of yourself would you like to change? I live a fast-paced life, I’m very ADD in some senses, so I would say one day I need to slow down. You can read only five books for the rest of your life. Which do you choose? Gosh I hate to say it but I do not read as much as I would like, or should, so that one’s tough for me. Imagine traveling somewhere incredibly remote, with no way of contacting the outside world. Are you more thrilled or petrified? I’m more petrified given I own my business and have a lot of responsibilities. But that’s what I like about fly fishing given you have to un-connect from the world. If you met yourself, do you think you’d be your friend? Yes, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t a friend! What have you always wanted to do, be, or learn, but never gotten around to? We just finished building our “forever home,” so knocked that one off the list and would never do it again! I’d say going around the globe and spending a month in each country would be incredible. And finally, how would you like to be remembered? For me it’s about the people’s lives I touched along the way, and how I learned something from each. I think the legacy you leave is just that; how you positively impacted your community and lived life to the fullest with no regrets. : :

What possessions do you cherish most? Well our dog is very spoiled, of course, but right behind that would be my boats and all those things that go into making a day on the water a success. Mainly fishing equipment, but don’t tell my wife that! When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? My childhood was not the fondest given my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was about eight. It was a tough eight years, but I guess like most boys I wanted to be a great athlete, and soccer was my sport. If you could live in any time period, past or future, anywhere in the world, what would you choose? We live in an exciting time of growth and technology. I don’t long for days of old, nor life to be any more fast-paced than today, so I

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QNotes, February 9, 2017  

Our cover feature focuses on the annual Human Rights Campaign North Carolina's annual Gala when 'Together We Rise' to champion equality. Thi...

QNotes, February 9, 2017  

Our cover feature focuses on the annual Human Rights Campaign North Carolina's annual Gala when 'Together We Rise' to champion equality. Thi...

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