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inside

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news & features

Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala to award Greensboro leader and Salisbury Pride at event on Feb. 22 in Charlotte p. 15

  5 Center raises crucial funds   5 Aiken announces congressional bid   6 News Notes: Regional Briefs   9 Transgender student crown king 10 South lacks equal funding 10 LGBT workers of color face challenge 12 Company celebrates anniversary 15 HRC bestows awards

arts. entertainment. news. views.

15 HRC weekend events 19 Augusta pastor on the move

Transgender student makes history and is crowned homecoming king at East Mecklenburg High School p. 9

a&e / life&style 18 Jane’s World 20 Tell Trinity 21 Alexander Youth Network 22 Q Events Calendar 23 Our People: Crys Farrar

opinions & views   4 Editor’s Note   4 Spiritual Reflections  4 QPoll

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qnotes connect Feb. 14-27, 2014

Vol 28 No 21

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

contributors this issue

Paige Braddock, Matt Comer, Lainey Millen, The Rev. Robin Tanner, Trinity, Adam Wadding

front page Graphic Design by Lainey Milen Mission:

The focus of QNotes is to serve the LGBT and straight ally communities of the Charlotte region, North Carolina and beyond, by featuring arts, entertainment, news and views in print and online that directly enlightens, informs and engages the readers about LGBT life and social justice issues.

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editor’s note by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

Go to the party, then get to work Marriage laws will not prevent employers from passing LGBT workers This month, the Human Rights Campaign swings into Charlotte for its over for promotion. annual North Carolina fundraising gala. The national group — the largest The need for ENDA is clear. It has been for decades. Why it seems so LGBT civil rights organization in the country — has been at the forefront far down on our movement leaders’ priority list is beyond my imagination. of the LGBT equality movement for decades. They’ve pushed LGBT visWe must do more to address the basic needs of our community — and ibility and awareness to new levels. Their behind-the-scenes lobbying that means dedicating more energy to ENDA, as well as other needs. has opened doors, changed elected officials’ hearts and minds and made You see, protection from employment discrimination alone isn’t quite many of our recent legal and political advancements possible. enough. Even if ENDA is passed, low-income LGBT workers will continue But, despite the dizzying pace at which issues like marriage seem to to belong to the “working poor.” LGBT workers of color and transgenbe advancing, even groups as large as the Human Rights Campaign have der workers are among the most at-risk. Without access to meaningful yet been able to chalk up a victory on one single piece of legislation which employment that pays a living wage, our LGBT siblings remain unable our community needs almost more than any other: the Employment Nonto adequately care for the needs of their families and households. Yes, Discrimination Act (ENDA). issues like the minimum wage are queer issues, too. In this print edition, we focus on a variety of news and life stories Organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and others often highlighting our movement for equality’s victories and areas for improvetake a lot of heat and I realize some matters are out of their control. ment, from a transgender high school student’s homecoming king victory I, too, highly doubt an LGBT-inclusive ENDA can have a fair hearing to a new report highlighting startlingly concerning discrepancies for LGBT in a Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives. Even with funding in the South. Another short feature focuses on the experience of this reality, it is possible to ramp up advocacy and lobbying efforts. If LGBT workers, particularly those of color and those who identify as transENDA can’t be achieved nationally, it’s time to refocus and redouble gender. And, it is here where, I believe, we find the single most pressing our efforts in the states. I want to see the same level of broader public need for more action, more attention and more priority. support and awareness that I currently see for marriage being applied For 20 years, the larger LGBT community and its national advocacy to issues like employment. organizations have pushed for employment protections based on sexual This month, I’ll join with many other Charlotteans, North Carolinians orientation. Later, that push expanded to include protections for transand Palmetto State citizens in celebrating our victories thus far. The HRC gender workers, as well. And, in these 20 years, the push has yet to yield North Carolina Gala, I’m sure, will be a blast. But, after the party is over, I’ll a victory. Employment discrimination is one of the most basic challenges return to work. I hope you do, too. : : our community faces, yet it seems we have invested so little money, time and energy into truly advocating for ENDA. I will not demean the movement for marriage. I believe it is important. For straight and gay folks alike, marriage is a foundational cornerstone that leads to stability for families, including, most importantly, those with children. The pace at which we are achieving marriage equality is both exhilaratWhat do you think is the most important ing and fascinating. But, marriage laws will not protect one from terminaissue facing the LGBT community? tion. Marriage laws will not prevent discrimination in hiring.

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spiritual reflections by The Rev. Robin Tanner :: Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church

The Almighty Dollar We all hope for change in LGBT rights. We all aspire to live in a world where justice rolls down like water. Some of us even dream it and a few of us get to be in on the groundwork building. When I saw “we all,” I speak of religious liberals and progressives alike. There are a few items, however, we need to bend “the moral arc of the universe,” to quote Theodore Parker (later quoted by Martin Luther King Jr.). Dreams are crucial. Justice in action is key. Rallies, signatures, stories, courage and love are all integral. But, I know one thing in our modern world: change ain’t free! I hate talking about money. I am the last person to call raising money “fun-draisers” or demand tithing to my congregation. In fact, most Unitarian Universalists give as much to their surrounding community as they do to their congregation. We think this is a wonderful thing! Each Sunday we give half of our undesignated plate collection to a community organization. I encourage folks to give outside of their spiritual community rather than tithing 10 percent just to us. And, I am a minister. Have I lost my mind? It’s simple for me. Generosity to our wider community goes to my core values, as well as the values of Unitarian Universalism. And, frankly, I know that the great social justice movements in history also required some funding. Volunteers were invaluable during the civil rights movement, but there were also costs for ensuring that rallies could be held, folks bailed out of jail, trainings developed, folks fed and leaders paid. And, in the midst of that movement, many civil rights leaders went without so they could see those dreams cemented for their children. So, each year when my wife and I allocate our giving, we ensure five percent goes back to the wider community. We know we are fortunate to be able to give anything back and to be able to meet our basic needs. We give out of gratitude. We give gladly.

We also do so because we’ve watched our conservative brothers and sisters bankroll organizations that attempt to dismantle marriage equality and oppress LGBT folks. As liberal religious people we know it’s important to support love in every way we can — including through our bank account. As my congregation looks across the organizations we will support through our plate collection, fundraisers and budget, we ask the same question. Where can we fund love in action? Today, we see towering victories in the LGBT rights movement, particularly with marriage equality. We’ve seen states create same-sex marriage, alongside the national fall of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” These social justice victories rest upon the shoulders of organizers, leaders, volunteers and generations of courage. They also rest on folks who gave of their time, and their financial resources. We each contribute in the ways in which we can. Some cannot give money, but only time. For some time is impossible, but small changes in their lifestyle could offer huge donations to significant causes. With the Human Rights Campaign Carolina Gala occurring this month, it’s a good time to reflect on our generosity. Without guilt or burden, to ask what we can give to any number of organizations to continue to build that beloved world we dream of for our children’s children. And, as spring approaches and we are inspired to clean out our homes, perhaps it’s an opportune moment to ask what simplicity and generosity might mean for our current life choices. Every gift we share, when given out of gratitude and gladness, is a drop toward the dream. : : — The Rev. Robin Tanner is pastor of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church. She is a graduate of the University of Rochester and Harvard Divinity School. She began her tenure at Piedmont in the fall of 2010.


news Fundraiser might buy LGBT center one more month of operation goqnotes.com/to/news

Charlotte LGBT center raises $3,500 but still faces critical financial shortfall, accountability concerns by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

Approximately $3,500 was raised through event admissions, donations and new memberships, according to center Operations Director Glenn Griffin. “It’s really going to help,” he said. Griffin described the night’s crowd as diverse and very positive. Events like “Back to the Block,” he said, will be important to keeping the center alive. “We are facing a tight deadline,” Griffin said. “It’s getting people more aware of the center, which has to happen.” At a community town hall meeting on Feb. 6, center Chair Roberta Dunn said the group had only about $6,000 on hand. That wasn’t enough to cover the center’s average $7,000 monthly expenses. (Read more about the town hall online at goqnotes.com/27409/.) The fundraising event may be enough to keep the center open through March — giving the group four more weeks of fundraising and outreach. A Charlotte LGBT center volunteer worked the crowd to sign see Center on 16 up new center supporters.

CHARLOTTE — About 100 people turned out for the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte’s “Back to the Block” anniversary celebration and fundraising party on Feb. 8. Those who attended contributed enough money to likely keep the center’s doors open at least one more month.

Election 2014 begins with anti-gay bang Republican incumbent goes on attack as openly gay Clay Aiken announces congressional bid RALEIGH — Congressional races across the state are heating up as we edge ever closer to primaries in May and this fall’s general election. At stake nationally is control of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Republicans think they can pick up enough seats in the Senate to control both chambers. But, at the local level, Republicans are already pulling out antigay rhetoric against their opponents. Former “American Idol” contestant Clay Aiken, of Sanford, announced his campaign to run for the 2nd Congressional District on Feb. 5. Aiken, 35, says in a video posted by the Raleigh News & Observer that Washington “is dysfunctional.” Too many people, he says, go to Washington where they let the city and politics change them. “She ended up in D.C. and was changed by it,” Aiken says of Ellmers. “I went to Hollywood and I didn’t let it change me and I’ll go to Washington and I won’t let it change me. Too

many people go to D.C. and let it change them and forget that they are voting for, working for people back in North Carolina. That’s not something that I will do.” Aiken came out as gay in 2008. He has a partner and a young son. He says the issue won’t be a concern. “People care about jobs, they care about the economy, they care about being able to pay for college,” Aiken told The News & Observer. “That (his sexuality) is an issue that doesn’t affect many people in this district or this state.” But, Ellmers’ campaign staff are already on the attack. In a statement, the campaign linked Aiken to “San Francisco” and said Ellmers, not Aiken, would be “fighting for families.” “It speaks volumes to the state of the N.C. Democratic Party that the primary is shaping up to be a choice between the failed Perdue Administration’s Keith Crisco, a lawyer who

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news notes: carolinas compiled by Lainey Millen & Matt Comer

Twelve begins schools program CHARLOTTE — Twelve In Twelve has begun an initiative to connect youth to humanitarian efforts worldwide. It launched the program on Feb. 12 at Park Road Montessori School, 3701 Haven Dr. Founder J.D. Lewis and board members Molly Barker (founder of Girls on the Run) and Tim Mikkelson (co-founder of MikWright cards), were on hand for the event. The six pilot schools in the Queen City are Eastover Elementary School (500 Cherokee Rd.), Grand Oak Elementary School (15410 Stumptown Rd., Huntersville), North Mecklenburg High School (11201 Old Statesville Rd., Huntersville), Park Road Montessori, Northwest School of the Arts (1415 Beatties Ford Rd.) and Providence Day School (5800 Sardis Rd.). Others include schools in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, and South Carolina. “The program incorporates global education, an introduction to relief work throughout the world and engages children to work locally for the global good,” Lewis said. He added that Twelve Good Deeds teaches children the joy of giving, as well as incorporating global education, birds-eye view of relief work worldwide and empowers them to make a difference both locally and globally. Student are tasked with committing themselves to obtaining a minimum of 12 sponsors to empower them in completing their work in 12 weeks. Sponsors pay $1 each for each good deed completed. Total cost per sponsor is $12. The first of 11 of the good deeds are predetermined by the initiative’s list. The last one is developed the each student. Participants receive an e-book through which they are able to follow the global journey of the Lewis family. Experiences involve how the Lewis’ helped to make a difference around the world, as well as connecting to those initiatives to round out the global program. Projects will be made available to participants online on an interactive site. Progress will be posted and communication between participants is encouraged. Lewis, who is gay, and his two sons, Jackson and Buck, spent 12 months traveling the world and participating in humanitarian service at various agencies during their travels. qnotes named the family our 2012 People of the Year for their commitment to social justice at home and abroad (goqnotes.com/19884/). info: twelveintwelve.org. — L.M. and releases

Charlotte HRC revamps youth leader program

CHARLOTTE — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Charlotte Steering Committee, in partnership with Time Out Youth Center, has completed accepting applications for the 2014 Emerging Leaders program. The redesigned, Emerging Leaders Program, is a year-long program focused on training LGBTQ young adult leaders, ages 18-25, in the Carolinas. Thirty participants will be included in the 2014 class. The kickoff for the program will be held on Feb. 22 at Time Out Youth Center, 2320 N. Davidson St., in conjunction with the 2014 HRC North Carolina Gala. A two-day seminar will provide participants with a focus on identifying key competencies of leadership. Afterward quarterly training programs and volunteer activities will help to increase LGBTQ awareness on key days. Time Out Youth Center Executive Director Rodney Tucker said, “Identifying social justice, activism and leadership is key to educating a generation of new leaders for equality and the summit will do just that. We are excited for the yearlong expanded program in partnership with the Center’s leadership program.” “Nationally, HRC is becoming more involved

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with youth issues. With our history with developing the Emerging Leaders program, we are proud to expand the program and partner locally,” said Dan Mauney, HRC Board of Governors. “HRC is hosting its first national youth conference, Time To Thrive. We believe in creating the next wave of LGBTQ leaders locally and have a renewed commitment to this project.” info: hrccarolina.org. timeoutyouth.org. — L.M. and releases

Band to make music

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Pride Band will share their musical talents when they explore the Old West in their “The Oregon Trail” concert on March 1, 7 p.m., in Heaton Hall at Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Rd. This adventure commemorates the victories and hardships of the 19th century western expansion from Missouri to the Pacific. Among pieces featured will be Copland’s “An Outdoor Overture,” Barnes’s “Beautiful Oregon,” Hazo’s “Across the Halfpipe,” Robert Smith’s “Buffalo Dances,” Buckley’s “Pacifica,” and Wilson’s “Colorado Peaks.” Tickets are $13/regular and $10/band members and are available online. info: charlotteprideband.org. — L.M.

Youth center adds trans support

CHARLOTTE — Time Out Youth Center, 2320 N. Davidson St., has instituted a new weekly support group for transgender and gender questioning/non-conforming youth, ages 13-20. Q-Tribe meets on Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. This group is structured to promote personal growth and discovery through shared experiences, education and respect with a goal of providing a safe space where trans youth can be their authentic selves in a judgment-free environment. Group leaders are Carrie Barto and Constance Brooks. They bring a clinical and personal approach to the open meetings. No pre-screening is required to attend Q-Tribe. In other news, the 7th Annual Celebration of the Arts will be held on Feb. 28, 8 p.m., at Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Rd. Proceeds from the event will benefit Time Out Youth Center. Produced by Vito Abate, the show will feature singers, dancers, actors and performance artists from Charlotte and New York. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for cocktails. Curtain opens at 7:30 p.m. for a two-act show. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through Time Out Youth Center or at the door. info: timeoutyouth.org. — L.M.

MeckPAC makes bylaws change

CHARLOTTE — MeckPAC’s steering committee members voted in January to revise a part of its bylaws which allowed it to move elections of new members to January of each year. Immediately following this revision, chair, treasurer and at-large positions were up for nominations. Scott Bishop was elected to a second two-year term as chair. In late 2011, he was appointed chair. During his tenure MecPAC played a role in working with former Charlotte City Manger Curt Walton on securing domestic partner benefits for the city’s lesbian and gay employees, as well as adding gender identity to Charlotte’s non-discrimination policy. Elected to serve a second two-year term as treasurer was Larry Ferri. He is retired from the California State Park System. At-large members who were elected were Sarah Demarest, Jamie Hildreth and Crystal Richardson. Demarest serves as a staff attorney and coordinator for the LGBTQ Law Center. Her career has spanned across many LGBT advocacy organizations, as well as ballot initiatives and more. Hildreth has served as chair of the Development Committee with Charlotte Pride, as well as being a committed humanitarian relief worker. Richardson, an attorney, is a member of the Human Rights Campaign and ACLU-Charlotte. Those who are continuing their service are Vice Chair Jerry Ancrum and At Large Member Roberta Dunn. Long-time committee member and former chair Phil Hargett has stepped down from the committee. He will continue to advise the group. info: meckpac.org. — L.M.

Triad PFLAG to hold state conference

GREENSBORO — The Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will hold a state conference for North Carolina and South Carolina on March 1 at Replacements, Ltd., 1089 Knox Rd., McLeansville, N.C. The day includes presentations, workshops, continental breakfast and box lunch. Presenters

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include state and national PFLAG leaders, along with valuable input from participants. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with a welcome and introduction at 9:30 a.m. by Mike Clawson, PFLAG NC state coordinator. Throughout the day participants will hear important information on workplace equality, freedom to marry and second parent adoption, the Affordable Care Act and LGBT health, sustenance of chapters and the Bible and homosexuality. Presenters include Diego Sanchez, PFLAG national director of policy; Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, Thomas Bauer, trans distinctive care coach; Jamie Curtis, PFLAG national field and policy manager; and others. Registration is $20 and forms are available online. Those who register before Feb. 20 will be entered into a drawing for door prizes. info: pflaggreensboro.org/Activities. — L.M.

Triangle A ‘sweet’ play in the Triangle

DURHAM — “Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South” will be mounted from Feb. 13-22 at the Psi Theatre at the Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris St. Presentations on Thursday through Saturday are at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. An after-party will be held opening night at Alley Twenty-Six, 320 E. Chapel Hill St. on Feb. 14, attendees can engage in conversation with Mark Anthony Neal, professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University, after the performance. On Feb. 16, an engaging talkback will take place with Mark Simpson-Vos (editorial director for the University of North Carolina Press), Della Pollack (professor of Performance and Cultural Studies at the University of North CarolinaChapel Hill) and Rachel Seidman (adjunct assistant professor and associate director in the Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Department of History). On Feb. 20 and 22, a post-show conversation will take place. A special pay-what-you-can preview will be held on Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the preview are available at the door. “Sweet Tea” is written and performed by actor and activist E. Patrick Johnson, a North Carolina native, and is based on his awardwinning book. It is directed by Joseph Megel. This play explores blackness, sexuality and southern hospitality, as well as the unique experience of this minority-within-a-minority. Equal parts funny, touching and enlightening, the play is based on interviews conducted by Johnson with men across the South presented with honesty, warmth and love. It is presented by Jane M. Saks and Project&. The production was originally developed by Saks and the Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College in Chicago, Ill. It received partial support from the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts at Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill.

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News Notes continued from page 6 Admission is $20/general, $10/students. Tickets are available online. info/tickets: sweettea-theplay.com. 866-811-4111. — L.M.

Crape Myrtle holds drag brunch

RALEIGH — Want to be a Valentine? Then head out to the Drag Brunch on Feb. 16, 12:30 p.m., at Solas, 419 Glenwood Ave. Tiffany Bonet, Lauren Scott, Valerie Rockwell, Dana St. James and Tasha Michaels join Emcee Candis Cox to help raise money for the Crape Myrtle Festival 34. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Music will be provided by DJ Fred Livingston. Call 919-755-0755, ext. 1, for reservations. Cost is $10 exclusive of meals and drinks. For an extra $10, attendees can enjoy a southern gourmet brunch. info: crapemyrtlefest.org. — L.M.

Western Historic gay bar changes hands

ASHEVILLE — O.Henry’s, 237 Haywood St., has new owners. Previous owners Jim Haggerty and Kevin Austin sold the establishment to Derick Boyd who had been a lead bartender at the bar. The popular hangout is considered one of the state’s longest running gay bars. It was established in 1976 and has provided a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. With new ownership, it hopes to

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become a revitalized gathering place while giving back to the Asheville LGBT community. Haggerty and Austin have retired and look forward to a long vacation and other activities. Boyd shared, “I am proud to be the torch bearer of this vital part of our Asheville Community. I will endeavor to provide Asheville and all surrounding areas with an establishment that embraces fond memories of old and new experiences for the future.” info: ohenrysofasheville.com — L.M.

Dance approaches in High Country

ASHEVILLE — The Dance Divas will host a women’s event on Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m., at Eleven on Grove, 11 Grove St. On hand will be DJ Linda who will spin tunes. Attendees will be able to enjoy snacks and filtered water and a cash bar will be available. Admission is $10. For those who want to head downstairs to Scandals after 9 p.m., simply get a stamp from the bartender for free admission. info: etledder@charter.net. 828-253-6746. — L.M.

Elders host poetry slam

ASHEVILLE — The LGBT Elder Advocates of WNC will hold a “Love Story Poetry Slam” on Feb. 16, 2 p.m., at Friendship Hall First United Congregation Church of Christ, 20 Oak St. This will be an open mic event and welcomes those who want to share “love in all forms.” A winner will be selected by the audience and will receive a prize. A donation of $5 is requested at the door. Light refreshments will be served. A 50/50 raffle will able be held. To RSVP, call 828-251-7438. info: facebook.com/LGBTElderAdvocatesofWNC. — L.M.

Indigo Girls head to Carolinas

ASHEVILLE — The Indigo Girls are coming to the Tar Heel State on March 16, 9 p.m., at the Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave. Doors open at 8 p.m. Folk rock musicians Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are a Grammy Award winning duo that came out of Decatur, Ga. Tickets are $30/advance, $35/day of show and are available online. There is a limit of eight tickets per order. tickets/info: theorangepeel.net. — L.M. Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes: editor@goqnotes.com.

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Transgender student crowned king East Mecklenburg senior’s win may be first for Charlotte by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com CHARLOTTE — In what may very well be an historic first for the Queen City, a transgender student was crowned homecoming king at East Mecklenburg High School’s basketball game on Feb. 7 qnotes first shared the story of 17-year-old East Meck senior Blake Brockington on Feb. 4, after he was nominated by his peers to run for homecoming king. In order to win, Brockington had to raise the most money for Mothering Across Continents, an international non-profit working to build schools in South Sudan. Brockington blew the competition away, raising $2,335.55 of a total $3,203.22. Some of the money flowed in from across the city and state, with local LGBT youth services agency Time Out Youth Center helping to collect the funds. “This means a lot to me because I know that for me this a dream that has finally been made and for others this is an inspiration,” Brockington said after the homecoming ceremony. “I hope this makes everybody know that they can be themselves regardless of what anybody else says,” he added. “You can do anything you set your mind to.” Brockington’s foster parent, Donald Smith, said he has supported his foster son throughout the homecoming race. “Blake is definitely someone who perseveres,” said Smith. “Somebody made a comment to me that Blake needs to pick his battles

and my response was I support every battle he’s chosen so far. That’s really how I support him.” Brockington came out as transgender at the end of his sophomore year. At home, his step-mother was receptive, but his father rejected the notion. At school, Brockington faced taunts, mostly from other boys, as well as a lack of understanding and education from some teachers and, even, some guidance counselors. “It was pretty black and white; there was no gray area,” says Brockington. “It was either they were really supportive or really not supportive, and it’s still like that. … I’ve had a hard time with counselors. They’re like, ‘You’re not a boy. This isn’t your name. We’re not going to call you that.’” Teacher Martha Deiss, whom Brockington had for a civics and economics course his sophomore year, says he was one of her brightest students. “A great student,” Deiss says. “Always had the highest grades.” But, Brockington’s coming out and a mix of personal and family struggles made sophomore year a particularly “rough patch.” “That was the year that everything was kind of coming to a head, I think,” says Deiss. “He had a rough year.” Brockington, who now lives in foster care, says life at school and elsewhere has gotten

better. He’s staying focused on class work and extracurricular activities. He plays rugby for a student club at the school and, when he turns 18, hopes to play for the Charlotte Royals, a local, LGBT-inclusive rugby team. Band, too, has kept him grounded, where he’s been a drum major for two years. Support from teachers like Deiss, his social worker, foster parents, and doctors and therapists have made all the difference. Next fall, he’ll attend the University of North Carolina-Charlotte where he intends to study mathematics with a minor in music and education. Earlier in the week, Brockington said winning the homecoming king title would be an opportunity to raise awareness. “I honestly feel like this is something I have to do,” Brockington said, noting few other transgender male students have had the opportunity. Winning will also mean the most for several younger transgender students he mentors, including a nine-year-old boy. “He really looks up to me. That’s my heart,”

Brockington says of his mentee. “He has support now and he will be able to avoid just about everything I’m going through and I don’t want him to ever have to be scared. I feel like if I do this, that’s one red flag for everybody to say, ‘Nobody should be scared to be themselves and everybody should have an equal opportunity to have an enjoyable high school experience.’” Brockington’s win on Feb. 7 is believed to be the first time a transgender student has been elected homecoming king in CharlotteMecklenburg Schools. : :

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Equality in funding? Not for the South. New report shows southern LGBT communities severely underfunded by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com CHARLOTTE — A new report from a national LGBT philanthropy research group says funding for LGBT communities in the South is significantly lower than other regions of the country despite the South’s large LGBT population and needs. Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ report, “Out in the South: Building Resources for LGBTQ Advancement in the U.S. South,” notes startlingly concerning and disproportionate funding levels. With more than 3 in 10 LGBT U.S. adults living in the South, the group says the South is home to a larger LGBT population than any other region of the country. Yet, the South receives just 3-4 percent of national domestic LGBT spending. It’s a topic Funders for LGBTQ Issues and others have known about for some time. Last July, the group convened LGBT and progressive philanthropists and foundations in Charlotte for a meeting to discuss the issue. “It all really started with a few of our members who are based in the South and they realized they were among the few who were funding LGBT communities in the South at a significant level,” Funders’ President Ben Fancisco Maulbeck told qnotes. “It’s been a long-neglected region.” The group’s report shows that the South received just $4.4 million in 2011 and $4.8 million in 2012. Nationally, funders contributed just under $51 million to LGBT issues in 2011 and just over $46 million in 2012. Put into perspective, the numbers are striking. In 2012, New York City alone received over $10 million for local services, advocacy and funding — more than twice the amount of the entire South. Average per capita spending across the nation is about $5.78 per adult. In the South, that number is just $1.71 per adult and the South was the only region of the country not containing a single state which topped the national average. The numbers do not include funding for national organizations. “The South has just not gotten as much support,” said

LGBTQ Issues found some states and local communities with strong, local philanthropy efforts. The Carolinas were among them, counting local giving by groups like the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund, Raleigh’s Crape Myrtle Foundation, Greensboro’s Guilford Green Foundation and Winston-Salem’s Adam Foundation. The Alliance for Full Acceptance is based in Charleston. from Funders for LGBTQ Issues “Out in the South: Building Resources Other parts of the report delved into for LGBTQ Advancement in the U.S. South” report. more detailed spending breakdowns, including where money in the South is Maulbeck. “A lot of the national support has been focused on being spent. Nationally, more money where we thought we had the easiest victories or the greatest goes toward advocacy, while the South receives more funding possibility for victories, and that’s generally not the South.” for direct services, in particular health funding — a reflection, The Charlotte meeting was held to gauge what Funders for perhaps of the South’s higher HIV/AIDS incidence rates. LGBTQ Issues, philanthropists and funders could do to help solve Maulbeck said his group will continue moving forward to the problem. Fifty groups gathered, including the Foundation for raise awareness and push for change. Later installments in their the Carolinas’ Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund and the Z. Smith reporting series will examine the health of LGBT non-profits and Reynolds Foundation, one of the state’s largest non-LGBT, prothe state of southern LGBT non-profit infrastructure. : : gressive funding groups. Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ report, the first in a multi-part series, is partly a result of the meeting and will help to raise awareness and highlight solutions, said Maulbeck. The report was released in late January, at the National Gay and Who’s giving and receiving Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference in Houston. Two North Carolina groups ranked in the top funders in There, Maulbeck said he began to receive near-immediate Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ report. positive feedback. Both the Foundation for the Carolinas, which houses the “From southern leaders, we’ve heard of this honest sense of Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund, and Winston-Salem’s Z. Smith validation from people who’ve said it’s great to see a report that Reynolds Foundation ranked in the top 25 largest donors of shows quantitatively with numbers what they’ve been feeling southern LGBT issues, respectively giving $176,415 and $135,000 and experiences for years,” said Maulbeck. in 2011 and 2012. Funders, he said, have acknowledged a “collective awareNorth Carolina groups also ranked in the top 25 grant recipients. ness that this is a call to action.” From 2011-2012, Equality North Carolina received $227,100; Duke Maulbeck added, “We are a different moment in the moveUniversity received $150,000; Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte ment and the South has been left behind. It’s time to think about received $150,000; and Time Out Youth Center received $113,560. how to change that collectively.” The report wasn’t all bad news, however. Funders for

LGBT people of color, transgender workers face obstacles Effects of discrimination can be felt locally by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com CHARLOTTE — With advances in the LGBT movement, especially on issues like marriage equality, occurring rapidly across the country, some are still left wondering when movement leaders might begin to focus more attention on issues like employment. Access to employment and non-discrimination protections are crucial for some community members, according to a recent report released last fall by the Center for American Progress, Freedom to Work, the Human Rights Campaign, the Movement Advancement Project and the National Black Justice Coalition, among other partners. The report found that LGBT workers of color face significantly higher risks of joblessness and homelessness. Poverty rates for black same-sex couples are at least twice the rate of black opposite-sex couples, the report also noted. Similar issues also face transgender workers, obstacles some advocates see even in Charlotte. “One of the big obstacles for employees and people we’ve worked with is that they have inconsistent documents,” Sarah Demarest, an attorney with the LGBTQ Law Center, noted about transgender workers. “If they have transitioned, sometimes their

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gender-identity does not match the name on their documents, a driver license for example.” Jessica Williams, 22, is facing challenges of her own. She’s a low-income student, African-American and transgender. She began her transition in 2012. Before then, she said she could get any job she wanted. But, she hasn’t had a job since transitioning. “Before, I could find a job in a matter of weeks,” Williams said. “I’ve never had a problem because I had so much training. I even had supervisor training. I never had a problem, especially if I made it to the interview stage.” But, employers are consistently now passing her over. She said potential employers have been vague for their reasoning. “They say, ‘We’ve found a candidate that better fits the position,’” Williams said, noting her recent applications have been for entry-level jobs that don’t require all that much experience. “It is frustrating and weird,” Williams said. “I had so much experience. I’ve been working since I was 15. I’ve had 10-plus jobs working anywhere from retail, sales, a call center, a cleaning service and administrative work. I have a lot of experience.” Demarest said certain larger, social problems contribute to challenges like those faced by Williams.

“There are systemic and institutional racism and issues of class that sometimes hold people back from being able to have meaningful employment,” she said, citing criminal justice issues and education. The fall LGBT workers report noted similar issues. LGBT youth of color are among children who are most at risk for dropping out of school. Williams said employers are missing out when they pass over qualified, yet diverse candidates. “There are a lot of transgender individuals that I know personally [who] are very well educated and experienced in all types of fields,” she said. “By discriminating, they are limiting themselves. They don’t even know how it might be holding them back. For all they know, their clients might be transgender or have a transgender lover, niece or nephew.” The Employment Non-Discrimination Act recently saw approval in the U.S. Senate, but is unlikely to pass in the U.S. House. The legislation would protect workers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, among other characteristics. It has been on the movement’s agenda for two decades. : :


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news N.C. furniture company celebrates 25 years goqnotes.com/to/news

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams known for LGBT philanthropy, healthy work place by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

Bob Williams, left, and Mitchell Gold, right, with Brad Wilson, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina) at the company’s 25-year anniversary event. Photo Credit: Courtesy Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

For 25 years, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has been churning out U.S.-made home furnishings products. The company’s growth, the founders say, has been surprising and the journey rewarding. “It surprised me the most how fast it has gone by,” says co-founder Mitchell Gold. When he and business partner Bob Williams began the business, both had been working for companies started a decade or more before. “We were thinking at some point, will we be able to have a date similar to that and now we have 25 years that have gone by faster than I could have ever imagined,” says Gold. The company began in 1989 with production of what Williams called “Relaxed Design.” Williams wanted to give consumers what he’d want in his own home, furnishings that are “comfortable, classic, affordable,” according to a company history. They dressed their products in slip-covers, an idea Gold had once described as revolutionary. Williams agrees it was a different approach. “It’s definitely a rule that we live by,” Williams says. “We always try to give the consumer a something a little different than what they can find any place else.” Based in Taylorsville, N.C., the company has also made a commitment to create and maintain U.S. furniture and manufacturing jobs. Their decision to stay stateside has earned them praise from politicians from both sides of the aisle. Both of North Carolina’s U.S. senators, Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Kay Hagan recorded messages of congratulations on the companies milestone. The videos were played company-wide at their headquarters and each of their retail stories during a 25th anniversary celebration on Feb. 6. Gold says the elected officials are “certainly appreciative and noteworthy of our business and really wanted to give a big shout out for keeping business local.” The duo have also been known for their personal and corporate giving. The company is a national sponsor of the Human Rights

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Campaign and Gold is the founder of Faith in America, a national, North Carolina-based group that works to end anti-LGBT religious bigotry. In addition, Gold co-edited an anthology, “Youth in Crisis,” with collected stories from LGBT leaders and young people about their experiences growing up gay. [Ed. Note — This writer contributed an essay for Gold’s book.] But, above and beyond their care for LGBT equality, Gold and Williams also have a commitment to health and well-being — both for their workers and their workers’ families. At their corporate headquarters, the company has two full-time medical associates on staff. If a worker isn’t feeling well, they have immediate access to care. They also have an on-site daycare. If a worker’s child needs attention or something unexpected occurs, a worker can be nearly-immediately available and not take the risk of missing more work — and pay — by being forced to leave work for an extended amount of time. Gold is especially proud of his company’s cafeteria. “It’s great having a healthy cafeteria on the campus,” he says. “Our employees don’t have to rush to go off to some greasy spoon. It’s not just some cold food, either. It’s a good hot lunch.” As for health care, Gold says it was important for the company to provide good benefits and coverage for employees. “We have great health care for our employees,” he says. “Nothing makes somebody feel better than simply being healthy.” And, he’s grateful for President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms. “Going into 2014, none of our employees or the company will see an increase in our healthcare costs,” Gold says. “Obamacare’s impact on our healthcare program will not cost us more money and we’ll have better coverage.” Gold and Williams are planning for expansion as they look forward to their next 25 years. This year alone, the company plans to open six stores across the U.S. and in Canada. They’ll continue that goal, with six new stores each year. : :


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HRC to award local leader, non-profit Greensboro’s Ron Johnson, Salisbury Pride up for honors CHARLOTTE — The Human Rights Campaign Carolina Gala is set for Saturday, Feb. 22. As the Carolinas’ movers and shakers file into the Charlotte Convention Center, they’ll be treated to a night full of entertainment. For two award winners, though, it will be a night to honor their work in the LGBT community. Ron Johnson of Greensboro will receive the 2014 Equality Award. A partner in the law firm of Johnson, Peddrick & McDonald, PLLC, Johnson is a co-founder of Triad Health Project, the area’s local HIV/AIDS service organization. He’s also served as a past president and director of Triad Health Project. During that time, Johnson raised more money than any other individual for the project’s Winter Walk for AIDS. He served as the fundraiser’s chair and cochair in 2007 and 2011. Additionally, Johnson has been involved in a number of other civic affairs, including serving on the board and advisory committee of Guilford Green Foundation, one of the state’s leading LGBT philanthropic foundations. His community service has garnered several awards, includ-

Greensboro “Thornton Brooks Award” for outstanding service. Ron and his life partner, Bill Roane, have been HRC Federal Club Members for over 20 years. Salisbury Pride will be honored with the 2014 Trailblazer Award. Founded in 2011, the organization has made great strides in promoting visibility, increasing public support and

increasing education of the LGBT community in rural Rowan County. Despite the area’s rural nature, Salisbury Pride has worked to make their hometown one of the most inclusive communities in the North Carolina Piedmont. For more information on the gala, visit hrccarolina.org. : : — Compiled from release

HRC Weekend Events The HRC Carolina Gala comes to Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 22. In addition to the gala itself, plenty of other events will keep you hopping throughout the weekend.

Ron Johnson

Feb. 21 HRC Welcome Party Takeover Friday Westin Hotel 601 S. College St. 7 p.m.

ing Triad Health Project’s Founder’s Award, the Mrs. Leon’s Award, the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service, the Greensboro Bar Association award for “Outstanding Pro-Bono Service” and the Community Foundation of Greater

Feb. 22 Official after parties At a variety of venues starting at 11 p.m., including: Charlotte Convention Center 501 S College St.

Hartigan’s Irish Pub 601 South Cedar St. The Bar at 316 316 Rensselaer Ave. Cathode Azure 1820 South Blvd., Ste 106. Feb. 23 HRC Recovery Brunch Napa on Providence 110 Perrin Pl. Noon HRC Closing Tea Dance Cathode Azure 1820 South Blvd., Ste 106 3 p.m.

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Center raises crucial funds continued from page 5

Read more about the ongoing efforts to keep the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte open, as well as more in-depth news on the Feb. 6 town hall and recent controversy over a board member’s social media legal threat at goqnotes.com/in/ lgbtcentercharlotte/. Center board member Crystal Long, center, dances with center supporters and community members during their ‘Back to the Block’ fundraising event.

Board member Jenny Richeson said the extra time will be helpful in strengthening the center. As it moves forward, she wants to see a greater engagement. “I’d love to have a lot of involvement, not only just in support but also having people come out and volunteer and really helping to make this center bigger,” she said. “I’d love to just see it grow for our community.”

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The event was attended by a variety of special guests, including state Rep. Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford), who is currently campaigning for 12th Congressional District. Brandon said organizations like the center are important for offering critical services. The community must continue to move forward, despite any challenges it faces. “The reality might be that HIV is running rampant through our community, but it doesn’t have to be our destiny,” Brandon said, citing HIV education and testing as an important center initiative. “Through our work and stories, we will face our realities and create new destinies.” Several members of Charlotte City Council attended the event, including LaWana Mayfield, Al Austin, Patsy Kinsey and Vi Alexander Lyles. Among others, several board officers and members of the Charlotte Business Guild, Charlotte Black Gay Pride and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte’s LGBT student group were also present at the event. The center’s board is scheduled to next meet on Feb. 19, 6:30 pm. at the center, 2508 N. Davidson St. Several issues, including continued concerns on finances, board accountability and membership involvement, each of which were discussed at the Feb. 6 town hall, are expected to be discussed. : :


Meet the Staff of Rosedale ID Making a Difference in Healthcare!

Scheduling Your Appointments A word from Wendy…

We are excited to bring you the most up-to-date information and share our experiences with you through our new “Meet the Staff” columns in QNotes in addition to our already popular “Ask Dr.C” column. Featured Team Member: Wendy Wojchiewoski Wendy is Rosedale’s Front Desk Assistant. She greets our patients at their appointments and helps with all of their appointment scheduling needs. Wendy lives in Kannapolis with her husband. In her free time she loves spending time with her family, including her grandchildren.

It is the nature of our business to give our patients the utmost in care and service. It is my job to make sure that scheduling appointments and accessing our services is easy and quick. I enjoy being the point of contact for so many of our patients and directing you to the person who can help you. In order to make the best experience for you and others visiting us at Rosedale, I have a few tips for scheduling appointments. It is important when scheduling your appointments to please try to schedule for a time that is convenient for you and allows you enough time to arrive a few minutes prior to your appointments. When scheduling, please try to consider traffic volume and any accidents that can occur. Allowing yourself sufficient time will make your appointment go smoother because you are not being rushed and will have ample time to discuss any concerns you have with the provider. We take pride in being available to accommodate your schedule and be flexible with rescheduling as needed. When rescheduling an appointment, please let us know as soon as you know that your current appointment does not work for you. By doing this, we are able to utilize that spot for someone else that is waiting on an appointment. In turn, this allows us to be accommodating when any patient, including you, needs a last minute appointment. When coming to your appointment, make sure that you have your insurance card and copay ready. This expedites the check-in

process and allows you more time with the provider. If you know that there is a change ahead in your insurance or you can’t find your card, that’s okay! Many times patients are able to access their insurance policies online and are able to print a copy of the card. If you come early to your appointment, our Director of Financial Services, Roseanne Sanders, is always available to help you with this. Our providers are here to discuss any questions you may have, however we do have other patients waiting to be seen so please keep this in mind when discussing concerns. If you anticipate that you will have more things than usual to discuss at your next appointment, it is okay to let the front desk know that you may need an extended visit. As long as the provider’s schedule allows it, we are able to block off more time for your visit to ensure you get all of your healthcare needs addressed. Also, if you want to have a full physical at your next appointment, please let the front desk know so they can block extra time for your appointment as well. By keeping these things in mind, things with your appointment will be much smoother and hopefully more pleasant. Call us today to speak to Wendy and have the opportunity to become part of the Rosedale family! Don’t forget to visit our website at www.rosedaleid. com, friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for community and clinical updates! You can also email us at info@rosedaleid.com. — Sponsored Content —

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Aiken announces bid continued from page 5 doesn’t even live in the district, an activist who’s [sic] own party rejected her in the last democrat primary — and Aiken, a performer whose political views more closely resemble those of San Francisco than Sanford,” Ellmers spokeswoman Jessica Wood wrote in an email. “Renee best represents the values of the voters in the 2nd District and remains focused on fighting for their families.” LGBT leaders were quick to criticize Ellmers’ statement. Dan Gurley, a gay, former executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party slammed Wood for her remarks. “I’m sure you thought you were being clever with your statement yesterday when you said the following, ‘and Aiken, a performer whose political views more closely resemble those of San Francisco than Sanford,’” Gurley wrote. “Well, you weren’t. You were offensive and childish, and

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if you worked for me or any client of mine I’d fire you. Surely you know better than this. You have offended many on both sides of the political aisle with your ill thought out comments. Not only are you uncreative, but your [sic] small minded.” Wood later released a new statement, but didn’t address the criticisms. “We welcome Clay to the race, but first we recognize he’ll have to win a Democratic primary with Keith Crisco in a district that overwhelmingly chose Mitt Romney over Barack Obama and are unlikely to send a liberal to Washington who will further the President’s agenda,” the statement from Ellmers read in part. : : more: See full responses from LGBT leaders and more on this story online at goqnotes. com/27400/ and goqnotes.com/27370/. Watch Aiken’s interview with The News & Observer and his campaign announcement video at goqnotes.com/27361/.


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Pastor says Augusta community is special The Rev. Lisa Heilig to leave interim post by Adam Wadding :: Augusta correspondent For the past year and half, the Rev. Lisa Heilig has served as the interim pastor for Metropolitan Community Church of our Redeemer in Augusta. She will soon leave her post. Having served five different churches in the past seven years, Heilig has had the opportunity to experience and observe the LGBT community in multiple cities. “[Other cities’ LGBT communities] has got nothing against Augusta,” says Heilig. Before making her way to the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA), Heilig spent four years working with churches in Florida and a prior 16 years in Atlanta. Something about Augusta and its LGBT community was different. “I think what I love the most is when something happens — the community just comes together,” she says. Within the past year, Augusta’s community faced heartache, when multiples of its members passed away. “Unfortunately we have had some folks pass away,” says Heilig. “But the entire community has come together to help one another.” The strong sense of love and support was quickly noticed in Augusta, while in other cities, it wasn’t as easy for Heilig to spot. “The community in Augusta is thriving, where in other cities, I have had to go search for it,” she relates. It isn’t just the gay community who is thriving in Augusta either. With Augusta Pride being in its fifth year, the CSRA in whole has come together in support, straight and gay alike.

“Augusta Pride is a class act,” says Heilig. “It has the feeling of a family atmosphere, with quality entertainment.” While Pride is primarily created for the LGBT community, Augusta has proven to be catered for anyone. “It is really designed for everyone to have fun. This past year, there were a lot of straight folks out there too,” says Heilig. With only a few months left in Augusta, Heilig is unsure where the next step in her career will take her. She plans to return to Atlanta where her partner is based, and take a break from being a pastor for the next three to six months. As Heilig plans to say goodbye, she expects great things to come from the Augusta LGBT community. “I fully expect them to do wonderful things for Augusta, and the whole CSRA.” : : Starting this issue, qnotes will bring you regular updates, news and features from the Augusta area, sponsored in part by the Augusta-area community and advertisers. The feature will run in print and online every two weeks. Do you have news tips or story suggestions? Email editor@ goqnotes.com and we'll send to our new Augusta correspondent.

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

The “getting dumped, dumping someone and why it’s always your fault� issue Dearest Trinity, A year and a half ago, my boyfriend left me with no explanation. And, he wouldn’t even return my phone calls or answer his door. Then he moved. Fast forward to a year later with his new boyfriend on his arm, he returns. I liked his new boyfriend, but I still never got my overdue closure. Now, I have their number to finally get closure. Should I call? Wounded & Wondering, Green Bay, WI

Dearest Wounded & Wondering, Men are selfish, boring, overbearing animals and no lame excuse will ever right his dirty dumping wrongs. Whether he was running from the law or himself it was a year ago and won’t change your life today. So, let’s fast-forward to you. What do you need to empower yourself again — a new boyfriend, a new job, a new outfit, what? Sweetie, it’s totally time to move on and stop playing Patty Labelle’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.â€? However, if it’s “closureâ€? you must have, then closure you surely deserve. Yes, calmly call him and demand closure. And then‌move on! Hello Trinity, I’m dating someone who is so sweet and so nice, but I’m so not into him. I’m terrible at dumping someone. Help! Working The Dump, Buffalo, NY Hello Working The Dump, It’s awful making someone feel bad and even more frustrating figuring out how to do it. But, honey, if it’s not working you must not waste his time or yours. The six rules for dumping someone are: be clear, be present, be compassionate, do it privately

in a public place, never dump by phone or email (after the second week) and be far away from any glass, guns or moving vehicles! (I’ve got a few suggestions if you’ll check out my cartoon.) Dear Trinity, It was just after five months when I got handed a list of “why it’s my fault� the relationship isn’t working and has to end. Trinity, why is it always the “other person’s� fault? The List, Louisville, KY Dear List, In most relationships it’s never “their� fault. Welcome to the dating game. Now, pumpkin, after you rise from the shock, copy this list and send it to him or her. Trinity’s 99 Ridiculous Reasons For Why It’s My Fault And Not Yours That The Relationship Didn’t Work   1. (8) Because “I wasn’t enough�, i.e. smart, masculine, talkative, quiet, pretty, cute, funny or wealthy enough.   2. (8) Because “I wasn’t supportive with your� addictions to drinking, drugging, working, shop lifting, promiscuity, cruising, the gym or steroids.   3. (9) Because “I didn’t like listening to your� music, TV, singing, snoring, complaining, bird chirping, burping or your constant chatting on the cellphone and internet.   4. ( 10) Because “I didn’t like the smell of your� breath, food, cologne, laundry detergent,

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shampoo, incense, dog, cat, snake or your constant flatulence.   5. (16) Because “I didn’t know how to deal with your never-ending� depression, antidepressants, mood swings, hypochondria, paranoia, split personality or your 10 other emotional disorders.   6. ( 6) Because “I didn’t push you hard enough to give up� your smoking habit, your lousy job, your credit card problems, your eating disorder, your multi tasking or your need to be controlled.   7. (7) Because “I didn’t like going with you� to the neighbors, the bars, the casino, expensive dinners, traveling, shopping or to your mothers house every weekend.   8. (6) Because “I kept lecturing you on� being late, being judgmental, being rude, being disrespectful, being sloppy and for Goddamn swearing so much.   9. (25) Because “I wouldn’t let you� eat ice cream for dinner, french fries for breakfast, chocolate cake for lunch or the 22 other unhealthy things that you and your doctor keep saying will kill you. 10. ( 4) Lastly, because I wouldn’t do the right things, feel the right feelings, wear the right clothes or sleep just the right way when you wanted me to. : : 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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Youth organization reaches out to LGBT community Alexander Youth Network to hold meet-and-greet and information session for potential LGBT foster parents by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

CHARLOTTE — Alexander Youth Network, a local youth services agency, will hold a special meet-and-greet and information session for those interested in becoming foster parents this month. The event will feature a local gay leader and his husband, both of whom work with the agency as treatment parents. Plaza Midwood businessman Billy Maddalon, who served a short term on the Charlotte City Council last year, and his husband Brooks Shelley will share their story of being treatment parents with Alexander Youth Network. The couple have adopted two sons, including one named Jed, whose story was featured in a recent People magazine feature. George Montgomery, a recruiting and licensing specialist with Alexander Youth Network, said demand for foster and treatment parents is high. Currently, the agency serves 55-60 youth in the Charlotte area. More youth can be served with more treatment parents. Montgomery said Alexander Youth Network takes foster parenting to the next level with treatment parenting.

“Historically, the model has been just caretaking, but we’ve moved beyond that to actually having treatment parents who actually help change lives,” Montgomery said. “They become the treatment for children who have endured trauma, abuse and neglect.” He added, “There’s a high need in Charlotte and the state in general.” Montgomery hopes their outreach to the LGBT community helps inspire other parents like Maddalon and Shelley to get involved. Other current LGBT treatment parents also work with Alexander Youth Network.

“We have several existing foster parents who are in the gay and lesbian community,” Montgomery said. “With the [People] article coming out, we want to make that story a little more prominent in the community. It felt like a good time to reach out. Other parents in the community thought it was a good idea as well.” In addition to their foster and treatment parenting programs, Alexander Youth Network also operates outpatient therapy for children, including a daily school for children with behavioral needs. Alexander Youth Network’s event is scheduled for Feb. 27, 6 p.m., at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, 2508 N. Davidson St. For more information or to register, call 704-944-6088 or email gmontgomery@alexanderyouthnetwork.org. : :

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C A L E N DA R FEBRUARY-MARCH 2014 To see more upcoming events, visit goqnotes.com/calendar/ Submit your event at goqnotes.com/eventsubmit/

Tea Dance and Social Hartigan’s 601 S. Cedar St., Charlotte 4 p.m. Southern Country Charlotte and One Voice Chorus host a tea dance and social. Doors open at 4 p.m. No cover. –––––––––––––––––––– The Vagina Monologues’ Brief 1426 S. Tryon St., Charlotte 7-9:30 p.m. Chi Psi Omega Fraternity, Inc., presents VDAY 2014 with a reading of “The Vagina Monologues,” with special guest host Jewel Carter of V101.9 and directed by Tania Cox. General admission is $12. VIP, $15. Proceeds to benefit the Battered Women’s Shelter of Charlotte. chipsiomegafraternity.org

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LGBT Democrats SEP FEB 830 Lamar Ave., Charlotte 7 p.m. The LGBT Democrats of Mecklenburg County hold their second organizational meeting. Group structure and chartering will be discussed. Speakers will include several elected officials. lgbtdemocrats.org

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HRC Diner SEP FEB Hartigan’s 601 S. Cedar St., Charlotte 6:30 p.m. & 8:45 p.m. The Human Rights Campaign holds a “diner” fundraiser for its upcoming HRC Carolina Gala, with entertainment by amateur and professional drag performers. Two dinners and performances. For more information or to get tickets, visit action.hrc.org/site/ Calendar?id=117361&view=Detail. –––––––––––––––––––– ‘Out in the Dark’ Regal Ballantyne Village Stadium 5 14815 Ballantyne Village Way, Charlotte 7 p.m. The Charlotte Jewish Film Festival presents in collaboration with the GayCharlotte Film Festival a screening of “Out in the Dark.” Directed by Michael John Mayer, the film follows Nimer, an ambitious Palestinian student in the West Bank and Roy, an Israeli lawyer, and the two fall in love. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online. brownpapertickets.com/event/540694l

Catawba Valley Pride Restaurant Takeover Olde Hickory Station, 232 Government Ave. SW, Hickory 5 p.m. Catawba Valley Pride will gather for an informal social and mixer. catawbavalleypride.org

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Continues through Feb. 23 SEP FEB HRC Gala Weekend Charlotte Join the Human Rights Campaign for their annual HRC Carolina Gala on Saturday, Feb. 22, along with a full weekend of fun activities, including a Takeover Friday at The Westin on Friday, Feb. 21 and more. hrccarolina.org

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Equality NC SEP FEB Western Institute Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 381 E. King St., Boone 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Equality NC hosts its Western Regional Institute, designed as a hyper-local, day-long event focused on civic engagement, the electoral process and pro-equality issue education. Space is limited. Register online at equalitync.org/ getengagedNC/boone. –––––––––––––––––––– A Night in Rio Grady Cole Center 310 N. Kings Dr., Charlotte 7 p.m. The Latin American Coalition presents its fifth annual A Night in Rio, a celebration of the Brazilian Carnaval. For tickets or more information visit RioCharlotte.com or call Tony Arreaza at 704-941-2557.

Submit your event to our calendar!

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Scorpio EOY SEP FEB The Scorpio 2301 Freedom Dr., Charlotte 10 p.m. The Scorpio presents its Entertainer of the Year competition featuring current reigning EOY 2014 Malachi and other performers. thescorpio.com

Equality NC Piedmont Institute Beloved Community Center 417 Arlington St., Greensboro 9:15 a.m.-4 p.m. Equality NC hosts its Piedmont Regional Institute, designed as a hyper-local, day-long event focused on civic engagement, the electoral process and pro-equality issue education. Space is limited. Register online at equalitync. org/getengagedNC/greensboro. –––––––––––––––––––– The Oregon Trail Myers Park Baptist Church 1900 Queens Rd., Charlotte 7 p.m. Charlotte Pride Band commemorates the victories and hardships of the 19th century transit from Missouri to the Pacific through music. Tickets are $13 for individuals and $22.50 for a family pass. charlotteprideband.org

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Continues through March 1 SEP FEB LGBT in the South Various locations The Campaign for Southern Equality hosts a regional conference designed for organizers, attorneys, service providers, ministers and community members. The conference will feature presentations, discussions and panels about LGBT advocacy in the South. lgbtinthesouth.com –––––––––––––––––––– Celebration of the Arts Theatre Charlotte 501 Queens Rd., Charlotte 6:30 p.m. The seventh annual Celebration of the Arts benefiting Time Out Youth with a unique variety show featuring singers, dancers, actors and performance artists from Charlotte and New York City. Produced by Vito Abate. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance through Time Out Youth or at the door. timeoutyouth.org theatrecharlotte.org

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Equality NC SEP MAR Eastern Institute St. Jude MCC 19 N 26th St., Wilmington 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Equality NC hosts its Eastern Regional Institute, designed as a hyper-local, day-long event focused on civic engagement, the electoral process and pro-equality issue education. Space is limited. Register online at equalitync. org/getengagedNC/wilmington.

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


goqnotes.com/to/life

CIAA events for LGBT community

OUR PEOPLE:

Q&A with Crys Farrar Social media company hightlights promoters by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com Crys Farrar, 27, saw a void in the local community. Nightlife establishments for the LGBT community abound in Charlotte, but most, she says, cater primarily to gay men. The city has Hartigan’s and L4 Lounge, two bars with huge female clientele, but other events and activities, especially for women and minorities, often go unnoticed. So, Farrar started Social Noize, a new business that seeks to highlight party promoters who throw events for the LGBT community. “There was a need, especially in the AfricanAmerican LGBT community, to get out information about parties and events going on,” says Farrar. “A lot of people from out of town don’t know the different events available.” Social Noize exists, she says, to broaden the advertising and marketing reach of existing promoters like SugaWalls Entertainment, which qnotes profiled in our cover feature on African-American LGBT nightlife in our Jan. 17-30 print edition.

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“Social Noize is here to give people visiting or just in town and not sure what’s going on an idea where they can go to have fun throughout the week.” Business has been successful so far, says Farrar. She’s worked with several local promoters and has gotten contacted by promoters in California and Atlanta. Her rising profile will be beneficial as Charlotte prepares to hosts this year’s CIAA basketball tournament in late February. Fans from across the country will descend on the Queen City and LGBT tournament-goers will be looking for fun social events to keep them busy after the basketball games end each night. “You probably have six well-known promoters just in the lesbian community here, and they are all having parties,” Farrar says. She wants to get the word out as much as possible. The parties are a chance, she says, to meet people from around the region and country — each with a common love of the CIAA. “Whether you’re black, Hispanic, white or what-have-you, there’s normally a diversity of attendance at the parties that are held,” Farrar says. : :

”The G.A.M.E.” Men of Destini and Meltdown Productions present “The G.A.M.E. (Great All Male Experience).” Nightly events Feb. 27-March 2. allmaleweekendcharlotte.com ”The Men Will Be Everywhere” The Nickel Bar presents four days of nonstop parties, Feb. 27-March 2. Featuring sexy entertainers from San Diego, Calif., D.C., Maryland and Virginia. For more information, visit TheNickelBar.com. SeduceHER Nightly events throughout the CIAA presented by Sophisticated Lyfe Entertainment and InHerCircle. All advance tickets and information available at sleciaalgbt.eventbrite.com. Feb. 28 The Main Event With VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop” star Erica Mena and other invited celebrity guests, plus guest DJ LRenee. Grand Central Ballroom 1000 Central Ave. 9:30 p.m.-2:15 a.m. Dress code: Upscale and fashionable attire March 1 Dance Party Finale The best in all dance music from the east to the west. With Atlanta’s DJ Maestro and guest female DJ. UpStage NoDa 3306 N. Davidson St. 9:30 p.m.-2:15 a.m. L4 Lounge Feb. 28 “The Warm Up”

L4 Lounge 2906 Central Ave. 10 p.m.-3 a.m. 21+ preferred. 18+ welcome. $10 advance tickets at White Rabbit or contact Crys Melton 919-931-3396 or Dra 704-615-3147 or Blaze 336-587-0052. Socialite Entertainment Inc. Feb. 28 Fashion Fridays. Sexy and Fabulous. Ultra Lounge 2815 Crisman St. ciaafashionfriday.ticketleap.com 704-290-7318 ”The Takeover” March 1 Presented by Trap Dinero & Carolina Pride. With DJ Parker Parker and hosted by PCharmn. Special guest appearances by the “She Life’s” online drama series cast. Ultra Lounge 2815 Crisman St. 9 p.m.-4 a.m. 18+ 704-605-9669 SugaWalls Entertainment March 3 “We Ballin” Special guest stud performers Carter The Body from L.A. & Juiceboxx from Texas with DJ Adore Onyx Gentlemen’s Club 5300 Old Pineville Rd. 3-8 p.m. 21+. Ladies only. weballinladies4ladies.eventbrite.com 336-587-0052

Feb. 14-27 . 2014

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QNotes Feb. 14-27, 2014