Page 1

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012



Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012

inside Feb. 18-March 2, 2012 Vol 26 No 21

news & features   6 News Notes: Regional Briefs

a&e / life&style



  5 20 Questions: Dan Mauney   8 Prop 8: The Play   9 Black LGBT orgs 10 GayCharlotte Film Fest 10 On the Map Guide 11 Map: Fun, Fellowship, Faith 12 Talking to Joe Solmonese 12 HRC Gala speakers,   entertainment 15 Out in Print: ‘Straight’ 16 Drag Rag 17 On Being a Gay Parent 18 Tell Trinity 19 Out in the Stars 22 Fabulance 22 Jane’s World 23 Q events calendar

opinions & views   4 Editor’s Note   4 General Gayety 23 QPoll


contributors this issue

O’Neale Atkinson, Paige Braddock, Rosendo Brown, Matt Comer, Kevin Grooms/Miss Della, Charlene Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, Leslie   Robinson, David Stout, Trinity, Brett Webb-Mitchell

front page

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter at

Graphic Design by Lainey Millen Photo Credit: Human Rights Campaign

Pride Publishing & Typesetting, Inc. P.O. Box 221841, Charlotte, NC 28222, ph 704.531.9988 fx 704.531.1361 Editor: O’Neale Atkinson, x202 Publisher: Jim Yarbrough Sales: x207 Nat’l Sales: Rivendell Media, 212.242.6863

Assoc. Ed.: David Stout, Production: Lainey Millen, x205 Printed on recycled paper.

Material in qnotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2012 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.

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012


by o’neale atkinson

Speak out for equality!


On May 8, 2012 the citizens of North Carolina will have an opportunity to vote on an issue that will make a statement to the rest of the country about our views on what defines a marriage. While other states are fighting and working toward marriage equality, we are struggling to keep North Carolina from taking a huge step backward. Prop 8 in California is being ruled unconstitutional and we are considering repeating the same discriminatory ideology here. In 2006, South Carolina faced this same decision and chose to define marriage between one man and one woman as the only lawful domestic union to be recognized by the state. I was a resident of South Carolina at the time, and despite efforts to stop this ruling, I was not surprised that the vote passed in favor of banning gay marriage. But, this is 2012 and things are different now, right? I certainly hope so, but I won’t deny that I have my concerns. I also have a lot of hope for this state to do the right thing and not constitutionally limit the rights of people based on their sexual orientation. The climate in North Carolina is not the same as South Carolina in 2006 and there are organizations across the state working to inform and advocate against this amendment. Jen Jones of Equality NC, with a host of campaign organizers and supporters, is traveling across the state in a “race to the ballot” to educate as many citizens as possible. Businesses and cities within the state are standing up and stating their opposition to Amendment 1. I commend Jones, Equality NC and the Coalition to Protect NC Families, as well as other businesses and individuals, for all of their hard work and dedication to this cause. We can’t rest all of our hopes on their shoulders; change has to come from each and every one of us. When I lived in South Carolina, I opposed the amendment in 2006, but in hindsight I did not do enough to combat the initiative. After the results of the vote, I spoke with several of my friends and was appalled to discover how many people I knew, some of whom were LGBT themselves, did not go out and vote. The responses I received when I asked people why they did not vote were split between apathy and ignorance. Apathy in that

they believed their vote would not make a difference in the decision and ignorance in that people did not even know about the vote. How could this be? I knew about it. I was informed. Why wasn’t everyone else? Because I didn’t speak up. Talking about politics, even with friends and loved ones, can be a major point of contention and easier left alone in most cases. This is not one of those cases. We have to speak up. We have to inform and educate everyone we know about this issue and the impact it will have, not only on the LGBT community of North Carolina, but on everyone if it passes. We have a lot of work to do and a lot of ground to cover in the next three months. Unless we are all informed about the impact of this amendment and are willing to take personal responsibility in advocating for our rights, then we will repeat the decision in South Carolina. Gov. Beverly Perdue’s recent decision not to run for re-election could be a major gamechanger for this vote. With the addition of a Democratic primary on the May 8 ballot, more voters will be turning out and that could mean more votes in opposition to the amendment. However, we can’t just assume this to be the case and become satisfied that this will be all that is needed to oppose the amendment. I encourage you to share your views on this issue with those close to you. I also encourage you to support organizations such as Equality NC and the Coalition to Protect NC Families as they work to support equality. Follow these organizations online and keep up with their work. Attend their events and volunteer your time when you can. Even if you can’t do these things, you can talk to those around you and make sure that they know the issues and what is at stake when they vote on May 8. While South Carolina was banning same sex marriage in 2006, New Hampshire was taking steps toward equality and civil unions. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Bishop Gene Robinson, ninth bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire and an advocate for equality, as he was visiting Charlotte to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN). Bishop Robinson was also the first openly gay priest to be ordained a bishop and has worked

These rates only cover a portion of our true cost, however, our goal is to serve our community Mailed 1st class from Charlotte, NC, in sealed envelope. Subscription Rates:

☐ 1 yr - 26 issues = $48 ☐ 1/2 yr - 13 issues = $34

Mail to: P.O. Box 221841, Charlotte, NC 28222

______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ name:

______________________________________________________ address:

state: zip: ______________________________________________________ city:

☐ mastercard ☐ visa ☐ discover ☐ american express ______________________________________________________ credit card – check one:

exp. date: ______________________________________________________ card #: signature:


Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012



editor’s note

to bring about change within the church in terms of its views on homosexuality. Since a major argument in favor of the passage of Amendment One is rooted in religious doctrine, I asked Robinson if he had any thoughts to share with the people of North Carolina. “Religious people have nothing to fear from marriage equality. This is not any kind of infringement on the freedom of religion. Typically, we are worried the state will infringe on the church; in this instance, we have the

church doing this on the state. The state is in the business of equal protection under the law and treating all citizens equally and, yet, we have religious groups trying to impose their views on the secular state,” says Robinson. “We now have enough gay and lesbian families, many with children, and we know that those families are wonderful and deserve support of the state because we need stable families as the lynchpin of society. This is about equal protection under the law.” : :

general gayety by leslie robinson qnotes contributor

You are invited

I’m thinking of starting a new career. With the state of Washington on a path to legalize same-sex marriage, it’s the right time here in the Evergreen State to get into the wedding invitation business. For a modest fee, I plan to offer specialized invitation text, suited just for the couple. I’ve knocked out some examples. Imagine unsealing a hand-lettered envelope and withdrawing a regal invitation graced with one of the following announcements: Benjamin Paul Corday and Jack Simon Mikkelsen request the pleasure of your company in celebrating their union of marriage on Saturday, the nineteenth of May, two thousand and twelve, at one o’clock in the afternoon, at Tacoma Lutheran Church. Unless the pastor changes his mind again. Jim and Arlene Trent and Stu and Suzy Levy invite you to the wedding of their daughters, Sarah Elizabeth Trent and Candace Opal Levy, on Saturday, the eighteenth of August, two thousand and twelve, at six o’clock at Golden Gardens Park, Seattle. Dinner, dancing and writing thank-you notes to legislators to follow. Sally Ann Miller and Deborah Casey Putnam request the honor of your presence as we marry for a fourth time. No gifts, please. We’re out of space. Barry Edward Miller and Archibald Chi Wong invite you to join them in celebrating their marriage in the card room of the Westhaven Retirement Home ten minutes after gay marriage becomes legal.

Mr. and Mrs. Alan Slater hold their noses and invite you to join them as their son David Riley Slater marries that man on Saturday, the seventh of July, two thousand and twelve, at five o’clock in the evening, Bellevue First Congregational Church. Dinesh and Chandra Gupta request the honour of your presence and blessings on the auspicious occasion of the wedding ceremony of our daughter Ahanti to…a man! Our girl fooled us again. Peter O’Malley and Mark Shaughnessy invite you to their wedding on the steps of St. James Cathedral in Seattle on Sunday, June 10th, at 10:00 in the morning. Dress for possible arrest. Cynthia Simmons Bartlett and Moonstone request that you get your butts over here to our place on Lummi Island for the mother of all union celebrations to take place on the summer solstice. Potluck. Abigail Sage Hernandez-Martin invites you to join her in celebrating the marriage of her Daddy and her Papa at her house in Spokane. She will look unbearably cute, so you should bring your cameras. The honor of your presence is requested at the reaffirmation of wedding vows of Grace Branson (formerly Herbert Branson) and Melinda Branson on Saturday, September 8th, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. at their home in Olympia. Still going strong after 35 years and a few twists and turns! : : info: .

Visit for daily insights, rants, raves and news tidbits from qnotes staff and local and national voices from around the web.


20 Questions by David Stout ::

Dan Mauney, Charlotte

The HRC North Carolina Gala is fast approaching (Saturday, Feb. 25 — visit for details), so we’re putting event co-chair Dan Mauney (who is serving alongside Cherie Green and Rich Hurley) in the glaring spotlight of 20 Questions. Read on, dear reader, to see what the Titan of Takeover had to say. Do you find the Three Stooges funny? Are you calling the HRC Carolinas Gala co-chairs the Three Stooges? If so, I will be Moe — as   in HOMOE! What is your favorite Chef Boyardee canned food? I don’t eat solids…only ice cubes every other day and a Tic Tac on the days   in between. Who’d be monkey-in-the-middle of a threeway between Ricky Martin, Anderson Cooper and Neil Patrick Harris? Kathy Griffin in drag. Which deceased musical artist do you most wish you had seen in concert? Michael Jackson, before the surgeries.

How many sides of a Rubik’s Cube can you complete? I can do the whole damn thing…take it apart and redo it, that is. You have to lube each part so that it slides into the slot easier. Wait, are we still talking about Rubik’s Cube? Do you consider yourself hot-natured or cold-natured? Lukewarm, with a splash   of vodka. Which pair is most obviously a couple: Bert and Ernie, Peppermint Patty and Marcie, SpongeBob and Patrick? SpongeBob and Patrick… once the amendment gets voted down. (PSA: Get out the VOTE on May 8th!) What is your favorite classic arcade game? Ms. Pac-Man. I always loved her accessories. Do you have any current magazine subscriptions? HRC Equality — in every language! Which one of these films have you seen the most times? “Back To The Future,” “Gone With The Wind,” “Star Wars,” “Steel Magnolias”? “Steel Magnolias.” Blush and bashful are my favorite colors. Which household chore do you dislike most? All of them.

Growing up, what was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon? “Super Friends.” I always wanted to be Wonder Woman. Do you own a football? I prefer pork with a side of apple sauce. Which decade produced the worst fashion? The ’70s — minus the original Charlie’s Angels…they rocked it! Which TV show cast would you most like to be a member of? “Charlies Angels” — as one of the crime fighting angels, of course. Do you regularly wear a wristwatch? My watch is called an iPhone…plus I have little girl wrists and I am self conscious. What is your favorite salad dressing? I don’t toss salad, but I do like mine tossed. Can you ride a pogo stick? Like a champ. Do you like candy orange slices? When they’re mixed with vodka. Have you ever been to Graceland? No, but I’ve been to me — the one hit wonder by Charlene. : : —————————— info: We want you to be the subject of a future “20 Questions.” If you’re interested, send your name, city and a few sentences about yourself to You’ll be asked to supply a photo of yourself suitable for publication later in the process. If you’d like to see a particular person featured here or have questions for us to use, drop us an email.

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012



news notes: from the carolinas, nation and world compiled by Lainey Millen :: | David Stout :: | O’Neale Atkinson ::

Charlotte Tweeting leads to social action

CHARLOTTE — What started out as a Twitter conversation between roughly a dozen concerned citizens over the increase in bullying and suicides of LGBT youth has turned into an organized group looking to make a difference. On Jan. 25, a group of concerned individuals took their conversation from the internet and met at Dilworth Billiards for their first meeting. Since this meeting, group members have been working on articulating their mission and goals for the group, identifying themselves as CLT Social Cares. “Our first year vision is to be a bullhorn for awareness and a source of manpower for established resources in the local area,” says David Boling (pictured), one of the initial members of the group. “We will focus on filling the needs of our community in regards to preventing suicides resulting from bullying

and depression.” The group is still using social media to communicate between meetings and now has a Facebook group as well. On Feb. 7 the group met again at The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte where representatives from both the center and Time Out Youth were present to discuss some strategies on how the group can work within existing organizations to support their work. A major area of interest for CLT Social Cares is to work with school systems and parents of LGBT youth to educate them about the seriousness of the issue. Time Out Youth currently works to educate schools about bullying and how to create Safe Zones within schools where they can. Groups like CLT Social Cares can help existing organizations like Time Out Youth with manpower and support to help meet their goals.

The group is still in its developmental stages, but the members are motivated by their cause and will continue to meet actively in order to establish their place alongside existing organizations. The group is seeking more people who are concerned about the issues of LGBT related bullying and suicides to work with. For more information, email Boling at — O.A.

the community. Coleman is the founder, with Ross as co-founder. They have been partners for 16 years. They said that 90 percent of those they serve come from the LGBT community and membership comes from across the country. The event is open “all people, regardless of their race, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic background or religious affiliation.” Speakers and professionals engaged in the conference work extensively within the LGBT community. One component that follows through the event is breaking down the divide between straight and LGBT communities. Their motto for the women’s conference is “When you Heal, I Heal, When you get Better, I get Better, When you Succeed, I Succeed ~ We Are 1.” It is their hope that everyone who attends leaves the conference renewed, with “dreams and visions for the future taken back through a life-changing experience.” Ross and Coleman expressed that there is a need for healing in the community, as well as empowerment. It is a “rainbow of people, who embrace diversity.” They encourage everyone who participates to “get what you need” and “get connected.” Hill brings her drumming to the conference on April 19 for a performance at 6:45 p.m. Bishop Yvette Flunder will present a Master Class on April 20. She founded the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in San Francisco, Calif. Enjoy “One Family’s AIDS” on April 20 at 9:30 p.m. This humorous play was written by activist and writer J’son M. Lee. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina. Teresa Trull will perform on April 20 at 10 p.m. Trull is no stranger to North Carolina. This Durham native has been engaged in songwriting and blues/rock-style music and has performed with legendary lesbian artist Cris Williamson, as well as

Joan Baez, David Sanborn, and others. This “Celebration of the Arts” will also be filled with singing, spoken word and dance. Non-conference attendees can purchase tickets for $20 at The conference will be engaged in a social action initiative to provide 100 new, empty backpacks to Haven House for homeless youth through the group’s street outreach program. The packs should be brought to the conference. Products and services will be on hand at the vendor area on April 18-19. We Are 1 will also bring its health expo to attendees on April 21 from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. This health and wellness fair will focus on preventative healthcare, health care providers, health screenings, fitness and nutrition, organic and healthy products. A grand prize giveaway, along with a scavenger hunt, games and prizes, will be available. Conference sponsors and volunteers are welcome. Contact the promoters   for details. Registration is $229 and payable by March 17. Seniors who are 62-years-old and above may register for $149 until April 18. Included are a welcome package, Hawaiian luau reception dance, entertainment, breakfast rally with prizes and giveaways, women’s moonlight rite of passage ceremony, Emerald City masquerade ball (with dinner and dancing), access to speaks and performances, workshops, health expo, community outreach and more. Hotel reservations can be made through the Sheraton Imperial by calling 919-941-5050. Deadline is March 19. For a full list of programs, schedules, speakers and bios and more information, email, or visit — L.M.

Non-denominational faith conference slated DURHAM — The 4th Annual We Are 1 Conference 2012 has been scheduled for April 18-21 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center, 4700 Emperor Blvd. The event is hosted by Infinity Diamond Club’s Pricilla Coleman and Annie Ross (pictured left to right).

The conference is comprised of a women’s and men’s event, along with a health expo, interfaith work, entertainment and others. The men’s conference will be held from April 19-21. Featured speaker for the men’s program is Ra’Shawn BarlowFlournoy who founded the Freedom Community Center. The women’s conference will be held from April 18-21. Featured presenter for the women’s program is Ubaka Hill, a songwriter, composer, motivational speaker and hand drummer. This interfaith event will focus on five life principles which will be interwoven throughout: stillness (prayer/ meditation); forgiveness (fire); purification (water); grace (wind); and service (earth). Presenters will be Rabbi Raachel Jarvouis, Ruth King, Yaniyah Pearson, Kathleen Hannan and Toddie Stewart. The goal of this is to show similarities rather than differences. Infinity Diamond began in 2007 and has worked to bring the conference to


Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012

Superstars join efforts

CHARLOTTE — Campus Pride is hosting two events targeted at raising awareness for youth issues, as well as fundraising for its initiatives. On March 6 at 6:30 p.m., it will host a VIP pep rally with NCAA wrestler Hudson Taylor at a private home. Taylor is founder and executive director of Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the LGBT sports community. This Olympic hopeful coaches at Columbia University. A $50 minimum donation is

requested. Email before March 1 to secure a spot. On April 7 at 5 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Auditorium at Knight Theatre, 430 S. Tryon St., Campus Pride joins forces with Time Out Youth to bring the Third Annual Believe in Youth Awareness event to the Queen City. Zach Wahls, national LGBT youth advocate, 2011 Top Political Video YouTube sensation and author of “My Two Moms,” will be the guest speaker. Admission is free, however contributions to Campus Pride and Time Out Youth are encouraged. For more information, call 704-277-6710 or visit — L.M.

Triangle GCN seeks web guru

RALEIGH — The Gay Christian Network is searching for a full-time PHP web developer who can assist the non-profit in managing and building a new, innovative, streamlined version of its website., including overhauling and expanding its social networking site. This is a one-year position with the potential to be extended to a multi-year or permanent position based upon project success, mutual interest and availability of long-term funding. Applicants should be conversant in technologies such as PHP, CSS, HTML5/AJAX, etc., and have strong web experience. Although the Network would prefer candidates to work out of the home office, consideration will be taken under advisement for others who may not be able to reside in the capital city on a regular basis once all other options have been exhausted. Benefits include a $50,000 salary, paid sick and vacation days, medical, dental and vision coverage. For more information or to apply, visit — L.M.

South Carolina OutLoud reading scheduled

SPARTANBURG — Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Spartanburg, along with HubCity Press, will hold an “OutLoud: The Best of Rainbow Radio” reading on March 3 at The Showroom, 149 South Daniel Morgan Ave., at 7 p.m. Guests and authors will bring stories of LGBT South Carolinians to life. Cost is $7 and goes to support PFLAG Spartanburg. Cash bar and light refreshments will be available. Books will be available for sale and autographing. For more information, visit — L.M.

National/Global HUD extends housing protections

BALTIMORE, Md. — The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will implement an important new rule that greatly increases protections against housing discrimination

for the LGBT community. HUD announced the new rule at the 24th Annual Creating Change conference, held here and hosted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The new rule, which was published in early February and goes into effect 30 days after that, makes several critical changes to current housing and housing-related programs including: prohibiting owners and operators of HUD-assisted or HUD-insured housing from discriminating against an applicant or occupant based on sexual orientation or gender identity; prohibiting all lenders offering FHA-insured mortgages from considering sexual orientation or gender identity in determining a borrower’s eligibility; and clarifying the definition of “family” to ensure that otherwise eligible participants in any HUD programs will not be excluded based on marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity. — D.S.

Marriage equality double bonus

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State House passed a bill Feb. 8 to approve same-sex marriage on a bipartisan vote of 55-43.Gov. Chris Gregoire had already pledged to sign the bill in advance of the vote. The law is expected to take effect by early June of this year. Opponents wishing to challenge the new law have until that time to collect 120,557 valid signatures to place a referendum on the November 2012 ballot. The vote came one day after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the August 2010 decision of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco striking down Proposition 8, the 2008 measure that stripped same-sex couples of the right to marry in California.

The Court affirmed the ruling of former Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker that Prop 8 discriminates against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court also rejected Prop 8 supporters’ offensive argument that Judge Walker should have refused to preside over the case because he is gay and in a relationship with a man. The supporters of Prop 8 have 15 days to ask the Ninth Circuit panel to reconsider its decision or to ask for reconsideration by a larger panel of judges on that court. Alternatively, they have 90 days to request that the Supreme Court of the United States review the case. They had not revealed their plans at press time. — D.S.

Insurance finder gets upgrade

WASHINGTON, D.C. — LGBT Americans are now able to use to search specifically for insurance plans that include coverage for domestic partners. “Last year, as part of our commitment to work with the LGBT community and be more responsive to the needs of these populations, we promised to improve the Health Plan Finder tool to give these individuals the ability to search for health plans that provide same-sex partner benefits,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Today we have delivered on that promise.” Studies have shown that the LGBT community is disproportionately uninsured, including those without access to coverage through a spouse, domestic partner or employer. This new filter helps address that issue by linking same-sex couples to carriers that provide benefits for their partners. — D.S.

CNN suspends analyst over tweets

ATLANTA, Ga. — CNN network brass suspended political analyst Roland Martin after he posted a series of tweets during the Super Bowl game that seemed to promote anti-gay violence. Martin first tweeted: “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl.” He followed with: “Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass.” Bloggers, advocates and gay watchdog group GLAAD called on the network to take action against Roland. CNN released the following statement regarding its decision: “Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive. Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.” — D.S.

Groups rally around equality

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A robust coalition of civil rights, labor, progressive, faith, student, health, legal, women’s and LGBT organizations has declared support for the Respect for Marriage Act — the bill to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act that withholds from same-sex couples any of the over 1,100 federal rights and responsibilities of marriage. The Respect for Marriage Act (H.R.1116 and S.598) enjoys broad support with a majority of Americans and has a record number of Congressional cosponsors with 136 in the House and 32 in the Senate. Evan Wolfson, founder and president

of LGBT group Freedom to Marry, said, “In America, we don’t have second-class citizens, and shouldn’t have second-class marriages, either.” According to a March 2011 poll, 51 percent of voters oppose DOMA while only 34 percent favor it. — D.S.

Bill is back, if less severe

KAMPALA, Uganda — A highly controversial anti-gay bill has been re-introduced in the Ugandan Parliament by conservative MP David Bahati. The new version drops the death penalty for the “crime” of “aggravated homosexuality,” but retains a provision that requires citizens to report homosexuals to legal authorities or face prosecution themselves. When first proposed in 2009 and subsequently in 2010 and 2011, the bill caused a massive outcry. In May of 2011 over 500,000 people around the world signed a petition sponsored by rights group asking President Yoweri Museveni to veto the bill. The proposal was subsequently shelved, only to be resurrected now. Addressing the re-introduction, Executive Director Andre Banks declared, “A few politicians in Uganda have spent years exploiting fear in a cynical attempt to score political points. Today we see the sad result. The bill is every bit as despicable now as it was when first introduced two years ago. David Bahati and his Parliament are focused on attacking human and civil rights because it’s easy and popular, rather than doing the hard work that awaits in Uganda — cleaning up corruption, delivering education and opportunities for more Ugandans to come out of poverty.” — D.S

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012



Prop. 8 play to be staged in N.C. Chapel Hill, Raleigh performances two of more than 40 readings nationwide by Matt Comer :: guest contributor

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact announced in January a full slate of more than 40 productions of Dustin Lance Black’s “8,” a play recounting the historic Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry. Two of the productions will be staged in North Carolina. Chapel Hill’s Playmaker’s Repertory Theatre will present the play on April 9, followed by the Raleigh Ensemble Players’ production on April 21. Tim Scales, the Playmaker’s producer for “8,” said his company’s decision to stage the production came first as a suggestion from one of their graduate acting students. Scales said the play’s timing, as the state faces an antiLGBT state constitutional amendment, provides the perfect opportunity for art to function as discussion tool. “I think it’s a way of extending the reach of the discussion


Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012

by presenting it in a different way,” Scales said. “You open the doors for wider conversation.” Scales said having a talkback following the performance would be ideal. Black, who penned the Academy Award-winning feature film “Milk” and the new critically-acclaimed film “J. Edgar,” based “8” on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families. The story for “8” is framed by the trial’s historic closing arguments in Playwrite Dustin Lance Black June 2010 and Photo Credit: AFER features the best arguments and testimony from both sides. Scenes include flashbacks to some of the more jaw-dropping moments of trial, such as the admission by the Proposition 8 supporters’ star witness, David Blankenhorn, that “we would be more American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before.” In August that year, Proposition 8 was overturned by the district court and later appealed to the

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On Feb. 7, the court ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The play’s 24 different roles will be filled with 24 different actors, said Scales. They’ll include professional actors from Playmaker’s, students from the University of North Carolina and other local universities. Scales said some professional actors from around the country will also be participating. “8” is set to have its West Coast premiere at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday, March 3, in Los Angeles. The onenight event will also serve as a fundraiser to benefit AFER and will star Academy Award-winning actor, producer, screenwriter and director George Clooney. The play made its Broadway world premiere on Sept. 19 to a sold-out house at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. Over $1 million was raised to benefit AFER. AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing “8” for free to colleges and community theaters across the country. Organizers hope they will inspire action and conversation. They say most productions will be followed by a talkback where cast and audience members can discuss the issues presented by the California trial. : : — Matt Comer is a former editor of qnotes. This article compiled from staff interviews and release.

Plan to go Playmaker’s Repertory & UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC . April 9 . Raleigh Ensemble Players Theatre Company Raleigh, NC . April 21 .


LGBT organizations of color Making a difference in the community by O’Neale Atkinson ::



February is recognized as Black History Month to celebrate the accomplishments and history of the African-American community. Despite their impact, many times the accomplishments and efforts of black LGBT people and the organizations that work within this community go unnoticed or are underrepresented by the media. For the most part, it seems that the LGBT community is portrayed as one group and does not take into account the diverse cultures within the community. The truth is that we are a culture of people who represent many subcultures and this is reflected by the unique experiences faced by different members of the LGBT community. Locally, there are many black LGBT people and organizations doing great things within our own community that you may not even be aware of. In honor of Black History Month and the impact black members of the LGBT community are making, qnotes would like to highlight some of the different types of local groups and organizations that are working within the black LGBT community. This list is far from exhaustive, but as qnotes attempted to reach out to many different organizations, there was difficulty getting accurate and current information. This difficulty highlights the fact that many of these organizations are under-represented. Charlotte Black Gay Pride In 2005, the first Charlotte Black Gay Pride (CBGP) was underway with the theme of “A New Day” to celebrate the dawn of a new beginning for the LGBT community. Since then the annual event has grown in size and has even faced challenges as local black LGBT promoters have begun putting on events surrounding the CBGP festivities. According to their website, the purpose of CBGP is to “create a platform for all members of the LGBT community to celebrate their sexual orientation with pride.” Information for CBGP’s 2012 event are not currently available but will be available on their website. Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte Led by Bishop Tonya Rawls, Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte (UFCC) is a young, predominately African-American open and affirming congregation within the Charlotte community. According to the mission of the church, “Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte has been organized for the spiritual growth of its members and the furtherance of Christianity. We work from the platform of Liberation Theology toward the eradication of any form of oppression that rises through the interpretation of Scripture and/or any other religious writings. We are an affirming Church and believe that God’s love is for everyone,

regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or previous religious affiliation.” Chi Psi Omega Fraternity, Inc Black LGBT fraternity and sorority groups have become more engaged than ever with the LGBT community in the past few years. Chi Psi Omega was formed on June 25, 2011, and has been actively working within the community since their incorporation. According to their website, the fraternity “strives to make a difference through community service outreach, promoting tolerance and understanding of the LGBTQ community, and ensuring the continuing education of our neighbors.” Recently, Chi Psi Omega has participated in adopt-a-street programs and currently works to care for streets around The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. The fraternity has also fundraised to give back to local organizations such as RAIN, Second Harvest Food Bank and Elon Homes of Charlotte. Beta Phi Omega Sorority, Inc. Established on June 27, 2000, in Tallahassee, Fla., Beta Phi Omega has active members in the Charlotte area. Beta Phi Omega focuses on AIDS awareness, safe sex seminars, black lesbian Pride events and breast cancer awareness. Although the organization says that they cater to feminine lesbian women, Beta Phi Omega states that they do not discriminate against bisexual or heterosexual women of any race. According to their website, “Beta Phi Omega Sorority, Inc. is strongly geared towards awareness, pride, love, joy, prosperity, community involvement and, last but certainly not least, lesbian victory!”

Meeting Date: Program:

Time: Cost: Reservations:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 Frank Warren, Local Economic Expert The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte 820 Hamilton St. North Carolina Music Factory 5:30-8:30 p.m. $20 Includes dinner. Cash bar Advance reservations appreciated email call 704.565.5075

The LezView Show Hosted by a group of dynamic and diverse women, The LezView Show seeks to give a voice to the issues of today. According to their website, “the cast creates a lively discussion forum that is informative, motivational, cool, current and humorous.” The show is available to watch online and people are encouraged to attend tapings as part of the audience. Information about upcoming tapings can be found on their website. Beyond the Arts, Inc. Working with youth in the Charlotte area, Beyond The Arts has programs at Naomi Drenan Recreational Center and Elon Homes & Schools for Children. Currently a total of 217 youth are receiving services through the organization. The mission of the organization is to “combine the arts, community services and apprenticeship to help young people develop self-esteem and self-sufficiency in order to lead prosperous and productive lives.” If you have information on additional organizations which focus to serve the needs of black LGBT community members, please contact the editor at : :

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012



GayCharlotte Film Festival returns! Festival marks success of local screenwriters, filmmakers by O’Neale Atkinson ::

The 4th Annual GayCharlotte Film Festival is around the corner and already events leading up to the big week are in full effect. The festival, scheduled to run from March 21-25, brings thousands of movie-goers together at various venues across Charlotte to witness and celebrate LGBT inspired films from across the world. Leading up to the festival, The GayCharlotte Film Series is hosting the three-part series, “Getting Into Movies.” The festival’s current form is the product of years of advocacy and support from local LGBT screenwriters and filmmakers. In 2004 film festivals in Charlotte were few and far between and for the most part LGBT filmmakers worked exclusively on straight projects. Lesbian filmmaker Victoria Eves joined a local filmmaking organization called Group 101: CLT, but with the exception of Eves, the group’s members were all straight men. Notwithstanding that the themes of the group’s movies were straight-male dominated, Victoria managed to make the short movie “Inside Out.” A dance piece which contained subtle hints of lesbianism, Eves’ movie won top prize in one of Charlotte’s two only film festivals in existence in 2005. At the same time, various members of Charlotte’s LGBT community were involved with an LGBT film series which scheduled gay-themed movies once a month at various movie theaters. The film series was a huge success, but Eves and other LGBT filmmakers yearned for a film festival where Charlotte’s LGBT community could meet for one long weekend every year to watch a succession of LGBT-themed movies in a more festival-type atmosphere. As Group 101 disbanded, Charlotte’s two film festivals disappeared. By 2006, Group 101’s leader had created the Charlotte Film Festival, but Eves noted that the movie line-up seemed extremely straight-male oriented and was devoid of movies by local filmmakers. Finally, in 2008, she and a few other LGBT filmmakers and film enthusiasts convinced Charlotte’s LGBT Community Center that Charlotte was ready for a weekend annual film festival. As a result, Eves teamed with LGBT Community Center Board Members Teresa Davis and Frank Kalian, screenwriter Rhonda Watlington and filmmaker Eric Scott McPherson to launch the First Annual GayCharlotte Film Festival in April 2009. The first festival, held entirely at the center, included a screenwriting competition which proved overly ambitious. The second year the script competition was dropped and the festival committee added Park Terrace Theater as a venue. Although one of the worst snow and ice storms in Charlotte’s history forced postponement of part of the festival, it still succeeded. At that time, the five founding

festival organizers realized that they had consistently, for two years in a row, programmed a festival of movies as diverse as any LGBT film festival line-up in the country. The GayCharlotte Film Festival’s movies have continued to include LGBT movies about Latinos, African-Americans, transgender people and Asians. The festival’s programs are an equal mix of movies of interest to gays, lesbians, straight allies and straight kids whose parents are gay. “We are committed to providing movies for everyone. Our movies are almost entirely PG-13 rated, and we pride ourselves on showing movies that everyone can enjoy,” explains Eves. When the Third Annual GayCharlotte Film Festival had to expand to eight days in order to fulfill the demand for so many diverse LGBT movies, the Festival secured a grant from the Lesbian & Gay Fund to launch a film series where LGBT movies could be shown throughout the year. The Lesbian & Gay Fund also expressed interest in filmmaking panel discussions which could build bridges between our LGBT community and straight allies. As a result of the Lesbian & Gay Fund grant, the Film Festival and its bi-monthly series have hosted “Hollywood to Dollywood” with gay-twin Goldsboro filmmakers Gary and Larry Lane. It was such a hit in January that they will rescreen their movie at the March Film Festival. On Feb. 18, the Film Series will hold two seminars with Hollywood screenwriter Ben Zook and partner/actor/director Joe Dietl. Then on Feb. 21, the Charlotte Business Guild teams with the Film Series to showcase Charlotte’s LGBT moviemakers in a free admission meeting at Wet Willie’s in the NC Music Factory. Eves and Teresa Davis will lead the panel which includes LGBT filmmakers from Dalliance, Indivision, Emulsion Arts and the Art Institute of Charlotte. Festival organizers promise that the lineup, to be released soon, will include the same high-quality diverse LGBT movies that have made the GayCharlotte Film Festival one of the LGBT Community Center’s biggest programs. “It’s thrilling to think that we’ve come so far since 2005 and that Charlotte’s LGBT moviemakers are getting together for the February Film Series event before our Fourth Annual Festival,” says Eves. “Charlotte has numerous film festivals now, but one aspect of the GayCharlotte Film Festival that’s so important is that when you attend a movie, you’re supporting the LGBT Community Center and you’re making Charlotte’s LGBT community stronger and more visible.” For more information about The GayCharlotte Film Festival and upcoming GayCharlotte Film Series events, visit : :

on the map Regular Bar

and Club Events Sunday Woodshed Sundays, The Woodshed Free dinner buffet served at 6:30 p.m.   Karaoke, 9 p.m. House Cast Show, The Scorpio 11:30 p.m., DJ 4Real. Barbeque & Bloody Marys, Bar at 316 Free BBQ from 3-6 p.m. Super Sundays with Aiesha Paris, Nickel Bar Starts at 8 p.m. Monday Monday Madness, Chasers Pool tournament at 11:30 p.m. with $25 cash prize and $25 bar tab. Boxing & Monday Night Football, Sidelines Movie Night, Bar at 316 Starts at 9 p.m. Free Pool, The Woodshed All day. Tuesday Twisted Trivia with Tiffany Storm & Brooklyn Dior, Chasers Showtime at 12:30 a.m. Midwood Madness, Petra’s Half-price bottles of wine Trivia Tuesdays hosted by Roxxy C. Moorecox, Marigny 7 p.m. 21+ Karaoke with Metro Mike, Bar at 316 Starts at 9 p.m. Pool Tournament, Central Station Karaoke, The Woodshed Starts at 9 p.m. Wednesday Team Trivia (upstairs) and Line Dancing (downstairs), Hartigan’s 8 p.m. Wicked and Wild Wednesdays with Tiffany Storm, The Scorpio 11 p.m. featuring DJ 4Real. Karaoke, Petra’s The singing starts at 9 p.m. Game Night, Bar at 316 Pool Tournament, The Woodshed Starts at 10:30 p.m. ’90s music night, Nickel Bar Thursday Rockin’ Well Thursdays with Valerie Rockwell, Chasers Showtime starts at 12:30 a.m. Team Boystown, Marigny 10 p.m. $10 cover after 11 p.m. Drink-ndrown. Thursday Night House Party, Bar at 316 Pool Tournament, Central Station Karaoke with Roxy C. Moorecox, Hartigan’s The fun starts at 9 p.m. Underwear Night, The Woodshed Friday Life’s a Drag with Tiffany Storm, The Scorpio Showtime at 11:30 p.m. A-List Fridays, Marigny 10 p.m. Hosted by SugaWalls



Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012

Entertainment. House DJ and Dancing, Bar at 316 Live DJ, Nickel Bar Live Performances, Petra’s Saturday Live DJ, Hartigan’s Soul Music, Nickel Bar Elaine Davis’s urban variety show, The Scorpio Midnight showtime. House DJ and Dancing, Bar at 316 Krewe Saturdays, Marigny The Angela Lopez Show, Chasers Show starts at 12:30 a.m. Live Performances, Petra’s

Congregations New Life MCC Worship service every Sunday, 7 p.m. Monthly covered dish dinner and coffeehouse-style worship service on the first Sunday of every month, 6 p.m. MCC Charlotte Worship service every Sunday, 10:45 a.m. Bible study every Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 p.m. Unity Fellowship Church of Charlotte Worship service every Sunday, 10:45 a.m. Bible 101: second and fourth Sunday of every month, 9 a.m. Wednesday night Bible study and discussion, 7 p.m.

Community The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte Promoting the diversity, acceptance and visibility of the LGBT community through programming and events. White Rabbit North Carolina’s LGBT everything store. Complete line of Pride merchandise, plus books, magazines, DVDs, T-shirts, underwear and more. info: Don’t see your bar listed here? Submit your regularly scheduled events to

t t o l r Cha


Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012




HRC’s Solmonese: Turnout the votes to win in May, November HRC Prez Joe Solmonese to make Carolinas Gala one of his last before stepping down in March by Matt Comer :: guest contributor

On Saturday, Feb. 25, Human Rights Campaign Collaboration is essential to social change. We know (HRC) President Joe Solmonese will say goodbye. At that from the work within our own community and least, that is, to his Carolinas membership and comthrough the context of history. That includes the colmunity. In the fall, HRC announced that Solmonese laboration we were a part of to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t would be stepping down from his position. His last day Tell,” which included other wonderful organizations is March 31. As of press time, a successor had yet to like Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and also be announced, but the organization was working on incredibly committed and brave soldiers across the it, led by the talents of such people as the state’s own nation. It was a very unique collaboration to pass that Joni Madison, co-chair of the HRC Board of Director’s landmark law. In state after state across the country, we executive search committee. need to be good collaborative partners, as well. In New Our last Q&A with him occurred before the city’s York, in passing marriage equality there, we had a good, 2008 Carolinas dinner. Much has changed in this strong working collaboration with the governor, who country and in this state since then — it only seemed was the real champion of marriage. That also included fitting to catch up with the national leader before he collaborations with local organizations like the Empire bows out. State Pride Agenda and other national organizations like In anticipation of this month’s dinner, qnotes had the Freedom to Marry. Partnerships are critically important opportunity to speak with Solmonese in January. (His to our success at any level. answers have been edited.) You’ll be stepping down and won’t be at the organizaMatt Comer: You’ve been at the head of HRC for a little tion in May when North Carolina’s anti-LGBT constiover six years now. What have you enjoyed most about tutional amendment goes to the ballot. HRC has been your experience? very proactive in sending staff here and helping with Joe Solmonese: Three things, really. The opportunity to other resources during the legislative fight last year work not just with HRC, but with the community across and even now. This amendment comes in 2012 — the the country to become what I really see as a more powlast amendments we saw were several years ago. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese has led the charge for equality and Do you think the nation has changed enough that this erful force for change in this country, whether it’s for has traveled the nation to speak out in support of civil rights for the LGBT community. amendment could be defeated in May? really the first time in a very long time to be able to pass Photo Credit: Alyssa Shukar laws that help our community from the hate crimes law I think it has. Some of that credit goes to HRC, but an being down in North Carolina, is just huge, expansive, passionto the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to really having awful lot of credit goes to members of the LGBT comate and committed about our work. the opportunity to travel around the country and meet folks in a munity who are on the ground in places like North Carolina It seems HRC has done a lot of partnering with people and diverse set of communities who are facing all sorts of chalwho are living their lives open and proud and, in doing that, are other organizations during your tenure. Have you stressed that lenges and to do the work that has been able to meet some of changing people’s hearts and minds in more significant ways from the top down, that this is not just a national organization, those challenges. Mostly, to have the opportunity to work with but one that also relies on grassroots support? the members and volunteers of HRC who, as you all know from see Successes on 20

HRC North Carolina Gala 2012 announces keynote speaker and entertainer Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services as keynote speaker and ‘American Idol’ performer to entertain by O’Neale Atkinson ::

The Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala has announced that they will be the only one in the country to host a Cabinet Member of President Barack Obama’s administration as their keynote speaker. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will speak to Gala attendees with a special message on behalf of the Obama administration. The HRC North Carolina Gala will be held Feb. 25. Sebelius, who served as governor of Kansas from 2003 until 2009, was sworn in as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in April 2009. Since her appointment, Sebelius has worked on improving the delivery of human services to vulnerable populations, including the elderly, individuals with disabilities and children. Under Sebelius, the Department of Health and Human Services has also made progressive steps in dealing with LGBT health concerns and inclusion in health studies. In October of 2011, Sebelius spoke at the National Coalition for LGBT Health, where she highlighted her department’s accomplishments in working within the LGBT community. Among the accomplishments of the Dept. of HHS since her appointment, Sebelius acknowledged the development of



an LGBT Data Progression Plan to begin including the variables of sexual orientation and gender identity into national HHS surveys, as well as requiring hospitals to honor visitation rights for same-sex couples. Both of these accomplishments were changes highlighted in the HRC’s resource Blueprint for Positive Change. “Where once we failed to study LGBT health at all, today researchers engage LGBT populations and are looking to collect the data we need to ground our work in science and shape our vision for the future,” said Sebelius during her speech at the National Coalition for LGBT Health. “We have begun to push open doors that seemed shut forever. Looking ahead, the future gives me real hope. And, I’m looking forward to working with you to make it as bright as possible.”

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012

Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the entertainment for the evening will be 2003 “American Idol” finalist Kimberly Locke. In the past few years, the Nashville native has had eight Top 20 Adult Contemporary hits, three number one dance hits and eight number one’s across various Billboard “American Idol” alum charts. Locke has Kimberly Locke been active with many charities with an emphasis on raising awareness of HIV/AIDS and breast cancer. Locke is also planning on recording a new dance album with “Idol” judge Randy Jackson. For more information about the Human Rights Campaign, visit For information about the 2012 HRC North Carolina Gala, visit : :

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012



Positive Postings

HIV and the media, goodbye to Robin Scorpio Drake by Dale Pierce ~ Practice Manager/Ryan White Program Director

So, I was prompted to write this article due to a guilty pleasure of mine, “General Hospital” on ABC television. I will expand more on that “ in a minute, but it also prompted me to look at what the media on a mass scale was doing to address HIV issues. It seems to me, and I certainly could be wrong, but the HIV issue got much more attention in the ’80s and ’90s when it was “popular” for celebrities to be on our band wagon. I remember sitting and crying watching the “Designing Women” episode called “Killing all the Right People.” An issue where a gay designer asked the Sugarbaker team to plan his funeral and then Mary Jo had to become the “Queen of Condoms” with the PTA at her child’s school. I remember also crying (seems like I do that a lot) the first time I heard Reba McEntire sing “She Thinks His Name was John,” a song about a heterosexual woman that contracted AIDS from an affair.



So, back to “General Hospital.” My favorite soap of all time has always done a great job on the issue with Robin Scorpio Drake, who is leaving the show this spring. It made me want to reminisce with you on how a media outlet, even a soap can get the story right. Robin developed a crush on Stone. Stone told Robin he had been tested for AIDS and that he had tested negative. He never followed up with the test six months later. When Robin and Stone first became intimate, they used protection. However, over time, they did engage in unprotected sex. It was eventually learned that Stone had full-blown AIDS. Stone was terrified to tell Robin about his diagnosis. However, when he was shot in the leg when helping to break Frank Smith out of jail, his blood got all over Robin; he freaked out and ended up telling her that he had AIDS. Robin loved Stone and taught him many things before his death. Robin was tested for HIV, and the first time, she was negative, however when she had the follow-up test, she tested positive. She didn’t want to tell Stone, as he was on his deathbed, but decided there had never been any secrets in life between them. So, somewhat reluctantly, she told him. In early 1998, she learned that her old friend Tony Jones had kidnapped Jason’s son, Michael. Tony kidnapped her, and, unable to get her HIV medication, Robin nearly died before Jason rescued her. She continued to

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012

support Tony, even testifying for him at his kidnapping trial; he and Alan were two of the few people Robin shared warm goodbyes with as she left town. There was one colleague Robin had a difficult time with, a doctor named Patrick Drake. His hot-shot attitude and playboy personality clashed with Robin’s serious nature. Their backand-forth banter and flirtation took a serious turn toward romance and understanding in 2006 when Patrick was accidentally exposed to HIV. In the meantime, Robin decided to become a mother, and began asking friends, including Jasper Jax, Lucky Spencer, and Nikolas Cassadine, to be a sperm donor. When they all turned her down, Robin’s next move was to look into using a donor from a sperm bank. In her grieving, Robin turned to former boyfriend Patrick for a night of comfort, and baby Emma was conceived. Still not convinced Patrick could ever settle down, Robin told Patrick a sperm donor had fathered the baby. Eventually Robin admitted that Patrick was the father of their child, but claimed she would raise the child on her own. Patrick had a change of heart about becoming a parent and asked Robin to marry him so they could be a family. Robin turned down the proposal because she believed Patrick would be bored with marriage and fatherhood after the novelty wore off. She remained adamant that Patrick did not truly want

to be a father even after he filed a petition for joint custody of their unborn child. Prior to the hearing, Robin changed her mind and agreed to give Patrick a chance to be the father and husband he claimed he could be. Robin made plans to marry Patrick before their daughter arrived, but she went into labor during the ceremony. Robin gave birth to a healthy baby girl and she and Patrick named her Emma. Robin was relieved to learn that Emma had not contracted HIV. After all that, Robin has battled with postpartum depression and a psycho stalker exgirlfriend of her husband. Now, as she ends her tenure on “General Hospital,” they are exploring the options that after being HIV positive for 20 years, the drugs are not working and she is resistant. My hopes are that after this long and well told story of HIV, “General Hospital” gives this character a realistic, but happy ending. As contrived as soaps are, and as boring as this article may seem to some; the reason I tell the story is that the media can get it right if they try. As advocates, patients, and care givers, we need to let the media outlets know that truth in these story lines are what drives the public awareness and understanding of this dreaded disease. Don’t forget to visit our website at and friend us on Facebook for community and clinical updates. — Sponsored Content —

by terri schlichenmeyer :: qnotes contributor

The straight of it?

For most of your life, people have been making decisions without you. When you were born, for instance, they decided whether you were a boy or a girl (admittedly, based on obvious visual clues). Because of that, they hung a gender-specific moniker on you, dressed you in pink or blue, cuddled you more or less and gave you certain toys accordingly. Consequently, people presumed your sexuality before you were able to confirm or deny it. But what is a heterosexual, anyhow? Or, for that matter, what’s

a homosexual? Find out in the new book “Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality” by Hanne Blank. For most of human history, people were just people, un-pigeonholed. There were no heterosexuals prior to about 150 years ago, nor were there homosexuals. Love existed, of course, as did various sexual desires and behaviors, but terms and categories describing humans themselves did not.

In 1868, a Victorian-era writer coined the word “heterosexual” and there we are. Those Victorians, says Blank, were a randy bunch who loved to be titillated, so we shouldn’t be too surprised at their prurient interests, especially that which concerned the maintenance of “manly” virtues and   the defining of “deviant” behavior of the lower class. Those “degenerates” were the ones who needed to be “weeded out.” Suddenly, what others were doing in the bedroom became a really big deal. Serious names for every sexual activity, as well as judgments for them, were topics of hushed conversation and extreme care had to be taken to remain on the good side of gossip. Anything other than “normal” sexual relationships were considered immoral, though it was extremely common for same-sex couples to share a bed and nobody gave it a thought. Freud weighed in with his ideas. Other “scientists” followed suit and by the 1950s, “‘heterosexuals’ were everywhere,” many ushered into marriage because it was expected of them. After all, wedded bliss was the only respectable allowance for having sex and sex was only for procreation. And, then came The Pill… But, all this history begs a modern question: because we know now that there are way more than two categories of human sexuality on the spectrum, does anyone’s sexual identity really matter to anybody but that individual? Who cares anymore? Blank says that, of course, it depends on who asks. “Straight” is…well, it’s pretty straight and probably not the kind of book you’d pick up on a lark, although author Hanne Blank does occasionally employ a sense of the absurd in her accounting of the history of heterosexuality and everything that it wasn’t. For casual, time-starved readers, though, that might not be enough. What Blank says runs somewhat deep and semi-philosophical, with solidly-based research and biographi-

info: “Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality” by Hanne Blank © 2012, Beacon . $26.95


out in print

cal examples. These things are tempered by Blank’s sharp-as-an-ax wit, but that doesn’t lessen the fact that this book begs to be pondered. Still, if you’ve ever wondered how we got to this point in our bedrooms, you really can’t miss it. If you’re heterosexual (or know one), reading “Straight” is a good decision. : : ____________________

daily news, blog posts and lgbt community event listings Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter:

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012




drag rag by miss della qnotes contributor

From she to shining she — and even some he — from coast to coast, oh, my!

Greetings, gentle readers — is that love Miss Noche in the air I sense, or just Latino sweat from Latina. the nearby soccer field? LOL! I hope this finds While everyone doing well in this second month of on the 2012 (Leap Year, no less!) I’ll start by saying I subject of finally rounded up the photos that I mentioned Continental, the last time — our reigning Miss Continental I can report PLUS Chelsea Pearl and Miss Continental winners of Alexis Gabrielle Sherrington, affectionately the followknown as Gabby. Neat thing is they are both former titleholders in the U.S.ofA. system, too. So, they’re sisters twice over. Maybe even more — I’d have to ask. I will be seeing both of them in just weeks when I travel to Miami for the Carolina Continental pageants and the Miss Continental Elite State of Florida Continental Chelsea Pearl Mr. and Miss the night before in Ft. Lauderdale. I understand ing prelims: Minnesota Mr. Flint will be at both doing PLUS Alexis Zadora, West signings of his new book, “Jim VA PLUS Adriana Fuentes, Flint: The Boy from Peoria” North Shore PLUS Regina available on shelves and webAigner (an old friend from sites now! I’ll be hosted by St. Louis), Heart of America my good friend of many years, PLUS Kara Belle and runAlyson Thomas, who recently Miss Continental ner-up Tatiana de la Rouge won Miss Noche Latina Elite in Alexis Gabrielle Sherrington and State of FL PLUS Miami, and on the same night, Ginger Minj and RU Sasha Alexis Mateo from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” won Sommers (a former Carolina Cont. PLUS). For the Elite queens, we have State of FL winner Diva with RU Anjila Cavalier, Heart of America Sherry Payne (yes, ma’am!) and Ashley Kruiz and Miss North Shore Fantasya Dior. I do know there won’t be any Miss America prelims until next month, but that Kirby Kolby has been travelling all over the place, most recently to Arizona, which I hear she loved. Kirby’s first prelim as Miss Gay America will be in Memphis: the Mid-America contest. I recently judged the Miss Don’t H8 contest (to be covered in another write-up hopefully?) in Winston-Salem. I must say, she was wonderful, complete with lovely frocks. That poor Jeff Coble and other tailors may need a break after a year with Coti and now Katherine. I mentioned the “Drag Race” earlier. I’ve not even seen it yet, but I understand Chad Michaels of San Diego and Sharon Needles of PA are stand-outs so far. I’ll have to check in with our region’s only impersonator to make the cut, Victoria Parker, to see if she has tea from the season premiere. I know she was in L.A. as she is planning on moving out there (if she hasn’t already). I may have to do a goodbye or “exit” interview with that thing! She recently got 1st RU at the Miss’d America pageant in Atlantic City, NJ, with Sabel Scities being crowned. Chantel Reshae made the Top 5 as well. I heard Porkchop had her Miss Piggy swimsuit re-done and the kiddies are still talking about it! Sorry I missed that one, Sally! Congrats to Kitty Hiccups, a native of NC, on her year! I am trying to round up tea about the EOY prelims…I sure wish I could lay eyes upon the fierce national titleholder, Miss Aurora Sexton. That is one more tuna straight out of the can, damn! I do know one of her first prelims was Ohio Valley which Karmen de la Rouge won

see Drag Rag on 22



Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012


on being a gay parent by brett webb-mitchell qnotes contributor

State envy

When my family first moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., from Boston, Mass., in the 1980s, I distinctly remember attending worship at Church of Reconciliation (a Presbyterian Church, USA), in which there was an “offering of letters.” We were asked to consider writing letters in support of some Democratic-supported federal legislation. The person announcing this call for letters was very straightforward about whom we should write to in support of this legislation: “Since we have Senators Helms (a.k.a., “Senator No”) and East as our U.S. Senators, perhaps you can adopt another state’s senators who would be more likely to support this important initiative.” I fretted about what kind of state we had moved to, having moved from a liberal state where Ted Kennedy was our senator to a conservative state represented by Senator Helms. I envied states in which there was a chance of arguing for the right, good and just thing, regardless of one’s political party. I experienced that similar bout of envy in the last few days while driving on I-5 by the dome of the Washington state capitol building in Olympia. The state senate was literally in the process of voting on their marriage equality bill, with all political signs showing that the chances were good for passage by a bipartisan majority, just like New York a few months earlier. The next morning, splashed above the fold on the front page of the local newspaper were pictures of LGBTQ couples and children celebrating this legislative victory. There were stories of LGBTQ parents rejoicing, looking forward to having access to state laws that would protect their families from harm. Tears broken by big smiles were captured on many people’s faces. As I was flying back to North Carolina a few days later, the Washington State House of Representatives followed the Senate’s lead, with Gov. Christine Gregoire promising to sign it into law. Granted,

Washington State has Rev. Kenneth Hutcherson, a conservative African-American pastor whose hate of LGBTQ civil rights echoes the sentiments held by Rev. Patrick Wooden (Raleigh’s Upper Room Church of God in Christ fame). Rev. Hutcherson is vowing to raise enough signatures to let the people vote on marriage equality in November 2012. But, even with this threat, many people I talked with — conservative and liberal alike — were hopeful that the people would be for marriage equality! As I write this column, I am sitting in my mom’s house in a suburb of Portland, Ore., feeling as if we were the creamy center of an Oreo cookie, because to the south, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a devastating blow against their Proposition 8. Prop 8 prohibited marriage equality in California after several months where the state allowed for marriage among both people who are straight and LGBTQ people. Sadly, Oregon —the squishy center — had amended its state constitution, banning marriage equality in 2004 when former President George W. Bush was re-elected. Bush’s campaign manager Karl Rove was sure that placing amendments to ban marriage equality on several state ballots would drive out the conservative vote for Bush, which it did. Oregon’s LGBTQ group, Basic Rights Oregon (BRO), chose not to pursue amending the constitution allowing for marriage equality. It is always a costly uphill battle to amend constitutions. BRO’s leaders want to be sure when they have a winning chance to amend the constitution. For now, educating the public is their option. My family lives in North Carolina. My partner and I are about to pay state taxes again. We pay for services in a state that already denies us the right to marry. But, because of mythical “activist judges” who might deem equality among all citizens a basic right, guaranteed by the Constitution, a cabal of conservative legislators chose to further keep North Carolina away from the 21st century. If passed, this constitutional amendment will impact our families’ health care, retirement benefits, inheritance, hospital visitation and make it impossible for LGBTQ couples to adopt children. It is up to the voters to decide whether our constitution will keep LGBTQ people permanent second class citizens or begin to work toward marriage equality. Once again, I’ve got a bad case of state envy. : :

Harms of the Anti-Gay Amendment Protect NC Families, vote against the anti-gay amendment • Gay Marriage is already illegal in North Carolina The anti-gay amendment is redundant and a distraction from real challenges we face. • The anti-gay amendment is bad for business Signals that our state is not welcoming of the diverse workforce needed to compete in the global economy. • The anti-gay amendment would negate benefits for tens of thousands. Would strip public entities of their authority to provide benefits to same-sex domestic partners. • The anti-gay amendment bans all legal relationship recognitions. Marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples would be banned. • The anti-gay amendment causes real harm to North Carolina families. Broad language could have consequences for unmarried opposite-sex couples and their children. For more information, email Charlotte Regional Field Director Ashlei K. Blue at

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012




tell trinity by trinity qnotes contributor

How to get around rejection

To Trinity, I’m an attractive, fun, well-off gay man. I think I’m a catch, but I can’t seem to get a catch. What’s wrong with me? Catcher Without A Catch, Atlanta, GA To Catcher Without A Catch, The only two reasons you might have troubles are, you don’t try very hard or you get rejected and stop trying. Many of us fear rejection, which runs our dating lives. If someone rejects you, then simply go on to the next possibility! Even if you fail over and over, next! Rejection is only a concept that lives in our head, it’s not physically real. Meeting and approaching men should be a fun game, an exercise of rejection and acceptance, not the final curtain. However, honey, if you’re aggressive and rejection’s not the problem, then ask friends to tell you if you smell or have a nervous twitch that frightens people.Next! Dearest Trinity, My father constantly says to me, “You’re not man enough. Act like a man. Be a man.” Trinity, what’s a man?” Parent Trap, Seattle, WA



Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012

Dearest Parent Trap, Courageousness, assertiveness, acting with diplomacy and walking with pride, no matter what the situations are, is what makes you a man! Being real, honest and a good cook also make a man. So, no matter what he says, if you have pride in yourself while chasing after your dreams, then you’ll be the man we all look up to. Parents are not easy, pumpkin, especially when they want us to fulfill the insecurities they inherited from their parents. (I can sure show you how this plays out in my cartoon.)

Hi there Miss Trinity, My Valentine’s Day resolution is to start dating again. But, going to bars or clubs is just not my scene. The drinking, smoking, noise and oversexed atmosphere make it too difficult to meet anyone worth dating. Any suggestions? Bar-fly No More, Buffalo, NY

Dear Trinity, My partner and I have a boy Friday. He’s a great worker, but extremely slow. And, we love him. How do we get him to move faster without losing him? Boy Friday Troubles, Reno, NV

Trinity’s Creative Tips For Capturing A Date   1. Go to the beach and stay a while. (No big hats!)   2. Hang out in cafes or coffee shops. (No more than two cups of coffee at one time!)   3. Throw a party or get invited to one and talk to everyone! (No getting drunk!)   4. Join a gym or finally go to the one you joined last year! (No high sox or bright yellow tank tops.)   5. Get onto or into the infinite internet chat rooms. (Beware of false information.)   6. Answer some personal ads in the newspapers. (Beware of prison addresses.)   7. Join a dating service. They are helpful and fun. (Don’t let the questions scare you.)   8. Ask friends and relatives to set you up on some dates. (Don’t let the bad dates scare you.)   9. Go to fundraisers or benefits. Guaranteed to work! (Don’t let the pretension scare you.) 10. Lastly, hit some religious services! There are plenty of dates there! (Don’t let the fanatics scare you!) : :

Dear Boy Friday Troubles, Maybe something’s slowing him down, like old appliances or the order in which his chores are laid out. If that doesn’t work, give him a salary instead of hourly. Thus, if he gets sixty bucks for four hours, just offer him the sixty bucks whether he’s done early or not. If he knows that he can finish early with the same pay then he may work faster. Later, you can slowly up his chores. And, if all else fails, sweetie, always have a fresh brewed cup of strong java for the little turtle when he arrives and shove it down his little, lazy throat.

Hi there Bar-fly No More, Let’s see now, I know I have a list somewhere under my bed of places to meet potential dates. Ah, yes, darling, here is:

— With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity was host of “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama, and now performs globally. info: . Sponsored by: Provincetown Business Guild 800-637-8696 .


out in the stars by charlene lichtenstein qnotes contributor

February 18 - March 2

There is something mystical and mellow in the air as the Sun moves into Pisces. But, that is not all; suddenly all is right with the world. The mechanisms flawlessly connect. Or, so it seems. By all means, go with the cosmic flow. But, keep both eyes open. AQUARIUS (01.31-02.19) It may not be the best time to financially invest in anything important because you can be easily swayed by big promises and downright lies. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t go out and enjoy life, treating yourself to special delicacies and rewards. Just make sure that everything is in moderation, except your enjoyment and enthusiasm. PISCES (02.20-03.20) If there was ever a time to take a leap of faith, this is the exact right time. Guppies are in the epicenter of all the action and seem to attract admirers effortlessly. You can almost do no wrong, so why not take a chance on something that you have always wanted to do, but never got around to doing. What is the worst that can happen? Tomorrow is another day. ARIES (03.21-04.20) Do you hear voices telling you what to do or what will happen? If so, you may be excused for going with your gut when all other signs point in another direction. This is a great time to test your creative ability and try something totally new and futuristic. Proud Rams suddenly feel prescient and all-knowing. Or, is it “know-it-all?” I sometimes get the two confused. TAURUS (04.21-05.21) Friends get into your act…and not a moment too soon. They break into your navel gazing and isolation and set you on a more productive course. And, let’s face it, queer Bulls are much happier running in the herd than grazing in the field alone. Find any excuse to gather the gang and get into rollicking mischief. Mop it all up later. GEMINI (05.22-06.21) As magnificant as you think you are at work, there are probably a few new tricks that you can try to get the powers-that-be plugged into you and charged up. Thankfully you get a rash of new ideas that are not only brilliant, but also unexpected. Test your voltage and see how brightly you can shine. And, tell your colleagues they better pack their sunglasses. CANCER (06.22-07.23) Gay Crabs have itchy claws and why not? This is a great time of year to get out of your shell and experience new experiences from across the world. If time and money are tight and you can’t travel, find ways to refresh your old skin and mindset in cheaper and faster ways. I am thinking something relaxingly spa-like or strange like performance art. But, please — no mime. LEO (07.24-08.23) Proud Lions are regal beasts who love to prowl the forest for new conquests. Now, you can maximize your hungry animal magnetism in the boudoir. Grrr. make the most out of this sizzly, sexy time, lover. If you procrastinate because you are too choosy or shy, you will waste your sensuality on “what ifs” instead of what fors. Start hunting. VIRGO (08.24-09.23) Strong relationships suddenly become more romantic and sensual. Rocky relationships mellow as compromises can be made. And, for those queer Virgos who are playing the field, this is the time to see who lingers nearly. There is someone whom you have completely overlooked who could be the next love of your life, or something like that. Take a good look now. LIBRA (09.24-10.23) If nit-picky tasks are getting you down and making you feel stale and bored, this may be a good time to refresh your arsenal of tricks at work. Or, maybe it is a good time to check out new employment and see what new and exciting opportunities are out there. You need a blast of fresh air, gay Libra. Heck, make it

a windstorm. And, a raise couldn’t hurt either. SCORPIO (10.24-11.22) Fun is the name of the game, proud Scorp. So, don’t put off anything that you consider creative and mind escaping. You need a break from the humdrum to refresh and revitalize. While you may feel lucky, there is a tendency to over-estimate your pot of luck and tolerancy of risk. Stick to cheap thrills. Plan some parties, as long as they are not political. SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) This is the perfect time to focus your efforts on your home life. Whether that means an early spring cleaning, redecorating, moving or gathering the relatives together for a pow wow, it is totally up to you. In fact, if you can combine all of these things, you could get your mother ship in ship shape for whatever you have in mind — moving, grooving or schmoozing. CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) Your mind works in mysterious ways, especially when it is charged up with intuitive and refreshing ideas. Conjure up a new approach to an old intractable problem. Then say what you mean and mean what you say. Your gift of gab will move populations to your way of thinking. Maybe this will eventually become a career move for you as despot? : : © 2012 Madam Lichtenstein, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Entertainment. info: Visit for e-greetings, horoscopes and Pride jewelry. My book “HerScopes: A Guide To Astrology For Lesbians” from Simon & Schuster is available at bookstores and major booksites.

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012



Successes follow Solmonese on his tenure continued from page 12

than any organization has the opportunity to. As a community and as an organization we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to take advantage of these kinds of changes and to do everything we can to defeat the ballot measure in North Carolina. What will you tell audiences at the Charlotte dinner and how will you help to inspire and motivate them to get out and work to defeat the amendment? They have a strong, committed and passionate partner in HRC. They have a wonderfully committed and expansive organization in North Carolina doing important work on the ground. Public sentiment on this issue is changing at lightning speed. The other thing we have learned, and that I will remind people of, is that ground troops and turnout and voting and participation are as significant as poll numbers. We have to do everything and influ-



ence that equation. Sometimes, we look way down the road and things look hard. We base that on poll numbers or public opinion we see today, but we’ve been the victim of that in the other direction. We’ve been ahead in some of these states and our side hasn’t been able to mobilize the ground troops like the other side has and we lost. We’ve been ahead 52-to-48 going into things and lost things 48-to-52. The need to get voters out to the polls — do you see that as a general challenge, not only to the LGBT community, but also to the entire progressive movement? That, sometimes, we fail to turn out our folks? I do. We have the added challenge of turning out LGBT people, not just to vote, but also to work on what needs to be done, as well as bringing in a broader coalition of people. That becomes a challenge. How many of us have friends or family members who love and

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012

support us and are committed to us as LGBT people and our families, but somehow that love and support doesn’t translate into the way in which they vote? How many have a parent or an uncle who says, “I completely support my gay nephew and his partner, but I vote for this guy because I like his position on taxes or I want to take home more money in my paycheck at the end of every week?” We’re doing better at that. We’re bringing homophobia to the level that racism or religious intolerance has in this country. Slowly, but surely, people are becoming unwilling to do that anymore. Turning now to what was a major, divisive moment for HRC when the Employment NonDiscrimination Act (ENDA) was considered and gender identity left out of the bill in 2007. Many people in the transgender community and their allies in the LGB commu-

nity felt a little stunned with HRC. I get the sense here locally in Charlotte that the gap has been bridged over the ensuing years. Has that been your experience — that HRC has worked to gain back the trust of the transgender community? We’ve certainly done that and we have wonderfully-committed members of the steering committee and the volunteer infrastructure in North Carolina who have stuck with us. And, there have been real leaders in the community in the Carolinas who, right from the beginning in 2007, were willing to come to the table and continue to be engaged in a dialogue. It was a procedural decision we made. It was not a decision that the bill should become law, but that it should be voted on really as a building block that should get us where we should be. I understand and regret it created a fair amount of pain within the community

and a degree of division. What I have is that is we should be evaluated by our actions and not by our words. We have done a great deal of work, not just to reach out and engage in dialogue, but to put our resources, money and our actions where they count and to do work especially around access to healthcare. The only way we raised the bar for the Corporate Equality Index this year was around healthcare access for transgender workers. We’ve created a wonderful program here, Back to Work, designed to improve employment opportunities for unemployed or out-of-work transgender people. I hope that if our relationship with the transgender community is improving it is because we’re not just talking the talk, we’re walking the walk. At the 2009 Carolina Gala, you told a short story about how good it felt, after the election of Barack Obama, to get into a cab and tell the driver to take you to the White House and “step on it.� What has your experience with the Obama Administration been like since then and how does it compare to your work

with the Bush Administration? We had virtually no working relationship with the Bush Administration — none at all. It was an absolutely adversarial relationship. The work we were doing was trying to defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment, which the Bush Administration was pushing. That’s what really defined it. I literally did that — I jumped into the cab, I was late going to the White House and I had this a-ha moment where I realized I’ve never done this in all the time I’ve lived in Washington. I’ve gone to the White House on a fairly-regularly basis over the past few years. I think we’ve had an incredibly positive and collaborative working relationship with the White House. It’s really been almost a partnership. We’ve had almost constant contact and dialogue with the White House both on things we’ve worked together on like the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell� and on some issues where, historically, we really did not have common ground like the administration’s position on the Defense of Marriage Act and we’ve seen that change.

As you leave HRC and hand the reins over to someone else, what do you see as opportunities and challenges for our movement? Well, I think the greatest challenge for the movement is the outcome of these elections. I think it is vitally important we do everything we can to reelect President Obama. If he is not reelected, I think the consequences will be dire. The challenge is to ensure, regardless of the outcome, that there is a path forward for every member of our community and that the Human Rights Campaign and the person leading it is as visionary and creative as possible in charting those paths forward. We go back to something like the ENDA — we were able to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell� and pass the hate crimes law and, still, we are challenged by the passage of ENDA. Yet, every day in a number of creative ways we are finding ways to safeguard and empower LGBT people in the workplace. Building on that model is going to be essential to the next leader. Is the Charlotte dinner going to be one of your last local or state dinners?

It will be one of my last dinners and it also happens to be one of my favorite. Our friends in the Carolinas just seem to know how to celebrate and have a good time like nobody else. It’s a real weekend experience, a real destination dinner. I look forward to it every year. Our volunteers in the Carolinas are just extraordinary. It’s one of the things, actually, I’m sad about. People say to me, “Gosh, you work seven days a week and are on the road three out of four weekends a month,� but I enjoy that the most and it’s one of the things I’ll miss the most. The Carolinas community is so special to me and it is so special to HRC — it’s actually very meaningful to me that it’ll be one of the last few dinners I’ll attend. Where do you see your life taking you now? I’ve given some thought to what I’ll do next. I haven’t decided how I’ll spend all of my time, but I know I’ll spend a fair amount of time between now and November working to reelect President Obama. : : — Matt Comer is a former editor of qnotes..

16/5:653(>6--0*, 3HYY`>1VOUZVU (;;695,@

7OVUL! -H_!  

76)V_ /PJRVY`5*


Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012



Drag Rag continued from page 16

with RU Tatiana de la Rouge. Aurora makes an appearance here in the Tarheel State the last weekend of May when Miss NC is held at CO2 in Winston. Lord, they’ll be so many “pantysniffers” (admirers) there, you won’t be able to get to the gal, probably. Ha! On the U.S.ofA. scene, our Luscious is racking up the frequent flier miles! Try this for a schedule, along with winners of the prelims: Miss NY Sunni Dee Lite and RU Karen Covergirl; Oklahoma, Shanel Sterling; SC, Kristina DeeVine with RU Alexis Mateo (yep, ‘cause interview is a category, too, boys and girls, and I thank you!); Arizona, Saellah V; and South Central States, Nina DeAngelo and Kylie Crawford. One more At-Large prelim that the gorgeous Desiree DeMornay has presided over, that of Supernova which Rochelle Delight won. And, finally, the Classic ones with Catia Lee Love reigning supremely over. Miss Arizona, Onyx; Miss South Central States, Dina Jacobs with RU Sharde’ Ross (our former Miss NC America); Oklahoma,



Kris Kohl with RU Shantel Mandalay; and Arkansas, Britney Nicole. I’ll finish up with things local, as I usually do. A big congrats goes out to the gorgeous, statuesque Eden Parque Divine who recently won Miss Scorpio. Her runners-up were Valerie Rockwell and Angela Lopez. Many formers were present, including two whom I had not seen in some time — Tia Douglas (gimme that rainbow jacket by Angelica, girl!) and Beverly Iman Johnson, now living in Atlanta, who was lovely. I heard from Ivy White who could not make it to Charlotte to give her title up. She sends love to her fans and supporters here. She makes her home in TN now. It was my pleasure to judge in late January what is called the Newest Entertainer of the Year contest. This happens to be the only contest I ever did, and I won it in 1996 with the help of “my village.” LOL! The dancer we admire and know as Fudge actually sang and won. His RU was Beth Ann Phetamine who did a fantastic job on stilts. Incredible! I understand

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012

a week or so before, I missed what was to be Sierra Santana’s retirement show. I understand they really carried on for ole girl. Sis, I’m glad you went out with a bang! Coming up around here — the Miss Don’t H8 Diva contest in Winston-Salem at CO2; Nina Flowers (a fierce Puerto Rican drag queen, DJ and make-up “artiste” who makes her home in Colorado, of all places) at the Rainbo In at Lake Wylie; and the ’80s and ’90s gay icon Madonna makes her way to Charlotte finally in November at the Time Warner Cable Arena. I almost forgot to mention — there’s a

new club down in Greenville, N.C., called the Limelight. Mr. Glenn Haddock is back, along with Jeremy Jordan and their team from the old Paddock days in the Paddock location there on Dickinson Avenue. Is the Harley shop still up front? Well, we’ll see soon enough. I do know they had an inaugural show with the likes of Ebony Summers and Purina Chow in da house! I’m missing someone, I know — write me and read me, girl! I’ll get ya the next time, I promise! : : info: Drop me a line, OK?

The ‘Boys’ are back in the Queen City

Feb. 22-March 11 • Charlotte ‘Jersey Boys’ It’s the hit crowds go wild for and the New York Post raves is, “too good to be true!” “Jersey Boys” is the 2006 Tony Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. “Jersey Boys” tells the phenomenal story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide — all before they were 30! “Jersey Boys,” winner of the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, features the many hits of the Four Seasons, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and many more. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Belk Theatre. 130 North Tryon St. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Feb. 18 • Raleigh Benefit Against NC Amendment One  Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus presents a benefit in support of Protect NC Families, a coalition to oppose the May 8 amendment. Guest speakers include Rev. Jimmy Creech as well as guest musicians. Suggested $7 donation. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship   of Raleigh. 3313 Wade Ave. 8-10 p.m.   919-787-6378. Feb. 18 • Charlotte GayCharlotte Film Series presents: Meet Ben Zook I Learn how to sell your stories to Hollywood execs from noted screenwriter Ben Zook in this story pitching/screenwriting seminar. McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St. $20 at door; $18 online; $10 for students/seniors. Ticket good for free admission to Meet Ben Zook event (see below) at 7:30 p.m. at The LGBT Community Center. Refreshments available. Feb. 18 • Charlotte Meet Ben Zook II The GayCharlotte Film Series presents a meet-and-greet with Hollywood screenwriter Ben Zook and his actor/director partner Joe Dietl. They will tell all on making it in Tinseltown. Beer/wine/snacks available.   The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, 820 Hamilton St. 7:30 p.m. $5. Feb. 21 • Charlotte Charlotte’s Hometown Filmmakers The GayCharlotte Film Series and Charlotte Business Guild present a special panel discussion with hometown LGBT filmmakers. Wet Willie’s. 900 N.C. Music Factory Blvd.

(formerly Seaboard St.), Suite B. 5:30-8:30 p.m. 704-716-5650. Feb. 23 • Charlotte Flight 2012: HRC Diner Fasten your safety belts and make sure your tray tables are in their upright position as you fly first class with Captain Buff Faye and her special guests Miley Virus, Jessica Raynes and Kiana Layne. The $25 ticket will include dinner, drag, DJ and annual HRC membership. Dandelion Market, 118 W 5th St. Two shows. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Shows start at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Feb. 24 • Charlotte Takeover Welcome Party Takeover Friday is returning to Suite at Epicenter to get everyone in on the HRC Gala action. Even if you aren’t able to attend the HRC Gala, this free event is open to everyone, so make sure to join in the fun. Don’t forget to check out all of the Takeover afterparties,  which will be happening at The Scorpio, Marigny, Bar at 316, Sidelines, Petra’s Piano Bar, Woodshed, Sophisticated Lyfe and Hartigan’s. Suite at Epicenter, 210 East Trade St. 7 p.m. Free with a cash bar. Feb. 25 • Charlotte Front Runner Front Run After all that celebrating the night before with Takeover Friday, get up and run. The morning of the the Gala there will be an approximately 5k casual course open for all levels. Participants will want to meet at 9 a.m. in the lobby of Aloft Charlotte Uptown hotel. Aloft Charlotte Uptown, 210 East Trade St. 9 a.m.

we want your who/what/where Submitting an event for inclusion in our calendar has never been easier: visit

Feb. 25 • Charlotte HRC North Carolina Gala 2012 More than 2,000 gay and straight allies will come together at the 17th Annual Human Rights Campaign Gala as it returns to Charlotte after a two-year run in Raleigh. Annual blacktie fundraiser, Charlotte Convention Center, scheduled for 6 p.m. The event will feature HRC Visibility Award recipient CNN Anchor Don Lemon, as well as HRC President Joe Solmonese, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius as the keynote speaker and live musical entertainment from “American Idol” finalist Kimberley Locke. Feb. 25 • Charlotte Amy Steinberg Bombastic singer-songwriter Amy Steinberg brings her one-woman show, “Oh My God Don’t Stop,” a one-of-a-kind brand of musical comedy to Petra’s. Steinberg plays several characters, including a Jewish grandmother exploring her sexuality, a reverend with a penchant for innuendos and the Lord herself, who sings songs celebrating the holy gift of homosexuality. Both sacred and profane, Amy explores the topics of spirituality and sexuality, exploring the many connections   that exist between the two. Petra’s Piano Bar, 1919 Commonwealth Ave. 7 p.m. doors/8 p.m. show. $15 advance/$20 at the door. March 4 • Durham Speaker Series I Rev. Jimmy Creech, former United Methodist Minister and author of “Adam’s Gift” and Brent Childers, executive director of Faith in America, will deliver keynote addresses at 3 p.m. at the kickoff of a speaker series through-


events qnotes

entertainment. news. views. out Marcharts. at Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 2011 Academy Rd. Child care will be provided. 919-489-1381. March 6 • Durham Speaker Series II Sharon Thompson, family law attorney, will speak about legal perspectives on Amendment One. 6:30 p.m. Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 2011 Academy Rd. Child care will be provided. 919-489-1381. March 13 • Durham Speaker Series III Mary McClintock Fulkerson, professor of theology, Duke Divinity School, will speak on Theological and Biblical Perspectives on Amendment One. 6:30 p.m. Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 2011 Academy Rd. Child care will be provided. 919-489-1381. March 20 • Durham Speaker Series IV Panel discussion on personal perspectives by those affected by Amendment One. 6:30 p.m. Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 2011 Academy Rd. Child care will be provided. 919-489-1381. March 27 • Durham Speaker Series V What People of Faith Can Do to Oppose Amendment One. Ryan Rowe, Director of Faith Outreach for the Coalition to Protect All North Carolina Families and Rev. Rollin Russell, retired minister. 6:30 p.m. Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 2011 Academy Rd. Child care will be provided. 919-489-1381.


In honor of Whitney Houston’s recent death, tell us your favorite Whitney song. See the options and vote:

Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012





Feb. 18-March 2 . 2012

QNotes Feb. 18-March 2, 2012  

In this issue, QNotes interviews outgoing HRC President Joe Solmonese. Additionally, we share highlights of speakers and entertainers for th...