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Virginia case pressures N.C. HRC Gala attracts 1,000s News Notes: Regional Briefs N.C. could consider Arizona-style bill News Notes: U.S./World Augusta pageant approaches

a&e / life&style

arts. entertainment. news. views.

‘I’ve never done drag professionally before … I never knew how much work went into being a drag queen or female illusionist — all the pads and five layers of tights. I never knew how long it took to apply all that make up.’ ­— ‘Dragging with the Stars’ winner Alex Aguilar in ‘Our People,’ p. 23

HRC North Carolina Gala attracts 1,000, including actor Peter Paige, far left, and award winners like Greensboro’s Ron Johnson, right. p. 4

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‘Angels’ returns to Charlotte Author’s life inspires LGBT choruses prepare Jane’s World Local theatre productions Playing the Field Out in Charlotte…sometimes Charlotte Fashion Week Precious Pets Tell Trinity Q Events Calendar Our People: Name

opinions & views   5 Editor’s Note  5 QPoll

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qnotes connect Feb. 28-March 13, 2014 Vol 28 No 22

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

contributors this issue

Paige Braddock, Matt Comer, David Green, Jon Hoppel, Lainey Millen, Trinity, Adam Wadding

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The focus of QNotes is to serve the LGBT and straight ally communities of the Charlotte region, North Carolina and beyond, by featuring arts, entertainment, news and views in print and online that directly enlightens, informs and engages the readers about LGBT life and social justice issues. Pride Publishing & Typesetting, Inc., dba QNotes P.O. Box 221841, Charlotte, NC 28222 ph 704.531.9988 fx 704.531.1361 Publisher: Jim Yarbrough Sales: x201 adsales@goqnotes.com Nat’l Sales: Rivendell Media, ph 212.242.6863 Editor: Matt Comer, x202 editor@goqnotes.com Copy Editor: Maria Dominguez Production: Lainey Millen, x205 production@goqnotes.com Printed on recycled paper. Material in qnotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2014 and may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent of the editor or publisher. Advertisers assume full responsibility — and therefore, all liability — for securing reprint permission for copyrighted text, photographs and illustrations or trademarks published in their ads. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers, cartoonists we publish is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or photographs does not indicate the subject’s sexual orientation. qnotes nor its publisher assumes liability for typographical error or omission, beyond offering to run a correction. Official editorial positions are expressed in staff editorials and editorial notations and are determined by editorial staff. The opinions of contributing writers and guest columnists do not necessarily represent the opinions of qnotes or its staff. qnotes accepts unsolicited editorial, but cannot take responsibility for its return. Editor reserves the right to accept and reject material as well as edit for clarity, brevity.

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news Virginia’s marriage ruling pressures North Carolina goqnotes.com/to/news

Challenge to similar ban in North Carolina will be heard soon in Greensboro by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

CHARLOTTE — A federal judge’s ruling overturning Virginia’s anti-LGBT marriage ban on Feb. 13 is pushing the movement for marriage equality southward, as North Carolina gears up for its own upcoming court date challenging a similar ban here. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled the commonwealth’s ban unconstitutional, writing, “Government interests in perpetuating traditions, shielding state matters from federal interference, and favoring one model of parenting over others must yield to this country’s cherished protections that ensure the exercise of the private choices of the individual citizen regarding love and family.” She added, “Tradition is revered in the commonwealth, and often rightly so. However, tradition alone cannot justify denying same-sex couples the right to marry any more than it could justify Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage.” Allen also directly challenged the “welfare of children” arguments used by backers of anti-gay marriage bans. “Of course the welfare of our children is a legitimate state interest,” she said. “Limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples fails to further this interest. Instead, needlessly stigmatizing

and humiliating children who are being raised by the loving couples targeted by Virginia’s Marriage Laws betrays that interest.” North Carolina faces its own upcoming court date. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina has challenged the state’s second-parent adoption ban and it’s anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment, passed by voters in May 2012. That case will soon be heard in a Greensboro federal court. Advocates in North Carolina praised the decision in Virginia and other recent developments nationally. In Nevada, the governor and attorney general there are giving up their defense of a similar ban. A federal judge in Kentucky also recently ruled the commonwealth must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions. “Week by week it becomes increasingly clear that Amendment One and states bans on same-sex marriage are in violation of the U.S. Constitution,” the Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Asheville-based Coalition for Southern Equality, said in a release. Beach-Ferrara is calling on North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper to cease his defense of North Carolina’s anti-gay amendment. “The sole purpose of Amendment One is

to deny lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals equal rights and protections under the law,” she said. “Every day that it stays on the books, it harms LGBT families. This is precisely why this law cannot stand and should not be defended.” Cooper has said he is personally in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples. Speaking at an Equality North Carolina fundraising dinner in Greensboro last fall, Cooper said, ““I personally support marriage equality. I’m for basic fairness. It’s that simple and I’m encouraged everyday that another set of eyes and ears are opened to equality and acceptance.” Nonetheless, Cooper has also said he has a legal duty to defend the ban in court. Virginia’s attorney general took a different approach, saying he believed his commonwealth’s ban to be unconstitutional and vowing not to defend it. Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina, believes Virginia’s ruling will continue to put pressure on Cooper and the pending case in this state. “I think the tide has turned,” he said. “Now that there is enough public support for jurisprudence to move more quickly on this, it will.”

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HRC Gala attracts local and national leaders, celebrities Over 1,000 attend fundraising dinner in Charlotte by qnotes staff

Griffin spoke briefly at the dinner, highlighting HRC’s accomplishments and its future goals. “After 30 years of losses, all of that is building up to the moment where we can have our first victories,” Griffin said, pointing to last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. Additionally, he cited the U.S. Equality on the move Senate passage of the ENDA U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan welcomed and its growing bipartisan the crowd as the dinner opened. She support in the U.S. House. spoke of her appreciation for HRC and Griffin said it was time for its work in moving equality forward and HRC and the LGBT community said her sponsorship of the Employment to ensure equality reached all Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), federal the states. hate crimes legislation and the repeal of “It’s North Carolina’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” were among her Board members for Salisbury Pride celebrate on stage after receiving the turn,” he said. “Equality is not proudest accomplishments. 2014 Human Rights Campaign Trailblazer Award. Photo Credit: Lainey Millen. just a New York or California Other elected officials and politicians Other elected leaders included Charlotte value. It is an American value. were in attendance, too. State Rep. Marcus City Councilmember and former Mayor Patsy It is a North Carolina value. At the end of the Brandon (D-Guilford), who is currently running Kinsey, Councilmembers LaWana Mayfield and day, it is a human value. No one should have to for the 12th Congressional District, was on hand, Al Austin, Mecklenburg County Commissioner wait their turn for equality.” as was Clay Aiken, who is now a candidate for Pat Cotham and State Rep. Alma Adams, HRC, Griffin said, is committed to bringing North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. among several others. marriage equality to all 50 states within five Aiken, a former special needs educator, rose to HRC President Chad Griffin was also at the years, but will also focus on increasing “fundanational fame during his time on “American Idol” event, which organizers say is the secondmental protections” on issues like employment, and “The Celebrity Apprentice.” In 2006, Aiken largest HRC fundraising dinner in the nation, adoption and HIV/AIDS funding. was appointed by President George W. Bush topped only by the group’s national dinner in to the Presidential Committee for People with Washington, D.C. see next page u Intellectual Disabilities. CHARLOTTE — More than 1,000 supporters and donors of the Human Rights Campaign gathered in Charlotte on Saturday evening for the national group’s North Carolina fundraising dinner. The event, held each February, usually attracts leaders and celebrities from across the state and nation to raise funds for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization.

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

The radical right’s last cries A dozen states across the country, including our own North Carolina (see page 9), are in the process (or recently were in the process) of considering draconian laws allowing carte blanche discrimination against LGBT people and other minorities. These so-called “religious liberty” laws would allow individuals, companies, organizations and, in some cases, individual government employees to refuse service or assistance to any person based upon their own religious beliefs or objections. The laws are, quite simply, the last cries of a radically-regressive, repressive, right-wing Republican movement to oppress LGBT people. The national GOP knows it has an image problem, but their “Come see the softer side of bigotry” campaign isn’t taking root in the states, where these pieces of legislation are being proposed — and, at least in the case of Arizona, passed — by a smorgasbord of rightwing Republicans hellbent on stopping our movement for equality. Though the laws are undoubtedly unconstitutional, they would, if passed, immediately create havoc and pain in the lives of LGBT people and a whole host of other minorities. Business owners and corporations could simply cite their “religious beliefs” to hang “Whites Only,” “Christians Only” and “Straights Only” signs over their establishments’ doors. In most states where these laws have been proposed — including Maine, Tennessee and Kansas, among others — legislators have

backed down under an avalanche of national criticism and scrutiny. Yet, we’re not out of the clear. There’s no doubt some lawmakers in states across the country will attempt to revive their legislation or create new versions. What we are now seeing should come as no surprise. In a political revolution as wildly successful as the LGBT movement, conservatives on the losing side of the debate are trying everything they can. Their current zeal for discrimination is a full-swing backlash against last summer’s landmark Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop. 8, as federal courts across the country, and even in the conservative South, advance equality in marriage. There’s much more work for our movement. LGBT people deserve protections in employment, for example — a simple victory we’ve yet to attain. But, despite the priorities left unaccomplished, our movement is winning. When your opponents’ maneuverings begin to become laughable even among their own, then you know you’ve won. From here on out, I foresee a movement advancing further and faster than ever before. We will find success — in the courts, in state and federal legislatures and at the ballot box. But, in order to do so, we’ll have to remain diligent and do everything we can, as voters and citizens, to ensure this recent wave of radical, discriminatory legislation meets quick, unquestionable dead-ends in legislatures across the country. : :

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HRC Gala continued from page 4 “The rising tide of equality — full legal equality — it cannot leave anybody behind,” Griffin said. Griffin also related the story of his chance meeting with an HIV-positive young man in Jackson, Miss. The man told him he didn’t have access to good jobs or health insurance. Griffin said he offered whatever help he could. “But, you shouldn’t have to accidentally walk into a room like that,” Griffin added, “to have hope and to believe that people are there to fight for you.” HRC presented two local awards at the event on Saturday. Greensboro’s Ron Johnson was honored with the 2014 Equality Award for his work as co-founder of Triad Health Project and as a board member for Guilford Green Foundation. Salisbury Pride was given the 2014 Trailblazer Award for their organization’s work

in promoting visibility and increasing public support and education about the LGBT community in their hometown. Organizers reported successes in fundraising and support for its 19th annual event in North Carolina, increasing sponsorship levels to their highest ever. The dinner has been hosted in Charlotte since 2012, with Raleigh hosting the event in 2010 and 2011. Previously, Charlotte hosted the dinner from 2005 through 2009, including a record-breaking year in 2007 attracting more than 1,500 guests. The first HRC galas in the state were held in Greensboro in 1996 and 1997. The event then moved to Raleigh from 1998 through 2002. Greensboro hosted the dinners again in 2003 and 2004. — Matt Comer

see Gala on 10 Feb. 28-March 13 . 2014

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news notes: carolinas compiled by Lainey Millen & Matt Comer

The foundation said that attendees should get ready for a night of 1970s black-tie glam. Registration, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction will begin at 7 p.m., with dinner following at 8 p.m. Silent auction checkout is at 10 p.m. and the Green Party will be held from 10 p.m.-Midnight. info: ggfnc.org. — L.M.

Western Film fest announced

Sirens of Spring are clockwise: Mama’s Black Sheep, Christine Havrilla and Crys Matthews and will perform at Hartigan’s on April 5.

Charlotte Hartigan’s books Spring gig

CHARLOTTE — The Sirens of Spring will hit the Queen City on April 5, 8 p.m., at Hartigan’s Irish Pub, 601 Cedar St. This 10-day, nine-stop tour traverses the East coast and is in its second year. Featured artists are Baltimore-based Mama’s Black Sheep, Philadelphia’s Christine Havrilla and Tar Heel State native Crys Matthews. Mama’s Black Sheep, an acoustical rock and blues duo, is comprised of singer/songwriters Ashland Miller and Laura Cerulli. Havrilla belts out her tunes with a gritty texture, yet warmth and honesty shines through. Matthews hails from Boone and has been a mainstay in the High Country. Cover is $15 at the door. info: facebook.com/events/1471893853031081/. — L.M.

Blumenthal pre-show soiree planned

On Feb. 25, they kicked off their Exchange Series that highlighted financial planning, tax preparation and legal changes surrounding the post-Defense of Marriage Act LGBT community. It was held at Fifth Third Bank, 3123 N. Davidson St. The series will continue on a quarterly basis on the fourth Tuesday in May, August and November. It provides for training, education and development relevant to business owners and professionals. It is open to both members and non-members. In addition to the series, the Guild will have networking social and mixing opportunities on the fourth Tuesday in January, April, July and October. These casual get-togethers include food, door prizes and entertainment. And, keynote dinners will happen on the fourth Tuesday in March, June, September and December. This is a sit-down affair and also includes a cash bar and entertainment. info: charlottebusinessguild.org. — L.M.

CHARLOTTE — Blumenthal Performing Arts Center will be hosting a pre-show Out on the Town party on March 6, 6 p.m., at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, 401 N. Tryon St., #100, prior to the presentation of “Evita” onstage. The show is at 8 p.m., at the Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St. “Evita” tells the story of Argentina’s first lady in a musical format. The LGBT affinity group enjoys camaraderie with other theatre-goers while enjoying beverages and snacks. More information and sign up are available online. Tickets for “Evita” are available for purchase through Blumenthal’s website. Contact the Out on the Town coordinator to let them know if one plans to attend the party at bcarter@ncbpac.org. info/tickets: blumenthalarts.org/events-performances/ coming-performances/detail/evita. blumenthalarts.org/brands/detail/outonthetown. — L.M.

Wedding fundraiser slated

Guild introduces new initiative

GREENSBORO — The Guilford Green Foundation will hold its 17th Annual Gala and Green Party on March 22, 7 p.m., at O.Henry Hotel, 624 Green Valley Rd.

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Business Guild has announced that it will have a different format for its meetings in 2014.

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CHARLOTTE — Several congregations are banning together to host a Washington wedding trip during the weekend of May 2. Temple Beth El, Piedmont Universalist Unitarian Church, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and Holy Covenant United Church of Christ will be taking a number of couples to the nation’s capitol to get married. Plans are to have the vows taken at All Souls Unitarian Church on Saturday evening. To help defray costs, a dance fundraiser will be held on April 12, 8 p.m., at Piedmont’s facility at 9704 Mallard Creek Rd. Tickets are $10. Monies raised will go toward the cost of food, wedding cake, entertainment, flowers and more. Couples and guests are responsible for the cost of a bus rental, hotel stays and meals. info: info@puuc.org. — L.M.

Triad Foundation to host gala

Feb. 28-March 13 . 2014

BOONE — The 14th Annual Queer Film Series will be held at Appalachian State University during the spring semester. It is presented by the Office of Multicultural Student Development. On March 19, 7 p.m., “*deepsouth*” will be screened in the Blue Ridge Ballroom at the Student Union. Afterward listen to a panel discussion with Lisa Biagiotti, an independent journalist and filmmaker who created the piece. The film explores the rural American South and the people who inhabit its most distant corners. Beneath layers of history, poverty, and now soaring HIV infections, four Americans redefine traditional Southern values to create their own solutions to survive. Joshua, a college student, seeks the support of an underground gay family located miles from his suffocating Mississippi Delta hometown. With no funds and few resources, Monica and Tammy tirelessly try to unite reluctant participants at their annual HIV retreat in rural Louisiana. Kathie, an Alabama activist, spends 120 days every year on the road fighting a bureaucracy that continues to ignore the South. Each of these stories shares a particular perspective on life with HIV in a region of the United States often ignored by politicians and the public a point of view that turns out to be both educational and inspirational. This screening is co-sponsored by the Belk Library and Information Commons. On March 27, 7 p.m., “{Pariah}” will be shown in in 114 Belk Library. It will be followed by a discussion session. Alike is a Brooklyn, N.Y., 17-year-old teenager who lives with her parents and juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak and family in her search for sexual expression. She is embracing her identity as a lesbian. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor and tenacity sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward. On April 2, 7 p.m., “The New Black” will be screened in the Blue Ridge Ballroom in the Student Union. A discussion follows the film. This documentary focuses on how the African-American community grapples with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. info: 828-262-6158. multicultural@appstate.edu. — L.M.

Pride gears up for festival

ASHEVILLE — Blue Ridge Pride Festival has announced that it has begun its Spring and Summer fundraising effort. On March 1, Pride crew participants will hit the lanes for Bowl for Kids’ Sake to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina. Teams consisting of three to five bowlers who sign up for two-hour time slots at the Big Brothers Big Sisters office at 50 S. French Broad Ave., Room 213, and bowl two games. Each member is asked to raise a

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minimum of $50. Donations to the Pride Power team can be made online at firstgiving.com/ team/252878. Free pizza, T-shirts and door prizes top of the day. Asheville’s Mardi Gras parade will be held on March 2, 3 p.m. in the downtown district. Line begins at 2:45 p.m. on Wall St. at Otis St. Join the Pride Krew and hand out beads and other goodies. On July 12, the 4th Annual Gay 5K will take place at Carrier Park at Amboy Rd. and Michigan Ave. Early bird registration at $25, which runs through June 30, are available now. The first 200 to register online are guaranteed to receive a free Gay 5K T-shirt. On July 1, the registration goes up to $35 and does not guarantee a T-shirt. There will be top prizes for first and second runner in each category on the certified course. Online registration closes at 5 p.m. on July 11. Contributions are always needed to help support the work of Blue Ridge Pride. They can be made online. info: blueridgepride.com. — L.M.

Elders hold estate planning program

ASHEVILLE — The LGBT Elder Advocates of Western North Carolina will hold a “Domestic Partner Estate Planning” presentation on March 3, 3:30 p.m., at Land Of Sky Regional Council, 339 New Leicester Hwy., Suite 140. This community networking event will end with a question and answer session will follow, as well as featuring a report by the board on the organization’s progress. info: facebook.com/LGBTElder AdvocatesofWNC. — L.M.

Hike and 5K net new location

HICKORY — ALFA’s Hike for Hope and 5K will be held on April 12,1 p.m., beginning at Union Square. This annual fundraiser helps support the work that ALFA does on behalf of its clients and service to the community in a nine-county area. Goals for the event include: To demonstrate compassion and care for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS in ALFA’s service area; To increase HIV/AIDS testing, awareness and prevention education messages; To raise funds to fund HIV/AIDS programs at ALFA; To increase the visibility of ALFA as an organization and its mission; and to recruit runners/hiker/walkers to participate in Hike for Hope and 5K. Registration is from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., along with pre-hike/race activities. Opening ceremonies are at 12:45 p.m. and the walk and 5K follow. Awards and results begin at 2 p.m. Starting at 2:20 p.m., there will be a high heel dash, lasting for 10 minutes. Closing ceremony is at 2:30 p.m. Fees are $25 for 5K; a $25 commitment for the hike (T-shirt included); $25 for sleep walker; and $10 for the dash. For those who are unable to attend the event or know that one might want to sleep in, a Sleep Walker, sponsored by The Sleep Shop, entitles participants to get a link as a Hike for Hope and 5K participant. For those who raise $25 or more receive an event T-shirt. Registration, participant information, etc., are available online. info: alfahikeforhope.org. — L.M.

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News Notes continued from page 6

South Carolina Etheridge makes S.C. stop

GREENVILLE — Lesbian artist Melissa Etheridge’s “This is Me Solo” tour will make a stop on April 18 at the Peace Center Concert Hall, 300 S. Main St. This Grammy Award winning performer will showcase her music in an intimate theatre setting. She will rotate between electric and acoustic guitar, piano and harmonica. The concert is part of a 10-city tour. It starts in Nashville, Tenn., on April 15 and ends on April 28 in Morristown, N.J. Tickets are $45-65 and are available online. info: peacecenter.org. — L.M.

Regional Carter to keynote conference

ATLANTA — The Whose Beloved Community? Black Civil and LGBT Rights conference will be held from March 27-29 at Emory University’s Glenn Memorial Auditorium in the Emory Conference Center Hotel, 1615 Clifton Rd. The event will bring scholars, activists, policy makers, writers, community leaders and others stakeholders to examine points of intersection and contention among the Civil Rights movement, the LGBT equality movement and black LGBT communities, with ways to ad-

Bullied boy gets benefit RALEIGH — A Night of Improv to benefit the family of Michael Morones will be held on Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m., at the Green Monkey’s Art Gallery, 1217 Hillsborough St. Michael Morones, an 11-year-old boy who had been bullied at school for his affinity as a Brony (a boy that likes My Little Pony), attempted suicide by hanging in January. Until recently, he had been in a pediatric intensive care unit on a ventilator. On Feb. 20, a Facebook wall post indicated that he has been breathing solo for two-and-a-half days. The page was set up to share his progress and updates on other benefits, news and more. The family is unsure how his recovery will progress due to the nature of the residuals left from the suicide attempt. People magazine reported that his mother and stepfather found him in time to save him, but not before the oxygen to his brain was cut off. Monies raised will go to offset medical bills, as well as his family. The store is also contributing 10 percent of stores sales for the evening. Suggested donation is $5. info/rsvp: 919-977-0828. facebook.com/TeamMichaelMorones. — L.M. vance a more comprehensive vision of justice, the organizers said. The opening keynote conversation will feature Mandy Carter and Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs on March 27. Carter is an activist and organizer, Julian Bond Civil Rights leader and professor. Gumbs is a scholar, activist and writer. The event is fee and open the public. Registration, however, is required for the March 28-29 conference activities which run from 9 a.m.-4:15 p.m. both days. Fees and hotel information is available online. info: womenscenter.emory.edu/Programs/ whoseBelovedCommunity/index.html. — L.M.

MCC to host conference

ATLANTA — The Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) will host “Be the Change, its Conference for People of African Descent, Our Friends and Allies, from May 15-17 at the Double Tree by Hilton Atlanta-Emory, 2061 N. Druid Hills Rd. NE. The event is open to anyone who has an interest in reaching beyond the boundaries of

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denomination, national, race, gender, sexual orientation, class and culture. The Conference theme is “Be the Change.” Speakers and preachers will provide insight, inspiration, and information about what it means to bring about change that lifts up and liberates the individual, the church, the community and the world. Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is the keynote speaker. He is a noted author, theologian and professor of religion at Goucher College. Dynamic preaching will be offered throughout the conference. The Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, moderator of MCC, will preach on Saturday evening. Bishop Tonyia Rawls, founding pastor of Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte, current pastor and founder of Sacred Souls Community Church, will also preach. The Human Rights Campaign, Many Voices and MCC are the sponsors. Additional sponsorships are welcome, as well as exhibitors. Advertisers are able to purchase space in the conference program. Visit the website for more information. info: padconference.mccchurch.org. — L.M.


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N.C. could consider Arizona-style anti-gay discrimination bill Bill would open door to discrimination based on religious belief or practice by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com RALEIGH — North Carolina legislators last year proposed a bill opening the door to legal discrimination against LGBT people and other minorities by individuals, businesses and, potentially, government officials who claim objections due to religious belief. Several similar pieces of legislation have been recently debated in states across the country, including one passed in Arizona on Feb. 20 and, at press time, still awaiting Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature. Last April, 14 Republicans in the North Carolina House of Representatives proposed their own “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” The text of the bill is similar to Arizona proposal. If passed in North Carolina, the bill (HB 751) would prohibit the state or any of its agencies and local governments from “substantially burden[-ing] a person’s free exercise of religion.” In theory, that would effectively cut off any potential legal recourse for a customer refused service by the owner of a restaurant, hotel or other business. Or, it could allow individual government employees — such as city or county clerks, paramedics and other first responders, social service workers and others — to refuse to provide assistance or service to individual citizens. The law also

includes religious discrimination protections for any “corporation, firm, partnership, association, or organization.” The bill is particularly concerning for LGBT North Carolinians, who already have no protection from discrimination in public accommodations, housing or employment. The law could also potentially be used to discriminate against other minorities. Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina, said he doesn’t believe legislators will attempt to pass the bill this year. “I’m confident that the people of North Carolina and the legislature in North Carolina are reasonable enough that they would never try to advance such a bill,” Sgro said. Last year’s bill didn’t make the legislature’s self-imposed “crossover deadline.” It isn’t technically eligible for consideration this year, but could be amended into any bill on the legislature’s calendar when they return to Raleigh in May. Similar bills are eligible for consideration, including one protecting

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North Carolina Legislative Building. Photo Credit: Dave Crosby, via Flickr. Licensed CC.

news notes: u.s./world. Five Years of State Victories for Gay Marriage Supporters easy. This past June the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, but it left the remaining state bans in place. A federal judge’s December ruling in Utah striking down its ban casts some doubt on other state bans, but that ruling was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court during the week of February 16, leaving the issue in limbo there. The remaining states represent more contested ground in conservative areas. Though support for gay marriage has increased in every state, opposition remains strong in some states, especially in the South. The coming year will bring new gay marriage fights. In Indiana, Republican state lawmakers may push a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which would appear on state ballots this fall. Meanwhile, gay marriage supporters in Oregon plan to seek legalization via the ballot box. In many other Couples leave a courthouse in Seattle after waiting in line to marry after same-sex couples were recognized in 2012. Photo Credit: Dennis Bratland, via Wikipedia. Licensed CC.

A string of victories for supporters of gay marriage has vastly expanded the areas of the U.S. where same-sex couples can marry, marking a stark shift from five years ago when it was legal in just two states. Seven states legalized gay marriage in 2013 and same-sex marriages resumed in California after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the state’s Proposition 8 ban. The year before, four states legalized it and voters in Minnesota defeated a proposed constitutional ban on the unions. Today, 17 states plus the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry, including the entire Northeast. More than a third of Americans now live in states that allow

gay marriage or recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, according to the advocacy group Freedom to Marry. Stateline’s data visualization shows what has changed since 2008. (See the graphic online at bit.ly/1jRiK0k.) According to Pew Research Center data, just 35 percent of Americans favored allowing gay people to marry in 2001 and 57 percent opposed it. This year, support reached 50 percent and opposition fell to 43 percent. Among younger Americans, support is even stronger: Two-thirds of those born after 1981 say they back gay marriage, according to the Pew survey. But, expanding the map further won’t be

legislatures, lawmakers will debate the tax treatment of same-sex marriages and whether to recognize marriages performed out of state. In some states, the action will be in the courts rather than in the legislature. Advocates of same-sex marriage are mounting legal challenges to bans that remain in place in Virginia, Tennessee, Nevada and Colorado, among others. An appeal of the Utah ruling will draw close attention. It may be just a matter of time before the U.S. Supreme Court is asked to weigh in on the issue again – this time possibly setting the standard for the country as whole. : : — by Jake Grovum, Stateline Staff Writer. Stateline is a nonpartisan, non-profit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy. Republished with permission.

QUICK HITS —————————————————————————————— A new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health shows that gay, lesbian and bisexual people living in communities with high levels of anti-gay prejudice have a shorter life expectancy of 12 years on average. more: bit.ly/1jRiVZH A Dallas, Texas, City Council committee has voted in favor of a “comprehensive statement of support” for its LGBT employees and residents. The move is an effort to address inequalities in city employment, healthcare and lobbying efforts. more: bit.ly/1gWFY1D The movement to further criminalize LGBT people in some African nations continues to pick up speed. At press time, Uganda is poised

to sign strict legislation into law, penalizing some offenses with life-long prison sentences. Nigeria recently passed similar legilsation. In Gambia, President Yahya Jammeh said LGBT people are “vermin” and that his government would fight LGBT people like they fight malariainfected mosquitoes. more: bit.ly/1nOBbjD. bit.ly/1eTgfm1 Several proposed pieces of legislation that would have allowed individuals, business and, in some cases, government officials to discriminate against LGBT people or same-sex couples or refuse to provide them service have been put on the back burner by Republican leadership in Kansas (bit.ly/1gHfqSk), Tennessee (bit. ly/1jIi0HM), South Dakota (bit.ly/1jRjl21) and Idaho (bit.ly/1fhGvuX).

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Gala continued from page 5 Gala attracts celebrities Actress Sophia Bush, who is currently starring as Det. Erin Lindsay in “Chicago PD,” received the 2014 Ally for Equality Award. In her acceptance speech and throughout her time on stage, she kept going back to one main message: “Love is love.” She stressed how important it was to be the person that you are already are and not to fit into what others thought you should be. Actress Teri Polo, currently starring in ABC Family’s “The Fosters, also spoke and introduced her executive producer Peter Paige. “The Fosters” follows a family headed up by two lesbian parents and their natural, adopted and foster children which Paige, along with his writing partner Bradley Bredeweg, created and executive produces. Paige also shares the screenwriting with Bredeweg.

Polo told the crowd she valued and appreciated Paige and said he has grown in her appreciation of the LGBT community because of the work she is now doing. Polo remained on stage to present Paige with HRC’s 2014 Visibility Award. Paige spoke about his experience in the Tar Heel State, having gone to high school in Raleigh. He was fond of North Carolina and its people. His mother lives in Asheville, too. A product of divorced parents, he spent a lion’s share of time moving around the country growing up. In fact, he has lived in over a dozen places, from New England to California. He now finds Los Angeles his home base and serves on the board of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. After his speech, Paige told qnotes he chose to produce “The Fosters” because he wanted to highlight gay and lesbian families. In particular, he said that there had been a great deal of work done around gay men as parents, but saw little of that for lesbians. He wanted to

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show through his work that LGBT families were no different than straight ones. Mortgages still had to be paid, children had to be cared for, work responsibilities were there, too. He wanted to depict the experience of a blended family and how that was portrayed. He also felt comfortable working with ABC Family. The network is accepting of diversity. “We’ve never gotten any push back from the network,” Paige said. They simply have allowed the production to be as it is without censoring it for controversial content. ABC Family green lighted the show and Paige said that on Feb. 27, the show was going into production for its second season. Paige and Bredewig are principals of Blazing Elm Entertainment, a production company that created projects for USA and Warner Brothers Televison, among others. At the end of the night, vocal artist Tiffany lit up the stage with several numbers, including her hit “I Think We’re Alone Now.” — Lainey Millen

Discriminatory bill could be considered in N.C. continued from page 9 the right of religious student organizations on public college campuses to discriminate in their membership. This year’s session is normally reserved for budget negotiations. Some sources say Republican leadership will likely want to keep the session as short as possible and non-controversial heading into fall elections.

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Sgro said his group will be keeping an eye on problematic legislation while advancing forward on other inclusive measures. “Equality North Carolina will continue to fight against discrimination and, in fact, we hope members of the legislature will consider employment non-discrimination in the near future,” he said. Religious freedom protection laws aren’t new, as Mother Jones reports. A federal version was passed in 1993, though a later federal court ruling in 1997 limited its applicability to the states. Eighteen states now have their own religious freedom acts. Eleven other states have similar protections through court action. The rash of recent legislation began in 2012, after several anti-LGBT business owners were sued for refusing to provide service to gay customers. The cases have included a New Mexico wedding photographer, an Oregon baker and a florist in Washington state. “Let’s be clear about what these businesses — and their activist supporters — want. They want religious exemptions that will trump existing civil rights laws,” Sally Steenland, director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress, said late last year. “They want to be able to legally discriminate against gays and lesbians in the name of

religion. In their view, florists, bakers, caterers, jewelers, photographers, wedding-dress shop owners, tuxedo-rental owners, and a host of other commercial establishments should be able to turn away gay and lesbian couples without getting sued for discrimination.” Several recent bills — in Kansas, Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota and Tennessee — specifically sought to protect “religious” discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or against same-sex couples. Others, including the one in Arizona and last year’s proposal in North Carolina, don’t mention sexual orientation or same-sex couples. Still, critics have blasted all versions of the bills, most of them withdrawn or tabled, as a means to broader discrimination. Truth Wins Out’s Evan Hurst told Mother Jones the recent rash to pass new religious freedom legislation amounts to a “concerted Hail Mary campaign to carve out special rights for religious conservatives so that they don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else does.” Hurst added, “In this new up-is-down world, anti-gay religious folks are ‘practicing their faith’ when they’re baking cakes or renting out hotel rooms to travelers. On the ground, [these bills] hurt real, live LGBT people.” : :


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Spring A&E Guide

‘Angels’ returns to Charlotte Play’s 1996 staging caused uproar from anti-gay leaders by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com Carolina Actors Studio Theatre (CAST) is planning on bringing the Pulitzer Prize- and two-time Tony Award-winning play “Angels in America” back to Charlotte. The performances are scheduled for May, including both parts of the epic saga documenting the HIV/AIDS Crisis of the 1980s. The play was staged in Charlotte in 1996, resulting in an outcry from anti-LGBT religious leaders and elected officials. As a result, Mecklenburg County Commissioners stripped public arts funding in 1997. The reaction likely won’t be as rabid this go around, but CAST hopes to use the upcoming performance to shine a light on the local LGBT community’s and Charlotte’s greater history. The performances will be staged May 7-31. Millennium Approaches (Part 1) will be presented Wednesdays and Fridays; Perestroika (Part 2) will be presented Thursdays and Saturdays. Ticket prices are $28, adult; $22, senior (60+); $18, student. CAST also plans two back-to-back performances on May 18 and May 25. Dinner, served between the two parts, are included in the ticket price: $100, adult; $75, senior (60+); $50, student. Directors are Thom Tonetti and Charles LaBorde. Cast includes Paula Baldwin, JR Jones, Berry Newkirk, Bob Paolino, Joe Rux, Kindra Clyne Steenerson, Will Triplett and Robin Tynes. The creative team includes Dee Blackburn (stage design); Mike Snow (technical director); Sean Kimbro (sound design); Donald Devet (video director); and Alex Mauldin (composer). For more information or tickets, visit nccast.com or call the box office at 704-968-9849. Group sales are available through the box office at at groupsales@nccast.com. Additionally, for a bit of fun, check out the theatre’s “Angels in America” Twitter profile at twitter.com/AngelofAmerica. : :

❝ ‘Angels in America’ in two parts: ‘Millenium Approaches’ & ‘Perestroika’ Coming to Queen City in May ❞

Author’s life informs her novel writing Novelist LaToya Hankins incorporates lesbian themes in two books by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com LaToya Hankins is Carolina through and through. Born in Southport, in Brunswick County, she grew up in Raleigh, attended East Carolina University and moved to Gastonia in 1993 and Charlotte in 1998. In the Queen City, she served as a features editor for The Charlotte Post, previously having written for the Gaston Gazette. Her profession as a writer and her experiences as a black lesbian in the South combine in powerful ways, informing her two novels, each with black lesbian characters. “Oftentimes, society or the media feel that I or a person like me doesn’t exist,” says Hankins. “I’m a southern, small town, black, lesbian professional.” Hankins’ writing ensures people like her are given a voice. The stories, though fictional, draw on her life. In some ways, the novels — “SBF Seeking,” released in January 2012 and “K-RHO: The Sweet Taste of Sisterhood,” released last November — are autobiographical. But, their place as fiction writing gives Hankins the opportunity to explore new concepts and scenarios. “In a fictional version, I can give myself a twin sister or I can allow myself to have a much more fabulous coming out process than mine actually was,” she says. “They say that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, but fiction is a lot more interesting to write.” Hankins says writing was always a passion of hers. She’s particularly fond of her novel writing. It’s soothing and an outlet.

And, it was a part of her own coming out process, allowing her to explore her own ideas and place in the world. Hankins hopes her writing can open new doors and conversations for others, too, especially among the many non-gay readers who have perused her books. “It has been very surprising,” she says. “I’ve gotten a lot of response form the non-gay community and a lot of support from people who just picked up the book. It allows them to see a point of view that maybe they haven’t considered before. It gives them insight.” She adds, “It’s a safe way to ask questions — reading a book gives people a jumping off point and a safe way to get into the subject.” Hankins, who eventually left journalism to work at Wachovia and now works for the state government, does her writing in her free time. But, it’s a personal passion that brings many rewards, both for herself and others. “I write because I want to give voice to people like myself, because, too often, you don’t see that.” : : info: You can meet Hankins and learn more about her novels at at a Meet the Author event at the LGBT Center of Raleigh, 324 South Harrington St., on March 30, 2-4 p.m., as well as at the N.C. State Literary Festival on April 3. For more information, visit Hankins’ website at latoyahankins.com.

LaToya Hankins

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Spring A&E Guide

LGBT choruses bring sweet spring sounds of harmony Gay Men’s Chorus and One Voice Chorus have special celebrations, performances planned this spring Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte “Forté! 2014” March 29, 6:34 p.m. Pearl Event Center Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte hosts their annual black-tie gala dinner, complete with entertainment by the chorus and its small ensemble, 7th Son. Tickets are $50. gmccharlotte.org/boytoyseason/forte/ “The Big Gay Sing 2:, On Broadway” May 3 8:04 p.m. McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. The chorus reprises their wildly successful Big Gay Sing, the biggest, most excellent and most fabulous sing- and dance-along Charlotte has ever seen is back! Cheer, sing, dance and laugh to Broadway’s very best! “Anything Goes!” June 14 Tate Theater Central Piedmont Community College 3:04 pm. & 8:04 p.m. The Music of Cole Porter, the composer of songs like “Anything Goes,” “Night and Day,” “I Get A Kick Out of You,” and “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” was one of America’s most prolific writers of music for stage and screen. Join 7th Son, the small ensemble of GMCC, as we celebrate the amazing music of this master of the stage who found his muse in the men he loved. info/tickets: gmccharlotte.org One Voice Chorus

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“From the Ranks” March 8, 7:30 p.m. Bechtler Museum of Modern Art Sotto Voce, the auditioned chamber ensemble of One Voice Chorus, presents an evening of song and story exploring and celebrating LGBT U.S. service members in history. The evening features music of Dan Forrest, Dale Warland, Eric Lane Barnes paired with accounts from active and retired local LGBT soldiers. “HOME” April 11-12, 7:30 p.m. Heaton Hall Myers Park Baptist Church One Voice sheds light on a critical issue within the LGBT community: Homeless LGBT Youth. With help from Time Out Youth and Urban Ministry Center, the chorus is reaching out to hear the stories of LGBT youth who have been (or are) homeless. Through a grant from the Charlotte Lesbian and gay Fund, the chorus will share these stories in a video and musical documentary — both to premier at its spring concert, “HOME.” The concert will also celebrate the families that LGBT people of all ages create for themselves. “Hollywood Squares: Divas” June 19, 8 p.m. North Carolina Dance Theater Hollywood Squares is back again and this year it’s all about the Divas! Featuring Barbara, Cher and more, the event is part retro game show and part concert … all with the same irreverent fun audiences have come to expect. info/tickets: onevoicechorus.com — Compiled by qnotes staff from publicity materials

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Spring A&E Guide

Community theatre comes alive this spring Local companies bring unique productions, audience favorites “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” Through March 14 Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte presents this play from Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage. Sneak a glimpse at the blinding movie studio lights of 1930’s Hollywood with the headstrong Vera Stark as our mesmerized guide. She’s aiming for the Hollywood Gold while working as a maid to the iconic movie star known as “America’s little sweetie pie.” It’s a raucous comedy until we flash forward 40 years and see the story of African Americans in Hollywood through a different lens. Funny, heartfelt and moving, “Vera Stark” illuminates the legacy of race in our movies and our lives. atcharlotte.org.

developed in association with Matt Olin, who is now a Charlotte resident. nccast.com. “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” April 10-May 3 Stephen Adly Guirgis’s “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” is a philosophical meditation on the conflict between divine mercy and human freewill that takes a close look at the eternal damnation of the Bible’s most notorious sinner, Judas Iscariot. nccast.com. “Hair” May 16-June 1 Theatre Charlotte knows how to keep their theatre-going audience pleased! They’re bringing all-time favorite “Hair” to Charlotte in May. A musical celebration of life, a love letter to freedom and a passionate cry for hope and change, “Hair” tells the story of a group of hippies living in New York City and fighting against war, their conservative parents, and society. The first great rock musical, “Hair” includes some of the most rousing and soulful songs ever written for the stage. theatrecharlotte.org.

“Aida” March 21-30 Winston-Salem’s Theatre Alliance presents Elton John’s and Tim Rice’s “Aida,” staring Natasha Gore as Aida, David Joy as Ramades and Abigail van Patter as Amneris. Directed by Jamie Lawson. “Aida” is a contemporary musical take on a grand classic tale of the timeless bond between an enslaved Nubian princess and an Egyptian soldier. As forbidden love blossoms between them, the young lovers are forced to face death or part forever. Together, they set a shining example of true devotion that ultimately transcends the vast cultural differences between their warring nations, heralding a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity. David Joy and Natasha Gore star in wstheatrealliance.org. ‘Aida’ at Theatre Alliance of WinstonSalem in March. “Driving Miss Daisy”

“Passing Strange” June 5-28 Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte presents 2008 Tony Award-winning musical “Passing Strange.” Loaded with soulful lyrics and overflowing with passion, the musical, directed by Chip Decker, is a heartfelt and hilarious story of a young bohemian focused on experiencing real life Photo Credit: Dancing Lemur Photography through sex, drugs and March 21-April 6 rock and roll. Journey from middle class black Theatre Charlotte brings the classic America to Amsterdam, Berlin and beyond in this “Driving Miss Daisy” to the Charlotte stage. daring new musical that crosses the boundaries When a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow of place, identity and theatrical convention. of 72 is deemed too old to drive, her son hires atcharlotte.org. a thoughtful, unemployed African-American man to serve as her chauffeur. What begins as “Gruesome Playground Injuries” a troubled and hostile pairing soon blossoms June 6-July 12 into a profound, life-altering friendship that CAST presents the regional premiere of transcends all the societal boundaries placed “Gruesome Playground Injuries,” by Rajiv between them. Joseph, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist theatrecharlotte.org. “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.” Joseph, one of today’s most acclaimed young play“The Other Place” wrights, is the recipient of numerous accoMarch 28-April 27 lades, including an NEA Award for Best Play CAST presents the regional premiere of and a Whiting Writers’ Award. “The Other Place.” Fresh from Broadway, “The nccast.com. Other Place,” a brilliantly crafted drama by Sharr White, was recently featured in an hour— Compiled by qnotes staff from long program on National Public Radio. This publicity materials. eloquent and moving experience was originally

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SPORTS

Playing the Field Match-ups from across the Carolinas: Spring season heats up by Jon Hoppel :: qnotes contributor Hey everybody! I sure hope everyone has thawed from the winter blast that blanketed us in snow in February. Now with spring right around the corner, it is time to get out and support your local gay athletes! So, put away your parkas, store your ugly Christmas sweaters and check some of these events out! Roller Derby The Charlotte Roller Girls A and B sides started off their season Valentine’s Day weekend with bouts down in Charleston, S.C., against the Low Country Highrollers. In the first matchup of the double header, the Charlotte B-Dazzlers took on LCHR’s Bruisin Betties in an extremely close bout. It was neck-in-neck the entire way, but in the end, the Bruisin Betties squeaked out a 2 point win, 122-120. Birthday girl, Do U Juana, earned MVP Jammer for her excellent performance. In the marquee matchup, Charlotte’s All-Stars took on LCHR’s A side. The ladies showed no rust from their winter break and came out strong by taking an early lead and holding on to thru the final whistle, winning 222-176. Be sure to mark your calendars in March because the Charlotte squads will be kicking off their home season on March

22 as the All-Stars take on Hard Knox Roller Girls from Knoxville, Tenn., at the Grady Cole Center. Check out their website for ticket information! info: charlotterollergirls.com. Volleyball The Carolina Showstoppers have been, no pun intended, unstoppable this season. The LGBT team achieved an overall record of 20-0, and is 10-0 in league games, making them league champions! They will be looking to become tournament champions when they compete the last Thursday of February and first Thursday of March in a double elimination format. Show them support at the Gastonia Armory as they look to go undefeated for the year. One World Dragon Boat Finally, we here at qnotes would like to bring to your attention to the “fastest growing water

Charlotte Roller Girls Do U Juana and the rest of the B-Dazzlers sport in America,” the Dragon Boat. This sport, which originated in China over 2000 years ago, requires 22 individuals on one boat to work as one unit in order to race other teams down a stretch of water. The distances can vary from 500 meters, the most common, to 200, 1000 and 2000 meter races which are also standard distances in international competition. 2000 meter races are normally held on a 500 meter course where teams must do two loops starting and ending at one end and completing three 180-degree turns. Other distances may also be used in local festivals, such as 100 or 250 meters or another distance depending on the size of the lake or river. Charlotte has formed their very own LGBT Dragon Boat team called One World. This year marks their second season with the goal of providing a healthy, athletic and

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supportive outlet for LGBT members, their families and friends to train and participate in this centuries old paddle sport. Dee Bauer, One World’s coach, is an extremely decorated Dragon Boat athlete who has paddled for the USA National Team at the World Championships in Milan 2012 and won multiple medals at the ICF World Dragon Boat Championships at Idroscolo. She leads a group of very motivated individuals looking to push themselves and their fellow teammates. If you would like to get involved with their organization, either physically or financially, go to their wonderfully-done website, OneWorldDragonBoat.org to find all the information you need, including practice times, meeting locations and event schedules. : :


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Out and proud in Charlotte ... sometimes Even as recognition of LGBT equality increases, fear of violence keeps some quiet and closeted by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com Sitting in an east Charlotte barber shop, I realized I’d come at the completely wrong time. Six gentleman — all at least 60, white hair and all — were patiently waiting their turn before me. I sat back and perused Facebook and the news on my iPhone. They, of course, were reading newspapers. A sign of the times, perhaps. While they chatted about — what else — the weather, sports, family and grandkids, I had time to pause and reflect on the situation. I realized I was by far the youngest person there. Unmarried. No kids. Certainly, no grandkids. And, though I couldn’t really know, I had an eery feeling of loneliness that I might very well be the only gay man in the room. It’s a feeling I hadn’t felt in a long time — one I’m no longer accustomed to feeling in my daily life. I’ve openly discussed my sexual orientation in newspapers, on radio and TV across the country. But, here, in this small, traditional, Southern barber shop, there was no way I’d feel comfortable admitting I am gay, which I could have revealed simply by being honest about where I work, the city’s only LGBT community newspaper. For a whole host of reasons I’ve since pondered, what would normally be a daily act of honesty for me turned into real questions of comfort and safety. I wondered, were there other “out” LGBT people who experience similar emotions in certain spaces in Charlotte? Even as mainstream acceptance of LGBT equality seems to be growing at a lightning pace, are there still times and places where openly LGBT Charlotteans feel pressure to remain silent, careful and closeted? Devon, 25, says he’s equally as quiet about his sexual orientation when he heads out for his usual haircut. “It’s totally male-dominated,” he says. “They talk about women a lot and basketball and other sports. I just try to switch gears and talk about the politics or news that’s happening and say, ‘Hey, did you hear about what happened on the news the other day?’” But for Devon (whose name we’ve changed because he isn’t out at work), it’s his job where he feels the most pressure to conform. Devon works for a local school, teaching kindergarten through fifth grade. “It’s very difficult to come out when working in a school with kids,” he says. “If parents find out, they get up in arms because of these

a male teacher is also gay. Decades of media and social prejudice have painted gay men, in particular, as sexual predators. That stigma keeps Devon tight-lipped about his life, even among his colleagues. When Devon is sitting with other teachers, he doesn’t feel he’d be able to share seemingly innocent stories or experiences from the weekend or the previous evening. “They talk about their kids, their husbands a lot,” Devon says. “If I had a husband, I’d want to talk about my husband, too.” Problems and discomfort arise even for those who are relatively out at work and comfortable there. Ian Werner, 29, says he and his partner of four years often find themselves checking their behavior and intimacy when going out to restaurants, bars, movie theaters or shopping malls. “I may not kiss him goodbye out in the open, or I’ll just kiss him while we’re still in the car,” Werner says. “I might not hold his hand at the brighter parts of the movie and definitely not while exiting the theater in the middle of a crowd. Even something as simple as trying to get his attention — I might call for him instead of tapping on his shoulder.” Bars with primarily straight patrons are the worst, Werner says. “You can just tell there are a bunch of drunk frat boys there looking for a fight, so we tend to tone down acting gay.” For others, “acting gay” and “toning down” isn’t always a choice. In particular, transgender and other gender-variant people, if outed or if openly perceived as crossing traditional gender boundaries, can face significantly higher risks of discrimination, harassment and violence. A 2011 report from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force showed that 53 percent of transgender survey respondents reported verbal harassment or discrimination in public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and government agencies. Eight percent reported physical violence. Bree Catlin, 55, works as a Unix security engineer at Wells Fargo. There, she’s out to co-workers and comfortable as a transgender woman, but that’s only because of the company’s inclusive non-discrimination policies. Such regulations don’t exist at all employers or businesses, and neither Charlotte nor North Carolina forbid anti-LGBT discrimination in public accommodations. So,

Photo Credit: Madijams, madijams.deviantart.com/. Licensed CC.

While Catlin has mostly carved out a comfortable niche at home and work, she says she rarely goes to south Charlotte. “I just don’t feel safe there,” she says. “It’s more emotional, but there is a factor of physical safety, too. Transgender people — Devon have a much rougher road. Unlike lesbians, gays and bisexuals, we can’t always hide when we are in transition.” Like Catlin, Werner says violence is a personal fear. From time to time, reports of antiLGBT violence tick upward, even in places like New York City and usually in the aftermath of

❝ They talk about their kids, their husbands a lot…if I had a husband, I’d want to talk about my husband, too. ❞ scandals that come out in the news a lot. That sort of thing has me on edge and has me watching myself a little more closely and has me questioning even if I should come out.” A general social stigma around male teachers, Devon says, is only compounded if

outside of work, Catlin says she’s frequently experienced harassment, even recently at a restaurant in the University area. “You do get kind of conscious about that kind of thing — the strange looks, from staff and patrons alike,” she says.

news like Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda laws or continued discussions on marriage equality. According to the latest statistics from the FBI, hate crimes motivated by bias against sexual orientation now account for the highest-reported incidents of hate crime in the country. Werner knows the statistics and takes them to heart. “I don’t know how people will react, but it definitely jumps to my mind immediately,” he says. “I don’t want to get the shit beat out of me.” — The article is provided in partnership with Creative Loafing and was originally published in Creative Loafing’s Jan. 30, 2014, print edition. Learn and read more at clclt.com. Creative Loafing is a qnotes news partner.

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Spring A&E Guide

Fashion Week comes to Charlotte Proceeds benefit It Gets Better Project Charlotte Fashion Guild will host its spring CFG Style Week, March 5-8, providing a platform for designers and boutiques from across the world to showcase their works to the media, buyers, stylists, fashion lovers and many more. It is a celebration of the fashion, beauty and arts culture. The week is organized by the Charlotte Fashion Guild, whose mission is to unite, recognize and reinvent the Charlotte’s fashion community. Producers Ryan Philemon and Erica Arcilesi say they have a vision to “unite the fashion community of Charlotte, support industry professionals, grow the local economy and to transform the fashion industry of the South.” A portion of proceeds will benefit the It Gets Better Project. For more information, visit cfgstyleweek.com/. Events All events hosted at the NC Music Factory in Uptown Charlotte. Style Lounge Launch Party March 5, 6:30 p.m. Runway Shows March 6-8 Doors open at 7 p.m., shows begin at 8 p.m. Syle Week After Party Celebration March 8 Doors open at 7 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m.

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— Compiled by qnotes staff from publicity materials

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precious pets by David Green :: N.C. State University

N.C. State’s Behavioral Medicine Service resolves problems, restores owner-pet relationship tions regarding environmental management and positive behavior modification techniques, which are demonstrated. Behavioral medication may also be recommended. A copy of the discharge instructions is sent to the primary veterinarian to help ensure your pet’s seamless care. Follow-up telephone and email communications are part of the initial appointment and, depending on the situation, one or more follow-up in-person appointments could be recommended. Why a veterinary behaviorist and not a trainer? Board-certified veterinary behaviorists have the designation, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB). In order to gain board certification in veterinary behavior, a licensed veterinarian must complete a minimum of three years of accredited advanced clinical training after graduation from veterinary school, publish in a peer-reviewed journal, complete approved case reports and pass a comprehensive examination administered by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. As part of their training programs, certified veterinary behaviorists receive specific and extensive training in medical problems From left: Ms. Sherrie Yuschak, Dr. Margaret Gruen, Dr. Barbara Sherman, that may complicate Dr. Jillian Orlando. behavior problems, behavioral diagnostic procedures, behavior a pet’s problem behavior can be complex and modification protocols based on the science of involve several causes including diseases, a animal learning, and behavioral pharmacology. veterinary behaviorist is in the best position to identify the underlying reason for the problem Decoding Your Dog behavior and work with the owner and pet to The definitive, research-proven book on ensure its remedy. why our dogs do what they do and how we Veterinary behaviorists are veterinarians can prevent or solve common canine behavior who are trained in all aspects of animal behavproblems. ior. They not only have a broad knowledge of Dr. Barbara Sherman wrote the preface the physical and emotional health of animals, for “Decoding Your Dog,” a new book for dog but also understand how to help clients impleowners prepared by her colleagues at the ment a prescribed treatment plan. American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. The veterinary behavior experts at N.C. Editors include Drs. Debra Horwitz and John State University’s Behavioral Medicine Service, Ciribassi in collaboration with Steve Dale. for example, specialize in the treatment of Trainer Victoria Stillwell wrote the forward. behavior issues in companion animals. These Read the Wall Street Journal book review include anxiety disorders, elimination problems, at blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/12/30/howcompulsive behaviors and numerous other to-decode-what-your-dog-is-saying-to-you/ concerns. They also work with clients on premore: Get more resources online at goqnotes. ventive basis, such as preparing the pet for the com/to/precious-pets/ arrival of a baby, socializing a puppy or adding a new pet to the household with other animals. What you can expect as a client. qnotes continues its new pet column Before the initial appointment, the clinician this issue. It runs every other issue, will review your pet’s medical record, evaluate featuring expert advice expert advice the written behavioral history and view any and commentary for your beloved pets. additional materials you may submit, such as a Are you a pet owner and have advice or video of the behavior at home. At the consultaa funny story? Own a business catering tion appointment, which is about two hours in to the needs of pets and want to chime length, the clinician will observe your pet and in? We’re accepting submissions for the talk with you to evaluate the behavioral probnew column. Email your ideas or your lem and discuss a management program. writing, approximately 600 words or less, This program, customized for your houseto editor@goqnotes.com. hold and lifestyle, consists of written instrucWe love our pets, of course, but what happens when they do not live up to our expectation of a perfect companion? If we come home to find the couch leg chewed or the living room carpet used as a litter box, the pet’s misbehavior may erode our close relationship. Sadly, according to the American Humane Association, far too many pets are brought to animal shelters because of behavior problems and most — 70 percent nationwide — will end up euthanized, making behavior issues the leading cause of pet mortality ahead of trauma and disease. This is unfortunate and unnecessary. Many behavior problems are caused by anxiety, fear, stress, loneliness, over-abundance of energy, frustration or various medical conditions. Since

Feb. 28-March 13 . 2014

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augusta

Search begins for Miss Augusta Pride 2014 Contest scheduled for April 26 by Adam Wadding :: Augusta correspondent Drag performance has played an important professional light and sound system and an audirole in the LGBT community for decades — with its ence of 100-150 patrons. Grand prize will include value of entertainment, dedication and self-ex$350 and the title of Miss Augusta Pride 2014. pression — and has become more widely known The runner up will also walk away with $150. in pop-culture within the last five Both winner and runner up will share years, thanks to the reality televithe stage with national headliners at sion show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the Augusta Pride Festival, June 28, to that first premiered in 2009. a crowd of 8,000-1000 attendees. As a part of many Pride This year’s pageant is directed celebrations, the art of gender by Richard Justice, award-winning impersonation is recognized by regional director of such on-stage hits crowning the drag performer that as “La Cage Aux Folles,” “Chicago” best represents that year’s talent and “Sordid Lives.” The theme of this pool. The Augusta Pride crown year’s pageant is Cirque de L’Amour, has been held by performers meaning, “Circus of Love.” For the across the Southeast including presentation portion of the contest, Columbia’s Lady La Poodle and contestants will be asked to evoke Augusta’s Evonne Santoni and their interpretation of the circus arts Sasha Greene. Malaysia Black, a as inspired by artistic performances North Carolina native now living in Malaysia Black was crowned such as Cirque du Soleil. Miss Augusta Pride in 2013. Atlanta, took the crown last year For male-as-female drag performand will be passing her title onto the future Miss ers interested in competing, the entry fee is $100 Augusta Pride. before April 12 and $125 before April 24. If you This spring, downtown Augusta’s Sky City are interested in being a contestant, you may will host the fifth annual Miss Augusta Pride contact pageant@prideaugusta.org. Last day to pageant, Augusta’s largest celebration for the art register is April 24. of gender impersonation. Contestants from both The Miss Augusta Pride pageant will be held Augusta and neighboring cities are invited to on Saturday, April 26 at Sky City, 1157 Broad St., compete for the coveted crown, with no limits on Augusta, Ga. Doors open at 8 p.m. and admisdistance traveled to compete. sion is $10. Attendees must be 21 and over. Join Performers will be showcased in one of us for an evening of illusion and celebration. Augusta’s most popular venue stages, with a See you there! : :

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Feb. 28-March 13 . 2014


Ask Dr. C…HIV and healthcare advice

Helping to keep you in the know with up-to-date information by Frederick Cruickshank ~ Medical Director

After many successful installments of “Ask Dr. C” in the past, Rosedale wants to offer this opportunity to offer our readers’ information about infectious disease from basic questions to in-depths explanations. The questions have provided us a forum to debunk myths and remove stigma from those living with HIV and AIDS. It is important to educate yourself, get tested, and protect yourself! Send your questions to info@rosedaleid.com. Dr. C looks forward to responding to as many emails as possible. Are condoms effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection? — Mark from Charlotte Latex condoms serve as a barrier to prevent the passage of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The United States Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that, “Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In addition, consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of other

sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).” Though condom effectiveness varies, experts agree that proper use, every time, will greatly reduce the risk of infection. Failure of a condom is more likely due to improper use than failure of the product, but both can occur. To put a condom on properly do the following: With one hand, pinch the tip of the condom to leave room for the ejaculate. With the other hand, roll the condom to the base of the penis. Continue using this hand to guide any air bubbles out of the condom. Add lube to the outside of the condom to avoid excess friction that may cause breakage. After intercourse you should do the following: Hold the base of the condom as you pull out to avoid spillage. Remove the condom and throwaway condom in the trash, not the toilet. Remember that free condoms are always available at Rosedale. Pick some up at your next visit! Does having multiple sex partners increase the risk of HIV infection even if I use protection every time? — Steven from Mint Hill Steven, I am glad that using protection is a priority for you! As mentioned above, it is important to use condoms to protect yourself against STIs including HIV. Condoms greatly reduce your risk of becoming infected. That being said, it has been shown that having more than one sex partner increases the risk of HIV infection and of infection with other STIs including syphilis, gonorrhea, and herpes. The presence of other STIs also increases the risk of infection with HIV because of open sores. The more sexual partners you

have, the greater the risk of infection with any STI, including HIV. You are already taking the best precaution you can by using condoms during every sexual encounter. In addition to condom use, it is important to talk openly with all of your sexual partners about STIs. Also, it is important to get tested and encourage your partners to get tested for STIs as well. Rosedale does free HIV testing during business hours and will schedule you an appointment for STI screening whenever needed. Call us at 704-948-8582 today so that we can get you in to speak to one of our qualified healthcare professionals! Does smoking have an increased affect on my health because I am HIV positive? — Harold from Huntersville Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States, causing nearly one out of five deaths in the United States each year. Smoking increases your risk of developing lung cancer and other cancers, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and other diseases, and of dying early. For these reasons, smoking is a significant health issue for all individuals, but it is even more of a concern for people living with HIV, who tend to smoke more than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 19% of adults in the United States are smokers. However, the smoking rate is two to three times higher among adults who are HIVpositive. In addition, smoking has many negative

health effects on people who are HIV-positive. For example, smokers with HIV: Are at higher risk than non-smokers with HIV of developing lung cancer, head and neck cancers, cervical and anal cancers, and other cancers; are more likely than nonsmokers with HIV to develop bacterial pneumonia, Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), COPD, and heart disease; are more likely than non-smokers with HIV to develop two conditions that affect the mouth: oral candidiasis (thrush) and oral hairy leukoplakia; and have a poorer response to antiretroviral therapy. People with HIV who smoke are also less likely to keep to their HIV treatment plan and have a greater likelihood of developing an AIDS-defining condition and dying earlier than non-smokers with HIV. I would encourage you to talk to your doctor about a plan to quit smoking in order to protect your health. Always remember that this is an advice column based on your questions and the best possible knowledge out there. We need your questions to help educate the community, so email them to info@ rosedaleid.com and be sure to include a first name and location. All respondents will remain anonymous. We will try to do our best to answer, educate and inform from your responses to this column. Don’t forget to visit our website at rosedaleid.com and friend us on Facebook for community and clinical updates. — Sponsored Content —

Feb. 28-March 13 . 2014

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news

North Carolina feels ruling pressures continued from page 4 Sgro noted that every recent case on the issue has been resolved favorably. That puts pressure on leaders like Cooper to take a stand. But, Sgro also noted the differing political reality in North Carolina. “Roy Cooper refusing to defend the ban is not going to have the same effect as [Virginia Attorney General Mark] Herring refusing to defend his ban,” Sgro said. “Virginia has a Democratic governor who is pro-marriage equality. We have a governor and General Assembly that, I imagine, would jump at the chance to defend the ban.” Sgro added, “There’s no doubt this puts pressure on [Cooper] to look at the issue and it puts pressure on him to take a second approach and think if it makes sense to be defending the ban.” When reached for comment, Noelle

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Talley, a spokesperson for Cooper, issued remarks similar to past statements from Cooper’s office. “North Carolina should change its laws to allow marriage equality and I believe basic fairness eventually will prevail,” the statement from Cooper’s office read. “However, when legal arguments exist to defend a law, it is the duty of the Office of the Attorney General under North Carolina law to make those arguments in court.” Talley added, “We’re reviewing the ruling but do not expect anything to change since it is a ruling from a district court and neither the 4th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on it.” The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is representing six families in the Greensboro suit originally filed last July, follow-

Feb. 28-March 13 . 2014

ing the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning a portion of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. “The ruling in Virginia is the latest example of how discriminatory bans on marriage for same-sex couples are impossible to square with the protections of the Constitution,” Chris Brook, legal director for the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation, said in a release. “Support for the freedom to marry continues to grow across North Carolina and the nation, and we will continue working to make sure that all North Carolina couples are afforded the dignity and protection that comes only with marriage.” The ACLU’s Virginia chapter was also quick to speak out, sending out a release shortly after midnight as news of the Virginia decision spread. “This is a wonderful day for all loving

and committed couples in Virginia who only ever wanted the same protections for their families as anyone else,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. “The court is right to strike down this sweeping and discriminatory ban. We congratulate the attorneys and their clients.” A separate class-action suit in Virginia’s western U.S. District Court will continue. Plaintiffs there have asked for a quick ruling. The case decided on Feb. 13 is likely to be appealed. Allen issued a stay on her ruling, preventing the confusion that occurred after a judge in Utah refused to issue a stay and more than 1,000 same-sex couples were wed. Allen is a 1985 graduate of North Carolina Central University School of Law. She was nominated by President Barack Obama to her federal bench in 2010. : :


goqnotes.com/to/arts

tell trinity

ends up needing years of therapy. But, honey, we all know (including yourself) that life’s a game and self-acceptance is the greatest prize of all. (I figured how to handle this dilemma, so check out my cartoon to find out how.)

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

Should gay men be allowed to use “she� to describe “he?� Hey Trinity, Why do so many gay men use the pronouns she and he so interchangeably, for example: “I love Mike. She decorates fabulously. He also cooks well. I just love her bubble butt too.� Why, why, why? Profoundly Pronouned, Lincoln, NE Hey Pronouned, Long ago when gay men where camping it up

in secret underground gathering spots, they needed a secret language that concealed their closeted/subversive lives, thus, they started using “she� to disguise the “he� that lived in their hearts. And, it has stuck ever since. This is less used in languages that use male/female genders like French and Spanish. So, sweetie, as for sister, girlfriend and/or Mary, learn to love it. Oh, and if any of my readers have a more historically correct answer, send it to me and I’ll send you a present. Dearest Trinity, I recently entered a talent/pageant contest, but quickly found out that it had its own underlying rules and games that dictated who had a chance to win or not. Don’t you think pageants are outdated and meaningless? Pageant Proclamations, Savannah, GA Dearest P.P., Pageants have been around since before nylons and Bob Mackie serving some sort of ancient sexually frustrated/male domination moray. Today, it just continues to make some of us feel great, while leaving the rest of us wondering, “who am I?� However, it is how Christina Aguilera started. In the end, one person feels great and everyone else just

Hello Trinity My roommate also friend wants to date my ex. I’m OK with it, but is this going to cause trouble for me and my roommate? Roommate Drama, New Hope, PA Hello Roommate Drama, Will having your ex dating, running around naked and/or fighting with your roommate cause trouble for you? Ah‌give me a second while I‌throw up! Yes! Of course! Absolutely! But, babe, if your roommate has the nerve to do it anyway, then tell your roommate to keep the dog outside! Dear Trinity, I want to ask the love of my life to marry me. Any special ideas? Impractical Proposals, San Francisco, CA Dear Impractical, In my life, I’ve had some wonderful proposals. One day maybe one will stick long enough to pay the rent. So, pumpkin, with that here are: Trinity’s Impractical Tips For Romantic Proposals   1. A  horse and buggy ride in the park at sunset ending at a small quartet playing your favorite song.

a&e

  2. A  helicopter ride over the beach where in the sand you have had someone write, “Will you marry me Shawn?â€?   3. O  n a white horse, in a knight’s uniform, go to his/her workplace and present a scroll that says, “The King (or Queen) orders you to marry me.â€?   4. Have a TV or radio station make you a proposal “jingleâ€? and have it run as a commercial several times on his/her favorite station.   5. While sitting in a romantic place, hire a group of costumed characters to present your proposal.   6. Kidnap (kindly) him/her with prepacked luggage and drive upstate to a quaint resort village to propose.   7. Rent a billboard located on his/her way to work that says, “Jean, marry me or else! Traceyâ€?   8. While tied up in their favorite S&M position, a band of fetish slaves enters the dungeon to make the proposal! Just kidding‌sort of!   9. You’re supposedly going to a big party on the 50th floor, but when the elevator opens it’s just a waiter, wine, musicians and a table for two. 10. Lastly, try going on a very romantic cruise ship, air balloon ride and/or hiring some people to make it impractical and memorable. info: With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity hosted “Spiritually Speaking,â€? a weekly radio drama performed globally, and is now minister of sponsor, WIG: Wild Inspirational Gatherings, wigministries.org. Learn more at telltrinity.com.

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Feb. 28-March 13 . 2014

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Q

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

Celebration of the Arts Theatre Charlotte 501 Queens Rd., Charlotte 6:30 p.m. The seventh annual Celebration of the Arts benefiting Time Out Youth with a unique variety show featuring singers, dancers, actors and performance artists from Charlotte and New York City. Produced by Vito Abate. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance through Time Out Youth or at the door. timeoutyouth.org theatrecharlotte.org

SEP FEB

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

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Week of Prayer Regional AIDS Interfaith Network 601 E. 5th St., Charlotte 6-7 p.m.

SEP MAR

06

The Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) hosts a service in observance of the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS. This year’s theme is “Changing Minds, Opening Hearts, Celebrating Life.” Light refreshments will be provided before the service. RSVP to l.knox@carolinarain.org or 704-973-9812.

Pancake Breakfast Applebee’s 3865 John Gordon Ln., High Point 8-10 a.m. Triad Pride Men’s Chorus hosts an Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser Breakfast. $7 meal includes pancakes, sausage and a beverage of your choice. –––––––––––––––––––– Equality NC Eastern Institute St. Jude MCC 19 N 26th St., Wilmington 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Equality NC hosts its Eastern Regional Institute, designed as a hyper-local, day-long event focused on civic engagement, the electoral process and pro-equality issue education. Space is limited. Register online at equalitync. org/getengagedNC/wilmington. –––––––––––––––––––– From the Ranks Q-Tribe Bechtler Museum of Modern Art SEP MAR Time Out Youth Center 420 S. Tryon St., Charlotte 2320-A N. Davidson St., 7:30-9:30 p.m. Charlotte Sotto Voce, the auditioned chamber en7-8:30 p.m. semble of One Voice Chorus, presents Time Out Youth center offers a new an evening of weekly support group for youth ages song and story 13-20 who identify as transgender or exploring LGBT are gender questioning. Q-Tribe is a U.S. service structured group designed to promote members in personal growth and discovery through history. The shared experiences, education and evening features respect with a goal of providing a safe music of Dan space where transgender youth can be Forrest, Dale Warland, Eric Lane Barnes their authentic selves in a judgment free paired with accounts from active and environment. retired local LGBT soldiers. 704-344-8335. 336-794-6831. timeoutyouth.org. onevoicechorus.com.

SEP MAR

08

Men of All SEP MAR Cultures Together LGBT Community Center of Charlotte 2508 N. Davidson St., Charlotte 6:30-8 p.m. The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte hosts another meeting of the local chapter of National Association of Black and White Men Together. The group exists to provide social and support opportunities to men of all cultures. lgbtcharlotte.org.

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Fayetteville LGBT Center Rainbow Room 223 Hay St., Fayetteville The LGBT Center of Fayetteville hosts its very first Meet & Greet Social. Light refreshments will be provided. Come learn about the new center, it’s vision and more about local LGBT issues in the Fayetteville area. facebook.com/pages/LGBT-Center-ofFayetteville-NC/467824486670885

SEP MAR

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Mecklenburg LGBT Democrats 830 Lamar St., Charlotte 7-9 p.m.

SEP MAR

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The third and final organizational meeting for the Mecklenburg chapter of the LGBT Democrats of North Carolina. Members will nominate and elect officers, including president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and other board members. Guest speaker is Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon. lgbtdemocrats.org

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Feb. 28-March 13 . 2014

GGF Gala & Green Party SEP MAR O. Henry Hotel 624 Green Valley Rd., Greensboro 7 p.m. The Guilford Green Foundation will host its 17th annual Gala and Green Party, with registration, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction beginning at 7 p.m. For more information, see our brief in Carolinas News Notes on page 6. ggfnc.org.

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Sweet Tooth Festival Omni Charlotte Hotel 132 E. Trade St., Charlotte 2-5 p.m. The Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) hosts its newest fundraising event, a drop-in celebration of all things sweet. Event features local sweet-tooth geniuses, bringing their cupcakes, candies, cookies and other sweet treats for your enjoyment and featuring of 25 bakeries, sweet shops and home-based businesses. Tickets are $30 per person and include a private tasting, deluxe sampling and lounge. carolinarain.org.

SEP MAR

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Softball Spring Clinic Revolution Park 2425 Barringer Dr., Charlotte 2 p.m.

Carolina Softball Alliance holds its first Spring Season Clinic for returning and new players. carolinasoftball.org. CBGP Kick-Off SEP MAR Tempo 4809 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte 9-11 p.m. Charlotte Black Gay Pride hosts “Splash,” a kick-off to their 2014 activities. Come hang out with and meet Charlotte Black Gay Pride board members, learn about the 2014 Pride theme and about this year’s full slate of activities. Tickets are $10 in advance at playdatecharlotte.com and $15 at the door. cbgp.org.

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Recurring Charlotte Events: PRISM Young Adults: Weekly discussion held each Monday, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. For young adults ages 18-25. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. lgbtcharlotte.org. Men’s Yoga: Weekly yoga sessions for men hosted by certified instructor. Each Monday, 7:30-8:30 p.m. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Time Out Youth Center: Weekly support and discussion groups, Tuesday-Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monthly group for youth ages 11-14. timeoutyouth.org. MeckPAC: Monthly meeting of local LGBT political action committee. First Tuesdays of each month, 6:30-8 p.m. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. StillOut Photography: Local LGBT photography club. Meets monthly on fourth Tuesdays, 7-8:30 p.m. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. facebook.com/StillOutPhotography. Friends Indeed: Men’s depression support group. Every other Tuesday, 6:30-8 p.m. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Weekly HIV & Syphilis Testing: Hosted at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte each Wednesday, 5-7 p.m. HIV Support Group: Open support group for men and women who are HIV-positive. Hosted second Wednesdays of each month, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Different Roads Home. differentroadshome.org. LGBTQ Adult Education and Discussion Group: Weekly on Thursdays, a safe place for LGBTQ adults to meet and discuss important issues and topics. Hosted at LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Each Thursday, 6-8 p.m. PFLAG Charlotte: Monthly support group meeting. Second Thursday of each month, 7 p.m., Time Out Youth Center. pflagcharlotte.org. Men of All Cultures Together: Support and social group; local chapter of National Association of Black and White Men Together. Every other Thursday, 6:30 p.m. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Tradesmen: Monthly social meeting first Saturday of each month. 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. The Woodshed Lounge. charlottetradesmen.org. Have a recurring weekly or monthly event, social, support or discussion group? Let us know. Submit your event at our online calendar at goqnotes.com/eventsubmit/.

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


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life

Our People

Q&A with Alex Aguilar Actor, student won fundraising drag title for Charlotte Royals by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com In January and February, five non-profit organizations came together for a unique fundraiser at The Scorpio. “Dragging with the Stars,” sponsored by Scorpio and Pocket Rocket pitted five amateur drag performers against each other through five nights of competition. Aided by professional drag performance veterans, the five contestants battled it out to win $1,000 for their charity. Alex Aguilar, 28, performed as Mia Deporte on behalf of the Charlotte Royals Rugby Football Team and stole the show. Aguilar’s drag mentor was Cierra Nichole. We thought it’d be a great opportunity for you to learn more about Aguilar, as he celebrates his victory on behalf of the Royals. We chatted with him briefly for this issue’s “Our People” interview below. Where are you originally from? I was born in Miami but grew up in Fort Lauderdale. I moved to Charlotte 10 years ago in May. What brought you to Charlotte? It was immediately after high school. I just closed my eyes and pointed at the map. Came up here and auditioned for my first professional acting role at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte.

And, acting is your career now? Yes, I’m in “Chicago” in Salisbury. We start rehearsals this week. And, I’m a student. What are you studying? I’m studying biology. What first drew you to acting? I have just always been very outgoing and have always loved dancing. If you see pictures of me as a child, I’m always at parties dancing and having fun. My parents knew it was something I wanted to do, so they stuck me in chorus. That’s what go me started, just singing and putting myself out there. In high school, I started doing theatre. It was nerve-racking at first. My first language is Spanish and reading didn’t always come easily for me. When you audition, they hand you a script and say you have five minutes to look it over. But, I fell in love with the stage and love going into all these characters and just exploring their psyches. That’s what I did with Mia Deporte for Dragging with the Stars. How did you find out about the fundraising contest? I found out through the Charlotte Royals. I’ve been playing with them since 2008. I’m a fun-

draising fanatic for the team and I said, “I will definitely do this.” We are trying to get to Australia for the Bingham Cup — it’s the gay world cup of rugby.

Alex Aguilar as Mia Deporte, center in red dress and crown, stands as the winner of the Dragging with the Stars contest, surrounded by the other contestants (L-R): Eric McCrickard (Tequila Mockingbird) of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Brad Joseph Claxton (Mimosa LaBousche) of Campus Pride, Tyler Daniels-Clyne (Carrie Concretia) of Don’t H8 and Gary Carpenter (Nicole Monet) of Charlotte Pride.

Had you ever done drag before? No. I’ve never done drag professionally before and in this kind of arena. Every year, the Royals do the “Crown Royal,” where we dress up in a drag and really bad make up. But, I had never done what we had to do the past five weeks. I never knew how much work went into being a drag queen or a female illusionist — all the pads and five layers of tights. I never knew how long it took to apply all that make up. What was it like growing up as a gay young person in an immigrant family? My father is Cuban. My mother is Dominican. I didn’t come out to her until two years ago at Christmas. You hear the word “faggot” a lot

around an Hispanic family. You hear derogatory terms constantly. You just have to suck it up. We are Catholic and being Hispanic, you have to be machismo, you have to be a man at all times. In my mind growing up, thinking about being gay, I didn’t associate that with masculinity. When I moved to Charlotte and joined the Royals, I learned that gay is just a word. There’s a giant spectrum of people. I’ve met the bear community, then there are twinks and even people playing rugby. It opened my eyes and I grew a lot moving to Charlotte. And, coming out to my mom, it was a shock, but she has grown and now she is really supportive. : :

Feb. 28-March 13 . 2014

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Feb. 28-March 13 . 2014

QNotes Feb. 28-March 13, 2014  

QNotes takes a look at upcoming choral and theatre productions in our Spring A&E Guide, featuring the return of 'Angels in America' to Charl...

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