March 5-18 . 2011
March 5-18 . 2011
inside March 5-18, 2011 Vol 25 No 22
14 The cast of GayCharlotte Film Fest feature ‘Violet Tendencies’ (l-r): Macus Patrick, Mindy Cohn, Jesse Archer and director/producer/actor Casper Andreas. Photo Credit: Film still
news & features 6 News Notes: Regional Briefs 8 Anti-gay amendment intro’d 9 WBTV report questioned
opinions & views 4 4 5 5 11
Editor’s Note General Gayety Guest Commentary QPoll T-Notes
a&e/life&style 12 13 14 15 17 18 19
Out in the Stars Tell Trinity Queering up the big screen Fully uncensored Audiophile Bingo gay-cation Q events calendar
contributors this issue
Leah Cagle, Robbi Cohn, Matt Comer, Charlene Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, Leslie Robinson, Don Rosenthal, David Stout, Trinity,
Sign up for our weekly email newsletter at goqnotes.com.
Graphic Design by Matt Comer Photo Credit: Ruth Films
Pride Publishing & Typesetting, Inc. Editor: Matt Comer, x202 firstname.lastname@example.org P.O. Box 221841, Charlotte, NC 28222, ph 704.531.9988 fx 704.531.1361 Assoc. Ed.: David Stout, x210 email@example.com Publisher: Jim Yarbrough Assoc. Ed., A&E: Leah Cagle, x202 firstname.lastname@example.org Sales: x206 email@example.com Production: Lainey Millen, x209 firstname.lastname@example.org Nat’l Sales: Rivendell Media, 212.242.6863 Printed on recycled paper. Material in qnotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2011 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.
March 5-18 . 2011
editor’s note by matt comer email@example.com
Correcting the record: WBTV’s anti-gay and sensationalistic tabloidism
[Ed. Note — The following is a statement from editor Matt Comer. It was published at goqnotes.com and released to Charlotte-area media on Feb. 25.] On Tuesday, Feb. 22, Charlotte news station WBTV ran a story by reporter Steve Crump (“Internet site links Charlotte to gay sex” http://www.wbtv.com/Global/story. asp?S=14080924) on alleged incidents of illegal sexual activity occurring in James Boyce Park in Southeast Charlotte. Their report was biased, sensationalistic and furthered, whether intentional or not, the stereotype and negative social stigma that gay men are a threat to children. For more details, you can read qnotes‘ story on the station’s coverage here: goqnotes.com/10106/. As I worked on covering WBTV’s original story and the response to it, I also conversed
with both WBTV News Director Dennis Milligan and reporter Steve Crump regarding the production of their Feb. 22 story and the reasons why many people, including myself, felt that the story was biased and irresponsible. Despite these conversations — which included my thoughts on “group blame,” in which an entire minority group, in this case gay men, are blamed or asked to apologize for or condemn the actions of a few — WBTV’s follow-up report on Feb. 23 (“Commissioner requests investigation into alleged sex acts taking place in park” wbtv. com/Global/story.asp?S=14089194) wholly misrepresented my statements and thoughts. Steve Crump reported: “Meanwhile, Comer feels some in Charlotte’s gay community are being stigma-
general gayety by leslie robinson :: qnotes contributor
Scampering through the news
You might want to do a few stretches before reading this. We’re about to race through the GLBT news and I don’t want to be blamed if you strain something. I don’t have insurance. Ready, set, etc. Terry Jones, Florida pastor and would-be Koran burner, will be the primary speaker on the Stand Up America tour, which will condemn the “deathstyles” of homosexuality, Islam and abortion. On this tour, the groupies will be War, Famine, Pestilence and Death. Another sad fellow, Congressman Chris Lee of New York, resigned after the world saw a shirtless photo of himself he sent to a woman he met on Craigslist. The married, socially conservative Republican wasn’t our friend in Congress. Pity. Gay men could teach the Craigslist Congressman how to pose alluringly instead of alarmingly.
Now to Colorado and another man behaving badly. Lt. Jeff Egnor of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department posted hundreds of anti-gay and racist comments on local news websites using his work computer while on duty. Under the screen name “Abu Mybutt,” Egnor reacted to DADT’s elimination by suggesting new military slogans like “Butt Rangers lead the way!” and “Join the Navy, see naked men!” He resigned from the force. Maybe he’ll join the military. Keep up now, people. Quick quick like a bunny. Turning to gays behaving badly, we’re off to the Caribbean and a charter billed as the “world’s largest gay cruise.” Agents searched Steven Barry Krumholz’s cabin and allegedly found lots of meth, Ecstasy and cash. While they waited for Krumholz, two passengers came by to buy.
These rates only cover a portion of our true cost, however, our goal is to serve our community Mailed 1st class from Charlotte, NC, in sealed envelope. Subscription Rates:
☐ 1 yr - 26 issues = $48 ☐ 1/2 yr - 13 issues = $34
Mail to: P.O. Box 221841, Charlotte, NC 28222
______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ name:
state: zip: ______________________________________________________ city:
☐ mastercard ☐ visa ☐ discover ☐ american express ______________________________________________________ credit card – check one:
exp. date: ______________________________________________________ card #: signature:
March 5-18 . 2011
tized by those who break the law in public places. “‘I don’t think it’s the job of the entire gay community to apologize for the actions of a few within our community,’ Comer said.” It should be made abundantly clear that I do not believe the gay community is being stigmatized by its own, the majority of whom are likely gay or bisexual men who due to societal discrimination and prejudice are unable to acknowledge their sexual orientation in public and healthy ways. Instead, as related to both Dennis Milligan and Steve Crump and as stated during my interview with WBTV, I believe it is the media and many times police departments — not only in Charlotte but across the nation — which too often and irresponsibly correlate illegal sexual activity among men with the entire gay community. Given that positive coverage of the gay community is often few and far between, negative stories like these do a great disservice to this minority community. Obviously, Steve Crump and Dennis Milligan had a clear agenda in mind before producing the “follow-up” to their Feb. 22 story.
In this particular instance, the only people stigmatizing gay men are the staff of WBTV. Real facts and figures show a reality much different from WBTV’s hysterical and hyped-up sensationalism. There have been no reported or documented incidents of illegal sexual activity in a half-mile radius of James Boyce Park since Jan. 1, 2009. Further, figures from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on the number of charges for solicitation of a crime against nature throughout the entire city and county in 2010 and 2011 reveal that the overwhelming majority of cases involve heterosexual prostitution. If WBTV actually sought to be “on your side,” they would use their skills as so-called media professionals to report accurately and fairly on news of substance. Instead, they chose to forsake real journalism for sensationalistic tabloidism backed up by no numbers, no evidence and no fact — coverage that ultimately furthers stereotypes, discrimination, bigotry and prejudice against gay men. It is not hard to tell whose side WBTV is actually on; certainly, it’s not with this minority community. : :
I’m shocked, shocked to hear of drug dealing among gay men in a party setting. Next you’ll tell me gay men and lesbians smoke a lot. In happier news, Mitchell Reich was elected the first openly gay president of the Harvard Law Review. Personally, as publications go, I’d rather read the American Journal of Gastroenterology, but this is still primo news. And, then there’s the story of Malcolm, quite a kid. His mother gave him $140 to donate to the charity of his choice. He divided the money between the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the Human Rights Campaign. In his seven-year-old handwriting, he told the Center, “I’m sending you this money because I don’t think it’s fair that gay people are not treated equally.” Stop crying. We don’t have time for it. In international news, the flight attendants for a new charter airline in Thailand include four transsexuals. The airline is called P.C. Air, which I’m certain doesn’t stand for Politically Correct. The word is out about a proposed gay-centric, but open-to-everyone, community near Palm Springs, Calif. The designs for “Boom” include 300 residences, eight
neighborhoods, an entertainment center and a “rooftop mist disco.” Those might be the gayest three words I’ve ever heard. South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and other righty individuals and groups boycotted the Conservative Political Action Conference, huffy over the involvement of the gay conservative group, GOProud. I don’t agree with GOProud on much, but if it can cause this kind of schism among rabid conservatives, I say, you go boys. Hang on. Last lap. Almost there. The Hawaii House of Representatives voted yes on civil unions and in Maryland and Rhode Island, legislative committees held hearings on same-sex marriage. A Maryland state senator announced he’ll vote for gay marriage because he was appalled at the way opponents demonized gays. Welcome to our world. There. You’re done. Sorry for rushing you. It was the only way to get through it all. Now, you can take a nap. : : info:
LesRobinson@aol.com . generalgayety.com
by Don Rosenthal
Mecklenburg Democratic Party needs more LGBT inclusion I have been involved in the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party (MCDP) for the last 10 years, but not in a particularly active role, although I am vice-chair of my precinct caucus. I have been struck repeatedly by how weak a force for advancing LGBT rights the MCDP has been. No group, including the “gay” group that exists on paper within the party, has been active in pressing LGBT concerns. During those years, few party leaders have made a serious effort to reach out to the LGBT community. (Several have been indifferent if not openly hostile.) As a result, no one in the party leadership raised any questions about the poor performance of Mayor Foxx and members of the City Council in last year’s efforts to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the employment policies of the city. (As readers of qnotes may recall, the city manager supposedly acted on his own authority to add sexual orientation, but not gender identity, to those policies.) This allowed Charlotte politicians to get off the hook for lack of visibility on the issue (except before LGBT constituents), but it also created a situation where a new city manager or city council might easily remove even the limited protections added in 2010.
With the Democratic National Convention, with its significant inclusion of LGBT officials coming to Charlotte in 2012, it is time for the Charlotte LGBT community to be more visible in putting forward demands for LGBT inclusion and better treatment by both the party organization and the city government. As it happens, the MCDP is in the process of selecting a new county party chair to replace its current chair who is not running for re-election. The election for chair is scheduled for April 9. (Later in the year, there will also be another election for mayor and city council.) Because there has been no real effort by the party to reach out to the LGBT community, I thought I would take it on myself to ask the three candidates who have indicated their interest in becoming chair (Frank Deaton, Aisha Dew and Darrin Rankin) about their support for greater inclusion of the LGBT community. All three have been quite positive in their initial responses, though I have learned to be cautious about politicians’ promises in Charlotte. With this as background, I would like to hear both from people who may already be involved in Democratic Party work, as well as others who might be interested in getting
qpoll qnotes wants to hear from you. For some time we have been featuring more local and more arts-focused features. Do you like this new direction and what other topics would you like to see us cover? See the options and vote: goqnotes.com/to/qpoll
involved. If you are interested in being active, precinct meetings for selecting party officials have been scheduled between Feb. 28 and March 11. Unfortunately, there may not be time for you to plan to attend the precinct meeting in your neighborhood, but there is still time to find out whether that is the case. If you do not know your precinct, it appears on your voter card or you can contact the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections at 704-336-2133 for that information. (If you have not voted before in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, you should contact the board of elections about registering to vote or updating your former registration if you have moved.) Once you have found out what precinct you are in, either call the party organization at 704-525-5843 or go to their website at mecklenburgdemocrat.org. If you access the website, you need to check the “Calendar” of meetings in the upper right corner of the homepage and then review the list of meetings and their locations. (The way the website is set up, it may be easier to call the party office.) The party organization is scheduled to have office hours from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is planning to add office hours one evening a week, probably on Wednesdays. I would welcome your expressions of interest and your suggestions for possible steps to be taken to expand an LGBT influence within the MCDP. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. : :
RAIN reschedules ‘Amazing Race’ Last issue, qnotes ran an article on the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network’s (RAIN) “Amazing Race Bar Crawl.” The event was set for March 5 but has been pushed back to April 2. Event planners say the original date coincided with the last day of the CIAA championships and proved difficult to organize. For more information or for questions, please visit carolinarain.org, email email@example.com or call 704-372-RAIN (7246), ext. 162.
Meeting Date: Program: Time: Cost: Information:
Friday, March 11, 2011 Third Annual Business Expo (in conjunction with TakeOver Friday) The Westin, 601 S. College St. 6-9 p.m. Free Admission Call 704.565.5075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about this event
www.charlottebusinessguild.org March 5-18 . 2011
news notes: from the carolinas, nation and world compiled by Lainey Millen :: email@example.com | David Stout :: firstname.lastname@example.org | Matt Comer :: email@example.com
Bullying symposium slated
RALEIGH — North Carolina State University (NCSU) is a hosting a “Stand Up, Speak Out: Finding Opportunities to Protect Our Youth Against Bullying” symposium on March 29, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., McKimmon Center, 1101 Gorman St. It is sponsored by NCSU’s University Counseling Center/Student Health Services; Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education; Department of Social Work; and GLBT Center. It will include sessions on bullying prevention and intervention in schools; cyberbullying and professional ethics; implementing the anti-bullying law; and gender identity and sexual orientation issues facing youth. Keynote presenter will be Jamie Nabozny (pictured), who was featured in the documentary “Bullied: A Student, a School, and a Case That Made History,” produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Nabozny v. Podlesny held that schools can be held liable for deliberately ignoring anti-gay harassment. After the presentation, breakout sessions and a moderated panel discussion will be held. Continuing education credits and certificates of attendance are available. Lunch and refreshments will be provided throughout the day. Deadline for registration is March 11. Registration fee is $40. There is a discounted rate for NCSU students and affiliates, as well as the GLBT-Community Alliance. For more information, email SocialWorkEvents@ncsu.edu or visit socialwork.ncsu.edu/bullying.php. — L.M.
Festival causes debate
NAGS HEAD — The organizers of a first-ever Pride festival have gotten some opposition to their efforts. According to a UPI news release, OBX Pridefest co-founder David Miller, “is offended by some critics.” He shared his sentiments with the The Virginian-Pilot, saying that statements from Pastor Charles Tyler of Roanoke Island Baptist Church and others were not going to thwart their attempts. Tyler called “homosexuality, ‘a scourge in any society that values decency’ and charged the festival is being marketed as familyfriendly to corrupt children,” UPI reported. For more information, visit thegayobx.com. — L.M.
Triangle CMF to hold fundraisers
RALEIGH — Crape Myrtle Festival will hold a series of fundraising events to support their work in the Carolinas. A fashion show will be held on March 10, followed by a movie series on March 16. For more information on these events and others, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit crapemyrtlefest.org. — L.M.
Maddox film to be shown
CHARLOTTE — The recent Bowling for Equality fundraiser held in the Queen City netted nearly $4,100 as more than 155 bowlers took to the lanes for the Human Rights Campaign. Sponsors were Food Lion, By Design, Just Twirl, Robert Dogens and Connie Vetter. — L.M.
CARY/CHAPEL HILL — A screening of “Gen Silent,” the groundbreaking film by Stu Maddox, will be shown on April 1, 7 p.m., at Galaxy Cinema, 770 Cary Towne Blvd., Cary, and the following day at the University of North Carolina, William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, at 1 p.m. It is being held in cooperation with the LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Gay and Gray observance and the University of North Carolina School of Social Work’s Breaking Generation Silent: Facing the Needs and Challenges of LGBT Elders. Maddox will hold a Q&A afterward at both venues. Joining him for a panel at the Chapel Hill presentation will be Mandy Carter, a co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition; Debi Lee, lead regional ombudsman for the Centralina Area Council on Aging; Connie Vetter, attorney and mediator; and Dee Leahman, director for Community Partnership for End of Life Care, For more information, visit lgbtcenterofraleigh.com and ssw.unc.edu/ diversity/about/aging. — L.M.
Gold joins week’s celebration
Charlotte Bowlers raise big bucks
WILMINGTON — Mitchell Gold, founder of Faith in America, will speak about faith and the LGBT community on March 6, 6-8 p.m., at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Part of Faith and Sexuality Week, the event will be held in the Burney Center, with a dessert reception and book signing after Gold’s talk. For more information, including other events that week, visit uncw.edu or
March 5-18 . 2011
ASHEVILLE — On Feb. 22, the city council gave a green light to a resolution that endorsed more rights for same-sex couples and called for creation of a city registry for people in same-sex relationships. In addition to these protections, it also called for an anti-bullying ordinance on city property, as well as initiating a ban on discrimination in city government employee decisions with regard to sexual orientation or
gender identity. The Citizen-Times reported that there was support on both sides of the debate. Randy Bray thought it was “endorsing a lifestyle that we believe … is not approved by God.” However, Angel Chandler said “quoting scripture does not make the argument against the resolution correct.” Councilman Brownie Newman summed it up by saying, “The steps we’re taking tonight, I think, will make a difference to the lives of people in Asheville.” — L.M.
School acknowledges volunteerism
HICKORY — The board of trustees at Lenior-Rhyne University recently presented its annual Community Service Awards to those who showed exemplary volunteerism. Among recipients was Mitchell Gold whose contributions have helped to bring more acceptance and understanding for the LGBT community. In 2010 he asked CNN’s Soledad O’Brien to the school’s Visiting Writers Series, where his book, “Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America,” was honored. [Ed. Note —This publication’s editor contributed a chapter to Gold’s book.] — L.M.
Book released on tolerance
ASHEVILLE — “Turning Controversy Into Church Ministry: A Christlike Response to Homosexuality” is one of the latest literary contributions to hit the shelves. And, its author, William P. Campbell, is not holding his tongue with regard to how he wants to see the Christian right and left be more tolerant toward the LGBT community. “There are thousands of people who have embraced their faith and renounced their homosexuality, but they are deeper in the closet than even many homosexuals, because they are afraid of the backlash from the left,” he said. “Christ preached tolerance, not prejudice. Both sides need to come together and accept each other. This conflict isn’t only tearing families and congregations apart, but our whole country. We can do better than this, and we must do better than this.” Campbell, a Presbyterian minister, has been writing and talking about the subject and says that his denomination and the country are “coming apart at the seams over the issue” and he wants to help Christians understand “homosexuality and then come together to do ministry.” “Statistically, the majority of people in America identify themselves as Christians,” he said. “And many of us don’t believe the Bible supports homosexuality. But how many of us are following the command of Christ to love everyone? How many of us know how to step beyond the controversy about homosexuality and to show compassion? Even many without faith recognize the Bible tells the story of Christ, who reached out to all people, especially those society rejected.” For more information, visit churchreflections.com. — L.M.
Regional Week of Prayer slated
STATEWIDE — The National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS will be held from March 6-12, 12-3 p.m. It brings together people of all faiths to unite with “purpose, compassion and hope.” Prayer will focus on education about HIV prevention facts; encourage and support HIV testing; advocate for the availability of compassionate care and treatment for all those living with the disease in every community; and love unconditionally all persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Every house of worship is invited to join in. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than one million people are living with HIV in the U.S. (an estimated 1,106,400 adults and adolescents) and approximately one in five of those (21 percent) are unaware of their infections. New HIV infections continue at far too high a level; an estimated 56,300 Americans are newly infected with HIV each year. On average, that’s one new infection every 9.5 minutes in the United States. More than 14,000 people in the United States with AIDS die each year. Forty six percent of all AIDS cases occur in the South East with rural areas being the most disproportionately affected. In Hickory, ALFA is partnering with several congregations to offer prevention education, HIV testing and advocacy for those living with HIV/AIDS. To register a congregation or to learn more about this initiative, visit nationalweekofprayerforthehealingofaids.org. For more information on ALFA’s week-long series of events, call David Zealy at 828-3221447, ext. 233, email email@example.com or visit alfainfo.org. — L.M.
Producer seeks subjects
STATEWIDE — Stacey Cochran, a Carolina author and filmmaker, is currently working on a documentary, “One Nation,” and is seeking LGBT households, preferably co-parent, with children to discuss some of the challenges faced by families who do not receive equal protection under the law. From the day-to-day challenges of finding accepting schools, friends, other families, places to shop, etc., to broader issues like adoption policies, hospital visitation rights, travel issues and marriage equality, he hopes offer an unfiltered look at the defining civil rights issue of a generation. “One Nation” examines the intersection of inalienable rights and religious interpretation and sets a course for redefining the modern America family. A finalist in the 2004 St. Martin’s Press/ PWA Best First Private Eye Novel contest, Cochran is an instructor in writing at North Carolina State University. To learn more about the piece or to be considered, visit staceycochran.com/ onenation.
National Obama ends defense of DOMA
WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack
Obama has decided that the government will no longer defend Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The controversial law discriminates against legally married same-sex couples by refusing to recognize their marriages for any purpose, even if they are valid under the law of the states where the couples live. The decision was announced Feb. 23 in a statement from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The statement explained that the president has concluded that laws targeting people based on sexual orientation, like laws targeting people based on race or national origin, should receive more rigorous constitutional scrutiny. Based on this conclusion, Holder said the U.S. Department of Justice will no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA in court. There are several ongoing cases challenging DOMA. The Attorney General clarified that while the DOJ will continue to represent the government in those cases, DOJ attorneys will no longer argue that DOMA is constitutional, because the law does not withstand heightened constitutional scrutiny. Among other things, the measure prevents married same-sex couples from receiving any of the federal benefits given to other married people. Opponents argue it also sends a message that LGBT people and their families are inferior. — D.S.
On Jan. 4, the Ninth Circuit panel asked California’s highest court to clarify whether state law gives ballot initiative sponsors the extraordinary power to override the decisions of elected state officials about how to litigate cases involving challenged state laws. The underlying question is whether the proponents of Prop 8 can force an appeal of the federal district court decision that deemed the measure unconstitutional. State officials have declined to appeal the ruling. The California Supreme Court agreed Feb. 16 to answer the question. All briefs will be submitted by May and oral arguments could begin as soon as September. — D.S.
state law protections and duties to unmarried couples — gay and heterosexual alike — such as access to family court to resolve disputes in an orderly way, clear duties to pay child support and alimony as appropriate, and other vital family protections. The new law will also honor same-sex couples’ marriages, civil unions and broad domestic partnerships from other states and countries. Lambda Legal and the ACLU filed a lawsuit in July 2010 after then-Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed HB444, the previous civil unions bill. By providing the remedy sought by the lawsuit, SB232 eliminates the need to continue with that case. — D.S.
Gay man new White House social sec.
Facebook adds relationship options
Calif. high court accepts question
HONOLULU, Hawaii — Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed SB232, which establishes civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in Hawaii. The state Senate approved the bill in an 18-5 vote on Feb. 16 and Abercrombie signed it a week later. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2012. Civil unions will provide a full range of
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Supreme Court has agreed to accept the question sent to it by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the federal court challenge to California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that overturned same-sex marriage rights in the state.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The White House announced Feb. 25 that Jeremy Bernard has been named Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary. He is the first man and first openly gay person to hold the position. He joins the White House staff from the U.S. Embassy in Paris, where he serves as Senior Advisor to the Ambassador. Prior to this role, he worked as the White House Liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities. — D.S.
Civil unions legalized in Hawaii
PALO ALTO, Calif. — LGBT rights groups applauded Facebook for adding ‘In a Civil Union’ and ‘In a Domestic Partnership’ options to user profiles. The options became available Feb. 17 for users in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France and Australia. “Today, Facebook sent a clear message in support of gay and lesbian couples to users across the globe,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “By acknowledging the relationships of countless loving and committed same-sex couples in the U.S. and abroad, Facebook has set a new standard of inclusion for social media. As public support for marriage equality continues to grow, we will continue to work for the day when all couples have the opportunity to marry and have their relationship recognized by their community, both online and off.” Last October, Facebook partnered with GLAAD and other national LGBT organizations to create “Network of Support,” an educa-
tional initiative that works to combat antiLGBT cyberbullying. The Network of Support is comprised of LGBT advocacy organizations, including GLAAD, GLSEN, HRC, PFLAG and The Trevor Project, in conjunction with MTV’s “A Thin Line” campaign. GLAAD also worked with Facebook to reshape the way that the site responds to hateful, anti-LGBT comments posted on public pages. — D.S.
Global Botswana gays to sue government
GABORONE, Botswana — Members of the gay community plan to take the Botswana government to court to challenge the constitutionality of the African nation’s anti-sodomy laws. Uyapo Ndadi, director of LGBT rights group BONELA, confirmed in a newspaper interview that a legal challenge to Section 164 of the Penal Code that criminalizes same-sex relationships was being prepared. In 2005, gay leaders attempted to register an association called Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) with the Registrar of Societies but their application was turned down on the grounds that the Constitution outlaws homosexuality. During a recent press conference, the Deputy Director of Civil and National Registration, Michael Mohautsi, reiterated the position of his office. “Any body that is contrary to the Constitution of Botswana cannot be registered,” he said. — D.S. info: Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes: firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 5-18 . 2011
‘Game on’ in Tar Heel marriage fight Anti-gay amendment introduced in Senate as advocates gear up for potential 2012 ballot campaign by Matt Comer :: email@example.com
The introduction this year of an anti-gay amendment prohibiting the recognition of same-sex relationships was a foregone conclusion as far back as last fall’s election campaigns. The amendment has been introduced in the state Senate, spearheaded by Gaston County Sen. James Forrester (R), every year since 2004. When Republicans swept into legislative power in November, LGBT North Carolinians were faced with a stark and chilling reality: 2011 would be the year in which the anti-gay marriage threat finally reared its ugly head. Forrester introduced his amendment on Feb. 22, nearly a month after the General Assembly returned to work. As of press time, a companion bill in the House had yet to be filed though it is expected (see goqnotes.com for the most up-to-date news). If approved by the legislature, it could appear on the 2012 ballot — just two months after Democrats visit Charlotte for their national convention. Forrester’s quest to write discrimination into the state constitution has gotten more severe with each passing year since he first proposed the measure. This year’s version, the same as last session’s, is the most extreme. It has far-reaching consequences for both opposite- and same-sex couples. Consequences not hypothetical Advocates say the text of the simply- but powerfully-worded amendment could strip both public and private employees of health insurance or other domestic partner benefits. “Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State,” the text of the proposed amendment reads. The possible consequences aren’t hypothetical. Some states have already rolled back domestic partner benefits as a result of similar constitutional revisions. The Michigan Supreme Court has even overturned domestic violence statutes that protect unmarried or cohabitating partners. Just days after the amendment’s introduction, statewide LGBT advocacy group Equality North Carolina released a “Frequently Asked Questions” on the bill. “The language proposed is the most extreme version of an anti-gay amendment,” the group wrote. “In addition to limiting marriage to opposite sex couples, as state statute already does, it would prohibit any other form of relationship recognition, such as civil union or domestic partnership. This kind of language has been used in other states to take away private benefits, such as health insurance for LGBT couples, unmarried opposite-sex couples, and their children. This is a not a hypothetical issue, but a very real one. These amendments have also been used to challenge other private contracts between couples.” The group stresses that the amendment would “take away rights and responsibilities that are currently available to some couples.” Building an opposition Dan Gurley, chair of the Equality North Carolina Board of Directors, says reaching out to legislators will be key to stopping the amendment before it has a chance to reach voters.
March 5-18 . 2011
“We need to be constantly reminding lobbying. At the same time, however, he of Bilerico.com. Originally from Indiana, he inithose Republicans who were elected to the sees room for a more active presence from tiated a similar call for his home state which is General Assembly in the last election that this Democrats. undergoing an anti-gay constitutional debate past campaign they ran was not one focused David Parker, the state Democratic Party’s of their own. on social issues,” he says. new chair, has been outspoken on his opBrowning’s and Spaulding’s tactics are, Voters want action on jobs, the economy position to an anti-gay amendment and has without doubt, controversial. But they are and the state budget, Gurley insists. stressed the importance of LGBT-inclusion at tactics some activists have used for years. That message is being heralded by county- and state-level party operations. Blogger Michael Rogers, who also lives Equality North Carolina’s executive director, “It’s fairly consistent that with the in Washington, D.C., has used “outing” to Ian Palmquist, and professional lobbyist, Dean Democrats, there is not support for the expose the hypocrisy of closeted, anti-gay Plunkett, in their work each day at the legisamendment,” Gurley says, “but there are politicians like former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig lature. In addition to their lobbying in Raleigh, a handful of Democratic legislators scat(R-Idaho) and U.S. Reps. Ed Schrock (R-Va.), Equality North Carolina plans to expand its tered across the state who have previously David Dreier (R-Calif.) and Mark Foley (R-Fla.), grassroots organizing. co-sponsored an amendment bill. It [the among others. On Feb. 25, Gurley, a former executive directhe group retor of the North Carolina Republican ceived a $10,000 Party and former Republican National grant from the Committee staffer, was “outed” by Human Rights Rogers in 2004, though he says he was Campaign to aid open with his Republican National in their efforts Committee collegues long before to defeat the Rogers’ actions. amendment. There are better ways to make “We’ll be change and ensure the defeat of the hiring in the next anti-gay amendment, Gurley says. couple days a “Showing legislators that they contract organizhave people in their districts who are er solely focused affected by this legislation and showon engaging voting them that public attitudes have ers in the districts changed and are changing is a much of legislators we more effective strategy at stopping need to perthis kind of legislation,” he explains. suade,” Palmquist He also cautions against efforts to says. “There’s a “dig up dirt.” ton of potential “We need to be cautious on when to scale that up and how we move,” he says. “There and to have even are consequences and those can be more activity in public, it can be professional and it those targeted can be personal. I think we need to be areas of the state very careful when we are playing with A participant at a November 2008 Proposition 8 rally at the Legislative Building’s Halifax where we can people’s lives even if we might not like Mall in Raleigh. have the most what they are doing.” Photo Credit: T.W. Buckner, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons. impact.” The group also expects to begin some Democratic Party] could be useful in those A long road phone banking and polling, along with other areas, to have party leaders, other elected ofDefeating the proposed amendment won’t more expensive projects, but the biggest ficials, grassroots activists and voters contact be cheap or quick. It’s hearing in either the investment will be in their organizing team. those legislators.” Senate or House is a near-guarantee, and the “We need to mobilize as many people as numbers don’t favor the LGBT community. possible,” Palmquist stresses. ‘Game on’ says blogger In North Carolina, a constitutional amendNews of the amendment’s introduction and ment must be approved by three-fifths of both Potential GOP allies, the more-than-likely possibility that it will be houses of the legislature. Republicans have Democratic organizing heard in at least one chamber of the General more than the required majority in the Senate Advocates and keen legislative on-lookers Assembly this year prompted Durham-based (31 of 50 seats). In the House, they hold 68 of know that it takes action — or, rather, the lack blogger Pam Spaulding (PamsHouseBlend. 120 seats, only four votes shy of the required thereof — from just one of the state’s top two com) to come out swinging. 72. Anti-LGBT Democrats could make up that legislative leaders to stop proposed laws dead “What I do know is that if the GOP wants difference. in their tracks. Gurley say it’s possible that eito play hardball on this issue when we already Gov. Bev Perdue has been relatively ther Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger have a state [Defense of Marriage Act]…I supportive of LGBT North Carolinians. As (Guilford, Rockingham) or House Speaker say go for it,” Spaulding wrote. “Game on. the session began, she told reporters she Thom Tillis (Mecklenburg) could step up to the We will explore every co-sponsor over the doesn’t think the state needs an amendment plate. Both men have powerful positions. Both next year. The taxpayers have a right to know: on marriage. Ultimately, her opposition isn’t set agendas, recognize speakers, assign bills How many times have these lawmakers been practically helpful; she’ll have no veto authorto committees and have general control over married? Who’s breaking the sanctity of their ity if the legislature approves the amendment. floor debate in their respective chambers. marriage vows? Are there closet doors to be When or if it does, it will require only a simple “I think it is absolutely possible,” he says kicked open? Who’s carousing for same-sex majority vote of the people to make it the law of the potential for either leader to block or at encounters at rest stops? Who has their hand of the land. least ignore the proposed amendment. “Is it in the till?” Each of the sponsors of the amendprobable? I’d say that’s probably 50-50.” She added, “The voters of NC have a right ment are all playing silent. Calls to Sens. Conversations with Republican legislato know, since these elected officials have Forrester and co-sponsors Jerry W. Tillman tors and staffers have been “constructive,” decided that they have the right to enshrine (R-Montgomery, Randolph) and Dan Soucek Gurley says. And, though he stops short of bigotry into the state constitution on the basis (R-Alexander, Ashe, Watauga, Wilkes) weren’t calling those discussions “positive,” he does of two consenting adults having any legal returned by press time. : : say legislators have at least been “willing to relationship approximating marriage, let alone more: Stay up-to-date on news of the engage and listen.” civil marriage.” amendment and other legislative matters at Gurley thinks the Republican Party infruSpaulding was at least partly inspired by goqnotes.com/in/politics. structure will play a limited role in legislative Washington, D.C.-based blogger Bil Browning
WBTV report on public sex questioned Advocate, GLAAD decry report as sensationalistc, lurid, biased and inaccurate by Matt Comer firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLOTTE — A news report on public park cruising by a local TV news station has managed to ruffle some feathers among the LGBT community, including reaction from one national LGBT media watchdog group. The story, by WBTV’s Steve Crump and which aired Feb. 22, examined reports of illegal sexual activity in James Boyce Park in Southeast Charlotte. It included interviews with parents of young children and the leader of a nearby neighborhood patrol, accompanied by several video images of young children playing on swing sets and other playground equipment, on a baseball field and with their parents. The report also stressed that gay men were the alleged perpetrators of the alleged activity. The online version of the story was titled, “Internet site links Charlotte to gay sex.” Anchor Molly Grantham noted that men were “being led to the park by a website, kind of like a directory.” Copies of website postings were shown to parents during interviews. In one scene, the reporter mentions the name of the website, “Cruising Gays,” followed by a parent’s, “Oh no!” Later, a young woman is heard saying, “This is awful.” WBTV News Director Dennis Milligan said his station learned of the park situation from a viewer. “It [the public sex] had been the subject of neighborhood concern and consternation,” Milligan told qnotes. “I think they had been in contact with the police department and there was some exchange of emails that there was going to be something done and that was forwarded to us.” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) crime data tracking back to Jan. 1, 2011 show no reported incidents or calls for service related to public indecency or other sex-related crimes within a half-mile of the Boyce Park area. Raleigh resident Sean Kosofsky is familiar with public park sting operations and the media reports that often follow them. For 12 years, he worked as the policy director for the Detroit, Mich.-based Triangle Foundation. There, he says, he dealt with hundreds of cases of gay men harassed, entrapped or intimidated by police in public parks and rest areas. [qnotes has requested data regarding public park stings and arrests from CMPD.] Kosofsky says WBTV should have been more sensitive to the video images they used when producing the story. “There is still a pervasive public perception that gay men are sex offenders and that if they are in these parks that children are somehow at risk of something,” he said. “Just because this website says that some adult at some time did something inappropriate in a park, that doesn’t mean that straight people aren’t doing this in public places all over. And, so the focus that somehow if it is gay men meeting in public that it’s a threat to children is
see WBTV on 18 March 5-18 . 2011
March 5-18 . 2011
t-notes by robbi cohn :: qnotes contributor
Injustice at every turn The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s (NGLTF) and National Center for Transgender Equality’s (NCTE) survey has been percolating for the last 12 months. Finally, groups have released findings from the most comprehensive survey ever directed toward the trans community. The results are seriously disturbing. Suffice it to say, preliminarily, that standards of living and working for trans identified individuals are well below national averages. And, suicide rates are soaring. Over 6,000 transgender and gender nonconforming individuals were queried on an wide range of issues. Areas covered in this indepth report include education, employment, health, family life, housing, public accommodations, identification documents, police and incarceration. Much of this column will be comprised of actual citations from the study. The conclusions cannot be overstressed. There really is injustice at every turn! Three meta trends were remarkable (quoting from report): 1. Discrimination was pervasive throughout the entire sample, yet the combination of anti-transgender bias and persistent, structural racism was especially devastating. People of color in general fare worse than white participants across the board, with African-American transgender respondents faring worse than all others in many areas examined. 2. Respondents lived in extreme poverty. Our sample was nearly four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000/year compared to the general population. 3. A staggering 41 percent of respondents reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6 percent of the general population, 2 percent with rates rising for those who lost a job due to bias (55 percent), were harassed/bullied in school (51 percent), had low household income, or were the victim of physical assault (61 percent) or sexual assault (64 percent). Those trends are startling, but the report contained much more information.
as a result of their gender identity and/or expression. Two percent are currently homeless, although 19 percent reported having experienced homelessness at one time or another. Of this group, 55 percent had been victims of discrimination in emergency and shelter housing. As far as home ownership goes, the number of trans persons who own their own homes falls well below the national average — less than half: 32 percent contrasted with the 67 percent national average. Public accommodations According to the report: “Fifty-three percent (53 percent) of respondents reported being verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation, including hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and government agencies.”
That’s over one-half and wholly unacceptable. Places where respondents had experienced discrimination include retail stores, restaurants, hospitals, police stations, transportation carriers, legal clinics and a handful of other settings. Treatment of gender diverse persons ranged from services denied to harassment and even physical violence. Acquisition if ID documents Only one-fifth of respondents had fully matching and corrected IDs. One-third hadn’t updated any ID documents. This includes, but is not limited to, birth certificates, social security cards and driver’s licenses. Regarding the latter, 41 percent reported not having a license which matched their gender expression. Police and Prison One-fifth of interviewees stated that they had experienced harassment at the hands of police. Of those who had been incarcerated, 16 percent had been subject to physical violence and 15 percent had been sexually violated. Almost half of the respondents expressed fear if they had to interact with the police.
Healthcare (quoting from report): “Health outcomes for all categories of respondents show the appalling effects of social and economic marginalization, including much higher rates of HIV infection, smoking, drug and alcohol use and suicide attempts than the general population. “Refusal of care: 19 percent of our sample reported being refused medical care due to their transgender or gender non-conforming status, with even higher numbers among people of color in the survey. “Uninformed doctors: 50 percent of the sample reported having to teach their medical providers about transgender care. “High HIV rates: Respondents reported over four times the national average of HIV infection, with rates higher among transgender people of color. “Postponed care: Survey participants reported that when they were sick or injured, many postponed medical care due to discrimination (28 percent) or inability to afford it (48 percent).” more: read the rest of this column online at goqnotes.com/to/t-notes.
Education Seventy-eight percent of respondents reported harassment as a student in grades K through 12, 35 percent of it defined as physical violence. There is evidence of a consistent negative impact of school experiences upon individuals throughout their lives as a result of these experiences. Employment As might be expected, these conclusions evince serious problems. Unemployment is fully double the national rate. Ninety percent of respondents reported harassment in the workplace, 46 percent had negative job outcomes like having been fired or denied promotion and 26 percent had actually been fired. Across the board, the impact of adverse employment scenarios was marked in all respondents. Housing discrimination & homelessness Nineteen percent had been refused housing and 11 percent had been evicted directly
March 5-18 . 2011
out in the stars by charlene lichtenstein :: qnotes contributor
March 5 - 18 Venus moves into Aqueerius and conjuncts dizzy Neptune. This means that we can tip our love boat and fall overboard. Our amour can take to the high seas or go adrift on some sand barge. Pack a thermos and crackers for any extended stay. PISCES (02.20-03.20) Your intuition is in overdrive. This may be a good thing because you are especially observant. But, it can also mean that you could blow certain things out of proportion and take action where none is needed. My advice — sit back and take it all in, Guppie. Process everything and store it until a time when you are thinking clearly. Then you can take over the world. ARIES (03.21-04.20) Gay Rams might confuse platonic friendship for lusty love. And, why not? The two of you are getting along famously and there is so much connection. How can you resist? But, resist you must if you want to maintain a good relationship after the clouds of passion dissipate. A good friend can be forever. A randy lover? Well, maybe that has a limited shelf life. TAURUS (04.21-05.21) If you think that you are making an impression on the big bosses, that may in fact be true. But, what type of impression are you making, Bull? Give your grandstanding a rest while you hone your act. A desired promotion may take longer to secure because of fuzzy communication. Just get close to you-know-who and leave the intrigue and politics until later. GEMINI (05.22-06.21) Any travel plans may undergo a change as more facts are collected. The fancy hotel that you lust after may be a
March 5-18 . 2011
dump. Do your research and re-check your notes. Of course, if you are flexible and leave yourself open to possibilities, you may have a wild and wonderful experience full of mystery, excitement and love. Hey, who cares about the accommodations? CANCER (06.22-07.23) Prepare for sexy excitement as you are lovey-dovey with the world and ready for action. Gay Crabs make any encounter extra zesty, but temper your enthusiasm until you calculate if the object of your desire is worth the price. A gaudy trinket may seem more exciting than the old reliable comforter, but who will keep you toasty at night? LEO (07.24-08.23) Put more zing into a routine relationship while you have energy and desire. Romance is highlighted and you are especially delightful and delectable. But, as you pour your essential oils into the effort, be sure there is give and take from your significant other. It takes two to rubadub. Proud Lions on the loose are travelling in a pack of possibilities. Anyone is possible. VIRGO (08.24-09.23) How hot does your coffee steam at the office? Just wait and see, queer Virgin. Co-workers give you the lusty eye and you might just say “aye.” But, plan things out in case the love of the workday becomes the love of the weekend. Bleeding your work life with home life will have its complications. Of course, you may welcome those types of complications. LIBRA (09.24-10.23) Proud Libras know how to have fun. Get involved in something crazy creative and immerse yourself in the artistic process. This can be specifically in the arts or you can add a twist to something that is usually dry and boring. So, rev up your bubble machine and prepare to let loose on whatever. But, be warned — fun can go overboard. But, maybe
that is the plan? SCORPIO (10.24-11.22) Family issues take center stage. Are you considering loved one’s feelings when you take a certain action or make a life changing decision? Probably not. Queer Scorps have their heads in the clouds, but should keep their feet firmly on the ground. Consider all possibilities. Ask for opinions. Then you can very well do what you wanted to do all along! SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) If you sound otherworldly, kind, gentle and fuzzy wuzzy, chalk it up to the mellow vibes cascading through the cosmos this week. Gay Archers are usually mouthy and brutally honest. What a nice change a pace to be diplomatic! Use it or lose it, pal. Too, too soon you will lose your golden tongue and political capital. Right now, amass it and store it for future use. CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) Your value system undergoes a massive reassessment. What is it that you truly value? How much will you compromise for the almighty dollar? Pink Caps with an eye towards wealth and status suddenly discover the advantages of enjoying the free things in life. How can you put a price on sunshine? Ah, but what if that sunshine happens to be in Miami Beach? AQUARIUS (01.21-02.19) Your personal star shines brightly and why not? Aqueerians are resplendent and standing in center stage. Start new projects. Meet as many new people as you can. Show the world what you can do and what you can accomplish. There is something about you that has the crowd on their feet. Uh, does that mean that they are heading towards the exits? Hurry. : : © 2011 Madam Lichtenstein, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Entertainment. info: Visit www.TheStarryEye.com for e-greetings, horoscopes and Pride jewelry. My book “HerScopes: A Guide To Astrology For Lesbians” from Simon & Schuster is available at bookstores and major booksites.
Hey Looks: Bah Humbug, Yes, you should be liked for who you are, but first you have by trinity :: qnotes contributor to catch the fish with your hook, then later they can like you as you are. Second, you have to act like a modern man, not Pharmaceuticals vs. a cave man, honey. Looks, charm and dressing well have alternative medicines allowed even the least important persons to get away with Dear Trinity, incredible things. (I’ll show you how to take this awesome Do you really think natural foods journey in my cartoon.) or alternative medicines have any benefits? Isn’t all that just birdseed and Dearest Trinity, seaweed? I’ve been dating someone for seven months who is in the miliBird Health, Topeka, KS tary and now has to go fight. I may not see her for six months and she may even be sent to another place after that. Should I Dear Bird Health, wait for her? While pharmaceuticals save lives, they Waiting Or Walking, Fort Wayne, IN also turn people into addicts, abusers, even Dearest W.O. W., corpses. Massage, Question: Do you really have to make acupuncture, urine a decision today? Can’t you take it therapy, hydrotherapy one-day-at-a-time, one email-at-a-time and chiropractics, as well as and one war-at-a-time? If you wait herbal and nutritional remedies have saved a while, this could be an experience many lives for millenniums. Before pharthat transforms you, your ideas of maceuticals, people also lived long healthy relationship and your understanding lives with what is now called “alternative of love! Remember, sweetie, ending a medicines.” Don’t wait until it’s too late to relationship is easy, keeping one could find out that many things cause dis-ease be difficult and exciting! and many things heal it as well. Keeping an open mind about trying everything to heal Hello Trinity, yourself, pumpkin, A while back you were asked, “How do is smart! I make myself stand out and get noticed? You answered in one sentence. Now, girlfriend, I know you have more to say than Hey Trinity, that! The last guy I dated stopped dating me saying, “I didn’t use Looking For More, Baton Rouge, LA good hygiene and didn’t dress well.”I’m a straight-acting gay man. I’m not a “care about how I look” type. Shouldn’t I be liked Hello Looking For More, for who I am, not how I look or dress? Well aren’t you just a whip-cracking, slave-driving newspaper Looks: Bah Humbug, Jacksonville, FL editor. Darling, lets see if these help.
Trinity’s Alluring Tips For Standing Out (Especially In A Club) 1. Looking nice, smelling nice, acting nice and having nice breath promises you’ll get more than someone without those qualities. 2. If you have a good shape sell it, I mean show it, never hide it. If not, accentuate what you do have! 3. Don’t wait for someone to talk to you first. Talk to anyone you like, but don’t stalk anyone you like! 4. If you’re young, act mature, but not too righteous. If you’re old, act open-minded, but not immature. And, always act like you’re having fun! 5. Before going out do something that loosens you up like have a drink or meditate. You must put yourself in the mood! 6. Too much coffee makes one talk too fast. Too much liquor makes one talk too much. And, too much eagerness makes everyone runaway! 7. Charm, style, class and wit will always make you stand out over someone with more looks or brains. 8. Wearing black hides everything bad, always looks stylish, appears clean, rich and works everywhere. White is very risky. 9. I know you have a pimple or feel fat, but isn’t there something else you can talk about every time you start a conversation? 10. Lastly, teeth whitening, makeup, a modern wardrobe and hairstyle, even a little plastic surgery (gasp!) will really get you noticed. : : — With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity was host of “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama, and now performs globally. info: www.telltrinity.com . Trinity@telltrinity.com Tell Trinity, P.O. Box 23861 . Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33307 Sponsored by: Provincetown Business Guild 800-637-8696 . www.ptown.org
March 5-18 . 2011
Queering up the Charlotte big screen GayCharlotte Film Festival reels in the best of the best to hit Queen City screens this March by Leah Cagle :: email@example.com
Paris Pickard and Dreya Weber star in “A Marine Story.” Photo Credit: Last Battlefield Productions
race yourselves, Charlotte, for the biggest, baddest and best GayCharlotte Film Festival yet! The Lesbian & Gay Community Center has partnered up with several local sponsors to bring the hottest LGBT films to hit the screens this year — so many, in fact, that organizers had to make some tough choices this year. “GayCharlotte Film Festival organizers recently expanded the festival season from three days to eight in order to show more movies,” a release on GayCharlotte. com reads. “Little did they know, however, that the expansion of the Third Annual Film Festival still would not enable organizers to show every movie on their wish list. Choosing between lesbian romantic comedy ”And Then Came Lola” and drama ”Elena Undone” was as difficult as selecting Faith Trimel’s AfricanAmerican lesbian comedy ”The Family” over documentary “The Other Brother.” Luckily though, these excess films did not get left behind. The center and festival worked their magic to put on special screenings of “Howl,” “Orgasm Inc.,” “Elena Undone” and “Brother Outsider.” Various venues such as Theatre Charlotte, McColl Center for Visual Art and Aperture Cinema Winston-Salem featured special showings to ensure our community had an opportunity to experience all the richness of this years top film picks.
March 5-18 . 2011
“Out in the Silence” — This year’s event, slated Documentary — When filmmaker for March 25-April 3 will mark Joe Wilson submits the announcethe Queen City’s third annual ment of his wedding with Dean GayCharlotte Film Festival.With Hamer to his conservative hometown a variety of flavorful films, this newspaper, the controversial sparks year’s festival is serving somefly. Soon after, a concerned mother of thing up for everyone’s taste. A a local gay teen contacts Wilson for sampling below: guidance and help. A true-life story “A Marine Story” — of bravery, healing, and love, “Out in Military Drama — After Officer Silence” sends a positive message of Alexandera Everette (played by hope and inspiration. Dreya Webber) experiences a “Eyes Wide Open” — Religious devastating discharge from the Drama — “Eyes Wide Open” Marines on counts of “conduct bravely marches into the reality unbecoming an officer” under Gay teenager C.J. Springer is one of several interviewed in the documentary of repressed homosexuality in the the discriminatory “Don’t Ask ‘Out in the Silence.’ world of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. Don’t Tell” policy, she returns Photo Credit: Qwaves Documentaries This intensely controversial film home to begin piecing her never imagined and a truly beautiful story of dives into the lives of two men life back together again. In strength, identity, and relationship unfolds. within a conservative Jewish community the midst of steep relational tensions with “Violet Tendencies” — Outrageous – one married with four children, the other a friends, foes and a very confused boyfriend, Comedy — Thirty-nine-year-old Violet (played young man in his twenties – as they struggle Everette seeks to reconcile her true identity by Mindy Cohn) lives a fabulous life — she against and with their forbidden attraction. with her ultra-conservative hometown roots. parties at the best spots, is surrounded by lovFacing dire spiritual, relational, and physical Meanwhile, the young and rebellious petty ing friends and never suffers a dull moment. threats, these men must endure unbearable thief Saffron is facing some treacherous But, as her 40th birthday approaches, this consequential tensions for acknowledging circumstances of her own – after a run self-declared “fag hag” still longs for a man of their love for one another. in with the law, she is forced to choose her own to fill a romantic void in her life. Hold For more information on the festival, between serving time in jail and enlisting in on tight to your seats audience and let the visit gaycharlotte.com or gaycharlottefilm the military. When Everette is chosen to train hysteria and the hilarity pour as Violet’s wild festival.com. : : Saffron, these two remarkably strong women search for true love ensues. find their stories intertwining in ways they
‘F.U.’ — Fully Uncensored qnotes scores an insider conversation with Cuban native Carlos Alvarez Cortera, a local artist to be featured at Art/Out’s upcoming gallery show by Leah Cagle :: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ever since he was a child living in Cuba and scribbling sketches in the margins of his father’s book collection, Carlos Alvarez Cortera has been a natural artist. Sans academic training, art lessons or even independent research, Cortera developed his inborn artistic talent by nothing more than simply “watching people, asking questions and messing up.” At the young age of 14, Cortera and his family escaped from Cuba to Costa Rica and then later relocated to the United States. After living in Florida for over two decades, during which Art/Out gallery show kicks off at the center The Lesbian & Gay Community of Charlotte will host a kick-off exhibition on Friday, March 18 from 5:30p.m.-9 p.m. to celebrate the arrival of a new collection of artwork. The showing features an impressive and diverse compilation of artists from all styles, ages, ethnicities and walks of life including: Carlos Alvarez Cotera, Carlieena Person, Justin Helms, Tony Hiller, Dan Butner, Debbie Oliver, Gary Benner, J. Scott Arnold, Kit Thomas, Ronnie Carruthers and Gil Croy. The show is open and welcoming to all. Snacks will be served with a suggested donation of $10. All proceeds benefit The Lesbian & Gay Community Center. For more information, visit gaycharlotte.com.
time he met his husband and partner of 13 years, he finally made the move to Charlotte in hopes of milder weather and a fresh start. Although he has only been a Charlottean for four years, Cortera is thoroughly involved with the local artistic community — participating in NoDa art groups, teaching art classes and displaying art at The Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte. In October, Cortera decided to embark upon a new project — a project void of commercialism, fueled only by conviction and passion; thus the idea of “F.U. — Fully Uncensored” was born. “It is something that I’m working on that has to do with issues that are current, relevant and important to the gay community,” Cortera explains. ”The Cortera pictured here with one of his many vibrant graphite drawings theme is going to deal with HIV and with the military, deal with discrimination, with equality, new vision. He has already completed the with teen suicide. It’s going to be very powerful, first pieces of his new collection, featuring a visually, I believe. A controversial show.” heavyset, nude male model and anticipates the Listening to Cortera discuss his project, process of working on the rest of the pieces. voice infused with excitement, one can’t help But amidst all the promising opportunities but open a heart and spark interest in his on the upcoming horizon, Cortera remains
Photo Credit: Cortera
dedicated to the stylistic root that first grounded his artistic talent — drawing. He has submitted several of his graphite drawings for the upcoming Art/Out gallery show, slated to run March 18-April 20 at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte. : :
March 5-18 . 2011
March 5-18 . 2011
audiophile by david stout :: email@example.com
Gaga track born to succeed It’s almost odd to talk about “Born This Way” in terms of being Lady Gaga’s comeback song because, well, she hasn’t been anywhere. An unbroken streak of hit singles, her coast-to-coast sell-out Monster Ball tour and a string of red carpet appearances and performances at one awards show after another have kept her in the public’s unblinking eye for two solid years. But, as everyone knows, you’re only as relevant as your last project in the entertainment industry and Gaga became a popstar exploring the allure of celebrity on “The
Fame” and graduated to superstar detailing its pitfalls on “The Fame Monster.” Wags couldn’t wait to find out whether she could grow her success or even just maintain it with the release of her next album, due May 23. Based on the response to the set’s lead single and title track, it looks like “Born This Way” might lift the artist into the rare air of icon. In mid February, the track leaped straight into the pole position on the “Billboard” Hot 100. In doing so, it garnered the distinction of being the 1000th #1 single since the creation of the chart in 1958. It also set a record for best one-week digital sales for a female artist. At this writing, the song is perched atop the Hot 100 for a second week. Stylistically, “Born This Way” is a galloping electro pop epic with a melody lifted straight from Madonna’s late-Eighties smash
“Express Yourself.” It’s all good though, Gaga says Madge has reached out to let her know she loves the track. The lyrics to “Born This Way” convey a love-and-unity message that makes Up With People seem ambivalent. The track is also an unabashed Queer Anthem. Rather than employ winking or coded language (like gay-fave divas usually do when referencing the community), Gaga speaks directly to/about LGBT people. In fact, a “Billboard” cover story celebrating the mag’s thousand-hit milestone reveals that “Born This Way” is the first #1 to contain the word “transgendered.” That sounds like progress to me. Sound Byte In 2009, Adele took home a pair of Grammy Awards — including Best New Artist — for
“19,” the British singer-songwriter’s acclaimed debut that introduced her blue-eyed soul voice to a rapt world. On “21,” Adele’s just-released sophomore album, she comes of age with a collection of deeply personal songs about the power of real love and real heartbreak. “To me,” Adele says, “music is all about relating. I would never dare write a song about success or anything to do with my career, because it doesn’t happen to many people. What I love about music is when I’m totally convinced that someone has written a song about me, even if it was written 80 years before I was born. I would love it if someone felt that about one of my songs and I love it when people go ‘I thought you were inside my heart or inside my head, you know exactly what I’m feeling.’” : : info: firstname.lastname@example.org
qomunity qonexions u
March 5-18 . 2011
Bingo gay-cations for a cause Equality Winston-Salem’s ‘Spring Break Bingo’ fuses fun and purpose to raise money for WSPride2011 by Leah Cagle :: email@example.com
There’s an excitement in the air in the Twin City these days. Winston-Salem isn’t necessarily known statewide for its LGBT-friendliness, but some community members there are aimed to change that. While no stranger to activism and advocacy, Winston-Salem hasn’t seen a Pride festival or parade in 15 years. Equality Winston-Salem, a new group established last fall, is working to organize “WSPride2011.” They’ve planned a series of events, including gay bingo nights, to raise money for the parade. The group will hold their second bingo, “Spring Break Bingo,” on Friday, March 18 at
the YWCA-Gateway. Themed “places gays go on spring break,” the event will feature spots such as Palm Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and gay cruise ships. Rex Welton, an organizer of the event, explains further, “The tagline for our bingo nights is ‘This is not your grandmother’s bingo, but grandma is welcome to join us!’ The atmosphere is fun, fast-paced and zany with great music and talented performers.” Equality Winston-Salem‘s board members have also initiated grant requests and are collecting scholarships for local students. In her 25 years in the Winston-Salem area,
Mary Jamis has never experienced such a strong “sense of urgency and necessity to work hard on behalf of the LGBT community” as she has in her involvement with the group during the last 10 months. “Our message is one of celebrating the rich diversity of our community,” Jamis explains. “I’ve come to believe strongly over the last few months that we are too small an LGBTQ community to splinter off into separate and disparate groups…I think our greatest opportunity in the LGBTQ community is to come together as often as we can to support and celebrate one another in our collective efforts. So, it’s important to educate our allies, but it’s equally important, more important in fact, to educate ourselves about each other.” Jamis and Welton are among a larger group of Equality Winston-Salem members who say they envision a city that embraces the fresh, creative zeal of the LGBT community. Last month’s event, “For the Love of Bingo,” was wildly successful. The group says they sold over 600 tickets — over half of them to straight allies. “One of the greatest gifts of the last 10 months is to witness the support of straight allies in Winston-Salem,” Jamis says. “They come from the expected places — close friends, family and co-workers, but they also come from unexpected places — senior corporate individuals who understand that a more inclusive community is good and necessary for their business and this community.” Welton reiterates the importance of gay and straight alliance-building in these activities. “As our straight allies get to know more members of the LGBT community, they will be in a much better position to assist us in
our goal of securing equal rights for all of the members — not just LGBT — of our community,” he says. The doors open for Spring Break Bingo at 6:30 p.m. and the bingo madness ensues at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the public or a discounted $10 for students who bring their I.D. Tickets can be bought online at equalitywinstonsalem.org or at one of the following Winston-Salem establishments: Washington Perk & Provisions, The Screaming Rooster, Pet Supplies Plus, Whole Foods Market, or Caffe Prada. : :
WBTV continued from page 9
lurid and a little bit biased, if not a lot biased.” The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a national organization that counters anti-LGBT bias in the media, echoed Kosofsky’s sentiments. “The sensationalistic nature of this segment perpetuates crude stereotypes about gay men, and only serves to stir panic and prejudice in its audience,” GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said in a statement on Feb. 23. “By circulating these images, WBTV is failing to meet the basic standards of fair and accurate journalism.” Milligan says his station’s report never indicated that the men in the park were preying on children. “The issue was that people were concerned about behavior going on in and around the park that they didn’t approve of,” he said. “I didn’t think it mattered if they were gay or straight or anything else. People are engaging in acts that are inappropriate for a park. There are children playing in the park, teenagers, adults — a lot of people use that park.” The station did not interview or speak
with a representative of any LGBT community organization in Charlotte. “I don’t know that it even occurred that there needed to be someone from the gay community in that story,” Milligan said. Kosofsky says the station ultimately decided to ignore many issues of sensitivity in favor of crafting an audience-shocking story. He also says WBTV’s report ignored a basic reality of human nature. “The vast majority of people who choose to, straight or gay, go to a ‘cruise’-y park don’t want to get caught, don’t want to be seen at all,” he said. “No one wants to get in trouble and so they aren’t going to be stumbled upon by some family, hence why those parents were surprised. They’ve probably never seen anything like this before because it is such a discreet thing. It’s not a big, menacing problem like the news says it is.” A spokesperson for GLAAD said they planned to reach out to WBTV. : : more: Visit goqnotes.com for more up-todate news on this story and more.
See this issue’s Editor’s Note on page 4 for qnotes’ statement regarding WBTV’s follow-up to their Feb. 22 report, and visit goqnotes.com for an indepth story exploring the reality of public sex and pollice action in Charlotte.
March 5-18 . 2011
Event showcases local companies Diversity businesses featured
March 11 • Charlotte CBG Business Expo The Charlotte Business Guild partners with Takeover Friday to present its third annual Charlotte Business Guild Business Expo, featuring “diversity-owned” businesses and their goods and services. Westin Hotel, 601 S. College St. 6-9 p.m. charlottebusinessguild.org.
March 5 • Charlotte Charlotte Pride Band The band presents it’s spring concert, “Exit, Stage Left,” with classic Broadway Tunes. Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, 234 Sharon Amity Rd. 8 p.m. $10. charlotteprideband.org. March 12 • Hickory Woodstock Bingo ALFA presents a night of bingo inspired by the decade that brought us flower power, hippies, bell bottoms, Woodstock and Nixon. Hickory Jaycees Building, 470 Hwy. 70 SW (corner of 4th St, SW and Hwy. 70). alfainfo.org. March 12-13 • Winston-Salem OUT at the Movies Winston-Salem’s LGBT film series presents two films, one on March 12 on the campus of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a second, “Gen Silent,” at a/perture cinema. First movie screening to be determined. Visit OUTattheMoviesWinston.org for more information. March 12: UNC School of the Arts, 1533 S. Main St. 7 p.m. March 13: a/perture cinema, 311 W. 4th St. 8 p.m. March 17 • Charlotte Pride Charlotte roundtable The organizing committee of Pride Charlotte and the Lesbian & Gay Community Center host a special community roundtable. Come learn more about the 2011 Pride Charlotte festival and give your feedback to or ask questions of Pride committee members. Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B11. 6:30 p.m. gaycharlotte.com. pridecharlotte.com. March 18 • Charlotte Art/Out Gallery Show Artists with Art/Out, an LGBT art group, will
feature their works at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B11. 5:30-9 p.m. gaycharlotte.com. artoutofthecloset.com. March 18-19 • Charlotte Feminine Mystique For decades, female singer-songwriters and women’s choruses have been making music to fuel social change and justice. Join the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte as they present a program drawn from the rich women’s chorus repertoire and proudly host North Carolina’s oldest women’s feminist chorus, Common Woman Chorus. Performances Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, 8:04 p.m. St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 1510 E. 7th St. $15/ advance. $17/door. Available at White Rabbit, Paper Skyscraper, Sir Speedy on N. Caswell and GMCCharlotte.org. March 19 • Charlotte Petra’s Got Talent Petra’s begins a search for huge talent. Calling all performers: vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, comedians, drag performers, stupid dog tricks and more! Cash prizes for the top three and bookings for first place. Visit petraspianobar.com for official contestant rules. Audience will decide the winner. Petra’s Piano Bar and Cabaret, 1919 Commonwealth Ave. 10 p.m.-midnight. March 22 • Charlotte Creative Showcase Student artists and designers at the Art Institute of Charlotte will exhibit their works for fellow students, faculty, staff and the public. Knight Theatre, Levine Center for the Arts. 7 p.m. artinstitutes.edu/charlotte/. March 25-26 • Charlotte ‘When We No Longer Touch’
we want your who/what/where
One Voice Chorus and other local musicians including soprano Jenny Chen perform “When We No Longer Touch” by Kristopher Anthony. Heaton Hall, Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Rd. 7:30 p.m. $15/adult. $10/student. onevoicechorus.com. March 25-27 • Charlotte GayCharlotte Film Festival The Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte hosts its annual GayCharlotte Film Festival. Various venues. gaycharlotte.com. March 27 • Durham Over Jordan Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus presents “Over Jordan — A Sunday Afternoon Gospel Celebration.” A TGMC fundraising event, with special guest gospel music sensation Mr. Robin Davis. VIP ticket package includes catered lunch and concert, $35. Concert only, $15. Tickets at www,tgmchorus.org/events. Eno River Unitarian Unversalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Rd. 2-4 p.m. March 31 • Raleigh ‘Sing for the Cure’ Kick-Off Social The Common Woman Chorus, the Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus and The Mint host a casual event to promote the upcoming Triangle premiere performance of “Sing for the Cure.” Proceeds benefit the choruses and Susan G. Komen for the Cure-NC Triangle. Cash bar, free appetizers. Suggested donation of $20. The Mint, 219 Fayetteville St. 6-8 p.m. tgmchorus.org/events. April 2 • Charlotte Amazing Race Bar Crawl [Ed. Note — This event was originally scheduled for March 5 and has been rescheduled for this date.] The Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) hosts their annual Amazing
events qnotes goqnotes.com/qguide/events
entertainment. views. Race Bar arts. Crawl. Teams competenews. through a series of bars to complete the race and raise money for RAIN and its services. Event begins at Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, 225 E. 6th St. carolinarain.org. April 2 • Chapel Hill Breaking Generation Silent: Facing the needs and challenges of LGBT elders This free event kicks off with a viewing of the one-hour 2010 documentary film, “Gen Silent,” focusing on the realities that many LGBT seniors are facing: the need to go back into the closet to avoid discrimination from aging providers and bullying from fellow seniors in long-term care settings. A panel discussion will follow to further explore the social, medical and financial needs of LGBT elders. Registration is encouraged: http://bit.ly/lgbt aging. The William and Ida Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Dr. 1-4 p.m. 919-962-6418. ssw. unc.edu/diversity/about/aging. April 9 • Belmont 20th Anniversary AIDS Walk Join House of Mercy’s 20th Anniversary Walk for AIDS to raise AIDS awareness and funds to benefit the organization’s low-income residents living with advanced AIDS. First 300 walkers raising $50 or more will receive Walk T-shirts. Sotte Voce of One Voice Chorus and Honorary Walk Chair Eric Thomas, WBTV Meteorologist, will welcome walkers at 10 a.m. A picnic reception with music on the House of Mercy grounds follows the three-mile walk through historic downtown Belmont. See thehouseofmercy.org/11walk. htm for donation forms, map and team information.
Submitting an event for inclusion in our calendar has never been easier: visit goqnotes.com/qguide/events/submit
March 5-18 . 2011
March 5-18 . 2011
QNotes profiles the 2011 GayCharlotte Film Fest, explores the legislative front as the state's anti-gay marriage amendment is introduced and...