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inside

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news & features

arts. news.Web views.   4 entertainment. HRC’s Complex

  5   7   8   9 10 10 11

News Notes: Regional Briefs News Notes: U.S./World Briefs Fortune Feimster’s World Hear Her Roar Arts Idea Starter Screen Saver ‘Incredible’ & Josh Hall

A youth-focused film explores sexuality and bullying. page 10

more news & features …

Tell Trinity Dishing with Buff Faye Q Events Calendar Our People: Mimi Benfield

opinions & views 15 Spiritual Reflections

Judge sent to prison for trading dismissals for nudes and sex from defendants Feb. 22 - goqnotes.com/58281 Gus Kenworthy makes an important point with a heartbreaking tweet Feb. 28 - goqnotes.com/58460

a&e / life&style 19 21 22 23

Republicans in South Carolina wantarts. to entertainment. reclassify same-sex news. views. marriages as ‘parody’ to strip them of rights Feb. 20 - goqnotes.com/58266

Gays For Trump leader Peter Boykin files to run for NC House Mar. 4 - goqnotes.com/58534 Southern Soul

The complex web of HRC

H.C. McEntire releases new album and shares her life as an out performing artist. page 11

A simple primer toward understanding the multiple layers of the advocacy giant. page 4

North Carolina death certificates updated to be more LGBT inclusive Mar. 4 - goqnotes.com/58539

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qnotes connect March 9-22, 2018 Vol 32 No 23

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

contributors this issue

Buff Faye, Torie Dominguez, Théoden Janes, Lainey Millen, Rev. Val Rosenquist, Gregg Shapiro, Jeff Taylor, Trinity

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Graphic Design by Lainey Millen Photography: Todd Rosenberg Mission:

The focus of QNotes is to serve the LGBTQ and straight ally communities of the Charlotte region, North Carolina and beyond, by featuring arts, entertainment, news and views content in print and online that directly enlightens, informs and engages the readers about LGBTQ life and social justice issues. Pride Publishing & Typesetting, Inc., dba QNotes P.O. Box 221841, Charlotte, NC 28222 ph 704.531.9988 fx 704.531.1361 Publisher: Jim Yarbrough Sales: x201 adsales@goqnotes.com Nat’l Sales: Rivendell Media, ph 212.242.6863 Managing Editor: Jim Yarbrough, editor@goqnotes.com Assoc. Editor: Lainey Millen, specialassignments@goqnotes.com Social Media Editor: Jeff Taylor, jeff@goqnotes.com Production: Lainey Millen, x205, production@goqnotes.com Printed on recycled paper.

Material in qnotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2018 and may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent of the editor or publisher. Advertisers assume full responsibility — and therefore, all liability — for securing reprint permission for copyrighted text, photographs and illustrations or trademarks published in their ads. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers, cartoonists we publish is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or photographs does not indicate the subject’s sexual orientation. qnotes nor its publisher assumes liability for typographical error or omission, beyond offering to run a correction. Official editorial positions are expressed in staff editorials and editorial notations and are determined by editorial staff. The opinions of contributing writers and guest columnists do not necessarily represent the opinions of qnotes or its staff. qnotes accepts unsolicited editorial, but cannot take responsibility for its return. Editor reserves the right to accept and reject material as well as edit for clarity, brevity.

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The confusing web of HRC hierarchy Follow this simple HRC 101 to unravel the power structure of the nation’s largest LGBTQ activist organization by Torie Dominguez :: guest contributor

I

n February 2018, guests converged on a swank uptown hotel for the Human Rights Campaign’s annual North Carolina Gala. Some no doubt hoped to rub elbows with honoree actress Tatiana Maslany, while some longed to snag a choice item from the silent auction. They all could well have made it to bed happy that night, provided nobody had their heart set on outbidding their peers for a flowchart illustrating how the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) actually functions. It’s not such a bizarre thing to want from the monopolist of national-scale queer advocacy. So how does it work? Who’s running this thing? There’s a president, a board of directors, a board of governors, an emeritus council, dozens of steering committees, not to mention advisory councils focusing on specific areas of concern…so who’s instructing whom, and on what? Who paid for the room rented to host Maslany and, when attendees dropped major dollars for auction items, who took home the cash? If we’re going to discuss leadership, it’s natural to start with HRC President Chad Griffin. You may recognize the name from your email inbox; if you’ve ever made a donation, joined a mailing list, or otherwise provided that bit of contact information, you’ve likely received messages with him as the sender. He’s the chief executive and the public face of the organization. He’s also listed as a member of the boards of directors of both the Human Rights Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, its charitable affiliate. As with almost any corporation — and we are, strictly speaking, dealing with a corporation here — it’s the board of directors that’s meant to wield ultimate authority over pretty much everything. HRC’s all-volunteer board is composed of 31 members, chosen for their histories of corporate and community leadership. They set the group’s agenda, shape its policies, approve or veto its proposed actions, and decide what it does with its money. If you find you’re less than thrilled with one of those endorsements of political candidates — as

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you may have been when it chose to back Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, despite the latter’s near-flawless record on LGBTQ issues, or when it initially passed over nowSen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who’d earned a perfect rating on HRC’s own Congressional scorecard while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, in favor of incumbent Republican Mark Kirk, whom it argued it had to recognize for breaking with party tradition in his support for marriage equality — take it up with them. (While we’re on the subject, it’s important to note that HRC holds IRS 501(c) (4) status, a designation reserved for “social welfare organizations” which are not operated for profit but which, unlike 501(c)(3) pure philanthropies like the HRC Foundation, are legally permitted to engage in political lobbying so long as it directly serves the group’s stated objectives.) North Carolina’s representation on the board of directors consists of Shelly Schoenfeld of Charlotte, Ames Simmons of Raleigh and Tina White of Asheville. Members of the board of governors, meanwhile, are the local liaisons. They’re tasked with community engagement, volunteer initiatives and region-specific membership expansion. They build and strengthen relationships with related local non-profits and other groups whose interests align with those of HRC, and they often earn their seats partly on the strength of their existing ties to those sectors. Charlotte’s Christina Adeleke, for instance, has history with Equality North Carolina and RAIN (formerly known as the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network) and currently holds a high-ranking post with the NC Aids Action Network. Governors report to their higher-ups on the needs and accomplishments of their individual communities, simultaneously rallying local troops in support of national causes and lobbying the national organization to devote resources to local issues. Along with Adeleke and Schoenfeld, the latter of whom is both a director and a governor, board members serving North Carolina are Ann Hooper, Dan Mauney, Fidel Montoya, Robert Bronke, and Mark Falgout. Bronke and Falgout

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hail from Durham; the rest are based in the Queen City. HRC’s Emeritus Council, by far the smallest of the three delegations, consists of a dozen or so former board members who remain in an advisory capacity and occasionally represent the Human Rights Campaign at various events. None call North Carolina home. South Carolina has no representation on any of the national boards, nor does it qualify for a regional steering committee, of which there are 32. Now back to that gala. One common criticism of the Human Rights Campaign — along with their documented diversity issues, which they appear to be working on — is that the money they raise in one community doesn’t necessarily go to support initiatives in that same community. In the opposing camp, however, are those who contend that a certain amount of leeway in the apportionment of funds is not merely justified, but necessary. Take HRC’s Project One America. Led by director Ben Needham, it’s a major undertaking designed to improve the lives of LGBTQ people in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi, three of the toughest states in the nation to be queer. It’s fair to say donations roll in a little more swiftly from the Upper East Side of Manhattan than they do from Little Rock, and it’s arguably okay, even vital, to redirect some of that capital. The centralized fiscal decisionmaking that sustains initiatives like Project One America means that proceeds from a major fundraiser like the North Carolina Gala have to go, at least temporarily, back to the head financial honchos in Washington. Appropriations to steering committees, which are determined geographically but not strictly by, for instance, city or state (Charlotte has its own steering committee, another governs the entire state of Utah and a third covers Orange County, Long Beach and Palm Springs) are at the discretion of the board of directors and executive-level leadership. The same procedure applies to HRC’s five national advisory councils: the All Children — All Families initiative, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Project, Parents for Transgender Equality, the Business Council, and the Religion Council. The bottom lline is that HRC is a national organization that is based in Washington, D.C. and has arms and legs that stretch out and work all over the country. They are the only organization that does what they do on the scale in which they do it. The work they do requires the money and influence of all their committees, boards, plus staff and volunteers. : :

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Errata In our last print issue, we incorrectly listed Imani Metropolitan Community Church in Durham, N.C. as the church location for the installation of Rev. Vance E. Haywood, Jr. He was installed and is now the clergy at St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church in Raleigh, N.C. We regret the error.


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

Triad

May makes history

‘Cakemaker’ to be screened

RALEIGH, N.C. — Wendy May, a 56-year-old transgender Army veteran, has made history in the Tar Heel State by becoming the first transgender candidate to file for federal office. May is running as a “New Deal Democrat” and is set on taking Republican U.S. Rep. George Holding’s seat, Indy Week reported. After posing with supporters in front of a campaign poster, she said, “I am running as the first transgender veteran faith leader from North Carolina. After House Bill 2 was passed, I made a decision, and that decision was never to let that happen in our backyard again. And by getting to Congress, I will be able to pass nondiscrimination laws that will affect every citizen in the United States. I am proud to say that the war to take this seat back has just begun.” A former Republican who once presented as male, May told Indy Week that she knows Holding’s vulnerability, and said, “His voting record. I’m willing to go head-to-head with him on issues. And my issues are those that affect every North Carolina resident in the second congressional district.” May’s platform includes issues such a universal healthcare, livable wage, Medicare and Medicaid reform, among others. Her gender identity is not part of her candidacy focus. Before moving to North Carolina, May resided in New Jersey. After she transitioned, the Republican county party chair there informed her that she was no longer a part of the party. info: bit.ly/2FmJkQ1.

Charlotte Band offers concert theme choice

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Pride Band is having a concert theme selection contest where voters can choose between “Wild Frontier” and “New Frontier” themes for the May concert. The theme that receives the most votes will be selected for the “rootin’ tootin’” music from the wild west or a collection of celestial offerings that “blasts off into space.” Visit the website to make selections. info: charlotteprideband.org.

Center seeks trans nominees

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Freedom Center for Social Justice is currently searching for nominations for transgender individuals in the Greater Charlotte area whose work, activism and/or lives deserve to be uplifted or recognized, organizers shared. The center will celebrate transgender individuals in honor of the Transgender Day of Visibility (held annually on March 31) and will host a screening on March 28 of the documentary “Major!” which is about the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a Black transgender elder and activist. At this event, three to five individuals will be the recipients of custom care packages as a thank you for their efforts. Nominations must be submitted by March 12 and can be accessed online at bit.ly/2D0lMuY. Additionally, those who wish to contribute to the packages in the form of gift cards, self-care items, etc., email Jamila Reddy at jamilar@fcsj.org. info: fcsj.org.

Eastern University nets HBCU grant

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Fayetteville State University (FSU), an historically black college

entrepreneurs, workers and retirees. info: primetimersww.com/charlotte.

and university (HBCU), received a $3,000 grant, Promised Land Film announced. The awards are part of the Empowering Equality Faith-Initiative and Empowering Equality at HBCUs program to use the awardwinning documentary, “The New Black,” as a tool to advance on-campus LGBTQ inclusion. Joining FSU in receipt of a grant was North Carolina Central University in Raleigh, N.C. Directed by Yoruba Richen, “The New Black” is nationally recognized for its engagement of Black, LGBTQ and faith communities around the intersections of race, religion and sexual orientation. The HBCUs will screen the documentary in conjunction with community discussions and events. “The film played an important role in the many LGBTQ advancements achieved since its release in 2013 and in this political climate it is more important than ever for the film to continue to serve as a catalyst for conversations that inspire individual, political and structural changes in the fight for LGBTQ inclusion and justice,” Richen said. info: promisedlandfilm.com.

Prime Timers celebrates silver anniversary

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Prime Timers of Charlotte will celebrate their 25th Anniversary on April 21, 7 p.m., at SMS Catering, 1764 Norland Rd. The gala event will feature entertainment by local artists, buffet dinner, door prizes and giveaways. Tickets are $25 and are available online. Prime Timers of Charlotte are men who choose to have their social lives enriched by the diverse activities in which its members engage. No single definition describes Prime Timers as we come from all walks of life. Prime Timers involve themselves in the community through volunteerism, politics, gay issues, arts, entertainment, medical issues, support groups and every other facet of healthy living. Prime Timers may be single, fathers, caregivers and are businessmen,

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Out at the Movies Winston-Salem will screen “The Cakemaker” on March 10, 7 p.m., at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts ACE Theatre Complex, 1533 S. Main St. The film focuses on Thomas, a young German baker, who is having an affair with Oren, an Israeli married man, who has frequent business visits to Berlin. When Oren dies in a car crash, Thomas travels to Jerusalem seeking answers regarding his death. Under a fabricated identity, Thomas infiltrates the life of Anat, his lover’s newly widowed wife, who owns a small cafe in downtown Jerusalem. Thomas starts to work for her and create German cakes and cookies that bring life into the cafe. Thomas finds himself involved in her life in a way far beyond his anticipation, and to protect the truth, he will stretch his lie to a point of no return. Tickets are $8 and are available in the lobby beginning at 6:15 p.m. Cash, checks and credit/ debit cards are accepted for payment. info: outatthemovieswinston.org.

Pride auction ushers in spring

SALISBURY, N.C. — The Salisbury Pride Spring Auction will be held on April 14, 11 a.m., at Salisbury Square Antiques, 111 S. Main St. The event organizers are currently accepting donations for the auction, such as furniture, collectibles, artwork, outdoor furniture, lamps, antiques and more. “Fundraising events like this one are critical for us,” said Beth Meadows, Salisbury Pride’s president. “They help us grow our Pride Festival and offer other programs throughout the year.” Salisbury Square Antiques owners Von Poston and John Shuler have agreed to host the event at their downtown store. “It’s a way for us to give back to help people in our community,” Shuler said. “We’re so thankful for Von and John’s

news

This support group will use music to connect and empower LGBTQ youth of color. Youth will have opportunities to address multicultural issues and their effects within the community and within iSIDEoUT. Spanish speakers are welcome. The group is free and open to any youth of color who identify as queer, transgender or allied. The group is for youth of color only. Meetings will be held after Hangout from 5-6 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, i.e., March 10 and 24 and April 14 and 28, at Calvary United Methodist Church, 304 E. Trinity Ave. To learn more, visit insideout180. org/the-cypher. In other news, the organization will hold its 12 Annual Awards Banquet and Gaiety on May 12, 12-2 p.m., at the Scrap Exchange, 2050 Chapel Hill Rd. Creative adults are encouraged to participate with the event itself or in the planning process. The next meeting will be held on March 28 at 6 p.m. For more information, email Alicia Adrian at alicia_adrian@yahoo.com. info: insideout180.org.

Carolinian makes ‘Voice’ team

RALEIGH, N.C. — Country and Americana singer-songwriter Molly Stevens selected Kelly Clarkson as her coach on NBC’s “The Voice” after she performed “Heavenly Day.” Steven, a Raleigh resident, was also sought by Blake Shelton who vied for the contestant for his team. Originally from Macon, Ga., she grew up in a religious Southern Baptist family and was the granddaughter of a Baptist TV preacher, WRAL and the Raleigh News & Observer reported. “Being a Southern Baptist, I thought that was a big sin and that I was going to go to hell for it,” the News & Observer added. She incurred difficulty when she came out as a lesbian to her parents, but they are close now. During her blind audition, her parents and her fiance, Ashlee, stood vigil backstage while Stevens sang and then was in the center of a battle for her team choice. Stevens lived in Nashville, Tenn. for three years before moving to Raleigh to join Ashlee who is the owner of the Cameron Village Chick-fil-A. Stevens serves as a substitute teacher at Millbrook High School when she is not touring. info: bit.ly/2FRPdlV. bit.ly/2oOrhI8.

Western Paper receives awards

Von Poston and John Shuler

support, as well as everyone who supports us. Thanks in advance for donating to help us in this way,” added Meadows. Salisbury Pride volunteers will pick up items to make donating easier for contributors. Email tim@salisburypride.com or call 704-216-1251 to schedule a pick up. info: salisburypride.com.

Triangle Youth org launches new group

DURHAM, N.C. — iNSIDEoUT has launched a new music support program for LGBTQ and allied youth of color, ages 12 and younger called The Cypher.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The North Carolina Press Association presented Asheville’s Citizen-Times with several awards at its annual commendation night in late February, the news organization reported. The awards received were a first place in General Excellence which the staff received, as well as individual awards in the following categories: Beat Feature Reporting, first place, Mackensy Lunsford for “12 Baskets serves message of inclusiveness, similarities; Best News Reporting, third place, Mark Barrett, “Mission Health and BCBS dispute;” Best Community Coverage, third place, staff; News Enterprise Reporting, second place, Beth Walton, “WNC poverty: Hidden in plain sight;” News Feature Writing, second place, Beth Walton, “Discovering Emma: A kindergartner’s transgender journey;” City-County Government

see Carolinas News Notes on 6 March 9-22 . 2018 qnotes 5


Carolinas News Notes continued from page 5 Reporting, third place, Beth Walton, “Asheville’s Minority Business Program lags;” Religion & Faith Reporting, first place, “There are dark days;” and News Excellence, Thomas Wolfe Award for Outstanding Writing, third place, John Boyle, “An ‘indomitable spirit’ and a Toe that’s now a thumb.” info: avlne.ws/2FrEYES.

South Carolina Oyster roast slated

BOWENS ISLAND, S.C.. — Alliance for Full Acceptance will hold its oyster roast and chili cook-off on March 25, 4 p.m., at Bowens Island, 1870 Bowens Island Rd. Participants can enjoy food, corn hole tournament and live music. Admission is $25/advance online at affa-sc. ejoinme.org/oysterroast and $30/at the door and includes all the oysters one can eat, as well at hot dogs, homemade chili, beer, wine and soft drinks. Chili cook-off entry fee is $25. Entrants are asked to make a pot of chili to share. After tastings, the organization’s board will pick a winner. info: affa-sc.org.

Regional Hotel launches wedding contest

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kimpton Hotels has launched its “Love Conquers All” wedding

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giveaway contest which provides for one couple in the Carolinas to win an all-expensespaid wedding at Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Uptown Charlotte, N.C. Through March 14, couples across the Carolinas are invited to enter via email to loveconquersall@tryonparkhotel.com. LGBTQ couples are encouraged to enter. Couples are asked to submit their personal, heartfelt 500-word essays and supporting 90-second-or-less videos and/or five or fewer photos illustrating how they have conquered a significant challenge together, relying upon each other in the face of adversity. The stories of the three finalists, as selected by a panel of judges, will then be posted on Kimpton Tryon Park’s Facebook Page, where the public will select the grand prize winner by casting votes in a private poll. The winning couple will be announced via social media on April 16. Kimpton will provide a complimentary 100-person wedding. Planned by wedding planner Kristin Taylor Events, the package will include a ceremony, cocktail reception, celebration dinner and reception, professional photography, florals, dance floor, lighting, sound system, custom wedding cake and overnight accommodations for the newlyweds at Kimpton Tryon Park. The first and second runner-up couples will each receive an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s suites and dinner for two at the hotel’s

Angeline’s restaurant. In addition, three participating voters will also be selected at random to win an overnight stay at the hotel. For rules and more information, visit bit. ly/2oSUq5c. info: kimptonhotels.com.

Death certificates reflect change

DURHAM, N.C. — On March 1, the North Carolina Vital Records began requiring funeral directors to file a newly revised death certificate document with designations of “Father/ Parent Name” and “Mother/Parent Name” to accommodate members of the LGBTQ community, the Herald Sun reported. Vital Records is a division of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The document states that if a funeral home does not supply the new documents, recipients should “see a vital records staff member for a copy and order form.” The accommodation was a way to be inclusive of the LGBTQ community. info: bit.ly/2oIrRrR.

Campus Scene UNCW-base podcast launched

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Two University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) professors have launched a podcast, “Queer Currents,” and will incorporate student con-

tributions as part of the programming, Star News reported. Chadwick Roberts and Katie Peel are using the podcast format to dissect movies, television, literature and culture through a LGBTQ lens. “Queer Currents” was “born out of desire to capture the conversations they were already having about queer media and translate it into an educational experience,” the Star News added. Because the project encompasses student involvement, it was able to obtain grant funding from the university’s ETEAL Experiences program. Faculty-led projects bring applied learning to students with hands-on experience, the Star News shared. The two professors identify as queer and were motivated by a lack of safe space options for the LGBTQ community in the area. Episodes are hosted on Soundcloud and are current, topical and relevant to today’s listeners, covering areas such as gay media, pop culture, drag, transgender experiences and more. At this time, there is no queer studies programs at UNCW and the two professors are using the platform to reach the community and be a basis for other future courses. info: bit.ly/2oPXMpy. queercurrentspod.org. facebook.com/queercurrents. Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes: editor@goqnotes.com.


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

Sexual orientation discrimination case super win for LGBTQ community

Don Zarda. Photo Credit: Facebook

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a time fraught with LGBTQ civil liberties being challenged and reduced by the conservative Trump administration, a victory was obtained in late February when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit determined that under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, sexual orientation discrimination is discrimination “because of… sex.” The ruling in Zarda v. Altitude Express reverses existing precedent in the Second Circuit barring lesbian and gay people from bringing employment discrimination claims under Title VII when they are targeted at work for their sexual orientation, LGBT Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) stated. Don Zarda, a skydiving instructor who was fired from his job in Long Island, N.Y. because he was gay, died in a skydiving accident. “Don was so upset about being fired just for his sexual orientation. To right a wrong would have meant the world to him” sister Melissa Zarda said. She and her brother’s former partner Bill were the plaintiffs in the case, Freedom for All Americans said. They were represented by attorney Gregory Antollino. The organization filed an amicus brief, recruiting more than 50 businesses representing 350,000 employees who signed on.

The two organizations in partnership with WilmerHale filed an amicus brief supporting the late plaintiff Zarda, a New York man who brought a Title VII sex discrimination claim against his employer after he was fired for being gay. On the opposing side, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed an amicus brief arguing that Title VII does not protect individuals from sexual orientation discrimination. The ruling follows a similar ruling last year in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, as well the position held by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that lesbian, gay and bisexual workers are protected from sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII, the organizations added. Employees in six states — Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, New York, Connecticut and Vermont, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands — now have the assurance of clear federal protections against sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. Statements by the organizations, along with others stated: “[The] ruling from the Second Circuit, along with positive developments in other states and federal circuits, brings hope that existing civil rights laws can help to address the job discrimination plaguing so many LGBT people across the country,” said GLAD Civil Rights Project Director Mary L. Bonauto. “[The] ruling recognizes that sexual orientation discrimination always involves discrimination based on sex, and trying to draw an artificial line between the two leads to unfair and inconsistent treatment of workers’ claims,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon P. Minter. “Under Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Justice Department has been wielded as a weapon of injustice, arguing that employers should be able to fire people simply because of their sexual orientation or gender

identity. But despite the Trump administration’s best efforts, the LGBTQ community and their allies have prevailed in federal court. This is a major victory for anyone who believes in the promise of full equality for all Americans, and a massive blow to Republican leaders and lawmakers standing in the way of progress. Democrats are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community, and we will always fight to end discrimination in all its forms,” Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez shared. “No one should face discrimination because of their sexual orientation — and I am pleased that the Second Circuit has sent a clear statement in support of equal justice…. As we argued in our amicus brief, Title VII is meant to protect all Americans from discrimination based on their sex; and, today, the Second Circuit agreed, making clear that this protection extends to discrimination that targets people based on the gender of their relationship partners. No employer should be able to penalize its employees because of who they love. In its decision today, the Second Circuit underscores that federal law, like New York State law, affirms that fundamental right,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman remarked. info: glad.org. nlcrights.org.

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QUICK HITS —————————————————————————————— Atlanta, Ga.’s rainbow crosswalks have been damaged and repairs will take 30-45 days to complete. info: thegavoice.com. GLAAD announced that Olympic medalist Adam Rippon has launched a fundraising campaign to support GLAAD’s LGBTQ youth programs. info: glaad.org. GLSEN will hold its 2018 Respect Awards ceremony on May 21 in New York, N.Y. The event honors champions of LGBTQ youth in K-12 schools. info: glsen.org. NLGJA has announced that applications for scholarships and its CONNECT: Student Journalism Training Project are available online. The deadline to apply for these student opportunities is April 17. info: nlgla.org. OutServe-SLDN announced its continued expansion and growth with the addition of a

new staff member and expanded programming services. info: outserve.org. A gay detainee, Sadat Ibrahim, has been on a hunger strike while being held by ICE. Ibrahim came to the U.S. seeking asylum after he fled persecution in Ghana. info: undocublack.org. The Metropolitan Community Churches has hired Jared Vázquez as its associate director of international diversity and inclusion. info: mccchurch.net. The Black AIDS Institute will host an “Immigration Rights and HIV” webinar on March 13 at 10 a.m. Registration is available online. info: bitl.y/immigrationrights_hiv. blackaids.org. Suitsupply released their SS18 campaign putting the spotlight on gay love, illuminating the attraction between two men. info: suitsupply.com.

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Spring A&E

As a kid in NC, she ‘couldn’t Google gay stuff.’ On TV, she’s out — and a rising star. by Théoden Janes, The Charlotte Observer :: guest contributor

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could be what I was. ortune Feimster is wearing a pretty blue cardigan, bright “We didn’t have Internet, so I couldn’t, like, Google ‘gay stuff.’ red lipstick and dangly earrings, and she’s doing her best to And there weren’t really many television shows — ‘Will & Grace’ pretend she’s not a lesbian. had not come out — and as a gay person it is important to see It’s a scene from Mindy Kaling’s forthcoming NBC sitcom examples of yourself out in the world, something to identify with “Champions,” which centers around a gym owner who has that you’re like, ‘Oh wait, that’s me!’” just found out he has a long-lost teenage son, who is gay. In it, Since coming out in 2005 (at age 25) and breaking into teleFeimster— who co-stars as an openly gay fitness trainer — has vision on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2010, Feimster has been assigned by her boss to play it straight while going underwon raves as a writer, panelist and cover to learn about a competitor. skit-stealer for Chelsea Handler’s “I am a heterosexual mother E! and Netflix series; as a lesbian who needs to get in shape,” she nurse (and fan favorite) on Mindy says to the rival gym owner, “beKaling’s cult-hit sitcom “The Mindy cause my male husband no longer Project”; and in a small but memofinds me alluring.” Then, explaining rable part as Jennifer Aniston’s her fictional fella’s foibles, she slips wacky Uber driver in the 2016 movie up: “Always burpin’ and scratchin’ “Office Christmas Party.” his butt. Readin’ my Playboys.” Today — in addition to having anIt’s exactly the type of show that other high-profile project in the wings would have been useful to Feimster — she is one of America’s foremost when she was growing up in LGBTQ comics. Belmont, back in the ’90s. How did Feimster get from a small At the time, she says, she just Newly engaged couple Jacquelyn Smith and Fortune town in North Carolina to where she didn’t know enough about the world Feimster, at Feimster’s second home in Belmont this is now? Well, as you might expect, it’s to realize she was gay. past Christmas. kind of a funny story. “It was easy to be very isolated Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fortune Feimster in Belmont [N.C.], and not know what ‘Don’t get me a doll…’ was going on in the world around me,” says Feimster, now 37. Emily Fortune Feimster was born on July 1, 1980, in Charlotte “I didn’t have examples of gay people. I knew what it was, [,N.C.] to Mike and Ginger Feimster (Fortune was Ginger’s grandobviously, but there was no one that I knew who was out and mother’s maiden name), and her individuality took shape early. living a normal life in Belmont. So it didn’t occur to me that that

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When she was two, her parents offered to get her a toy to compensate for them taking her older brothers to Williamsburg, Ginger recalls. “She said, ‘Well, don’t get me a doll. I already have one.’” And even though she makes jokes in the new sitcom about being an overweight fitness trainer (“I intimidate people with my unobtainable physique,” her character says), Feimster always has been a natural athlete: She played basketball and softball and lettered in both sports at South Point High School — where she also was captain of the tennis team for two years. One thing that didn’t come naturally to her: dating. She says she assumed, growing up, that boys just weren’t interested at the moment — that eventually, she’d find the right one and things would fall into place. She was introduced as a Gastonia debutante in 1998, but she and guys “always had that kind of like ‘bro’ feeling towards each other.” She didn’t understand why. “It seems so weird that that’s even possible in this day and age,” she says, “because I think our world’s a lot more connected now with social media, and you just have access to everything. It wasn’t like that when I was growing up.” In 1998, she left home to study communications on an academic scholarship at Peace University, a Raleigh school that at the time was for women only. That decision changed everything for Feimster — although not in the way one might expect. The power of public speaking “You would think going to a women’s college, I would be like, ‘Jackpot! Let’s lez it out together!’” she says, laughing.

see Fortune Feimster on 16


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Spring A&E

Hear her roar An interview with H. C. McEntire by Gregg Shapiro :: guest contributor HCM: They are all my mentors. Amy Ray has been for years. Also, they’re my friends now. We have a very trusted

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f you have been anxiously anticipating the solo debut by North Carolina-based queer singer/songwriter H.C. McEntire, best known as a member of the band Mount Moriah, your wait was over earlier this year when it was released on Jan. 26. “Lionheart” (Merge) not only ranks as one of the earliest contenders for best album of 2018, but also as a spellbinding re-introduction to an artist. Unapologetically queer, beginning with the gospel-inspired opener “A Lamb, A Dove,” McEntire will have listeners from all walks of life testifying to her talent. “Quarts In the Valley”, “Yellow Roses”, “Baby’s Got The Blues” and “Red Silo” are easily some of the best modern country numbers you are likely to hear, and deserving of attention from all fans of the genre. At only four lines in length and clocking in at two and a half minutes, “One Great Thunder” is one of the most memorable songs on the disc. Gregg Shapiro: After three albums with Mount Moriah, you released your solo debut, “Lionheart” (Merge). Why was now the right time to do so? H.C. McEntire: I think there are a few reasons. For one, I could feel Mount Moriah slowing down or shifting gears. Jinx, who is one of the songwriters in the band, has been planning to have a kid. His wife … had the baby [in January]. I knew that was coming. Trying to be strategic, a little bit, we hired another guitarist to fill in. I think that album cycle, for the last Mount Moriah record, just ran its course. I had just taken this job singing with Angel Olsen in her band. I toured with her for 18 months. I was away from my primary Mount Moriah collaborators. The time I did have to myself, I ended up writing on my own. Things kept piling up. The biggest element of this was meeting (musician) Kathleen Hanna. In terms of the timing, she’s really the one who lit a fire under me [laughs]. GS: I’m so glad that you mentioned Angel and Kathleen because “Lionheart” has one of the coolest lists of high profile female guest artists. In addition to Angel and the “special guidance” you received from Kathleen, you also worked with Amy Ray and Tift Merritt. Please say a few words about working with these amazing women.

relationship. I think I gravitate towards independent, vision-driven female leaders because you don’t see them too often. When you do, it’s like, “I want to see what kind of formula you’re working with [laughs].” They’ve all been my teachers in a certain way. I really look up to them creatively. I’ve loved what they’ve done independently for years now. Getting to put them all on Photo Credit: Heather Evans Smith one record is a blessing. GS: I detected a strong animal presence, from the album title “Lionheart,” to the songs “Wild Dogs” and “A Lamb, A Dove.” HCM: [Laughs] Animals are a very big part of my life. I’ve been a vegan for almost 18 years. I also walk dogs [laughs] as a parttime job. I wrote some of these songs when I was on walks with my little furry friends. I live out in the country, and it’s what I see. I live next to a state park, in the woods, and I see more animals than I do people [laughs]. GS: “When You Come For Me” contains the line “the land I cut my teeth on/wouldn’t let me call it home” — is this in reference to recent anti-LGBTQ sentiments in North Carolina? HCM: Yes, absolutely. It’s been a complex time to be queer and in the South. Especially since a lot of eyes have been on North Carolina politically. It’s also very personal. I’m kind of writing to my family. I grew up in western North Carolina; I’m very close to the land there. I’ve never been totally accepted by my family; my sexuality. I’m demonstrating some pain there. GS: It definitely comes through. The previously mentioned “A Lamb, A Dove” contains the line “I have found heaven in a woman’s touch.” What are the challenges and rewards of being a queer artist working in the contemporary country music genre? HCM: It’s a mixed bag. There are a lot of challenges. I really tried to channel that pain on this new record. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but it was a way for me to connect with other queer southerners. And other minorities in general who have faced some sort of adversity or struggle. I needed that for myself. To feel like I wasn’t alone. Maybe it’s a symbiotic kind of thing. I wanted to do it in a poetic way. That was really important to me. How can you be sociopolitical and still maintain your poetics? Have imagery that brings people in from all different walks of life. Maybe the politics goes over

the heads of some people, initially. But that’s fine. That’s actually good [laughs]. GS: Amy, who you mentioned, and her Indigo Girls cohort Emily Saliers have done something similar throughout their careers. Mixing the poetic and the political. HCM: It is so complex being a queer artist in the South. My heart is pulled in a lot of different directions. At some point, it’s like, “I’ve got to have peace with this because I’m not leaving. This is the land I love.” Maybe I’m put here to tell some of these stories. It can be very frustrating. When I first met Amy and Emily, I felt very kindred with them. They’re in Georgia, not too far away. Of course, they faced a lot of this, a lot earlier than I did. I’ve watched them very carefully. They’re so graceful in how they approach politics. They don’t back down, but at the same time, they understand that people come from where they come from. The most empowering part of this is just putting myself out there. It’s also the scariest. There’s a really cool Instagram handle, queerappalachia. It is so fascinating. I discovered it after I had made the record. They had posted something “Lionheart.” I found this community of people. Oh, my God, these are my people. Camo-wearing [laughs], outdoors queers that are determined not to be pushed out to a big city. That resonated with me a lot. I can feel that happening around here. There’s more a presence. I feel like there’s a pride that Southerners, especially in rural areas, are exhibiting now. There’s also a really great organization called Southerners On New Ground to which I try to donate proceeds of music sales. I’ve been inspired by that. If those activists can take their time and go door-to-door to people they’re completely endangered by and most likely have incongruent politics with, it seems easy for me in the comfort of my home to write a narrative [laughs] about it. GS: Finally, Merge Records has a history of LGBTQ artists on its roster, including Stephin Merritt and his various projects including The Magnetic Fields, Future Bible Heroes and The Gothic Archies, Bob Mould, Mark Eitzel and Imperial Teen. What does it mean to you to be associated with such a label? HCM: First of all, they’re a local label. They’ve always had a strong presence here. Obviously, those people came to the label before me. Just seeing how they were accepted and embraced and really championed by Merge. I think Merge prides itself on including a lot of minority artists. For me, it felt safe. It felt like I was being welcomed because of my art, and not necessarily all these other layers. Being a token queer country artist or whatever. I felt like it didn’t matter to them because everyone was on an equal playing field. : :

Kicking it back in the country. Photo Credit: Heather Evans Smith

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Spring A&E

The warmer season is blooming with ‘fragrant’ arts options Idea starters for breaking out of the winter doldrums by Lainey Millen :: qnotes staff

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s Spring arrives with blossoms abounding, what better time than to catch some seasonal “warmth” from these arts and entertainment samplings. Enjoy a concert, theatre staging, dance performance and more! There are also some ideas for down the road. Art Asheville Fine Arts Show May 19-20 WNC Agricultural Center, Davis Event Center 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd, Fletcher, NC 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hot Works brings this juried art show to the High Country. Tickets: $8/one-day pass, $10/two-day pass, 13 & under admitted free hotworks.org. Music “Arnstadt to Leipzig: Bach’s Organ Music from Start to Finish” March 12 Davidson College Presbyterian Church,

Sanctuary 100 N. Main St., Davidson, NC 7:30 p.m. The annual Bach Birthday Bash of the Organ at Davidson series final concert of the season showcases the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Organists Jane D. Cain and Michael Rowland will share performing duties. Friends of the Organ meet-the-artist reception follows immediately after the performance. Free admission. Contributions welcome. dcpc.org. “Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown” April 15 McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square 345 N. College St., Charlotte, NC 7 p.m. Tickets: $35-65 Tribute bands Abbey Road and Satisfaction hit the Queen City to square off on which band — The Beatles or The Rolling Stones — is tops. These two legendary bands will engage in an on-stage, throw down— a musical “showdown.” During the two-hour show, the bands perform three sets each, trading places in quick

set changes and ending the night with an all-out encore involving both bands. The band members have their outfits custom-made, since avid fans know exactly what the Beatles and Stones wore onstage during different time periods in their careers. There’s a lot of good-natured jabbing between the bands as well. carolinatix.org.

130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC Times vary Back by demand. This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Tickets: Range from $29.50-$119.50 blumenthalarts.org.

Dance

Miscellaneous

“The Most Incredible Thing” March 9-18 Knight Theatre at Levine Center for the Arts 430 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC Times vary. Charlotte Ballet mounts this work based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale. Tickets start at $25. blumenthalarts.org.

“Egyptian Tapestries” March 11 Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden 6500 S. New Hope Rd., Belmont, NC 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit is free with the cost of admission to the garden More than 30 wool and cotton tapestries are on view and is the first in the Carolinas with contemporary tapestries by 17 artists weaving at the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre in Giza, Egypt. A must see for those who are lovers of skilled and detailed artistry. dsbg.org.

Theatre “The Book of Mormon” July 24-29 Blumental Performing Arts, Belk Theatre

Spring A&E

Screen Savor Not so simple Simon by Gregg Shapiro :: guest contributor

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t first glance, you might not think that gay director Greg Berlanti’s 2018 gay rom-com(ing out movie) “Love, Simon” (Fox 2000) has much in common with the Oscar-nominated 2017 gay rom-dram “Call Me By Your Name,” but you’d be wrong. First of all, both films are based on novels. “Love, Simon” is based on Becky Albertalli’s 2015 Y/A novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” while “Call Me By Your Name” is based on the 2007 novel by André Aciman. Additionally, both novelists are, as it turns out, straight. Just wait, there’s more. Simon and Elio, the lead characters in each movie, are 17 years old. They are both sexually awkward and coming to terms with being gay. They also have parents that, ultimately, embrace and support them. In the case of Simon (Nick Robinson), his valedictorian mom Emily (Jennifer Garner), who is now a therapist, and his former quarterback dad Jack (Josh Duhamel), have made a loving home for him and his kitchen whiz kid sister Nora (Talitha Bateman) in suburban Atlanta. So, where’s the conflict? It’s 2018, there are 208 days left until graduation, and Simon is in the closet! Not that there aren’t other gay kids at ‘Love, Simon’ school his high school. But watching gay classmate Ethan (Clark Moore) being friends cast (left to right) relentlessly bullied and harassed by some of the jocks makes Simon visibly uncomfortable. You can see him cringing. Also, initially unaware of Jorge Lendeborg (Nick), Nick Robinson (Simon), Simon’s sexuality, his father Jack tends to make insensitive remarks. Alexandra Shipp (Abby), As for his social circle, including longtime best friends Leah (Katherine and Katherine Langford Langford) and Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), as well as Abby (Alexandra (Leah). Shipp), they are among the generation for whom being gay is a non-issue. Photo Credit: But that doesn’t make it any easier for Simon. Ben Rothstein and Things take an interesting turn when Simon begins communicating Twentieth Century Fox anonymously via email with a fellow classmate, going by the handle Blue, who comes out in a blog post. It sets Film Corporation. the stage for Simon’s imaginative sleuthing to try to determine which one of his classmates Blue might be. Unfortunately, their correspondence is discovered on a school library computer by the obnoxious Martin (Logan Miller) who quickly becomes Simon’s nemesis when he begins to blackmail him. This leads to several awkward situations, eventually resulting in a blowup that could cost Simon everything. “Love, Simon” strikes a nice balance between the rom and the com, and even adds a powerful dramatic dimension (bring tissue if you are prone to tears). The performances, especially those by Robinson, Garner, Langford, Shipp, and even Duhamel, are solid and believable. As teacher Ms. Albright, scene-stealer Natasha Rathwell brings an abundance of comic relief. Rating: B+ : :

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‘Love, Simon’ family cast (left to right) Nick Robinson (Simon), Talitha Bateman (Nora), Jennifer Garner (Emily), and Josh Duhamel (Jack). Photo Credit: Ben Rothstein and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.


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Spring A&E

‘The Most Incredible Thing’ makes its American debut in Charlotte The show is set to an original score by the Pet Shop Boys and is based on a Hans Christian Anderson fairytale by Jeff Taylor qnotes staff

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hen the ballet “The Most Incredible Thing” first debuted in London in 2011, it dazzled audiences, impressed critics and snagged the prestigious Evening Standard Theatre Award. Now, it is making its American debut — not in New York City or Los Angeles, but right here in the Queen City. Charlotte Ballet will present the work, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale of the same name, with a run from March 9-18 at Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. Adapted by Matthew Dunster, with choreography by Javier de Frutos, whose previous work includes everything from the West End revival of “Cabaret” to the bloody wedding scene in “Game of Thrones,” the show looks to be a must-see spectacle for all ages. “The production value is above and beyond anything Charlotte Ballet has ever done before,” Josh Hall told qnotes during a break from rehearsals. Hall, 23, and in his sixth season with Charlotte Ballet, plays Leo, an awkward inventor who is, along with a number of other men, trying to win the heart of The Princess by creating “the most incredible thing.” Leo’s invention is a clock that serves as a useful storytelling device to drive much of the plot, and symbolizes both creation and destruction as competing revolutionary acts. It is hard to imagine Hall as awkward. The talented and attractive young dancer comes off as anything but that while he explains his journey — one that began at a young age. As he tells it, he knew right away that he wanted to be a dancer and was always convinced he would find a way to make his dream a reality, much like Leo’s tireless striving for The Princess. “I started dancing when I was four, and instantly I was like, ‘This is it, I got this. I’m going to do this for the rest of my life,’” he said. His singular focus was taken more seriously by others when it was first justified by an adult in a position to know of what she spoke — his dance teacher in Charlotte, where he was raised. “When I was nine, my ballet teacher told my mom, ‘You should really think about doing this,’” he said — meaning listen to her young son’s dreams more closely, because he had real potential. “I was like, ‘See, I was right,’” he recounted. Hall said his family was always supportive, but as he is the fourth of 10 kids, he knew that if

said. “I was like, ‘If I can’t take this next step, then I’m not sure I can pursue this anymore, because this is kind of like the end of the road.’” Then, he got a call to audition for Charlotte Ballet, and everything came together. He admitted he didn’t see it coming. “I never really thought about living here,” he said. “I wanted to get to New York, or London, because that’s what everyone does.” “But coming back and actually seeing what Charlotte is and what Charlotte’s becoming, every year, I fall in love with it more I feel like,” he continued. “It’s nice to be in a place that feels like it’s growing and you can be a part of it.” Charlotte is also where he met his boyfriend, Peter Mazurowski, who also dances for Charlotte Ballet, although not in this production. Mazurowski is in his second season with the company. Mazurowski was raised in New Hampshire, and found his way to Broadway young, playing the title role of Billy in “Billy Elliot: the Musical.” He took the role at 13 and stayed on until the show closed in 2012. Hall lit up when he spoke of Mazurowski, and noted that Mazurowski was too humble to brag, so he does it for him. His relationship is clearly another reason Charlotte still feels like home for Hall. “I think coming home made me realize that what we have in Charlotte is amazing, and the company that we have and successfully following his the work that we do — I don’t have to go anywhere, I can stay own dream to become a here and be happy and not have to be away from my family to live dancer at this level. my dream,” Hall said, smiling. “Which I think is amazing to say for When his education the city of Charlotte.” came to an end, and it Hall feels empowered by the work he and the Charlotte Ballet was the moment of truth are doing and thinks this show will leave many feeling the same to move into the world way, especially young women. of professional dance or The Princess, who is being controlled by her father’s will at find another option, of the start of the story, has to go through her own journey of selfwhich he felt he had none discovery and inner strength, to chart her own course forward. at that point, he admits, “It sends a nice message out,” he said, noting that it was some of the confidence also timely. “She chooses her path, she’s in charge of it and she’s of his childhood days going to do what she wants to do.” began to grow shaky. “The Most Incredible Thing” runs from March 9-18 at Knight “I was in this gray Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. Times vary. Tickets start at $25. area, where I wasn’t More information and tickets are available online at secure to take the next blumenthalarts.org. : : step, and I had doubt,” he (Left) Dancers Josh Hall and Alessandra Ball in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ during a performance. (Top to Bottom) Singer Levi Kreis and dancers Peter Mazurowski and Josh Hall during a performance of Javier de Frutos’ ‘Elsa Canasta.’

he didn’t make it as a dancer, he had no get-bailed-out-by-theparents fallback option. It is that coming-of-age lack of self-assurances he said he is drawing upon to help him more fully become the character. “I think of going back to my teenage years, and coming to acceptance of myself. I try to think of those things and how I kind of battled through that — and still am in some ways — and putting that into Leo,” he said. “Because Leo has all those conflicts, and then finds himself in The Princess [with both having the ability of] thinking of the box.” It is the kind of creative thinking it took to keep him

Photo Credit: Jeff Cravotta

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spiritual reflections by Rev. Val Rosenquist :: guest contributor

Sing it out with thanksgiving and join the cause!

“S

ing to the Lord a new song!” The psalms, those songs of old, command us to do just that five different times (96:1; 33:3; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1). With great exuberance and jubilation these ancient songwriters assessed their current physical and material well-being — or lack of it — and placed that assessment before their God, alongside their joys and sorrows, their fears and anxieties, their memories and hopes. Their message implicitly acknowledged what the prophet Isaiah made explicit: “Look! I am doing a new thing [says the Lord]!” This to a people weary from the seemingly relentless tyranny and oppression, pain and humiliation from the powers that be. In recent weeks we have witnessed much indicating that there may indeed be “a new thing” brewing in our cities and in our country. Even as elected officials continue to try to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, as well as those with special needs, immigrants, and the poor; even as we learn news of Russian interference in our elections; even as environmental protections expire — even amid all of this chaos, we see evidence of the new thing: women are finding the courage to speak about their experiences of harassment and finding that their stories are believed; people are taking to the streets by the thousands demanding change; and, most recently, our children are stepping up to lead the charge against gun violence. Songs accompany this movement. Old songs of protest and solidarity and faith have found new life in marches and demonstrations. “We shall not, we shall not be moved,” sang those participating in the Charlotte Women’s March, “We’re fighting for our bodies! We shall not be moved!” And at vigils supporting immigrants and refugees, we hear “We’re fighting deportation!” A week later, marching on MLK Day, we hear not only “Black and white together!” but also “No more incarceration, we shall

not be moved!” And then, gathered together to decry the hateful vandalism of an inclusive church, we sing “Gay and straight together, we shall not be moved.” Jimmy Fallon sang a new song recently with an updated version of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” It begins with a call to action: Come gather round people wherever you roam And admit that our country don’t feel like our home And that silence speaks louder than those who condone If a tweet to you is worth favin’ Then lift up your voices and put down your phones For the times they are a changin’ The last verse sums up the prophetic charge: Come leaders who bully like internet trolls We’ll curse you with four-letter words “love” and “hope” For we will go high even when you go low The order is rearranging For you have the power, but we have the vote The times they are a-changin’ Last October, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir performed at my church, First United Methodist in Charlotte, as part of their Lavender Pen Tour. They selected places in the Deep South that were particularly known for discriminatory practices against LGBTQ folks and allies, and brought their songs of healing and grace — light in the darkness. At each venue they sang, with renewed urgency, Holly Near’s classic “Singing for Our Lives”: We are a gentle, angry people and we are singing, singing for our lives We are a justice-seeking people and we are singing, singing for our lives

Photo Credit: Vibe Images via Adobe Stock

We are young and old together and we are singing, singing for our lives We are a land of many colors and we are singing, singing for our lives We are gay and straight together and we are singing, singing for our lives We are a gentle, loving people and we are singing, singing for our lives We sing this hymn of faith and hope at our church, even as we acknowledge the pain and injustice prevalent in our community. We sing it as a new song in response and thanksgiving for the new thing the ever-creating Holy One is doing among us and through us, even as we march and hold vigil. : :

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Fortune Feimster continued from page 8 But the school — a small, private institution affiliated with the Presbyterian church — was to the best of her knowledge fairly devoid of lesbian students, Feimster says. “So that just kind of never was on my radar.” Besides, she was too busy crushing college. By her senior year, she was president of the student body, captain of both the tennis and soccer teams at the Division III school and had the highest GPA of any athlete at the school. When she graduated in 2002, she did so summa cum laude and was the student speaker at commencement. Though she no longer has a copy of that “follow-your-dreams” speech, she speaks of it in interviews often — because it altered the course of her life. A summary, according to Feimster: After the ceremony, she hit it off with the day’s keynote speaker — actress Emily Procter, a Raleigh native beginning a 10-year run as a lead character on “CSI: Miami.” Then, later that summer, she met a Raleigh mom looking for a babysitter, who by complete coincidence turned out to be Procter’s best friend. She recognized Feimster from her speech because she was in the audience that day. Feimster ended up reconnecting with Procter through this woman and, after taking a year to live in Spain, moving to Los Angeles to become the “CSI” star’s personal assistant. Despite failing miserably at that job, Feimster found a more suitable one after meeting a neighbor of Procter’s who worked at the Los Angeles Daily News. Procter had apparently told the neighbor how well-written Feimster’s Peace

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speech was, and the neighbor offered to let her cover some premieres for the paper. She spent the next seven years as an entertainment journalist, standing on red carpets interviewing the likes of Will Smith and Tom Hanks, studying the business from a unique perspective. A couple of years into chasing celebrities around, two other major life changes occurred: She came out as gay, and she started taking classes with The Groundlings, an improv and sketch-comedy troupe. Both discoveries gave her an almost immediate sense of peace that she’d never felt before, she says. The Groundlings led to her starting her own troupe, which led to her trying stand-up, which led to a standing Sunday gig at West Hollywood’s The Comedy Store, which led to being cast on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2010. (By this time, she’d dropped the Emily and embraced Fortune as her stage name.) Feimster remembers asking her manager: “Do I talk about being gay? Or am I gonna paint myself into a corner if I come out of the gate talking about it?” And she remembers the answer: “It’s part of who you are, and if you start trying to not be you or not talk about all of you, it would be a mistake.” ‘I definitely still feel Southern’ Though she’s been credited as a scenestealing sidekick to both Chelsea Handler and Mindy Kaling, Feimster lost one shot at becoming the name above the marquee. In 2015, she sold ABC on the idea for a sitcom

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titled “Family Fortune,” set in North Carolina and based on her family life. Tina Fey, Matt Hubbard and Robert Carlock — all key players behind “30 Rock” — were on board to produce. Annie Potts (“Designing Women”) and John Carroll Lynch (“The Drew Carey Show”) would play her parents. They shot a pilot episode. Then the network shut it down. “It was such a hard no to get, because it feels more personal when it’s based on your life,” Feimster says. “You feel like they’re like telling you and your story no. It took a minute to sort of pick myself up from that. ‘I’m like, well, what do I do next?’ ” The new half-hour sitcom, “Champions” – which centers on brothers Vince and Matthew (Anders Holm and Andy Favreau), Vince’s gay son Michael (J.J. Totah), and the posse of trainers at the gym they own (led by Feimster, who plays her character as openly gay) — was given a series order by NBC last year, signaling the network’s strong faith in it. “Champions” premiered at 8:30 p.m. on March 8. But that’s not the only thing that’s made 2018 great for Feimster so far. In January, she announced her engagement to kindergarten teacher Jacquelyn Smith, her girlfriend of two and a half years. (No wedding date has been set; Feimster told the Observer, “we’re not gonna rush into it…maybe next year. I just keep hoping Martha Stewart will just be like, ‘I’m not busy! I’ll throw a wedding!’”) The couple recently enjoyed the Christmas holiday in Belmont, where Feimster bought a house last year — much to her mother’s delight. “It’s so exciting,” Ginger Feimster gushes, “that of all the places she could have bought a second home, she chose Belmont.” As for her daughter’s engagement? “Just wonderful.” For the past five years, Ginger has been president of PFLAG Gaston. Fortune’s new place, which is on the Catawba River, is now a holiday gathering spot for family. But seriously: “I definitely still feel Southern,” she says, calling from her and Smith’s house in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. “I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that my accent is never going away. Every time I open my mouth, I remind everyone that I’m a Southerner. I’m also a pretty laid-back person. I have a chill vibe, which is sort of synonymous with where I’m from — everyone’s kind of just moseying. You’re not quite in as big of a rush as these city folks out here. … “In fact, I live in the Valley, where you can actually find some land. I have a house out here with big trees and a yard, so I don’t always have to feel like some Hollywood person. “It feels,” she says, “like it could be in Belmont.” : :


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The Importance of Dental Health By Mandy Irvin, PharmD Dental health can have a significant impact on every individual. It is estimated that 31.6% of adults in the United States have untreated cavities. While cavities may seem minor, they can lead to more serious issues if not assessed early on. We may remember being told as children to brush our teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, and to floss every day, but these recommendations still apply for adults. One condition affected by dental hygiene is plaque build-up. If plaque is not removed by either brushing or regular dental cleanings, it can harden and turn into tartar. This can contribute to tooth decay, tooth loss, and gingivitis. Gingivitis is another common condition related to poor oral health. This occurs when bacteria enter the gum tissue and cause infection. In an attempt to fight off the bacteria, the body mounts an immune response, but by doing so, the gums and bones can be affected. This can cause teeth to become loose. Gingivitis is a precursor to other gum conditions, including periodontitis and later trench mouth. Approximately 50% of American adults over the age of 30 exhibit signs of gum disease, and if addressed early, the progression to more serious issues can be prevented. Interestingly, many systemic conditions, such as AIDS and diabetes, often become apparent due to lesions in the mouth or other oral problems. It is estimated that up to 90% of systemic conditions may have oral complications. The American Diabetes Association includes dentists in referrals for initial care management because they recognize the increased risk for patients with diabetes. This is due to elevated blood sugars that may correlate with a higher sugar concentration in the mouth and a breeding ground for bacteria.

Saliva serves as one of the first- ines of defense for the body. It harbors antibodies that attack disease-causing organisms. In certain systemic conditions, patients may produce less saliva and lose this defense mechanism. With this decreased ability to fight off organisms, fungal infections can occur. With proper management of these systemic conditions, the risk for oral health complications is greatly reduced. Maintaining proper oral health is an important factor in achieving optimal health. In addition to brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing every day, some recommendations to consider are limiting your intake of sugary snacks, avoiding tobacco products, and visiting your dentist regularly. It is recommended to have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year, and during this visit your dentist will complete a comprehensive assessment to determine if there are any concerns related to your oral health. The habits that we develop as children can significantly impact our oral health as adults, but it is not too late to establish better habits even now. Doing so can significantly reduce the risk of developing plaque build-up, tartar, and gingivitis. Also, if systemic conditions are appropriately managed, the risk will go down even further. While missing a day of brushing or flossing may not seem severe, preventive care is key, and we must do our best to maintain healthy habits for a healthy smile. References: • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oral and Dental Health. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/dental. htm. Accessed January 30, 2018. • Colgate-Palmolive Company. Oral Health And Overall Health: Why A Healthy Mouth Is Good For Your Body. Available at: https://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/

Photo Credit: V&P Photo Studio articles/why-a-healthy-mouth-is-good-for-your-body. Accessed January 30, 2018. • National Education Association. National Children’s Dental Health Month. Available at: http://www.nea.org/grants/ National-Childrens-Dental-Health-Month.htm. Accessed January 30, 2018. • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. HIV/ AIDS. Available at: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/ Topics/HIV/. Accessed January 30, 2018. • U.S. National Library of Medicine. Dental Health. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/dentalhealth.html. Accessed January 30, 2018.

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

Are first impressions really that important? Hello Trinity, My roommates keep bugging me to get dressed up when I have an interview or go on a date. But shouldn’t I be liked and accepted for who I really am, not for who I make believe I am? First Take, Albuquerque, NM Hello First Take, When you first meet someone, you have 30 seconds to win them over; after that it’s all just frosting or mold. Some books even talk about the first three seconds, i.e., the first handshake, smile or eye contact. And if you’re lucky enough to get a second meeting, you have to be even more impressive not less. After you make it through the first 30 seconds, the next 10 minutes, the next interview or date and all the way up to your fifth encounter, then and only then can you “let your hair down.” So, honey, they are right. Being your best self is key in any interaction unless you have a split personality and you’re dating yourself. Dearest Trinity, Lately, my girlfriend has been acting weird, so the other night when she said she was meeting a friend at the bar, I decided to investigate. When I arrived, she was not with that friend, but talking to other friends. After 30 minutes, I

said hi. She was glad to see me, but now I feel guilty. Was I wrong? Caught Spying, Provincetown, MA Dearest Caught Spying, You have a right to trust your instincts and protect your interests as long as it’s a harmless investigation, like checking up on someone at a bar. So, kill the guilt. Sometimes, darling, you have to do what you have to do, which often means act first and apologize later. (My cartoon shows you how I’ve dealt with this in grand form!) Dear Trinity, Sometimes my boyfriend can’t get excited in bed. Could it be me? Come On-Get Up, Savannah, GA Dear Get Up, Sorry, but yes, it might be you. So, ask straight up, “What can I do to turn you on more?” And then listen quietly before killing him…I mean before taking his suggestions to heart. Sometimes it’s also not you, but things you can change — like the dirty bed sheets, the warm room temperature, your unattractive undergarments or your lazy sexual attitude. Of course, pumpkin, it may also be his work, stress, family or…he’s sleeping around. Good luck.

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Hey Trinity, I’m sure my best friend is a lesbian, but she doesn’t know it. I have lots of lesbian friends I could introduce her to, but I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. Help? Thanks, Lesbi In DeNile, Billings, MT Hey LID, Sometimes it’s hard to say, “Follow your yellow brick road.” So, sweetie, besides sharing the wonderful aspects of lesbianhood, like never having men controlling your life why not read her: Trinity’s Strong Suggestions For Knowing If You’re Probably A Lesbian (YPAL)   1. When your wardrobe consists of one simple dress for every 10 flannel shirts, buttoned down oxfords or khaki slacks, well, YPAL.   2. If on your desk at work sits a beautiful photograph of your dogs or cats, hey, YPAL.   3. So you’ve been with the same woman for 23 years, yeah YPAL.   4. A  lways wanted to be a cop, firefighter, pilot or electrician? Then guess what?   5. S  o you hate shaving your legs, armpits or letting your hair grow past your ears? Then guess again!   6. W  hen you feel a “deep” connection to Ellen (DeGeneres), Rachel Maddow and Robin Roberts, well, YPAL.

  7. O  wning the DVD’s “Jack & Diane,” “Blue Is the Warmest Colo” and “Ambrosia” basically means YPAL.   8. If your iTunes collection has every Indigo Girls, Melissa Etheridge and K.D. Lang album, well, well, well?   9. So you like sports, camping, fixing cars and playing guitars: “Hello in there!” 10. And lastly, when your elbow stays in the air while you’re puffing on a cigarette, YPAL. info: With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity hosted “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama performed globally, and is now minister of sponsor, WIG: Wild Inspirational Gatherings, wigministries.org. Learn more at telltrinity.com.

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

Buff Faye’s Drag Brunch: We’re MOVING!

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love big ideas. Nine years ago I started one of them. I wanted to do a monthly drag brunch in Charlotte. Yes, drag during the daytime with food. Of course, there were brunches back then, but not any regular “drag brunches” in town. Plus I wanted to be sure the brunch gave back to charities too. Sometimes you’ve just got to step out and take the jump. I had only been doing drag as a “camp queen” for a year at the time. My drag name is Buff Faye, so why not food and drag?! And I did it. I did my first drag brunch at Hartigan’s Pub, and it was a huge success.

I think back on all the queens who helped that first drag brunch: Kiana Layne, Detra Panucci, Jessica Raynes Starr, Miley Vyrus (my husband) and Rachel Whitney. Each of them brought so much talent and heart, and that first brunch was such a joy. We had matching costumes made and refrigerator magnets with the slogan “Food & Fun for the Whole Family.” And I remember all the love at Hartigan’s Pub among the audience and the unwavering support of the owners DJ Little Betty, Jill and Christi. It was truly magical. We often forget in the moment how special these times are. The drag brunch has been just that — special. Not just for me, but I hope for the entire Charlotte community and those who have attended over the years. Of course, when Hartigan’s closed its doors, I could not believe it had come to an end. But I guess everything must come to an end. Nothing is permanent. We must breathe and enjoy those good times while they are here. But surprise! It was not over. Lo and behold, and lucky for me and the drag brunch queens, Cathode Azure hosted Buff Fayes’s Drag Brunch and then The Bar at 316 stepped up. Attendance waned a bit during those times, but Buff Faye’s drag brunch persevered nonetheless. It became part of the community. And then shortly thereafter, we found a home at Pure Pizza. Long before the drag brunch, Pure Pizza off Central Avenue was already a safe space for LGBTQ people. The restaurant had gender inclusive bathrooms even before the HB2 debacle and often donated to LGBTQ charities.Juli Metcalf Ghazi, one the owners, was so excited

to welcome us when we were moving between bars. She and her manager Tina were all over it. And now two-plus years later, Pure Pizza has been home to Buff Faye’s Drag Brunch.We have grown with new audience members and bigger crowds than ever. It has been nine years in total. Over 6,000 brunches served to date. Wow! Buff Faye’s Drag Brunch keeps feeding the children. Truly amazing how this big idea has changed everything. It ultimately led to the opening of Boulevard 1820, Charlotte’s premier drag queen dining restaurant and bar (located in historic SouthEnd under Tupelo Honey). My husband Tommy and I helped to create and open Boulevard 1820 as managing partners this past August. The success of the drag brunch only proved Boulevard 1820 was a great idea that Charlotte was ready for. People are hungry for drag queens and food. There is no doubt about that. So here’s the big news. Drum roll please. And remember bigger is always better. We’re moving. New location. More drag brunches. Feeding you even more Buff Faye. Starting Sunday, March 25, Buff Faye’s Drag Brunch will move locations to Boulevard 1820. We will have two drag brunches every month with two seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. We will still be donating to local charities, actually half of the proceeds now. Tickets became available online at AllBuff.com on March 7. The new location and big changes are exciting. And I want to thank Pure Pizza (Juli and Tina) and the bar and restaurant owners who have supported me and who have kept Buff Faye’s Drag Brunch thriving the past nine years. I especially want to thank those who have come out to the drag brunch and continue to do so. Finding community among us, celebrating who we are and raising money for local charities is important to me. My hope is that Buff Faye’s Drag Brunch will always be a special unique time in the Queen City and that together we can do that for another nine-plus years. DRAG TIP: Try the Fierce Fried Pickles! — Buff Faye calls the Queen City her home and performs to help blur the lines of gender binaries (and raise money for charities). Find her at your favorite bars and hotspots. Plus don’t forget her drag brunch and regular events. Learn more at AllBuff.com. Follow on Twitter @BuffFaye.

SHOUTOUTS: Thank you to those drag queens who believed in my idea way back when we started. Plus the owners and staff at Hartigan’s Pub who took care of us and let me shoot confetti canons. LOL.

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EVENTS March-April 2018 Continues through Mar. 18 SEP MAR MO ‘The Most Incredible Thing’ Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts 430 S. Tryon St., Charlotte Times vary Javier de Frutos and the Pet Shop Boys’ “The Most Incredible Thing” makes its American debut. Audiences of all ages will appreciate this fairytale pop ballet of Hans Christian Andersen’s fable about a king who holds a competition to determine who can make the “most incredible thing.” Family Matinees on Saturdays and Sundays offer interactive activities in the lobby at 1 p.m., followed by the full-length performance. Tickets for children are just $15 with an adult ticket purchase. Regular tickets start at $25. Tickets and more information are available online. blumenthalarts.org.

Charlotte Roller Girls Double Header Grady Cole Center 310 N. Kings Dr., Charlotte 5 p.m. The Charlotte Roller Girls will host their second home bout, and it’s a double header. The Charlotte All-Stars will take on Panhandle United from Florida, followed by the Charlotte B-Dazzlers facing off against the Bootleggers from Carolina Rollergirls. The Humane Society of Charlotte is the community partner for this event, and there will be a donation drive. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Common Market, Sleepy Poet Antique Mall and online. Tickets are $12/adult, $7/child in advance and $16/adult, $9/child day of, and children five and under get in free. charlotterollergirls.com.

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HIV Criminalization: SEP MAR MO Moving Beyond Blame and ArtPop Pop-Up Party Stigma SEP MAR MO Evoke LGBT Center of Raleigh 555 S. McDowell St., 324 S. Harrington St., Raleigh Charlotte 12-2 p.m. 5:30-8:30 p.m. “Punishing Disease” author and socioloArtPop, the group behind gist Trevor Hoppe, of the University at showcasing local art Albany, will join Carolyn McAllaster, of on billboards around Duke University School of Law, and Hector Charlotte, is hosting a Salgado, of Alliance of AIDS Services party where community – Carolina, in a panel discussion on HIV members can meet artists, criminalization. The National mingle and shop. Artists Black Justice Coalition’s Casey Cline, Carmella Mandy Carter will moderate. Jarvi, Gary Abramov, The event is co-sponsored by Amanda Foshag and Pauline Lamal will the LGBT Center of Raleigh and all be on hand with their work. More the North Carolina AIDS Action Network information is available online. and is free and open to the public. More artpopstreetgallery.com. information is available online. facebook.com/events/1861171137512132. facebook.com/events/393818021058361.

Submit your event to our calendar!

You can submit your event to our comprehensive community calendar presented by qnotes, the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Visit Gay Charlotte. Submit your event at goqnotes.com/eventsubmit/ and get a threefor-one entry. All Charlotte-area events will appear on each of the three calendars at qnotes (goqnotes.com), Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce (clgbtcc.org) and Visit Gay Charlotte (visitgaycharlotte.com). Queer Speed Dating: Gaming Edition Comic Girl Coffee 1224 Commercial Ave., Charlotte 7-10 p.m.

Food Truck Friday, Light Rail SEP MAR MO Extension Party 2161 Hawkins St., Charlotte 5-11 p.m. Join with the community and celebrate Make LGBTQ the launch of friends, and the Lynx Blue maybe more, at Line. Get off at the latest queer the East West speed dating and enjoy a event at Comic Girl Coffee. The event kicks night of live off at 7 p.m. with an hour of games, with music, craft speed dating beginning at 8 p.m. and run- beer, wine, ning through 10 p.m. There is a suggested cider and donation of $10, with a sliding scale. More food trucks at information is available online. Sycamore Brewing. This is a free event. comicgirlcoffee.com. More information is available online. ftf-southend.com.

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Carolina Pup Invasion The Woodshed Bar 3935 Queen City Dr., Charlotte 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

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Stonewall Kickball Kickoff Party The Bar at 316 316 Rensselaer Ave, Charlotte

Trans Day of Visibility: ‘Becoming More Visible’ Screening Free Range Brewing 2320 N. Davidson St., Charlotte 1-4 p.m.

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Transcend Charlotte, Charlotte Pride and PFLAG Charlotte are teaming up for a community event for Transgender Day of Visibility, featuring a screening of the documentary “Becoming More Visible.” The film follows four young people as they transition into their authentic identity. A panel discussion will follow. More information is available online. charlottepride.org/calendar. facebook.com/events/302015393658702.

7-10 p.m. Celebrate the start of Stonewall Sports’ FURnace Kickball season with a party at the Bar SEP APR MO Bar Argon at 316. Registered players can pick up 4544 South Blvd. Ste. H, their shirts at the event. It is also a great Charlotte chance for those interested to learn 9 p.m.-2 a.m. more about Stonewall Sports and the many activities they offer. More informa- Join the crew at Bar Argon tion is available online. for another stonewallcharlotte.leagueapps.com. FURnace party, full of bears, beats and brews. Charlotte’s own DJ Marvyy Marvv will provide the soundtrack and visuals. Entry is $10, $5 for members of Bar Argon or Sidelines. More information is available online. barargon.com. facebook.com/events/1813219768702398.

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In partnership with Shed Leathers and Barcode, The Woodshed Bar presents the new and improved Carolina Pup Invasion. This kinky, fun event will include a fundraiser for RAIN, going to their work helping those living with HIV/ AIDS. Photo packages will be available for a small donation. More information is available online. woodshedlounge.com. facebook.com/events/174710726639630.

To see more upcoming events, visit goqnotes.com/calendar/

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Our People:

Q&A with Mimi Benfield Queen City Comedian by Torie Dominguez :: guest contributor

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harlotte comedian and disarmingly efficient email responder Mimi Benfield is truly a Gay of Sunshine. She’s funny, candid and runs a Twitter page that’s the perfect place to “accidentally” lose a couple of hours when you really should be responding to emails — or using the aforementioned Twitter page as a mere jumping-off point for a pre-interview bio. In half a decade onstage she’s conquered venues from Ontario to Hawaii and beyond, embarked upon multiple comedy tours and participated in events alongside industry icons like Margaret Cho. A woman of rare vision, she combined twin passions for humor and tattoos in the groundbreaking “Laugh Ink,” and in one recent podcast tackled the tough and timely issue of ghost wrestlers (or was it wrestling ghosts?). Here, Benfield tells qnotes why her desert-island media picks would include some of the best and worst of human creation, what it feels like to have proved her elementary school classmates right, and how she’s redefining “Netflix and chill.” Which of your achievements are you most proud of? Staying dedicated to comedy and making people feel good. Making others happy makes me happy and when I can achieve that I feel very fulfilled. What are you passionate about? Performing comedy. I’ve wanted to do this since I was a little girl and saw Paula Poundstone on television.

What helps you relax when you’re feeling stressed? My dog, Fiona. I take her nearly everywhere with me when I’m travelling. While I love being on stage I wouldn’t say it’s relaxing. I definitely enjoy staying in with Fiona and Netflix. What cheers you up when you’re feeling down? Obviously Fiona, but I’ve always enjoyed

getting out stress at open mics with my comedy family.

when they grew up. I’d say over 90 percent said “comedian” for me and the rest said “teacher.”

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Never be complacent.” — Anthony Crawford

If you could live in any time, past or future, anywhere in the world, what would you choose? Could I just go back to right before puberty and start over? Probably in NYC or California. I definitely wouldn’t go to the past because…well…because I’m a gay woman. It’s still not super great for us.

How do you spend your free time? Being lazy with Fiona or exploring spooky/beautiful places with my main dude, Victoria. We’re big fans of ghostly stuff. We’ve all heard that smell is the sense most strongly tied to memory. What scents do you

find evocative? Elizabeth Taylor perfumes remind me of my late mother, and fried chicken reminds me of the days before I became a vegetarian. If you won a multi-million-dollar jackpot, what would you do with the money? I’d donate a decent portion to a variety of causes. Disaster relief funds, victims of violence, women’s rights and LGBTQ causes…the list is long. I’d pay off my house, hire someone to take care of my aunt and start travelling the country hitting up the comedy scenes in different cities.

What do you like most about yourself? That I refuse to stay sad about things. My parents raised me to be a happy person; that’s all they really wanted for me. I want others to feel the same way so I’m making a career out of that goal. What aspect of yourself would you like to change? My thighs? I want to be a better person and a better comic. That’s an attainable change. For the rest of your life, you can read one book, listen to one album, and watch one movie. Which do you choose? That sounds awful! One book? “Twilight”… just kidding. Probably the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” to keep me grounded. For the album, I want to say Fiona Apple because she’s my favorite, but I wouldn’t want to be gloomy all the time, so I’ll say Ghostland Observatory’s “Robotique Majestique.”

One movie is a really hard decision. I’m probably going to get some hate for this because it’s considered one of the worst films of all time, but “Freddy Got Fingered.” It’s so ridiculous, and I love it. “Daddy would you like some sausage?” Imagine traveling somewhere incredibly remote, with no way of contacting the outside world. Are you more thrilled or petrified? Petrified. I need Google to survive. If you met yourself, do you think you’d be your friend? Hell yeah! I love all my personalities. What have you always wanted to do, be, or learn, but never gotten around to? Everything! I’m looking forward to the rest of this life. Learning and experiencing new and different things is my favorite thing to do. I have one script tattoo that reads “I just want to feel everything, I just want to be everything.” — Fiona Apple And finally, how would you like to be remembered? I’m honestly happy being remembered at all, but making people laugh and feel good about things they may not have been comfortable with beforehand is such a lovely feeling. : :

Are you an early bird or a night owl? Night owl. I usually don’t even leave my house until afternoon. What household chore do you avoid at all costs? Vacuuming. The sound is like nails on a chalkboard to my ears. What possessions do you cherish most? I wouldn’t call Fiona a “possession,” but I would be lost without her. I also have a few house plants from my mother’s funeral that I would save from a fire before any valuables. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A comedian. I know that sounds cheesy, but I remember in the third grade the whole class passed around papers with each student’s name and we wrote what we thought that kid would be

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QNotes, March 9, 2018  

Spring time is beginning to embrace us and it's time to emerge from the cocoon of cold weather and emerge into Spring arts and entertainment...

QNotes, March 9, 2018  

Spring time is beginning to embrace us and it's time to emerge from the cocoon of cold weather and emerge into Spring arts and entertainment...

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