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April 2-15 . 2011

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qnotes

April 2-15 . 2011


inside April 2-15, 2011 Vol 25 No 24

14

Cast members Kerri Brackin (Nicky) and Brent Michael DiRoma (Rod) Photo Credit: © John Daughtry 2009

news & features

  6 News Notes: Regional Briefs   8 Sex in the park?   9 Liz Taylor mourned

opinions & views   4   4   4   5 11

Editor’s Note General Gayety QPoll Coming out ally  T-Notes

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a&e/life&style 13 14 15 15 16 17 18 19

Audiophile No strings attached Stomp 2011 Pet look-a-like Out in the Stars Tell Trinity Def Jam co-founder honored Q events calendar

contributors this issue

Leah Cagle, Robbi Cohn, Matt Comer, Charlene Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, Leslie Robinson, David Stout, Trinity

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Pride Publishing & Typesetting, Inc. Editor: Matt Comer, x202 editor@goqnotes.com P.O. Box 221841, Charlotte, NC 28222, ph 704.531.9988 fx 704.531.1361 Assoc. Ed.: David Stout, x210 editor2@goqnotes.com Publisher: Jim Yarbrough Assoc. Ed., A&E: Leah Cagle, x202 arts@goqnotes.com Sales: x206 adsales@goqnotes.com Production: Lainey Millen, x209 production@goqnotes.com Nat’l Sales: Rivendell Media, 212.242.6863 Printed on recycled paper. Material in qnotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2011 and may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent of the editor or publisher. Advertisers assume full responsibility — and therefore, all liability — for securing reprint permission for copyrighted text, photographs and illustrations or trademarks published in their ads. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers, cartoonists we publish is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or photographs does not indicate the subject’s sexual orientation. qnotes nor its publisher assumes liability for typographical error or omission, beyond offering to run a correction. Official editorial positions are expressed in staff editorials and editorial notations and are determined by editorial staff. The opinions of contributing writers and guest columnists do not necessarily represent the opinions of qnotes or its staff. qnotes accepts unsolicited editorial, but cannot take responsibility for its return. Editor reserves the right to accept and reject material as well as edit for clarity, brevity.

April 2-15 . 2011

qnotes




VIEWS

editor’s note by matt comer matt@goqnotes.com

by leslie robinson :: qnotes contributor

Marching backward to the beat of a despotic drum

Back in December, Vice President Joe Biden said “there’s an inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage.” It is a theme has been repeated often enough in days of late. There’s plenty of evidence to support such a hypothesis. Marriage equality bills and other pieces of legislation granting relationship rights to samesex couples are advancing across the country. Both Hawaii and Illinois recently approved civil unions. A marriage equality bill passed the Maryland Senate. In Delaware, a bill to extend civil unions to same-sex couples was introduced to that state’s senate on March 22. Currently, a total of six states recognize and allow the performance of same-sex marriages. Another 10 allow civil unions or other registered types of relationship recognition. And, for the first time ever, new polling from ABC News and the Washington Post indicates that a majority of the American public supports equal marriage rights. Nearly a decade ago, only 32 percent of Americans favored such rights. Today, 53 percent are on our side. All the while, some states continue to face the threat of draconian measures to strip such rights away from their citizens. At press time, a bill to add an anti-gay constitutional amendment to the Indiana Constitution had made its way through a senate committee there. Right here at home, Republican legislators in the North Carolina Senate hope to pass their own anti-gay constitutional amendment. Such measures are, no doubt, a form of tyranny. They enforce a religiously-motivated despotism whose aim is singularly focused on stripping away, layer by layer, the humanity of LGBT people. First it’s marriage. Then it’s healthcare and visitation rights. Next on the list is LGBT-inclusive bullying policies and laws. Then adoption. Where would it stop? Would we eventually revert to those “good ol’ days” when queers were burned and stoned to death? You might say I’m being facetious, but the reality couldn’t be any starker. Under the radar and mostly unreported by mainstream media, there’s a growing movement among the rightest of this

general gayety

country’s evangelical religious right. Known as “dominionists,” they seek to take political control across the country and shape the nation and its body of law under the influence of their religious doctrines and scriptural interpretations. Again, you doubt me. “Conspiracy theorist!” you say accusatorially. Yet, these same people who claim their mission is only to spread the Gospel here in America played key roles in pushing one of the most harsh anti-gay laws in the world in Uganda. There, anti-gay religious leaders from the U.S., including many involved in the “ex-gay” industry, spoke at conferences and to political and religious leaders. They laid out stereotypes, lies and twisted data painting gays as predators. How did Uganda, where homosexuality was already illegal, respond? They drafted legislation that would subject gays to harsh prison sentences and even capital punishment. What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. If U.S.-based Christianist hate groups can make it happen in foreign nations, what makes you think it couldn’t happen here. I must stop and admit: I’ve painted a stark and scary picture here — one that’s pretty far from reality at the moment. But, it isn’t necessarily a false premonition of our future. The political, social and religious landscapes of civilization have sometimes been shaped by freak accidents of history. The only thing able to prevent such freak accidents is you. We’re lucky to live in a nation such as ours. In democracies, just about anyone or any group of people can gain power if they speak loudly enough. Whether those in power will be Christian dominionists or American patriots is a decision entirely of our own making. As Tar Heels continue to face the threat of an anti-gay amendment, we must ensure that each and every one of us as vigilant, as engaged and as informed as citizens ought to be. : : Learn more: Get more information on the anti-gay constitutional amendment, learn how to get involved and speak out at equalitync.org.

qpoll

The word is out At Wayne State University in Detroit, the Word Warriors wave the banner on behalf of the English language’s neglected words. Last year the Warriors released a list of words they hoped to rescue from disuse. As the obliging type, I wanted to assist the restoration effort. So, I tested all 15 words to see if they fit snugly with my LGBT subject matter. They fit. Huzzah. The Word Warriors’ 2011 list has just been released and I’m feeling the pressure. This batch looks potentially harder for me to use. If I can’t blend these words with LGBT content, they have no future with me. I’ll be helping consign them to oblivion. I’ll be a word-killer. The National Writers Union will hang me by my thumbs. Okay then, I’m ready to start. Gingerly. I’ll provide the word, the definition and — God willing — a sentence using the word. Concupiscence. Time out. This word was on last year’s list. Why have the Word Warriors repeated it? Either the pressure’s getting to them, too, or they’re exceptionally fond of the word concupiscence, which means lust. Just what’s going on in Detroit, anyway? To return to the business at hand, Concupiscence. Strong sexual desire. When Bible-thumping, family-values preaching, anti-gay leaders succumb to sins of the flesh, the fallout from their concupiscence provides hours of entertainment. Draconian. Excessively severe. Over the last couple of years, the murderous anti-gay legislation in Uganda has frequently been described as draconian, proving that word ain’t dead yet. Evanescent. Quickly fading or disappearing. At 15, Pete found his crushes on guys tended to be evanescent, hot and heavy in homeroom, but over by lunch. Hornswoggle. To deceive. After spending her last dime on ex-gay programs, Mary didn’t know whether she’d been hornswoggled by her family, the group leaders or God. Ossify. To harden like bone. Frieda Frock knew she needed to look her best for the drag

queen competition, but if she applied one more layer of foundation she believed she’d ossify on the spot. Paroxysm. A sudden, uncontrollable outburst. Her grandmother’s insistence that Liberace was straight sent Rebecca into paroxysms of laugher. Penurious. Miserly; cheap to a fault. Looking back on her relationship history, Stacy could explain why she dated both men and women, but she couldn’t explain why she always wound up with penurious dates who wouldn’t pay for dinner. Schadenfreude. Pleasure derived from someone else’s misfortune. When Biblethumping, family-values preaching, anti-gay leaders are caught succumbing to sins of the flesh, the gay community can be excused for experiencing Schadenfreude and paroxysms of laughter. Sibilance. Producing a hissing sound. Tyler, a straight guy, believed he spoke with too much sibilance, so to prevent people from thinking he was gay, he didn’t use a word that started with “s” from 2005 to 2010. Skullduggery. Underhanded or unscrupulous behavior. Ralph planned to go to Thailand for sex-change surgery, but thanks to skullduggery by his travel agent, who pocketed most of the money, Ralph’s journey ended in Des Moines. There. Whew. That’s all of them. Each word has an LGBT application. I’ve consigned no words to extinction and my thumbs are safe. But, this was a tough bunch and I plan to chat with the Word Warriors about their choices for next year. I’ll suggest some neglected, out-of-fashion words that will be an easier fit for me. Like homophile. And labrys. And, Madonna. If the Word Warriors don’t go along with my suggestions, well, you know what that means: We’re going to have words. And if “concupiscence” turns up again on next year’s list, I won’t have a good word to say about them. : : info:

LesRobinson@aol.com . generalgayety.com

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qnotes

April 2-15 . 2011


Coming out ally

VIEWS

Straight sister gets a taste of rejection by Leah Cagle :: leah@goqnotes.com

I should probably start out with a confession — throughout my youth, my attitude towards the LGBT community was little more than a formulaic result of a traditional Southern Baptist upbringing in small town Hendersonville, N.C., and a unanimously-dedicated Republican family. I subscribed to the seemingly compassionate “hate the sin, love the sinner” theology and carried on in life with little threat to the conservative bubble I lived in. And then I came to college. When I transferred to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in spring 2008, I

Becoming an ally Interested in becoming a straight ally, but unsure of where to start? Here’s a few tips: Get educated :: Take a few minutes to review recent LGBT history in your area. Read up on literature and research that can help you deflect ignorant arguments. Ask your LGBT friends about their current experiences and about what issues matter most to them. Get prepared :: Harvey Milk once said, “I fully realize that a person who stands for what I stand for, an activist, a gay activist, becomes the target or the potential target for a person who is insecure, terrified, afraid, or very disturbed with themselves.” Count the cost and prepare yourself for accusations and questions that are sure to follow your announcement. The attention you receive from this is a great opportunity to educate! Get loud :: Tell your friends and family. Start the controversial conversations. Whether your loved ones (or not-soloved ones) agree with you or not, they will be forced to recognize someone that they know as an ally. Hopefully, the conversations wonderful tools for chipping away at the fear-tactics and stereotypes and making way for better understanding. Get involved :: Stay tuned in with qnotes’ event calendar (page 19 and at goqnotes.com/qguide/events) or volunteer at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte (gaycharlotte.com). Collective effort goes a long way, and we can use all the help we can get!

met a group of people I now affectionately call my “choice family.” By the fortunate happenstance of my class schedule, I encountered students of various backgrounds, hometowns, beliefs and — most interestingly — sexualities, who quickly grew to become my best friends. Needless to say, after spending time with these beautiful people and gaining a deeper understanding of their loving relationships, my opinions, theology and heart began to change. It wasn’t until last summer that I found the courage to speak out. Despite being an intern for a supposedly liberal though un-affirming and unaccepting campus ministry at UNCC, I could no longer keep my silence. I read every book on ”the Bible and homosexuality” that I could get my hands on and talked to anyone who would listen. I was determined to break the façade that in order to be Christian I had to be anti-gay. So, on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day, I took the opportunity to “come out” as a gay ally to all my friends and family. That’s when the shit hit the fan. After extensive pushback, page-afterpage of concerned Facebook messages, hours of intervention-style conversations and an eventual removal from leadership within

my church, I had an epiphany — this experience granted me my first glance, if only a tiny sliver of understanding, of what the coming out experience must be like. This is why it is so crucial for my fellow straights out there to put away the comfortable heterosexist privilege we enjoy and take a bold stand as an ally to the LGBT community. It’s not enough to believe, we must take action and call others to do the same. Only when we get our asses in gear, working for the advancement of our LGBT brothers and sisters can we begin to fathom the societal and cultural obstacles they are up against. With that understanding, we can finally begin — unified in goal and purpose — to work for a more loving and affirming world. : :

April 2-15 . 2011

qnotes




BRIEFS

news notes: from the carolinas, nation and world compiled by Lainey Millen :: lainey@goqnotes.com | David Stout :: david@goqnotes.com | Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com erty and helpless to escape its ravages. The around-the-world tour of 12 countries in 12 months includes performing volunteer work in each country and filming the journey. Admission is $20 for adults. Kids 16 and under get in free with parent/ guardian. Price includes dinner and non-alcoholic beverages. The event is sponsored by JHG Financial Advisors. For more information, visit charlotte  businessguild.org. — L.M.

Charlotte HOM to hold walk

Triad Rustin Center opens at Guilford College

BELMONT — Get those walking shoes out and hit the streets for the 20th Anniversary Walk for AIDS to benefit the House of Mercy on April 9, beginning at 10 a.m. at 101 Mercy Dr., at the stone shelter on the campus. Providing services since 1991 to those affected by HIV/AIDS, the Sisters of Mercy have been a beacon of light to those it serves. Participants will walk the three-mile route to raise funds for this charity. An event T-shirt will be given to the first 250 people who raise $50 or more. Walk alone or as a team. Some companies provide matching funds for those who participate and achieve their objectives. Visit the Walk website for more details and to sign up. Prizes will be awarded to top individual and top team fundraisers, as well as best banner. Registration is at 9:30 a.m. A picnic, music and awards reception will be held afterward on the House of Mercy grounds. Sotto Voce (an ensemble of One Voice Chorus) and Eric Thomas, Walk honorary chair and WBTV meteorologist, will be on hand to welcome participants. This year’s goal is $32,000. Eighty percent of the administrative costs comes from contributions. Funds are needed to supply food, medications and 24-hour compassionate care. Contributions are always welcome.   Send checks or money orders to House of Mercy, P.O. Box 808, Belmont, NC 28012 or donate online. To RSVP for the picnic or for more information, call 704-825-4711 x3, email marjoriestorch@aol.com, or visit thehouseofmercy. org/11walk. — L.M.

GREENSBORO — Social justice activist Mandy Carter of Durham, N.C., was the keynote speaker on March 16 at the dedication of Guilford College’s Bayard Rustin Center for LGBTQA Activism, Awareness and Reconciliation (BRC). Formerly the Queer and Allied Resource Center, the BRC was named in honor of Bayard Rustin, a Quaker who was a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. and a pioneer in advocating civil rights for African-Americans, gays and lesbians. Rustin, the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, is credited with introducing non-violent Gandhian principles and tactics in the American Civil Rights Movement, leading to direct actions such as sit-ins, marches and boycotts. Carter’s four decade-long career in activism began with her participation in King’s 1968 Poor Peoples’ Campaign, organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which solidified her lifelong commitment to non-violence.. Carter helped found Southerners On New Ground (SONG), which integrates work against homophobia into freedom and civil rights struggles in the South, and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), currently the only national civil rights organization of concerned black LGBT people dedicated to fostering equality by ending racism and homophobia. In 2005, Carter was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. On Feb. 12, she received the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina’s 2011 Frank Porter Graham Award during their 42nd Annual Frank Porter Awards Ceremony. For more information, call 336-316-2374 or email mlang@guilford.edu. — compiled from release

Guild to host theater owner

Triangle

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Business Guild will bring in J.D. Lewis, owner of the Actor’s Lab of Charlotte and Los Angeles, to its monthly meeting on April 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center, 820 Hamilton St. He will address members and guests, including their children, and tell all about his upcoming voyage with his two adopted sons, Jack and Buck, who are also expected to attend, as they kick-start a humanitarian venture called, “Twelve in Twelve” in July. Lewis has a passion for helping others, especially children who are trapped in pov-



qnotes

April 2-15 . 2011

Film gains notice

RALEIGH — An upcoming graduate of North Carolina State University, Will Lamb embarked on creating a documentary that highlights the school’s LGBT and ally communities. Although this might not seem too remarkable, it is so for him since he is an ROTC scholar. Following his graduation in May, he’ll head to the U.S. Army Signal Corps as a commissioned officer. His piece, “It Gets Better,” shares the story of how acceptance and change is blooming across the campus.

Lamb is a communications media major. He also serves as president of the university’s Union Activities Board. He grew up hopping around with his father who was in the Army. This lead to a real diverse set of friends for him over the years. He has no problem with having gay friends. Justine Hollingshead approached him last fall during the launch of the national It Gets Better campaign to see if he would help share the NCSU story. She said he was a valuable ally and brought a perfect set of skills to bring this project to completion. The campaign pledge states: “Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that ‘It Gets Better.’” After spending time around campus interviewing a number of subjects, the result was a 14-minute film packed full of comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni. In fact, the piece has had over 10,000 hits on YouTube. To see the piece, visit youtube.com/ watch?v=xuSNuPM5BsI. — L.M.

SONG holds day of action

RALEIGH — Southerners on New Ground (SONG) is spearheading a National Day of Action on April 4 at 16 W. Jones St. at 11:30 a.m. The silent picket and rally will help to raise awareness of and defend human rights, public jobs and public services. SONG wants LGBT people to be engaged in this initiative to call attention to the need for safety and accessibility to healthcare. And, they chose this particular day as it was the day that Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis in 1968. Can’t make it to Raleigh? Then organize a rally or educational event in your area or wear a black armband to work. For more information, call 919-5392051, email workerjustice@gmail.com, visit southernersonnewground.org or call the NC AFL-CIO at 919-833-6678. — L.M.

Parents launch anti-bullying initiative

CARRBORO — Melissa and Meredith Weiss have co-founded Be a Friend, a clothing line created in response to a growing national concern about adolescent bullying. It was designed to generate dialogue about the importance of being a friend and standing up for anyone who is bullied or mistreated. Items feature graphics of animated, diverse friendships. Clothing is available online, through school and non-profit fundraisers, at festivals and in retail stores. A percentage of each sale is donated to organizations that work on bullying prevention or those that help children with special needs. It can be used by parents, educators and organizations to engage dialogue about the importance of being a friend. The founders have seen the effects that bullying can have on children and communities and wanted to help increase awareness of the issue and help children and families

find fun, comfortable ways to talk about these serious issues. For more information, call 919-200-9684, email melissa@beafriendclothing.com or visit beafriendclothing.com. — L.M.

Diversity tackled head on

RALEIGH — North Carolina State University’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, in its ongoing effort to thwart prejudice and bullying, welcomed Jacqueline Barnett, director of institutional equity at Tulane University, on March 24 for a lecture about hate crimes. The event was held in conjunction with the office’s bi-annual Dialogue on Diversity. It was also held as a response to hate speech was smeared on the walls of the Free Expression Tunnel last year. She discussed current legislation such as the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, as well as statutes. Additionally, the school’s Multicultural Student Affairs produced an interactive event called Tunnel of Oppression as part of its First Annual NCSU Diversity Week (Howel for Diversity) observance from March 21-26. The Technician reported that the “program also aims to inspire social change by creating awareness of the effects of oppression within society and the campus community.” “People may have never been placed in these types of situations, and they obtain a sense of what it actually feels like to be oppressed or discriminated through the sights and sounds they experience,” said Ray. “While the Tunnel may be disturbing and upsetting, it is an effective tool used to teach people about how it really feels to be in the situation the images present.” Once participants have experienced the presentation, they are asked to share their own experiences or observances. It is hardhitting and some find it difficult to complete the process. Exit strategies were built into the display to allow those who were too shaken by it to leave before the end. The Tunnel presentation began in 1993 at Western Illinois University. It has since spread to campuses across the country. — L.M.

Western Hike slated to raise funds

MORGANTON — ALFA’s annual Hike for Hope to benefit those affected by HIV/AIDS will be held on April 16 at Catawba Meadows Park along the Catawba River Greenway. Last year it raised over $20,000 and event hosts hope to top that with $35,000 this year. All funds raised during this event stay in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Lincoln, Watauga and Wilkes Counties. To register, volunteer or for more information, call 828-322-1447, x223, email ALFADev@ ALFAInfo.org or visit ALFAHikeForHope.org. — L.M. info: Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes: editor@goqnotes.com.


National City settles police debacle

FORT WORTH, Texas — Chad Gibson and George Armstrong, two men who were injured during a police “inspection” of the Rainbow Lounge nearly two years ago, received a $400,000 settlement from the Fort Worth City Council on March 23. The settlement was approved without debate and with no admission of liability. The men allege that officers’ excessive force caused Gibson’s head injury and Armstrong’s torn rotator cuff. The timing of the event — conducted on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Stonewall — drew protests and national media attention. — D.S.

Civil union bill introduced

DOVER, Del. — The Delaware state Senate has introduced SB30, a comprehensive civil unions bill. The proposed measure would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions giving them all of the rights, benefits and obligations of marriage under state law, but would not allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. Religious institutions will not be compelled by the law to solemnize civil unions. Currently, five states have laws providing an expansive form of state-level relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples without offering marriage: California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. — D.S.

Court declines to remove stay

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has denied a motion filed by opponents of California’s

Proposition 8 to lift its stay over a District Court ruling that found Prop. 8 unconstitutional last summer. The Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling means that the stay will remain in effect, and LGBT families will be unable to marry, at least until the California Supreme Court settles a procedural matter in the case. A hearing on that issue is not slated to take place until September. — D.S.

Majority opposed to DOMA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new Human Rights Campaign poll on the Defense of Marriage Act reveals that opposition to the law, which bars any federal recognition of same-sex marriages or civil unions, crosses all major demographics including age, race, gender, geography, education and religion. While House Republican leaders work to defend DOMA in court, the American people are clearly aligning against the law. Majorities of every age group oppose DOMA including those over age 65 (52 percent oppose, 31 percent support). Catholics oppose DOMA 51 percent to 37 percent. Southerners oppose DOMA 51 percent to 36 percent. — D.S.

HRC lobbies law firms

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Now that the U.S. House Of Representatives has decided to intervene and defend DOMA in court (after the Justice Department declined), one of the critical questions is who will represent congress? Capitol Hill sources have indicated that outside counsel might be brought it. In anticipation of such a move, HRC President Joe Solmonese has sent a letter to the Am Law 200 — the nation’s top firms — urging them not to take up the case. Noting that the legal sector has the

largest number of top-scoring companies in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, Solmonese added in his letter: “It is critical that your organization not undermine that laudable record by representing the House in its defense of this discriminatory and unconstitutional law, which denies loving gay and lesbian couples the fair and equal treatment that they deserve from their federal government.” — D.S.

Gay giving for Japanese crisis

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Rainbow World Fund, the only international humanitarian aid organization based in the LGBT community, has established the LGBT Japan Earthquake Fund in response to the crisis in Japan. RWF is asking the LGBT community across the U.S. to get involved in fundraising for Japan by organizing local events and donating the proceeds to the fund or by simply giving online at www.rainbowfund.org/donate. Checks can be made payable to Rainbow World Fund (specify “Japan” in the memo) and mailed to: Rainbow World Fund, 4111-18th St., Suite 5, San Francisco, CA 94114. RWF promises that 100 percent of donations will be sent to groups in Japan. — D.S.

Global U.N. council calls for global equality

UNITED NATIONS — A joint statement entitled “Ending Acts of Violence and

A police inspection-turned-gay bashing at a Fort Worth, Texas, gay bar on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Stonewall two years ago spawned rallies and protests calling for independent investigations of the incident. Photo Credit: Txspiked, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Related Human Rights Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” was issued March 22 at the U.N. Human Rights Council. The statement was delivered by Colombia on behalf of 85 countries, including the U.S. The statement “call[s] on States to take steps to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the U.N. system made up of 47 States responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. — D.S.

April 2-15 . 2011

qnotes




Sex in the park? Investigative Commentary: Police records debunk the media-driven myth of gay sex in public parks by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

I

f Charlotte news station WBTV or Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James were your only sources of information, you’d likely be led to believe the Queen City has a significant problem with men engaging in illegal sexual activities in the city’s and county’s public parks. Fortunately, real journalism uncovers hard numbers — facts backed up by police records — that show an astonishingly low rate of arrests for men soliciting so-called crimes against nature in public places. The following qnotes report details how one Charlotte news station helped to perpetuate the myth of gay men as sexual predators. It’s also the culmination of research into dozens of arrests for solicitation of crimes against nature in and around the City of Charlotte. All the evidence points toward one solid conclusion: illegal sexual activity by men engaging in sex with other men is a mere minor concern when compared to the overwhelming number of arrests and citations related to heterosexual prostitution. Perpetuating the myth The myth that gay men are predators is nothing new. Most gay or bisexual men hear it at some point in their lives, even from family members or close friends. The prejudiced myth dates back decades, if not centuries. A now-infamous educational film produced in 1958 and released in 1961 is among the most recognizable examples available in the public domain. Produced for the Inglewood, Calif., school district and police department, it cautions teenage boys against the evils of “homosexuals” lurking in public restrooms and parks. The historic, cultural prejudice and bigotry against gay men — often painting them as sick and mentally ill, as the 1958 Inglewood film does — made a Feb. 22 news report by WBTV’s Steve Crump all the more damaging. Armed with nothing more than anonymous online postings from a hook-up website, Crump took to southwest Charlotte’s James Boyce Park to interview concerned parents and community members. “Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are looking into a troubling new hot spot for anonymous sex,” Crump reported in his story, entitled “Internet site links Charlotte to gay sex” on WBTV’s website.

“Police say men are meeting up for intimate encounters at a neighborhood park popular with children.” Crump continued, “James Boyce Community Park is located at 300 Boyce Road in southeast Charlotte. It has the appearance of any park until you read the fine print found on a website called cruisinggays.com. One visitor on the website claims people have sex on many of the trails and warns people that men have been seen having sex in the open.” Crump’s report included interviews with parents and the leader of a nearby neighborhood patrol, accompanied by several video images of young children playing on swing sets and other playground equipment, on a baseball field and with their parents. Copies of the website postings were shown to parents during interviews. In one scene, the reporter mentions the name of the website, “Cruising Gays,” followed by a parent’s, “Oh no!” Later, a young woman is heard saying, “This is awful.” Following the report, qnotes contacted WBTV News Director Dennis Milligan. At the time, Milligan said the station had learned of the hook-up website from a viewer. “It had been the subject of neighborhood concern and consternation,” Milligan told qnotes. “I think they had been in contact with the police department and there was some exchange of emails that there was going to be something done and that was forwarded to us.” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) crime data tracking back to Jan. 1, 2011 showed no reported incidents or calls for service related to public indecency or other sex-related crimes within a halfmile of the Boyce Park area. In fact, records dating back to Jan. 1, 2009, showed only three calls for service for indecent exposure, though there were no reported incidents or arrests for the same. Following their initial report, WBTV aired another story after County Commissioner James publicly questioned how recreation officials were dealing with “sexual predators” and the “moral scourge” in Mecklenburg County parks. James claimed the parks had become home to “homos-xual infestations” and that the police still “arrest about 250 homos-xuals a year.”

WBTV also interviewed this writer, though qnotes later issued a statement clarifying statements the station misrepresented on air. Despite no evidence indicating a problem with illegal sexual activity in James Boyce Park — evidence outlined by this paper several times — Milligan insisted Crump’s story was accurate, though he declined to comment directly on qnotes’ statement. “We’re standing by the content of our story,” Milligan told Creative Loafing. “We have confidence in our story, and we reported it in a pretty straightforward fashion and that’s all I have to say. I’m not going to get into any specifics of what he [qnotes’ editor] had to say. He has his own opinions, and he’s certainly entitled to his opinions. We stick by the story and our reporting of that story.” Uncovering the truth Following WBTV’s report, qnotes decided to do what Crump and his colleagues chose not to. We immediately undertook an investigation of arrests and charges for solicitation of a crime against nature and requested information from CMPD for all of 2010 and 2011 through the end of February. According to CMPD’s Rob Tufano, a total of 325 people were charged in 2010 and 2011 with soliciting a crime against nature. Of the total, only 69 were men. Forty-seven men were arrested and charged, and the remainder were issued citations. qnotes further requested the public synopsis for each of the 47 case numbers provided to us by CMPD officials. After reviewing each, an obvious trend became clear. The majority (32 of 47) of cases were related to prostitution or narcotics activity, including several specifically linked to CMPDled prostitution and narcotics investigations. Only 15 cases involved men charged with a non-prostitution-, non-drug-related solicitation of a crime against nature. Five occurred at the Charlotte-Douglas Airport overlook on Old Dowd Rd., another five at an interstate rest area, three at Kilborne Park in east Charlotte, one at a hotel or motel and one on N. Tryon St. Heterosexual prostitution ‘predominant’ problem The arrest records validate the experience of CMPD Sgt. B.D. Hollar, a unit leader in the

Meeting Date: Program:

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Shirking their responsibility The Society of Professional Journalists calls news-media professionals to seek the truth, report it with thoroughness and fair-

see Park on 18 By the numbers Total CAN* charges: CAN charges, female: CAN charges, male: CAN arrests, male: Prostitution/narcotics related arrests, male: Non-prostitution/narcotics related arrests, male: …in parks**: …in other public areas:

325 256 69 47 32 15 3 12

* Total number of individuals charged with soliciting a crime against nature in 2010 and in 2011 through Feb. 18, 2011. ** All three occurred at Kilborne Park in east Charlotte. No arrests were made in James Boyce Park in 2010 or in 2011 through Feb. 18, 2011.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 J.D. Lewis and “Twelve in Twelve” A philanthropic trip around the world with his two sons Lesbian & Gay Community Center 820 Hamilton St. Cash Bar Social/Heavy Hor d’oeuvres @ 5:30 pm Program starts @ 6:45 pm $20 Call 704.565.5075 or email businessguild@yahoo.com for more information or pay online via PayPal at www.charlottebusinessguild.org

www.charlottebusinessguild.org



department’s vice and narcotics division. “It happens, but, no, I wouldn’t say the parks are overrun with it,” he told qnotes via phone in late February. “What we generally, mainly enforce is the prostitution. We have a proliferation of it on the internet. It used to be Craigslist; now it is Backpage. We also have a decent sized street prostitution problem here in Charlotte and at back massage parlors.” Vice crackdowns on prostitution are primarily complaint-driven, Hollar said. “When we have complaints in reference to prostitution, we’ll get specific complaints on specific people,” he explained. Similarly, stings and operations targeting other types of illegal sexual activity in public are also guided by complaints. “When we do get the complaints we handle them,” he said, pointing to Kilborne Park as a recent trouble spot. The majority of arrested men, Hollar said, are either married or haven’t publicly acknowledged their sexual orientation.


Liz Taylor mourned by AIDS activists LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The world lost a fierce HIV/AIDS advocate with the March 23 death of actress Elizabeth Taylor. The Oscar-winning beauty launched a second career as an AIDS activist in 1985 when she organized AIDS Project Los Angeles’s first “Commitment to Life” event, which would go on to become the biggest Elizabeth Taylor (r) with Rock Hudson AIDS fundraiser in history. and Liza Minnelli. “It’s impossible to underestimate Elizabeth Taylor’s impact on the fight against AIDS from the very beginning,” said APLA Executive Director Craig E. Thompson. “We’re simply devastated by her loss.” For Taylor, the fight against AIDS became personal from the start. While she and her publicist worked in the first months of 1985 to organize the inaugural “Commitment to Life” gala, she would learn that her friend and co-star Rock Hudson was dying of the disease. Despite — and because of — widespread silence within the entertainment community, Taylor worked to pack the Bonaventure Hotel for the gala, which raised $1.3 million. More than 2,500 attended, and Taylor took the stage to present the first Commitment to Life award to First Lady Betty Ford. Among the attendees were Abigail Van Buren, Cher, Sammy Davis, Jr., Burt Lancaster, Cyndi Lauper, Shirley MacLaine, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder. Taylor was honored at the following year’s Commitment to Life gala, and the event continued annually for more than a decade, raising millions for APLA’s work in Los Angeles. Her AIDS activism reached far beyond entertainment circles and into the political arena, as well. In 1986, she co-founded The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and testified before a U.S. Senate Committee in support of federal funding for HIV care and treatment. In 1991, she launched The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which continues to provide funding for HIV and AIDS programs globally, including those at APLA. Taylor herself remained a fierce advocate for HIV-related work. She appeared as recently as 2009 on the stage of Macy’s and American Express Passport in Los Angeles — another annual event that she helped found, which has raised more than $28 million for AIDS organizations, including APLA, over its three decades. “We’ve lost one of the boldest advocates our community has seen,” Thompson said, “but her tremendous impact lives with us.” — compiled by David Stout

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t-notes by robbi cohn :: qnotes contributor

Marriage equality I don’t expect this to be the most popular column I’ve ever written. In fact, this will probably be deemed contentious and recalcitrant. I know how important the issue of marriage equality is to many within the gay and lesbian communities. You may have wondered why some of your trans friends are turning their collective backs regarding this issue. It’s not that we don’t support the general agenda of equal rights. We do. And, it isn’t that spousal equality doesn’t affect trans individuals. It does. The rationale underlying my lack of interest and support for marriage equality must be seen through the eyes of proportion. Last month I wrote about the results of the mammoth trans survey which has plainly demonstrated that opportunities and quality of life for trans persons indicate “injustice at every turn.” For a significant portion of the trans population, life has become a matter of survival. For a majority of trans identified individuals, life is substantially burdensome. And, too many trans persons are marginalized, vilified, ostracized and, in some cases, murdered. Yet, the history of trans activism within the LGBT umbrella has seen a consistent pattern of pejorative treatment. If it wasn’t the baseless and untenable argument that we should be patient and wait our turn, then it was the patronizing and condescending handling of trans issues or the co-opting of trans tragedy as a fundraising tool to increase the coffers of Gay, Inc. and its single-minded effort to work on legislation paramount to the gay community. To wit: marriage equality, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). The history is remarkably clear. Even as far back as the early 1990’s (much earlier, in fact) we see evidence of an extreme lack of sensitivity and understanding by the gay hierarchical structure vis-à-vis the inclusion of trans issues in the broad umbrella of discrimination. This is all the more incomprehensible given that, in many cases, discriminatory behavior has been generally prompted by the alleged transgression of gender expression in a world which thrives on gender normativity. The view toward LGBT solidarity was irrevocably damaged after the 2007 fiasco over the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA). It became obviously apparent that many in the LG world not only did not understand the nature of trans discrimination, but displayed an acute insensitivity towards the repercussions of a non-inclusive ENDA. We’ll come back for you later, we were told. Yet, reality proves that revisiting this kind of legislation is rare and that many in the gay and lesbian communities could care less. HRC made that abundantly clear. Fast forward to the Obama administration. We thought the time had come for total inclusivity. We’ll all get there together. We’ll pass all the legislative measures for which we’ve been fighting…and first, and foremost, will be ENDA. That’s not what happened. Instead, the first bill passed was a relatively toothless hate crimes bill. Sure, this was necessary, but not the most important piece of legislation needing passage. Regardless, ENDA still appeared to be on track, until the fight for health care became a juggernaut with its own mass-dominating politics. ENDA was essentially shunted to the side, even though talk still circulated that leant credibility to its possible introduction and support.

Sadly, this wasn’t the case. In fact, the contentiousness of Congress and the inability to address cloture issues, the perpetual boondoggle agenda mobilized by the Republican caucus, essentially doomed ENDA. Yet, there was enough support for the dismantling of DADT, and the lame duck congress, along with executive support, managed to see this bogus program get dumped. There is every reason to presume that ENDA might have been that last ditch piece of legislation, yet it seemingly wasn’t even up for consideration. Now that DADT has been undone, what is the most important issue that most gay and lesbian activists are hoping to advance? Is ENDA finally the consensus favorite? Nope. The number one issue which members of the LG communities hope to advance is marriage equality, as well as the corollary

repeal of DOMA. The political affairs of the state of Maryland have been a microcosmic slice of what activists are addressing nationwide. And, the hypocrisy is blatant. Many bloggers in the trans community have addressed this disparity, foremost amongst them Transgriot, ENDAblog and Planetransgender. What is the nature of this disparity? In Maryland, concurrent bills were put before the state legislature — a marriage equality bill and a transgender protections bill. Of course, when it comes to marriage equality, the tactic of incrementalism is unacceptable. Nothing short of full equality in marriage will be championed or accepted. Yet, the bill which would make discrimination against trans individuals illegal was amended to remove the “public accommodations” language. A transgender protections bill without public accommodations is essentially worthless. Most trans activists would rather see no bill than one so poorly constructed. Yet, Equality Maryland has been fully supportive of this incremental approach for the trans rights bill, even thought that kind of strategy is deemed unacceptable when we talk about marriage equality. In Maryland, public accommodations

protections for gay and lesbian individuals were passed in the early 1990’s under the aegis of across-the-board anti-discrimination legislation. Yet, here we are in 2011 and Equality Maryland supports a bill which denies trans persons the identical protections it’s members enjoy. Insisting that something is better than nothing subverts the very safeguards that gay and lesbian persons would insist upon for themselves. And to only advocate legislation mandating full marriage equality rather than work toward a compromise (read: incremental) civil unions language appears to make a fairly clear statement. Incrementalism is acceptable for the trans bill, but unacceptable for the marriage equality bill. The trans community is merely asking for fair and equal treatment, made all the more difficult when our allies neither understand nor support our core issues. Next month this column will address the issue of public accommodations and why it’s such a critical part of any anti-discrimination legislation. : : — Comments and corrections can be sent to editor@goqnotes.com. To contact Robbi Cohn, email robbi_cohn108@yahoo.com..

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“Say Anything”   2. Wayne and Garth’s“Bohemian Rhapsody” headbang in the car in “Wayne’s World” by david stout :: david@goqnotes.com   3. Tom Cruise cuts loose in his underwear to “Old Time The music scene onscreen Rock N Roll” in “Risky Business” Music and movies are indelibly linked. So   4. In “Reservoir Dogs,” Michael Madsen hacks off a man’s much so, in fact, that the first feature-length ear while groovin’ to “Stuck in the Middle With You” talkie was “The Jazz Singer”— the story   5. Pulse-pounding “Ride of the Valkyries” helicopter assault in of a Jewish cantor who defies his family’s “Apocalypse Now” religious heritage to perform popular music.   6. “Unchained Melody” pottery scene between Patrick Swayze In the ensuing years motion pictures and Demi Moore in “Ghost” have provided us with an unforgettable array of music and iconic   7. Toga partiers “Shout” it out loud in “National Lampoon’s movie moments set to it. Recently, AOL’s Moviefone released its Animal House” ranking of the 50 Best Music Scenes in Movies.   8. “Tiny Dancer” sing-along on the bus in “Almost Famous” The criteria for consideration was that the song or music had to   9. Matthew Broderick “Twist and Shout”s on a parade float in be “diegetic.” In other words, it had to come from the characters or “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” from a source within the film (such as a radio) that the characters 10. PeeWee Herman’s biker bar “Tequila” dance in “PeeWee’s could hear just like the audience. This meant that some films with Big Adventure” celebrated soundtracks, like “The Graduate,” were ineligible, since 11. “Casablanca” becomes even more beloved “As Time Goes the songs are another form of scoring. (Also note that musicals By,” so play it again, Sam were disqualified since they are another movie beast altogether.) 12. Patrick Swayze (again) and Jennifer Grey’s “Dirty Dancing” to Here’s the top half of Moviefone’s list with additional   (“I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” is a real pick-me-up commentary. 13. A jedi walks into a bar — where an alien band is playing   1. Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) standing outside Diane Court’s klezmer-style in “Star Wars” window, arms aloft holding boombox playing “In Your Eyes” in 14. “This Is Spinal Tap”…and this is a side-splittingly small

audiophile

“Stonehenge” set for the band’s big showstopper 15. Tom Cruise (again) goes down in flames for Kelly McGillis while crooning “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” in “Top Gun” 16. “Dueling Banjos” is upbeat, but it feels (rightly, we soon learn) like a dark foreshadowing in “Deliverance” 17. Aliens and humans bond over a sequence of musical tones in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” 18. Duckie’s manic lip sync of “Try A Little Tenderness” grabs “Pretty In Pink” Molly Ringwald 19. Marty McFly plays “Johnny B. Goode” and invents rock and roll in “Back To The Future” 20. Malcolm McDowell unleashes a deluge of violence while “Singin’ in the Rain” in “A Clockwork Orange” 21. John Travolta busts a disco move to “You Should Be Dancing” in “Saturday Night Fever” 22. Tom Hanks’ little-kid-in-a-“Big”-man’s-body plays chopsticks with his feet at FAO Schwarz 23. In the library, “The Breakfast Club” — the athlete, the basket case, the princess and the criminal — rock out to “We Are Not Alone” by Karla DeVito. 24. Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) enchants with a plaintive “Moon River” in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” 25. Dr. Frankenstein (that’s Fronk-en-steen) and his namesake creation soft-shoe their way through “Puttin’ On The Ritz” in “Young Frankenstein.” : : info: audiophile@goqnotes.com

qomunity qonexions u

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STAGE

No strings attached Avenue Qmmunity characters and puppets use fiction to highlight real issues by Leah Cagle :: leah@goqnotes.com The cast of ‘Avenue Q’ with Tim Kornblum at far left. Photo Credit: © John Daughtry 2009

A

s bright-eyed young people, we all had questions about life, love and how the world works. So, we turned to the influences we trust most in life — our parents, our friends and, perhaps, most memorably, our TV programs. But, what happens when we cross over that inevitable border into adulthood? Who is there to answer the difficult questions we encounter them then? Often, just as the most pressing questions of adulthood emerge, the advising panel disappears. Well, lucky for us, our answer may have just pulled into town. This April, one of the most beloved recent musicals is hitting the Queen City theater scene. “Avenue Q,” a quirky two-part musical, creates a fun adult mimicry of “Sesame Street”-like childhood programs by combining youthful style with mature issues. Satirizing the supposedly false promises of uniqueness, possibility and success ensured by childhood television shows, “Avenue Q”’s characters — both person and puppet — playfully and comically comment on the harsh reality that many adults arrive upon with blunt reception — that they are not so special and that, in fact, sometimes “it sucks to be me.” The creation of this theatrical gem was a group collaboration. Musicians and lyricists Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx dreamed up the production almost a decade ago, originally envisioning it as a television series. However, in 2002 the show was developed into a stage production directed by Jason Moore and a year later the performance went live as an Off-Broadway production. Only three short months later, the production had become a sensation, rocketing the musical to Broadway and meriting substantial praise and a whop-

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ping four extensions. And, the accolades go on. “Avenue Q” went on to score three Tony Awards —including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book — and win the 2003 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Musical. The musical was also recognized with a nomination for the 2003 Outer Critics Circle Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical award. ”Avenue Q” played its final Broadway performance on Sept. 13, 2009, but the fat lady is far from belting out that final note. The success spawned national tours, international productions and static performances in Las Vegas and London’s West End. And, now, all the crazy excitement of “Avenue Q” is coming to Knight Theatre in Charlotte! So what’s all the fuss about? To those of you who may be new to “the ‘Avenue Q’ neighborhood,” here’s the gist: Princeton (played by David Colston Corris), a naive and wide-eyed dreamer fresh out of college ventures to New York City with nothing to his name but hope and ambition. Lacking any sort of financial assets, Princeton commits to a cheap neighborhood in the city where the rent is low and the neighbors are nice — Avenue Q. In forging new relationships with one another, Princeton and his neighbors learn what it means to take on the tough questions in life hand-in-hand. A deeper connection “Avenue Q”’s very own Tim Kornblum, who plays the role of Brian in the musical, took a few minutes to share with qnotes what this experience has meant to him. Originally from Union, N.J., Kornblum stumbled upon his

love for acting in theater classes and productions put on by his high school. In college, his talents were sidelined. Kornblum focused on his athletic skill, playing sports throughout his university career and studying toward a degree in psychology. But, before graduation, he struck up a deal with his parents about an upcoming acting opportunity. “If I got the job then I didn’t have to go back to school…and luckily enough for me, I got the job,” he says. Since then, Kornblum has taken on some fantastic roles in other productions — Max Prince in Neil Simon’s “Laughter,” Lenny Ganz in Neil Simon’s “Rumors” and Thenardier in “Les Miserables.” But, Kornblum shares an especially strong connection with the plot in “Avenue Q.” “Well it’s essentially a show where puppets and humans and all different kinds of characters live together in comedy… but, they are adult scenes….everything to homosexuality, struggle to find purpose in life, to racism,” he relates. “Any problem that you encounter in growing up, it deals with.” “Avenue Q” plays on the lesson-giving nature of most childhood TV shows and tackles the difficult, sometimes racy task of addressing their adult audiences with advice on real issues. Some of the songs include: “If You Were Gay,” “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist,” “The Internet Is For Porn” and “It Sucks To Be Me”. Kornblum is a self-proclaimed “struggling comedian” and says he relates identically with his character role of Brian. Yet, his emotional connection with the stories in “Avenue Q” dives even deeper. “I saw the show for the first time in 2006

and I fell in love with it immediately,” he says, relating his own coming out journey and the inspiration he says he received from the musical’s closeted, gay character. Watching the character navigate the difficult journey of self-acceptance gave Kornblum the surge of courage he needed to come out to his friends and family. Kornblum places significance in performance art and he thinks the same inspiration that gave him courage to came out can have an affect on others and the greater LGBT community. “I think that to do theater, to act, specifically in theater, you really have to have so many deep seated emotions that most people don’t have to tap into in everyday life,” Kornblum says. “And, I think particularly for a gay actor or audience member, it helps you to accept yourself…in whatever situation but especially in the gay community but being able…to get comfortable in your own skin. That’s why there is such an LGBT following.” Kornblum’s trip to Charlotte will be his first, but it seems the Queen City’s reputation proceeds itself. “I’m really excited to finally get a chance to visit there…it will be nice to be there for a week and see what all the hubbub is about,” he says. The show will take the stage at Blumenthal’s Knight Theatre April 5-10. Tickets range from $20-$85 and can be purchased at blumenthalarts.org. If you are considering bringing your family, be sure to check out “Avenue Q”’s maturity warning at avenueq. com/about.html. Performances in Durham will also be staged April 19-20; visit dpacnc.com for more information. : :


Stomp 2011 celebrates anniversary

COMMUNITY

Southern Country Charlotte marks 20 years of service by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

Charlotte’s LGBT Country Western dancing and social group is celebrating 20 years this year and their annual Queen City Stomp — slated for April 15-17 — is set once again to raise much-needed funds for area non-profits. The event features cocktail parties, dance lessons and evening dances, along with a silent auction and other activities. It’s Southern Country Charlotte’s preeminent annual event, attracting hundreds of locals, as well as other Country Western dance enthusiasts from across the country. Founded in 1991, Southern Country Charlotte’s original group of organizers sought to promote Country Western music. But, their mission grew as the years went by. Southern Country registered themselves as a non-profit and began to raise funds for local community groups. Proceeds from events ranging from car washes and yard sales to auctions and their annual Queen City Stomp have totaled nearly $100,000 in cash, goods and services benefitting groups like the American Cancer

Society, the Battered Women’s Shelter, House of Mercy, the Lesbian & Gay Community Center and Time Out Youth, among others. The group’s president, Chris Gray, says he’s glad Southern Country Charlotte has forged its own path as a funder of local LGBT initiatives. “We are able to raise money for organizations and charities while at the same time getting out and doing stuff in the community as much as we can,” he says. “Even with the economy last year, we were able to raise around $10,000. That was a great thing and we hope to keep it going.” The event kicks off on April 15 with a welcome cocktail party hosted by Southern Country Charlotte board members. Beginner line dancing lessons follow at 8 p.m. with Stomp’s Welcome Dance slated for 9 p.m. Dance lessons will be offered the following day from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Queen City Stomp’s annual Cattle Call Ball opens at 9 p.m. All events will be held at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel, 3315 Scott Futrell Dr. For more information or to register for events, visit queencitystomp.com. : :

Photo Credit: LeeNachtigal, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Pet and owner look-a-like competition Do you and your furry friend happen to share a resemblance? Send in a photo to see how you measure up with the rest of our readers. by Leah Cagle :: leah@goqnotes.com

In anticipation of our upcoming print edition celebrating our furry (and sometimes not-sofurry) friends and their owners, qnotes is opening a fun competition to our readers. First, take a picture with your doggie doppelgnger, comparable kitty, reptilian resembler or fishy friend and email it to us at arts@goqnotes.com. If your team scores in the top 10 entries, qnotes will contact you requesting a short 50 word story on how you met your adorable other half. Then, look forward to seeing your photo in our April 16 issue, in print and online! For more information or if you have any questions, email leah@goqnotes.com.

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out in the stars by charlene lichtenstein :: qnotes contributor

April 2 - 15 We can fall head over heels for just another pretty face, especially when Neptune enters Pisces and conjuncts Venus. Will it be just another fling once the dust settles or will it be something much more? Let’s guess. ARIES (03.21-04.20) Proud Rams love the sound of their own voice. However, you will go on…and on…until it is clear to all that you either do not know what you are talking about or are some sort of savant. Expect vivid dreams awash with revelations from ghostly spirits and seers from beyond. Interpret their whisperings wisely; you know how a game of “telephone” works. TAURUS (04.21-05.21) There may be a certain friend who begins to look pretty darned good. Queer Bulls, anxious for connection, may passionately plug into a platonic partner. Please, do not be tempted. This is a giddy, transitory phase that will dissipate as the weeks wear on. It would be a shame to ruin a perfectly good friendship on a night (or less) of extremely foggy emotion. GEMINI (05.22-06.21) There is someone trying to pull the professional wool over your eyes, pink Twin. Take note and file for future reference. This time period places you in the suckers corner where those with even less scruples than you try to take advantage. My advice: Remain practical and don’t make any major moves or major decisions for the next few weeks. Then find your own sucker. CANCER (06.22-07.23) Don’t take anything at face value, especially when it comes in contract form. Legal issues become a minefield

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and where you think you are making headway, you can run right into a brick wall. Ouch! So read the fine print and ask advice, gay Crab. Temporarily sequester yourself in friendlier environs. You will settle the score soon enough. LEO (07.24.08.23) Life wraps you up in one big sensuous dream. Proud Lions may not know which end is up, which may not be a bad thing! You are awash with romantic intention and ache to spread your good vibes (and other attributes) around. But, will your amour du jour last? It’s up to you lover. Enter with your eyes wide open. Err, is that all? VIRGO (08.24-09.23) Simple situations suddenly become much more complicated or, at least, much more emotional right now. You may be a superstar around senior staff, but your petty antics won’t impress your most important constituency — your partner. Queer Virgins should not confuse those who feed with those who feast. Chew on this for a while before you bite again. LIBRA (09.24-10.23) Every quack diet and every strange health regime seems to be the magic pill for you now. How many pounds of whoknows-what do you have to consume before you feel on top of your game? The lesson to be learned is to love yourself for who you are inside and out. Make your own magic concoctions and share with a (very) good friend. SCORPIO (10.24.11.22) Proud Scorps are ready for a rollicking good time. Let them roll — bank roll that is — and make every jolly effort an expensive one. You may not know when enough is enough. But, hey, when you’ve got it, spend it to the hilt. Just remember that by the end of these two weeks, you may not have so much of it anymore. Who will love you then, baby? SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) Home is where the heart is, or something like that. Fact is, sweetheart, you may not be sure what to find at home right now. Gay Archers are apt to discover a few surprises when it comes to certain long-term and predictable relationships. Your reactions will determine whether these surprises turn into landmines or dust bunnies. Hey, but you never overreact. Ha! CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) Get with the program bud. The fates goad you into making outrageous statements. You are bored! Bored! Sure, life as a mangy rat on a treadmill is not exactly what you envisioned for yourself, but don’t bow to the temptation to call it as you see it. Pink Caps should spend their time recharging and begin to feel the spring in their step. Don’t step in it now. AQUARIUS (01.21-02.19) Aqueerians become romantically inspired and think there is nothing better, nothing nicer than to shower their personal trinket with fabulous treasures. This may get the attention of a few fast friends who hope to benefit from your largess. Keep a beady eye open for opportunists and interlopers though. Stick with those who are tried and true — at least for now. PISCES (02.20-03.20) There are times to get out there, mingle and meet new folks and then there are times to refrain from meeting. You may find that it will be difficult to tell when your presence is no longer required (or desired). What is a well-meaning Guppie to do? Better plan for a few quiet evenings and make your best impression on your sofa. : : © 2011 Madam Lichtenstein, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Entertainment. info: Visit www.TheStarryEye.com for e-greetings, horoscopes and Pride jewelry. My book “HerScopes: A Guide To Astrology For Lesbians” from Simon & Schuster is available at bookstores and major booksites.


tell trinity by trinity :: qnotes contributor

How long is too long for the first kiss Hey Trinity, I’m openly gay and seeing a closeted guy for a couple of weeks. He hasn’t even kissed me yet. Am I wasting my time? Kissless, Atlanta, GA Hey Kissless, Some closeted men won’t kiss till they’re sure they like someone. Also, some men hang around hoping   they’ll become interested when they’re not sure. And, even other men are too nice to say they’re not interested for sure. That’s men, that’s dating and that’s life, pumpkin! Give it a month (that’s all) and if there’s no lip action, you’re beating a closeted horse! Dearest Trinity, I think my live-in boyfriend is stealing from me, but he swears he’s not. A few months ago, I also caught him drinking when he swore he wasn’t. If I can’t trust him, what should I do? Caught Twice, Miami Beach, FL Dearest Caught Twice, When someone lies the first time, make a mental note, but by the third time make a dash for the door. Listen, honey, what a

man says and does is often not the same thing! (See if I have learned what to do in my cartoon.) Hello Trinity, I keep dating people I’m not attracted to, but because they’re nice or generous, I try until eventually I can’t do it anymore. How do I stop this pattern without giving up dating? Trapped In Kindnessville?, San Diego, CA Hello Trapped In Kindnessville, Being kind always takes precedence over selfishness. However, you are not responsible for everyone’s feelings. We all create our own good and bad situations so we can learn about life, love and about acceptance and rejection. Now, sweetie, to stop this “mercy dating” a) stop accepting dates from people you’re unattracted to by saying “No” immediately; b) wait before sleeping with anyone so no one gets hurt; and c) start approaching people you are attracted to! Dating means feeling an attraction, be it intellectual, sexual or financial! Dear Trinity, Last month I introduced my new boyfriend and his X-rated tattoos to my parents. I’m afraid they’re still in shock. Why should I keep secrets from my parents? Shouldn’t they be part of my life too? Freedom Of Speech, Vancouver, BC Dear Freedom Of Speech, To be honest, no! Your parents are not your parole officers. They need to be part of your life and the key word is “part.” You’ll understand one day, but for now start reading:

Trinity’s Sexy Secrets You Don’t Need To Share With Your Parents   1. You don’t need to share your S&M fetish lifestyle. The latex tuxedo you wore to your niece’s wedding was enough!   2. You don’t need to show off all your girlfriend’s tattoos? Just because she thinks Jesus being eaten by Satan is cool, your parents don’t have to!   3. You don’t need to disclose your fantasy-come-true relationship with the Las Vegas stripper/porn star. The lap dance at your father’s 60th was enough!   4. You don’t need to share the trials and tribulations of your threesome relationship! They live in Nebraska for God’s sake.   5. You don’t need to show off your boyfriend’s and your new piercings just because your mother likes jewelry!   6. You really don’t need to share your lover’s new silicon injected penis at your annual Smith family summer barbeque do you?   7. You don’t need to tell your father, his wife, your mother and her lover about your boyfriend’s night in drag, leading to his arrest. It’s not that funny!   8. You don’t need to let everyone know that you both take drugs strictly for sexual purposes. Isn’t anything sacred?   9. You don’t need to tell Auntie Em that your new date is with the Hells Angels. Didn’t she have enough troubles with your last ex, “the hit man?” 10. Lastly, you don’t need to tell your 75-year-old mother on her deathbed that your girlfriend is really a boy! It’s not always about you! : : — With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity was host of “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama, and now performs globally. info: www.telltrinity.com . Trinity@telltrinity.com Tell Trinity, P.O. Box 23861 . Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33307 Sponsored by: Provincetown Business Guild 800-637-8696 . www.ptown.org

April 2-15 . 2011

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Park sex myth busted continued from page 8

ness, to minimize harm, and be accountable to mistakes, unethical practices and public grievances. The overwhelming majority of journalists abide by such codes, though, occasionally, journalists shirk their duties and responsibilities to the public in exchange for sensationalistic tabloidism. Such was the case for WBTV’s reports on alleged-though-uncorroborated incidents of illegal sexual activity in James Boyce Park. The lopsided numbers all point to heterosexual prostitution as the primary issue of concern among sexual crimes in Charlotte — not men who have sex with men. Upon further investigation and upon being exposed to the public, these facts are clear to even the most casual of observers. Yet, reporter Steve Crump and WBTV opted to ignore calls for accuracy, chose to distort and mislead the few facts they cared to report and played into decadesold prejudices and stereotypes of gay men. Such behavior is a clear violation of journalistic ethics and can do irreparable

harm to LGBT people. That’s why qnotes, unlike our colleagues at WBTV, opted to engage in real journalism, investigate the issue and report solid facts. We also sought to hold our colleagues at WBTV accountable. This report — the culmination of research and investigation, not sensationalism and half-truths — has done just that. So, let the myth be quashed. There is no “infestation” of gay men in Mecklenburg County parks. There is no overwhelming problem — that is, except for heterosexual prostitution. The evidence points Charlotte — and, in particular, County Commissioner Bill James and WBTV — in one clear direction: stop scapegoating gay men and start looking in the mirror. Misbehaving heterosexuals are your problem. Leave us gay folk alone. : : more: Read our original story on WBTV’s reporting at goqnotes.com/10106 and our statement, “Correcting the record,” at goqnotes.com/10136.

Def Jam co-founder among honorees Other winners include Ricky Martin, ‘True Blood,’ ‘30 Rock’ The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) held their annual media awards ceremony in New York City on March 19. Among the honorees this year was Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons. He received the GLAAD Excellence in Media Award for his contributions to diversity and equality initiatives. In his 2007 book, “Do You!,” Simmons spoke out for equality. “You can’t only support diversity and freedom when your rights are at stake,” he wrote. “You should fight for those concepts for everyone, all of the time. You should speak out against prejudice whether it’s directed toward African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Christians, Jews, blacks or white, gay or straight, women, whoever. Because an attack against any group is an attack against you.” The Rev. Al Sharpton presented the award to Simmons. : : more: View a full list of GLAAD Media Award recipients at goqnotes.com/10511. — compiled by Matt Comer from release Excellence in Media Award recipient Russell Simmons poses with the Rev. Al Sharpton at the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards presented by ROKK Vodka at New York’s Marriott Marquis on March 19.

Photo credit: © 2011 Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

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April 15-17 • Charlotte Queen City Stomp

Hundreds of participants from across the country and southeast flock to Charlotte for Southern Country Charlotte’s annual Queen City Stomp, an LGBT Country-Western dancing festival including evening parties and dances and daytime dancing lessons and more. For more information, including registration, event details and lodging options, visit queencitystomp.com.

April 2-3 • Charlotte Antiques Show The International Collectibles and Antigues Show wraps up its four-day stopover in the Queen City at the Metrolina Expo. 7100 Statesville Rd. $10 with free parking. 704-7147909. icashows.com. April 3 • Raleigh ‘Over Jordan’ Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus presents “Over Jordan — A Sunday Afternoon Gospel Celebration.” A TGMC fundraising event, with special guest gospel music sensation Mr. Robin Davis. Church of the Good Shepherd, 121 Hillsborough St. 2-4 p.m. VIP ticket package includes catered lunch and concert, $35. Concert only, $15. Tickets at tgmchorus.org/events. April 5 • Davidson Eli Clare Writer, poet and activist Eli Clare visits Davidson College to discuss his studies and experiences of gender, queerness and disability. Alvarez College Union, Room 900. 207 Faculty Dr. 7:30 p.m. Free. eliclare.com. davidson.edu. April 7 • Chapel Hill ‘Shortbus’ Internationalist Books hosts a queer movie night featuring, “Shortbus,” a sexually diverse ensemble of emotionally challenged characters desperately try to connect in New York City. 405 W. Franklin St. 7 p.m. Free. 919-9421740. internationalistbooks.org. April 8-17 • Winston-Salem RiverRun Film Fest A bevy of cinema venues and other spaces across the City of Arts make way for this year’s RiverRun International Film Festival. Sponsored by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Arts Council and Reynolds American, among others, the 10-day event features a variety of feature-length and short films from all genres and across the world. A special screening of “We Were Here,” a documentary exploring the impact of HIV/AIDS in 1980s San Francisco will be presented at various times and venues April 15-17. For more information on venues, films, tickets and more, visit riverrunfilm.com. April 9 • Belmont 20th Anniversary AIDS Walk Join House of Mercy’s 20th Anniversary Walk for AIDS to raise AIDS awareness and funds to benefit the organization’s low-income residents living with advanced AIDS. First 300 walkers raising $50 or more will receive Walk T-shirts. Sotto Voce of One Voice Chorus and Honorary Walk Chair Eric Thomas, WBTV Meteorologist, will welcome walkers at 10 a.m. A picnic reception with music on the House of Mercy grounds follows the three-mile walk through historic downtown Belmont. See thehouseof  mercy.org/11walk.htm for donation forms, map and team information.

April 15 • Chapel Hill ‘Gypsy Sexuality’ Author Jud Nirenburg joins Internationalist Books to discuss his book “Gypsy Sexuality: Romani and Outsider Perspectives on Intimacy.” Explore the myths about the romantic and alluring Gypsies and some of the most controversial realities. 405 W Franklin St. 7 p.m. Free. 919-942-1740. internationalistbooks.org. April 16 • Charlotte BarCamp Charlotte 5 A recurring, democratically-organized “unconference” on tech, media, art and culture. Pre-register at barcampclt.org. Area Fifteen, 515 E. 15th St. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. barcampclt.org. April 16 • Charlotte Petra’s Got Talent Petra’s continues their search for huge talent with eight new contestants. Calling all performers: vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, comedians, drag performers, stupid dog tricks and more! Cash prizes for the top three and bookings for first place. Visit petraspianobar. com for official contestant rules. Audience will decide the winner. Petra’s Piano Bar,   1919 Commonwealth Ave. 10 p.m.   petraspianobar.com. April 17 • Durham ‘Sing for the Cure’ Kick-Off Social Common Woman Chorus and Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus co-host a casual event to promote the upcoming Triangle premiere performance of “Sing for the Cure” on June 12 at the Meymandi Concert Hall. Proceeds benefit the choruses and Susan G. Komen for the Cure-NC Triangle. Cash bar, free appetizers. Suggested donation of $20. Revolution Restaurant, 107 W. Main St. 3-6 p.m. tgmchorus.org/events. April 20 • Rock Hill Wednesday Night Out Amici’s Italian Restaurant in Rock Hill hosts a weekly night out for the surrounding LGBT community. WNO is a gay professionals happy hour for the Rock Hill/South Charlotte area — a perfect opportunity to meet make new friends and get connected. 2732 Celanese Rd. For more information, call 803-328-6836. April 23 • Charlotte Plaza Midwood Spring Party Music from more than half a dozen bands and musicians. Artwork from community artists. Food from the Diamond. This and more at the Plaza Midwood Spring Party, hosted by Petra’s. 1919 Commonwealth Ave.   petraspianobar.com. April 27 • Chapel Hill ‘Adam’s Gift’ Internationalist Books hosts the Rev. Jimmy Creech discussing his new book “Adam’s Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor’s Calling to Defy the Church’s Persecution of Lesbians and Gays,” a moving story and an important chapter

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events qnotes goqnotes.com/qguide/events

arts. entertainment. news. views. in the unfinished struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil and human rights. 405 W. Franklin St. Free. 919-942-1740. internationalistbooks.org. April 28 • Charlotte Pecha Kucha Local artists and creative souls gather for a unique show-and-tell presenting 20 slides for 20 seconds each in what organizers call an “exhilarating kaleidoscope of inspirations, ideas and work.” Amos’ Southend. 1423 S. Tryon St. 7:30 p.m. pecha-kucha.org/night/ charlotte/. May 3 • Charlotte Walk against domestic violence The Avon Foundation presents Walk the Course Against Domestic Violence. Walk up to 18 holes (5 miles) alongside tournament players’ wives and families at Quail Hollow Club, a PGA TOUR course, to raise funds and awareness for the domestic violence cause. All proceeds benefit local domestic violence organizations. $35 per person ($25 before 4/22), under 12 free. Quail Hollow Club, 3700 Gleneagles Rd. 6-9 p.m. 866-646-2866.   walkthecourseagainstdv.org. May 6 • Charlotte Empower(mint) The Mint Museum in Charlotte is hosting three “First Friday” Mint events this summer, the second of which is Empower(mint). The Mint Museum Uptown will be organizing live entertainment, gallery tours, hands-on art activities and a cash bar. The event is free for members or $10 for non-members. The Levine Center for the Arts, 500 S. Tryon St. 6-11 p.m. For more information contact April Young at april.young@ mintmuseum.org or call 704-337-2034. May 6 • Charlotte HIV, AIDS, and You Art Show Local artists present their “Positively Art” show, remaining on display until June 17. The Lesbian and Gay Community Center, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B11. Show opens at 5:30 p.m. Free. 704-333-0144. gaycharlotte.com. May 7 • Charlotte AIDS Walk Charlotte One of the largest AIDS fundraisers across the Carolinas, AIDS Walk Charlotte raises funds for the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network. To register walk teams or learn more, visit aidswalkcharlotte.org. May 14 • Charlotte Queen City Drag Race The second annual Queen City Drag Race heats up! Competitions, music, drink and food! Proceeds benefit Human Rights Campaign and Pride Charlotte. Hartigan’s Irish Pub, 601 S. Cedar St. 1-6 p.m. queencitydragrace.com.

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QNotes April 2-15, 2011