April 12-25 . 2013
April 12-25. 2013
April 12-25, 2013 Vol 27 No 26
arts. entertainment. news. views.
contributors this issue
news & features
6 News Notes: Regional Briefs 8 Mayor will not seek re-election 8 Foxx is mum on marriage
a&e / life&style
11 Young Professionals 17 Drag Rag 18 GayCharlotte Film Festival 20 Out in the Stars 21 Tell Trinity 22 Fabulance 22 Jane’s World 23 Q events calendar
opinions & views
Paige Braddock, Rosendo Brown, Matt Comer, Kevin Grooms/Miss Della, Charlene Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, Trinity, Brett Webb-Mitchell
4 4 5 5
qnotes reader survey
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Staff Editorial QPoll Editor’s Note On Being a Gay Parent
13 Here’s your chance to tell us what you think of our newspaper and online presence.
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staff editorial Local leaders’ silence speaks volumes on historic day Tuesday, March 26, 2013, was one of the most important days in history for LGBT people, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case on marriage equality for the first time. We at qnotes were naturally curious and reached out to local officials shortly before noon on that day to see where they stood on marriage equality and the two historic cases in front of the Supreme Court. By around 6:30 p.m. that evening, we received just four statements from the 21 elected officials we contacted. Per usual, the first response was from Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James, known for his conservative, anti-LGBT leanings. Supportive remarks were issued by County Commission Chairwoman Pat Cotham and at-large Charlotte Councilmembers Claire Fallon and Beth Pickering. While Mayor Anthony Foxx made no statement, his press secretary did: “Mayor’s unavailable for comment today. Sorry!” After a follow-up the next day, the response from Foxx’s office was even blunter: “No comment.” Where were your LGBT-friendly elected officials? Even after a second request, no new responses were received. The city’s
first and only openly gay or lesbian elected official, Charlotte Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield, also made no effort to issue a statement of support for LGBT people to qnotes. Neither did longtime ally and Councilmember Patsy Kinsey. A pattern of silence has emerged time and time again when this newspaper tries to reach out to those officials this community has so loyally supported year in and year out, election after election. It’s important to note one singular exception. The elected representative who has without fail responded to this newspaper’s request for comment is Bill James. He is either the first or the only local official to respond when this newspaper seeks comment on the LGBT issues we report in our community. It’s unfortunate that the only consistent conversation from elected officials that qnotes receives is from its most strident foe. For years, LGBT community members have supported many of the individuals who currently sit on our city council and county commission. On such an important, historic day, what do we get for those years of support — in money, in volunteer campaign time, in our votes? Silence. What a sad, sad commentary, indeed. : :
Do you think it is appropriate for elected leaders who have routinely wooed LGBT voters to remain silent or refuse to vote on important matters of LGBT equality? • Yes, paternalistic leaders should expect queers, like children, to be seen only and not heard. • Yes, my LGBT campaign cash only buys access to handshaking and parties not to full equality under the law. • No, candidates who take LGBT money and votes should be held accountable to their constitutents. • No, candidates who promise to be “straight allies” should learn the definition of “ally.” • I don’t care as long as gay bars aren’t raided, Grindr still functions properly and I can still get my picture taken with the mayor.
Vote online at goqnotes.com/to/qpoll
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editor’s note by Matt Comer email@example.com
Foxx’s lack of visionary LGBT-inclusive leadership set top-down example This year’s city elections are shaping up to be quite an interesting race for the city’s LGBT constituents. Charlotte’s first and only openly gay or lesbian elected official, City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield, is up for her first re-election after public stumbles last spring on the anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment. That, combined with her praise for an anti-gay hate group leader last fall, left some of her fellow LGBT Charlotteans disenchanted with her leadership. But, it’s quite possible Mayfield’s re-election bid will come during a local election season in which matters of LGBT equality are a virtual non-issue. On April 5, two-term Mayor Anthony Foxx announced he would not seek a third term. The field for mayor is quickly filling in. The first to announce was Republican and LGBT-friendly former City Councilmember Edwin Peacock. In a city that traditionally shuns any public and official discussion of LGBT people and equality, could it really be possible that both major candidates for mayor, regardless of party, might hold LGBT-friendly views? Boy, how times have changed! But, what’s not changed are the views and positions of our elected leaders. Simply put, they have fallen behind their constituents.
Foxx stands as the quintessential example. No doubt, he’s been supportive of a wide range of LGBT-inclusive changes. He supported former City Manager Curt Walton’s decision to change personnel policies to protect LGBT city workers. He supported Walton’s addition of domestic partner benefits to the city’s budget last June. Foxx also made several important outreach efforts to LGBT citizens. He was the first sitting mayor to address LGBT community members at a public forum. He wrote regular letters of welcome to LGBT events. He spoke publicly at the 2011 Charlotte Pride festival. Foxx seems almost saintly when compared with his predecessor and current Gov. Pat McCrory, who routinely answered LGBT residents’ concerns and questions with blank stares and a cold shoulder. But, Foxx hasn’t been perfect. Though he’s laid the groundwork for inclusive change, Foxx never could quite bring himself to be a true leader on behalf of his LGBT constituents. Foxx told qnotes in an interview immediately after his 2009 election that he wanted to “see the City Council move on the non-discrimination issue very early in the next term.” That never happened. No vote was ever held.
on being a gay parent by Brett Webb-Mitchell qnotes contributor
I once was lost, but now I’m found [Ed. Note: The following was delivered at an Equality North Carolina sponsored marriage equality vigil in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26.] In my time as a Presbyterian pastor, I’ve been to my share of tent revivals and homecoming gatherings. This evening’s rally for marriage equality is the homecoming I hoped to find one day. And at those homecomings, one of the
popular hymns we would sing is, “Amazing Grace.” It was the first lines of the first verse that captured parts of my life narrative well: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found…” There it is: “I once was lost.” Raised by my parents to be the best little boy in the world in the American middle-class dream,
No public discussion or consideration was ever calendared. When asked early after its introduction where he stood on the state’s 2012 anti-LGBT constitutional amendment, Foxx refused to take a personal position for or against the measure, though he later did so in the comfort and presence of 1,300 friendly supporters at the 2012 Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala. As late as April, Foxx and his office backed away from issues of LGBT equality again when his spokesperson simply said, “No comment,” when asked where the mayor stood on marriage equality. Foxx’s lack of progressive and visionary leadership on LGBT issues infected the rest of City Council. Even after private polling showed a majority of Charlotte citizens — both Republicans and Democrats — supported a range of LGBT-inclusive measures, no Council member, including longtime ally Patsy Kinsey, was willing to raise their hand in support. No one advocated for a City Council resolution opposing the constitutional amendment. Even the openly gay Mayfield stood up to defend the quiet status quo, telling LGBT citizens it wasn’t an issue that affected the city. She also said City Council “has never taken a stance on anything that comes out of Raleigh,” a patently false statement in light of the city’s regular adoption of a legislative agenda outlining in-depth the city’s public policy positions on a variety of topics ranging from public safety and criminal justice to infrastructure, taxing and budgeting needs. (It’s worth noting Mayfield once told qnotes
she would support LGBT-inclusive provisions, including a statement on the amendment, in the city’s regular legislative agenda.) But, now, the die has been cast. With support for LGBT equality rapidly on the upswing, candidates for public office can no longer remain silent nor equivocate on the issues. They can no longer publicly deny our existence and human dignity by keeping discussion of our rights hidden silently out of sight and excluded from the People’s Business. As voters, we must enforce these expectations. Groups like Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC) must also uphold strict standards for the citizens who seek to represent us. If a candidate — gay, straight, Republican or Democrat — refuses to support further LGBT-inclusive changes in city ordinances, they get no endorsement. If a candidate refuses to recognize our inherent, fundamental and basic human right to marriage, they get no endorsement. If a candidate waffles on important issues like LGBT-inclusive health care, criminal justice issues, immigration issues or other topics important to the lives of LGBT citizens and residents, they get no endorsement. In an election season where two major candidates for mayor could very well be friendly to our community, no one will have an excuse to say they are, at the least, better than the other. All must be held to the same standard and none have rational reasons to remain quiet when faced with the needs of their LGBT constituents. Now is the time to choose leaders who can build on Foxx’s and other Council members’ progress and correct their missteps. : :
groomed by evangelical leaders of Young Life, InterVarsity and my local Presbyterian Church to be a minister, I did what was expected of me: I once was a married man, who was fortunate to marry his best friend from high school when we were both in college. Aware that I was gay early on in life, I also learned quickly that being gay was a “sin.” I was soon lost in my carefully constructed gay closet, with rough wooden planks of hate, screws and nails of fear and clothes of self-loathing suffocating me in my shadow life. Burying myself in the work of academe and ministry, adding on top of it the joys of being a full-time dad, I pushed aside who I really was created to be, not believing that I was created to be a man born to be in a significant relationship
with a man. However, because of my devotion to reading the Psalms, there was a verse from Psalm 139 that was like a song worm, burrowing into my consciousness: “I, God, knit you in your mother’s womb…wonderful are my works, wonderfully are you made.” These words broke down the façade of the gay closet as I slowly accepted the man I was created to be. Those words were transformed into a beacon of light that helped lead me on my pilgrimage of coming out of a 21-year marriage and embracing all of who I am. “But now I’m found.” I found my footing and now am working with others to have the choice to marry, a choice I once had when I
Meetings: Program: Time: Membership: Information:
see Gay Parent on 22
Third Tuesday of every month, except when there is specialized programming, plus monthly socials to promote networking and friendship A wide variety of topics of interest to appeal to the diverse LGBT community After work with a cash bar social and heavy hor d’oeuvres with dinner and program following Visit the website for application options and benefits. Call 704.565.5075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or write to The Charlotte Business Guild P.O. Box 33371 | Charlotte, NC 28233
www.charlottebusinessguild.org April 12-25 . 2013
news notes: carolinas. nation. world. compiled by Lainey Millen | Matt Comer
Bill seeks to limit gender neutral housing
CHAPEL HILL — A recently introduced bill in the General Assembly has students and faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) buzzing. The bill would overturn a policy passed by the university’s trustees last year allowing students of the opposite sex to share living space together. Equality North Carolina (ENC) gave a resounding condemnation to the legislation. In a statement, Executive Director Stuart Campbell said, “Senate Bill 658 sets a dangerous legislative precedent of revoking basic protections for at-risk LGBT young people. While bill sponsors toss around groundless arguments that gender neutral housing somehow detracts from academics, these Photo Credit: Zach Mullen, via flickr. types of policies actually ameliorate systemic bullyLicensed CC. ing and harassment of LGBT students — harassment that could otherwise lead to the very real dangers of depression, drop-outs and suicide.” The “gender-neutral” housing policy was adopted by UNC’s Board of Trustees to “alleviate harassment or bullying faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender students.” And, UNC-CH is not the only school that has concerns about the issue. High Country Press reported that “this bill could have ramifications on the gender-neutral bathrooms at Appalachian State University that were put in place last fall.” UNC-CH was the first public school in North Carolina to offer the gender-neutral housing choice (goqnotes.com/19182/). Now that distinction could be in jeopardy. The University of North Carolina-Charlotte had also considered inclusive housing options (goqnotes.com/19350/). It is still under advisement with the school’s Student Government Association. On Feb. 14, it took it’s language back to committee. What concerned the GSA most was how to discern what kind of match-ups were going to work, what the “magic question” was to pairing. Sen. David Curtis (R-Lincoln), Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake) and Sen. Ben Clarke (D-Cumberland) presented the bill, known as UNC Dormitory Rules, to the General Assembly. Updates on the story will be forthcoming as the situation unfolds. Stay tuned to goqnotes.com. — L.M.
Charlotte Street preacher loses lawsuit
CHARLOTTE — An anti-gay street preacher known for his demonstrations against local LGBT events and organizations lost a federal lawsuit during the first week of April challenging the City of Charlotte’s decision to deny him a festival permit in Uptown in 2010, according to Charlotte’s WFAE 90.7 FM. Flip Benham of Operation Save America, whose group also hosts regular protests against abortion, sued the city in 2010 after his group was denied a festival permit. Benham had sought to close a portion of Tryon St. for a week because he said current city ordinances on protests don’t give his group enough leeway. The ordinances require demonstrators to keep noise levels below 75 decibels when using speakers and amplifiers. That rule is lifted if a group has a festival permit. Benham said the issue is a legitimate First Amendment concern and says the sound restrictions for ordinary demonstrations limit his group’s ability to have its message heard. The 75-decibel limit, Benham said, can be breached easily. When the city denied Benham’s permit, the group sued and claimed the city had violated its First Amendment, Equal Protection and Due Process rights. U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen
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ruled against Benham saying the size of Benham’s event didn’t justify a festival permit and that the city didn’t violate Benham’s free speech rights, as Benham and his group members were still free to hold protests and demonstrations on city sidewalks without a permit. City Attorney Bob Hagemann disagrees. Benham told qnotes he will likely appeal the decision or challenge the sound ordinance. If the city wanted, Benham said, it could lift the 75-decibel limit for his public assembly, even without street closures and a festival permit. — M.C.
Prime Timers celebrate
CHARLOTTE — Prime Timers of Charlotte will hold an anniversary party on April 20, 6-9 p.m., at Park Road Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 3900 Park Rd. Ron Howard, president of Prime Timers World-Wide, will serve as special guest speaker during the evening’s program. Musical entertainment will be provide. A special after-party at Sidelines Sports Bar will conclude the festivities. Prime Timers is open to “slightly older gay and bisexual men.” This event marks the 20th anniversary of the Queen City local chapter. Prime Timers meet to discuss issues and hold social engagements while enjoying a meal together. The World-Wide organization was
founded in 1987 by Woody Baldwin, a retired professor. Since then it has grown to over 75 chapters across the globe in North America, Europe and Australia. Cost is $15/members, $25/friends and guests. info: 704-236-3775. primetimersww.com/charlotte. — L.M.
‘Beyond Roe’ to be discussed
CHARLOTTE — Planned Parenthood Health Systems and The Charlotte School of Law will present an educational panel discussion entitled “Beyond Roe: The Next Generation of Constitutional Challenges” on April 18, 5:30 p.m., at the law school at 2145 Suttle Ave. The program will be facilitated by: Melissa Reed, Planned Parenthood vice president of public affairs, who will address the recent cases over the contraceptive coverage requirement for employers and other current bills in the state’s legislature. Along with Reed, Christopher Brooks, ACLU-NC legal director, will discuss the North Carolina Pro-Choice license plate issue. And, Carolyn Dubay, an assistant professor with the law school, global reproductive rights. A light reception will immediately follow the panel discussion. The event is free and open to the public. info: plannedparenthood.org/healthsystems.
Tolerance week gets dissed
GASTONIA — Gaston County school board member Chris Howell, who also serves as a youth pastor at Flint Grove Baptist Church, has criticized an event to encourage tolerance between LGBT and allied teens during week of April 15 at Highland School of Technology. Howell says parents and some school staff had contacted him about the observance and indicated that they felt that the activities “infringed on students who should be focusing on the school curriculum,” The Gaston Gazette reported. Howell also thinks the events could divide students and faculty and that they “promote something many people don’t support.” Students have a week-long slate of activities that will not take away from class time. Those include: Awareness Day/passing out ribbons; Tacky Day/dress to show support for the GSA; Equality Day/collage creation with equality facts and student signatures; Hat Day; students pay $1 to wear a hat in support of the GSA; and Day of Silence/students do not speak outside of class instruction time. — L.M.
Triad Foundation’s spring events announced
WINSTON-SALEM — The Adam Foundation will be one of the featured beneficiaries of Belk Charity Day Sale on April 27 6-10 a.m. All stores will hold the shopping event as a way to give back to the community. Entrance fee is a $5 contribution and entitles shoppers to storewide bargains at 20-70 percent discount, including special savings on rarely discounted brands. Plus, at checkout, buyers receive $5 off the first purchase. Additionally, the first 100 shoppers through the door will receive a Belk gift card valued anywhere from $5-$1000.
Tickets may be purchased from the foundation at events. info: adamfoundation.org. — L.M.
Triangle Bingo time approaches
RALEIGH — Drag Bingo’s “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Bingo,” is coming to the N.C. State Fairgrounds, Holshouser Building, on April 20. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. The event benefits AIDS Alliance Services - Carolinas. Mary K Mart and her girls will be all decked out to provide an entertaining evening full of outrageous costumes, performance, as well as prizes (i.e., tickets to “Priscilla” at the Durham Performing Arts Center, Taylor Swift concert tickets, hotel stays and more). Tickets are available online at tickets. aas-c.org. — L.M.
Western Buncombe Co. advances LGBT worker protections
ASHEVILLE — A split board of county commissioners voted during the week of April 1 to amend Buncombe County’s non-discrimination statement to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The 4-3 vote along party lines will need to be reconfirmed at a second meeting on April 16. According to The Citizen-Times, a motion to table was defeated 4-3. Republican Joe Belcher said he was concerned that legislators in Raleigh could overturn the policy change. Members of the General Assembly have taken up several bills this session limiting the rights and powers of cities and towns. “If Raleigh wants to come in here and yank away rights for our people, bring it on,” Commissioner Holly Jones said. more: citizen-times.com/article/20130403/ NEWS/304030028/ — M.C.
Regional Lez womyn to gather outside Hotlanta
ATLANTA, Ga. — The 35th Southeast Lesbian Writers’ Conference, Womonwrites, will be held from May 15-19 at a group camp outside the city limits in Central Georgia. This intensive alcohol-free gathering engages participants in developing their craft as they receive critiques, share their work and receive tips and support. Conference cost is comprised work duty plus a sliding-scale registration fee of $50-$175 and a $5 Georgia park vehicle fee. Space is limited and can only be guaranteed for those who pre-register with a non-refundable $35 deposit. A one-day pass is also available for $25 plus $5 vehicle fee. Pre-registration is due by May 4, with the balance due upon arrival. Attendees may go to a pre-conference gathering for those who wish to have one to three days to unwind. Cost is $20 per night. Meals are not provided during this short stay. Registration information is available by calling Lynn at 336-560-7664. Or register online at surveymonkey.com/s/register_womonwrites. — L.M.
National Gay student’s HIV status revealed
HOUSTON, Texas — Campus police at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) have launched an investigation over flyers that surfaced on campus that detailed private medical information about a gay student’s HIV status. Kristopher Sharp, a third year student who is running for student body vicepresident, was called into the UHD Dean of Students Tommy Thomason’s office last week and given a copy of the flyer that had been found at numerous locations around campus. The front of the flyer had the words “WANT AIDS?” above a picture of Sharp with a large “x” on it, and “Don’t support the Isaac and Kris homosexual agenda” at the bottom. (Isaac Valdez, also a junior at UHD, is Sharp’s running mate.) On the back of the flyer was Sharps’s medical information from a physician visit, including his HIV status and prescribed medication, along with his home address and telephone number. Sharp told the Houston Press that he was “really devastated” by the incident and that his first reaction was, “How quickly can I transfer?” to another school. UHD Director of Media Relations Claire Caton told LGBTQ Nation that the university is actively pursuing an investigation into the matter and trying to find the person or persons responsible. According to campus university police officials, because proper words such as AIDS and homosexual were used on the flyer versus offensive slang, it is considered free speech and therefore protected. But while the involuntary public disclosure of the medical status without permission does fall under criminal statues in the Texas Criminal Code, Sharp said he’s not interested in pursuing criminal charges. He said he doesn’t want anyone to go to jail — he just wants an apology. “I just want to know why they did it,” Sharp said. “Truth be told, we can keep that between us, as long as the person comes forward and speaks to me. I’ve been able to reflect, and I really just want an apology.” — LGBTQ Nation
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act in an effort to derail more damaging anti-gay legislation. Last month, GLAAD raised eyebrows in the LGBT community when it awarded film director Brett Ratner with the “Ally Award,” for his participation in a series of public service announcements. In 2011, Ratner was forced to step down as co-producer of the 2012 Academy Awards broadcast after he ignited a firestorm of criticism for using a gay slur, in which he said “rehearsal is for fags.” Clinton wil receive the award on April 20 in Los Angeles. — LGBTQ Nation
Head of LGBT center sentenced
NEW YORK, N.Y. — The former head of a New York LGBT community center has been sentenced to at least two years in prison for embezzling more than $300,000 from the organization. Lisa Winters pleaded guilty to seconddegree larceny on Feb. 14, in connection with the theft of $338,000 between 2005 and 2009 from the Bronx Community Pride Center. Winters was led away in handcuffs on April 1 after Bronx Supreme Court Justice Martin Marcus signed off on a deal that’ll keep her locked up for two to six years,
reported The New York Post. Investigators said Winters used the money to pay for domestic and international travel, clothes, liquor, groceries and her dog walker. Among the expenses were $25,000 on a month-long trip to South Africa with her future-wife Eileen Scroggins in July 2007. “I’m so sorry to all the people that I hurt,” Winters said through a flood of tears. “I’m so sorry for all the harm I caused.” The Bronx Community Pride Center closed this past summer after 16 years of operation. Board members cited “economic difficulties, past debt and inability to raise” funds in the decision to close the center. — LGBTQ Nation
support for marriage equality. On April 2, GOP Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois became only the second Republican in the U.S. Senate besides Ohio Sen. Rob Portman to publicly support same-sex marriage. North Carolina’s U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan announced her support on March 27. — LGBTQ Nation National and international news content provided courtesy of and reprinted in partnership with LGBTQ Nation, a qnotes media partner. For the latest national and international news, visit lgbtqnation.com.
Senator supports marriage equality
TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida on April 4 joined the chorus of moderate Democrats in reversing his longtime opposition to same-sex marriage, leaving only six remaining Democratic U.S. Senators who have not yet come out in support of marriage equality. In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, Nelson wrote, “If The Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn’t, and I won’t.” Nelson becomes the 51st U.S. senator to throw his support behind same-sex marriage. Forty-six other Democrats, two independents who caucus with Democrats and two Republicans have previously announced their
GLAAD to honor Bill Clinton
NEW YORK, N.Y. — GLAAD, an LGBT media advocacy organization, announced April 3 it will honor former President Bill Clinton with its first ever “Advocate for Change” award at its 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 20. In announcing the award, GLAAD cited several of Clinton’s pro-LGBT equality initiatives, while ignoring that, as president, he signed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on openly gay service members, and the Defense of Marriage Act which prohibits federal recognition of legally married samesex couples. Clinton has since said that he signed
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Charlotte mayor will not seek re-election this year Anthony Foxx says he has accomplished his goals by Matt Comer :: email@example.com
CHARLOTTE — Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx announced on April 5 that he will not seek re-election this year. The announcement comes after some speculation that Foxx is a possible pick to become President Barack Obama’s new transportation secretary. Foxx first made his announcement to WSOC-TV’s Blair Miller, in an interview at the government center. “As I said, when I came into this office, I had a very clear idea on where I wanted to push the city towards and we’ve made a good bit of the way there,” Foxx told Miller. An official statement from Foxx’s office was also released. “My grandfather often paraphrased the book of Ecclesiastes when he said, ‘There is a season for everything under the sun,’” Foxx’s statement reads. “I remember his words as I announce today my decision not to run for re-election.” His statement also describes his political career, the objectives he has accomplished and the issues still facing the city, including several items he says will be accomplished over the next 60-90 days. Among them are questions over ownership of the CharlotteDouglas International Airport, Carolina Panthers stadium upgrade incentives, the long-stalled Capital Improvement Plan and efforts toward completing the city’s 2030 transit plan, including a streetcar system. Foxx was first elected to City Council in 2005, where he served until his election as mayor in 2009. He was the first Democratic mayor in over 20 years, the youngest Charlotte mayor and the city’s second African-American mayor. Several Republican and Democratic leaders are expected to announce potential candidacies to replace Foxx. Former Republican City Councilmember Edwin Peacock was among the first. At press time, no others had officially announced. Stay tuned to goqnotes. com for more on this developing story. Foxx’s LGBT history The mayor also made several historic firsts with the LGBT community, becoming the first sitting mayor to address LGBT constituents in a public forum at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte in December 2010. He was also the first mayor to offer regular welcome letters to LGBT events in the city. He’s been seen as largely supportive of a variety of local LGBT issues. He was in favor of personnel policy changes protecting LGBT workers, instituted by former City Manager Curt Walton in April 2010 and December 2012. The mayor also supported the addition of domestic partner benefits to the city’s budget in June 2012.
see Re-election on 19
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Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx speaking at an LGBT welcome party for the 2012 Democratic National Convention on Sept. 2, 2012. File Photo.
Foxx on marriage equality: ‘No comment’ MeckPAC calls leaders to be more outspoken CHARLOTTE — Mayor Anthony Foxx had “no comment” on marriage equality and the two historic cases being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court in late March, according to his spokesperson. qnotes reached out to Foxx’s press secretary Alexander Killeffer on Tuesday, March 26 to see if the mayor had any comment or statement on the issue. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on March 26 and March 27 in two cases challenging California’s 2008 Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. “Mayor’s unavailable for comment today,” Killeffer responded. “Sorry!” Asked if the mayor, who has not yet publicly announced any support for same-sex marriage, would be available the next day, Killeffer said he would look into a statement. In follow-up on March 27, Killeffer responded simply, “No comment.” In addition to the mayor, qnotes reached out to 20 other local officials on City Council and the Mecklenburg County Commission
see Marriage on 19
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CHANGE Young LGBT professionals making a difference by Matt Comer :: firstname.lastname@example.org A new generation of leaders are taking the reins. Whether they work from an Uptown tower or other corporate digs, a small-town city council or the offices of a community non-profit, the more than dozen young people profiled in this issue are among some of the brightest and most visionary young leaders under 35. There are many more, of course — far more than we could ever possibly profile. Each are deserving of praise for the work they do. Read more about our profiled young leaders below and visit online at goqnotes.com/outforchange/ to learn more about each. see next page for more profiles u
Amanda Breeden Age: 30 Occupation: Non-profit staffer
A transplant to Charlotte, Amanda has called the Queen City home since January 2009. She was raised in a rural farm community in Franklin, Neb. — population, 1,004. After working for a variety of non-profit agencies focusing on human rights and social justice issues, Amanda is now employed as a research officer for the College of Health and Human Sciences at the University of North CarolinaCharlotte. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and two master’s degrees in women’s and gender studies and youth and human service administration. In the community, Amanda has been active with the Charlotte Business Guild, where she came on as a board member in 2012. She’s currently the vice president. Prior to her work with the Guild, Amanda served as a board member and fundraising committee chair for Carolinas Care Partnership. Amanda says she’s most passionate “about creating a professional presence for the LGBTQ business community and nurturing a climate that is both supportive internally (LGBTQ businesses supporting LGBTQ businesses) and inclusive of the ally community.” She’s been hard at work promoting the Guild’s LGBT Economic Study (available at charlottebusinessguild.org), which she says will provide important LGBT economic statistics and benchmarking information that is otherwise missing. Amanda knows the world is changing and sees data that proves it, but adds, “I do feel a strong sense of responsibility to promote social change on an individual level. … And the importance of allies cannot be overlooked, if we are to achieve our end goal.”
Amos Cooper, Jr. Age: 34 Occupation: Banking
A native of Raleigh, Amos has worked for Square 1 Bank for six years. He’s currently the assistant vice president and relationship manager at the bank. Prior to his current employer, he worked for Bank of America. He attended C.E. Jordan High School and North Carolina Central University. In the community, he volunteers with the LGBT Center of Raleigh on its outside events committee for Out! Raleigh. “Being able to partner with the LGBT Center has allowed me to bring to light some much needed refreshing changes to the community as well as providing the Center with additional support in their programs and endeavors,” Amos says of his volunteer work with the group. Amos also plans and organizes various events and fundraisers in the Raleigh area. He says he wants to “bring more awareness and togetherness to the community.” He even sees his passion for equality extending to work. “Thankfully I work for a very liberal company that does offer domestic partner benefits,” he says. “We are a growing startup and I hope one day that we have a diversity committee that I can be a part of.”
Josh Lemke Age: 30 Occupation: Banking
Josh, a native of Hartford, S.D., is a recent Charlotte transplant, moving to the Queen City in 2006, where he is employed as a vice president at Bank of America. For the past year-and-a-half, Josh has served as a board member and treasurer with Time Out Youth. He’s also a Class 2 participant with the Community Building Initiative’s Leaders Under 40. “I would describe myself primarily as a professional who is aspiring to be an advocate,” Josh says. He’s most passionate about young people’s health and well being. Youth, he says, are robbed of opportunities when they have to “deal with the challenges that come with being LGBT.” Josh also volunteers with Bank of America’s LGBT Pride Employee Network. He says, “we can’t only rely on others,” adding, “As individuals, we need to get involved and we all need to be a part of change. I encourage everyone to find something they are passionate about, whether it is in the LGBT Community or not, and figure out how you can contribute.”
Cate Eble Age: 32 Occupation: Non-profit staffer
Cate has been a business analyst for the American Red Cross for three years. In that time, she’s also made a mark in the local LGBT community. She served as chair of community outreach and helped to organize volunteers and marketing for the Unity Party, an LGBT welcome event prior to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. She also served as a member of the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte Board of Trustees. Currently, she’s a member of the Human Rights Campaign’s North Carolina Gala Steering Committee, where she is co-chair of the gala’s Student Leadership Summmit. She believes there should be more representation for the entire community. “No one should be left out of equality,” she says. “Lesbians and gays are very strongly represented in our community, but we must remember the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community when fighting for change.” Cate’s most passionate about workplace non-discrimination, especially for transgender community members.
Anthony Dondero Age: 24 Occupation: Student
Anthony is a student at the University of North CarolinaCharlotte, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has been active in a variety of campus organizations, including PRIDE, Trans*Port, UNCC Vox, To Write Love On Her Arm and the Collegiate Recovery Community. But, it has been Anthony’s work with the UNCC Trans* Committee that caught our eye. Anthony has been instrumental in helping to create better access for and understanding of transgender students on the Charlotte campus. Anthony says he was first inspired to be involved after noticing a significant lack of transgender visibility on his campus. “There weren’t any trans* students at the time who were willing to out themselves in order to create that change because there were no visible trans* people on campus at the time.”
Lee Storrow Age: 23 Occupation: Politician
Daniel Valdez Age: 27 Occupation: Non-profit staffer
A native of Acapulco, Mexico, Daniel has lived in Charlotte since 1999. He’s a graduate of Central Cabarrus High School and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where he received bachelor’s degrees in history and Latin American studies. He’s currently the advocacy program manager at Crisis Assistance Ministry, but worked in the past at Carolinas Care Partnership and the Latin American Coalition. Daniel volunteers with a variety of LGBT and non-LGBT organizations, including the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund, the GayCharlotte Film Festival, the NC Region II MSM Taskforce, the Mexican Cultural Society of Charlotte, the Bruce Irons Camp Fund and Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield’s 2011 election campaign. Daniel shuns the labels of “activist” and “advocate.” Instead, he says, “I would describe myself as an active citizen of my community,” adding, “As an immigrant, professional, Latino, male I hoped to bring even more diversity to groups that sought to advance equal rights and build bridges in the LGBTQ community,” Daniel says.
James Miller Age: 29 Occupation: Non-profit staffer
James is a native of the Outer Banks of North Carolina and attended Currituck County High School and the Unviersity of North Carolina-Wilmington. He’s also a graduate of Brandeis University. He holds bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and marketing and graduate degrees in social welfare policy and nonprofit management. James currently works as the executive director of the LGBT Center of Raleigh, where he’s been employed for one-and-a-half years. He also gives back, often working longer than 40 hours. “Anything I work over 40 hours is donated,” he says. “Whether it is opening the Center for our amazing Transgender Initative or leading an intense Youth Empowerment Camp for LGBT leaders, my job is to empower others to reach their full potential.” James says North Carolina faces “many uphill battles,” including transgender and HIV-inclusive employment and housing non-discrimination, LGBT and second-parent adoption rights and AIDS drug assistance funding.
Richard Grimstad Age: 34 Occupation: Accountant
A Salem, Ohio, native, Richard bounced back and forth for a few years between his home state and Charlotte. But, he finally landed here for good in 2002. For six years, he’s worked as a tax manager at GreerWalker LLP. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in accounting from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. In the community, Richard currently serves as co-director of Charlotte Pride. Last year, he co-chaired sponsorship development for the festival. Elsewhere, he serves as the treasurer and a board member for Carolinas Care Partnership. He’s also a board member for the Rotary Club of Charlotte, where he also serves as treasurer. Richard says he’s passionate about community visibility. “I feel that putting a face on our LGBTQ community will go a long way towards full equality and is one of the easiest things we can do to create awareness,” he says. “If you can be seen, you can be heard. If you can be heard, you can inspire and create change, compassion and understanding.”
The youngest openly gay elected official in North Carolina, Lee is currently serving his first term as a member of the Chapel Hill Town Council. Lee also works for a non-profit and on health policy. He’s a native of Asheville and a graduate of the University of North Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He also currently serves as a board member and secretary for Youth Empowered Solutions! and is a member of the board of directors for the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina.He’s most passionate about ending the gay blood ban. Before being disqualified himself, Lee was a regular blood and platelet donor. In 2010, he testified in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Blood Safety and Availability Advisory Committee. Speaking out is essential to making change, he says: “Our personal lives are political, and it’s important that gay North Carolinians get involved in the progressive community.”
April 12-25 . 2013
CHANGE continued from previous page
Lacey Williams Laura Maschal Ages: 31, 34 Occuptions: Non-profit staffer, Health care
If there’s a social justice movement to be helped, Lacey and Laura are there, especially when it comes to LGBT equality and immigrant rights issues. Lacey, 31, is a native of Orange City, Fla., and has lived in Charlotte since 2000. Here, she works as the youth programs director of the Latin American Coalition. In the past, she worked as the youth program coordinator for the Charlotte Coalition for Social Justice. Lacey attended school at Queens University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history and religion. Laura, 34, is a Charlotte native. Currently, she works as a senior project manager at a healthcare/patient support services company. She attended the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature. The couple — they were married last year — are both members of the Charlotte Roller Girls, where Lacey serves as a coach and Laura as a skater and board member. Together, Lacey and Laura have devoted their volunteer time to variety of progressive causes, protests and demonstrations. “I think of myself as an activist,” Lacey says. “I’m not a behind-closed-doors advocate. Give me a bullhorn and a magic marker any day. The community has enough advocates; it needs more rabble rousers.” Laura says she speaks out as a way to combat privilege. “As a bisexual woman, I definitely have heterosexual privilege; unless I’m with my partner Lacey, I don’t think that I’m perceived as LGBTQ by most people I meet,” Laura says. “That’s probably why I’m so happy to mention my love, to casually mention that I was with my wife the same way that straight folks do.” Both say they look forward to a more progressive Charlotte. “We need to invest in our young people in an intentional way, not a transactional way,” says Lacey. “We need to see our young people as an ends rather than a means. I’ve always been inspired by how quickly young people can unlearn biases and internalized oppression, and how quickly they can lift their voices to become activists and leaders confronting the issues that they face. They need good adult allies who can give them support, rather than acting as barriers.”
Ann Gonzales Age: 29 Occupation: Entrepreneur
Ann has called Charlotte here home since 2006, after moving from her native Concord. She worked as a freelance graphic and web designer before beginning her own business, Create-ster, with her business partner Alyssa Kibiloski. Together, the business partners have supported a wide range of LGBT groups, including the GayCharlotte Film Festival, RedFrog, the Charlotte Business Guild, Unity Fellowship Church and The Freedom Center for Social Justice, among others. She and Alyssa describe themselves as entrepreneurs and “advocates for start-ups, small businesses and budding non-profits.” Ann adds, “Through Create-ster, whether graphic designing or web designing, I have felt absolutely honored to have taken part in helping LGBTQ Charlotte organizations and non-profits. While we are already advocates for start-ups and small businesses, enabling them to have a fighting chance to keep up with larger, established businesses, It’s been great to be advocates for LGBTQ causes that are so important to us.”
April 12-25. 2013
Mario W. Newton Age: 33 Occupation: Analyst
A native of Columbia, S.C., Mario moved to Charlotte 13 years ago, where he’s worked for Duke Energy for 11 years. He’s a graduate of Montreat College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He’s currently pursuing his master’s degree. Mario’s involvement in the LGBT community is relatively new, but he’s jumped in feet-first. He served on the city host committee for the 2013 Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala and is a founding board member of Step Up Charlotte, a new non-profit which works to produce events and bring together diverse communities while raising money for non-profits in the Mecklenburg County. “Being someone involved in the LGBT community I look for reasons to promote, advocate, teach, and keep myself and the community positive,” Mario says, noting his passion for a variety of issues. He dreams of a day when “we won’t need special groups, parades or colors to make everyone feel equal” and says that everyone should be treated equally “not because it’s the law, but because it’s humane.” At work, Mario uses his relationships to promote LGBT philanthropy and support for local LGBT groups and events. “Charlotte is definitely progressive, friendly and welcoming,” he says. “Since my 13 years of living in Charlotte, I have been fortunate enough to have met colleagues, associates and friends that have welcomed me and my cause with open arms.”
Rebecca Chapin Age: 30 Occupation: Engineer
A native of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Rebecca now lives in Raleigh, where she works as a hardware testing engineer. She previously worked in technical support and graphic design. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Hartford. In the community, she volunteers as a board member and program director at the LGBT Center of Raleigh. Rebecca describes herself as an advocate for those with no voice “I engage the trans* community and use what I learn to effect change within the greater Raleigh/Durham area,” she says, noting her passion for the trans* community. Thinking back on her coming out experience, Rebecca says she wants others to have more visibile and accessible support systems. “I want the Raleigh/Durham area to be the most trans progressive area in the state,” she says. “At the very least, create a safe welcoming space where individuals can explore the concepts of gender identity without persecution or misinformation.” The current legal landscape has affected Rebecca and her work life. “Sadly in this economy and political climate, I make efforts to keep my professional and advocacy work separate,” she says. “There are currently no protections in this state for gender identity and thus makes it high risk to attempt to combine the two worlds” without employment nondiscrimination protections, she says.
Micah Johnson Age: 26 Occupation: Non-profit staffer Micah works as the director of school outreach and gay-straight alliance support. A native of Thompson, Iowa, Micah attended Luther College in Buffalo Center, Iowa, where he received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He earned a master’s of social work at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Micah also volunteers as a mentor at Northwest School of the Arts. He calls himself a “professional student advocate,” saying, “For as much as I advocate for students professionally, I learn from those students, and professionals, and activists and continue to grow from knowing these beautiful people.” Micah says he’s been fortunate to find work that complements his own personal passions. “My passion drives my work with local students, parents, and educators,” he says. “I don’t think you can do this work without passion.”
O’Neale Atkinson Age: 28 Occupation: Non-profit staffer
Many in the community have come to know O’Neale through the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, where he worked as operations manager for a year and a half, or from his 6-month stint as qnotes editor in the spring of 2012. Recently, though, he’s transitioned into a new role at another community group, becoming director of youth programs at Time Out Youth. A native of Chester, S.C., O’Neale attended the University of South Carolina where he earned his master’s of social work. Since college, he says, social work has been his goal and, in particular, working with the LGBT community. Prior to his work in Charlotte, O’Neale also worked with organizations that served people with disabilities, the aging community and individuals living with HIV. “Serving others and being able to be a voice against stigma and oppression are driving forces behind my passion to pursue a career in this community,” he says. He says employment discrimination is a top concern of his. “We have so many talented and skilled individuals in our community who are afraid to be themselves at work or who can not find employment because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. This is a problem that we have to focus our attention on,” he says. Locally, O’Neale hopes to see greater collaboration and visibility. “The LGBT community here in Charlotte is so vibrant and full of groups and organizations to be a part of,” he says. “Ever since moving to Charlotte in 2011 I have been so impressed by the scope of our community. I would love to see more groups and organizations partnering to support one another and to do good in the greater Charlotte community.”
Sarah Demarest Kelly Durden Ages: 31, 32 Occupations: Lawyers
Kelly and Sarah have teamed up to create a new resource in Charlotte, offering legal services and advice to LGBT locals. Together, the two have established the LGBT Law Center, in coordination with the Freedom Center for Social Justice. Kelly, 32, is a native of Jacksonville, N.C., and attended the University of North Carolina-Wilmington where she received a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law. Sarah, 31, is a native of Portland, Maine, and attended Guilford College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in justice and policy studies. She is scheduled to graduate from Charlotte School of Law this May. Kelly has five years of practice in public interest law and two years in private practice. While in school, Sarah has worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force as a law fellow. She’s also worked at Legal Services in Charlotte and spent eight years in the financial industry before attending Charlotte School of Law. Kelly says she is most passionate about “equal rights and equal access to justice.” “Discovering the inequities and inadequacies of the law in recognizing basic rights, particularly for those in the trans* community, really inspired me to do everything in my power to both educate and empower those in the LGBT community, thereby advancing the movement as a whole,” Kelly says. Like her law partner, Sarah, too, feels a passion for the transgender community.”I’m passionate about stopping discrimination against trans* individuals and removing legal barriers that interfere with the ability of all LGBT people to work and live as productive and equal members of society,” Sarah says, noting other passions such as immigration issues, racial justice and food justice. “In past work and school situations, I have been the only African-American lesbian,” Kelly says. “I hope I have been able to break some of the stereotypes associated with the LGBT community just by being myself and sharing my experiences with classmates and co-workers.”
2013 QNotes Reader Survey Thank you for taking the 2013 QNotes Reader Survey. The questions below will help us serve you better by keeping us informed of your experiences, expectations and suggestions for the newspaper. We hope that you will share your thoughts with us and be the lucky winner of our $100 cash giveaway. If your name is selected, then you get the cash. To be eligible to win you must: be at least 18 years of age; fill out this reader survey completely; write your name, address and phone number in the space provided; refold the survey so the QNotes address shows; seal the survey with cellophane tape; and mail it back to QNotes by April 30, 2013. Postage is required; apply first-class postage (46 cents). You can also take this survey online at goqnotes.com/readersurvey/. The winner will be selected by random drawing from all completed surveys received by April 30, 2013. The winner will be notified by email or phone call. Name_____________________________________________________________________ Address___________________________________________________________________ City_________________________________________ State________ Zip______________ Phone Number______________________________ o Home o Work o Mobile Email Address______________________________ o Yes, subscribe to weekly email newsletter. Tell us about yourself 1. In what year were you born? __________ 2. Which range contains your age? o Under 18 o 35-44 o 18-20 o 45-55 o 21-24 o 55-64 o 25-34 o 65+ 3. What is your gender identity? Mark all that apply. o Male o Female o Transgender o Intersex o Other_____________________________ 4. How do you identify your race/ethnicity? Mark all that apply. o Black (of African descent) o Asian (of Asian descent) o White (of European descent, non-Hispanic) o Latino/a or of Hispanic descent o Native North American o Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander o Mixed ethnicity o Other_____________________________ 5. How do you identify your sexual orientation? Mark all that apply. o Lesbian or gay woman o Gay man o Bisexual woman o Bisexual man o Queer o Questioning o Heterosexual/Straight man o Heterosexual/Straight woman o Other_____________________________ 6. What is the highest level of education you have attained? o Less than 9th grade o Some high school, no diploma o High school/GED diploma o Some college, no degree o Bachelor’s degree o Graduate or professional degree o Doctorate 7. Do you have any children or pets? Children: o Birth how many _____ o Foster how many _____ o Adoption how many _____ Pets: o Dog how many _____ o Cat how many _____ o Other how many _____ 8. What are your living arrangements?
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1 2 3 4 No Opinion City govt. news o o o o o County govt. news o o o o o State govt. news o o o o o LGBT/Friendly Biz o o o o o Restaurants/Culinary o o o o o Nightlife Events o o o o o Nightlife Photos o o o o o Parties/Fundraising Events/Photos o o o o o Non-LGBT progressive topics like: Immigration issues o o o o o Justice/Crime o o o o o Economy o o o o o Women’s issues o o o o o People of color o o o o o Education o o o o o Health o o o o o HIV/AIDS/STDs o o o o o Profiles of local people o o o o o Profiles of local groups o o o o o Memorials/Obituaries o o o o o News/listings of regular events like: Support groups o o o o o Social groups o o o o o Civic groups o o o o o Religion events/ services o o o o o LGBT sports o o o o o Non-LGBT sports o o o o o New movie releases o o o o o Concerts/music events o o o o o LGBT arts o o o o o 14 Non-LGBT arts o o 2013 o o qnotes April o 12-25.
69. How many times have you attended the following in the past three months? 0 1-3 4-7 8-12 13+ LGBT bar o o o o o LGBT-friendly bar o o o o o Religious services o o o o o LGBT fundraiser o o o o o LGBT social event o o o o o Movie o o o o o Theater o o o o o Opera o o o o o Dance performance o o o o o Classical music concert o o o o o Popular music concert o o o o o Choral concert o o o o o Art gallery o o o o o Museum o o o o o 70. Have you traveled to any of the following cities in the past 12 months? o Atlanta o Dallas o Key West o Los Angeles o New Orleans o New York o Provincetown o San Francisco o Washington, DC o Chicago o Miami/Fort Lauderdale o Orlando 71. Have you traveled to any of the following in the past 2 years? o Canada o Mexico o Europe o the Caribbean o Other foreign location 72. Do you have any final comments, suggestions, constructive criticism or feedback? ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________
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Life and Travel
58. Would you like to see any of the following added to QNotes? o Travel Features o Political Cartoons o Nightlife events o Neighborhood-specific spotlights/maps/events o Other__________________________________________ 59. Do you participate/vote annually in QNotes’ “QList,” Best of LGBT Carolina? o yes o no o I didn’t know QNotes did a “Best of” contest 60. QNotes would best serve the community by publishing a printed edition: o Every two weeks o Weekly o Monthly o Online only/No print edition 61. If you have a specific need, how likely would you be to choose a QNotes advertiser who meets that need over a non-advertiser? o Very likely o Likely o Unlikely 62. How likely are you to patronize a business because they advertise with QNotes? o Very likely o Likely o Unlikely 63. Do you know of a business that would benefit from advertising in QNotes? Name of Business: __________________________________ 64. How likely are you to patronize an LGBT-owned business? o Very likely o Likely o Unlikely 65. How likely are you to patronize an LGBT-affirmative business? o Very likely o Likely o Unlikely 66. How likely are you to use a coupon published by a business in a QNotes ad? o Very likely o Likely o Unlikely 67. In your opinion, does color in an ad make the ad more noticeable? o yes o no 68. Do you read any of the following? Mark all that apply. o Charlotte Observer o Creative Loafing o News & Observer o Independent Weekly o News & Record o Winston-Salem Journal o YES! Weekly o Charlotte Business Journal o Charlotte Magazine o Pocket Rocket Charlotte o GA Voice (Atlanta) o Washington Blade o ProjectQAtlanta.com o Pam’s House Blend o Towleroad.com o Queerty.com o LGBTQNation.com o The Advocate/advocate.com o Out Magazine/out.com o Other __________________________
53. Why do you prefer to read QNotes’ content online? Mark all that apply. o More convenient for me o Accessibility o Saves time o Print locations not convenient o Simple preference o Content finds me via social media o Content updated more often o Other __________________________ 54. Please provide us with a brief comment or statement giving us some insight why you choose not to read QNotes’ printed edition: ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ 55. Would you like to see more, less or the same of the following in QNotes? More Less Same AIDS coverage o o o Activist issues o o o Arts coverage o o o Bisexual issues o o o Drag: queen/king o o o Editorials/Opinion o o o Interviews/Profiles o o o Lesbian issues o o o Letters to the editor o o o LGBT people of color o o o Local/regional news o o o Local politics news o o o National politics news o o o National/Global news o o o Organizational profiles o o o Religion/Spiritual o o o State politics news o o o Transgender issues o o o 56. Which best describes your opinion of the following QNotes columns/sections? Like Like Dislike Dislike strongly strongly 20 Questions o o o o Guest Commentaries o o o o Drag Rag o o o o Editor’s Note o o o o Fabulance (comic) o o o o Jane’s World (comic) o o o o Letters To Editor o o o o News Notes: National/Global o o o o Local/Regional o o o o On Being a Gay Parent o o o o Out in the Stars o o o o Playing the Field/Sports o o o o Tell Trinity o o o o Q Events Calendar o o o o 57. How important do you think it is for QNotes to include the following topics in its local news, arts and entertainment coverage?
April 12-25 . 2013
April 12-25. 2013
drag rag by Miss Della qnotes contributor
Special Report: In Memoriam Last month dealt a massive blow to the national female impersonation community. We lost two wildly popular, award-winning queens and just plain, good people apart from all the accolades and fame. Erica Renee Salizar, known to thousands as Erica Andrews, passed away on March 11. Originally rising to stardom in San Antonio, TX, as a daughter of the late, great Tandi Andrews, Erica had been living in Munster, IN, right outside of Chicago when she left us too soon from a lung infection. This halfMexican, half-Puerto Rican illusionist grew up in Mexico and was probably one of the most winningest female impersonators around. She was a former Miss Gay U.S.ofA., Miss
in the past. She also starred in “Trantasia” (and placed first runner-up to Mimi Marks), the movie about the World’s Most Beautiful Transsexual contest held in Las Vegas several years ago. Then there was her role as Emma Grashun in the comedy thriller “Ticked Off Trannies With Knives,” filmed in Texas. Salizar also made appearances in theaters in San Antonio, and even graced greeting cards and calendars. Erica was in her early 40s. Amaya of Raleigh, NC, who reigned as Miss Continental PLUS when Erica was Miss Continental, got to know her during that year, and dearly loved her. “She was equally beautiful inside and out. It seems like all the good ones are leaving us way too soon,” she said. She was a diva of divas, in this writer’s humble opinion. Ashley Kruiz, of Atlanta, GA, was originally from Frankfort, KY. She passed away on March 31 after hospitalization. In her long career that took her from Louisville to Indianapolis, and finally Atlanta, Ashley was first runner-up to Miss Gay U.S.ofA., Miss Continental and Entertainer of The Year. She was also a finalist at Miss Gay America. Her time to shine on the national stage was when she won a title by the same name — Miss National, formerly Miss Gay National. Ashley
Erica Andrews Continental, an Entertainer of the Year, Miss Universal Showqueen (based in Hawaii) and International Queen (based in Pattaya, Thailand). Known equally for her beauty and her wardrobe, Erica had an almost cult following. She touched countless numbers of people in her travels and was adored as an icon in San Antonio, where she worked first at the Paper Moon, then the Saint and Heat, as well as other parts of Texas, like Houston and Dallas and beyond. She was working at Hydrate in Chicago before she passed away. And you know you’ve made your mark on the world of pageantry when a pageant is held and the prize to the winner is to be welcomed into your family and carry your last name! Yes, a pageant was held in San Antonio and the winner, Ammunique, became a member of the Haus of Andrews that night. Pretty fierce, huh? She joins the likes of Sasha Andrews, Sierra Andrews, Janet Andrews, Roxxy Andrews, and Erica Andrews, just to name a few. Besides entertaining the masses at bars and clubs across the country, Erica made television appearances on the “Tyra” show and “Maury Povich Show.” She later worked as a make-up artist on the Maury set because she was supposedly not wild about how the makeup artists there applied her make-up for her appearance; she had worked as an artist for MAC
was known for being sweet, genuine, talented, and hard-working. She was one of the few “all boy” queens who would and could compete right beside the transgender queens. She was also a former Miss Hotlanta International and was working as the show director at Burkhart’s Pub before her untimely death. Kruiz was also included in the book “100 Most Influential Gay Entertainers” by Jenettha Baines. For those who enjoy female impersonation pageantry or just a good drag show, we mourn the loss of two “old school”-trained divas this spring. : : info: Drop me a line, OK? TheTeaMissD@yahoo.com
April 12-25 . 2013
Film fest to feature state premiere ‘Raid on the Rainbow Lounge’ recounts 2009 Fort Worth bar raid by Matt Comer :: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLOTTE — The GayCharlotte Fim Festival returns at the end of April and includes a North Carolina state premiere with the screening of “Raid on the Rainbow Lounge,” a documentary recounting a 2009 raid on a Fort Worth, Texas, gay bar that came on the 40th anniversary of the New York City police raids on the Stonewall Inn. Director Robert L. Camina will be in town when his film screens at Theatre Charlotte on April 27 at 3 p.m. He’ll participate in a question-and-answer session following the screening. “I’d always hoped the film would be used to inspire people to get involved because your voice does matter,” Camina says of his project. On June 28, 2009, Fort Worth police and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission raided the Rainbow Lounge. The officials spent 40 minutes in the establishment and multiple people were detained or arrested. One young man was sent to the local hospital’s intensive care unit with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. Police were accused of brutality. “I woke up Sunday morning and read on Facebook some incredibly detailed accounts of what people had gone through that night,” says Camina. “I was wiping the sleep away from my eyes trying to comprehend what was going on. It was incomprehensible. It was 2009. This stuff doesn’t happen.” Camina chose rather quickly to begin documenting the unfolding controversy. “Rallies were scheduled that afternoon and throughout the
April 12-25. 2013
week,” he says. “I said, ‘I don’t know what’s going on, but I need to capture this on film.’” In the wake of the raid, Camina said the city came together. “The community was incredibly angry,” he says. Activists with street protest group Queer LiberAction held several demonstrations and an advocacy group, Fairness Fort Worth, was established. The two groups’ efforts combined — “the radical and the rational,” Camina says — were instrumental in reshaping how city and police officials in Fort Worth interacted with the LGBT community. “While [the groups’] approaches were different, they both had to exist to accomplish what we were able to accomplish,” says Camina. Following the outrage, city officials instituted Fort Worth’s Rainbow Lounge was raided by police on June 28, 2009, the 40th mandatory diversity training for all city employees. anniversary of the raids on the Stonewall Inn. Photo Courtesy Robert L. Camina They also revised their policies on bar investigations. Other changes were also made to expand the wasn’t any indication that it could happen in Fort Worth.” city’s anti-discrimination ordinance to include the Camina’s film will be among eight other films screened transgender community and begin offering domestic partner during the festival, which is slated for April 25-28. Other films inbenefits to city employees. clude “Going Down in La-La Land,” “The Skinny,” “Cloudburst” Camina says he’s proud his film has received so much and “United in Anger,” a documentary on the history of the ACT positive attention. The response, he says, is partly based on the UP protest movement. near-unbelieving reality that unfolded in Fort Worth. For more information, including online ticket purchases, “I think that’s what people thought, that in 2009 gay bar raids visit gaycharlottefilmseries.com. : : existed only deep into history books,” Camina says. “There
Marriage: Foxx is mum
Foxx also spoke out against Amendment One, the state constitutional amendment banning recognition of same-sex marriages passed by voters in May 2012. Yet, Foxx has not been outspoken on other LGBT issues. He offered no comment on the issue of marriage equality last week during the historic U.S. Supreme Court cases on Californiaâ€™s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. And, he has not been a proponent of other local changes that would require the vote of City Council, including the addition of LGBT protections in the cityâ€™s Commercial Non-Discrimination Ordinance. The last time the city council voted on a stand-alone LGBT measure was in November 1992, when it defeated an inclusive public accommodations measure. : :
on Tuesday and Wednesday. At publication, only four had responded: At-large Councilmembers Claire Fallon and Beth Pickering, County Commission Chair Pat Cotham and Commissioner Bill James. The lack of response from the mayor and other local officials come on the same day North Carolinaâ€™s Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan announced her support for marriage equality. She was one of just 10 remaining Democrats in the U.S. Senate who had not done so. President Barack Obama announced his full support of same-sex marriage on May 9, 2012, one day after North Carolinaâ€™s anti-LGBT marriage amendment was passed. The Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC) told qnotes in a statement on March 27 that local elected officials should be more outspoken on matters of marriage equality and other LGBT issues. â€œMany of Charlotte-Mecklenburgâ€™s LGBT citizens and straight allies support marriage equality and also want to know whether
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their local elected officials share their same views,â€? the group said in a statement sent by chair Scott Bishop. â€œMeckPAC commends Q-Notes for challenging local elected officials as this issue is heard in the Supreme Court. MeckPAC will continue to ask this question on its pre-election surveys and will use the information to make candidate endorsements in future elections.â€? MeckPAC added, â€œAs more and more Federal elected officials come out in support of marriage equality, MeckPAC hopes that more local elected officials will also come out on the right side of history on this issue.â€? Foxx was last endorsed by MeckPAC in the 2011. He also received endorsement when he first ran for mayor in 2009. In his first race for City Council in 2005, the group said Foxx was â€œnon-committalâ€? and â€œunwilling to respond concretely to MeckPACâ€™s policy concerns.â€? : : more: Read more on the four elected officials who responded at goqnotes.com/21662/.
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April 12-25 . 2013
out in the stars by Charlene Lichtenstein :: qnotes contributor
April 12 - 25 Retrograde Saturn and Pluto sextile. Whoops! Who moved my cheese? And why is it being spread on a kaiser roll? Life is one big dramatic surprise which leads to powerful opportunities. A pox on those who sit by and passively watch the action. It’s time to roll. ARIES (03.21-04.20) Power is sexy and intoxicating. Will you be lured to the executive flame? Your heart is aflutter and may fly up the corporate ladder. A furtive romance is in the making. But weigh and measure the impact of a love affair with someone on the job, proud Ram. A hot crossed bun today can become pretty stale next week. And, then what? TAURUS (04.21-05.21) Surprise a certain someone with two tickets to parts unknown and explore parts unknown. Queer Bulls find ways to juice their relationships with a complete change of venue. If you are on the hoof, try looking for your little doggie off the beaten track or in uniquely different places. You may discover a very exciting new breed with a bag of tricks. Just pack the treats! GEMINI (05.22-06.21) The question is, “How much are you willing to give up to advance professionally?” It is a rather large and looming question since devilish temptations present themselves. Pink Twins can be tempted to make a dramatic, horizontal career move. While there may be a nice payoff, do you really want to be known as bought goods?
CANCER (06.22-07.23) Around the clock partying can lead to some interesting and lucky “collaborations.” Gay Crabs can transform or detonate their current relationships or create new ones. Good. Things may have gotten routine and boring. Sedate and boring are not big motivators for you now. You prefer hot nights and cold beer. Get singed…and very wet. LEO (07.24-08.23) If you can muster energy to tackle long-term and highly-detailed projects, you’ll find the payoff in your home life. Proud Lions can become domesticated divas and manage to dispatch all the unpleasant work projects around the house. The results give you the encouragement (and oomph) to tackle even more irksome domestic problems. Gee, who can that be?! VIRGO (08.24-09.23) Queer Virgins are powerful and compelling now. Have a great idea? Don’t spend this time squeaking to yourself. Your thoughts are on fire and your opinions have incredible impact. Of course, there are those lazy souls who emote their grandest speeches in the safety net of the usual crowd. Give yourself a wider berth and a larger microphone. LIBRA (09.24-10.23) Proud Libras are tempted to just count their pennies and save for a rainy day. But, now you cannot help but splurge. Upgrade your surroundings and enjoy life a little. I bet there are one or two items that you secretly crave that will transform your home.
Go for it! Alas, too, too soon you will need to go back to clipping coupons and seeking the early bird special. SCORPIO (10.24-11.22) Who is that supernova? That glistening being who overshadows all other orbs? It’s little old you, queer Scorp! You have more personal moxie than usual. It is the perfect time to rouse yourself from your stupor, get out of your rut and expand your realm into new powerful circles. Influential people take notice. Invest in long-dormant projects before they lose interest. SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) Lucky breaks seem to materialize out of nowhere and gay Archers are strategic and political enough to maximize their worth. Hidden enemies are vanquished, but not before you reassess how you are doing business and what you truly value. There is mucho money to be made here and you are ready and poised to do so if you choose. Some bastards have all the luck. CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) Pink Caps are not usually interested in taking orders, but now friends have a powerful influence over you. They are the ones who spur you into action in a different direction. You touch the outer limits of possibilities if you can depart from your usual carefulness and take some sage advice from those who care about you. Do your own thing…with a randy band of pals. AQUARIUS (01.21-02.19) If you have been toiling in the background waiting to be noticed and rewarded, this is your time to crow, Aqueerius. Your corporate ascent rockets up. It is accomplished through gut instinct, a few lucky breaks and a cadre of plotting star makers. The corporate superhighway makes a space for you in the fast lane. It is time to rev and avoid the tolls. PISCES (02.20-03.20) Compadres mix a potent cocktail of travel, mischief and adventure. Shake briskly, add a cherry, clear your calendar and plot your great escape. Guppies run wild and put the sin back in synergy. If money and time are tight, gather a few kindred souls closer to home and make do with spicy take-out and cheap foreign plonk. : : © 2013 Madam Lichtenstein, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Entertainment. info: Visit 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.
April 12-25. 2013
tell trinity by Trinity :: qnotes contributor :: email@example.com
Making haste out of hate Hello Trinity, I hate my waiter job, but I make too much money. I hate my apartment, but my rent’s too cheap and I hate my boyfriend, but I can’t leave him for many reasons. As a “man on the verge of a nervous breakdown,” is there anything I can do to at least find happiness in unhappiness? Full of Hate, Provincetown, MA Hello Full of Hate, Feeling trapped is awful, but changing all that can be a wonderful adventure. First and
foremost, take a vacation and clear your mind. Second, do things that you like, i.e., exercise, sleep, take a cooking or singing class. Third, pray or meditate for change, to see the good. All bad has some good. Lastly, when Dorothy Campbell was trying to get out of Oz and back to Kansas, she stumbled upon Glinda who said, “You’ve always had the power to leave (or change your situation). You just didn’t know how to do it!” And, to you, pumpkin, I say the same thing! Learn how to change your situation. Dearest Trinity, After three years of living with the same guy, he suddenly announced to me that he wants to try new things to enhance our relationship. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but he wants to tie me up. Is he crazy or am I just old fashioned? Untie Me, Baltimore MD Dearest Untie Me, Yes, he’s crazy and, yes, you’re old fashioned, but that shouldn’t stop you. If it was my boyfriend and he wanted to tie me up in a safe, romantic atmosphere and we had a safe word (a word that stops everything) like, “Jerusalem,” then I say yes, why not! If we can try the wheel and the computer chip, then why not try this! Honey, do everything once
or twice or at least for a whole night. In the words of Leo Buscaglia, author of the book “LOVE,” “Live, live, live for God sakes (don’t be right but), live!” (My cartoon shows you how I”tie” this one up. Did I really say that?) (Cartoon: Trinity’s Latest Fetish) To Madam Trinity, Is it wrong to marry for money? Money Worries, Des Moines, IA To Money Worries, Is it wrong to want to be comfortable and worry free and have anything you want? Of course not, but is it wrong to make believe you love someone even though you can’t stand them? Of course, it is! The only way you should marry for money is if you like the jerk. You have to, at least, like him and see a positive future. Love comes and goes with time, but diamonds are forever. People marry for crazier things like getting pregnant, becoming a TV celebrity or making their parents happy. So, darling, don’t end up looking for perfection when your future is at stake. Dear Trinity, I’ll be throwing my very first party as someone who is newly single. Any ideas? Single, Austin, TX Dear Single, I guess your other half used to do the party throwing. So, since it’s you and me, baby, here are:
Trinity’s Uptown Tips For Hosting A Party 1. I know it’s your house, but put the sex books and toys away! 2. Serve yourself is fine, but cook for yourself is unacceptable! 3. A party without background music is like a funeral with a punk band! 4. If dinner’s late, appetizers and drinks are mandatory! 5. Having to use a dirty bathroom as a guest is like having to use a rectal thermometer as a stirrer. 6. Potluck hosts should never expect the guests to bring the main course or drinks. 7. “Does this cigarette bother you,” always means yes! All smokers, including you — outside! 8. Women or anyone in high heel shoes always get invited to sit first! 9. A drunk and sloppy host promises an unforgettable finale to your party-hosting career! 10. A nd, lastly, lock the humping dog(s) in the bedroom, please! : : 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.
April 12-25 . 2013
Gay Parent continued from page 5
was in the closet for 30 years. Today, I want what I had when I was in the closet and claimed to be straight. For 17 years (and counting), I’ve been in a significant partnership with my partner, Dean Blackburn. Like a straight couple, we were drawn to each other emotionally, relationally, intellectually, physically and spiritually. In other words, our attraction to one another is similar to that of straight couples. We’re similar to Ben Affleck at the recent Oscar awards who said to his wife Jennifer Gardner: “I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work and there’s no one I’d rather work with.” Like Affleck and Gardner, for 17 Christmases, Dean and I have worked and celebrated our union too. What we’re not able to do is celebrate our union as a marriage in North Carolina. This is where the
April 12-25. 2013
work comes in: working at an historically black college/university (HBCU) of North Carolina Central University (NCCU), I understand what our forebearers of the Civil Rights movement fought for in terms of the civil right to marry the one we love, regardless of one’s skin color. In 1967, the Supreme Court of the U.S., in Loving v. Virginia, gave interracial couples the right to marry, regardless of one’s racial or ethnic background. It is now our turn, as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning Americans, to also embrace our civil and constitutional right as American citizens, in which these words are true for us as well: All of us are created equal, that we are endowed, by our Creator, with certain unalienable rights… life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I was asked today by some of my NCCU students why I stay in the march for free-
dom? I stay because my African-American forebearers and women who fight for equal rights today, remind me this is a marathon, not a sprint. What pulls me forward is found in the third verse of “Amazing Grace”: “Through many dangers, toils and snares we have
already come; ‘Tis Grace that brought us safe thus far and grace will lead us home.” Friends, let us embrace the freedom to create homes of trust, of commitment to one another and, most importantly, for our children and us: homes of love. Thank you and God bless. : :
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April 13 • Charlotte Walk for AIDS The House of Mercy hosts its 20th annual Walk for AIDS, raising awareness and funds for the House of Mercy’s services. For more information, entry and support, visit thehouseofmercy.org. April 13 • Charlotte Bazaar Join the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte every second Saturday of the month from April 13 through October 12. Multiple vendors will have their treasures on tables for you to buy. Want to Sell? Spaces with table and 2 chairs $35, without table and chair $25. Food vendors $50 (must have proper food permits). LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, 2508 N. Davidson St. 8 a.m.-Noon. For more information, see gaycharlotte.com or call 704-333-0144. April 13 • Cornelius Dragon Boat Join One World Dragon Boat, North Carolina’s first LGBT Dragon Boat Team, for practices on Saturdays each week, 9-10 a.m. Ramsey Creek Park at Lake Norman, 18441 Nantz Rd. oneworlddragonboat.org April 13 • Salisbury Pride Drag Show Salisbury Pride presents a fundraiser and drag show. Cooper’s, The Gathering Place, 122 E. Fisher St. 8 p.m. For more information, visit salisburypride.com. April 16 • Charlotte Forum: A Family Affair A forum on important family-related matters pertaining to LGBT families. Panelists including family law attorney Connie Vetter, insurance agent Lisa Toppin, foster care manager Michell Richardson, adoption services manager MacKenzie Brailsford and others. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, 2508 N. Davidson St. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Complimentary food and drinks served. gaycharlotte.com. Presented by Chi Psi Omega Fraternity, chipsiomegafraternity.org. April 16 • Raleigh Equality NC Lobby Day Equality North Carolina hosts their annual lobby day and day of action at the North Carolina General Assembly. The day starts off with a training at the North Carolina Museum of History and then lobbying with state legislators. For more information and to register, visit equalitync.org/lobbyday/. April 19-21 • Charlotte Queen City Stomp Southern Country Charlotte presents its annual
Queen City Stomp, with weekend dance lessons, evening parties and their Saturday “Cattle Call Ball” fundraiser for the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, One Voice Chorus and Time Out Youth. Main events at Hartigan’s Irish Pub, 601 S. Cedar St., and host hotel Residence Inn, 404 S. Mint St. For registration and more information, visit queencitystomp.com. April 20 • Charlotte Prime Timers Anniversary Prime Timers of Charlotte, an organization for “slightly older gay and bisexual” men, will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their local chapter. Special after party at Sidelines Sports Bar. Park Road Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 3900 Park Rd. 6-9 p.m. $15/ members. $25/friends and guests. 704-236-3775. primetimersww.com/charlotte. April 20 • Charlotte Pride JWU Drag Show The LGBT student group at Johnson & Wales University holds its second amateur drag show. Donations benefit AIDS Walk Charlotte. Dance party following. Johnson & Wales University Student Center, 235 S. Cedar St. 8:30 p.m. Open to the public. April 25-28 • Charlotte GayCharlotte Film Festival The 5th Annual GayCharlotte Film Festival is slated for April 25-28 at Theatre Charlotte! Don’t miss the line-up of 10 incredible LGBTQ-themed movies including hilarious features and thought-provoking documentaries. Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Rd. Various dates. Various times. $8/online. $10/door. $65/10-ticket “flex pass.” GayCharlotteFilmSeries.com. April 27 • Charlotte Film Festival: Guest Speaker Director Robert L. Camina will be a special guest speaker following a screening of his “Raid of the Rainbow Lounge” during the GayCharlotte Film Festival. Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Rd. 3 p.m. $8/online. $10/door. gaycharlottefilmseries.com. April 27 • Charlotte Royals car wash The Charlotte Royals host a car wash fundraiser. Sidelines, 4544 South Blvd. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. charlotteroyals.org. April 28 • Gastonia LGBT Democrats chapter formation A new county chapter of the LGBT Democrats of North Carolina will be formed. Southern Crescent Private Lounge, 324 W. Main Ave. 3-5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Robert Kellogg, 704-953-8529 or rkellogg001@ carolina.rr.com. May 4 • Charlotte AIDS Walk Charlotte The Regional AIDS Interfaith Network hosts its 2013 AIDS Walk Charlotte. More information on marching, fundraising and more at aidswalkcharlotte.org. Gateway Village Atrium, Uptown Charlotte. 8-11 a.m. May 9 • Charlotte Rep. David Cicilline The Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute hosts a fundraiser with special guest, openly gay U.S. Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island. Home of John Arrowood (address provided upon RSVP). 6:30-8:30 p.m. $250-$1,500. RSVP at victoryinstitute.org/charlotte.
April 12-25 . 2013
April 12-25. 2013
Published on Apr 12, 2013
Published on Apr 12, 2013
QNotes profiles 18 young LGBT professionals making a difference in Charlotte, Chapel Hill and Raleigh. Plus, Charlotte mayor won't run for r...