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May 28-June 10 . 2011

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qnotes

May 28-June 10 . 2011


inside May 28-June 10, 2011 Vol 26 No 02

10 news & features   6   7   8 11

News Notes: Regional Briefs Thousands attend anti-gay rally U.S. State official visits Charlotte Mayfield announces council run

opinions & views   4 Editor’s Note   4 T-Notes   5 General Gayety

a&e/life&style 10 12 13 13 14 16 17 19

Choruses sing for a cause Time Out Youth turns 20 Father and sons prepare for trip Center seeks social justice Audiophile Tell Trinity Out in the Stars Q events calendar

online only

Mayfield’s campaign: Read our full news feature on LaWana Mayfield’s city council bid. goqnotes.com/10915.

plus

• Carolina HRC Gala returns to Charlotte. goqnotes.com/10949 • Equality NC exec to step down. goqnotes.com/11119 • More local and national news. goqnotes.com/to/news

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contributors this issue

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

front page Graphic Design by Matt Comer & Lainey Millen Photo Credit: Blyte Spirit Photography

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.

May 28-June 10 . 2011

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VIEWS

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

‘Real man’ Turner’s challenge is poetic justice

Last year, current Charlotte City Councilmember Warren Turner faced allegations that he had engaged in sexual harassment of four female city employees. The employees’ claims, which an independent investigator found were consistent and credible, led to efforts to censure Turner though the council voted 6-3 against doing so. But, Turner eventually lost his job as a probation officer with the North Carolina Department of Corrections, though the official reason for his firing stemmed from unrelated activities. The allegations of sexual harassment included anti-gay behavior. One of the employees, whom Turner thought was lesbian, said the councilmember said she needed a “real man.” According to the independent investigator’s report, as we reported at the time (see goqnotes.com/6423/), Turner asked the em-

ployee about a picture of actor Shemar Moore on a mug in her office. The employee said the actor was her motivation. “You don’t need that, I should be your motivation,” said Turner. “You need a real man to be your motivation!” The report exposed further details. “Council Member Turner further stated that he later spoke with Council Member Mitchell after that evening and told Council Member Mitchell he had been surprised to learn that Employee A had a fiancé because he thought that she was ‘gay,’” the report read. “Council Member Mitchell confirmed Council Member Turner called him on the telephone following a town meeting and said he was surprised to learn Employee A had a fiancé. Council Member Mitchell also recalls that Council Member Turner said: ‘I thought she was a lesbian.’” Now, Turner faces an electoral challenge

t-notes by robbi cohn :: qnotes contributor

A perfect storm

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One Maryland trans activist called it a “perfect storm.” Barely a week after the state’s proposed Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act died in committee, a brutal and unconscionable attack on a Baltimore-area trans woman occurred at a local McDonalds restaurant. This event captured the nation after the video of this unprovoked beating went viral. Sadly, this was not a one-in-a-million occurrence or even one in a thousand. This kind of brutality has become virtually commonplace. You can bet that everyday, somewhere, a trans person is in the midst of a verbal and/or physically violent attack. In dealing with trans discrimination issues, there are often several recognizable elements that typify these events. Most common are employment issues, public accommodations issues and hate crime issues; but, as set forth in my March 5, 2011, column, “Injustice at Every Turn,” there are many particulars wherein trans persons find they have not been accorded



a level playing field. We don’t always have a clear path to determining the core issues — it’s often a combination of many factors. What went wrong in this Maryland McDonalds? With whom does the culpability lie? And, what can we do to put an end to this needless and senseless violence that makes the lives of many trans persons survival obstacle courses? Many have called for accountability regarding this incident. Many have pointed the finger at McDonalds. It’s certainly true that the fast food chain fired the employee who originally filmed the four minutes of hell for the victim, Chrissy Lee Polis. And, it’s also true that they issued a statement condemning the actions of the two customer perpetrators. Regardless, I find myself wondering if McDonald’s still shares some blame for this incident. Yet, is this really about public accommodations? Ms. Polis reported that one of

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May 28-June 10 . 2011

from within his own party. Democrat LaWana Mayfield launched her primary bid for Turner’s seat on May 7. (See story on page 11). Mayfield says her campaign isn’t about beating an incumbent. She outright denies the sexual harassment allegations had anything to do with her decision to run. But, I’m betting Turner might just see things differently. I’m also betting Mayfield’s campaign is among Turner’s worst nightmares. We already know Turner is a misogynist and homophobic. Just imagine: an elected official with less than appealing views on women and lesbians getting the boot from voters who instead choose his primary challenger, an out lesbian with a history of progressive activism. There’s some pretty powerful, poetic and ironic justice brewing in all this. Called to social justice In preparing for this issue, qnotes staff sought to bring you stories about people and organizations making a real difference in other people’s lives. Hunger and poverty. Education and equality. Support and encouragement. The work being done by J.D. Lewis and his sons, Bishop Tonyia Rawls and her church and Freedom Center for Social Justice and the staff of Time Out Youth make perfect examples of the types

the perpetrators had made a disparaging comment about her use of the women’s restroom. “That’s a dude, that’s a dude and she’s in the female bathroom.” The fact that the beating took place in a public establishment lends credence, whether deserved or not, to charges that there were public accommodations concerns. That a McDonalds employee made the video and posted it on YouTube furthers that assumption. Some have made the case, however, that even if Maryland had enacted public accommodations protections, incidents like this one would still occur. And, this may very well be the case. But, at least mandated legal protections would go some distance into establishing that vicious behavior motivated by hate would have serious and remedial consequences should establishments be found culpable. So, even though it would be convenient to call this a public accommodations issue, that’s really only part of what should concern us here. And, even though it’s apparent that malice and hatred played a huge role in the events as they unfolded, it would be incorrect to look at this event merely through the prism of hate crimes and hate crime enhancement (the local district attorney has decided to handle this as a hate crime). Change.org published a petition from one individual demanding redress from McDonalds: “Despite a decent record of workplace discrimination protections for gays and lesbians, McDonald’s lacks standard policies for protecting transgender individuals. McDonald’s does not include gender identity or gender expression in its anti-discrimination policies, nor do they require employees to go through diversity trainings that cover the subject of gender identity and gender expression.” Furthermore, McDonalds has a deplorable track record regarding the hiring of trans individuals. I corresponded with Denise Leclair, president of the International Foundation for Transgender Education (IFGE), about this problem. She responded, “McDonalds has promoted the fact that for a tremendous number of people it has been their entryway into the job market. They have run commercials to this effect, showing successful businesspeople who

of work that creates change. Such opportunities bring civil, social, economic and educational justice to the “least of these” living among us. Anti-gay opponents and “pro-family” religious activists often like to paint themselves as the only true arbiters of right and wrong. They also try to corner the market on what it means to be “Christian.” Good Samaritans, however, come in all shapes and forms. LGBT people, too, can be servants of good and agents of change. One mustn’t even be a Christian to live out the principles that guide movements for social justice. In fact, those principles aren’t “Christian” — they’re human. And, each and every one of us can be called to social justice. By living our lives with integrity, honesty and charity, we can make a difference in the lives of our families, friends, neighbors and communities. By living such lives, we show our own humanity. That humanity opens doors of equality as we come to know close friends or perfect strangers one-on-one. Christians know Jesus’ teaching: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” So, too, shall all know that LGBT people are truly human and deserving of our own inherent worth and dignity. : :

say that McDonalds was their first job. They use this to position themselves as an American institution, like mom and apple pie. However, this is not true if you are transgender. I have heard from countless trans women that they can’t get hired there, and they have no corporate policy protecting gender identity or gender expression. If they are the gateway that they claim to be, then they are also de facto gatekeepers, locking an entire population out of the job market. The message is clear: people like you (trans) don’t belong here. If people in places like McDonalds had ever had a trans coworker, they might see trans people as actual people, not just stereotypes. It might not have made any difference in the Chrissy Polis case, but maybe it would have. What I do know is that this is not an isolated incident. There have been numerous cases of discrimination against trans people in McDonalds, both as potential employees and as customers. It might be legal, but it isn’t ethical, and the bottom line is that is it is simply bad business.” The violent behavior at this Baltimore McDonalds may have been averted had the company pursued a policy of equal hiring practices and if local and national workplace protections were in place. Certainly, having trans employees goes a long distance in the education process, and may help to remedy the kind of ignorance which is part and parcel of hate motivated crime. It’s possible that, had a trans individual been employed at this McDonalds, co-workers would have had a different response than to film and watch while an innocent victim was being pummeled and dragged across the floor by her hair! A comprehensive perspective on this incident and others like it makes it clear that efforts to reduce and/or remove discrimination require we factor in workplace protections, public accommodations protections and hate crime protections. It should be obvious that education is not only the mortar by which we craft legislation, and public policy; it’s our only hope to move forward toward a world free of ignorance and discrimination. But it’s hard to educate when you can’t even get your foot through the door. : :


VIEWS

general gayety by leslie robinson :: qnotes contributor

The nuptial news There’s been a lot of marriage news lately. But, enough about the Royal Wedding. On these shores, the struggle for same-sex marriage has been as wobbly as a tipsy bride. Look at Rhode Island. Hopes were high that Little Rhody would become the sixth state to allow gay marriage. But, House Speaker Gordon Fox announced the legislation wouldn’t pass the Senate, so he was backing civil unions instead. Rhode Island started off down the aisle, then got cold feet. Fox, interestingly enough, is openly gay. Advocates of same-sex marriage are openly angry at his decision. Martha Holt of Marriage Equality Rhode Island said in a statement, “We cannot support legislation that establishes a second class of citizens in Rhode Island.” When Vermont granted civil unions 11 years ago, they were the cat’s meow. Now, many consider them something the cat dragged in. Marriage activists have unusual company in their opposition to civil unions: the Catholic Church and the National Organization for Marriage. These anti-gay forces want lawmakers to reject the legislation because civil unions, they say, are a stepping-stone to gay marriage. Let’s hope so. In other marriage news, we turn now to that all-American boil, Donald Trump. When

talking to a New York Times reporter about his opposition to same-sex marriage, Trump used a golf metaphor. “A lot of people — I don’t want this to sound trivial — but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive,” said the kind-of-sort-of Republican presidential candidate. “It’s weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can’t sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.” Yes, the Donald is comparing your relationship to a golf club. Fore! If he becomes president, he’ll see to it that America doesn’t resort to gay marriage or ugly putters. Because he’s a traditionalist — who’s been married three times. Let’s check out the poll conducted by Public Policy Polling that revealed a majority of Republicans now support some form of legal recognition for gay couples. Most thought gay couples should receive a notarized certificate reading “Nice try” and a $5 Dunkin’ Donuts card. Actually, of the more than 1,000 Republicans nationwide who were polled, 12 percent favored full marriage rights and 39 percent favored civil unions. That’s a total of 51 percent in support of legal recognition, compared to the 48 percent who believed gay

couples should have no legal rights and ought to move to the Yukon. Finally we head to the state of New York where it appears the legislature will vote on marriage equality pretty darn soon. In 2009 same-sex marriage died in the Senate. What will the Senate do this time? Both sides are pushing like mad. Oh, the drama. Former President Bill Clinton, a New York resident, weighed in. He released a statement through the HRC that said each time this nation has extended rights to those previously denied them, America has become stronger, so let’s do it again, New York. I keep picturing Bill in a spangled red, white and blue suit, backed by the Rockettes. Chelsea Clinton helped kick off statewide phone banking in Manhattan. She made some phone calls and told the volunteers she was proud of her father’s stand. She said, reported The Advocate, “I am unabashedly biased toward my parents, and I am also unabashedly biased toward the right to marry.” Clinton herself got hitched last July, and she said marriage equality would be a fine first-anniversary present. Indeed, the traditional first-anniversary gift is paper. A document with the signature of the governor of New York would work nicely. : : info:

LesRobinson@aol.com . generalgayety.com

May 28-June 10 . 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

Charlotte Center makes inclusive name change

CHARLOTTE — The board of directors for The Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte has unanimously approved a name change to reflect broader inclusion and diversity. The organization will now be known as The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. News of the unanimously-approved name change was delivered via the center’s email newsletter on May 17. “In order to showcase the inclusiveness of The Center, effective immediately, we are The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte,” the organization wrote to supporters. The news brief also noted that “other exciting changes” were forthcoming. — M.C.

Scholarships awarded

SALISBURY — The Scholarships Advisory Committee of the Salisbury-Rowan chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays has announced that is has awarded $1,000 to each of four individuals for the 201112 academic year. Recipients are: Sunny Phillips (Ann Stanback-Charlotte Kinlock Scholarship); Levi T. Huffman (Founder’s Equality Scholarship); Emma F. Post (Linda Ketner Community Service Scholarship); and C. Ryan Bostian (Bob Page-Dale Frederiksen Business Scholarship). For more information, visit   salisbury-pflag.org. — L.M.

Triangle Network announces slate

RALEIGH — The Raleigh Business and Professional Network has announced its slate of officers for the upcoming year. The nominations were approved by the officers and board of directors. Officers up for election for 2012 are: Gary Bowman, president; Kelly Spaulding, vice president; Joel Taylor, treasurer; and Keith Worley, secretary. Directors for a two-year term ending in 2013 are: Gaston Williams; Lori White; Marlon Torres; and Julie Keelan. Elections will be held at the June 8 meeting at 6:30 p.m. at 18 Seaboard, Suite 100. For more information or to make reservations, email info@raleighnetwork.org or visit raleighnetwork.org. — L.M.

Athlete apologizes for tweets

RALEIGH — C.J. Leslie, a sophomore men’s basketball player, recently got into hot water over anti-gay comments he posted on Twitter regarding NBA player John Amaechi. Since then, he has caught flack from a number of people and organizations. Even Annabelle Myers, who serves as the school’s assistant athletics director for media relations, made a statement saying that Leslie’s comments “should not be viewed as a reflection on the University’s relationship with the GLBT community,” The Technician reported.



qnotes

May 28-June 10 . 2011

Justine Hollingshead, director of NCSU’s GLBT Center, wanted action saying that the school needed to “take a strong stance,” NBC17 reported. Since then he as offered an apology via Twitter saying that he did not want to hurt or offend anyone and came to the conclusion that he should think before he tweeted. He “meant no disrespect to any 1.” The school has a social networking policy for its athletes. It states in part, “Playing and competing for NC State is a privilege, not a right. In this context, each student-athlete has the responsibility to portray him or herself, the team, and NC State in a positive manner at all times.” — L.M.

Eastern DADT training underway

CAMP LEJEUNE — The Huffington Post has reported that Marines are engaged in sessions to deal with the upcoming lift of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” from military life. During training instructors provide soldiers with scenarios on dealing with gays and sought responses to the scenes to help in understanding how to best deal with changes that are on the horizon. Lt. Col. Ken Kelsay asked the class how they would deal with finding out that one of their own was seen at a gay bar and word got back to the squad commander. One respondent said that going to a gay bar was not punishable. Verbatim training is part of the ongoing protocol that is being instituted to deal with gays in the military once DADT is a thing of the past historically. The training is not presented from a position of “personal beliefs on religion or homosexuality,” Kelsay added. It is being held across the U.S., on ships, as well as abroad. Of course, DADT is far from over. Due diligence has to be done on assuring that the repeal will not hurt “military readiness.” It would be followed by a waiting period of 60 days. Once that is satisfied, the policy ceases. All this should occur by early September if schedules are met. — L.M.

Western AIDS group receives outreach grant

HICKORY — AIDS Leadership Foothillsarea Alliance (ALFA), an AIDS service organization, has received a $1,000 grant to benefit outreach, education and prevention efforts in Watauga County. ALFA serves most of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountain and foothills region including Watauga County, home to the Town of Boone and Appalachian State University. The small grant from the Watauga County Community Foundation is meant to assist HIV prevention education, testing and referral targeting high-risk groups. “This project will result in early detection, quick entry into care and provide HIV/STD prevention education for more individuals in our region,” David Zealy, ALFA’s director of education and outreach, said in a release. “It will also offer clients easier access to

comprehensive medical care, medical case management and support services.“ The monies will also be used to enhance medical care and medical case management with those people who are infected with HIV. ALFA recently hosted their annual Hike for Hope, an AIDS walk-style fundraiser in Morganton. The event raised $22,000. — M.C.

South Carolina Hate crimes bill introduced

COLUMBIA — Legislators and representatives from civil rights groups in South Carolina announced at a press conference on May 19 the introduction of a hate crimes bill that would protect victims on the basis, among others, of race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill is sponsored by state Reps. John King (D-Rock Hill) and James Smith, Jr. (DRichland) and supported by the state’s NAACP and LGBT education and advocacy group South Carolina Equality. The state currently has no statute on hate crimes or bias-motivated violence. The latest push for a hate crimes bill follows two recent incidents allegedly motivated by anti-gay prejudice. In April, a 19-year-old gay man was attacked by several men at a Rock Hill gas station (see “Rock Hill teen assaulted again”). In May, a 22-year-old gay man in Spartanburg said he’d been attacked because of his sexual orientation. Five men were later arrested in connection to the Rock Hill incident; none are facing federal hate crime charges. Federal hate crimes language is now inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity, but advocates say the incidents in Rock Hill and Spartanburg are prime examples of crimes that may not qualify under federal law and could benefit from added protection in state statute. In states without hate crimes laws, or in those without LGBT-inclusive laws, federal investigators are usually asked or volunteer to collect facts or investigate. — M.C.

Pride request for proclamation denied

SPARTANBURG — Organizers of a local Pride festival in the Upstate of South Carolina have been denied their request for an official proclamation from county leaders. Last year, Upstate Pride met with resistance from members of the Spartanburg City Council when they requested and received an official proclamation from Mayor Junie White. The mayor, who later received an award for his outspokenness in favor of the proclamation, has agreed to issue another welcome to this year’s festival. White will proclaim June 4, 2011, as “GLTBIQ Pride Day.” Spartanburg County Council Chair Jeff Horton, a Republican, has refused a similar request. “Mr. Horton answered via email with one single word, ‘No,’” Phyllis Wyatt, Upstate Pride president, said in a release. Upstate Pride will take place June 4 at Barnet Park, 248 E. Saint John St., from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more, visit upstatepridesc.org. — M.C.

National/Global Civil unions approved in Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. — Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed a law May 11 that legalizes civil unions for same-sex couples. The bill grants same-sex couples the same legal rights and protections that married different-sex couples have under state law. Delaware is the third state to pass a civil unions law in 2011, along with Illinois and Hawaii. A total of 10 other states provide civil unions or partnerships for same-sex couples, and five states plus the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples the freedom to marry. Four more states respect the marriages of same-sex couples that were validly entered into in other states or countries. — D.S.

TN pols vote to strip anti-bias laws

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Legislature has passed SB 632 / HB 600, a bill that prohibits cities and counties from adopting anti-discrimination laws on any basis, including race, religion, sex and age. The effort was motivated by an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in Nashville. Because legislators took action based on their desire to limit the rights of a particular group — the LGBT community — the bill, if signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam, will be vulnerable to legal challenges costing the state precious resources during tight economic times. — D.S.

Full welcome for gay clergy

NEW YORK, N.Y. — After a new recommendation was approved earlier this month by a majority of the nation’s 173 presbyteries, The Presbyterian Church (USA) has opened ordination to gay and lesbian clergy candidates without forcing them to remain celibate, as was previously required. The Presbyterian Church (USA) joins a host of other Protestant denominations that have voted to accept gay and lesbian clergy and church leaders. Among them are the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church. — D.S.

Teacher of the Year honored

BALTIMORE, Md. — Middle school teacher Rich Espey is the 2011 GLSEN Educator of the Year. The award recognizes an educator who has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring safe schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Espey has taught science for 23 years and is currently teaching 8th graders at the Park School of Baltimore. In 2005, he assumed sponsorship of Park’s Middle School GSA; projects under his guidance have included a student-created video addressing homophobia and various assembly programs for GLSEN’s Day of Silence, among others. — D.S.

‘Milk’ is the cream of gay films

LONDON, England — Based on a social networking vote sponsored by U.K. LGBT rights group Stonewall, “Milk” is “the film with the best depiction of LGB lives from the last decade.” The 2009 film directed by openly gay filmmaker Gus Van Sant and starring Oscarwinner Sean Penn received 40 percent of the votes, followed by last year’s “The Kids Are All Right” (23 percent), “Brokeback Mountain” (19 percent), “A Single Man” (13 percent) and “The Hours” (5 percent). — D.S.


Thousands attend anti-gay rally Pro-gay protesters allege intimidation by capitol police by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

RALEIGH — A rally that brought thousands of proponents for an anti-gay constitutional amendment on marriage to the North Carolina Legislative Building on May 17 was countered by messages of inclusion by progressive members of the clergy. State lawmakers joined Equality North Carolina, the statewide LGBT advocacy organization, for a press conference inside the state legislature where clergy members said any attempts to write discrimination into the constitution were unjust. “Matters of church and state are separate and should be separate,” Rep. Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe) told reporters. “This is another instance where I believe folks are trying to dictate the tenents of religion from the constitution and that’s not appropriate.” Charlotte’s Bishop Tonyia Rawls of Unity Fellowship Church and the Rev. T. Anthony Spearman of Hickory’s Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church also spoke. “You do not have a legal right to tell other people how they must love,” Rawls said. “We stand today against the effort being offered up to legislate discrimination and bias.” “Should not legislators be about ushering in justice?” Spearman asked. “The antiLGBT amendment is not fair and it certainly is not just.” While supporters for equality spoke to media, some 3,500 anti-gay rally attendees heard speeches from religious leaders like Return America’s Rev. Ron Baity, the organizer of the rally, and hate group leader

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. The Washington, D.C.-based group’s North Carolina affiliate, the North Carolina Family Policy Council, had supported the rally and encouraged their members to attend. The D.C. organization was named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center last year. Republican McDowell County Rep.   Mitch Gillespie told anti-gay rally attendees that he expected a victory for the amendment this year. “I’ve been down here for seven terms; we’ve been fighting for this for a long time,” he told the rally. “This year we’re going to make it happen. I fully expect it to pass this year and I expect a large, bipartisan vote on it.” A few dozen pro-gay counter-protesters also attended the anti-gay rally. Some have alleged intimidation by state capitol police, who attempted to persuade a small group of counter-protesters to move from where they had gathered near the anti-gay rally’s stage. A video posted on YouTube showed a police officer telling the group that they, unlike antigay ralliers, did not have a permit to be on Halifax Mall. A pro-gay rally will be held at the Legislative Building on June 2. Two versions of the anti-gay amendment have been filed in the state legislature. The Senate version, sponsored by Gaston County Republican Sen. James Forrester, would prohibit recognition of both public and private relationships ranging from marriage to domestic partner benefits. The less-stringent House version would ban only

recognition of marriage. This is the eighth year in a row that anti-gay legislators have introduced the amendment. Equality North Carolina had successfully lobbied the formerlyDemocratically-controlled legislature from taking up debate on the measures. Last November, both chambers of the legislature gained a Republican majority. North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast without such an anti-gay amendment in its constitution. : : — Press conference and rally quotes courtesy video from NC Policy Watch and WRAL.

May 28-June 10 . 2011

qnotes




NEWS

Official: Diversity a necessary value in government, business U.S. Department of State Chief Diversity Officer John Robinson speaks to Charlotte Business Guild by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

CHARLOTTE — The U.S. Department of State’s chief diversity officer told a group of LGBT community and business leaders gathered at Uptown’s Crown Plaza Hotel on May 17 that a commitment to diversity and equality is a necessary component of his work and valued by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. John Robinson, director of the State Department’s Division on Civil Rights, is responsible for equal employment opportunity enforcement at the U.S. State Department. Invited by the Charlotte Business Guild, an LGBT business networking organization, and a host of other local LGBT groups, Robinson spoke to community leaders on the necessity for diversity in the federal workforce. The U.S. State Department has been on the forefront of LGBT equality initiatives. Under President Obama and Secretary

Clinton, the department has instituted various initiatives to provide fair and equitable treatment of LGBT employees and their partners. In June 2009, the Obama Administration extended equal family benefits to both same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners of civil service and foreign service employees, as well as children of those partners. Similar benefits were offered to all federal employees by presidential memorandum in June 2010. Those benefits include travel arrangements, health and leave benefits and insurance benefits. Robinson also spoke on the general need for diversity inclusion in business environments, both public and private. “It is the business case that makes the difference,” Robinson told a crowd of close to 100 attendees. “It’s nice when people do things because its the right thing to do but to make progress in your community

you have to find the business case. People have to see that it is in their organizational best interest in order to get the best talent, in order to be elected or in order to get your business.” Responding to critics who say such business-focused initiatives often fail to change hearts or minds, Robinson said there remains room for achievement. “Start with the behavior modification, then sometimes the heart will follow,” he said, “but even if it doesn’t, if behavior modification becomes permanent, then that’s progress.” Commitments to diversity and inclusion start from the top and work their way down; such leadership is outspoken and intentional, Robinson said. “It turns out that to be the best diversity manager, you have to declare your values and make them clear to people,” he said. “It also means in order to be effective … you

Director of U.S. Department of State Office of Civil Rights John Robinson speaks to the LGBT leaders and community members at the Charlotte Business Guild.

have to be clear in your commitment — to make it visible, to make it verbal, to make it high profile.” Effective leadership also sets goals and keeps them in mind, Robinson suggested. “In terms of a policy agenda we are bringing, ask yourself what you want the end in mind for your community to be,” he said. “What do you want the end in mind to be here in Charlotte? And, what can you do to bring it about? We’re all involved in that … What’s it going to be at the end?” The key to success, he said, is personal: “As far as a ‘magic bullet’ — you are the magic bullet. It’s us. It’s about leadership. It’s about community and honesty. It’s about being willing to share personal stories even when it’s uncomfortable.” Robinson’s speaking engagement is the second time in as many months that federal officials have visited Charlotte to speak on LGBT issues. In April, Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez spoke on bullying and LGBT inclusion at Northwest School of the Arts. Afterward, he joined U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Anne Tompkins, who is lesbian, in a closed-door meeting with LGBT community leaders. The Charlotte Business Guild meeting was also sponsored by the local steering committee of the Human Rights Campaign, Equality North Carolina and the Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC). : :

Corrections In our April 30, 2011, print edition article on a Charlotte production of the musical “RENT,” we incorrectly identified the role to be played by Calvin Grant. He will star as character Tom Collins, a role in which he was also cast on Broadway. We regret the error. Have corrections to send our way? Feel free to let us know via editor@ goqnotes.com or by calling 704-531-9988, ext. 202.



qnotes

May 28-June 10 . 2011


Ask Dr. C…HIV and healthcare advice

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

In this first installment of “Ask Dr. C, “ we have tried to address and filter your emails to focus on reminders and the basics of HIV 101. In weeks and months to come we look forward to having Dr. C answer more in-depth and patientfocused questions. How is HIV actually transmitted? Can you help dispel some of the myths? — Matt in Gastonia Well Matt, there certainly are a lot of myths surrounding how you can contract the virus. So, I welcome the opportunity to “educate” the readers and you on how you can contract and transmit the virus. First, the basics: the HIV virus can only be transmitted by sexual contact (vaginal, anal, and yes oral sex), sharing of needles and blood products and lastly it can be transmitted by pregnant mothers (during pregnancy, labor and delivery and breast feeding). HIV is not transmitted by casual contact, such as drinking from the same

glass, shaking someone’s hand or other casual social contact. So, to protect yourself always know your status and the status of any sexual partner. You should not be afraid to ask these questions — it could save your life. If someone does not want to disclose their status to you, it is not worth risking your own safety. Using a condom in any sexual contact will help keep you and your partner safe. Never share needles with anyone under any circumstances. If you are pregnant and HIV positive, make sure you inform your healthcare provider so he or she can provide you with the safest protocol during your pregnancy. Many women who are HIV positive that take all the necessary precautions are delivering healthy and happy, non HIV positive babies. My friend just told me she was HIV positive. How can I help her? — Lisa in Charlotte Lisa, the fact that you are even writing to ask is very important and shows you are head and shoulders above many in our community; your friend is very lucky. You can educate yourself about the disease so that you can better understand what she is going through and what she is talking about when she shares things with you. You can attend her doctor visits with her if she would allow that; showing emotional support to her can be some of the best medicine she may receive. Understand that HIV does not have to

slow anyone down anymore. If she is on a good treatment regimen, seeing a knowledgeable doctor, getting the emotional and spiritual support she needs, and living an overall healthy lifestyle, your friend will be around for a long, long time. Above all let your friend know you still love and care about her, never be afraid to give her a hug and lend support. I would also encourage your friend to get involved in HIV related activities in the community, so that she can see people with HIV are living productive and healthy lives. There are many opportunities for volunteer activities in the area; including the annual Charlotte AIDSWALK and many opportunities that we facilitate at Rosedale Infectious Diseases. We will try to post these activities on our website and here in this column so you can participate. What is the difference between HIV and AIDS? — Charles in Charlotte Charles, many people use these two acronyms interchangeably and they are very different. The CDC defines the terms as follows. HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. There are two types of HIV, HIV-1 and HIV-2. In the United States, unless otherwise noted, the term “HIV” primarily refers to HIV-1. AIDS refers to the late stage of HIV infection, when an individual’s immune system

is severely damaged and has difficulty fighting diseases and certain types of cancers. Before the development of certain medications, people with HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few years. Currently people with HIV are living with the virus for many years, even decades, before they develop AIDS. This is most likely attributed to the new combinations of medications that are out there and people that are infected getting into a knowledgeable doctor to guide their treatment program. No one should become too complacent about HIV care, taking your medications daily, living a healthy lifestyle, and staying compliant with appointments to a knowledgeable healthcare provider and regular monitoring of the levels and progression of the disease is very important. Remember, there are great treatments out there, but still, sadly, no cure. Always remember that this is an advice column based on your questions and the best possible knowledge out there. We need your questions to help educate the community, so email them to info@rosedaleid.com and be sure to include a first name and location. All respondents will remain anonymous. We will try to do our best to answer, educate and inform from your responses in this column. Don’t forget to visit our website at rosedaleid.com and friend us on Facebook for community and clinical updates. — Sponsored Content —

May 28-June 10 . 2011

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Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus, Comman Woman Chorus team up to present ‘Sing for the Cure’

ARTS

Concert stresses community, caring by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

Common Woman Chorus and Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus hold a joint rehearsal for ‘A Proclamation of Hope.’ Photo Credit: David Palm (flickr.com/photos/psychosemanticist)

When the Triangle area’s two LGBT and LGBT-friendly community choirs teamed up to present a special concert benefiting the Komen Foundation, they didn’t quite know what kind of response they’d get. The choruses, two weeks from the concert’s debut, have found out — their communities rallied to the cause. Durham-based Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus (TGMC) and Comman Woman Chorus (CWC) are presenting their joint venture, “A Proclamation of Hope” and debuting the Triangle-area premiere of “Sing for the Cure,” a world-renowned song cycle that honors breast cancer victims, survivors and their loved ones. The proceeds from the event, which occurs the same weekend as the Triangle Komen Race for the Cure, will be shared equally by CWC, TGMC and Komen for the Cure NC-Triangle, a local affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. Stephen Mellott, TGMC’s executive vice president for marketing, says the issue is one both communities can really around. Mellott says the joint concert also speaks to the choral groups’ similar missions. “Performing this piece goes along with our organizational mission statements and focuses of performing music that speaks to all people across cultural and sexual orientation divisions,” he says. “Part of our vision statement is uplifting the value and worth of all people. This is a piece of music that speaks to everybody. Our artistic staffs and boards

Meeting Date: Program: Time: Cost: To Reserve:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 United States Attorney Anne Tompkins The 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

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felt this was an important work to bring to the Triangle area.” The performance isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around for quite some time and other performances of “Sing for the Cure” have been staged as close as Charlotte. Mellott says the piece’s notoriety and message will resonate with community members. “A lot of people are familiar with this work, but even if they aren’t, when you make people aware of how the piece was created — that it was commissioned by the Susan G. Komen Foundation which many people are aware of or connected to — they immediately respond positively,” he says. The groups have received all sorts of positive praise and participation already. The mayors of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, for example, all lent their names as honorary co-chairs for the event, as reported by qnotes in April (see “Triangle mayors co-chair LGBT choral event for Komen foundation,” goqnotes.com/10725/). Mellott said at the time that the mayors’ participation signaled positive signs of the officials’ support for breast cancer research initiatives and their willingness to work with LGBT organizations. “A Proclamation of Hope” will be performed at Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts’ Meymandi Concert Hall on June 12 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at tgmchorus.org. : :


NEWS

Mayfield announces bid for CLT council Housing, economic development and community safety among lesbian leader’s top concerns by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

CHARLOTTE — Democrat LaWana Mayfield, a community leader in local progressive and LGBT political circles, has announced she will seek the District 3 seat on city council. Mayfield, who is lesbian, held her first campaign fundraiser on May 7. She has described herself as an “advocate for affordable housing, social justice and the environment.” She has been active in several local progressive and LGBT organizations, including the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee, the local steering committee for the Human Rights Campaign, Charlotte Community Justice Coalition, League of Women Voters and American Friends and Service Committee/Immigrant Solidarity Committee. She also serves on the board of advisors for the Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Fund. “I have been working in the local community on diverse issues such as immigration, access to affordable housing, reducing recidivism and positive opportunities for at-risk youth for over 15 years,” she told qnotes via email on May 12. “My city council race is an extension of my commitment to my local community.” Mayfield will face incumbent Democratic Councilmember Warren Turner in a Sept. 13 primary. Turner was first elected to council in 2003 and is currently serving his fourth term. The victor in the Democratic primary will likely face a Republican challenger in the Nov. 8 general election. Turner was accused of

anti-gay sexual harassment last year. He has denied those allegations. Mayfield said the sexual harassment allegations against Turner played no part in her decision to run. “I have been speaking with members of my community and hear a call for new leadership,” she said. “I am answering the call to add another community voice to the city council table.” She also declined to characterize her race as a challenge to incumbency. “I’m not taking on the incumbent,” she said. Mayfield said she hopes to represent the full diversity of District 3, which encompasses most of Southwest Charlotte. She says she’ll work hard to see all voices heard and respected. She says discrimination takes place across lines of difference. Protection from anti-LGBT employment discrimination has been a hot button issue since the last city election. “I support all equal opportunity hiring practices and will be a champion for any programs that support greater equity in the job market,” Mayfield said. “However, I also realize that there are multiple groups within my district that face unfair hiring practices. These groups span across a wide range of racial, socioeconomic, ethnic, immigrant/refugee status, and gender lines. As a member of city council, I will represent all of these groups and work within the limits of my office to expand equity to all.” In addition to equity issues, Mayfield says a wide range of economic and community

concerns are shaping her campaign. “My focus areas are maintaining real estate value especially with the local tax value reassessments, injecting economic development by partnering with local business and identifying new business opportunities and increasing community safety by strengthening local law enforcement and community relationships,” she said. Mayfield, who has been in a committed relationship with her partner for five years, isn’t shying away from her sexual orientation. She’s quick to note, however, that she’s not running as a “lesbian candidate.” “Yes, I am running as an out candidate, but I believe Charlotte is ready for all of LaWana Mayfield will face incumbent Warren Turner in her us to serve as our authentic bid for the District 3 council seat. selves,” she said. “Over the past 15 years, my work has “…[O]ur shared concerns unite us not been one issue but again a collection of across these differences,” she said. “It is that issues of equity and equality for all citizens.” strength that I believe in and that has opened Mayfield said her personal relationship doors for me to serve in multiple venues.” and sexual orientation “should be the least Mayfield is the fourth gay or lesbian perof concerns” in the face of such important isson to seek office in Charlotte. : : sues as housing, economic development and more: Read our full news feature on community safety. Mayfield’s campaign at goqnotes.com/10915.

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Service for a new generation Time Out Youth celebrates 20 years even as it faces continued growth, challenges by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

[Ed. Note — This writer is a former youth member of Time Out Youth.] In June, Charlotte LGBT youth support group Time Out Youth will mark 20 years of service to the community — a full two decades of work supporting teens struggling to come to terms with their identities or those facing homelessness as the result of wrathful or misunderstanding parents and caregivers. Steve Bentley serves as executive director of the group, affectionately dubbed “TOY” by its staff and youth members. He says the group’s survival is an amazing feat in and of itself, as it now welcomes in a whole new generation of young people who weren’t yet born when the group opened shop in 1991. “The whole idea that this organization has survived for 20 years is amazing, given the nature of the organization, the time in which it started and how difficult it is to get and keep funding,” he says. TOY has faced its fair share of challenges. “In the context of non-profits in general, we haven’t been through anything other organizations haven’t gone through or will go through,” he says. “It’s just that when you are small and you don’t have any outside funding — city, state or federal funding — it makes your survival that much more precarious.” The economic downturn has been among the group’s latest and most concern-

ing challenges. The biggest drop in funding has been from corporate donors. To fill the void, Bentley and TOY’s board depends on individual contributors. “Our supporters are faithful and generous, but they are just a small group of the greater LGBT community,” Bentley says. Speaking of TOY’s various services and their costs, a sense of frustration grows in Bentley’s voice. “Our budget is exactly the same as in 2000,” he says. “That’s not good. Things are a lot more expensive now than they were 10 years ago.” He says his greatest dream for TOY is that it will eventually be able to serve each of the unique needs of the young people who come through its doors. To do so, TOY needs greater community support. “Step up,” Bentley says to community members, “and support this organization in a way that allows us to operate effectively as a social service agency. The resources do exist in this community. Our young people deserve better.” The need for basic services like housing is real, Bentley warns. A dozen young people staring down homelessness and poverty have sought assistance just this year alone. “[LGBT youth homelessness] is absolutely a reality in Charlotte,” he says, noting that the group is currently working with two youth in need. “What scares me is how many we don’t know about.” Nearly 200 beds across the nation are devoted to LGBT young people without shelter. Fifty of those beds are in New York City. Nationally, as much as 40 percent of the country’s nearly 2 million homeless children are estimated to identify as LGBT. Bentley says a housing facility for LGBT young people is “little more than a pipe dream” for an organization so small — TOY’s budget sits at about $150,000 each year. “The better route for us is to be able to work with other housing providers to make sure that they have open and welcoming spaces for LGBT youth,” Bentley explains. “Part of that challenge is that Mecklenburg County doesn’t have any housing dedicated to youth.” Despite funding and housing challenges

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Father, sons take global, social justice to new heights Family’s Twelve In Twelve project will take them across the globe by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

Living in a one-bedroom efficiency Lewis and his sons haven’t forgotten global issues first-hand and be a part of the apartment, J.D. Lewis and his two sons are about their homeland, either. As a part of efforts to aid in their solution. It’s a luxury prepping themselves for a trip of a lifetime. their journey, they’ll make a thirteenth stop most American youth will never have, priClose quarters and simple living will be in Mississippi. There they will assist in marily, Lewis believes, because we’re too standard for the next year. educational efforts and assist residents in quick to shelter our children from the harsh “This isn’t a luxury trip,” Lewis cautions. accessing resources for housing, food and realities that are part-and-parcel of daily In July, Lewis and his sons — 13-yearhealthcare assistance. life elsewhere. old Jackson and 8-year-old Buck — will Poverty in America, Lewis says, is “My job as a parent is not to protect depart for a year-long journey hopping from different than poverty abroad. Even in the my children from exposure to the truth; it nation to nation as they visit 12 different is to show it to them,” he says. cities across the globe. In each, they’ll “I want my kids to be globallyassist in humanitarian work ranging minded. We have this tendency from issues like famine and poverty to to want to protect our children healthcare and education. from the truth and that just raises The mission, under the banner of unknowledgeable and apathetic Lewis’ organization, Twelve In Twelve, children. I know my kids will began innocently enough. come back and appreciate what “Jack came home one day, and they have.” asked, ‘Why aren’t we doing more to As a part of their mission to help?’” Lewis says. bring wider exposure to these Jackson’s questions — Why are peoissues, Twelve In Twelve has ple starving? Why can’t people get mediteamed up with Scholastic, the cine they need? Can’t we do something to Peace Corps and the Charlottehelp? — struck a chord with Lewis. On a based Mothering Across whim, he called the global director of the Continents to distribute video Peace Corps. After a few conversations, blogs and other material made some networking and brainstorming, by Jackson — who will post disTwelve In Twelve was born. patches during the trip at global“I was clueless about what was teenblogger.com — to middle and going on in the world,” Lewis says of his high schools across the country. previous knowledge of global issues. Lewis also hopes he’ll be able “It’s amazing that even today people in to match schools in Charlotte to Rwanda have to walk 30 miles to get sister schools in other countries. water. Can you imagine walking a full Charlotte has been extremely day just to get water for your family?” supportive of his family’s mission. Lewis and his sons will build a well. The project’s unique goals and The cost is just $8,500, quite affordstyle resonate with different able for a city or town in America, but people for different reasons, J.D. Lewis and his sons, 13-year-old Jackson and 8-year-old certainly out of reach for most small Lewis says. He’s glad so many Buck, will depart for a global, life-changing trip in July. African villages. people have taken notice — getPhoto Credit: John Kure “If we can build that well, we’ll ting the message out throughout change the lives of the people there forDeep South, disadvantaged citizens have the trip and afterward is important. ever,” Lewis says. “No more walking a full access to government resources not readAt the end of his journey, Lewis hopes day just for something as simple as water.” ily available in many countries across the his children and others will learn to Lewis, who is gay and has spent his caworld. incorporate a simple mission into their reer as an acting coach, says the goal of his “In some countries, if you are a citizen own decision-making as they grow up and mission is to change lives and inspire other you can’t go to your government,” he says. face adulthood: “What can I do to change Americans to reach out and undertake their “Here in America, there is just a lack of a life?” own humanitarian work. education. People have all these resources “Everything helps,” he says. “It really is “The idea is to become a sustainable that just aren’t being used. No one has ever that simple.” : : project — to become a hub for these 12 shown them how.” — To learn more about Twelve In Twelve, locations across the globe and encourage Lewis is anxious to see how the yearcontribute or follow Lewis’ and his sons’ families and groups to pick their own localong trip affects his two sons. He knows journeys, visit twelveintwelve.info. tions,” he says. they’ll be fortunate enough to see complex

Creating change in East CLT by Matt Comer

More than a decade ago, Tonyia Rawls came to Charlotte charged with a mission. Her denomination, the Unity Fellowship Church Movement, had tasked her with finding a home for their first congregation in the South. Rawls now presides as bishop over four growing churches; including her own, she also oversees parishes in D.C., Atlanta and Charleston. In the years since its founding, Unity Fellowship Church of Charlotte has grown with its hometown and denomination. The church body is now making new and exciting steps toward future growth. Their new Lighthouse Project is a capital campaign to raise money for a renovated and expanded facility the church already owns at the corner of Eastway and Kilborne Drs. In addition to the church, the new facility will also house Rawls’ Freedom Center for Social Justice. The Freedom Center started three years ago, inspired by the needs of East Charlotte students at Garringer High School. Tutoring and career development were the center’s first projects. Though national in scope, Rawls says the tutoring project is a good example of the center’s social justice focus and its willingness to keep an eye on Charlotte. “While we are doing national work it is impossible to do that without thinking of our own house and for us that is this region,” she says, pointing to a list of challenges ranging from housing, healthcare and education. “We can go down the list of all this bad stuff and we have those [in East Charlotte],” she cautions, “but we also have some of the best numbers — some of the wealthiest people in Charlotte live in this ZIP code and some of the greatest growth in the city is happening in this ZIP code. There’s also some really dynamic and progressive work that is happening in this ZIP code.” She says her church’s and center’s neighborhood is a “complex area” with unique needs. Such a situation presents both challenge and opportunity. “I think East Charlotte is a gift to Charlotte,” she says. “What we have there is an incredible opportunity to build something really magnificent that I think can showcase the best of us all.” : : — Learn more about the Freedom Center for Social Justice at fcsj.org.

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The freedom to express myself honestly is what makes me feel beautiful.” by david stout :: david@goqnotes.com Appropriately, “Beautiful” is D Alexander takes a loud, proud stand the name of D Alexander’s first We’re heading into national single, available on iTunes now. Pride Month so I’m stepping aside He recently spoke with us about his decision to be out, LGBT this issue to bring you a special support from other artists and the music industry’s queer youth interview conducted by freelancer revolution. Max Jiminez. Enjoy and have a It used to be that coming out was a career killer. Is that not Happy Pride. true anymore? Openly gay singer D Alexander Today, an artist remaining in the closet is more of a career has noticed a big change in the killer than coming out is. As artists, it is our duty to publicly music industry since he began expose our diaries. If fans find out that we have been deceiving recording four years ago. In the bethem, they will question the art form that is supposed to be our ginning, producers tried to force him to become a mainstream truth. pop artist. However, concerned that his music would lose its Is it easier for young artists to come out as gay today? essence, D Alexander resolved to remain true to his artistry It is much easier. There is something of a revolution taking even if it meant never achieving high record sales. (“I told the place in today’s music industry. As a generation, we are taking producers they can keep their money, cars and chicks, just a stand and fighting for our rights. Nothing is off limits. give me a mic and some glitter.”) Now, he sees other musicians How have releases like Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and following a similar path. Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R” impacted the world’s feelings “Artists are finally taking a stand against the industry. I, for about the LGBT community? one, am relieved that I have remained true to my principals. I started to tear up the first time I saw the video for “Born

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This Way.” I could not believe that we had finally arrived. Many songs have danced around the subject without entirely bringing it home but Gaga’s lyrics are so bold and her message is so clear. It’s fantastic to hear the song playing on mainstream radio and television. Do you feel Elton John and Ricky Martin waited too long to come out? No, it was a different time then. I commend their courage. The more closets that get cleaned out, the easier it becomes for us to be fearless. What gave you see next page u the courage to


stand up to the music industry suits? I did it pre-�Glee,� way before it was popular to be out and proud. I used to feel lost and unsure about what I should write about. Once I figured out who I was, my musical mission became clear. Instead of worrying about what people thought, I began to write about everything I was feeling. Instead of keeping those private thoughts locked away in a journal, I brought them forth. They have been some of my best works yet. “Beautiful� seems to suggest that beauty comes with maturity. Beauty comes with honesty, most importantly honesty with yourself; the ability to be comfortable in your own skin. In a way, maturity plays a role in this discovery because it is ultimately life’s hurdles that point our internal compasses in the right direction. What do you hope fans take away from your music? Art is indefinable. I hope my music will allow fans to take whatever they need to from it. What should fans know about the next generation of emerging musicians? We represent the future of freedom. We are the freak buried deep within the most conservative mind. That wild animal that erupts only when the lights are off and we are alone. We have to stop giving a shit about what people think. We are a generation of beautifully insane youth. Get ready for the takeover. : : — D Alexander is online at MySpace: myspace.com/dalexandertakesover info: audiophile@goqnotes.com

TOYcontinued from page 12 — serious issues, no doubt — Bentley says he sees signs of encouragement and improvement across the community. TOY’s relationship with individual schools, teachers, counselors and social workers has been on the incline since the group reached out to middle and high schools across the metro region last year; a grant from the Wesley Mancini Foundation enabled them to send resource pamphlets, an introductory letter and other resources to over 1,000 education professionals. Bentley also sees progress with other LGBT community groups, many of which have begun to work with TOY and open their doors to participation from young people. Some, Bentley says, are even considering ways to offer youth leadership opportunities. Bentley says he’s excited and looking forward to TOY’s several anniversary events, slated for June 10-12. “We have attempted to create an array of events that both celebrate the history and accomplishments of Time Out Youth and draw attention to the work yet to

be done,â€? he says. “We’ve combined an opportunity to celebrate and fundraise ‌ with an opportunity for our community to have a conversation about what is and needs to be.â€? : : Time Out Youth has planned several events to fete its 20th anniversary. Gala: A Celebration of 20 Years June 10, 7:30 p.m. Extravaganza, 1610 N. Tryon St. Greatness: Living My Life Like It’s Platinum June 11, noon Time Out Youth, 1900 The Plaza Glam: A Time Out Youth Prom June 11, 8 p.m.   Grand Central, 1000 Central Ave. Grace: In Every Step June 12, 9:15 a.m. Myers Park Baptist, 1900 Queens Rd. For more detailed information or to purchase tickets, call 704-344-8335 or visit timeoutyouth.org.

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tell trinity by trinity :: qnotes contributor

Does selfishness ever go away? Hi Trinity, It’s been five years and I love my boyfriend. However, he’s selfish and as time goes on, he gets less and less eager to compromise. I’m beginning to feel like a doormat. What can I do? My Way, Grand Rapids, MI Hi My Way, Today, in the me generation, selfish people are as common as overthrown Middle Eastern governments! Plus, if he’s the youngest child, was spoiled and/or is a Scorpio, then you’re in triple-selfish trouble. First, try getting him (with you) to volunteer at a hospital or gay youth center to open his mind to the needs of other’s. Second, try having “Selfless Day” at home so he can practice doing for you and vice versa. And, lastly, see if there are some books on selfish children. Pumpkin, if there aren’t, use this experience to write one! Dear Trinity, My last date went ballistic about my driving “too crazy.” Isn’t that ridiculous? Why should I change the way I drive when someone else is in my car? It’s my car. Driving Date-saster, LA, CA Dear Driving Date-saster, When you’re on a date, you are on a date, not on some Ironman

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competition reality show. Sorry, but you’re wrong to strap someone into a car seat and then show them who’s in control of their entire destiny. Driving with someone is totally different than driving alone, period. Be respectful, honey, toward your passenger’s comfort level at least until the second martini! (I’m in perfect control when I’m in the car as my cartoon suggests!) Hello Trinity, My lover and I are very happy, but when it comes to orgasms it’s always him or me. Even though I’m a biologist, it’s hard to time our orgasms, which makes mutual satisfaction an issue. Help? Timing’s Everything, Miami, FL Hello Timing’s Everything, Uncontrolled orgasms happen, but after a while you should have some idea of when both volcanos are going to erupt, especially if you’re a scientist. Listen, baby, when one of you gets “close,” shake off the blissful feeling and start practicing mutual eruptions. Sometimes you have to stop and play together in the heat of your own moment. Dearest Trinity, After three years with my husbear it happened, our sex life has hibernated. Is it inevitable or is there some trick? Unsatisfied Bear, Boulder, CO Dearest Unsatisfied, Sex with the same person is like eating at the same restaurant — it becomes undesirable after a while. That’s why, sweetie,

restaurants change their menus every few years just like you must do, too. But, for now start reading: Trinity’s Hot Tips For Keeping Sex and Desire Between You And Your Hubby   1. Try having sex in different rooms or places other than the bedroom. Lots can happen in the kitchen or shower, especially at a romantic resort.   2. Try different ways of doing the same thing, especially trying different sexual positions and/or being more aggressive.   3. Try different aphrodisiacs, such as scented oils, wine or herbs before laying down for sex.   4. Try different times of the day. Wake up early, go to bed early or try doing it in the afternoon.   5. Try clearing your mind during sex while focusing on naughty thoughts with your partner.   6. Try using all five senses differently, i.e. smelling and tasting new areas.   7. Try talking dirty to each other on the phone or the internet before getting together that night. Also, try talking dirty during sex (no laughing).   8. Try spraying nice scents into the air conditioner, on the bed and on your privates. It always works for me!   9. Try stimulating different erogenous zones, such as behind the knees and elbows, in the armpits or lower back and around the neck and feet. 10. Lastly, try not breaking up “again” just because the sex got boring “again”. Life is what you make it so make your sex life fun! : : — 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


out in the stars by charlene lichtenstein :: qnotes contributor

May 28 - June 10 Take advantage of National Coming Out month by harnessing the energy of a bunch of planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars and the Sun — in flirtatious Gemini. Your social quotient soars and your flair for flair escalates. Show your pearlies for the camera, you charmer you. GEMINI (05.22-06.21) Pink Twins are in the center of the social swirl and can use this time to cement current liaisons and forge new ones. The folks you meet now determine your long-term success. This means that you have to exert special energy to maneuver into inner circles of certain groups and charm your way into the starchambers of certain organizations. Rev up the pizazz machine. CANCER (06.22-07.23) Is there something stirring in your soul that compels you to do the best you can altruistically do? If the answer is yes, this is the time to get started on your path. Expand your charitable outreach, start some good works and try to make a positive difference in the world. It is never too late to gather in the good karma. The trick is knowing where to look for it. LEO (07.24-08.23) Proud Lions are not the most patient of souls, but the last few months have taught you the value of careful planning and well-timed pacing. Well, now you can quicken the pace. Any long-term plans that have been stuck in neutral can finally be put into high gear now. Be prepared — check your files and your tool box. Do you have them ready to go? Fire drill! VIRGO (08.24-09.23) Queer Virgins need to be ripe and ready for any professional opportunity. You have done the hard work and now it is time to pave your path to success. Be diplomatic and strategic. Opportunities will become apparent. But, for those of you who have opted out of the corporate scene, it is also a great time to try something new and possibly profitable. I said possibly. LIBRA (09.24-10.23) Scratch your itchy feet with a last-minute jaunt. The world is ripe with possibilities just waiting for you to come and get ‘em. Proud Libras can go in style, maybe even with an entourage. But, plan your course carefully so you make the best use of time and money. Create a few international scenes and also see what is going on behind the scenes. Whoo, hoo. SCORPIO (10.24-11.22) There is no stopping you. Focus on who you want and go after them. Proud Scorps have a certain special something in their manner that exudes charisma and sex appeal. Your presence is demanded at all the hot parties where you will cleverly cultivate a strong fan base. Make your mark on the dating scene. Ahem. Is that a skid mark I see? SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) Tie up all loose ends into one strong knot. Consolidate all your disparate projects and people and focus on the basic and important things in life. You have too many things going on and may be ignoring relationships that need a bit of balm. Relax and enjoy who and what you have. Make your summer a summer to remember rather than to forget, gay Archer. CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) Think strategically. Pink Caps need to survey their landscape and plan for their next move. An office party may provide a golden opportunity to connect with a co-worker. How that connection pans out is up to you. But let’s just say that you can never have too many friends around the office. Especially one in HR who can glance at your personnel records. AQUARIUS (01.21-02.19) Launch your own personal party season right now. Aqueerians need to see and be seen. Reach out. Form planning

committees. Don’t hang around the house and wait for a knock on the door. Find creative ways to express yourself and showcase your special attributes. Err, you do have some special attributes to showcase, don’t you? If not, create some! PISCES (02.20-03.20) Your surroundings can be enhanced and improved. It may be too late for spring cleaning, but it is the perfect time for a summer total redo. Map out a manageable budget and shop for a new domestic look — furniture, painting, remodeling or even renovation. Or, when in doubt, a move to another abode. Perhaps one with a swimming pool? ARIES (03.21-04.20) Think of something totally outrageous to demand from others and guess what? You snag it. So, draw up a list of desires and see how far down the list you can go before you feel sated. Proud Rams are fortunate in that they never seem to become overwhelmed by an avalanche of goodies. However, it is even easier to manage it all when you share with others. Hint, hint. TAURUS (04.21-05.21) You are feeling pretty good and why not? Life is chugging along and you have found ways to lower your stress levels. Enjoy the resulting rewards of clean living. Queer Bulls find ways to surround themselves with all sorts of luxurious items from good food to good wine to good company. Is it possible that you will fall into a rut? Oh, let’s hope so! : : © 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.

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Queering gender, music and art Justin Bond of ‘Shortbus’ fame takes on Carrboro Defining Justin Bond’s gender is no less difficult than figuring out what makes the 47-year-old performer’s cabaret act so compelling. It can be hilarious, heart-wrenching, vulnerable, sardonic, Wiccan, and world-weary all at the same time. — Out Magazine, May 2011. Downtown New York music scenester and queer avant-garde singer, songwriter and performance artist Justin Bond — now named Mx. Justin Vivian Bond and “V” instead of he/she or him/her — will take to the stage at Carrboro’s ArtsCenter on June 4. Bond, known for V’s various works in film, music and theater, released V’s first full-length album as a solo artist on April 4 and is currently on tour across the U.S. The album, “Dendrophile,” encapsulates the various and constantly evolving dimenQueer avant-garde artist sions of Bond’s career: Mx. Justin Vivian Bond sold-out audiences at will perform in Carrboro as New York’s Joe’s Pub, a part of new U.S. tour song from John Cameron Mitchell’s “Shortbus” (in which Bond starred), a Karen Carpenter song Bond performed in the previously released “Justin Bond is Close to You” and material from Bond’s recent performance piece “Re:Galli Bonde.” Sex, gender and sexuality are foremost themes Bond’s new album. Bond is particularly interested in queer, specifically transgender, identity, which V has embraced in V’s transition to the mixed-gender Mx. Justin Vivian Bond. In the song “American Wedding,” Bond sets to music poetry by the late queer writeractivist Essex Hemphill. “The Golden Age of Hustlers” was written by Bambi Lake, a transsexual woman Bond has known since V lived in San Francisco. Other highlights of the album include “Crowley A La Lee,” which was inspired by an imagined meeting between Aleister Crowley and Peggy Lee, and “The New Economy” an unmistakably Bondesque commentary on the worldwide economic crisis. Bond’s June 4 Carrboro performance opens at 7:30 p.m. at The ArtsCenter, 300 E. Main St. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 day-of and $18 for ArtsClub members. To purchase tickets or get more information, visit artscenterlive.org or call 919-929-2787, ext. 201. : : — Compiled from release

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events qnotes goqnotes.com/qguide/events

arts. entertainment. news. views. Twirlicious Memorial Day Weekend May 27-30 • Charlotte A Memorial Day Weekend full of exciting events by Just Twirl. This year’s theme is “Adventures in Wonderland.” Events include six different activities throughout the Queen City. Visit justtwirl.com for more details on each day’s and night’s and tickets and pass purchases. May 28-29 • Charlotte RENT Theatre Charlotte, Charlotte’s Community Theatre, presents the acclaimed, 1996 Pulitzer-prize winning Broadway musical, “RENT.” 501 Queens Rd. Various times. Various prices. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit theatrecharlotte.org. June 2-5 • Charlotte Antiques show From apartments to million dollar homes, you’ll find unique items to fit any style and budget at the International Collectibles and Antiques Show! Including: home decor, antiques, furniture, collectibles, art, jewelry, crafts and more. Metrolina Tradeshow Expo, 7100 Statesville Rd. icashows.com/ICAShows. June 3-11 • Charlotte ‘Hello Dolly!’ Join the kickoff for CPCC Summer Theatre’s 38th season in the beautiful Halton Theatre for a production of “Hello, Dolly!” And, from June 17-25, don’t miss “Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue.” Halton Theatre, 1206 Elizabeth Ave. 8 p.m. $10-$21.704-330-6534. tix.cpcc.edu. June 3 • Greensboro Big Gay Divas Bingo Guilford Green Foundation hosts another of its successful Green Queen Bingo

events. The Empire Room, 203 S. Elm St. 6 p.m. ggfnc.org. June 4 • Carrboro Justin Vivian Bond: Dendrophile A recent New Yorker article calls Bond “the greatest cabaret artist of (Bond’s) generation” and Out Magazine’s May 2011 issue claims Bond’s act “can be hilarious, heart-wrenching, vulnerable, sardonic, Wiccan, and world-weary all at the same time.” The ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main St. 8 p.m. $20/advance. $22/day-of. $18/ArtsClub members. 919-929-2787, ext. 201. artscenterlive.org. June 4 • Greensboro Triad Pride Alternative Resources of the Triad presents their annual Triad Pride in downtown Greensboro. Festival Park, 200 N. Davie St. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. triadpride.org. June 4 • Spartanburg Upstate Pride Pride comes to the Upstate for the second year in a row. Barnet Park, 248 E. Saint John St. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.   upstatepridesc.org. June 11 • Greensboro June 18 • Winston-Salem Location, Location, Location Join Triad Pride Men’s Chorus on a musical journey across the nation. Songs include: “From Where I Stand,” “Loch Lomond,” “Kansas City” and many more. Greensboro Day School Sloan Theatre, 5401 Lawndale Dr. 8 p.m. A second show will be held June 18, UNC School of the Arts Watson Chamber Music Hall, 1533 S. Main St. 8 p.m. $15/advance. $20/door. To purchase tickets, call 336-589-6267 or visit triadpridemenschorus.org. June 12 • Charlotte Miss Gay Charlotte America The 30th Annual Miss Gay Charlotte America Pageant, featuring Emory Starr, Starla DaVinci, Blair Williams, Felicia Monet & Tiffany Storm. The Scorpio, 2301 Freedom Dr. 9 p.m. scorpios.com. June 12 • Raleigh Sing for the Cure Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus and the Common Woman Chorus of Durham will present the Triangle’s first performance of A Proclamation of Hope — featuring Sing for the Cure at the Meymandi Concert Hall of Raleigh’s Progress Energy

Center for the Performing Arts. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit tgmchorus.org. June 18 • Asheville Gay 5K/Gay Games The Gay 5K and Fun Run to support Blue Ridge Pride. Come as a team or individual to participate in the Gay Games. Think adult field day with some costumes, music, and super gay prizes. After party at Altamont Brewing Company in West Asheville. Register a team at www.blueridgepride.com. Carrier Park, 220 Amboy Rd. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 23-26 • Columbia SC Black Pride A series of community events, nightlife activities, a town hall and other events mark the sixth annual South Carolina Black Pride. This year’s theme is “Mind, Body & Soul.” For a full list of events and other information, visit southcarolina  blackpride.com. June 24 • Winston-Salem June Bride Bingo Equality Winston-Salem presents “June Bride” Gay Bingo. Event location moves to downtown! MC Benton, Jr. Convention Center, 301 W. Fifth St. equalitywinston  salem.org. June 25 • Salisbury Salisbury Pride Community members celebrate their first LGBT Pride event in Salisbury. A festival with community leaders and entertainment is planned. E. Fisher St. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. salisburypride.com. June 25 • Nags Head OBX Pridefest The Outer Banks’ first Pride festival is a three-day celebration of music, laughter and family and it’s at the BEACH in Nags Head! Over 30 entertainers, musicians, singers, dancers, comedians and bands. More details at obxpridefest.com. June 26 • Winston-Salem Miss Gay Winston Salem America Preliminary pageant to Miss Gay NC America. AIDS Care Service will be on hand to promote awareness in the community as well as entertainers from across the state! Club Co2, 4019 Country Club Rd. 10 p.m. 336-908-2551.

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QNotes May 28-June 10, 2011  

Creating Change: Father, sons embark take social justice to global heights. Time Out Youth celebrates service for a new generation. Freedom...

QNotes May 28-June 10, 2011  

Creating Change: Father, sons embark take social justice to global heights. Time Out Youth celebrates service for a new generation. Freedom...

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