TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY? Anti-gay Amendment One heads to May 2012 ballot
Equality North Carolina gears up campaign against Amendment One
Youth: Amendment sends bad message
by Matt Comer firstname.lastname@example.org
Politically-active gay young people speak out
Campaigns take root RALEIGH — Voters will head to the polls on May 8, 2012, to vote on an anti-LGBT constitutional amendment that will ban marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. The measure, “Amendment One,” could also have dire consequences for scores of unmarried opposite-sex couples. The legislation putting the amendment on the ballot was approved in less than 24 hours worth of consideration by members of the North Carolina General Assembly. The bill passed the House on Sept. 12 and gained the slimmest three-fifths majority it needed to pass the Senate on Sept. 13. Amendment One opponents have criticized Republican legislative leaders for the way in which they handled the bill. For one, they say leaders silenced opposition and pushed the amendment through the committee process without any public input from citizens or legal scholars. “The second strategic mistake they made was that it was so hastily and sloppily written,” said Equality North Carolina Interim Executive Director Alex Miller. “They didn’t take the time to ensure what they were putting forward for inclusion in the constitution is what will actually be put in front of voters.” The bill approved by the legislature would amend the state constitution by adding, “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.” Yet, the question voters will consider states simply, “Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” Miller said there are “real constitutional questions” regarding the wording of the amendment and the ballot question. The issue was raised at a debate on Sept. 21 at the University of North Carolina School of Law between House Majority Leader Rep.
Paul Stam (R-Wake) and Rep. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland). “Neither of them nor the professors present who are constitutional scholars could answer the question,” Miller said, indicating he was not aware of any current legal challenge to the amendment’s wording. At the center of debate is the amendment’s phrase, “domestic legal union.” Miller and several constitutional law scholars have said the phrase is too broad and vague. “They passed an amendment that makes invalid any legal recognition for any relation besides a traditional man-woman marriage,” Miller said. “This bill will affect same-sex and opposite-sex couples, senior citizens and domestic violence victims.” Advocates say Amendment One’s broad implications and consequences will mean extra support in the nearly eight-month-long campaign to defeat the measure at the polls. Gearing up Within days of the amendment’s legislative approval, citizens across the state took to Facebook and Twitter to organize against the ballot measure. Grassroots activists, too, began getting their hands wet. In Boiling Springs, N.C., friends began their “Neighbors for Equality” campaign and others are speaking out in their own, individual ways (see story, page 11). As of press time, Equality North Carolina had yet to announce their formal campaign against Amendment One. But, Miller said planning was already underway and strategies being discussed and laid out. “We’re now in the process of creating the campaign and it will happen over the next several weeks,” Miller said. “I can’t tell you when exactly, but I can say it is less important for us to have a campaign logo or slogan before we make sure we have a strong campaign strategy.” Miller said the group’s pre-existing strategies had been structured for a ballot referendum in a general election. Legislators changed their plans and placed the amendment on May’s primary ballot, instead. Miller
see Equality on 6
CHAPEL HILL — At just 22, Lee Storrow hopes he’ll become Chapel Hill’s youngest council member since then 21-year-old Mark Chilton was elected to the body in 1991. Storrow, who is openly gay, is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the managing director of the North Carolina Alliance for Health. He also serves on the board of directors of the American Legacy Foundation, a group founded from the 1998 settlement with the nation’s major tobacco companies. He’s stressed public transportation, affordable housing and expanding the town’s tax base as key issues in his campaign. “There is a need to have someone on council who is a coalition builder and who will do the work to reach out to all residents,
particularly young people,” Storrow said. “A third of Chapel Hill’s population is under 24 years old and without our voice at the table we don’t get policy solutions that are as best for our town as they could be.” Storrow faces a crowded field in the election this year, to be held on Nov. 8. In the midst of his campaign for office, Storrow was keenly aware of the legislative fight brewing over an anti-LGBT constitutional amendment that seeks to ban recognition of marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. When lawmakers approved its placement on a May 8, 2012 primary ballot, Storrow took pause.
see Amendment on 6
After nearly eight years of trying, anti-gay state Sen. James Forrester (R-Gaston) has finally succeeded in gaining legislative approval for his so-called Defense of Marriage amendment. It sparked protest statewide when it was first introduced in 2004 at the height of controversy surrounding a proposed anti-gay amendment to the federal constitution. Above: On May 5, 2004, former Metropolitan Community Church of Charlotte Pastor Mick Hinson and partner Gene were among those speaking out against Forrester’s amendment. They attempted to file for a marriage license in Mecklenburg County and were denied. “There is not justice in the world regarding [same-sex] relationships — period,” Hinson said at the time.
— File1-14 Photo. 2011 Oct.
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
inside Oct. 1-14, 2011 Vol 26 No 11
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contributors this issue ARAContent, Matt Comer, Miss Della/Kevin Grooms, Charlene Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, Leslie Robinson, David Stout, Trinity, Brett Webb-Mitchell
front page Graphic Design by Matt Comer & Lainey Millen
news & features
a&e / life&style
opinions & views
1 1 7 7 7 8 11
4 4 4 5
Campaigns take root Youth speak out on amendment Hagan supports ENDA Keisling in Charlotte Mayfield wins primary News Notes: Regional Briefs Grassroots activists mobilize
General Gayety Guest Commentary QPoll Editor’s Note
11 12 13 14 15 16 19
HRC NC gala kicks off Drag Rag Tell Trinity Women and calcium Out in the Stars On Being a Gay Parent Q events calendar
Interview with DNC CEO Steve Kerrigan National Gay History Project Continuing Coverage: Amendment One
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Oct. 1-14 . 2011
by leslie robinson qnotes contributor
Find me a find
Yente would plotz. The matchmaker in “Fiddler on the Roof” would have a coronary over the kind of matchmaking being practiced these days. And, by a rabbi, no less. The shmendrik. For his part, Rabbi Arele Harel doesn’t need criticism from fictional characters, as he’s receiving plenty from real people who are angry over his efforts to match Orthodox Jewish gay men with Orthodox lesbians. On the face of it, pairing a zebra and a wombat might stand a better chance of success. Harel, who lives in a Jewish West Bank settlement, told The Associated Press he fixes up gays and lesbians so they can have children, a commandment of Jewish law. “The main aspiration here is parenthood,” he said. “It allows them to become parents in a way that is permitted by religious Jewish law and prevents a conflict between their religious world and their sexual world.” Um, the conflict between the two will still be there, as surely as I don’t intend to marry a wombat. But, I get what he means. He’s helping people live by the letter of the law. Even as the spirit of the law and their individual spirits won’t fare so well. Harel believes some gays shift their orientation through therapy. He said his approach is for those whose orientation won’t budge, but who want to remain observant. Six years ago he started matching gay men and lesbian women, recognizing a “deep distress” among those “facing a dead end road.” Instead of finding a new road, 24 gays and lesbians chose to tread the straight and narrow one — Harel said he’s wed 12 couples, some of whom produced children. Perhaps, with assistance from Falcon Studios and Angelina Jolie movies. Adultery is a no-no under Jewish law. In Harel’s view, when two married straight people mess around they’re guilty of adultery, because the two are sexually compatible. In a gay-lesbian marriage, as long as both persons know the other is dating, it’s not adultery.
Seems like Harel has found a loophole big enough to force a huppah through. He maintains that once kids come, the gays learn to love each other. “Their love is based on parenthood. Parenthood is the glue and it’s strong.” A number of Israelis are critical of Harel’s unorthodox approach to Orthodox gays. Most Orthodox Jews view the homosexual as slightly more appealing than the arsonist. Orthodox rabbis say Harel should be pushing gays to change their orientation. On the other side, a liberal religious gay group charged Harel with trying to “erase” gays from the Orthodox community. Harel’s position is a precarious one. Kind of like — Didn’t you know I was going to say this? — a fiddler on the roof. A group for gay Orthodox Jews called Kamoha independently fielded many phone requests for gay-meets-lesbian matchmaking, so Kamoha has joined with Harel to offer the service. Kamoha’s website reads, “In this project, all of the cards are open and without the lies, half-truths and ‘mistakes,’ because both participants know very well the nature of the prospective spouse’s orientation.” Do they ever. They can spend many a happy evening swapping coming-out stories. Or non-coming-out stories. You know, now that I really think about it, Yente was nothing if not pragmatic as a matchmaker, so maybe, if she were living in Israel today, she wouldn’t be appalled at these gay pairings. She might even be getting in on the act. A successful match fetches about $400 from both groom and bride. Whoever performs the unlikely matching, the endeavor brings to mind lyrics sung by Tzeitel in “Fiddler” as she wryly imitates Yente: I promise you’ll be happy. And even if you’re not, There’s more to life than that. Don’t ask me what! : : info:
LesRobinson@aol.com . generalgayety.com
Since ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal, have you met an openly gay or lesbian servicemember? Vote online at goqnotes.com/to/qpoll
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guest commentary by Valerie Jarrett :: qnotes contributor
‘Don’t Ask’ repeal furthers fairness and equality
As of September 20, 2011, the discriminatory law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ceased to exist. No longer will patriotic gay and lesbian Americans need to hide who they are in order to serve the Valerie Jarrett country they love. Photo Credit: While this is an (The White House) important step in our ongoing effort to form a more perfect union, it is also, in some ways, an unremarkable step. Gays and lesbians have served in our armed services from the time of the American Revolution. But, they have served in silence; worse still, some have been forced out for nothing more than their sexual orientation. We know that, to use an old adage, you don’t need to be straight to shoot straight. While there will never be a full accounting of the patriotism demonstrated by gay and lesbian Americans in service to their nation, we know that they have served, with honor and valor. When President Barack Obama signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act into law, he told a story about an act of heroism during the Battle of the Bulge. A regiment in the 80th Division of Patton’s Third Army came under fire. During the combat, a private named Lloyd Corwin fell down into a ravine. He could have died there. But, one friend, a soldier named Andy Lee, came back and scaled down the icy slope, risking his own life to bring Private Corwin to safety. Lloyd always credited his friend with saving his life. Four decades after the war, the two friends reunited and it was only then that Lloyd learned that Andy was gay. Lloyd hadn’t known, and more importantly, he didn’t care. Andy’s sexual orientation had no impact on his valor and sacrifice. That’s a refrain we heard time and time again in preparing to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — that our military is ready for the open service of our gay and lesbian service members. That, simply put, sexual orientation is not a factor. Now that DADT is gone, gay and lesbian service members will continue to serve, albeit with one important difference — they
can be open about who they are. This change will only serve to strengthen our military. As many of our nation’s top military officials have stated, unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness will not be harmed or undermined. Indeed, because patriotic Americans who happen to be gay or lesbian will no longer have to conceal who they are, our military, and our nation, will be better off. We would not be here today were it not for the leadership of President Obama, current and former members of Congress, ordinary Americans and those who wear or have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Services. On behalf of the president, I also want to thank the leadership at the Defense Department. From conducting a comprehensive review of the issues associated with repeal, to offering a support plan for implementation, to training our forces to make them ready for this change, to rewriting masses of regulations to comply with the new law, the Pentagon has taken all necessary steps with full speed and proficiency. As with any change, there will be apprehension from some. But, I am certain that we will look back and wonder why it was ever a source of controversy in the first place. The president has every confidence in the professionalism and patriotism of our service members. Just as they have adapted and grown stronger with other changes, we know they will do so again. There is no doubt that our service members will continue to serve with integrity and honor and approach each task and mission with the professionalism that we expect of them. Be they soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, or coast guardsmen — they remain members of the finest military of the world. It is that military that has fought to preserve the freedoms that define America. And, now, with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” we have furthered those American principles of fairness and equality. : : — Valerie B. Jarrett is a senior advisor to President Barack Obama. She is also the chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls and she oversees the Offices of Public Engagement, Intergovernmental Affairs and Urban Affairs.
editor’s note by matt comer email@example.com
Hate group extremists are leading anti-gay amendment push
Twenty-four hours – that’s just about the amount of time it took Republican leadership in the North Carolina General Assembly to push through a drastic and draconian revision to our state’s constitution. They’re hasty consideration of the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment circumvented a true public hearing on the bill and betrayed Republicans’ utter disrespect for their hallowed chambers, the law and the people of this great state. The amendment, which will ban recognition of marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples and even many opposite-sex couples, had been assigned a Senate committee hearing though no one would have known it by the body’s public calendar. Capitol reporters caught wind of the amendment’s placement in a stripped out version of another unrelated bill and alerted the public. Only formally announced the night before its hearing, House and Senate leaders sought to play a game of bait-and-switch with citizens. Upon returning to work the next day, they abruptly moved the bill’s hearing from the Senate to the House and in less than hour passed it and sent it to the floor. No public comment was allowed. There was no input from citizens and no analysis from legal and constitutional scholars. “We don’t have time,” Republican leaders said, though a more accurate statement would have been, “We can’t allow public discussion; it will reveal the true motivation for and horrid consequences of this legislation.” The amendment passed the House. Less than a full day later, it gained the slim threefifths majority approval it needed in the Senate. It will appear on the ballot on May 8, 2012. As intriguing and utterly disgusting as the legislative process might have been, there are more important matters to which we should now turn our attention. At the forefront sits concerns over an impending ballot initiative that will pit anti-LGBT hate groups against North Carolina’s voting and taxpaying LGBT citizens, their families and friends and others for whom this amendment will spell disaster. The North Carolina Values Coalition will lead the fight to enshrine discrimination into our state constitution. A thorough examination of the group, its leadership, supporters and donors will be necessary as the campaigns
advance. Citizens would do well to learn more about the people who are willing to push all other legitimate concerns and considerations aside in their quest to constitutionally guarantee permanent second-class citizenship for LGBT Tar Heels. The coalition’s executive director, Tami Fitzgerald, is well-known in Raleigh. She’s worked primarily as a lobbyist for the state’s most radical anti-gay advocacy group, the North Carolina Family Policy Council. Based in Raleigh, the council is a state affiliate of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, named a hate group in November 2010 by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Prior to founding the coalition, Fitzgerald headed up NC4Marriage, a group founded by the council. The connections between Fitzgerald, her coalition, the council and its D.C. parent organization are telling. Why have North Carolina Republicans aligned themselves with known hate groups? Whether Amendment One passes or fails in May is totally dependent upon North Carolina voters. We hope our fellow Tar Heels are able to see through the smoke-and-mirrors show so successfully presented by hate extremists — some of whom have aligned themselves with white supremacists — and vote down this amendment. North Carolina does not need the hate these jesters are pushing. : :
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
Equality NC to lead amendment fight continued from page 1
said the development will be encouraging for the campaign against Amendment One. “We’ll need to implement a new strategy,” he said. “A primary is all about [voter] turnout, whereas a general election is about persuasion. It’s a different kind of campaign with different messaging and different organizing.” While Equality North Carolina will head up the campaign organization, Miller said his group will be working closely with other or-
Continuing coverage… Catch continuing, breaking-news coverage of the campaigns for and against Amendment One online at goqnotes.com. In addition, be sure to check out this great online-only coverage from the past three weeks: House leader: ‘No answer’ on divorce (with audio), goqnotes.com/12533/ Senate passes amendment, goqnotes. com/12419/ Faith leaders: ‘We stand on side of justice,’ goqnotes.com/12394/ In the limelight: Interview with openly gay state Rep. Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford), goqnotes.com/12364/ Law professor warns of ‘vague and untested language’ in anti-LGBT amendment, goqnotes.com/12344/ State NAACP outlines opposition to antiLGBT amendment, goqnotes.com/12320/ Senate leaders attempt sneaky hearing of anti-LGBT amendment, goqnotes. com/12313/
ganizations with a vested interest in defeating the amendment. He cited Arizona’s 2006 victory against their amendment, similar in scope to North Carolina’s Amendment One, as an example of broad, cross-sectional organizing. “The only time this has been defeated was in Arizona in 2006 and the reason was because their amendment was so much broader than issues just about same-sex marriage. It had a broad impact and brought out opposition not only from LGBT allies, but also groups that aren’t traditional coalition partners.” Equality North Carolina’s coalition-building will prove essential to success, Miller said. It’s an organizing tactic they’ve used and had in place since the beginning of the legislative session this year. A growing network Sam Parker, Equality North Carolina’s director of community organizing, structured a powerful, grassroots field organizing strategy as her group faced an uphill legislative campaign. She said the network built in the preceding three months will prove essential for future mobilization. “We have indentified folks all across the state who want to volunteer with us,” she said, citing more than 12,000 people who amassed nearly 50,000 postcards sent to legislators in opposition to the amendment. “We have people now already invested in the process and they want to see it through to the end.” Parker will continue in her field organizing role as the group ramps up its primary campaign. “We’ll be asking folks to take a pledge to vote no in May,” she said. “We’ll be doing voter registration.”
In addition to Parker, Equality North Carolina employed nine regional grassroots organizers during the legislative phase of their campaign. Though the ballot campaign could restructure some of those positions, Parker said on-the-ground organizers will still play an integrated role. “I’m orchestrating people on the ground who are going to be having these conversations with individuals across the state,” Parker said. “We are just in the beginning stages, but it will be an opportunity to engage folks who aren’t normally engaged because LGBT issues don’t necessarily affect them.” Regardless of the May vote’s outcome, Parker and Miller believe Equality North Carolina’s campaign will build and strengthen the community. “There’s always going to be another issue,” Parker said. “It’s really important to maintain relationships with volunteers and those already invested. We’ll need them to be invested on something else down the road.” It is expected that both campaigns for and against Amendment One will draw on financial support from individuals and organizations across the country. Anti-LGBT lobbyist Tami Fitzgerald of the North Carolina Values Coalition has said previously that she anticipates needing only $500,000 to pass the amendment in May. But, past ballot initiatives in other states have seen millions of dollars invested by groups like the National Organization for Marriage and the Catholic and Mormon churches. The Family Research Council and its state affiliate, the North Carolina Family Policy Council, have already invested against the amendment. Fitzgerald is a former lobbyist for the groups.
Miller said Equality North Carolina will work with local and national coalition partners like Faith in America, PFLAG and the Human Rights Campaign. He said the coalition will be counting on the support and momentum it’s already achieved nationwide. “Our fundraising will be coming from a lot of sources,” he said. “The grassroots fundraising is going be so important. Every $5, $10 or $100 contribution really adds up. We’ve got 40,000 Facebook fans, tens of thousands of supporters across the state; if everybody just gives $5, that can be put to great use in defeating the amendment.” Equality North Carolina’s campaign has already attracted attention from national players. Hickory, N.C.-native Chris Hughes, an openly gay co-founder of Facebook, contributed $10,000 to the group’s legislative campaign. “We hope to continue to rely on support from folks who can contribute large donations and national groups who can invest resources into the campaign,” Miller said. While discussions of fundraising are important, Miller and Parker said the campaign is ultimately about what is right for North Carolina and its people. “We have eight months to have these conversations knowing that we are on the right side of history,” Parker said. “It’s going to take all of us. We need everybody in on this effort. The more cooks in the kitchen, the better.” She added, “At the end of the day, we are fighting for our livelihood. If we lean on one another and will be each other’s resource, we could win in May.” : : more: Learn more about Equality North Carolina and how to get involved at equalitync.org.
Amendment angers young Tar Heels continued from page 1
“I was incredibly disappointed with the vote at the legislature,” Storrow said. “That’s not the North Carolina I thought I grew up in.” A native of Asheville, Storrow said he chose to stay instate for school because of the progressive reputation North Carolina had fostered. He believes the Republican-led legislature has done more damage than they realize. “I felt like our state was one that valued diversity and was open and accessible to all,” he said. “A lot of actions by the General Assembly this session moved our state backward.” Storrow isn’t the only openly gay young person who found this year’s legislative session upsetting. Seventeen-year-old Raleigh resident Seth Keel feels like young people’s voices are being ignored. He’s an active member of N.C. HEAT, an education advocacy group that has protested controversial school choice decisions by the Wake County Board of Education. He’s also running for mayor of Raleigh. The law doesn’t permit him to run — one must be 21 in order to seek or hold office in the state — but Keel said his campaign serves as an opportunity to bring attention to issues important to local youth. “It is the main purpose of this campaign, discussing how Raleigh can represent the youth on city council,” Keel said. “Youth aren’t being represented and are, at times, misrepresented. We have no voice in local, state or national politics.” Keel believes Republicans in the General Assembly have continued to ignore the voice of young people, especially during debate on the anti-LGBT amendment. “They did not consider the impact that this has on the youth within the LGBT community,” he said. “They don’t think about the message this sends to young gay and lesbian teens who want to grow up and want to have a life and marry and have a family. To see our governing body try to throw that
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
away is sending a completely wrong message to LGBT youth.” Keel also thinks Republican lawmakers were arrogant and “blatantly disrespectful.” On the day of the amendment’s debate in the House, Keel witnessed Majority Leader Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) leaning back in his chair and eating popcorn. “Paul Stam is the epitome of what is wrong the Republican Party in this state,” he said. “This whole session has been about targeting people. We saw it with the voter I.D. bill and in the Women’s Right to Know bill and now trying to further oppress the LGBT community. It’s very hard to try to remain calm while [Stam] is so blatantly discriminating against me.” Storrow and Keel both believe that young people will stand up and turn out to vote against the measure. “Young people are angry in this state and they In a cellphone photo taken by openly gay teen and activist Seth Keel from the are ready to take a stand on this issue, whether they gallery, Republican Majority Leader Paul Stam is seen leaning back at his are gay or straight or some other sexual orientation House floor desk eating popcorn while his colleagues debate amending the or identity,” Storrow said. “Young people in college state constitution. “Paul Stam is the epitome of what is wrong the Republican Party in this state,” said Keel. understand that this is important. They will go to the polls and we will see it fail.” the campaign trail for now, it’s a challenge in which Storrow “I hope the youth turnout in May will be strong fully intends upon investing himself. and at least show that youth care about this issue,” Keel said. “I’ll be taking a small break after the elections, but in the “Regardless if it passes, our turnout will send a message that the spring I’ll be knocking on doors to get progressive-minded youth here are adamantly against the amendment.” people out to the polls,” he said. “I’m confident we have the Storrow recognizes that the campaign against Amendment ability and the passion to get folks out for the election.” : : One will be difficult. He says it is a challenge to progressive — by Matt Comer advocacy groups to “step up their game.” Though he’s still on
Hagan supports ENDA DURHAM — U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) announced on Sept. 24 that she will become a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, federal legislation that would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Hagan’s decision was made via statement at the NC Pride Festival and Parade on the east campus of Duke University. Addison Ore, executive director of the Greensboro, N.C.based Triad Health Project and former Equality North Carolina board member, read the statement at the event. “I’m announcing today that I will be signing on as a co-sponsor to the Employment NonDiscrimination Act (ENDA),” reads Hagan’s statement, provided to qnotes by her office. “Discrimination must never be tolerated, and I believe that all Americans deserve an equal opportunity to fulfill their potential. No one — no one — should be turned away from a job or fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Hagan’s staff is crediting a recent constituent meeting with helping to move the senator toward cosponsorship. Roberta Dunn of Charlotte was one of six constituents at the meeting in Greensboro on Sept. 16. Dunn, who is transgender, was joined by two other transgender North Carolinians and three members of the Greensboro chapter of PFLAG. Dunn said the meeting lasted about 45 minutes and went well. “I feel really pleased and happy,” Dunn
said upon learning of Hagan’s decision to sign on to the legislation. I’m very proud to have her as a senator.” more Read our full report and Hagan’s full statement at goqnotes.com/12558/. Trans advocate in Charlotte CHARLOTTE — Mara Keisling, founding executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), addressed a small crowd of about two dozen attendees at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte on Sept. 20. The next day, she also spoke at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. NCTE has been focused primarily on changes in federal administrative policies. Many have included commitments by the Obama Administration to ban discrimination based on gender-identity in federal employment. Hospital visitation, Keisling pointed out, is one of the many policy areas in which the administration has made changes. In September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued updated guidelines for all hospitals receiving federal funding. New policies will be required, giving all patients the
right to name their own next of kin for the purpose of visitation. “That might seem like a small thing until you’re the one whose partner is in the hospital,” Keisling remarked. more: Read our full report at goqnotes.com/12552/. Mayfield wins primary CHARLOTTE — Community organizer LaWana Mayfield (right, with her campaign team) sailed to victory on Sept. 13 in her Democratic primary against Charlotte City Council District 3 incumbent Warren Turner. Mayfield won 51 percent of the vote while Turner walked away with just 34 percent. A third Democratic candidate, Svend Deal, captured 15 percent. “I had hoped the community wanted to see something different and that they would support me but, honestly, I was never arrogant enough to assume that I’d win,” Mayfield told qnotes at a post-primary election party in southwest Charlotte. “I’m confi-
dent our community is ready for a change and they are confident in the fact that I’ll get on council and fight for the community and that I mean what I say.” Mayfield is the fourth openly gay or lesbian candidate to run for local office in Charlotte. She now faces Republican Ed Toney in the general election on Nov. 8. If successful, Mayfield will become the first openly gay or lesbian person elected to local office in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. more: Read our full report at goqnotes. com/12438/.
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
news notes: from the carolinas, nation and world compiled by Lainey Millen :: firstname.lastname@example.org | David Stout :: email@example.com | Matt Comer :: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Fundraiser slated
CHARLOTTE — An “Evening of Hope and Inspiration” will be held on Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m., at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St., and features the music of Country Gospel group The Martins. This group has toured throughout the nation and has appeared at venues such as The Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall. They have also received Grammy awards and Dove decorations. The concert is presented by Rosedale Infectious Diseases, PLLC, as an annual fundraiser to benefit their Jeanne White-Ginder Food Pantry. The pantry provides Rosedale’s clients with emergency food assistance. Recognition of two community leaders will be presented with the Hope and Inspiration Award. Recipients are Rev. Deborah Warren and Tonia Bendickson. Warren is the founder, president and CEO of Regional AIDS Interfaith Network and Bendickson is director of communications at Elevation Church and served as a former WBTV anchor. Tickets are $15-$20 for reserved seating. For more information, call 704-372-1000 or visit carolinatix.org. — L.M.
CHARLOTTE — Time Out Youth has named its 2011 Neil & Tim Griffin Scholarship winner. Christine Abernathy received the recognition. She is a political science and women’s studies major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The scholarship is awarded to a LGBT student who attends a North Carolina college or university. In other news, Amy Medlin and Melissa Hartsell have joined Time Out Youth as social work interns. Both are students at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. For more information, visit timeoutyouth.org. — L.M.
Triangle Center to host awards dinner
RALEIGH — The LGBT Center of Raleigh will hold its 2011 Awards Dinner on Oct. 7 at The Stockroom at 230, Carolina Trust Building, 230 Fayetteville St. Cocktails and silent auction will take place at 7 p.m., with dinner and program following at 8 p.m. Rev. Jimmy Creech will be honored with the Distinguished Service Award and Akil Campbell will receive the Community Impact Award. Space is limited, so purchase tickets quickly. Cost is $100 and includes cocktails, dinner and special entertainment. For more information, visit lgbtcenterof raleigh.com. — L.M.
Seniors kick up heels
RALEIGH — The Gay & Gray Initiative at
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the LGBT Center of Raleigh is holding a dance and social on Oct. 9, 3-7 p.m., at the Clarion Hotel’s penthouse floor, 320 Hillsborough St. This event is part of the Raleigh is Coming Out Festival. H’ors d’oeuvres, cash bar and DJ help to complete the fare. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. For more information, visit lgbtcenterof raleigh.com. — L.M.
Western Retreat on horizon
MAGGIE VALLEY — The Cross & The Rainbow spiritual retreat for LGBT Christians will be held from Oct. 7-9 at the Living Waters Reflection Center, 103 Living Waters Ln. Theme this year for this annual event is “Walking in Solidarity with our Suffering World.” The retreat is sponsored by The Diocesan Ministry for Gay and Lesbian Catholics, Diocese of Charlotte. Director will be Sister Mary Perniski, OP, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian. Enjoy group sessions, meals, mountain hikes, reflective time and Catholic Mass in a warm and welcoming setting. Participants are encouraged to share their stories and strengthen their relationship with God. Cost is $95 and includes semi-private room, six meals and sessions. To register or for more information, call David Ferguson at 704-921-5711 or email email@example.com with “retreat” in the subject line. In other news, the ministry has released its informational brochure in Spanish to meet the needs of the LGBT and allied Hispanic community. For those interested in receiving this, mail requests to David Ferguson, P.O. Box 12451, Charlotte, NC 28220. — L.M.
FAIRVIEW — Stella’s Place, in partnership with Mountain Laurel B&B, presents Music on the Mountain from Oct. 21-23. Accommodations are made available through Mountain Laurel B&B, 139 Lee Dotson Rd. Enjoy drumming circles, hikes, light sports, potluck dinner, dancing and music. Saturday evening’s entertainment features Lyn Koonce, Barb Ester & Beth York, Tammy Gregg and PJ Brunson. The event is limited to 100 women. Cost is $32 for two-nights’ rustic camping and concert or $16 for the concert only. For information and reservations, call 828712-6289, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit stellasplace.webly.com. — L.M.
Regional Programs highlight LGBT community
CHAPEL HILL — University of North Carolina Television includes in their programming features that highlight the LGBT community. The award-winning “In The Life” series, produced by In The Life Media, is the longest-
running show documenting the LGBT experience. It is presented by WNET out of New York. It is made possible through support from a variety of resources. Over the past 20 years, it has created a full spectrum of offerings, including history, civil rights initiatives, healthcare and more. It airs at 10 p.m. on Sundays. Viewers may watch previous 30-minute episodes online to catch up, dating back to the 11th season from 2002. On Sept. 26 a red carpet premiere for the 20th anniversary season was held in New York. It honored trailblazers in the LGBT movement, as well as focused on issues pertinent to the community. Memberships, giving options and corporate sponsorships are welcome. This program not available in your area? Then use online tools at :In The Life” to petition local public television stations to carry it. For more information, visit unctv.org or inthelivetv.org. — L.M.
LGBT education minimal at med schools
CHAPEL HILL — A study released by the Stanford University School of Medicine says that most medical schools only spent about five hours on educating its students about LGBT healthcare needs. Results say that the 33.3 percent of schools that responded provided no time in classroom content. HealthCanal.com reported, “Our findings indicate that there is a dissatisfaction with medical school coverage of LGBT content at a number of schools and suggest room for improvement in LGBT-related curricula,” Mitchell Lunn, M.D., senior author of the study. The study was also co-authored by Sanford University graduate Eric Tran who is an MFA student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, among others. For more information,visit med.stanford. edu/lgbt/. — L.M.
Campus Scene Contest launched
CHARLOTTE — Campus Pride, in celebration of its 10th anniversary in September, has kicked off its national Born This Gay contest. They have teamed up with CampusSpeak for its campus tour and contest. For a chance to win free speakers, LGBT event registrations, resources and other prizes valued at $10,000 plus throughout the year, visit campuspride.org/bornthisway to register. The first drawing will be held in March 2012. In other news, Campus Pride was recently cited by Newsweek when the publication used the online LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index as a resource for learning about campuses that are inclusive and accepting. Executive Director Shane Windmeyer said he was not aware that Newsweek was utilizing the Index as part of its methodology in determing its top 25 list. “It’s a good thing…and at least Newsweek relied on our professional expertise and the online Index to drive its rankings. The more attention we can have toward the need to create LGBT accep-
tance and safer, more welcoming campuses at colleges and universities, all the better for our LGBT youth.” — L.M.
Advocacy ACLU seeks coordinator
RALEIGH — The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is searching for an LGBT campaign coordinator. This position is for a limited term project that expects to be completed by May 2012. The candidate will be coordinating all aspects of the ACLU-NC’s advocacy against the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment that will be up for vote on May 8, 2012. Duties include, but are not limited to, campaign management, public speaking, coalition and advocacy work, as well as representing the agency’s positions to the public. Travel and weekend work will be required. Work will be based out of the Raleigh office. For a complete list of responsibilities and qualifications, visit aclu.org/job/lgbt-campaign-coordinator-aclu-north-carolina. Salary is between $37,000-$42,000, based upon experience. Benefits are included, as well as travel and work-related expenses. Applications should include a cover letter, resume, writing sample (no more than five pages) and list of at least three professional references, including contact information for each. Submit applications to Jennifer Rudinger, Executive Director, ACLU of North Carolina, P.sO. Box 28004, Raleigh, NC 27611-8004. For more information, email aclunc@ nc.rr.com. — L.M.
National U.S. military officially open
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that kept openly gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans from serving in the U.S. military officially ended Sept. 20 and according to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the national group that led the fight against the law, the repeal was welcomed with approximately 100 celebrations in all 50 states. SLDN’s official party was held in the nation’s capital while New York City’s gathering was hosted at the historic Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. Army Veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis observed, “Today marks the official end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and is an historic milestone along the journey to achieving LGBT equality in America’s military. Thanks to veterans, active duty, leaders, allies and supporters everywhere, this is a monumental day for our service members and our nation. Indeed, we have taken a tremendous leap forward for LGBT equality in the military.” In the Carolinas, celebrations were held in Charlotte, Davidson, Durham, Raleigh and Wilmington in N.C. and in Charleston and Columbia in S.C. — D.S.
NCAA supports trans athletes
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The National Collegiate Athletic Association has approved an important policy that clarifies opportunities for transgender student athletes to participate on college athletic teams in accordance with their gender identity. The NCAA, which governs sports for more than 1,200 colleges and institutions, worked closely with the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Sports Project and Griffin Educational Consulting to develop the policy. Under the policy: • A transgender male student athlete who has a medical exception for testosterone hormone therapy may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing the team status to a mixed team. • A transgender female student athlete who has taken medication to suppress testosterone for a year may compete on a women’s team. Transgender student athletes who are not undergoing hormone therapy remain eligible to play on teams based on the gender of their birth sex and may socially transition by dressing and using the appropriate pronouns that match their gender identity. — D.S.
DOMA repeal lands GOP sponsor
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Ileana RosLehtinen has become the first Republican in the U.S. House to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act that blocks federal recognition of legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples. Ros-Lehtinen represents Florida’s 18th congressional district, which covers most of Miami, her hometown.
The Respect for Marriage Act was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York on March 16 of this year and a Senate version was introduced by Dianne Feinstein of California on the same day. President Barack Obama announced his support for the bill on July 19. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said, “Congresswoman RosLehtinen is a longstanding advocate for our equality and has shown today that respect for our community, and our marriages, is a mainstream and bipartisan principle. With the American people strongly supportive of DOMA repeal, we will continue to work with members of both parties to end this discrimination once and for all.” — D.S.
Prop 8 trial video coming
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — On Sept. 19, U.S. District Court Chief Judge James Ware ordered the public release of the video recording of the historic trial in Perry v. Brown. In that trial, which took place in January 2010, two same-sex couples challenged Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that stripped the freedom to marry from same-sex couples in California. Following the trial, now-retired Chief District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in August 2010 that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. That ruling has been on hold while the proponents of Prop 8 appeal Judge Walker’s ruling. The Prop 8 proponents have fought to prevent the public from viewing the official video recording of the trial. The couples who are challenging Prop 8 filed a motion seeking to unseal the video recording and Chief Judge Ware heard the motion on Aug. 29. The City and County of San Francisco and Media Coalition members, including the Los Angeles
Times, CNN, The New York Times, FOX News, NBC News, and The Associated Press, joined the plaintiffs in asking the court to release the videotape of the public trial. In his ruling, Chief Judge Ware said that public access to trials and court records are “[f]oremost among the aspects of the federal judicial system that foster public confidence in the fairness and integrity of the process.” Judge Ware ordered that the video recordings be made public on Sept. 30, 2011. — D.S.
Global Study: Aging issues for LGB Brits
LONDON, England — LGB people in the U.K. are far more likely to end up living alone and have less contact with family in later life than heterosexual people, according to research published by British gay rights group Stonewall. The study, Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People in Later Life, raises significant questions for how Britain responds to the needs of its one million LGB citizens over the age of 55. According to the report, older gay and bisexual men are around three times more likely to be single than heterosexual men. And, while almost nine in 10 heterosexual older people have children who may offer care and support in later life, the number is just over a quarter of gay and bisexual men and just under half of lesbian and bisexual women. In addition, lesbian, gay and bisexual people are also half as likely to regularly see members of their biological family. Less than a quarter see family members at least once a week, compared with more than half of heterosexual people. — D.S.
Oct. 1-14 . 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
After many successful installments of “Ask Dr. C,” this is yet another opportunity to offer our readers information about HIV from basic questions to in-depths explanations. We are still receiving many of your questions and are working hard to provide responses to as many questions as possible to provide information for you and the community. The questions have provided us a forum to debunk myths and remove stigma from those living with HIV and AIDS. It is important to educate yourself, get tested and protect yourself! We appreciate every question we receive! Dr. C looks forward to responding to as many emails as possible. Does everyone who is exposed to HIV get infected? — Ben from Charlotte Good question, Ben. The answer is no. It is possible to be exposed to the infection and not
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become infected. Whether a person becomes infected after being exposed to HIV depends on how the virus enters the body and the amount of virus that enters the body. But, that doesn’t mean that you should expose yourself thinking that you will not become infected. It only takes one exposure to HIV-infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids to contract the disease. Protect yourself and get tested if you think you could have been exposed. The earlier that diagnosis occurs, the more effective treatment is. Dr. C, I am a lesbian and only have sex with other women. I have heard that women who only have sex with other women are not at risk for HIV infection. Is this true? — Kim from Gastonia This is an important question, Kim. I have been asked this many times. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) female-to-female transmission of HIV is much less likely to occur as compared to transmission in which a male is involved. However, it is possible! HIV transmission could potentially occur if vaginal secretions or menstrual blood enters open sores or cuts in or around the mouth, such as those caused by canker sores or blisters, vigorous teeth brushing or flossing or some form of trauma. This could allow for the exchange of
potentially infected blood or body fluids. In order to protect yourself, you can use a dental dam (a thin, square piece of latex) or a non-lubricated condom when having sex with your female partner. Female to female transmission also occurs often by sharing needles. At any time if blood from one partner can enter the other through a breakage in skin, infection can occur. Can a person who is HIV positive with an undetectable viral load still pass HIV to someone else? — Chris from Charlotte Chris, this is a great question because I think people often think the answer is no. In reality the answer is yes. A viral load test measures the amount of HIV in a person’s blood. An undetectable viral load means that the amount of virus in a person’s blood is too low for the test to measure. It does not mean that there is no HIV in the person’s body. A person who has a low or undetectable viral load can pass HIV to someone else, although the risk is probably lower than if he or she had a high viral load. Risk reduction measures, like using condoms and not sharing needles, still need to be taken. Protect yourself! Does “the pill” offer any protection against STDs or HIV? — Bettie from Rock Hill
Bettie, this is a very common misconception. Many people feel that they can forego condom use if the female is taking “the pill.” But, in reality, this is not true. Oral contraceptives decrease your likelihood to get pregnant, but offer no protection from STDs or HIV. It is important to use a condom when having sex in order to protect yourself. Likewise, other forms of contraception including “the patch,” Depo-Provera, only reduce the risk of pregnancy. Keep an open dialogue with your sexual partners and use a condom. It is important to protect yourself. If you believe you or your partner has been exposed, I encourage both of you to get tested. We conduct HIV and STD testing here at Rosedale on a regular basis. You can also get tested at your local health department. 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 email@example.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 to this column. Don’t forget to visit our website at rosedaleid.com and friend us on Facebook for community and clinical updates. — Sponsored Content —
Grassroots, start your engines! LGBT citizens engage, fire up homespun activism efforts by Matt Comer :: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLOTTE — LGBT North Carolinians are wasting no time when it comes to organizing against Amendment One, the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment that will be placed on the May 8, 2012 primary ballot (see our story, page 1). Just days after the amendment passed the legislature, grassroots activists across the state took to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to organize and connect. In Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb graduate Tyler McCall and friends founded Neighbors for Equality. “When everything happened, we started thinking about ways we could be involved and started looking at places that were maybe a little lacking and what was being offered by other organizations,” McCall said. “The big thing we’re looking to accomplish is mobilizing our friends and neighbors.” Neighbors for Equality’s website at neighborsforequality.org will serve as an “online hub” for on-the-ground activists, McCall said. He and the group hope to connect other like-minded citizens who are individually or as groups working to educate voters and get them to the polls come May. In Charlotte, one couple felt a similar push to make a difference. The week of the amendment’s legislative approval, Scotty Vanhoozier and his husband Ben Collins showed up at the Takeover Friday event at Uptown’s Westin Hotel decked out in “Vote No May 8” T-shirts. Vanhoozier, a screen-printing hobbyist, had printed them himself. “I knew I’d get a positive, good response at Takeover; I didn’t expect anything less than that,” he said. “I’ve also been showing the T-shirt to our straight friends and, of course, they are all very supportive and on board with not passing that amendment.” Vanhoozier said the impending ballot campaign is very personal. He and Collins have
been together since June 2009. They married in Provincetown, Mass., in May. “In the eyes of the state, our marriage means nothing, but to us it means a lot,” Vanhoozier said. “I’ve always told anyone that all I want was what my parents had. They got married and have been married for 45 years. I think that this is really the last civil rights movement for this country. It’s very important we as gay people speak out.” Vanhoozier and McCall are just two examples of a growing trend: average gay folk who’ve had enough and have decided to take a stand. Vanhoozier thinks growing grassroots action is a sign of the “passion of the people.” Vanhoozier plans to sell some of the shirts he’s made. He’ll collect orders through VoteNoMay8NC. etsy.com. McCall and Neighbors for Equality are planning on doing the same. Both say all proceeds will benefit Equality North Carolina, the statewide LGBT advocacy and education group that will be leading opposition to the amendment. “If I can only sell 10 T-shirts for $10 each that’s still $100 they didn’t have yesterday,” Vanhoozier said. Alex Miller, Equality North Carolina’s interim executive director, said movement across the state on the grassroots level is exciting and encouraging. “There is a lot of energy around this issue and there are a lot of people who feel strongly not only about the amendment, but
Scotty Vanhoozier and husband Ben Collins decked out in their T-shirts at the Westin Hotel Takeover Friday. Inset: Vanhoozier works to perfect his “Vote No” T-shirt on a screen-printer he keeps in his garage.
also about how important it is to stand up and oppose it in a public way,” Miller said. “It’s great to see there’s a lot of energy and absolutely we appreciate folks creating merchandise and donating.” McCall and his fellow organizers said they’re excited about the prospect of working with a statewide campaign. Being based in Western North Carolina, McCall expects Neighbors for Equality to play a unique role. “Sometimes we forget about the rest of these little areas across the state,” McCall said. “Maybe we will have a bit more reach
‘We Are America’
HRC NC Gala kicks off The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has announced that the 17th annual HRC North Carolina Gala is returning to Charlotte in 2012 after being held in Raleigh for two years. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 and will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center. HRC North Carolina Gala organizers have put their planning into full swing. On Sept. 13, HRC supporters and community members gathered for a special kick-off event at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture. Learn more about the event, get tickets and more at hrccarolina.org. : :
Nayya Bey (l-r), Nakia Savage and Starr Gordon were among those celebrating the return of the HRC NC Gala to Charlotte recently at the kick-off event at the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte. HRC NC Gala 2012 dinner co-chairs Rich Hurley (l-r), Cherie Green and Dan Mauney celebrate the return of the gala to Charlotte.
into these passionate communities that have developed in some of these small towns.” Miller said his group will be working on ways to create a cohesive and coherent message around the forthcoming “No on 1” campaign. “We applaud the energy and motivation we’ve seen since the amendment was passed and we hope to continue to have good, open communication and good working relationships with all of our coalition partners across the state,” he said. : :
— Photo Credit: Rachel Sutherland Communications
Historians take note. This year’s National Gay History Project, with its nearly 30 participating LGBT news publications including qnotes, is a shout out to say that the LGBT community will no longer allow insensitivity, intentional or not, to downplay the contributions LGBT people have made to this country. To put it simply, this year’s project is definitive. Without people who were LGBT or LGBT allies, there would be no United States of America. We helped create this nation and we helped keep it together through the Civil War. And, indeed, the Founding Fathers not only had us in mind when creating this country, they welcomed and recruited us in their efforts. Welcome to “We Are America.” Mark Segal, Coordinator more: See all of our National Gay History Project features online-only throughout the month of October at goqnotes.com/to/arts-entertainment/ history/.
— Photo Credit: Rachel Sutherland Communications
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
drag rag by miss della qnotes contributor
Well dammit, Janet — here I sit, rounding up the tea for yet another Drag Rag. What a time it has been since the last one. And, the pageants are still coming at me. By the time you read this, I will already have been to the Miss Gay Southeast America pageant down at the Hide-A-Way in Rock Thrill. That’s where we’ll pick up the next time. Which reminds me, what a booger mention I made of Miss NC America last time. But, we were going to press and I did at least want the finalists and winner’s court to be mentioned. What I failed to mention was the involvement by all the formers (many of whom were not even in drag) backstage helping the girls. This was one of the best Miss NC pageants in a long time! Other than that, I ask you, how flawless was Jamie Monroe’s “Halo” number? Old school perfection, baby — old school. Made me wish Kelly Raye had won Miss NC America since she was from that same era. Oh, well, one can dream, right? The awards that I did not mention were Best City Prelim to Bruce Bowyer of Miss Piedmont; Promoter of the Year went to Macy Alexander and partner Jason; Sharde’ Ross and Kerri Nichols were inducted into the Miss NC America Hall of Fame, presented by our first Miss NC, Brandi Alexander (who always comes to show her support); and Kerri presented former Miss NC promoter Marsha McLawhorn the Miss NC America Lifetime Achievement Award for decades of service to Miss NC. Sadly missing again was one of my favorites ever, Melissa Montgomery. Nina Fierra was able to perform her Talent after being named Best Non-Finalist and ole girl cut up on that stage! It was so good seeing many old friends and new ones, but it’s always a delight to see Curt who used to bring the lovely Candace Corday to the stage. She was first runner-up to Miss NC America back when Blair Williams won. Other impersonators qualifying to compete at Miss America next month in Ohio (when Coti gives it all up) include Miss Arkansas, Zia D’Yor with RU Jazmyn Turrelle; Mid West, Diva Coppafeel and RU Crystal
see Drag Rag on 17
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
tell trinity by trinity qnotes contributor
The secret spell of the drag queens
Hello Trinity, I’ve been dating this guy off and on for almost a year, but then I met his brother. Now, I have been fooling around with his brother behind his back. Am I bad or is it his brother’s fault? Brotherly Sins, Los Angeles, CA Hello Brotherly Sins, Now, I know I’ve read this problem somewhere. Oh, yes, here it is in the book called, “Demonic, Immoralistic, Shameful Living” written by Satan himself just before descending into the underworld. In the chapter called “Ruining A Family Without A Conscience” it clearly states that, “When you date two brothers at the same time, any morals or standards that you thought you had no longer exist.” This chapter also touches on future karmic punishment, but that’s way too graphic for me to print. Darling, you better start sleeping with a weapon for protection because this is not a love story, this is a revenge thriller. Dear Trinity, The world is in such turmoil: the economy, the GOP war on the working class. 2012! I can’t find the meaning of life! Help! Lost, Tulsa, OK
Dear Lost, Every so often even the most fabulous find themselves lost. Pumpkin, you must force yourself to conquer your loss for life by getting lots of sleep, keeping busy, intellectually challenging yourself, as well as working on the next election and facing your fears constantly! (See my cartoon to learn how to conquer your current malaise and deal with things that are scary.) Hey Trinity, I caught my boyfriend in the bathroom at a circuit party with another guy for the second time. He said that they were just doing drugs. Why are gay men into drugs and sex at the bar even if they have someone special at home? Sex & Drugs, Detroit, MI Hey S & D, Some relationships are “win-win,” but this sounds more like “loser-loser!” Drugs and/or sex in the toilet stall also sounds like juvenile delinquency at its finest. Having a boyfriend doesn’t mean having this problem. This problem is way too Sid & Nancy. Sweetie, before you catch him a third time you need to say, “Make a fool of someone else — good-bye!”
Dearest Trinity, I need to go to court, but my offense is not big enough to be appointed a lawyer. I need one and I can’t afford
Dearest Lawyerless, I may not have been born in a courtroom, but, honey, I’ve been in one many times for many reasons. So, on those trying court days where you must go it alone here are: Trinity’s Trusty Tips For Winning in Court Without A Lawyer 1. Showing up on time with a good attitude always works best. 2. Be very prepared with pictures, statements, witnesses and short, to the point answers. 3. You’re not in a foreign country where they flog you, so at least appear grateful and respectful to the judge, jury and the press. 4. Look professsional. Men: dress shirt, (optional) tie, slacks, shoes. Women: two piece suits and hair up! 5. If you have a law enforcement, post office, doctor or military uniform, wear it! 6. Pointing, throwing things or swearing in court is one way to be found guilty or in “Contempt Of Court.” 7. I know you’re a gay rights, feminist, Afro-American, Buddhist activist, but a courtroom is not the place to attack the system. 8. Would you rather die right or live! If your life is at stake think twice about needing to prove yourself right! (Review: Salem Witch Trials) 9. The more money you have the better chance you have of getting out of trouble, so get it, borrow it or find it if you can! 10. Lastly, our judicial system has major failures, but it’s what we have, so learn to manipulate it rather than blame it! : : — 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 Sponsored by: Provincetown Business Guild 800-637-8696 . www.ptown.org
Lawyerless, Tucson, AZ
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
There are more benefits to calcium than women might think That splash of milk in your coffee just isn’t enough for a healthy diet
Eighty percent of women don’t get enough calcium from food alone, according to a recent study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. That means women’s bodies are stealing calcium from their bones. Many foods like milk and other dairy products are well known to be prime sources of calcium. Calcium is a crucial nutrient that helps build and maintain bones, muscles and teeth. It also keeps us moving by helping to maintain muscle health and strength. But, taking a calcium supplement alone isn’t enough. The NIH reports that vitamin D intake is also important because it improves calcium absorption. But, many women are falling short of meeting their recommended daily calcium allowance — between 1,000 mg and 1,200 mg. Ladies may be surprised to learn that an eight ounce glass of skim milk only makes up 30 percent of the calcium they need each day. Risks of not enough calcium :: One of the most common risks of not getting enough calcium is osteoporosis, a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. Osteoporosis can lead to bone fragility. Without bone-density testing, you may not know you’re suffering from osteoporosis until you suffer a fracture — which happens to half of all women older than 50. Starting young :: If you think calcium is important only when you’re older, think
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again. NHANES also found that 90 percent of teenage girls aren’t getting enough calcium through diet alone. Since boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 18 years old need 1,300 mg of calcium per day, getting a head start on healthy habits can prove vital in providing a strong nutritional foundation as they get older. Finding the right supplement :: If you don’t get enough calcium through your diet, then supplements, like Caltrate, are a good compliment to giving your body the nutrients it needs to help keep your bones strong and your body moving. These days, calcium supplements, like Caltrate, are available in tablets, soft chews and gummy forms and most can be taken with or without food. However, calcium alone isn’t enough. Calcium should be taken in conjunction with vitamin D because it helps the body absorb calcium for the development and maintenance of bones. It also supports mobility as it may help improve muscle health and strength. : : — Caltrate is partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure as a national sponsor of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure series. To learn more about the importance of calcium and vitamin D in your diet, for special offers and product information, and to share your story about who, or what, moves you, visit Facebook.com/Caltrate. Courtesy ARAcontent.
out in the stars by charlene lichtenstein qnotes contributor
October 1 - 14
Welcome National Coming Out Month. And, now with three personal planets entering sexy Scorpio, there is no stopping the Pride. So, what is stopping you? LIBRA (09.24-10.23) Don’t be surprised if you become overly concerned with finances now. That shouldn’t mean that you become excessively cheap or that you should worry about where your next meal is coming from. It means that this is the opportune time to think about your financial future. How cushy will your retirement be? Better pack an extra pillow. SCORPIO (10.24-11.22) This is your time to shine. Proud Scorps maneuver themselves right into the center of all the action and take it over. You ooze charisma. Will the world bend to your command? Give it a try. Too, too soon the planets move on as you blend back into the shadows. In the meantime, grab your 15 minutes of fame and make it last more than an hour. SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) Focus on the road ahead. Your intuition hits a high mark and you are able to predict future events with greater precision. What will you do with all this inside poop? Will you buy stocks a day early? Will you maneuver around corporate sink holes? Will you choose the perfect lover? Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, gay Archer. So, focus already. CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) You couldn’t be alone if you tried. Friends gather at your door, surround you in the neighborhood and even waylay you in some remote hideaways. Forget about avoiding them. Why not toss yourself in the center of the stew and boil with some buddies? Even better, expand your current group with some fresh faces. Join a new club, run with a new crowd, stump for office. AQUARIUS (01.21-02.19) Now is the time to make your big corporate move, Aqueerius. No sooner do you think that you are stuck where you are in the machine than a series of movements moves you ahead in the assembly line. What will you do with your newfound power? Will you use it to help those at the bottom or will you cushion your own bottom? Oh, let’s guess. PISCES (02.20-03.20) Guppies need to expand their vision and what better way to do that than through travel? So, get out of the house and see what the world can deliver in terms of experiences. For those who are stuck where they are, try to refresh your outlook cyberly or through a class. Just because you sit in the same place doesn’t mean that your mind can’t wander around. ARIES (03.21-04.20) Proud Rams are hot numbers
and why not? Your charisma soars and you are raring and ready for love. You possess the maximum amount of sex appeal and know how to use it. So, use it or be prepared to lose it by Thanksgiving. Don’t content yourself with quiets nights in front of the television set. Unless, of course, it is with a close companion. TAURUS (04.21-05.21) Relationships need your attention. Be more cognizant of partner’s needs and see what you can do to increase the joy. Queer Bulls need a little TLC, too, and there are ways to let others know what you want. Create a paradise. Guarantee it by toasting with champagne while in that bubble bath for two. And, if you are in the meet market, get out and meet. GEMINI (05.22-06.21) Pink Twins need to look at themselves in the mirror and see if they like what and who they see. Maybe you can improve on perfection? There is no excuse to be lazy and there is much to be gained by being active and healthy. The cosmos commands that you get off your duff and buff. Join a gym, check out a new diet or try something aerobic. No names please! CANCER (06.22-07.23) This is not the time to hide in your shell and become a wallflower. It is the time to break onto the party scene and create a scene yourself. Tap into your creative well and see what springs out. You can create some masterpieces that get you fame and fortune. Plan some extraordinary launch event. Get into mischief or mister chief. Your choice. LEO (07.24-08.23) You will be amazed at how interesting and engrossing just hanging around the house can be. Or, maybe you just need to totally relax and put your feet up. No matter what you decide to do, do it at home. Proud Lions can spice up their domestic agenda with a little flair and the right mix of guests. Concoct some new cocktails that loosen tongues and other things. VIRGO (08.24-09.23) The conversation hits into high gear on both a personal and a professional level. Be sure that your messages are consistent, on target and cannot be misinterpreted. Queer Virgins with a bee in their bonnet can make some stinging speeches that will stir up the hive. But, know when to add some sticky honey to your words too. : : © 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.
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
on being a gay parent by brett webb-mitchell qnotes contributor
The mysterious, magical art of being a household
My young adult children are slowly coming to understand that their childhood was unique and pretty-darn good. Granted, like most young children, they weren’t sure of what was going on or who had the most power among the three adults who were “parental units” (my daughter’s term). My partner was slow to embrace his role and function as a parental unit since he came into the process of raising my children after they were born and well on their way in life. Like many LGBTQ people who decided they did not want to have children and later find themselves in relationship with those who already have children, it is a serious life-changing adjustment. This
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
is because the presence of the one entering a significant relationship with another adult will not only leave his or her mark on the other adult, but will be either a significant or fleeting memory in the lives of a parent’s child or children. Because my partner resisted being the other “dad” in the relationship (at first), my children had great fun finding him a name: “uncle” did not work for him, so they settled on “the gay nanny” or simply “Dean.” But make no mistake, he has been fully “Dad” to them in the many expected and unexpected ways we who are biological parents try to be “moms” and “dads” with children we love and who love us.
North Carolina state Sen. Jim Forrester recently raised the problem he has with the way an increasing number of children are being raised around the world during the floor debate on the constitutional amendment banning marriage equality: “Two dads don’t make a mom. Two moms don’t make a dad. Children need both a father and a mother.” In other words, two dads or two moms is “new,” “weird” or maybe even “unbiblical” (thus sinful). What Forrester fails to understand or appreciate is that he is promoting a liberal, contemporary understanding of the American family, dubbed the “nuclear family” in the 1950s, which is equated wrongly as “the traditional family.” Time and again we need to be reminded that the “nuclear family” of “a father and a mother” is not the “traditional family” system prior to the 1950s. Instead, the traditional family pattern of raising children, before this time, was bringing up children in a household, where a child had more than a mom and a dad. Instead, there were many moms, dads and other parental units (godpar-
ents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, a faith community, close friends) who raised children in multi-generational households, a pattern well-established throughout time around the world. In other words, my family system is more of a household, in which we are hearkening back to a more conservative, traditional way of raising our children rather than the sterile, unhealthy, contemporary, liberal position of Forrester. For example, my father grew up in a house in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the 1920s, with his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. They lived together in a four-story house where each family had their own floor to call their own, but my dad was raised by the generations of his extended family system, like most other children his age. In 19th century rural American farming communities, households raised children and grandchildren, a practice that was largely killed off by people moving into a city as they partook in
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the contemporary rise of the Industrial Revolution. Biblically, in both ancient Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament, the word â€œfamilyâ€? is not to be found. The Apostle Paul writes about â€œhouseholdsâ€? in his Epistles, in which generations of family members lived with one another in a single abode, farm or village. Jesus was raised in a household, since that was the common Jewish practice in his days. And, donâ€™t get me going on King Solomon and his 700 wives, 300 concubines and kids, for a discussion of unbiblical biblical family practices. As for me and my household, we live in a more traditional, conservative way of being household for and with one another, with two dads, a mom, two young adult children, two dogs, two homes, constant communication, care, compassion, worry and joy. My children are ever so fortunate that we chose the more old-fashioned traditional messy household way, because they have had three sets of adult, parental eyes, watching their every move with love, concern and a spirit of celebration, come what may. After all, it takes more than â€œa father and a motherâ€? to raise children these days, and always has. : :
Drag Rag: Thereâ€™s a downpour of pageants galore! continued from page12
Lace; IL, Erica Leigh Foster; Gulf States, Victoria Dupuis and RU Blair Williams; FL, Zhaneâ€™ Kennedy; PA, Domiana Dupree St. James; OH, Deva Station; Tri-States, Tanisha Foxx and RU Sparkle Iman; Heart of America, Sally Sparkles with RU DeMonica Santangilo; Blue Grass, Celebrity Starr and RU Bridget Nickles; Miss Texas, Jenna Skyy and RU Vega Marie St. James; and last, but never least, TN, Pat McCooter and RU Fannie Mae Charles. What was I thinking the last time not mentioning Miss Pride Charlotte? Hell, I attended the pageant and just didnâ€™t make any notes or anything. Elaine Davis won and her RU was London Dior. And, speaking of Pride, I saw a great show at Scorpio that Friday night with â€œRuPaulâ€™s Drag Raceâ€? contestant Jessica Wild, Brooke Divine and our Miss Gay U.S.ofA., Luscious. On a side note, Olive, Iâ€™m still sitting in the lobby waiting on you, queen! Bitter, party of one. I wanted to give a big shout-out to Arianna Evans, the newest Miss U.S.ofA. Newcomer â€” sheâ€™s a Texas queen, honey! Her RUs included Kaâ€™Aliyah McKim Diamond, Aria B. Cassidine, Heidi Iman and Missy Meyakie LePaige.
Finally, Iâ€™ll close with the results from Miss Continental. I did not attend this year, the first time in 15 years! I understand it was quite the function (as Amaya would say). The lovely and sweet Mokha Montrese was relinquishing a title so dear to her and for that, Iâ€™m truly sorry I missed it. The finalists included Tatiana Braxton, Tiffany T. Hunter, Fontasia Lâ€™Amour, Sunny Dee Lite, Justice Devine, Stasha Sanchez, Sassy Devine, Alexis Gabrielle Sherrington, Indiana Jones, Queen B. Ho, Naysha Lopez and Jennifer Cartier. The Top 5 included Stasha Sanchez, Jennifer Cartier, 2nd RU Tiffany T. Hunter, 1st RU Fontasia Lâ€™Amour and winner, former Miss Gay U.S.ofA., Alexis Gabrielle Sherrington, or â€œGabby.â€? My good Chicago sis Tajma Hall told me Gabby was sick-o-ning from beginning to end on final night and was not leaving without that crown. Iâ€™m so happy for her, as I judged her at her prelim in Miami! The night before, Phillip Alexander won Mr. Continental, so there you have the king and the queen! : : info: Drop me a line, OK? TheTeaMissD@yahoo.com
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Oct. 1-14 . 2011
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
Rugby champ visits Queen City
Oct. 5-6 • Charlotte Ben Cohen Campus Pride and a host of other local organizations present English Rugby World cup champion Ben Cohen for a series of public and private events benefitting Cohen’s StandUp Foundation. Events include a public happy hour at Phil’s Tavern, 105 E. 5th St., 5:30-6:30 p.m. and a benefit auction at Sidelines Sports Bar, 4544 South Blvd., 7-9 p.m. $10 minimum donation for each event. For more information on the events, including a special “Coming Out” rally at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, visit campuspride.org/standupwithben/. Oct. 2 • Cary Fall Foliage Benefit Concert Serenity hosts a concert benefiting the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, SWOOP, the LGBT Center of Raleigh and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Featuring Jennifer Corday, Monika James and Vickie Shaw. Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park, 8002 Regency Pkwy. Noon. $45-$75. Tickets available online at ticketmaster.com. serenitygirlz.blogspot.com. Oct. 4 • Charlotte Suzanne Westenhoefer The Comedy Zone, LGBT Community Center of Charlotte and NC Music Factory present comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer for a special, one-night-only show. The Comedy Zone, 900 Seaboard St., Suite B3. 8 p.m. $20-$25. cltcomedyzone.com. Oct. 6-22 • Charlotte ‘Xanadu’ Queen City Theatre Company presents “Xanadu: The Musical,” with powerful performances from some of the city’s most recognized and award-winning actors. Directed by Glenn T. Griffin. Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. Various dates/times. Various prices. queencitytheatre.com. Oct. 7 • Raleigh Awards Dinner The LGBT Center of Raleigh holds their annual awards dinner honoring Jimmy Creech and Akil Campbell. The Stockroom at 230, 230 Fayetteville St. 7 p.m. $100. lgbtcenterofraleigh.com. Oct. 8 • Charlotte Bears Carowinds Trip Join Bear Encounters for a trip to Carowinds! After fun in the sun, join the boys for an after party that night at the Woodshed Lounge. For more details, visit bear-encounters.com. Special group discounts end on Oct. 2; visit site for more details and special instructions for purchases after that date.
Oct. 8 • Winston-Salem ‘Circumstance’ Screening OUT at the Movies, Winston-Salem and North Carolina’s GLBT film series will screen the 2011 drama, “Circumstance.” UNCSA School of Filmmaking, 1533 S. Main St. 7-8:30 p.m. For more info, visit OUTattheMoviesWinston.org. Oct. 9 • Raleigh Gay & Gray The LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Gay & Gray Initiative hosts a dance and social. Clarion Hotel Penthouse, 320 Hillsborough St. 3-7 p.m. $15. lgbtcenterofraleigh.com. Oct. 11-16 • Charlotte Addams Family musical Just in time for Halloween, check out “The Addams Family” musical comedy at Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. Various dates/times. Various prices. blumenthalarts.org. Oct. 12 • Raleigh ‘Being Earnest’ Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” the “Trivial Comedy for Serious People,” is crammed full of memorable satirical humor and larger than life characters (in fact, in all of theater, is there one more delectable than Lady Augusta Bracknell?). Aquila Theatre’s staging of Wilde’s masterpiece promises to overflow with wit, elegance and romantic comedy. Presented by N.C. State University Center Stage. Stewart Theatre, 2610 Cates Ave. 8 p.m. ncsu.edu/centerstage/. Oct. 14 • Winston-Salem ‘Beyond Gay’ A special OUT at the Movies screening of “Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride” the night before the city’s Pride festival (see listing below). University of North Carolina School of the Arts, ACE Theatre Complex, 1533 S. Main St. 7:30-9 p.m. outatthemovieswinston.org. Oct. 14 • Charlotte NC Dance: Director’s Choice Artistic Director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux leads
North Carolina Dance Theatre in three ballets: William Forsythe’s “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated,” Mark Diamond’s “Bolero” and a new work by Sasha Janes, “Rhapsodic Dances.” Knight Theatre, 430 S. Tryon St. 7:30 p.m. Various prices. ncdance.org. Oct. 15 • Charlotte Livin’ in the Art Petra’s presents a special art exhibit highlighting artists from the Carolinas. Proceeds to benefit LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Petra’s, 1919 Commonwealth Ave. 5-9 p.m. petraspianobar.com. Oct. 15 • Winston-Salem Winston-Salem PRIDE 2011 Equality Winston-Salem presents its first-ever Winston-Salem PRIDE 2011, complete with a festival at Winston Square Park and a parade through downtown. Entertainment headliner is lesbian gospel singer-songwriter Jennifer Knapp. equalitywinstonsalem.org. Oct. 18 • Charlotte Jennifer Baumgardner The University of North Carolina at Charlotte presents bisexual activist Jennifer Baumgardner for this year’s OutSpoken Speakers Series. Baumgardner, author of “Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics,” will also be named the campus’ first “activist in residence,” Oct. 17-21 during which other campus activities are planned. McKnight Hall, Cone University Center. 7 p.m. outspoken.uncc.edu. Oct. 21 • Charlotte Heroes vs. Villains Just Twirl hosts a special Halloween party with Atlanta’s DJ Jay McCracken. Marigny Dance Club, 1440 S. Tryon St., Suite 110. 10 p.m. $10. justtwirl.com. Oct. 26-Nov. 13 • Chapel Hill Songs and stories from the Freedom Ride PlayMakers Repertory Company presents “The Parchman Hour: Songs and Stories from the ‘61 Freedom Riders.’ In the fiery first months of America’s civil rights move-
Meeting Date: Program:
Time: Cost: To Reserve:
events qnotes goqnotes.com/qguide/events
arts. entertainment. news. views. ment, waves of young people rode buses into the heart of the Deep South. Many were brutally attacked, arrested, and imprisoned in Mississippi’s notorious Parchman Farm Penitentiary, where they invented an ingenious pastime o help them endure, a live variety show inspired by programs then popular on radio and television. Jokes, stories, singing and Bible readings sprang from every cell. This nightly event became known as The Parchman Hour. With characters such as Stokely Carmichael, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, “The Parchman Hour” honors an important piece of history. Paul Green Theatre, Center for Dramatic Art at UNC, 150 Country Club Rd. Various dates/times. Various prices. playmakersrep.org. Oct. 27 • Chapel Hill Power of Attorney clinic Lambda Law Student Association presents a free Healthcare Power of Attorney clinic. The evening will begin with a North Carolina specific “Know Your Rights” presentation, followed by one-on-one assistance from law students in preparing paperwork that will ensure that your partner can make critical healthcare decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated and designate your partner for hospital visitation purposes. Dinner will be served. Space is limited; RSVP to Rachel Hall at email@example.com. UNC School of Law, 160 Ridge Rd. 6-8:30 p.m. studentorgs.law. unc.edu/llsa/poa/default.aspx. Oct. 28-Nov. 12 • Charlotte ‘For the Love of Harlem’ Openly gay Charlottean Jermaine Nakia Lee presents his musical “For the Love of Harlem,” profiling the lives and loves of some of the most legendary stars of the Harlem Renaissance. Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. Various dates/ times. Various prices. blumenthalarts.org.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 Charlotte Symphony President/Executive Director Jonathan Martin LGBT Community Center of Charlotte 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or pay online via PayPal at www.charlottebusinessguild.org
www.charlottebusinessguild.org Oct. 1-14 . 2011
Oct. 1-14 . 2011
Published on Oct 1, 2011
Published on Oct 1, 2011
QNotes takes an in-depth look at Amendment One, Equality NC's campaign against the measure, young people's take on the amendment and citizen...