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Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013




news & features   5 Cooper says equality coming   5 GOPers favor Confederate flag    6 News Notes: Regional Briefs

Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain sits down with qnotes for a one-on-one interview after her MeckPAC endorsement and election victory. page 9

  9 Huntersville mayor open to conversation

life, positively special section 11 13 14 15 17 18 19

arts. entertainment. news. views.

PowerHouse Project was founded on the idea of “Brotherhood through HIV/STD Prevention, Education and Outreach” and strives to empower Black MSM. The group believes the greatest threat to the Black MSM community is the HIV epidemic. Read more about them on page 11.

Advocacy, education key to HIV HIV statistics Commentary: Battle not done Commentary: Time to ACT Up again  Different Roads Home Profile Rosedale Infectious Diseases Profile AIDS service groups

27 World AIDS Day events

a&e / life&style 20 22 24 26

Holiday etiquette tips Jane’s World Tell Trinity Q Events Calendar

27 Our People: Community Comments

opinions & views   4 Editor’s Note   4 Spiritual Reflections  4 QPoll

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013




qnotes connect Nov. 22-Dec. 5, 2013 Vol 28 No 15

arts. entertainment. news. views.

contributors this issue

Paige Braddock, Brandpoint, Brett Webb-Mitchell, Matt Comer, Fannie Flono, Charlene Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, Trinity

front page

Graphic Design by: Lainey Millen & Matt Comer


editor’s note by Matt Comer ::

Careful with holiday giving, never afraid of conversation Each year about this time, the Salvation Army begins rolling out its trademark red kettle giving campaign. Bell ringers joyfully greet shoppers and passers-by who, in return, drop anywhere from a few cents to much, much more in the buckets. The money eventually goes to support homeless individuals and families through a variety of social services, including homeless shelters, rehabilitation centers, veterans services and more. Yet, the Salvation Army has become a lightning rod in the LGBT community. The organization — officially a church — holds anti-LGBT theologies, does not have LGBT-inclusive policies for their employees and, at times, has been accused of discriminating against LGBT people in their services, though the group’s official policy is that sexual orientation cannot be used to turn away anyone in need. Because of the group’s mixed history on LGBT equality, a friend and fellow writer, Bil Browning, has annually reminded his readers not to donate to the group. You can read Browning’s full write-up on the Salvation Army’s LGBT history at I, too, have refrained from donating my money to the organization and urged others to follow my lead. That’s an opinion that likely won’t change soon. I don’t want my money supporting organizations that believe I am a sinner or who do not believe people like me deserve the same right to employment or basic inclusion as others. And, that’s regardless of what other good work the organization does. I will choose to spend my money with the many, many other groups doing equally good work, but do so without the exclusion. It was that opinion I shared on a Salvation Army ad that kept popping up in my Facebook feed, first in October and for a second time earlier this month. A staffer for the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte responded on Facebook. Passionate words were exchanged. After the second exchange, I was surprised to see an email from a local Salvation Army staffer in my

inbox. She invited me to meet with her and tour their local shelter. I agreed, and asked a staffer from a local LGBT non-profit to come with. We spent more than an hour with the group’s staffer, toured the facility and were able to share a great deal of information about the state of LGBT youth, individuals and families as it relates to discrimination, homelessness and the importance of inclusion. We also learned that the local Salvation Army was, indeed, currently serving LGBT people in our local area. I was encouraged to know that the local Salvation Army was living up to their publicly stated mission to serve all, without exclusion, though I’m sure this may not always the case with all local affiliates or with those who work for them. I imagine it’s quite difficult for an organization to be 100-percent inclusive, 100-percent of the time when its theology is based on exclusion. Regardless, I walked away from the conversation with a phenomenally positive feeling, something I’ve rarely felt when talking to other anti-LGBT leaders or organizations. I’m used to having such conversations, having grown up in a conservative, southern Baptist family and having devoted a great deal of my professional advocacy and activism on topics related to the church. For once, it felt great to share a little bit of my experiences and thoughts without outright condemnation — to have a fellow Christian — a representative of an organization that views me as lesser — actually take a pause and truly listen and attempt to learn about the LGBT people affected by their positions. That single conversation with a single employee at a single local affiliate of the Salvation Army likely will not change their national or international policies or theology. But, a conversation is a great start. I’m glad I had one with the Salvation Army. I may not drop money into their red kettles this year, next year or even in 10 years. But, one day, things will change, and it will be because of staffers like the one I met and the conversation we had. : :


The focus of QNotes is to serve the LGBT and straight ally communities of the Charlotte region, North Carolina and beyond, by featuring arts, entertainment, news and views in print and online that directly enlightens, informs and engages the readers about LGBT life and social justice issues. Pride Publishing & Typesetting, Inc., dba QNotes P.O. Box 221841, Charlotte, NC 28222 ph 704.531.9988 fx 704.531.1361 Publisher: Jim Yarbrough Sales: x201 Nat’l Sales: Rivendell Media, ph 212.242.6863 Editor: Matt Comer, x202 Copy Editor: Maria Dominguez Production: Lainey Millen, x205 Printed on recycled paper. Material in qnotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2013 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. a local news partner of The Charlotte Observer

upcoming issues: 12.06.13: Non-Profits, Winter Living Advertising Space Deadline: Nov. 27 12.20.13: Person of the Year, Year Review Advertising Space Deadline: Dec. 11



Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013


See the options and vote:

Does an organization’s LGBT inclusion weigh into your holiday season charitable giving?

spiritual reflections by Brett Webb-Mitchell :: guest contributor

Open and Affirming, 20 Years Later [Ed. Note — qnotes launches its new community faith column this issue. Every other issue, we will print contributions from faith leaders, clergy and members of welcoming and affirming faith institutions to share the work of their groups and discuss important matters of LGBT and inclusive faith and belief. Want to contribute on behalf of your organization? Email editor Matt Comer at for more information.] Amid stories of churches spewing forth hate-filled homophobic rhetoric, or turning the corner and experiencing a radical epiphany of engaging lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people as human beings after years of spurning our existence, there are faith communities who have long been voices in the barren wilderness, welcoming and loving all who wish to worship. One such church in North Carolina is the United Church of Chapel Hill (UCCH), with co-pastors Reverends Jill and Rick Edens, part of the United Church of Christ (UCC). UCCH’s interest in welcoming LGBTQ people began in 1985, with the Open and Affirming (ONA) movement in the UCC. This movement began in the UCC’s Fifteenth General Synod, which called on churches to be “open and affirming” of LGBTQ people, their families and straight allies. Materials were developed for the denomination in becoming and being open and affirming and within a few years there were churches, especially in the northeast and California, who were signing up and advertising that their doors were open to LGBTQ people. In the 1990s, the Spirit was moving among UCC churches in North Carolina. Community UCC in Raleigh became the first UCC church in North Carolina to be ONA and soon after UCCH became interested in becoming an ONA church in 1991. The inspiration to become an ONA church was led by a member of UCCH, George Moulthrop, who was a retired UCC pastor. The UCCH’s Board of Outreach and Service responded positively to Moulthrop’s suggestion and began an ONA Task Force. The early meetings were a series of talks within the congregation, exploring Scripture, tradition, homophobia, spirituality and sexuality. Enthusiasm would build

up and then the subject would be dropped for several months. But this ebb and flow worked towards the movement’s advantage, because no one felt rushed into a decision without adequate time for consideration. After a period of months, along with more meetings, fellowship gatherings and a posting of a suggestion box for people to express their opinions (this was before the wide use of internet), there were still those who were willing to have LGBTQ people attend church, but did not like the idea of “affirming homosexuality,” as well as those who wondered if it would lead to “gay marriage” (it would). By mid-1993, it seemed clear to those who were on the ONA Task Force that LGBTQ people do not believe they’re welcome unless it is stated explicitly because they have suffered too much oppression by churches. On June 6, 1993, the UCCH voted by secret ballot to accept a statement affirming they were an ONA Church: 106 in favor, 7 opposed. Part of their statement includes the following: “With confidence in Christ, we step forward to affirm people of diverse sexual orientation as part of God’s creation. We invite all persons to journey with us in fellowship for we may not in faith set anyone aside. We are not whole unto ourselves.” Twenty years later, the UCCH has grown into their ONA statement. For example, the Rev. David Mateo, who leads the Spanish-speaking congregation that meets weekly at UCCH, has hosted a session on LGBTQ Latinos for the community. And while the UCCH began with the simple, but necessary “first step” of welcoming LGBTQ people, the church’s sanctuary has been the place for many same-sex couples to wed. Both pastors have been at the bedside of lesbian couples welcoming their first baby. And, the children of LGBTQ individuals and couples have been baptized in this holy place as well. While Jill and Rick didn’t fully understand what it would mean to be an ONA congregation in 1993, they appreciate all that has taken place within and among members of the Church. They also understand that there is much work to be done, including ending employment discrimination among LGBTQ people, as well as discrimination in housing. To this day, the church gladly proclaims that they are an ONA congregation as the church strives to live out the first line of its vision statement: “In Christ we are one.” : :


Cooper to gay rights group: Day of equality is coming Leaders awarded for service to North Carolina, LGBT community by Matt Comer :: GREENSBORO — North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, largely expected to challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in the 2016 gubernatorial election, spoke to the state’s leading LGBT advocacy group at a fundraising dinner on on Nov. 9. “I’m here to tell you that violence, discrimination and intimidation are unacceptable,” said Cooper, a Democrat, as he gave his keynote address at the Equality North Carolina Foundation Gala. “The day of equality is coming,” Cooper added. Cooper had received criticism from an antiLGBT advocacy group for his appearance at the fundraising dinner. Cooper has also publicly supported marriage equality for same-sex couples. He reiterated that support at the dinner. “I personally support marriage equality,” Cooper said. “I’m for basic fairness. It’s that simple and I’m encouraged everyday that another set of eyes and ears are opened to equality and acceptance.” “My faith is a personal matter,” Cooper added. “But my support for marriage equality is well-grounded in that faith.” Cooper is expected to run for governor in

2016, and he alluded to his potential campaign during his speech. “North Carolina is better than this,” Cooper said, noting last year’s anti-LGBT amendment. “North Carolina needs a leadership change.” Earlier on the same day, members of the LGBT Democrats of North Carolina also gathered in Greensboro for their annual statewide convention. The group unanimously passed a resolution praising Cooper’s LGBT equality positions. “It’s a huge step,” said outgoing LGBT Democrats President Ryan Butler, “that the person who will be the next Democratic gubernatorial nominee and North Carolina’s next governor has so early come out and announced his support for marriage equality, even before his campaign has begun.” At the Equality NC Gala, several leaders and community members were also awarded for their contributions to the state. Award winners included: N.C. Sen. Josh Stein, Jamie Kirk Hahn Ally Award; Janet Joyner, Bob Page Equality Champion Award; N.C. Rep. Tricia Cotham, Legislative Leadership Award; and Freedom Center for Social Justice, Organization of the Year Award. : : — Lainey Millen contributed


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GOP voters favor Confederate flag over rainbow flag by LGBTQ Nation ::

RALEIGH — A new poll finds that Republicans are more tolerant of high school students wearing a Confederate battle flag to school than they are of students wearing a gay pride (rainbow) flag to school. The mid-November poll by Raleigh-based based Public Policy Polling, which primarily focused on prospective presidential candidates for the 2016 elections, found that 43 percent of GOP respondents said wearing the Confederate flag was acceptable, compared to only 28 percent who said wearing the rainbow flag was acceptable. The poll prompted immediate public reaction, including a harsh rebuke of its results by Washington Post political columnist Jonathan Capehart, who called the Confederate flag “no better than a Swastika.” “It is a symbol of white supremacy, hate and oppression that has no place in American political discourse,” wrote Capehart. “Meanwhile, the rainbow that is the gay pride flag symbolizes inclusion and acceptance.” “The rainbow flag is the very antithesis of the Confederate flag. That the latter is deemed

more acceptable than the former is deplorable,” he wrote. The Confederate battle flag, so named as it was designed in 1861 by Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, replaced the Confederate national ensign known as the “Stars and Bars” because its close resemblance to the U.S. Stars and Stripes caused confusion for troops on both sides of the U.S. civil war. Display of the battle flag has generally been fraught with racial tension, particularly after it was co-opted by elements of the Klu Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups, who often used it to intimidate minority groups after the Civil War and up to the present day. Many black Americans view the Confederate flag as distasteful and symbolic of racism, while others — principally some white southerners, and others — view the flag as a “heritage” issue regarding southern states’ rights and the history of the “war between the states,” defending its use a memorial to southern troops lost in battle. — LGBTQ Nation ( is a qnotes news partner.

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013



news notes:

carolinas. nation. world. compiled by Lainey Millen | Matt Comer

Charlotte Business Guild awards leaders

From left, Chad Severance and Charlotte Business Guild President Jai Taylor award Guild President Teresa Davis with her wife Victoria Eves.

CHARLOTTE — On Nov. 15, LGBT business owners and community leaders received awards for service at a fundraising dinner for the Charlotte Business Guild, the city’s LGBT business and professionals organization. Former Mecklenburg County Commission Chair Jennifer Roberts was awarded the group’s Community Bridge Builder award. Roberts also gave the dinner’s keynote address. The Guild also unveiled their new logo, designed by Jen Carbuto, at the dinner. “There is a lot of history, heart and struggle in this community,” Roberts said of LGBT Charlotteans’ quest for inclusion. Roberts was among the leaders who pushed for expanded LGBT protections at the county level. “We want to be a city that represents and embraces diversity,” she said. Also awarded was Dan Mauney, who received the group’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. Mauney’s new retail stores, Shu and Brief, hosted the Guild’s dinner in its special event space. Wesley Mancini was honored as the group’s Person of the Year. Mancini was an early funder of LGBT and arts projects in Charlotte, following controversy over public arts funding in 1997 and a performance of the gay and AIDS-themed play, “Angels in America.” Bert Woodard, who served on Mancini’s foundation, accepted the award on behalf of Mancini, who was unable to attend. “His grants weren’t huge, but they made such a difference early on in this community,” Woodard said of the early days of the Wesley Mancini Foundation. “Wesley Mancini believed that LGBT people should work hard to get involved in the larger community. He really was a visionary.” A surprise award was also given to outgoing Guild President Teresa Davis. The group’s board created the Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be named after Davis, and praised her for her work in creating a more diverse board and membership. “We have to remain vigilant about reaching out to all the people afraid of joining our community,” Davis said, citing the need for more progress in rural areas and communities of faith. Davis said her group remains committed to forward progress. The membership organization is currently in the process of nominating new board officers and members. A board election will be held on Dec. 11. In other news, the Guild will become part of history at the 66th Annual Carolinas’ Carrousel Parade on Nov. 28 when it becomes the first LGBT organization to ride in the event, Davis shared. Only members in good standing will be allowed to participate. Email with “parade” in the subject line to join in. info: — M.C. & L.M. (Top) From left, Guild Vice President Jai Taylor and Guild President Teresa Davis with Entrepreneur of the Year Dan Mauney. (Bottom) Guild Vice President Jai Taylor, left, and Guild President Teresa Davis, right, with Bert Woodard, who accepted the Person of the Year award on behalf of Wesley Mancini.



Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013

Charlotte Center to hold town hall meeting

CHARLOTTE — The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, 2508 N Davidson St., announced on Nov. 13 that it will hold a community town hall meeting on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. “The town hall will be an open forum style meeting with The Board of the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte,” the group said on Facebook. “There will be no agenda. The LGBT Community Center invites all members of the community to participate, and to share your observations, concerns, and voice your opinions.” A moderator for the town hall has not yet been announced. The center’s announcement came after more than a week of commentaries and reports from qnotes’ editor Matt Comer, which he shared on his personal blog. Comer has alleged the center’s past and current leadership does not respond to community feedback and has failed to be transparent and accountable. In one instance, Comer found that the center had let its charitable solicitation license from the North Carolina Secretary of State expire in August, two months before the group held its first annual fundraising dinner. The group said the event is the first of what will become four similar town hall-type of events held each year. They said such meetings “will become a tradition of openness for the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte.” info: — qnotes staff

Mayfield elected to national office

CHARLOTTE — City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield, the city’s first openly LGBT elected official, was elected to an officer position with the National League of Cities’ Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Local Officials (GLBTLO). Mayfield was elected to first vice president at the League’s Congress and Exposition on Nov. 15. Other new officers are: Mayor Keith McGlashan, Shoreline, Wash., president; Commissioner Andy Amoroso, Lake Worth, Fla., second vice president; plus at-large members Tom Green, commissioner, Wilton Manors, Fla.; Karen Kellen, councilmember, Lakewood, Col.; Philip Kingston, councilmember, Dallas, Texas; Adam Medrano, councilmember, Dallas, Texas. Established in 1993, the GLBTLO constituency group is a voluntary association of local elected and appointed officials formed within the National League of Cities to encourage the active involvement and full participation of LGBT municipal officials and their supporters in the organization and its programs. info: — L.M.

Benefit slated

CHARLOTTE — A jazz and neo-soul Christmas benefit concert for The Bakers 6 will be held on Dec. 15, 6 p.m., at the LGBT Community Center, 2508 N. Davidson St. The event is being held to raise funds for the children of Antoinette Baker who was stabbed on Dec. 4, 2011, outside Hartigan’s Irish Pub, 601 S. Cedar St. There had been an altercation between Baker and Katie Nicole Robinson inside the bar and it continued outside. Baker was unresponsive as the scene and was pronounced dead after being transported to Carolinas Medical Center. Promoter HollyJ Events has lined up Indigo Blu to headline, with The Bakers Six, Tanya Ross and Anwan Edge performing, as well. Host

will be Monica Rae Simpson. The evening will feature jazz and soul music, along with unity and family for Christmas. Music will also be provided by DJ Terry coupled with fun activities for everyone Complimentary food and drinks will be provided. Tickets are $20/advance and $25/door and are on sale now. Children under 16-years-old are admitted free. info: es2&rank=1&sid=adae50ba4f5d11e391b5123 3b049561. 704-831-0044. — L.M.

Pride seeks volunteers

CHARLOTTE — Organizers of Charlotte Pride are on the hunt for volunteer leaders and committee members for its Aug. 23-24, 2014 festival. They held an initial recruitment and informational meeting on Nov. 6 at Caldwell Presbyterian Church. Currently, they are seeking chairs and vice chairs to serve on the parade, development, media/marketing/technology, community development, entertainment and operations committees. A list of full committee descriptions are available online at Resumes from interested parties should be sent to Announcements on other Charlotte Pride activities and board meetings will be available at a later date. The community is encouraged to attend the open board meetings to share ideas or to become involved in the production of the event. info: — L.M.

DRH featured on Share Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — Different Roads Home was recently selected as the Non-Profit of the Week through the Share Charlotte organization. CEO and Founder Dale Pierce was featured in a video about his non-profit. It can be seen online at review/74918218/0e51485b60. Different Roads Home serves the community with educational and support services for those who are living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Share Charlotte is a resource for finding non-profits in Mecklenburg County. It is headed up by Kelly Brooks and Kimberly Paulk. info: — L.M.

Coastal Admission to private school questioned

WILMINGTON — WECT-TV reported on Nov. 14, that the Myrtle Grove Christian School, a private school, has a “policy giving the school the right to refuse admission of an applicant whose home life includes ‘homosexual or bisexual activity.’” It seems that school head Stacey Miller sent a letter to parents telling them that enrollment would require families to sign a “Biblical Morality Policy.” With that policy, those who do not share the views of the school could have their children refused admission or result in expulsion. Rev. John McLaughlin of St. Jude Metropolitan Community Church said “the new policy is concerning and worries that it teaches children a narrow world view.” WWAY-TV reported that some alumni were aghast. Lesbian Jenna Ingram relayed that she saw this action as being one that would

teach students that hate was acceptable. She has been a proponent of the school, but had decided to do so now. There are mixed opinions among the parents, WECT-TV reported. Some said that the school was justified in its actions, while others said they were shocked, offended and thought that it was unfair to penalize the children for their parents’ choices. On Nov. 15, the school announced that it was requesting feedback and soliciting queries about the policy from parents. info: — L.M.

Triad Foundation names grantees

GREENSBORO — The Guildford Green Foundation awarded nearly $43,000 in grants to Triad-area recipients, as well as $50,000 to the Guilford Green Foundation Endowment. Receiving funds during the Foundation’s granting ceremony on Oct. 29 at The International Civil Rights Center and Museum, 134 S. Elm St., were: ACLU of North Carolina ($5,000); Creative Aging Network of North Carolina ($4,000); Elsewhere ($1,500); Equality North Carolina Foundation ($1,500); Faith Action International House ($5,000); Greensboro Public Library ($3,500); Guilford College ($3,000); NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad ($5,000); North Carolina A&T State University ($2,000); Southerners On New Ground ($1,500); Triad Friends ($2,500); Triad Health Project ($3,500); UNCG Pride ($3,000); Welcome Conversations ($1,075); and Youth Focus ($5,000). For 15 years, the Foundation has invested more than $650,000 to support programs and non-profit organizations across Guilford County and surrounding counties that believe in the Foundation’s mission of uniting community. info: — L.M.

Western Adoption program unveiled

HICKORY — The AIDS Leadership Foothillsarea Alliance (ALFA) has announced that it is addressing the needs of area children during the upcoming season through its Holiday Adoption Program. The program is designed to provide gifts for the children of ALFA who are either infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Often, it is very difficult for parents, who are living with HIV/AIDS, to afford gifts for their kids this time of year. To sign up, call Adria Cline at 828-322-1447, ext. 226 or email by Nov. 27 with a count on the number of children contributor’s wish to adopt. info: — L.M.

Regional Task force appointment questioned

RALEIGH — On Nov. 14, LGBT advocates in North Carolina questioned the appointment of a Winston-Salem, N.C. school board member they said is anti-gay to the state’s Task Force on Safer Schools. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory announced on Nov. 13 that he would appoint WinstonSalem/Forsyth County Board of Education and North Carolina State Board of Education member A.L. “Buddy” Collins to a two-year term on the task force, which provides guidance to the Center for Safer Schools and considers future


policy and legislative action that is needed to improve school safety in North Carolina. Equality North Carolina (ENC), a statewide LGBT advocacy group, said Collins has a history of anti-LGBT statements and an anti-LGBT record as a local school board member. The group wants McCrory to rescind his appointment. The group has compiled a background on Collins on its website. Collins’ appointment by McCrory earlier this year to the North Carolina State Board of Education also caused controversy. Visit to read the report. [Ed. Note — This writer, who attended public school in Forsyth County where Collins serves on the local school board, was interviewed by media and shared his experiences publicly during that controversy.] info: — M.C.

Officials form network

RALEIGH — Equality North Carolina (ENC) announced at its annual gala held on Nov. 9 in Greensboro that it had formed NC Electeds for Equality, a bi-partisan peer network of elected officials representing communities from across North Carolina and at every level of state and local government who are supportive of LGBT rights and justice. Thirty one individuals are part of this groundbreaking organization. See an expanded version of this article online for the full list. The network will allow supportive elected officials to learn more about issues related to LGBT rights as they arise at various levels of state government, including how certain policies affect the lives of LGBT North Carolinians, in areas such as employment, housing, accommodations, healthcare and public safety. info: — L.M.

Bishops file complaint over wedding

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — On Nov. 15 the United Methodist Council of Bishops announced that they plan to file a complaint against retired Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, Nashville, Tenn., who performed a wedding for two Alabama gay men. The Associated Press reported that the council issued a statement “that it addressed the issue at its annual meeting this week in North Carolina. It said that it asked its president, Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, to file the complaint against Talbert for ‘undermining the ministry of a colleague and conducting a ceremony to celebrate the marriage of a same gender couple.’” Talbert performed the religious ceremony on Oct. 26, following the couple’s legal marriage in Washington, D.C., in September, against the objections of the local bishop and other leaders who said it “violated church law.” The Reconciling Ministries Network, which seeks to “create full inclusion” within the United Methodist Church, published a letter from the couple in response to the council’s actions. In it they said: “And we are two men who feel that their relationship has been blessed by God and that this blessing has been enhanced by our public wedding and by Bishop Talbert’s participation in our ceremony. … We believe in the sacred worth of all humanity, not just the straight ones.” To read the full text, visit info: — L.M.

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013



National/Global LGBT workers of color most disadvantaged WASHINGTON, D.C. — LGBT workers of color are among the most disadvantaged workers in the U.S., due to discrimination and a lack of workplace protections, job benefits, unfair taxation and unsafe schools, according to a report, “A Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Color,” from a coalition of LGBT and progressive organizations released on Nov. 14. In a 2012 Gallup poll, 33 percent of LGBT respondents identified as people of color, compared to just 27 percent of non-LGBT respondents. “Contrary to popular stereotypes, LGBT workers are more racially diverse than the general population, making it critical to address the unique obstacles they face,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive Director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition. “Bias and prejudice based on race, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression intersect to the detriment of LGBT workers of color.” According to the report, LGBT people of color face extraordinarily high rates of unemployment, compared to non-LGBT people of color. The report notes that unemployment rates for transgender people of color have reached as high as four times the national unemployment rate. LGBT people of color also face a higher risk of poverty. LGBT youth of color are at higher risk of becoming homeless. Nationally, 20-40 percent of all homeless youth are estimated to identify as LGBT. Youth of color are overrepresented; one study of homeless youth who identify as gay or lesbian, found that 44 percent identified as black and 26 percent as Latino. Advocates say larger problems of institutionalized prejudice and discrimination are to blame. “Systemic barriers and inequities in the educational system make it harder for LGBT people of color to meet workforce qualifications,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project. “LGBT workers of color are also unfairly denied or lack access to job-related benefits that other workers take for granted, making it harder for these workers to earn a living and provide for their families.” Advocates say there are common-sense solutions, including eliminating or reducing educational barriers and creating safer schools, reducing bias and discrimination against LGBT workers of color and securing equal pay and benefits. “Fixing the broken bargain for LGBT workers of color will help ensure that they are treated fairly no matter where they work, that they receive the same compensation for the same work, and that they can access important benefits available to other workers to protect their health and livelihood,” said Tico Almeida, president of Freedom to Work. The report can be read online in English and Spanish at and is coauthored by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the Center for American Progress (CAP)



Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013

These charts included in the report “A Broken Bargain,” are among several sets of data outlining the challenges facing LGBT people of color.

and its FIRE Initiative, Freedom to Work, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), in partnership with Color of Change, the Leadership Conference Education Fund, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the National Action Network, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), Out and Equal Workplace Advocates, and SEIU. — Matt Comer QUICK HITS ——————————————————————————————— Florida’s U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R) attended a fundraiser for the anti-LGBT Florida Family Policy Council on Nov. 15. He told the group “the moral well-being of our is our business. It’s everbody’s business.” more: U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has secured congressional meeting space for advocates of Russia’s anti-gay laws. The move follows a decision by U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to withdraw his original offer of meeting space for the advocates. more:

Russian newspaper Molodoi Dalnevostochnik is being investigated under that nation’s anti-LGBT “propaganda” law after journalist Irina Severtseva reported on the efforts of an 18-year veteran teacher who was fired from his job. more: A South Texas school district has reversed course and will allow a photo of a transgender student in a tuxedo to appear in the teen’s high school yearbook. more:


Huntersville mayor leads with conversation Jill Swain became first Mecklenburg town mayor to receive LGBT group’s endorsement by Matt Comer :: Huntersville, Swain said, is just like any community. “You’re HUNTERSVILLE — For 14 years, Jill Swain has committed her proalways going to have some people who just don’t have open hearts, fessional life to serving the citizens and residents of Huntersville, a town but I think we do have a very open community. I think every commuof about 50,000 people just a dozen miles north of Uptown Charlotte. nity probably has a ways to go and I would say that’s us, too.” But, don’t dare call Huntersville a “suburb.” If so, one might get a Huntersville currently does not include sexual orientation or gentle pushback from Swain. gender identity in its non-discrimination policy for town workers; “I don’t see Huntersville as a suburb,” she smilingly responded neither do any of the other Mecklenburg towns. That’s one of the when this writer used the word to describe her community. ”I see it items MeckPAC wants to see changed and an advocacy initiative as it as its own entity.” they’ve already successfully achieved at the Charlotte City Council And, that’s a view her peers share. “I don’t think we see ourand Mecklenburg County Commission. selves as suburbs at all,” she said. “We are our own job creators, MeckPAC’s mission might perhaps be assisted by Huntersville’s we are self-sustainable. We are connected with the school district, past, affirming policy-making. A dozen years ago, soon after Swain connected in the county. For all intents and purposes, we run our was elected to the town board, she and her colleagues defeated own show.” a proposal that would have barred gay and lesbian families from But, relationships, too, are important and throughout her service receiving family memberships at the Huntersville Family Fitness and (she was first elected as mayor in 2006 after serving four terms on Aquatics center. the Huntersville Town board) Swain has witnessed regional partner“There was a lesbian couple who had a number of kids they’d ships change and grow. adopted and for their health and well-being, needed a family “I think in the years I’ve been in service I see that our relationmembership,” Swain recounted. “We had people on the board ship with Charlotte has changed,” she said. “We were an outlier for who said no.” many years and now we are a regional partner. And, we have to be a Their proposal didn’t pass, but Swain doesn’t describe that as a regional partner.” progress. Swain says her residents and those in Charlotte are con“No, I would not say we were welcoming at that point,” she said. nected by rail line and local highways. Her residents and corporate “The very fact that we had that debate, to me, was a step back.” executives use Charlotte Douglas International Airport. And, as city Still, the debate did open up much-needed conversation. borders and population have grown, neighbors in the two cities are “I think a lot of our community members have been much more living, working and learning closer together today than they ever embracing because they see, here are couples who are adopting have in the past. kids that straight parents would adopt,” Swain said. That increased regional partnership and exchange is an Swain is looking forward to her fourth term as Huntersville’s important dynamic for groups like the Mecklenburg LGBT Political mayor. She has a variety of goals, including economic development Action Committee (MeckPAC), which sought this year to reach out and a focus on local schools. She also serves as a member of the to elected leaders in Mecklenburg County’s towns and expand their Metropolitan Transit Commission and advocacy for LGBT equality to all the said transportation will be a contincitizens and residents across the “I think our world is a better place if we open up our hearts ued priority as the region anticipates county they represent. the extension of the light rail system For the first time, MeckPAC sent … MeckPAC was so incredibly wonderful and I noted this on and Interstate 77’s managed high ocquestionnaires to the mayoral candicupancy toll lanes. dates in towns like Huntersville, Mint Facebook. They asked me, ‘Will our endorsement hurt you or Through all of it, Swain said she’ll Hill, Matthews and Davidson. harm you?’ My answer was, ‘Who cares?’ If people can’t see continue to lead with openness and Swain, who was re-elected in conversation. November to her fourth term as what I’m all about, then I don’t want their votes.” “I think our world is a better place mayor, was the only candidate to — Mayor Jill Swain if we open up our hearts,” she said. respond to MeckPAC’s request and “MeckPAC was so incredibly wonderthe first Mecklenburg county town ful and I noted this on Facebook. They asked me, ‘Will our endorsement hurt you or harm you?’ My mayoral candidate to receive a MeckPAC endorsement. answer was, ‘Who cares?’ If people can’t see what I’m all about, then I don’t want their votes.” Swain said she happily returned MeckPAC’s questionnaire. Swain added, “If we pull all this together, I see that it is really important in my role to get people “Why wouldn’t I,” she asked. “I am finding more and more that there are so many riches out to open up their minds and understand that this really is the right time in my lifetime and hopefully in there in just meeting new people and sharing new viewpoints. Why as a mayor would I not meet with others that we teach each other to be understanding. We have an opportunity to expand our knowlan organization that could have valuable input on some of the decisions that we make? To me, it’s edge and become better people just for becoming more open.” : : sort of a no-brainer.”

Meetings: Program: Time: Membership: Information:

Third Tuesday of every month, except when there is specialized programming, plus monthly socials to promote networking and friendship A wide variety of topics of interest to appeal to the diverse LGBT community After work with a cash bar social and heavy hor d’oeuvres with dinner and program following Visit the website for application options and benefits. Call 704.565.5075 or email for more details or write to The Charlotte Business Guild P.O. Box 33371 | Charlotte, NC 28233 Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013





Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013



Thank you to these organizations for sponsoring our Special World AIDS Day coverage.

Advocates say education, awareness key to HIV prevention Stigma, lack of advocacy contribute to continued HIV/AIDS epidemic by Matt Comer ::


’meir Pendarvis, a 22-year-old student, is gay and HIVpositive. Recently diagnosed, Pendarvis is also a core group member at The PowerHouse Project, a Charlotte outreach and educational initiative that is working to educate black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) about HIV prevention and treatment. For Pendarvis, The PowerHouse Project is a place that offers friendship and community. “In a place like Charlotte, there’s a large, young population who have no idea what their identity is,” says Pendarvis. “In a place like this, you see different walks of the gay life and identities and find out who you are. It’s a safe place, where you can be who you are, no holds barred and no masks on.” It is stigma and fear of HIV, even among the LGBT community, that necessitates the need for safe spaces like PowerHouse. That need, say local advocates, is a direct result of gaps in advocacy and education on issues of sexuality and health. Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state of North Carolina paint a clear picture of HIV’s impact today. Sixty-four percent of all new HIV infections in North Carolina in 2012 were among MSM. Locally, Mecklenburg County has the highest new infection rate. Nationally, infection rates for young MSM have skyrocketed, rising 22 percent from 2008 to 2010. And, projections released by the CDC show that as many as 10 percent of current college-aged MSM are HIV-positive. In 30 years, as many as

PowerHouse Project core team members Mike Faniel, Erick Jameson, A’meir Pendarvis, Donovan Brown and Behavioral Intervention Specialist Jermaine Nakia Lee pose in front of a T-shirt advertising their upcoming “A Walk In My Shoes” musical performance, Nov. 29-Dec. 1. Learn more on page 27.

half of those men will be HIV-positive. For AfricanAmerican college-aged MSM, the numbers are more staggering; in 30 years, as many as 70 percent of them could be living with HIV. Chelsea White is the director of programs at Charlotte’s Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN). There, she and her staff have seen firsthand the impact of the HIV crisis currently affecting young people like Pendarvis. White and her colleagues are regularly encountering new clients in RAIN’s Empowering Positive Youth (EPY) program, which serves youth ages 13-24. Those young people, she says, aren’t receiving the sexual health education they need and teachers and advocates like RAIN aren’t allowed to provide it. White and others from RAIN recently facilitated sex education talks with 500 eighth graders at one of Charlotte’s highest-risk middle schools. Local schools are now able to teach a more comprehensive, abstinence-based sex education curriculum, but White says it isn’t enough. “It was more than we’ve ever been able to say in a public school, but we were still confined,” she says. “So, when we would say, ‘correct and consistent condom

see Keys on 12

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013



life, positively Keys to HIV prevention continued from page 11 use,’ we’d get a hand up asking what is correct condom use. We weren’t allowed to answer that.” Social pressures are keeping schools from adequately teaching young people about their sexual health, advocates say. Specifically, LGBT youth don’t receive information that could help them. The use of lubrication, for example, is an important preventative tool for MSM, says RAIN EPY Program Manager Jaysen Foreman. Yet, schools don’t teach it, even though using condoms and lubrication together can prevent accidents like condom breakage and failure. “They want you to disseminate information, but they want you to be careful not to encourage [sexual activity],” says White, “but we all know that having the correct information actually deters the onset of sexual activity and increases the use of condoms when they do begin to engage in sex.” That’s why Pendarvis and his peers appreciate the work PowerHouse is doing in Charlotte. “A place like this is good for us to have raw, ‘nolube,’ in-depth discussion about stuff otherwise we would not talk about,” says Pendarvis, smiling at his witty turn of phrase. But, only a fraction of the young people now most at-risk for HIV may never have access to groups like PowerHouse Project or Time Out Youth, another local LGBT youth group serving young people ages 11-20. And, advocates say important advocacy and education messaging isn’t reaching young MSM, much less the general public. “HIV/AIDS has become kind of old,” White says. “It’s not the new fab thing to donate to or to support and we’ve really seen that not only as an agency but also as a community. There’s not as much attendance not even at the fundraiser but just at the awareness events. There’s not as much buy-in from the community.” The Rev. Debbie Warren, RAIN’s founder and president, says the decreased awareness and urgency from the LGBT community shifts the focus from community health to other issues. “No one was talking about wanting the right to marry when I started RAIN,” she says. In the 1980s, she says, straight society began to witness gay men taking care of their sick and dying partners, and all of the commitment, care and love that came with it. “That’s when I think we saw the desire to legally marry take root,” she says, “and where we’ve seen an increase in that kind of activism for individual rights, I personally see less

Foreman adds, “They take full advantage of the community and their responsibility ends when they leave their club. You see it, very honestly.” But, recently, access to local clubs has grown. Earlier this fall, Charlotte gay nightlife magazine Pocket Rocket, RAIN and the Mecklenburg County Department of Health partnered to begin providing free condoms. Their trademark “Protect Your Rocket Project” fishbowls are now in every gay bar, save one which already has a relationship with county health officials. But, condoms and lube alone won’t prevent future infection rate increases. Messages like “use a condom” and “get tested” have been used for more than three decades. Those messages work for some, but not for all. So, at PowerHouse Project, staff are taking unique approaches to prevention. There, Behavior Intervention Specialist Jermaine Nakia Lee focuses on his clients as whole people. “We’re convinced that prevention is about more than just using condom. There are a lot of social [factors] and self-esteem issues,” Lee says. “If people don’t have money, they might do some stuff to get money. If people don’t have a place to live, they might do some stuff to find a place to live.” Donovan Brown, 29, is also a core group member — Todd Heywood at PowerHouse Project. Though he is HIV-negative, he says PowerHouse has provided him the affirming space he needed to learn more about all the prevention methods no service organizations have closed, and certainly we’ve seen that one else ever taught him. And, he’s appreciative of the focus here in our own community,” Warren says. “We’re working with a on whole health the project provides. It’s a focus he says more much more limited organizational base across our whole state.” established LGBT leaders don’t have. Roberto Olmo, RAIN’s bilingual program manager, says the “In the LGBT community, it’s often thought of as the only larger LGBT community can step up and take on programs that thing we can catch is HIV,” Brown says, “[but,] there are a lot of complement the direct care AIDS service organizations provide. mental health issues that go on with the LGBT community. That’s “The biggest thing about HIV is not the disease itself, it’s the biggest thing to me. A lot of people in the LGBT community about the stigma associated with it,” he says. have been damaged before HIV, just by growing up.” Other LGBT groups, and even gay business owners, could help The work of groups like PowerHouse Project are meeting with increased awareness campaigns to reduce stigma and fear. a specific need, particularly among high-risk communities like “We have had difficulty compared to other major cities that black and Latino MSM. It’s work that national HIV advocates I’ve been in being allowed to enter where the young MSM are — want to see expanded into the general LGBT community. the nightclubs,” Olmo says. “A lot of clubs feel that we’d be kill“I think any LGBT organization should see HIV as one of its ing their vibe if we came in and don’t want us in there distributing top priority missions,” says Todd Heywood, a Michigan-based education on HIV/STD prevention and handing out condoms.” journalist and expert on HIV health, social and criminal justice It’s in those environments, White says, where young MSM issues. “When half of our community is getting infected or facing — already at a higher risk for substance abuse — may face drug and alcohol use, which all the more contributes to increased see next page u chances of risky behavior. activism in terms of HIV/AIDS.” AIDS service organizations are struggling with yearly uncertainty over funding, Warren says. Though groups like RAIN provide important services, they can’t also be the only resource. “[It’s] a climate where we see so many HIV-positive youth and young adults coming forward who need broad-based support, not just the limited support of AIDS service organizations,” she says. “We need the broad-based support of activism, not only to keep these programs funded, but also advocating with our state and federal legislators.” On the state level, North Carolinians have in recent years come together to place higher priorities on advocacy. Warren cites groups like the North Carolina AIDS Action Network, but says the HIV/AIDS advocacy community can’t carry the torch alone. “AIDS service organizations have taken extraordinary hits through the recession and across the country a number of AIDS

❝ I think any LGBT organization should see HIV as one of its top priority missions ❞



Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013

infection, we have a responsibility to stand up.” Heywood says community groups, like PowerHouse Project already has, need to begin tackling HIV openly and quit treating the virus, people living with it and sexuality like a “dirty little secret.” “I think that to be able to keep HIV on the forefront, you have to have everybody at the table and you think outside of the box,” says RAIN’s White. HIV and prevention, advocates agree, must be a high-profile topic in the U.S. again. As it did during the early days of the AIDS Crisis, the LGBT community has the power to shape public opinion and advocacy. And, White says, all people should be accountable. “I think that everybody needs to stand up and take more responsibility,” she says. “Just

because the gay community is the hardest hit, does that mean they’re the only ones who can do something about it? No. Should they be at the table and doing something about it? Absolutely. Everybody needs to be at the table and everybody needs to have buy-in.” The time to act, they say, is now. “I think we are at a pivotal point right now in this whole discussion,” says Foreman. “If we do nothing, something bad is going to happen and we’re going to see a whole generation of people living with this disease for 60 or 70 years, unnecessarily because we can do something about it.” : : more: Read more thoughts from local and national advocates in our special, online-only World AIDS Day coverage at lifepoz2013/.

Statistically Speaking • Worldwide, more than 35 million people now live with HIV/AIDS — 3.3 million of them are under the age of 15. • Every day nearly 6,300 people contract HIV — nearly 262 every hour. • In 2012, 1.6 million people died from AIDS. • Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 75 million people have contracted HIV and nearly 36 million have died of HIV-related causes. • In the U.S., about 1.1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS; 1.7 million Americans have been infected with HIV and more than 650,000 have died of AIDS. • An estimated 50,000 new HIV infections occur in the U.S. each year. • In the U.S., men who have sex with men (MSM) account for the majority of new HIV/ AIDS diagnoses. • In North Carolina, new HIV infections among MSM have risen each year in recent years. In

2008, 53 percent of all new HIV infections were among MSM. That rose to 54 percent in 2009, 56 percent in 2010 and 59 percent in 2011. • In 2012, MSM accounted for 64 percent of new HIV infections in North Carolina. • Mecklenburg County accounts for the highest new HIV infection rates in North Carolina. • Young African-American MSM are at the highest risk of new HIV infections. • Projections on HIV infection rates show that as much as 10 percent of current collegeaged MSM are HIV-positive. In 30 years, as much as half of these men may be HIVpositive. • In 2010 in the U.S., 31 percent of all new infections occurred among people aged 25–34, followed by individuals aged 13–24 at 26 percent. — Some data compiled by and reprinted from The Charlotte Observer. qnotes is a member of The Observer’s Charlotte News Alliance. Matt Comer contributed.

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013



life, positively The battle against HIV/AIDS isn’t done Special Commentary: The global view on HIV/AIDS by Fannie Flono :: Once upon a time, when AIDS was a certain and not-too-distant death sentence, headlines screeched about the loss of life and the efforts to end the scourge. You don’t read or hear much these days about that doom and gloom or the ongoing work to fight the disease. That’s largely because of good news: There has been great success on the HIV/ AIDS battlefront. Where deaths were once so commonplace that a diagnosis had victims making funeral arrangements and getting their wills in order, the emergence of effective anti-retroviral drugs has made HIV infection a treatable chronic disease. And, crucially, the establishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2002 — with key support from the United States during President George W. Bush’s administration — has made the worldwide fight against AIDS (and the other daunting diseases) a winnable one. In sub-Saharan Africa, where about two-



thirds (25 million) of all people with HIV live, more than 3.2 million are now receiving treatment with anti-retroviral drugs. In 2002, that number was only 50,000. Millions of lives have been saved worldwide. Now, with a Global Fund donor conference set to take place in Washington, D.C., next month, organizers are making an urgent plea for continued commitment. They say with a pledge of funding at current levels there is the potential to eliminate HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in the next generation. There is ample reason for such optimism. Through treatment, research (in which North Carolina is playing a prominent role) and data pinpointing the hotspots for risks, these diseases are being vigorously and effectively battered. With Global Fund support, the costs of drugs to treat HIV/AIDS has dropped dramatically over the last decade from $10,000 per year to less than $200. As a result, 5.3 million

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013

people worldwide are receiving the life-saving anti-retroviral drugs and the incidence of AIDS has dropped by more than 50 percent. The Global Fund’s impact on TB and malaria is also noteworthy. The fund has increased the percent of households in Africa with antimalaria bed nets from just 3 percent in 2000 to 53 percent today, leading to 50 percent fewer malaria cases and 33 percent fewer deaths in the past decade. The fund also has helped detect and treat 11 million cases of TB and is credited with a more than 40 percent drop in TB deaths in recent years. People like Zambia’s Luwiza Makukula are alive because of those efforts and give heartrending testimony on the Global Fund’s behalf. “I was on death row,” Makukula, who is living with AIDS, told me on a visit to Charlotte Tuesday. “I was sick. I was in a wheelchair. I was hospitalized. I had loss of memory. I could not do anything. It was that bad. You know, it

was a situation where my family did not have the resources for me to get treatment. If it was not for the Global Fund, I would not be here now. They gave me the will to live. Here I am now. I can see my children grow up and I am a grandmother of two.” Makukula, who now works for the Community Initiative for Tuberculosis, HIV/ AIDS and Malaria in Zambia, said it was the free access to treatment that the Global Fund provided in Zambia that made the difference. “With support from the Global Fund, I was able to access free treatment. Before that support, we lost a lot of lives because people could not afford the drugs. I was one of the lucky ones. I survived through those unfortunate times.” What has also made a difference is early treatment and North Carolina has had a huge role in making that an international protocol.

see Battle on 25

On HIV, it’s time for the gay community to ACT UP again Special Commentary by Matt Comer :: HIV is a gay disease – that’s what former National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman said in his “State of the Movement” address at his organization’s 2008 conference in Detroit. “We cannot deny this is a gay disease,” Foreman said of the American HIV epidemic. “We have to own up to it.” Foreman’s assertion wasn’t merely rhetorical. He used facts and numbers to back it up. Then, even as now, the majority of all new U.S. HIV infections are among men who have sex with men (MSM). Then, even as now, the majority of all people living with HIV or AIDS in the U.S. are MSM. As you can imagine, Foreman’s words caused an eruption of controversy. Leaders with anti-gay groups like the American Family Association and Concerned Women for America used Foreman’s remarks to paint all LGBT people as sick and unclean. And, because of that, fury raged even inside the LGBT community. Some wondered if Foreman’s assertion might hamper continued HIV prevention efforts and partnerships among non-gay communities or damage the movement for LGBT equality. But, what Foreman saw in 2008 is what many people continue to fail to see now: HIV in the U.S. is and will likely remain a disease that primarily affects men who have sex with men. At the Task Force conference five years later in 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new numbers and projections. Currently, MSM are 40 times more likely to be HIV-positive than are heterosexuals; only 1 in 50 high-risk heterosexuals are HIV-

positive. Compare that to the gay and transgender community, where one in three black MSM, one in five Latino MSM, one in six white MSM and anywhere between 10-30 percent of transgender people are HIV-positive. And, the epidemic is nowhere near its end. In fact, it’s only getting worse. Currently, the CDC estimates that as much as 10 percent of current college-aged gay, bisexual and MSM men are HIV-positive. In 30 years, when these men are in their 50s, half of their peers will be HIV-positive, if current infection rate trends continue unchanged. For black MSM, 70 percent of their peers will be HIV-positive. So, in much the same way we associate breast cancer with women, we must begin to face the stark reality of HIV and its current and future impact on MSM. This is a reality I do not believe most LGBT people, their community leadership or the government are willing or able yet to recognize. LGBT people, rightly so and myself included, often feel that we have been given the short end of the stick. We are often left to deal with our own issues in solitude and without the proper support which might actually enable us to live healthier lives. We are at higher risk of suicide, joblessness, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco use and more. In many places, including Charlotte, there are not enough resources to fully address the need. When and where the bulk of our recognized community leadership could make a difference, they rarely do, with their attention too often pulled away to more “sexy”

advocacy issues. I place most of that blame on corporate gay rights activists and organizations. In their quest to be “just like straight people” and normalize our community, established gay leadership has tossed out a rich, deep history and culture of gay male sexuality and intimacy. These activists picked up on the organizing power and public awareness built by legendary ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) activists and nearly immediately began to whitewash the LGBT and queer community. For at least the past two decades, these established gay leaders — mostly white, mostly male and mostly wealthy — have worked to make our lives palpable for acceptance by a heterosexual society — the same society which ignored our community when AIDS first began to ravage it, literally killing off nearly an entire generation of gay men. These “weare-just-like-you” campaigns have effectively neutered our abilities to adequately discuss and engage on issues like sexuality and HIV. Instead of addressing the reality of gay sex and sexual culture, these advocates have chosen to portray a near Victorian Era-esque image of monogamous, marriage-worthy gay couples as the gay norm that completely and utterly silences and shames people in our community who do not fit that ideal. Here we stand today at the defining moment of gay male sexual identity and culture. Will our leaders embrace the fact that, yes, we have sex and often quite a lot of it, or will we become good gays who slut-shame our peers and smile pretty for a gay marriage news story, all while our leaders eagerly

clamor to step inside the four walls of a strict, heterosexist box of sexuality that has both defined us against our will and oppressed us for centuries? I do not deny the very real complexities in these issues. LGBT people and those living with HIV continue to face stigma that can result in daily discrimination. Racism, even within the LGBT community, also prevents us from seeing the full picture of today’s HIV epidemic. Government remains unable to adequately intervene and create solutions, as AIDS service groups see significant cuts year after year and local and state governments and school systems keep LGBT and queer young people uneducated about their own sexual health and well being. If we expect to make a difference, we have to begin fighting the same way ACT UP fought in the 1980s and 1990s. We have to be united. AIDS service organizations cannot carry the torch alone. Other community organizations and leaders have to speak out, making health, sexual and otherwise, as much a priority as anti-discrimination laws. Can you imagine what kind of impact we might have on LGBT health, if we spent even half as much time, energy and money on that as we do gay marriage campaigns? HIV today isn’t a death sentence. For that, I am thankful. I cannot possibly fathom living through the absolute, unimaginable horror that I have heard my older gay friends recount from their and their friends’ lives in the 1980s. Today, HIV drugs are, thankfully,

see Time on 25

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013



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” in the past, Rosedale wants to bring back this opportunity to offer our readers information about infectious disease, from basic questions to in-depth explanations. 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! Send your questions to info@ Dr. C looks forward to responding to as many emails as possible. Because of a growing number of questions about Hepatitis, Dr.C would like to dedicate this edition of “Ask Dr.C” to addressing those questions specifically. I heard that there are different types of Hepatitis. How many are there and what is the difference between them? — Mark from Charlotte



Hepatitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver. Viral hepatitis refers to several common diseases caused by viruses that can lead to swelling and tenderness of the liver. The most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Hepatitis B and C can lead to serious, permanent liver damage. Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) is contracted by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with human feces. It commonly spread through poor personal hygiene habits, such as not washing hands after a bowel movement. Acute Hepatitis A usually resolves itself within 6 months and does not develop into a chronic disease. Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) may be found in blood and can be spread through contact with contaminated blood or blood products. You can contract Hepatitis B by sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected person. Hepatitis B is also spread through certain body fluids of an infected person, such as semen and vaginal secretions, and can be spread by having sex with someone who has the disease. Hepatitis B has caused chronic infection in more than 1 million people in the United States. Hepatitis B can be serious and even fatal, causing illnesses such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) can be transmitted through contact with contaminated blood or sex with an infected person. Less commonly, Hepatitis C is spread by household contact. People who

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inject illegal drugs are most likely to get this disease. Another common route of transmission is un-sanitized tattoo procedures. Hepatitis C can cause chronic disease and it is a major cause of liver cancer worldwide. What are the symptoms of Hepatitis infection? How is it diagnosed and treated? — Wendy from Mount Holly Many people with Viral Hepatitis do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. Even though a person has no symptoms, the virus can still be detected in the blood. Symptoms, if they do appear, are similar for all types of Hepatitis. If symptoms occur with Acute Viral Hepatitis, they usually appear within several weeks to several months of exposure and can last up to 6 months. Symptoms of Chronic Viral Hepatitis can take up to 30 years to develop. Damage to the liver can silently occur during this time. When symptoms do appear, they often are a sign of advanced liver disease. Symptoms for both Acute and Chronic Viral Hepatitis can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey- colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice. Doctors diagnose Hepatitis using one or more blood tests, depending upon the type of Hepatitis. For people with Acute Viral Hepatitis,

doctors usually recommend rest, adequate nutrition, fluids, and in certain situations, antiviral medication. In some cases, people with Acute Viral Hepatitis are hospitalized. People who have Acute Viral Hepatitis typically feel sick for a few months before they recover. People with Chronic Viral Hepatitis should seek the advice of a doctor experienced in treating Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C and should be monitored on a regular basis. Some may also benefit from antiviral medication. Several treatments are available that can significantly improve health and delay or reverse the effects of liver disease. 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, 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 and friend us on Facebook for community and clinical updates. Don’t forget to visit our website at and friend us on Facebook for community and clinical updates. — Sponsored Content —

life, positively

Founded just this past January, new local non-profit Different Roads Home is already making a difference in the lives of those with HIV and others battling cancer and children with chronic illnesses. The group, a presenting sponsor of this year’s “Life, Positively,” is the brainchild of Dale Pierce, a former full time staffer at Rosedale Infectious Diseases. Pierce, who is himself HIV-positive, says he saw the need for a new organization that offered personal support and mentorship. Unlike other local groups that may provide direct medical care or case management, Different Roads Home offers less clinical services. The group boasts a diverse line-up of support groups, including one for HIV-positive women, one for HIV-positive men and a third open to all HIV-positive people, as well as their friends, family and allies. The groups meet at either Different Roads Home’s office in Huntersville or at their partner location in Charlotte. Additionally, occasional events like movie nights, bowling and charity

events are planned to provide additional social outlets. The group’s mentoring project, The Good Road Project, aims to provide the education, compassion and support those living with chronic illnesses. An individual mentor is assigned to a person who has recently received a positive diagnosis and is having difficulty coping with illness or struggling with treatment. The group’s Jeanne White-Ginder Food Pantry, named in the honor of Ryan White’s mother, assists those living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses with access to food during emergency situations. The pantry provides gift cards to local supermarkets. Additionally, the group has also established the Ryan White Memorial Scholarship fund to assist students with their education. The group also connects community members to HIV testing sites and other resource referrals. To learn more about Different Roads Home, visit or call 704-237-8793. : :

Founded in October 2006, Rosedale Infectious Diseases, a sponsor this year for “Life, Positively,” is one of the Charlotte area’s few private medical firms with staff working specifically to care for those living with HIV/AIDS. The firm, led by Dr. Frederick Cruickshank says it “prides itself in the most personal and up to date advances in medical care.” The firm provides basic medical care with a focus on HIV-positive patients’ needs. Cruickshank and team are able to work with clients to determine the best course of treatment and keep tabs on how well treatment is progressing. Additionally, clients are able to take advantage of Rosedale’s onsite pharmacy, providing a level of integration between clients’ primary care and their medicinal needs. Clients can also take advantage of a higher level of confidentiality and safety they may not feel when visiting public pharmacies. Medicines are ordered at Rosedale and shipped directly to clients’ homes. In order to provide the best and most advanced HIV treatment, Rosedale partici-

pates in a variety of clinical trial programs for new medications or new therapy combinations. Patients have the opportunity to enroll in treatment studies, many of which offer free medications and helps pay co-pays for doctor’s visits and laboratory testing. Per their specialty, Rosedale also receives some federal Ryan White funds to provide ambulatory medical care. Patients who meet the federally-regulated expenses can apply for admission to the program, enabling Rosedale to cover the expenses of HIV care, including medical visits, co-pays and laboratory services. Additionally, Rosedale Infectious Disease’s staff members are proud contributors to the community. The firm often sponsors a variety of community events and charities. The firm participates in the annual Regional AIDS Interfaith Network’s AIDS Walk Charlotte and has sponsored the Charlotte Human Rights Campaign Gala, the GayCharlotte Film Festival and other events and organizations. To learn more about Rosedale Infectious Diseases, visit or call 704-948-8582.

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013




AIDS Service Organizations in North Carolina compiled by QNotes staff North Carolina has a variety of community organizations, resources and services for those living with HIV/AIDS or those seeking to get involved in HIV/AIDS prevention, education and advocacy.

Statewide NC AIDS Action Network The North Carolina AIDS Action Network is a statewide advocacy organization fighting for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, their loved ones and those at risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS in North Carolina. NC Harm Reduction Network The North Carolina Harm Reduction Network is a statewide grassroots advocacy, resource development and coalition building organization that provides direct services for a variety of issues, including drug use, sex work, immigration issues, genders, sexually-transmitted diseases and HIV. Planned Parenthod Various locations findCenter.asp Planned Parenthood’s various locations across the state provide safer sex education and information and HIV testing.

Charlotte Area Carolinas CARE Partnership (formerly Regional HIV/AIDS Consortium) 7510 E. Independence Blvd., Suite 105 Charlotte, NC 28227 704-531-2467 Carolinas CARE Partnership provides free HIV/



STD testing and counseling, housing assistance, peer training, case management and other services, prevention and education. Carolinas CARE Partnership also houses the popular D-UP program, a peer education outreach effort among young men of color who have sex with men. Different Roads Home 15905 Brookway Dr., Suite 4203 Huntersville, NC 28078 704-237-8793 Different Roads Home is a non-profit organization serving individuals with HIV/AIDS, cancer and children’s chronic illnesses. Services include support and social programs, a food pantry, testing initiatives and more. House of Mercy 701 Mercy Dr. Belmont, NC 28012 704-825-4711 House of Mercy provides end-of-life nursing, housing and medical care for persons living with advanced AIDS. Services include physical therapy and medication assistance. Mecklenburg County Department of Health 704-432-TEST (8378) HealthDepartment/CommunityHealthServices/ Pages/HIVSTDServices.aspx Provides testing, case management, awareness, education and other services at various locations, events and times throughout the county and year. The Power House Project 1416 Beatties Ford Rd. Charlotte, NC 28216 704-334-6076 The Power House Project is a drop-in center

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and safe space for Black and Latino gay or bisexual men or men who have sex with men. The group offers a computer lab, weekly empowerment programs and workshops, retreats for men over 25 years old, social events, monthly discussion groups for men 18-29 years old and free and confidential HIV testing, which is always available during hours of operation. The Power House Project is a program of Quality Home Care Services. Quality Home Care Services 3552 Beatties Ford Rd. Charlotte, NC 28216 704-394-8968 Quality Home Care Services provides a variety of services for those living with HIV including case management, HIV/AIDS prevention programs and testing, substance abuse treatment, communitybased rehabilitation services for those with mental development disabilities and other services. Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) P.O. Box 37190 Charlotte, NC 28237-7190 704-372-7246 RAIN (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network), founded in 1992, engages the community to transform lives and promote respect and dignity for all people touched by HIV through compassionate care, education and leadership development. Services include CARE Management, Peer2Peer support and outreach, support groups for youth, faith-based training, chaplain services and caring volunteers who provide practical support to persons living with HIV and AIDS. RAIN also provides HIV awareness and prevention education programs to thousands of people each year and is the only HIV non-profit in the Charlotte metropolitan area providing direct client services.

Rosedale Infectious Diseases 103 Commerce Centre Dr. Huntersville, NC 28078 704-948-8582 Rosedale Infectious Diseases is a full-service HIV/infectious diseases clinic that offers a variety of medical services. Staff, under the direction of Dr. Frederick Cruickshank, work closely with medical case management organizations.

Greenville PiCASO (Pitt County AIDS Service Organization) 1530 S. Evans St., Suite 106 Greenville, NC 77834 252-830-1660 Starting as a grassroots organization focused on supporting those living with HIV/AIDS, providing buddy programs, nutritional support and healthcare advocacy, the agency changed over the years to a case-management-focused agency working with long-term client support. Currently, the group provides HIV testing, education and advocacy and emergency funding for those living with HIV/AIDS.

Triad AIDS Care Service 206 N. Spruce St. Winston Salem, NC 27101-2747 336-777-0116 AIDS Care Service provides housing, food pantry services, client services, Ryan White HIV case management and a variety of support services for Latino and people of color clients.

see ASO on 22


Rolling Over:

The Benefits of Consolidating Your Assets by Judson Gee JHG Financial Advisors

If you’ve recently changed jobs — or maybe changed jobs a few times over the years — you may be juggling multiple retirement plan accounts. While it’s certainly acceptable to leave your money in your former employer’s plan (as long as your balance is over $5,000, your old employer can’t cash you out), in many instances it might be a better idea to consolidate your assets. Consolidation can help make administering and allocating your assets much simpler.1 Having your entire retirement portfolio summarized on one statement makes it easier to track performance and make changes. But, before you initiate a rollover, be sure to compare the investment options and the associated fees in your old plan with those in your new plan. • Were you able to properly diversify your assets in your old plan?1 If your investment choices were limited, you probably want to move your old account into your new account. • Are the investment fees higher or lower than those in your current plan? If you were paying more at your old plan, it’s a good reason to move your assets to a plan with lower investment fees. • Are you satisfied with the investment choices and fees charged in your current plan? If you’re not happy with your current plan — and weren’t crazy about your old plan — you can always roll over your old plan assets into an IRA. Initiating a rollover isn’t difficult. First, check your current plan rules to confirm that rollovers are permissible (the vast majority of plans accommodate this feature). Then, contact the administrator of your old plan (you can find this information on your quarterly statement) to get the ball rolling. Some plan providers have a simple online request process, while others require completion of a paper-based rollover form. Your current

plan provider or IRA provider may even furnish a rollover service for you. It’s also important to know the difference between a rollover and a distribution. A rollover allows you to transfer your money from one qualified retirement account to another without incurring any tax consequences. A “qualified” account can be either your new employer’s plan or a rollover IRA. A distribution is essentially a withdrawal from your account. If you request a distribution, the account administrator is required by law to withhold 20% of your account balance to pay federal taxes. State taxes, if applicable, are also due. If you are under age 59½, you will probably be hit with an additional 10% federal tax. If you have specific questions about your retirement plan distribution options, contact your employer’s benefits coordinator or a qualified financial consultant. Follow me on Twitter: @JhgFinancial. Visit me on the Web: Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.


Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications or its sources, neither S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber’s or others’ use of the content. © 2013 S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications. All rights reserved.

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013




Gracious etiquette tips to survive holiday gatherings Replacements, Ltd. etiquette coach provides expert tips Whether you are hosting a fantastic holiday gathering or you’re the gracious guest, ask yourself this question: Are you comfortable with your knowledge of etiquette? Are you confident in your table manners or do you admit you take your cue by watching those around you? “It seems so many people only think about etiquette during the holidays and then the pressure is on to be perfect,” says etiquette coach Dubravka Vujinovic. “But proper manners should be important at every meal, whether you are sitting down to a formal gathering or casual dinner with friends.” Vujinovic is one of the etiquette experts at North Carolina-based Replacements, Ltd., the world’s largest retailer of old and new china, crystal, silver and collectibles. This time of year the company is bombarded with inquiries from those needing a crash course in proper social graces and entertaining. Questions range from how to set the table to the best way to serve the perfect meal. Vujinovic offers these suggestions for your next event.

Break out the buffet Buffets settings are becoming increasingly popular. In this style of setting, the host places the food, dinnerware and utensils on a sideboard or table and guests serve themselves. “I love buffets, because they are so stressfree for me as a hostess,” says Vujinovic. “Since the food is already on the serving table, I don’t have to keep running back and forth to the kitchen to keep bringing out different courses or dishes; I can relax and enjoy the evening. On the other hand, as a guest, I like buffets because this setting allows me to eat the food I want; I don’t feel obligated to have to sample everything that is being passed around the table.” If you’re hosting a seated buffet, water glasses should be filled and on the table before your guests sit down to their meal. Guests should be guided to pick up their dinnerware and place it at their individual setting. Set the perfect table If you opt to set your table in advance or if you’re a buffet guest setting your own place setting, remember, forks go to the left, knives then spoons to the right. The sharp side of the knife blade should be turned toward the dinner plate. And remember, only include utensils in your place setting that will be used for the courses you are serving; extra pieces may confuse your guests. The bread plate goes on the left of the dinner plate, glasses on the right. Don’t panic if you aren’t sure about the proper place setting for each meal. Vujinovic says you can find “cheat sheets” or place setting guides for various meals on the company’s website,, under the site’s “neat things” tab. Tips for hosts and guests Remember, the host/hostess always sits last. That person will let you know when it’s okay to begin eating. They may offer a blessing or statement or perhaps start by passing a dish. Always pass food around the table counter clockwise to your right and refrain from serving yourself first. Pass the salt and pepper as a set, even if you’re only asked for one. If you’re not sure which utensil to use with each course, start on the outside and work in toward the dinner plate. Don’t cut more than one or two bites of food at a time and never butter an entire roll or piece of bread. Instead, pinch off pieces small enough for one or two bites and butter those first. If you need to excuse yourself temporarily, place your napkin on your chair to indicate you will be coming back. Signify you’re finished with the meal by placing your napkin to the left of the dinner plate, and your fork and knife side by side diagonally across your plate with the sharp side of the knife blade facing inward and the fork tines up.

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Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013


Etiquette dictates forks go to the left of the dinner plate, knives and spoons to the right.

Turn your cellphone on vibrate or don’t even bring it to the table. Enjoy the company of those around you. And what if you commit a major holiday fumble by accidentally breaking a piece of the host’s dinnerware? “You should certainly offer to replace the broken piece, especially if it has sentimental value for the host or hostess. If you don’t

know the name of the pattern or the manufacturer, Replacements offers a free pattern identification service that is a valuable resource,” says Vujinovic. Still hungry for more tips? You can find additional etiquette dos and don’ts on the company’s YouTube channel at ReplacementsLtd. : : — Courtesy Brandpoint

Goblets and wine glasses go to the right of the plate.

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013



life, positively ASO / continued from page 18 Triad Health Project 801 Summit Ave. Greensboro, NC 27405 336-275-1654 Triad Health Project provides case management and other client support services, HIV testing and prevention outreach, medical, social service and legal referrals, food pantry and nutritional resources and education, support groups and



education, art and exercise programs.

Triangle Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina 324 S. Harrington St. Raleigh, NC 27603 919-834-2437 Alliance of AIDS ServicesCarolina provides case

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013

management, HIV/STD testing and counseling, emergency assistance for rent and utilities, transportation assistance, housing information and referrals, mental health, substance abuse or support group resources, referrals and programs. AIDS Legal Project at Duke School of Law

The AIDS Legal Project provides confidential legal representation to low-income HIV-infected clients with legal problems relating to their diagnosis. Legal assistance is provided by law students under the supervision of attorneys.

the social and human factors that contribute to these health deficits. CAARE seeks to address disparities in health care access, and over the past 17 years has created a community devoted to helping people make all parts of their lives healthier.

CAARE (Case Management of AIDS and Addiction Through Resources and Education) 214 Broadway St., Durham, NC, 27701 919-683-5300 CAARE is a grassroots non-profit organization that promotes a holistic and community approach to health. CAARE provide a wide variety of services that help treat not only the medical roots of chronic diseases, but also

Western ALFA 1120 Fairgrove Church Rd. SE, Suite 28 Hickory, NC 28602 828-322-1447 ALFA, formerly known as AIDS Leadership Foothills Area-Alliance, has provided supportive services to those infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS since 1987. ALFA currently provides supportive and medical case manage-

ment, prevention education, and outreach to an eight county service area. ALFA’s service area consists of Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Watauga, and Wilkes counties. WNCAP (Western North Carolina AIDS Project) 554 Fairview Rd., Asheville, NC 28802 828-252-7489 Established in 1986, WNCAP provides case management, prevention and education programs, outreach, HIV testing and other services throughout Western North Carolina. In addition to its main office in Asheville, the group also has offices and a presence in Hendersonville, Shelby and Sylva.

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013



tell trinity by Trinity :: qnotes contributor ::

Trusting your boyfriend’s secrets Dear Trinity, My boyfriend of several months insists on staying at my place. I don’t mind, but he refuses to let me see his home, claiming the family he lives with are total slobs. I respect his wishes, but I have a difficult time trusting someone so secretive. Am I being obsessive or scammed? Secrets, Pasadena, CA Dear Secrets, If you have to, insist on seeing where he

lives! It’s been a few months, you’re allowed! And, if he still refuses, start making mental notes of odd activities and do a little investigating, like visiting his work to make sure he’s for real. Everyone has secrets, honey, especially adults. Don’t get too obsessive, but do follow your intuition with a bit of investigating! Good luck. Hello Trinity, I’ve been dating a few guys at once. There’s nothing wrong with it, is there? Powerdating, Hoboken, NJ Hello Powerdating, “Powerdating” — dating many people at once— is as smart as shopping for the best-priced diamond. There’s not only nothing wrong with it, sweetie, but I say, “You go girl/boy! Knowing how to date is way smarter than not dating or dating one loser at a time! (I might have done this once or twice (or more!) in my lifetime. Check out the cartoon to see how.) Hey Trinity, I went to the bar and met the greatest guy who charmed me for hours. He gave me his number and insisted on talking in a couple



Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013

days. Great, right? Well I’ve called three times in a week and nothing. Is it me, him, the bar or just bad Karma? Bar Karma, Ft Lauderdale, FL Hey Bar Karma, Yes it’s you, him, the bar and just bad karma. I know you want one right answer, but it’s many answers. Remember the four rules for meeting someone at the bar: 1) bar dates are rarely taken serious, 2) after the drinks wear off he/ she may not remember you, 3) bar flies love to charm and sting and, lastly, yes, baby, 4) sometimes the stars are just not in your favor! PS. Are you sure you have his right number? Better luck next time. Dearest Trinity, I vowed never to date a smoker again, but how do I do it this time without sounding like a certified complainer? Nonsmoker’s Hell, Columbus, OH Dearest Nonsmoker’s Hell, Nonsmokers who date smokers eventually end up certified complainers. That’s why, pumpkin, you must start this relationship sharing: Trinity’s “Never To Do” Tips For Dating A Nonsmoker   1. Never smoke in the house. The smell of smoke and lack of oxygen are as torturous to a nonsmoker as being eaten by an alligator, slowly.   2. Never smoke in the car, even if it’s a convertible. Nothing’s worse than a romantic wind


blowing through your hair while gasping for air.   3. Never smoke in a restaurant ,because you’ll both have to sit in the smoking (to death) section, plus smoke, ashtrays and food are a gross combination.   4. Never let it sit in the ashtray. Even if someone says, “It doesn’t bother me” It does! Keep the ashtray far away, hold it and blow it far away as well.   5. N  ever assume your breath is OK. If you smoke, it stinks, period. After every cigarette swallow a mint and wash your smelly hands.   6. Never just brush your teeth. After every cigarette (if you’re home) brush your teeth, tongue and upper palate.   7. N  ever assume three’s company and two’s a crowd. Bringing a cigarette on a date is like bringing a third person along!   8. Never let the outdoors fool you. Smoke is attracted to nonsmokers. So, smoke far away from them. (Trick: incense disguises smoke.)   9. Never assume only smokers get moody. Just like smokers get moody when they can’t smoke, nonsmokers can get moody when they can’t breathe. 10. Lastly, never take a nonsmoker to a smoking party without a nonsmoking area. Being trapped in a group of smokers is no different than being trapped… in hell. : : info: With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity hosted “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama performed globally, and is now minister of sponsor, WIG: Wild Inspirational Gatherings, Learn more at

life, positively Battle rages on

Time to ACT UP

continued from page 14

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Notes Ken Patterson, of the national anti-poverty group RESULTS, research conducted by Dr. Myron Cohen and his colleagues at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine has “proved essentially that treatment of HIV (with anti-retroviral drugs) is also prevention of HIV. When you put someone on treatment before they’re sick you can reduce transmission of that disease by 90 percent. Research coming out of North Carolina is really driving international standards for treatment.� But, continued treatment and thus prevention efforts depend on continued financial support. The Global Fund is seeking $15 billion worldwide to support even more ambitious and aggressive strategies to combat these diseases with the goal of saving 10 million lives. We in the United States should take no comfort that most of the ravages from these diseases happen in other parts of the world. Not only are HIV/AIDS diagnoses continuing here, but we face real risks from tuberculosis. Resistant strains of TB keep cropping up and deaths do

happen. A young Las Vegas mother and her infant daughter died just this summer from TB. Without constant research and vigilance, a pandemic is possible. Organizers of the December Global Fund meeting are making a particular push for the United States to continue its commitment and pledge $5 billion over the next three years. That would amount to one-third of the Global Fund’s request. This effort has bipartisan congressional support. Both the Senate and House have put $1.56 billion in budgets for 2014. The Obama administration should have no qualms with pledging its support. The U.S. has been a leader over the last decade in tackling these diseases. Now, when science and treatments are putting us at the precipice of eradicating these scourges, the world can’t afford for the U.S. to step back. : : — Originally published by The Charlotte Observer on Nov. 7. Reprinted with permission. qnotes is a member of The Observer’s Charlotte News Alliance.

keeping my friends and peers alive. But, HIV is still no laughing matter and living with HIV is no walk in the park. No, it is not as simple as “just taking a pill.� The drugs are expensive and have significant side effects; we do not yet know all of the long-term effects associated with their use. Medical and legal bureaucracies are intimidating. Stigma and discrimination against those living with HIV are still astoundingly rampant, even among our own community. In 30 years, I will be 57 years old. If projections hold true, as many as half of my peers just a few years younger than me will be HIV-positive. Our government and our community leadership is not prepared for the new health crisis coming our way. So, individually and collectively, we have to begin making health and access to health care a top priority again, just like we did during the early days of the AIDS Crisis. The in-your-face passion of early AIDS Crisis activist groups drastically changed the way society viewed and responded to HIV. In the decades since, we’ve lost our vision. But, now it is time for the gay community to ACT UP again. : :

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Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013





NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2013 To see more upcoming events, visit Submit your event at

Barn Dance Hartigan’s Irish Pub, Charlotte 601 S. Cedar St. 9 p.m. Southern Country Charlotte hosts its monthly barn dance. Free/SCC members. $5/non-members.

Center Town Hall SEP DEC LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, Charlotte 2508 N. Davidson St. 7 p.m. The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte will host a town hall meeting for community members to share observations, concerns SEP NOV A Walk in My Shoes and voice their opinions. The Biddle Hall Auditorium, Evening of Hope and SEP NOV meeting has no Charlotte Inspiration Johnson C. Smith University agenda and all Christy Sutherland, community mem100 Beatties Ford Rd. Jason Crabb, bers are invited PowerHouse Project presents “A Jeannie White-Ginder to attend and Walk in My Shoes,” a musical about McGlohon Theater, Charlotte participate. American youth living with HIV/AIDS. 345 N. Tryon St. Written by Jermaine Nakia Lee and di- 7-9 p.m. rected and choreographed by LaTanya Grammy award-winning Southern Johnson. Admission is free. Not suitable gospel singer Jason Crabb headlines for audiences under 13. Performances SEP DEC Naughty & Nice Unitarian Universalist the 4th Annual Evening of Hope and Nov. 29-30, 7 p.m., and Dec. 1, 3 p.m. Church of Charlotte, Inspiration to benefit the Jeanne White- Charlotte Ginder Food Pantry at Different Roads 234 N. Sharon Amity Rd. Home, a Charlotte area non-profit serving the needs of individuals living Kitty Cabaret SEP NOV with chronic illness. Award winning Petra’s, Charlotte Christian singer/songwriter Christy 1919 Commonwealth Ave. Sutherland also performs. Additionally, 7-9:30 p.m. Jeanne White-Ginder will be featured A fundraising show with as a guest speaker and the Hope and proceeds benefiting Charlotte-area Inspiration Awards will be presented to animal care organization Cabarrus One Voice Chorus is making its list and local advocates. $20-$50. CARES. Performances by She N She checking it twice to make everything and Nathan Angelo. Catered appetizers perfect for this year’s holiday conand drinks. $20. For more information cert. As the name implies, you can call Cabarrus CARES Kitty City project at expect both traditional and not-soSEP NOV GetEQUAL Protest 704-907-5988. traditional Christmas fare at this event. St. Matthew Performances on Dec. 6 and 7, 7:30 p.m. Catholic Church, Charlotte and Dec. 6, 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 in 8015 Ballantyne advance and $25 at the door for evening Commons Pkwy. SEP DEC Voices Project performances and $15 advance, $20 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, at the door and $5 for youth under 18 The North Carolina chapter of Charlotte for the Dec. 6, 2 p.m. performance. GetEQUAL stages a peaceful protest 650 E. Stonewall St. Purchase tickets online. of Charlotte’s St. Matthew Catholic 6 p.m. Church. Read more about the event in The Regional AIDS Interfaith Network our news notes section at and the Mecklenburg County Department of Health holds their annual Winter Comes Anew SEP DEC Voices Project, presented by Wells Greensboro Day School, Fargo. Stories are shared from those Charlotte living with HIV and remembering those 5401 Lawndale Dr., TOY Open House SEP NOV that have passed, paving the road we Greensboro Time Out Youth Center currently walk along. With one voice 8 p.m. 2320 N. Davidson St., it might be hard to hear but when we Triad Pride Men’s Chorus hosts their Charlotte come together as a community those annual holiday concert with new artistic 6-7:30 p.m. voices become louder and stronger. director William Southerland. Time Out Youth’s board of directors Donations accepted. $15/advance. $20/door. invites donors, volunteers and commu- nity members to a reception and open house celebrating their new space. Nov. 27-Dec. 5 Happy Chanukah! Free. Enjoy the Festival of Lights with your friends and family. Eat some latkes and light the Menorah. Spin the driedel and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!




Sidelines Thanksgiving SEP NOV Sidelines Sports Bar, Charlotte 4544 South Blvd. 4-6 p.m. Bring your favorite dish or just come to hang out with friends!








Submit your event to our calendar! qnotes

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013

Winter Concert Temple Beth El 5101 Providence Rd., Charlotte 3 p.m. Charlotte Pride Band and its small ensembles present a special and free holiday concert. –––––––––––––––––––– Dec. 15 Benefit Party LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, Charlotte 2508 N. Davidson St. 6 p.m. Holly JEvents presents a special jazz and neo-soul concert benefiting the children and family of Antionette Baker. The holidaythemed concert will include Indigo Blu, The Bakers 6 (Baker’s children), Tanya Ross, Anwan Edge and hostess Monica Rae Simpson. Complimentary food and drinks. $20 advance tickets online. Free admission for children under 16.


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Twirl to the World SEP DEC Location TBA, Charlotte Just Twirl hosts its annual holiday dance charity party. Location and benefiting charity will be announced soon.

–––––––––––––––––––– Dec. 14 Winter Comes Anew Hanesbrands Theatre, Winston-Salem Milton Rhodes Arts Center 209 N. Spruce St., Winston-Salem 8 p.m. Triad Pride Men’s Chorus hosts a second performance of it annual holiday concert with new artistic director William Southerland. $15/advance. $20/door.

Recurring Charlotte Events: PRISM Young Adults: Weekly discussion held each Monday, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. For young adults ages 18-25. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Men’s Yoga: Weekly yoga sessions for men hosted by certified instructor. Each Monday, 7:30-8:30 p.m. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Time Out Youth: Weekly support and discussion groups, Tuesday-Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monthly group for youth ages 11-14. MeckPAC: Monthly meeting of local LGBT political action committee. First Tuesdays of each month, 6:30-8 p.m. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. StillOut Photography: Local LGBT photography club. Meets monthly on fourth Tuesdays, 7-8:30 p.m. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Friends Indeed: Men’s depression support group. Every other Tuesday, 6:30-8 p.m. LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Weekly HIV & Syphilis Testing: Hosted at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte each Wednesday, 5-7 p.m. HIV Support Group: Open support group for men and women who are HIV-positive. Hosted second Wednesdays of each month, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Different Roads Home. LGBTQ Adult Education and Discussion Group: Weekly on Thursdays, a safe place for LGBTQ adults to meet and discuss important issues and topics. Hosted at LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Each Thursday, 6-8 p.m. PFLAG Charlotte: Monthly support group meeting. Second Thursday of each month, 7 p.m., Christ Episcopal Church. Tradesmen: Monthly social meeting first Saturday of each month. 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. The Woodshed Lounge. Have a recurring weekly or monthly event, social, support or discussion group? Let us know. Submit your event at our online calendar at

You can submit your event to our comprehensive community calendar presented by qnotes, the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte and Visit Gay Charlotte. Submit your event at and get a three-for-one entry. All Charlotte-area events will appear on each of the three calendars at qnotes (goqnotes. com), the LGBT Center ( and Visit Gay Charlotte (

life, positively World AIDS Day events Nov. 23 Evening of Hope and Inspiration Christy Sutherland, Jason Crabb, Jeannie White-Ginder McGlohon Theater 345 N. Tryon St., Charlotte 7-9 p.m. Grammy award-winning Southern gospel singer Jason Crabb headlines the 4th Annual Evening of Hope and Inspiration to benefit the Jeanne White-Ginder Food Pantry at Different Roads Home, a Charlotte area non-profit serving the needs of individuals living with chronic illness. Award winning Christian singer/ songwriter Christy Sutherland also performs. Additionally, Jeanne White-Ginder will be featured as a guest speaker and the Hope and Inspiration Awards will be presented to local advocates. $20-$50. Nov. 25-Dec. 2 The Quilt: Tapestry of Lives Renaissance Asheville Hotel 31 Woodfin St., Asheville 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; Closed Thanksgiving Day A special World AIDS Day exhibit of the AIDS Memorial Quilt presented by the Western North Carolina AIDS Project. A candlelight vigil will be held on Dec. 1, 7-9 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 1 A Walk in My Shoes Biddle Hall Auditorium Johnson C. Smith University 100 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte PowerHouse Project presents “A Walk in My Shoes,” a musical about American youth living with HIV/AIDS. Written by Jermaine Nakia Lee and directed and choreographed by LaTanya Johnson. Admission is free. Not suitable for audiences under 13. Performances Nov. 29-30, 7 p.m., and Dec. 1, 3 p.m. Dec. 1 Voices Project Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte 650 E. Stonewall St., Charlotte 6 p.m. The Regional AIDS Interfaith Network and the Mecklenburg County Department of Health hold their annual Voices Project, presented by Wells Fargo. Stories are shared from those living with HIV and remembering those that have passed, paving the road along which one currently walks. With one voice it might be hard to hear, but when we come together as a community, those voices become louder and stronger. Donations accepted. Dec. 1 World AIDS Day Observance St. Luke’s Missionary Baptist Church 1600 Norris Ave., Charlotte 5 p.m. St. Luke’s Missionary Baptist Church host a special World AIDS Day observance. Bridge of Life Charlotte, Inc., will introduce the Arnie Epps Memorial Scholarship, named

in honor of a Charlotte native whose passion for youth, community and life made a difference in Charlotte and beyond. Bridge of Life Charlotte, Inc.’s purpose is to be a bridge of support to those impacted by HIV/AIDS. This mission is carried out through programs of empowerment, education, support and services offered in a non-judgmental way. For more information, contact Terrence Massey at 704-495-4759 or via email at Dec. 2 World AIDS Day UNC-Charlotte Student Union, Charlotte 9 a.m.-3 p.m. UNCC’s Multicultural Resource Center hosts a World AIDS Day observance. Students will have the opportunity to learn about current rates of infection, ideas about the disease and have the option to get tested themselves. Dec. 3 Getting to Zero Conover Station 409 4th St. SE, Conover ALFA hosts a World AIDS Day event commemorating those lost and celebrating victories in treatment and prevention services. This year’s theme is “Universal Access to Care and Human Rights.” Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. Program at 6 p.m. For more information, email alfadirect or call 828-322-1447 ext. 224. Dec. 5 Documentary screening UNC-Charlotte Student Union, Charlotte 6 p.m. UNCC’s Graduate Public Health Association, Rosedale Infectious Diseases and OraQuick sponsor a free screening of the MTV documentary, “I’m Positive,” exploring life with HIV today from the perspective of three young people. Film screening will be followed by a discussion and free HIV testing. Event will be held in the Student Union Movie Theater. Popcorn and drinks provided by Walgreen’s. Dec. 7 Red Pump Project Hart Witzen Gallery 135 E. 36th St., Charlotte The Red Pump Project hosts its 5th annual Red Pump Red Tie Affair, raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS among women. The Red Pump Award will also be presented. Tickets are $35. VIP admission is $60. Dec. 8 Greensboro Winter Walk for AIDS UNC-Greensboro, Greensboro Triad Health Project hosts its 22nd annual Winter Walk for AIDS, a community onemile walk and 5K Fun Run that raises money and awareness to benefit the organization’s client services and prevention programs. For more information and to register, visit

Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013





Nov. 22-Dec. 5 . 2013

QNotes Nov. 22-Dec. 5, 2013  

QNotes commemorates World AIDS Day 2013 with special, in-depth coverage and commentary sponsored by Different Roads Home, Rosedale Infectiou...

QNotes Nov. 22-Dec. 5, 2013  

QNotes commemorates World AIDS Day 2013 with special, in-depth coverage and commentary sponsored by Different Roads Home, Rosedale Infectiou...