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Nov. 26-Dec. 9, 2011. Vol 26, No 15. FREE.

Crisis: 30 years later

See our special section, page 8

Mayfield makes history as city’s first openly gay elected official Mayfield wins election against Republican opponent by large margin by Matt Comer ::

LaWana Mayfield celebrates her election victory with a supporter. Photo Credit: Todd Sumlin,

CHARLOTTE — Democratic candidate LaWana Mayfield made history on Nov. 8, soundly defeating Republican opponent Ed Toney in their race for the District 3 city council seat and becoming Charlotte’s first openly gay or lesbian elected official.



anniversary 1986-2011

see Gay on 16 Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011



Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

inside Nov. 26-Dec. 9, 2011 Vol 26 No 15

The Crisis: 30 years later

special section begins on page 8

news & features

  1 Mayfield makes history   6 News Notes: Regional Briefs 16 Roberts steps down 17 Anti-LGBT amendment campaign takes shape

opinions & views   4   4   4   5   5

General Gayety Guest Commentary QPoll  Editor’s Note Person of the Year search a local news partner of The Charlotte Observer


a&e / life&style

  8 Filmmaker: ‘We Were Here’   9 1981: Where we were 12 Voices Project 12 New drugs control older HIV drug resistance 13 HIV Resources, Events 18 Charlotte Fine Arts Show 19 Drag Rag 20 Health centers a mecca 21 Out in Print 22 Tell Trinity 23 Out in the Stars 24 Holiday cooking 25 On Being a Gay Parent 27 Q events calendar

contributors this issue

April Bethea, Fred Clasen-Kelly, Matt Comer, Kevin Grooms/Miss Della, Robert Kellogg , Charlene Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, Robert Penry , Leslie Robinson, Terri Schlichenmeyer , David Stout, Trinity, Brett Webb-Mitchell

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Material in qnotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2011 and may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent of the editor or publisher. Advertisers assume full responsibility — and therefore, all liability — for securing reprint permission for copyrighted text, photographs and illustrations or trademarks published in their ads. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers, cartoonists we publish is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or photographs does not indicate the subject’s sexual orientation. qnotes nor its publisher assumes liability for typographical error or omission, beyond offering to run a correction. Official editorial positions are expressed in staff editorials and editorial notations and are determined by editorial staff. The opinions of contributing writers and guest columnists do not necessarily represent the opinions of qnotes or its staff. qnotes accepts unsolicited editorial, but cannot take responsibility for its return. Editor reserves the right to accept and reject material as well as edit for clarity, brevity.

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011


by leslie robinson qnotes contributor

Enquiring about Chaz

The National Enquirer claims in a Nov. 14 cover story that Chaz Bono will die within four years due to his gender transition. The corpse-to-be is perturbed. His lawyer sent a cease and desist letter to the tabloid, accusing it of defamation and demanding a printed retraction and apology. According to the lawyer, the story asserts that “obesity, testosterone supplements and high suicide rates among transgender people all increase Chaz’s risk of an early death.” As everybody this side of Carol Burnett knows, The National Enquirer doesn’t let truth get in the way of a fabulicious story. So, despite Bono’s threat to sue if the tabloid doesn’t apologize, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Enquirer instead continued to hound him by producing another cover story similar to the following: “Chaz Bono: Trying to contact Sonny! Weekly Séances.” “Chaz Bono misses his daddy — and how!” The Enquirer has learned that Chaz, the transgender activist and recent “Dancing With the Stars” contestant, hosts séances in his home every Sunday night in a sad, touching attempt to contact his father Sonny Bono, the singer and politician who died tragically in 1998 when he slammed into a tree while skiing. “The séances are weird, man. I go for the food,” said one insider who has attended three of these macabre gatherings where some 15 people assemble around a spooky table. “We all hold hands while Madame Mertzola chants and groans and moans and stuff. I think she’s getting sort of frustrated. The last time she kept screaming ‘The beat goes on!’” So far, said the insider, Sonny has not materialized, “although a couple of people thought they saw that tree he hit.” Headstrong Chaz refuses to stop these

whacky attempts to reach Sonny. The sad, distressing reason is he desperately wants to speak to his father about masculinity! “Y’know, now that Chaz is a dude and all, he wants guidance and stuff,” said the insider. Dr. Scott Pitts, distinguished owner of a framed diploma from the Acme School of Transgender Mental Health, let the Enquirer in on a shocking fact: Transgender individuals are often drawn to the occult! “I know one who owns a magic store. That’s good enough for me,” said the esteemed expert. Cher, the mother of Chaz and ex-wife of Sonny, is baffled that Chaz wants advice on masculinity from his father. “Why Sonny? Most of the time I wore the bell bottoms in that relationship,” Cher told an insider, who told the Enquirer, which is telling you. Oh, and remember how Cher sadly, desperately, had two ribs surgically removed to make her waist smaller? The Enquirer has learned that she plans to put them back in again! Inspired by Chaz’s efforts to be who he really is, Cher has bravely decided to return her rib cage to normal. Meanwhile, all indications are the Sunday-night séances will carry on. The insider who attended three of the sad, heartbreaking events said Chaz has booked Madame Mertzola the medium through the end of the year. “I’m not sure I’m going again,” the insider said. Chaz wants to change up the energy in the room, in case, y’know, any of us are keeping Sonny away. That’s cool with me. Last time when the lights went off, I got groped.” The insider hopes Sonny appears, either in body or spirit. “Chaz is cool. He wants this bad. He deserves it. Can I have my check now?” : : info: .



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Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011



general gayety

guest commentary by Robert Kellogg :: guest contributor

Do not stoop to level of bigots

I appreciate and can understand editor Matt Comer’s views as expressed in his Nov. 12 Editor’s Note, “Understanding the context: Reaction to Forrester’s death not ‘politics,’ it’s personal” ( However, I wish he had called on me to clarify my comment or at least ask why I had called on people to be thankful for his service. There is not a single person in Gaston County who has fought harder to expose the bigoted words and actions of Sen. Forrester. I continually stood up when others were seated and spoke out when there was silence. I realize it is easy to question why an openly gay man who happens to be the chairman of the Gaston County Democratic party would ask others to be thankful of the deceased senator’s service, but had anyone asked, I could have explained. I am still open to explaining why I said what I said and why I still feel that it is to our detriment as a community to bash the deceased senator’s name. If we want to turn him into a martyr and hasten the passing of this amendment, then by all means continue to be grateful for his passing and step on the dead man’s grave. If we also want to give the opposition a side show and reason to point at us and show how unforgiving and callous we are, then continue to berate the man. I tend to think that we as a community will score more points, win over more hearts and minds and win more votes in favor of our equality when we rise above the un-Christian finger pointing and name calling that we are so eager to clamor about when it is pointed toward us. With that said, we do not need to sugar coat his legacy, time will tell it like it is. However, we do owe his family a little bit of time before we rake him over the coals. Yes, he was bigoted. Yes, he spread misinformation. Yes, he was gunning to rid North Carolina of the LGBT community; but this is

our chance to show that we as human beings, we as a community, we as people and citizens of this state are compassionate and understanding — even when it is not shown to us. I would also appreciate it if my words would not be misquoted. The Gaston Gazette quote, without paraphrasing is the following, “‘It is no secret that his politics and my politics did not always agree,’ said Kellogg. ‘But I did respect the man for his service to our state and I think all Gaston residents should be thankful for his service to this state. I wish condolences to his family and to his wife.’” If we as a community and if I as an activist have to forfeit our/my humanity and Christian love for one another in order to win equality then we have gained nothing in the end and are no better than those we seek to expose on the opposing side for their Christian hypocrisy and bigoted views. I do not take back my initial statement and stand by my belief that we get back what we put out and we reap what we sew. This is not about scoring a political point, making a statement or striking while the iron is hot. This is about human behavior and common decency. Just because the senator refused to see me as an equal or acknowledge my right to be the man I was created to be, it does not mean I have to return the bitterness by dancing on his grave. I refuse to perpetuate the cycle and ask all in the LGBT community to join me in fighting bigotry without stooping to the level of those we are trying to enlighten. If anyone in the LGBT community would like to discuss the issues at hand or ask a question of me, please contact me. I will be more than willing to listen without judging and to work together to bring about tolerance and equality. Thank you. : : — Robert Kellogg is chairman of the Gaston County Democratic Party. This guest commentary was originally published on Nov. 14 as a comment at

join the discussion We welcome your letters to the editor (200 or words or less) and guest commentaries (600 words or less). Submit them to


editor’s note by matt comer

Mr. Speaker’s teachable moment

Despite my longtime, whole-hearted disagreements with most Republican Party ideologies, I’ve been able to admire just one thing about the North Carolina GOP since their 2010 takeover of the state House and Senate. Of all their members — whose cheap gimmicks, lies and distractions filled this year’s legislative session to the brim — there stands at least one man who has usually risen above the fray with openness, honesty and balance. Speaker of the House Thom Tillis has, for the most part, been a statesman and spoken, at least publicly, with respect, care and diligence, especially on LGBT issues. Back in August, for example, Tillis told a Cornelius town hall audience that he found the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment on marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships to be a “difficult” and “emotional issue.” He also said he was open to talking with the opposition. “I’ve talked with Equality NC and other groups and said I’m open to data to talk about the business impacts and talk about the other things to refute that argument, but at the end of the day as the speaker, when I know that over 80 members, both Republicans and Democrats, have signed up to have this bill heard, a part of my obligation is to allow these bills to be heard and have both sides build the arguments,” Tillis explained. That’s the kind of balance and openness — even if Tillis’ most ardent opponents think it was contrived at the time — that LGBT advocates and community members rarely see from North Carolina Republicans. After all, we usually get only cold shoulders, slurs and insults. Tillis has chosen the higher road. At a town hall meeting in Boone on Nov. 15, Tillis once again spoke with balance and respect when responding to a constituent’s question about the amendment. Tillis said the debate had been difficult for him personally, though not for moral reasons. “My difficulty has to do with the role of government and the extent to which government imposes its will on personal lives,” he said, according to The Watauga Democrat. Tillis was also careful to stress his relative non-involvement in the amendment debate. “…[T]there are a large number of members who felt very passionately about it,” he said of lawmakers in support of the legislation. “It has continued to be a debate that has gone on for years. … I felt the best thing for us to do is put this to a vote before the people.”

Had the support not been as strong, one surmises, Tillis wouldn’t have let the amendment debate go forward. Obviously, there’s no way to know that’s true unless Tillis would confirm it. If the amendment wins? He’ll honor the voters’ decision. And, if it loses? Well, he said he’d honor that, too. “It will be the last time it is taken up as long as I am speaker,” he said. I’m willing to give credit when it’s due. Tillis’ comments are balanced and, arguably, neutral when compared to his colleagues. But, according to Watauga Watch, a local Democratic-leaning blog, Tillis made another comment that can’t go by unchecked. “Marriage is not a constitutional right,” Tillis said, according to the blog, and, from The Watauga Democrat: “Anyone, whether they be gay, lesbian, transgendered, will still be afforded the same basic rights, guaranteed under the Constitution, before or after the amendment.” The assertion that marriage is not a constitutional right flies in the face of decades of constitutional law and interpretation. The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed marriage and the right to enter into any marriage of one’s own choosing as a “fundamental freedom” several times, most notably in the landmark 1967 case, Loving v. Virginia. From the historic ruling: “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.” Though the decision in Loving ultimately rested upon a question over racial discrimination, no legal scholar and most laypeople with the tiniest bit of familiarity with the U.S. Constitution seriously believe that discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orienta-

tion is any less immoral and illegal. See, the 14th Amendment mentions nothing about race or any other characteristic. It’s guarantees apply equally to all citizens. No questions asked. No caveats needed. “All persons,” the amendment states, “born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Speaker Tillis is a wise man. I’d like to think his “not a constitutional right” remark was a mere slip up. But, we’ll be left pondering that question for some time to come. At press time, our request to get a comment or clarification had yet to be returned by either the speaker himself or his communications director. For now, we’ll let Tillis’ remarks stand as a teachable moment. For him. For his Republican colleagues. For the Democrats who voted with the speaker’s party in approving the amendment. And, ultimately, for every citizen of this great state. Speaker Tillis is wrong: Marriage is a constitutional right, and his party’s anti-family, anti-business, anti-LGBT constitutional amendment invites exactly the same type of ill-will, animosity and hostility as laws that once barred interracial couples from enjoying the same basic and fundamental human and civil rights offered freely to couples of the same race. : :

Searching for our Person of the Year Each year, qnotes honors one brave or talented soul in our local LGBT community as our Person of the Year. The person honored has contributed to the community, worked for its benefit and raised awareness on important issues. Do you know of someone who deserves praise and adoration? Let us know! In the past we’ve honored political types and activists, but our Person of the Year can be any person who’s contributed positively to the local LGBT communities in the Carolinas. Send us your ideas for who we should honor along with a sentence or two about their accomplishments to Our Person of the Year will be unveiled in our Dec. 24, 2011, print issue. : :

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011



news notes: from the carolinas, nation and world compiled by Lainey Millen :: | David Stout :: | Matt Comer ::

CHAPEL HILL — Nathaniel James, a journalism student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is searching for volunteers who experienced bullying, either while growing up or later on in life, for an audio recorded interview for a final class project. Because this is audio, it will be much easier to be faceless and nameless. He is assuring strict confidentiality. His focus is on how bullying has affected adults, both good and bad. Subjects range from areas as related to race, dress, sexuality or parental. The time commitment will be approximately 30 minutes. For more information, email nathaniel_ — L.M.

He recently acquired a Master’s in Public Policy and a Master’s in Business Administration from Brandeis University. He brings with him of wealth of knowledge in both non-profit management and the LGBT community Board Chair Glen Medders said, “James arrives at a time of very rapid growth and expansion of the Center and its programs and services. We are all very excited about the future potential of the Center and are pleased to have James here to help guide the way.” “The sky is the limit for the next year, but our main goal will be to continue facilitating community development through education and outreach, while growing our capacity to serve the very diverse LGBT population in the Triangle,” Miller shared. For more information, visit — L.M.

intern/assistant to Rev. Mel White and has acted as a freelance fundraiser for Soulforce, Inc., as well as being the Virginia coordinator for Students for Equality. She also serves as executive director and lead public speaker for Zander Communications which helps to educate on LGBT community issues through non-violence. In other news, founder Justin Lee secured a book deal with Jericho Books for the upcoming “Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate.” The book is scheduled for release in December 2012. Sales will benefit GCN. Finally, contributions are being sought for retooling efforts for the GCN website. Go online to make a one-time donation. For more information, visit — L.M.

Center names new chief

Network welcomes new staff

RALEIGH — North Carolina State University’s GLBT Center, along with the GLBT Community Alliance and Pack Music Productions, held a fun-filled cabaret on Nov. 11 that was infused with diversity and civil rights education. Karma Electra served as host. The night’s entertainment included musical groups, drag queens and even LED hula hooping, as well as comedy sets and poetry readings.



Choruses to ring in season

Were you bullied?

CHARLOTTE — One Voice Chorus will present their Hee Haw Holidays concert on Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, 234 N. Sharon Amity Rd. Seasonal home-spun favorites, choral gems and some “gaga-tastic” twists will be presented. Stay afterward for a “barn burner” of a reception. Tickets are $20 adults (all)/$10 students (matinee show only) are available at Paper Skyscraper, 330 East Blvd.; White Rabbit, 960 Central Ave.; or online at onevoicechorus. com. Web purchases will be held at will-call. For more information, email info@ Then, on Dec. 9-10, sashay on over to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 1510 E. 7th St., for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte’s Drummer Boy holiday extravaganza. This foot tapping event begins at 8:04 p.m. and is filled with loads of percussive energy. Tickets are $20 for single tickets or may be purchased as a package of three plus one free for $60. For more information or to buy tickets online, visit — L.M.


Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

RALEIGH — James Miller has been named the new executive director of the LGBT Center of Raleigh. The board of directors made the announcement on Nov. 10. The search began in October. A North Carolina native, Miller returns to the state following working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in Boston.

RALEIGH — The Gay Christian Network has recently hired Samantha Hasty as its new office manager. Her roots stem from a conservative Christian family, as well as attendance at Liberty University in Virginia where she hopes to obtain her degree in 2012. Her passion is to help people reconcile their faith and sexuality. She was formerly an

NCSU hosts successful cabaret

Center director Justine Hollingshead introduced various representatives from groups on and off campus which educate and promote diversity, The Technician reported. The state’s anti-gay marriage amendment was a focus during the evening. Postcards were made available through insertion into the program to each attendee on the issues of this ballot issue slated for the polls on May 12, 2012. Alternatives for LGBT-related spring break opportunities were shared as well. — L.M.

Triad Foundation to hold holiday event

WINSTON-SALEM — The Adam Foundation will host it’s 2nd Annual Holiday Social on Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m., at Finnigan’s Wake, 620 N. Trade St. A holiday collection will be taken up for grant recipient Positive Wellness Alliance. Attendees are asked to bring reams of paper to aid in current office needs. For more information, visit — L.M.

Hotelier wins big

GREENSBORO — Dennis Quaintance, a partner at Proximity Hotel, does not stand on ceremony when it comes to being an advocate for inclusion. According to the News & Record, he and his business partner Mike Weaver go the extra mile in making sure that the Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels properties are free from bigotry. They maintain a zero-tolerance policy, which they define as “discrimination for any ‘off-purpose’ reason, including race, gender, age, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.” The news organization also reported that Quaintance got a big nod from Guilford Green Foundation Chairman Ivan Canada who shared that he valued the stand he takes on equality causes. The hotelier came from modest means while growing up. At an early age, he was sensitive to bias he saw. And, that he carried into his adulthood where he used those experiences to ensure a workplace environment free from prejudice for its employees. Most recently, he received the Brotherhood/Sisterhood Citation Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad. — L.M.

Western ALFA wants holiday helpers

HICKORY — ALFA is seeking volunteers by Dec. 2 for its Holiday Adoption Program which provides gifts for its client’s children. “Elfs” select how many children they wish to “adopt.” ALFA matches these volunteers up anonymously with a family. The child’s first name, age, shoe and clothing size and wants/needs are shared. Gifts are wrapped and labeled and dropped off at the ALFA office by Dec. 15. However, some clients do not have children. For those who do not, $5 gift cards and/or small gift bags filled with holiday treats will be accepted. For more information, call Adria Cline at 828-322-1447, ext. 226 or email alfacms@ In other news, ALFA will celebrate World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 629 8th St. NE. Reception is from 5:306:30 p.m. featuring local art and a memorial

to ALFA’s founder Steve Yount. A memorial service will follow from 6:30-7:30 p.m., featuring Linda Smallwood and performances by Exodux Missionary Outreach Church Choir. The evening concludes with a candlelight vigil. For more information, call David Zealy at 828-322-1447, ext. 233 or email prevention@ or visit


to provide a demographic profile of the 79,200 same-sex couples in the U.S. in which at least one partner is either not a U.S citizen or is a naturalized citizen. The report breaks this population into three groups and finds there are an estimated 28,574 binational same-sex couples, 11,442 dual non-citizen same-sex couples and 39,176 dual citizen same-sex couples with at least one naturalized partner. — D.S.

Portrait project launched

New patient care guide issued

RALEIGH — In September 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to put a question on the May 2012 ballot that would add an amendment to the state constitution barring same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships. In response to that action, Catherine Hofmann and Nick Pironio have created an LGBT portrait project. The mission of the currently untitled project is to focus on the way love is displayed in samesex relationships. “Our body language is love’s greatest asset, openly proclaiming where our words fail. Love’s encompassing nature does not observe age, gender, race or religion; for all it’s differences it remains the same,” Hofmann and Pironio declared. The goal of the project is to reach a broad audience and prompt a discussion about the rights of a same-sex relationship in North Carolina. They ask, “Why must love in any form be discriminated against?” They are looking for same-sex couples who are willing to sit for photographic portraits at their residence. It will take approximately 60 minutes per shoot. The creators will show the project before the May 2012 ballot. Subjects, who volunteer and are selected, will be photographed while asleep in bed. Hofmann and Pironio said, “The bed is a symbol of love and partnership.The interaction of a couple sleeping in a natural state with no consciousness of the photographer or camera will give us this pure moment in striking form.” Logistics are still being worked out. Pironio will rig a camera overhead prior to the session to be able to capture a suitable shot sometime during the early morning hours without disturbing the subjects. To participate, email Hofmann at On a similar note, a more traditional photographic session will be conducted by Justin Cook. He is photographing long-term committed same-sex couples in their homes and interviewing them to learn about their story, struggles and joys. Interested parties should email him at — L.M.

National 40k couples need immigration relief

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A new Williams Institute study released Nov. 18 finds there are more than 28,500 binational same-sex couples in which one partner is a U.S. citizen and one is not and nearly 11,500 same-sex couples in which neither partner is a U.S. citizen. Under U.S. immigration policy, a citizen may obtain permanent residence for their non-citizen, different-sex spouse and expedited citizenship for a resident, differentsex spouse. Permanent residents may also petition for permanent resident status for their different-sex spouses. However, these options are not extended to same-sex couples, even if they are married or are in civil unions or registered domestic partnerships. The study uses data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Joint Commission, the nation’s largest accrediting organization for healthcare facilities, has issued a new field guide on LGBT patient-centered care that calls on U.S. hospitals to create a more welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for LGBT patients and their families. “We applaud The Joint Commission’s work to advance LGBT healthcare equality through its accreditation standards and now this new field guide on LGBT patient-centered care,” said Human Right Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Too often members of the LGBT community face discrimination while accessing healthcare or avoid seeking healthcare altogether. Every hospital in the U.S. should take advantage of the resources available in this guide and ensure that LGBT patients and families get the care they deserve.” The Joint Commission is responsible for accrediting and certifying more than 19,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the U.S. The field guide is available for download at — D.S.

White House talks anti-trans violence

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Nov. 16, transgender and LGBT anti-violence advocates met with Obama Administration officials to offer strategies for addressing the epidemic of violence against transgender people. Recognizing that violence is a horrific reality in so many transgender people’s lives, the Administration heard a broad range of policy ideas from the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and eight other organizations. The meeting at the White House was facilitated by NCTE’s Executive Director Mara Keisling and included, among others, Gwendolyn Smith, the founder of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, who shared real life stories of transgender people who have faced violence. Meeting topics included crime data collection, cultural competency for law enforcement and funding issues, as well as insuring that federal and federally-funded anti-violence programs and processes are transgenderinclusive. Special focus was given to violence against youth, homeless trans people and trans women. Keisling stated, “So many kinds of violence are epidemic for transgender people: hate violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, school bullying and violence by police. … Meeting with the White House at all, especially the week prior to Transgender Day of Remembrance, says a lot about the President’s commitment to making America safer and better for transgender people.” — D.S.

GSAs yield long-term benefits

SAN FRANCISCO, Calf. — New research shows that LGBT youth who attend middle or high schools with Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) have better mental health as young adults, are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to attend college. The

study, High School Gay–Straight Alliances (GSAs) and Young Adult Well-Being, is the first to show that GSA participation produces long-term benefits. The study also reveals that the benefits of GSAs diminish as levels of LGBT school victimization increase; that is, the protective nature of GSAs is not enough to overcome the negative impact of LGBT victimization on young adult mental health. Thus, the authors document that GSAs cannot be proposed as the sole solution for creating safer school climates for LGBT youth. Instead, schools need to implement other efforts to reduce anti-LGBT bias in schools in combination with the formation of GSAs, such as enumerated anti-harassment and non-discrimination policies, teacher training on how to intervene in school harassment related to sexual orientation and gender expression and an LGBT-inclusive curriculum. — D.S.

Trans anti-bias bill enacted

BOSTON, Mass. — On Nov. 16, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, adding protections based on gender identity and expression to the state’s anti-discrimination laws. The bill prohibits bias in employment, housing, education and credit, but protections in public accommodations were stripped from the final version of the measure. Gov. Deval Patrick has been a leader in the fight for transgender protections so his signature for the bill was never in doubt. “The Massachusetts legislature today recognized that transgender residents should be treated equally and protected under the law,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese following the vote. “The Transgender Equal Rights Bill has languished for years, but today the Legislature sent a clear message of fairness and equality.” However, Solmonese added that LGBT rights advocates will continue to press for public accommodations protections for transgender people. — D.S.

Global Effort targets “ex-gay” torture clinics

QUITO, Ecuador — More than 80,000 people in over 124 countries have signed onto a campaign calling on Ecuador’s Minister of Health, Dr. David Chirboga Allnut, to investigate and close more than 200 “ex-gay clinics” in the country that allegedly use torture techniques to turn homosexuals straight. Fundacion Causana, Taller de Comunicacion Mujer, and Artikulacion Esporadika, a coalition of leading Ecuadorian women’s rights activists, initiated the effort after working with females who have escaped what they call “torture clinics.” Many of these women cite widespread physical and psychological abuse including verbal threats, shackling, days without food or water, sexual abuse and physical torture. “The Ecuadorian government must stop turning a blind eye and wake up to the horrific reality of these lesbian torture clinics,” said Karen Barba, director of Fundacion Causana. “The perpetrators of these clinics are not only getting away with obscene human rights abuses, they are actually profiting off them,” Barba continued. “We are inspired to see over 80,000 people support the campaign on and we will not stop until each and every clinic has been closed.” — D.S.

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011


Filmmaker wants the world to know: We Were Here New documentary profiles the earliest days of the AIDS Crisis at its epicenter by Matt Comer ::

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the AIDS Crisis. The 1980s was a turbulent decade for the LGBT community and especially for gay men. Marking the Crisis’ beginning has been difficult for the many who lived through it and lost friends, family and loved ones to the disease. For younger generations unfamiliar with the tragedy and urgency of the epidemic’s early years, noting the anniversary has been more academic than personal or emotional. This year, screenwriter and director David Weissman — whose credits include the 2000 film “The Family Man,” 2001’s “Evolution” and 2010’s “When in Rome” — releases his “We Were Here,” a documentary profiling the earliest days of the Crisis at its epicenter, San Francisco. The disease ravaged the city and its gaypopular Castro St. neighborhoods. By 1979, one “We Were Here” interviewee estimates, close to 10 percent of the city’s gay population was already infected with HIV. By the time HIV tests became possible near the mid1980s, nearly 50 percent or more of the city’s gay men had already been infected. The Crisis’ history is emotional and complex — very often an equal mix of painful remembrance and triumphant celebration. But, of the many purposes Weissman hopes his film fulfills, he says bridging the gap between older and younger generations, and particularly between older and younger gay men, is among one of the most important. For him, it’s about sharing community and history. qnotes had the opportunity to chat with Weissman via phone just weeks before his film hits pay-per-view and video-on-demand services across the country on Dec. 9. The film is also slated for a DVD release sometime around June 2012, when PBS’ “Independent Lens” showcases it. Matt Comer: So, you moved to San Francisco in 1976, right? Why the move? David Weissman: I had been living in Venice


Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

Beach in Southern California. It was a bit bohemian, a poor people’s beach town. It was a wonderful, wonderful time and place there. But, Venice was gentrifying really fast and I realized that San Francisco was really where my people were, the sort of long-haired, artistic and politically-minded gay people. There was a huge community there unique to San Francisco. Were you already out at the time? It was a process, but, yes, I was already out. I was not so engaged in gay life in L.A. as much as I became engaged with it in San Francisco. In your film, an interviewee says that HIV was already present in San Francisco as early as 1976. Then, according to your film, before anybody really knew there was anything wrong, a young man had posted photos of weird physical symptoms he was having on the glass window of a pharmacy. But, when was it that you got the first inclination that something was wrong? I remember the very first article in Bay Area Reporter. In April 1981, there was a cluster of rare cancer found among gay men. In June of that year, another article originating from the Centers for Disease Control saying a cluster of rare pnuemonia had been found among gay men. So, I saw the very first press on it. I also remember seeing those photographs posted on the Star Pharmacy on Castro St. So, I was aware from the very beginning. How did you react? Were you immediately scared or concerned or at the time, perhaps, you thought, oh, this is a fluke and it’ll pass? I think everybody had their own particular combination of fear and denial that they worked through over time. I think initially we were kind of laughing about it. It was like we had our own gay everything — our gay mechanics and gay bankers — and now we have our own disease. I think pretty quickly it became clear that this was serious and once you knew someone who got sick you got scared pretty quickly.

How long did you live in San Francisco? I still partially live there, actually. I was there full-time through 2004 and I’ve been back and forth from Portland since then. So, this film is not a purely academic exercise for you, then. This is something you lived through. It’s not academic at all — it’s one reason I decided to make the film. I felt like it was crucial that the story be told by someone who lived through it, rather than from an academic perspective. I’ve described it as me using these five people [interviewed in the documentary] to tell my own story. Tell me a bit more: Why did you think it was so important for someone who lived through it to tell the story? It was just such a personal experience for all of us. I don’t know how someone coming in from the outside could have really grasped the emotional and personal immediacy ‘We Were Here’ Director and Producer David Weissman of what happened. There are many Photo Credit: Peter Berlin people who comment on the intimacy and personal quality of the interviews. very early on to have little-to-no music during I think that quality reflects that the interviews the interviews and let the emotions speak for weren’t done with someone from the outside themselves without over-sentimentalizing it. — they were done with someone who had The people are on the screen for a longer time shared those same experiences. It was a — you see them pausing, thinking, stumbling personal feeling for myself, too; if I’d wanted over their words. The intention there was to to see a movie like this, I’d want to see it from really build trust between the person on the the insiders’ perspectives. screen and the viewer — a feeling that you Honestly, the intimate nature of the film were having an unmediated, personal relastruck me as I watched it with a close friend. tionship with the person you’re listening to. It did seem very bare bones — there wasn’t The friend with whom I watched the film a lot of music and not a lot of hype. I felt like asked me before we started it, “Is this going the person on the TV screen was actually sitto be depressing?” Of course, I hadn’t seen ting across from me and having a conversait yet and didn’t know how to answer him. tion. Was that mood and tone purposeful? Do you get that a lot? Do people think the Yes. It was 100 percent purposeful that film will be depressing and do you find that the film be authentic and that there be no disappointing? sentimentalizing at all. I made the decision People fear that it will be depressing, but, no

one comes out of it saying that was their experience. People are finding the film inspiring, uplifting, cathartic and healing. Those are the words I hear the most. I certainly understand that people have a trepidation that the film will be a downer, but that’s not been the experience for most people. I had no interest in making a depressing film. Is that a hurdle when we talk about HIV and AIDS and the 1980s AIDS Crisis — that people don’t want to talk about it because they think it will be depressing or that the issues are just too hard to deal with? Is that a major hurdle today in education and prevention? I think that has always been a hurdle. I hope the movie will help ease that. Part of what led up to my way of conceiving the film was having conversations with men of my generation who had not wanted to talk about it because they didn’t want to bring other people down or didn’t want to sound like they were dwelling in the past. I also spoke with younger men who had expressed a tremendous interest in learning about that period, but were afraid to ask because they didn’t want to ask inappropriate questions. I’m hoping that this film will really empower both sides of that equation to ask questions of each other and to tell their stories. If you don’t mind me asking, are you HIVpositive? No. I’ve lived in San Francisco since 1976 and I’m still HIV-negative. Of course, you knew people in SF who were infected and who passed away? Almost all of the obituaries [in the film] are people I knew — friends or colleagues or lovers.

As someone who is not infected by HIV, but who has certainly been affected, is there a different perspective there? Do you think you’d have had a different perspective in the filmmaking had you been HIV-positive? Of course. First of all, if I’d been infected in the early years, I most likely wouldn’t even be alive. Very few people survived who were infected in the early years. Had I been someone who was infected and survived, yes, it’s an enormous and very controlling factor in people’s lives. As is being negative in the gay community is also enormous. There’s no way of escaping AIDS, even if we are in denial, it is still always there. I’m grateful I’m uninfected and am lucky. It’s an additional burden in life that I wouldn’t want to be carrying. Why do you think today we are in a situation where young people — and really people of all ages — don’t know much about HIV and don’t want to talk about HIV? What has happened in the past 20 or 30 years? The sense of urgency is different — for wonderful reasons. It’s not a completely fatal disease anymore. If people have access to medication, they can survive. It makes prevention more complicated when the fear of death is less of an important piece of the conversation. I think young people in general live much more dangerously than do people when they get older. That’s just a fact of life. I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about what the risks of HIV are. I think the prevention is a very difficult task. A lot of young people still associate sex with danger, which I think is probably an

see Documentary on 10

1981: Where We Were The new documentary, “We Were Here,” takes audiences on an emotional journey back to 1981, when gay men in San Francisco’s Castro district came to the horrifying realization that a cluster of unexplained deaths was the start of a viral epidemic. The actions of the sick and dying — and of the living, who refused to stand idly by — led to enormous strides in understanding HIV and AIDS. While there is not yet a cure for AIDS, great strides have been made in understanding, treating and preventing HIV transmission. Just as gay men and others in the LGBT community in San Francisco were forced to face the ravages of the early years of the AIDS Crisis, so, too, did LGBT community members in places like North Carolina. Men and women of all ages, stripes and backgrounds came together to make change, making history in the process. The world then, for those in as far flung places as San Francisco and right here at home in the Carolinas, was a drastically different time and place from today. Three decades after the beginning of the still-continuing AIDS Crisis, the world is radically different — with technology and opportunity that the earliest victims of AIDS could hardly imagine. Here’s a look at some of the facts, figures and events that shaped our pre-wireless, pre-internet world of 1981: The Nation U.S. population: 229,465,714 U.S. unemployment rate: 7.1 percent Cost of Living Median household income: $19,074 Cost of a gallon of unleaded gas: $1.38 Average cost of a movie ticket: $2.78 Price of a first-class U.S. postage stamp, June 1981: 20 cents Pop Culture Top 5 films at the box office: 1. “Raiders of the Lost Ark”; 2. “On Golden Pond”; 3. “Superman II”; 4. “Arthur”; 5. “Stripes” Top 5 TV shows: 1. “Dallas”; 2. “60 Minutes”; 3. “The Jeffersons”; 4. “Joanie Loves Chachi”; 5. “Three’s Company” Top 5 singles of 1981: 1. “Bette Davis Eyes,” Kim Carnes; 2. “Endless Love,” Lionel Richie and Diana Ross; 3. “Lady,” Kenny Rogers; 4. “(Just Like) Starting Over,” John Lennon; 5. “Jessie’s Girl,” Rick Springfield

Act Up Demonstrators Photo Credit: Rick Gerharter

Headlines and History Jan. 19: The U.S. and Iran reach an agreement to free 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days. Jan. 20: Ronald Reagan takes the oath of office as the 40th president of the U.S. Jan. 25: The Oakland Raiders defeat the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 27-10 at Super Bowl XV. March 30: Reagan is seriously wounded in an assassination attempt. April 12: The space shuttle Columbia lifts off as STS-1, the first shuttle mission in history. May 13: Pope John Paul II is shot and seriously wounded in Rome. May 21: Francois Mitterand becomes president of France. June 5: The Centers for Disease Control publishes a report of the first five cases of pneumocystis carinni pneumonia; two of the men in the report die. All of the men are gay. It is the first official report of AIDS. JUly 17: Two skywalks at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Mo., collapse, killing 144 people. July 29: Britain’s Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer. Aug. 1: MTV goes on the air for the first time at 12:01 a.m.; the first video is by a group called The Buggles: “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Aug. 3: Airline traffic is disrupted as air traffic controllers strike; they are fired eight days later. Sept. 25: Sandra Day O’Conner is sworn in as the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Oct. 6: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is assassinated. Dec. 20: “Dreamgirls” opens at Broadway’s Imperial Theater. It is nominated for 13 Tony Awards, including best direction of a musical for Michael Bennett, who will succumb to AIDS-related lymphoma less than six years later, at the height of the 1980s AIDS epidemic.

Castro St. in the 1970s Photo Credit: Robert Pruzan

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011


Documentary profiles earliest days of the AIDS Crisis continued from page 9

unfortunate way to think about sex. People need to find a balance in celebrating sex and sexuality and being careful about one’s health. And, yes, a lot of younger people are not cognizant of what the danger is to themselves or their responsibility in not continuing the epidemic. In some ways, there’s not a sense that getting HIV impacts anyone else, but only the people involved. The only reason we still have the AIDS epidemic among gay men is because of people consciously deciding to bareback. That’s just a fact. Do you hope that your film achieves education, remembrance or social action — or, perhaps, all three? All of those are all very important pieces of this. Really one of the main pieces is really helping encourage intergenerational dialogue among gay men around our history, our sexuality. One of the most beautiful reactions I’ve heard is

from younger men who just feel this sense of gratitude for what the prior generations had to go through to get to where we are today. What would be your advice to younger and older men who want to have this conversation, but who don’t necessarily know how to go about doing it? What advice would you give to those who might find those conversations uncomfortable? I think people are just going to need to take risks, but do it in considerate ways — to say to someone, “I really want to hear your story and I could learn and benefit from hearing what you’ve gone through.” As much as that’s a difficult thing for a younger person to say, it’s also a beautiful thing for an older person to hear. It’s really important that people who lived through it find and acknowledge their own wisdom that accompanies the wounds of those years and to learn how to tell stories

that are generous, but not about scolding. We need to tell stories in ways that are helpful to other people to hear, not about lecturing. Are you excited about your film’s Dec. 8 release and upcoming DVD release? Yes. The reaction to the film from audiences has made me so proud. The more people see it the better. It’s also playing in a lot of educational settings — universities and AIDS organizations. It’s being used in all kinds of contexts. Do you hope to get the film into high schools? Do you hope to put a real huShanti Project Retreat man face to an issue that’s largely been Photo Credit: Christopher faceless and more medical in nature to young people? the completed film or the filmmaking process I do think it could benefit high school for you? students. We had a group of high school It’s still an ongoing thing for me. Re-engaging students come to San Francisco for a screenwith this history has been a profound experiing and a panel. It was really wonderful. They ence for me. Doing the interviews was very found it humanizing on an issue they only powerful. Each interview was like a superknew of as admonishing fear in schools. They intense therapy session for both me and the learn about AIDS as a danger, but not in terms interviewee. Doing the editing process with of understanding the history and the human Bill, my filmmaking partner, we cried almost experience. These high school students were every single day we were in the editing room. blown away by the movie. Young people will The experience of getting responses from all see this movie because they hear about it kinds of people on a daily basis — it’s been from their peers, not because older people tell incredibly moving to hear from people who them they should see it. It’s been wonderful lived through it as well as people just learning to have young people seeing the movie and the history for the first time. This film has been feeling a very powerful impulse to encourage one of the most profound experiences of my their friends to see it as well. life and continues to be. : : What was the most powerful piece of either

Castro St. in the 1970s Photo Credit: Crawford Barton



Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

Ask Dr. C…HIV and healthcare advice

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

After many successful installments of “Ask Dr. C,” this is yet another opportunity to offer our readers information about HIV from basic questions to in-depth explanations. We are still receiving many of your questions and are working hard to get responses to as many questions as possible to provide information for you and the community. The questions have provided us a forum to debunk myths and remove stigma from those living with HIV and AIDS. It is important to educate yourself, get tested, and protect yourself! We appreciate every question we receive! Dr. C looks forward to responding to as many emails as possible. What’s the difference between a “confidential” HIV test and an “anonymous” HIV test? — Dylan from Huntersville Dylan, this is a good question because often

the words “confidential” and “anonymous” are thought to be the same thing. When speaking of HIV testing, there is a difference between an “anonymous” and a “confidential” test. Anonymous testing is done without ever even taking the patient’s name. Each person receiving the test is given a unique identification code. When receiving this type of test, only the person being tested will know the result of the test. While this sounds ideal in terms of privacy, there are some cons. One is that because there is no record of your test, it is difficult to get insurance to pay for the test. Also, anonymous testing is not available in all states. In contrast, confidential testing is done in a clinic or doctor’s office under the patient’s name. Confidentiality laws protect the disclosure of this information. It will become a part of your medical record. Also, most health departments mandate that anyone who tests positive is confidentially reported to the health department in order for them to track disease and implement more effective prevention programs. When receiving a confidential test, it is usually covered by your health insurance. I have heard that if I believe I have been exposed to HIV I should not get tested immediately because the virus will not show up. How long should I wait before receiving testing? — Laura from Concord

Laura, this is a great question because it comes up very frequently. When an HIV test is performed, we are looking for antibodies to HIV in a person’s system. The time it takes from the time the person was exposed and infected to the time they test positive for these antibodies is commonly referred to as a “window period.” During this time, the infected person may not test positive even though they are infected. Studies have shown that three months after exposure is the most effective time to do an HIV test. So, to answer your question, you should allow a three-month “window period” before getting tested. It would be rare for a person who is positive to not yield a positive test after this time period. However, if you are concerned, you can always receive an additional test six months after exposure. I received an email that has been circulating around saying that it was confirmed by the government that an HIV-positive man infected a supply of ketchup with his own blood and in order to protect ourselves we should only use ketchup packets. Is there any truth to this? — Karen from Charlotte Absolutely not, Karen. No reports of contaminated ketchup have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Likewise, the CDC has never confirmed any cases of a person becoming infected with HIV from eating food, including condiments. HIV/AIDS is not an air-borne or food-borne virus as it does not survive outside the body for very long. Also, even if small amounts of HIV infected ketchup were consumed, the virus would most likely be killed by your stomach acid during digestion. The most common routes of infection include unprotected sexual behaviors (i.e. vaginal, anal or oral sex) and needle sharing. Also, HIV can be passed from mother or child. I’m glad you brought this up because it allows me a forum to debunk hoaxes that are widely accepted as truth. Don’t worry about your ketchup. 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 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. — Sponsored Content —

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011



‘Voices Project’ aims to tell stories, amplify voices Regional AIDS Interfaith Network hosts fundraising story-telling event by Matt Comer ::

CHARLOTTE — The issues faced by people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS are often boiled down to faceless, emotionless medical stats and numbers. The Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) hopes to change that this World AIDS Day with their Voices Project. On Dec. 1, RAIN will share the stories of Charlotteans living with HIV. The group has enlisted the help of community leaders and storytellers from across the city including activists, journalists, faith leaders and artists. “HIV is still a very big deal in our community,” says Maggie Thomas, RAIN’s development and marketing assistant. “There are more than 4,000 people in Mecklenburg County who are HIV-positive. There’s still a lot of stigma and a lot of people may not know that they know someone who has HIV. We hope to bring attention to this issue that is affecting our community and trying to bring our community closer together, getting everyone involved.” The event will be hosted at the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, 650 E. Stonewall St., 7 p.m., Dec. 1. Leaders and storytellers will share pre-written testimony and experiences from some

of RAIN’s clients. The event is free and open to the public, though tickets to a VIP reception and reserved seating can be purchased for $75 online at Thomas expects the event will be powerful and touching. “We want these stories to belong to the community,” she says. “That’s why we are having different people tell the stories. These are public figures telling a story that could belong to anybody.” Local activist Roberta Dunn is among the speakers who will participate. She says reaching out and supporting all segments of the community is important. “Everyday I walk out the door, I look at it as an opportunity to reach out and help educate someone on something they know little or nothing about,” she says. “In my case, it’s being transgender. We need to clue in everyone in the LGBT community on how important it is for people to understand other people and other people’s problems, especially in the medical arena.” As a transgender American, Dunn says she knows what it is like to face marginalization. She feels a sense of solidarity with

HIV-positive people. Many people infected with the virus face discrimination and prejudice even among supposed, natural allies in the LGBT community. “We have to be concerned about other people,” Dunn says, recounting her first time meeting a person with HIV. “I had to take a step back for a second. But then I was so happy for that person. He was so full of energy and love and happiness. Everyone has something that might make them a little different than someone else but we still need to love and accept them.” Other storytellers at the event will include PRIDE Magazine’s Nepherterra Estrada, Fox Charlotte’s Morgan Fogarty, Matt Harris of 107.9 The Link’s “Matt & Ramona Show,” Unity Fellowship Church Pastor Tonyia Rawls and artist Scott Weaver. Thomas says the Voices Project event will help knock down barriers and empower those living and affected by HIV. “We are trying to give a voice to HIV-positive people,” she says. “Often, these voices are silent and people are afraid to talk about it. We’re bringing these voices together.” : : info: Learn more about the Voices Project event at

New drugs control older HIV drug resistance Study indicates improvement for HIV-positive patients by Rob Rolan-Johnson :: Healthy Living News

A new study shows dramatic improvement in the ability of those with HIV to control virus resistant to older antivirals. The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, shows that keeping drug resistant virus under control is due to the arrival of new antivirals that are more tolerable, easier to use and active against virus resistant to older first-line and second-line drugs. The study’s focus was to better determine the success of HIV treatment and the development of drug resistance between 1998-2009. Beginning in 1998, people started antiviral therapy using drugs from three different drug types, or classes. These were nuke analog and non-nuke analog drugs and protease inhibitors. Up until recently, treatment options were limited for those whose HIV became resistant to these three classes of drugs. To determine how well newer HIV drugs were helping those who developed triple drug-class failure, the Pursuing Later Treatment Option II project analyzed data from an HIV studies database. They discovered 2,476 who experienced the problem. The researchers then assessed their viral loads, the levels of HIV in the blood. The incidence of AIDS or death for those with triple drug-class failure was then calculated. The results show that in 2000, the anti-



Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

virals in only one in five patients with triple drug-class failure successfully suppressed viral loads to undetectable levels. However, that improved dramatically by 2008 and 2009, soon after new classes and formulations of HIV antiviral drugs came on the scene. At that point, the HIV drugs in nearly three in five patients with triple drug-class failure successfully suppressed the virus. In a commentary which accompanied the published study, Doctors Jens Lundgren and Jeffery Lazarus of Copenhagen University noted how far HIV antiviral therapy has come since 1998. “The ability of ART [antiviral therapy] to obtain durable control of HIV has improved greatly,” they wrote. “Furthermore, this trend was associated with an expected reduction in risk of AIDS.” That’s because the study confirms what seemingly countless other studies show. That HIV antiviral therapy reverses the development of AIDS. The study reveals that over time, there was also a substantial drop in AIDS related events and illnesses. Between 2000 and 2002, that overall average was eight. In 2008, it had fallen to two. By 2009, the study average was just one AIDS event or illness. The study’s good news comes with con-

cerns by its authors about the need still for new HIV antivirals. “Whether the improving trend, or even the current rate of viral suppression in 2009, can be sustained in the future is unclear. Continued improvement will likely need continued development of new drugs, which are active against virus with resistance to existing drugs,” they wrote. “The results should not lead to complacency,” Doctors Lundgren and Lazarus further cautioned. “The number of people with resistant HIV infection will increase as the number of people receiving ART increases… Of particular worry is that the pace of clinical programs of HIV-drug development has slowed down in the past couple of years.” Lundgren and Lazarus also stress the need for wider access to alternative, less toxic, more affordable drugs. But that too might have its downside. They fear that could begin another cycle of HIV drug resistance that could spread to others. “As access to ART is scaled up, a sizable proportion of people living with HIV will live for extended periods on virologically failing therapy,” they wrote. “This scenario allows for renewed progression of their HIV condition and the transmission of resistant HIV to others.” : :

Boosted PI’s have resistance on the run Another study also shows that HIV drug resistance may be on the decline. Agnes Paquet of Monogram Biosciences showed at last months ICAAC conference that the proportion of HIV patients resistant to at least one drug among the older medication classes is also decreasing. Of course, fewer in the developed world do use these older drugs. But, another reason may be because of the class of HIV drugs known as a protease inhibitor (PI). Nowadays, PI blood levels are boosted by another HIV protease drug called Norvir. This drug boosting another drug combo is great at stopping the virus from replicating, making resistance harder to develop. It may also help protect nonprotease antivirals as well. Paquet did note that over time, HIV can still develop mutations to get around these drugs, especially if they are not taken properly. But, for the moment, her research shows that boosted PIs have drug resistance on the run.

Carolina HIV/AIDS Resources, Events North Carolina is blessed to have a plethora of community resources and programming for those living with HIV/AIDS. Several groups throughout the state work to keep the public educated, provide testing and counseling and support and case management to those who test positive. Below are resources for the Triad, Triangle and Charlotte. Find other resources across the Carolinas in our online QGuide at or

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. 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 Services-Carolina provides case 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.

Charlotte 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.

active in HIV/AIDS advocacy efforts and is soon slated to open their full-service Center City Health Clinic, which will specialize in HIV/AIDS medical treatment and care.

Upcoming HIV/AIDS community events Dec. 1 • Belmont Open House House of Mercy invites the public to a special 20th anniversary open house and residents reunion. House of Mercy, 21 McAuley Cir. 5-7 p.m. Dec. 4 • Greensboro Winter Walk for AIDS Triad Health Project’s annual fundraising walk, rain or shine. War Memorial Stadium, 510 Yanceyville St.

April 2012 • Belmont Walk for AIDS Usually held every April, the House of Mercy Walk for AIDS is a fundraiser for the group and their services. Details TBA. May 5, 2012 • Charlotte AIDS Walk Charlotte The largest HIV/AIDS awareness and fundraising event in the Carolinas will take place in Uptown Charlotte at Gateway Village, 800 W. Trade St. May 2012 • Raleigh AIDS Walk+Ride An annual walk and bicycle ride for Raleigh’s Alliances of AIDS Services-Carolina. Usually held every May. Details TBA.

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. Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) P.O. Box 37190 Charlotte, NC 28237-7190 704-372-7246 RAIN provides case management, peer education, counseling and support services and various programs for minorities, the faith community and young people. RAIN is also

Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina: Our Mission qnotes is pleased to partner with the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina in presenting this special section, “Life, Positively”, in recognition of World AIDS Day. The mission of the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina is to serve people living with HIV/AIDS, their loved ones, caregivers and communities at large with compassionate, non-judgmental care, prevention, education and advocacy. Our programs and services include: direct emergency financial assistance; referrals to more than 180 other public and private agencies; food pantries; transportation for clients to medical appointments and bus tickets for local and regional travel; arrangements for respite care; housing referrals; support groups; Care Teams from Triangle-area congregations, Pastoral care and spiritual support; a monthly electronic newsletter; operation of two Family Care Homes licensed by North Carolina and housing a total of 11 low-income people living with AIDS; HIV prevention education programs; Congregational Education (or faith-based HIV/STD education); and a 1,000-plus volunteer program. Learn more at

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011





Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011



Gay candidate wins by a landslide continued from page 1

“It’s historic, the first time anyone LGBT is out on the city council,” said Scott Bishop, a volunteer with Equality North Carolina and the Human Rights Campaign. “At least now we have someone [on council] all the time who can give a counter-balance to whatever is said in a meeting where we might not always be present.” Charlotte is the last major city in North Carolina to offer protections to gay and lesbian employees, though the city council has yet to vote on a fully-LGBT-inclusive employ-


Gay candidates win big across North Carolina Kleinschmidt reelected to second term as Chapel Hill mayor by Matt Comer ::

In addition to openly gay Charlotte candidate LaWana Mayfield (see story this page), gay and lesbian candidates across North Carolina sailed to victory in their races for local office on Nov. 9. Openly gay Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt won his reelection bid with 78 percent of the vote, beating challengers Tim Sookram and Kevin Wolff. Openly gay 22-year-old and recent University of North Carolina grad Lee Storrow won his race for a seat on the Chapel Hill Town Council. He garnered 15.78 percent of the vote, coming in third in a four-way race. Storrow is the youngest member to serve on the council in 20 years. In nearby Carrboro, incumbent Alderwoman Lydia Lavelle was also victorious. She’ll serve another term on that town’s council, capturing 29.84 percent of the vote. In Franklinton, openly gay Mayor Elic Senter was reelected to another term. He won his race 79 percent to 21 percent. Senter had no challenger on the ballot. Greensboro’s Wayne Abraham, a founder of Triad Health Project and a former member and chair of the city’s human relations commission, lost his first-time election bid for an at-large seat. He garnered just 12 percent of the vote, coming in sixth in a race with seven candidates. : :

ment policy or domestic partner benefits. Connie Vetter, a local attorney with a long history of LGBT advocacy work, agreed that Mayfield’s election will change the political debate. “By having her on the dais, we’re at the table more than we’ve ever been before,” she said. Mayfield will replace outgoing Democratic incumbent Warren Turner, who was accused of anti-gay sexual harassment of several female city employees last year. Mayfield garnered 51 percent of the vote in her primary race against Turner in September. A first-time candidate for public office, Mayfield has said she sought to take the high road during her primary campaign against him. She later had to distance herself from attack ads mailed to District 3 voters by the Raleigh-based group Common Sense Matters. The group, headed by openly gay Raleigh businessman Alan King, paid $14,227 for the fliers. Despite the short-lived controversy over King’s attack ads, Mayfield led an otherwise strong campaign focused solely on issues she said her constituents cared about. Foremost on their minds, she said, was property values, economic growth and public safety.


Mayfield garnered 78 percent of the vote against Toney’s 22 percent. “Thank you community,” Mayfield said. “I am so excited about all the support I received from District 3, from all of who you volunteered and phone banked and called and sent me postive messages, who came out to early voting and who voted today. Thank you for your support.” Mayfield’s supporters say her victory marks a turning point for Charlotte, a city not necessarily known for its LGBT inclusion.

Mayfield had won endorsements from the Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee, Mecklenburg County Black Political Caucus, this newspaper,The Charlotte Post and The Charlotte Observer. In July, she received a national endorsement from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. “This is a big step forward. We’re thrilled for LaWana and the Charlotte LGBT community, and really proud to have played a part in this history-making night,” said Denis Dison, the Victory Fund’s vice president for communications. “Electing out local officials makes cities like Charlotte more welcoming to LGBT families, and it sends a message that voters are fair-minded.” Mayfield also received national financial support, far outpacing her opponent in campaign fundraising. As of her pre-election campaign finance report, filed on Oct. 27, Mayfield had raised a total of $42,881.87. Toney’s pre-election report, filed on Oct. 28, showed total fundraising at $5,190.99. The victory for Mayfield comes as North Carolina voters find themselves facing an anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment that would ban marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. The measure will be considered on the state’s May 8, 2012, primary ballot. : :

Roberts won’t seek new term Mecklenburg commission chair has been friend to LGBT community by Fred Clasen-Kelly and April Bethea :: The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE — Mecklenburg commissionsuccessful bid to bring the Democratic ers Chair Jennifer Roberts announced on Nov. National Convention to town. 14 she won’t seek re-elecThe current commissioners’ term tion to the board next year. ends in November 2012. Roberts said Roberts, a Democrat she plans to make the next year “my who first joined the board most dedicated year ever.” in 2004, said she planned to Roberts’ announcement means serve as a commissioner there could be at least two new faces for no more than eight on the board of county commissioners years and that time is comnext year. ing up. Vice Chair Jim Pendergraph said “I want to encourlast week he was interested in running age new leaders to step for a newly-created N.C. House seat forward, to give them time if the state’s redistricting maps are to plan their campaign and approved. their own quest for ensurFiling for the board of commissioning Mecklenburg County’s ers and several other offices opens Mecklenburg County healthy future,” Roberts Feb. 13. : : Commission Chair said at an event in NoDa. — Originally published by Jennifer Roberts will Roberts did not imThe Charlotte Observer on Nov. 14, step down from the board mediately announce plans after her term ends in 2011. Reprinted via the November 2012. to seek another office. Charlotte News Alliance. But she said she has been in talks with state and national leaders about other positions, and would keep her Friend to LGBT community campaign account open. “I am examining During her nearly eight-year service to new opportunities for service, whether in the Mecklenburg County, Jennifer Roberts has public, private or non-profit sector, and will been an outspoken supporter of the LGBT chart the new path carefully and delibercommunity. In 2009, she favored extending ately,” Roberts said. medical and other benefits to same-sex doAs a commissioner, Roberts has been a mestic partners of county employees and later big advocate for environmental issues and voted with five other commissioners to extend support for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the benefits. Enrollment in the program began among other causes. She referenced the last fall. The Mecklenburg LGBT Political county’s park and recreation system and Action Committee endorsed Roberts in each improvements to the school district during her of her election campaigns. : : announcement, and also praised Charlotte’s — Matt Comer



Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011


Anti-LGBT amendment campaign taking shape Coalition to Protect NC Families debuts website; Manager talks outreach, fundraising by Matt Comer ::

GREENSBORO — Meeting on Nov. 12 with more than 400 of their supporters from across the state, officials with the statewide LGBT advocacy and education group Equality North Carolina previewed their official campaign to defeat an anti-LGBT constitutional amendment in May 2012. The amendment, approved by the North Carolina legislature in September, will appear on the May 8, 2012, primary ballot. If voters approve it, the amendment would ban recognition of marriage, civil unions and domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples. Advocates with Equality North Carolina’s new Coalition to Protect NC Families say the amendment is not solely an LGBT issue. The legislation’s broad language could impact domestic violence laws, child custody arrangements, wills and other legal matters between unmarried opposite-sex couples. Getting that message out will be key to Protect NC Families’ coalition approach, new campaign manager Jeremy Kennedy told qnotes. He cited Mississippi’s defeat last week of a constitutional amendment that could have banned abortion procedures and contraceptives as an example of a successful, southern issues-based campaign. “They had a broad coalition of people maybe not directly affected by that amendment, being able to show how the amendment would hurt all people in Mississippi, not just women. That’s what we will do here,” Kennedy said. About 10 groups and 20-30 of their affiliates have already pledged to support the new coalition, Kennedy said. He also thinks North Carolina is ready for the challenge. “North Carolina is the only southern state to have fought off one of these amendments,” Kennedy said. “It’s not just because of the politics in the state that it’s been fought off, but also because people and organizations in this state have organized and fought against it.” He added, “North Carolina is primed to really make history here and be the first state to be able to beat one of these amendments.” The Coalition to Protect NC Families has launched an initial website at Kennedy said the group is still in its early planning stages, but they are working diligently to pull all of the campaign’s components together. Hiring staff and working to open field offices across the state will be high on the group’s list of priorities in the new year. Currently, the coalition has hired Kennedy, Faith Outreach Director Ryan Rowe and a field organizer, Chris Speer. Kennedy said he hopes to organize as many people as possible to get out and vote against the amendment in May. Doing so will require a tremendous amount of resources. “If I get as much money as I want, I’ll have an office open and organizer in each town,” he said. Raising the capital to mount a successful campaign will be among Kennedy’s first jobs. He’ll rely on support from a large team of campaign steering committee members, co-chaired by contract lobbyist and former Equality North Carolina Interim Executive Director Alex Miller and Blueprint North Carolina Executive Director Sean Kosofsky.

“Early money,” Kennedy said, will play a deciding role in the shape of the campaign’s future. “Whether we like to believe it or not or whether we want to talk about it, money wins because it gives us the resources to win,” he said. Kennedy said raising money will take all supporters’ involvement, from college students’ $5 contributions to more able donors’ $10,000 gifts. The Coalition to Protect NC Families will operate as a referendum committee and be able to collect contributions from other organizations, individuals and businesses, a structure that will differ significantly from anti-gay organizations supporting the amendment. While the coalition’s donations will be reported publicly to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, the anti-gay The North Carolina Values Coalition has been registered as a 501(c)4 and will keep their donors anonymous. Kennedy said the difference in approaches might seem small, but are telling of larger philosophical differences. “It’s just the right thing to do,” Kennedy asserted, commenting on the group’s decision to make donor and contribution information public. “We have nothing to hide and want to run a transparent campaign that the community believes in and that the community is a part of.”

The outcome of the May vote will depend ultimately on voter engagement and turnout, a reality Kennedy and other coalition team members already realize and are working to support. “We want to run a ground campaign here that is going to be unlike anything North Carolina has seen before for an issue like this,” Kennedy said. “Of course we’ll have ads, mail, earned media and the events, but if we don’t have a program talking to vot-

Meeting Date: Program:

Time: Cost: To Reserve:

ers one-one at the doors, on phones and in churches, then we’re not going to be able to bring the votes out.” The coalition expects to host an official campaign launch in early December. : : more: See more coverage from Equality North Carolina Conference and Gala online at Keep up with the latest news from Raleigh and updates on the antiLGBT amendment at

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 Annual LGBT Community Service Awards & Charity Event The McColl Center for Visual Art 721 N. Tryon St. Cash Bar Social/Heavy Hors D’oeuvres @ 5:30 pm Program starts @ 6:45 pm $20 Call 704.565.5075 or email for more information or pay online via PayPal at

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011




The inspiration of creative living N.J. artist Ricky Boscarino will exhibit signature miniatures at upcoming Charlotte Fine Art Show by Matt Comer ::

New Jersey artist Ricky Boscarino’s home is filled to capacity with inspirations from his life.


rtist Ricky Boscarino calls northwest New Jersey home. “I live just down the street from where I used to go to summer camp — the scenic corner of New Jersey,” Boscarino says. “Many people don’t think of New Jersey as being scenic, but it really is quite beautiful up here.” He calls his home Luna Parc, a wonderfully, playful oddity entirely of his own creation. He first purchased the property — then a small 900-square-foot, “dilapidated” hunting cabin, he says — in 1989. “I was with my realtor and we walked up the driveway and across a little bridge that runs over a stream alongside the road and in the moment I first laid eyes on the house, I knew this would be the place I’d spend the rest of my life,” Boscarino says. The process of transformation began almost immediately. “I told myself, ‘I’m never leaving, so anything I do will be a legacy on this house,’” he says. Layer after layer, Boscarino morphed the house into his own personal art compound. Nearly three-quarters of the home is covered in mosaic tile and woodwork — all of it personally hand-made: Stain-glass windows, funky portraits and his own self-described



Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

“epic tribute to hedonism,” his ancient Turkish and Roman baths-inspired bathroom. The home is the kind of enchanted, wacky and creative space in which most artists wish they could spend their entire lives — “creative living” at its best, Boscarino says. In December, Boscarino will join scores of other local and national artists and artisans for the Charlotte Fine Art Show. He’ll bring along plenty of his original artwork, including his signature jewelry and other miniature metal works that take the shape of insects, animals, kitchen utensils and more. “None of them are larger than an inchand-a-quarter,” Boscarino says of the bitesized pieces. “I’ve done work on larger sculptural pieces that can be as much as a few feet tall and these smaller pieces require the same amount of concentration and sometimes the same or more number of hours.”

Some of his kitchenthemed jewelry and charms even have working parts. “They are so incredibly time consuming to create from the original working model,” he says. “I’ve spent hours and hours on one small piece.” Yet, it is Boscarino’s equal love and passion for biology and science that’s inspired some of his more engaging jewelry work. “During my whole career in high school, I was very involved in the arts — painting courses, sculpture courses and jewelry courses,” he says. “But I was equally as interested in biology and, specifically, entomology, the study of insects. There was a point, actually, when I was debating if I wanted to pursue art as a career or pursue entomology.” After years of artful living, he’s not given up on his love of science. A full room in his home is devoted to all things science — collections of bones, skulls and insects. Some of those pieces might soon find themselves

in his new 2,800-square-foot museum and ballroom expansion where he’ll house his “art, artifacts and oddities” for public viewing during his two annual open houses and regular school tours. And, had he become a scientist instead of an artist? Boscarino is sure he’d have sought out much of the same kind of creative living and thinking he now enjoys. “I would have probably been the next Nicola Tesla — a mad scientist,” he says. “I’m sure I would have had some notoriety in that respect.” Years later, Boscarino says he made the right choice. “Fortunately, my right brain took over,” he says. “There’s no doubt in my mind now that I followed my passion and made the right decision.” : :

Want to go? The Charlotte Fine Art Show takes over the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St., Dec. 9-11. Advance one-day tickets can be purchased for $6. A three-day pass is $8. Children 12 and under are free. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


drag rag by miss della qnotes contributor

Sugah! It’s a bushel basket of all things pageant!

Well, chirrens, you know the drill…we meet again to discuss pageants and the goddesses who do them. And, speaking of goddesses, our photo this time is of a dear friend of mine, Miss Dena Cass of Orlando by way of the great state of Iowa (where gay marriages are legal, mind you). She’s the reigning All-American Goddess At Large who’ll appear in Charlotte at the Scorpio the weekend of the NC prelims, Dec. 11-12. Dena will actually spend her birthday in the Queen City,- and I can’t wait! Hell, Miss Della has taken three days off for this! There’ll be hot out-of-state boys, many multi-decorated queens and the national promoter, Scott. Mike Rhinehart, the state promoter, is tickled pink at all the names and rumors of names who may be coming to compete in the double-header pageant. Oh, I’m just in heaven thinking about it — and it’s only a week before my birthday on the 18th. Come on out and see a diva or five. I’ll give my babies R.J. and Troy a big holla in advance of their arrival! Hands off, bitches! Recent prelim winners include Tommie Ross, who won Miss IL, and Mercedes, who won IL At-Large, and Brittany Moore, who won Miss Music City over in Nashville. I had a chance to see a great show at Scorpio some weeks ago. It was right after Miss Gay America and Miss U.S.ofA. At Large. And, who was in the show, but the winner of Miss America, Raleigh’s Kirby Kolby, and the 1st alternate to Miss AtLarge, Columbia’s Dorae Saunders. They were joined by Carmen Carrera of this past season’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Kirby is off to her “training” retreat with the owners of MGA in Memphis soon. Here is the link of the mention she recently got in the Washington Post, home of her Miss DC prelim:

A million apologies are going out for an oversight I made in the last Rag. I didn’t even mention the two-year anniversary show for Buff Faye’s Drag Brunch, this time at Loft 1523. Joining Buff in the show were ladies from the present and past, like Miley Virus, Miss NC America Jessica Raynes Starr, Kiana Lane, Miss Rachel, Sierra Santana and special guest Bebe Zahara Benet, the season one winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Lovely queen and great show. I just received news that Victoria Renee Parker of Fayetteville recently won the 19th Miss Tri-State All-Star pageant up in Pittsburgh. Her runners-up were Delores Van Cartier and Kristina Kelly. There were 11 contestants, so hats off to Da Pig! She certainly joins a great family of formers, for sure, including Terry Vanessa Coleman, Shae Shae LaReese, Alana Steele, Jennifer Warner and Necole Luv Dupree. Just as we go to press, Bella Jade has been crowned Miss Charlotte Newcomer at Scorpio and her runners-up were Gabrielle Cooper and Vivian Monroe. Next time, we’ll talk about the upcoming Miss CO2 pageant and Miss Southern Elegance taking place at the Rainbow In. Don’t forget Nina Flowers also comes to the Rainbow In in January! And, there are more big-name divas coming to Scorpio as well. We’ll also talk about some new shows around town, too. : : info: Drop me a line, OK?

Dena Cass, the All-American Goddess at Large Photo Credit: Kristofer Reynolds Photography, Orlando, FL

We want your feedback: Whether it’s letters to the editor, web comments, general suggestions, comments or ideas, qnotes staff welcomes your input. We delight in hearing what our readers have to say. Be sure to send in your thoughts, praises, criticisms and more to for general feedback or for letters to the editor. Thank you!

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011




Health centers a mecca for LGBT community Openness a key factor in acceptance by Lainey Millen ::

When one thinks about the Planned Parenthood organization, it’s usually associated with birth control and women’s healthcare. Well, it’s no longer the family planning clinic that it once was and it’s a step ahead of the game in providing for the LGBT community. Since its inception more than 90 years ago, Planned Parenthood has “promoted a commonsense approach to women’s health and well-being, based on respect for each individual’s right to make informed, independent decisions about health, sex and family planning.” There are approximately 800 health centers across the U.S. which are run by 83 locally-governed affiliates. Each center is staffed with physicians, nurse practitioners and others in a supporting and caring environment. Now, in today’s world, they have expanded their services to the LGBT community as well and provide such in a professional and respectful manner. In the Carolinas, there are 11 centers that cover every area from the coast to the mountains in both states. Although appointments are encouraged, some walk-in services are available. The website shows payment options, holiday schedules and more. In North Carolina, there are clinics in Asheville, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington. In South Carolina, offerings are available in Columbia and Charleston. Most are operated under Planned Parenthood Health Systems, Inc., except Chapel Hill, Durham and Fayetteville who are under the Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina umbrella. Centers offer an assortment of the following services: abortion referral, abortion services, birth control, general healthcare, HIV testing, LGBT services, men’s healthcare, morning-after pill (aka emergency contraception), pregnancy testing and services, STD testing, treatment and vaccines, as well as women’s healthcare. Check with local clinics to get more information. When it comes to treatment of a LGBT person, however, most only have a protocol for lesbians, gays and bisexuals. A pilot program is underway in the Raleigh clinic for treating and caring for transgender clients, reported Kate Swift-Scanlan, a certified nurse midwife and clinician at the center. At the national Planned Parenthood conference, Raleigh was asked to develop this specialized service and they were ready to head the call. Since most of the centers nationally had little or no experience or expertise in treating transgender clients, Planned Parenthood felt it was time to do so. During this trial period, heightened sensitivity training was instituted. Transgender services are being tailored to meet the needs of the individual client and an informed consent model is utilized. Clinicians obtain a full healthcare history and review the file. They also review current or future hormone therapy regimens. Risk behaviors are discussed and once the evaluation process is completed, the staff will recommend transition or continuance of transition protocols. The medical staff also counsels on mental health issues,



Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

general health and surgical options. Referral and followup are instituted. Jennifer Browning, center manager at Charlotte, expressed her excitement at the work being done in Raleigh and looks forward to being able to implement the transgender services when the research and development is completed. She remarked that there was a great deal of acceptance on both sides of the spectrum between the LGB clients and the staff. She said that she was relieved to know that these clients felt comfortable and safe with Planned Parenthood. One thing that all clinics have available is HIV testing. Browning said that in her experience, she found that some clients wanted the news quicker than others. Some receive the instant results test, which is ready in 10 minutes. However, there are many who prefer the tests that require longer laboratory time. When required, counseling services and referrals are made available. Browning also shared that Planned Parenthood has set up booths at Pride Charlotte and hopes to continue to share its story with the community. In Durham, the staff and volunteers there have also set up at NC Pride and have marched in parades in years past. Up in Asheville, staff member Callie said that she regretted that there was no hormone therapy for transgender clients available right now. But, she realizes that will change once Raleigh has finished their work. She commented that the services that they provide come with less judgment than traditional providers. Lea Salas Cordova, 70, retired, transgender and who serves as a Spanish medical interpreter, as well as a member of Duke University’s LGBT Task Force, participated in staff training on transgender healthcare issues over the summer. Through her work with the Durham Gender Alliance support group and Trans Health Initiative of North Carolina, she encouraged Planned Parenthood to open up its services to the transgender community. She had approached the University of North Carolina and Duke University, but felt that the locations were not public enough to make a difference. In a personal note to friends, she commented that she was “impressed by the staff’s enthusiasm and courteous, competent, aware attitude toward the addition of these services to their responsibilities. … This is a major step forward, a ‘clinical jump’ on behalf of the local trans communities.” Planned Parenthood also has many resources for LGBT teens, adults and parents on subjects regarding sexual health, orientation and gender identity and the coming out process. Volunteers are always being sought to work within the Planned Parenthood community. Overseas, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has worked for 40 years to ensure that proper healthcare is provided to men, women, and youth in neglected areas across the globe. For more information, visit planned : :


out in print by terri schlichenmeyer :: qnotes contributor

Andrea Myers’ ‘Choosing’

From the moment you entered the world, squalling and wet, your parents had many expectations for you. They expected you to grow up with morals, decency and kindness, strength and smarts. They hoped you’d be productive, happy, and live a long life. Dad might have dreamed you’d take over the family business. Mom might have wanted to teach you to ride a bike or a horse. They saw great promise in your future. When author Andrea Myers was born, her parents undoubtedly had certain expectations for her, too. But, as you’ll see in her new book “The Choosing,” Myers had a few surprises for them. Born in Queens and raised in Long Island, Andrea Myers loved to ask questions as a child. No answer was ever thorough enough and certain things were never discussed.

Controversy was forbidden, topics of religion and sexuality among them. Myers’ mother was a Sicilian Catholic who had been “insulted” by the Church and, as a result, Myers and her siblings were raised in their father’s Lutheran faith. Theirs was a unique and boisterous family: Myers devout grandmother lived upstairs and fiercely loved her granddaughter; Myers’ mother steadfastly stuck up for her children, no matter what; and Myers’ father had a dubious flair for fashion. With her inquisitive mind, there was no question about college but when it came time for Myers to apply, she felt as if there was little choice. Her boyfriend said that if she chose a local college, they might as well “talk marriage.” But, what he didn’t know was that Myers had been dating girls, secretly, for several years. She chose Brandeis University and left home. There, she found people who didn’t care that she was gay and a religion that seemed to answer a lot of endless ques-

tions, but that asked even more. Seeking out a beloved campus rabbi, Myers told him that she wanted to convert to Judaism and become a rabbi. He didn’t follow tradition by turning her away three times; instead, he welcomed her, but warned her that it wouldn’t be easy. Undaunted, Myers embraced the challenge by moving to Jerusalem to study. In so many ways, it was a decision that changed her life. Filled with wisdom, humor, and the kind of contentment that only comes when one has found his or her right place in the world, “The Choosing” is one of those books that leaves you feeling oddly serene. Author Andrea Myers writes about her life: her quirky family, memorable childhood experiences, her wife and children, mentors and friends, but she also takes opportunity to educate readers on Talmudic teachings, Jewish laws, and her own spirituality. There’s plenty of humor in this book — you can almost hear the twinkle in Myers’ words — but, at the same time, she imparts a sense of refreshment, subtly pointing out the miraculous in the everyday. If you’re looking for inspiration, direction, or a few gentle laughs, you’ll love this surprisingly charming book. Grab “The Choosing” and you can expect a very good read. : : info: “The Choosing” by Andrea Myers c. 2011, Rutgers University Press $19.95 / $20.95 Canada, 187 pages

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011



tell trinity A&E

by trinity qnotes contributor

When in Rome do as the Romans do

enjoy the moment, even if you end up burning from it — I mean learning from it — which may only last for a short time anyway. And, yes, you may want to start shopping for a new heart, but most likely, sweetie, you won’t need to purchase it. (The ways of the heart can be expounded on when you read my cartoon.)

Hello Trinity, Recently, I moved in with my father and his new wife. But, she wants me to be quiet about being gay. She’s afraid she will lose custody of her grandchildren because a gay man is living in her house. I told her it won’t happen. It’s against the law. Unfortunately, I don’t have a job or the money to move. What should I do? Upset & Depressed, Billings, MT Hello Upset, You’ve got every right to be upset. It’s awful being closeted, but if you choose to live in their house, then you must live under their rules while you’re there. She’s not so awful for wanting to protect her grandchildren. And, if she’s afraid it will end up in court or even if she’s making the whole thing up, it’s her house! When you have your own house you can make the rules. For now, get a job, save your money and get out ASAP! Oh, and, pumpkin, give yourself a pat on the back for being able to make adult compromises in tough situations. Dearest Trinity, I met a guy who is new to gay life. We’re having lots of sex and I’m falling in love. But, he doesn’t want to get serious or even call it dating. Am I going to need a heart transplant in the end? Falling Hard From Just Sex, Atlanta, GA, Dearest Falling Hard, If you’re falling in love when you’re “supposed to” just feel sexual, then you’re a healthy man in a world where many men are afraid of dating…and that’s their issue. For now,



Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

Dear Trinity, Not too long ago you did a Trinity’s Tips for “the wrong moment” to end a relationship. What about “the right moment” to get out of one?” Avid Reader, Seattle, WA Dear Avid Reader, It’s taken me years of research to find just the right moment to kill, I mean end a relationship. So, honey, here are the results.

Trinity’s Final Tips For TRM: “The Right Moment” To File For Divorce   1. With a bouquet of flowers and tickets for a cruise, you throw open the door to find him on top of…your best friend. TRM   2. Your entire family has flown in for your commitment ceremony and guess who comes stumbling up the isle, incoherently drunk, again! TRM   3. He suddenly announces, “No more sex, I’m fasting for six months and my mother is moving in.” TRM   4. After two months of dieting, liposuction recovery and finally getting off antidepressants, she reminds you that, “You’re still an overweight mess who will never be happy.” TRM   5. Your partner of five years says, “Either change everything you do or I’m leaving!” TRM   6. Not only has he been a lunatic from the steroids, besides spending every night at the gym, now he insists on replacing all your meals with protein drinks. TRM   7. Your friends are all gathered around the piano singing happy birthday to you, when your lover starts screaming (again), “Why is it always about you!” TRM   8. After you gave up your great job, moved to his country, changed your last name to his and promised eternal love, he wants you to give up all ties to your (very large) family!” TRM   9. While on a business trip, you call and call, but still no answer. Finally, you call your neighbor who tells you that her own husband has left her…for yours. TRM 10. After working five years on your Ph.D., you’re finally two days away. But, he gets jealous, destroys your computer and yells, “Your career is always more important than me!” TRM — With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity was host of “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama, and now performs globally. info: . Sponsored by: Provincetown Business Guild 800-637-8696 .


out in the stars by charlene lichtenstein qnotes contributor

November 26 - December 9

Ho ho ho. December is here and the planets are not only jolly, but generous. Jupiter redirects and trines Sun in Capricorn. Gather your gifts and see who has been naughty and who has been nice. SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) You will work hard for what you get, but that should not be a concern to you because you are indeed working hard right now. And, there is a light at the end of the work tunnel. All your efforts can pay off and you will be well-heeled for the holiday season. So, eat, drink and be very merry now gay Archer. Even rats on a treadmill deserve a coffee break. CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) If there was anyone who could use a good party, it is you, pink Cap. So, don your gay apparel and plug into the holiday party circuit. It is time to see and be seen. And, you can even make a scene. All is forgiven because you are so dynamic, charismatic and engaging now. I think the wire hanger holding the mistletoe over your head is a very nice touch. AQUARIUS (01.21-02.19) There is a lot bubbling below the surface that is waiting to burst out. Secrets should be shared and why not? It will make you seem all knowing and mysterious. And, that can be very attractive. Plan some festive surprises at home with some good friends and family and don’t be surprised if you are surprised yourself. Why am I not surprised? PISCES (02.20-03.20) Your desire to make a name for yourself becomes an obsession. And, maybe that oomph is what you need to finally get some long-dormant plans launched. Talk to advisors and do your research. You have toiled too long in the background and now you deserve some recognition. Success is at hand, Guppie. See if you can transfer from the hand to the wallet. ARIES (03.21-04.20) All your plans for corporate domination may have an opening. Proud Rams can capitalize on all their hard work and planning and can secure a place at the boardroom table. Of course, if you are more interested in entrepreneurial goals, it is a good time to break ground on your new business. Santa rewards the good. Now you are very good. TAURUS (04.21-05.21) All eyes have been on you for so long, you may forget that they are even there. But, this is no time to forget to cultivate your public face. While things might have gotten out of hand in the past few months, these days will prove to be a good time to consolidate your efforts and reap international acclaim. The sky is the limit. Fly it in first class style, queer Bull. GEMINI (05.22-06.21) Although you love to play coy, even you will be caught up in the game of love this season. And, what a game it will be! Secret admirers who have been biding their time to make their move will now make their move. All of a sudden you are the one to meet, greet and sweet talk. Can you handle all this adoration without it going to your head? Ho ho ho. CANCER (06.22-07.23) Prepare for a rush of holiday-inspired festivities that will enliven current relationships and maybe even create new and exciting ones. Store up your energy so you can last the entire time in party mode. And, in that time you will find ways to expand your list of friends and try out some new organizations. How about Occupy the Nearest Party? LEO (07.24-08.23) When it comes to your career, the bigger the better now. Proud Lions find that a particular professional project opens a big door of opportunity at work. Showcase your talents to the big wigs and see where it can lead. Of course, you might just decide to keep a few pet projects tucked under your hat. All the better to

hide your own big wig designs. VIRGO (08.24-09.23) What is it that inspires you, queer Virgin? You will find out during the days ahead as you get drawn into several different types of artistic ventures. And, you know what they say — nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, explore, experiment and take a risk. It may not all succeed, but so what? Your creativity hits a high note, even if you can’t sing. LIBRA (09.24-10.23) Deck your home with not only Holly but a bunch of other friends. Get into the holiday party scene and make a scene. Not only will you have a time period of home entertaining ahead of you, you will also be able to reconnect with long-lost relatives. Try your hand at genealogy. Who knows what buried treasure lies at the foot of the family tree? Or, is it a secret? SCORPIO (10.24-11.22) Let your words fall like sugarplums. You will need to be especially diplomatic and coaxing in many of your relationships. And, this is because you are angling for some pretty big end-of-year favors. Certainly, an expensive gift could help pave the way to your eventual success even more than mere words. But, that is up to you, queer Scorp. : : © 2011 Madam Lichtenstein, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Entertainment. info: Visit for e-greetings, horoscopes and Pride jewelry. My book “HerScopes: A Guide To Astrology For Lesbians” from Simon & Schuster is available at bookstores and major booksites.

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011




Holiday Cooking Pumpkin Bread Pudding and Crème Anglaise by Robert Penry :: guest contributor

Pumpkin Bread Pudding Ingredients: 1 lb (about 10 cups) French Bread, cut into 1-inch cubes 4 Eggs (large) 2 Egg Yolks (large) 2 C. Heavy Cream 2 C. Milk 15-1/2 oz Pumpkin Puree 3/4 c. Brown Sugar 1/2 c. Chopped Pecans 1/2 c. Dried Cranberries 2 t. Cinnamon 1 t. Nutmeg



2 t. Vanilla Extract 2 T. Dark Rum Large Aluminum Roasting Pan Method of Preparation: 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. Bake bread cubes on baking sheet for about 15 minutes, turning several times to toast evenly. Allow to cool. 3. In a large bowl, add eggs, cream, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, pecans, cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and rum. Whisk well to combine.

Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

It’s that time of year — friends and family gather for reunions, dinners and parties. And, no get-together is complete without a great dish. Robert Penry is an admissions classroom presenter for the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte. He’s providing some great culinary inspirations for your holiday gatherings this year. Be sure to pick up our next few issues for more ideas for your holiday and New Year cooking extravaganzas.

4. Add bread cubes and toss gently to combine. Pour mixture into a greased 13x9 glass baking dish. 5. Allow bread mixture to sit for 45 minutes. 6. Place glass dish into roasting pan, fill with enough boiling water until the water reaches halfway up the glass baking dish. 7. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. 8. Allow to cool slightly for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm with crème anglaise.

Crème Anglaise Ingredients: 1 c. Heavy Cream 2 t. Vanilla Extract 4 Egg Yolks (large) 1/3 c. Sugar Method of Preparation: 1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm cream and vanilla until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan. 2. In a medium glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar

until completely smooth. 3. To temper the egg mixture, pour 1/2 cup of hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. 4. Gradually add tempered egg mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. 5. Cook until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Mixture will thicken as it cools. 6. Serve over pumpkin bread pudding.


Like generations of parents before us, my children’s mom and I read to our young children every night. It was part of our by brett webb-mitchell nighttime ritual: after dinner, qnotes contributor we’d watch a little television Kiddie’s Lit before we would run into the bedroom of our children. Thankfully, they shared a bedroom at the time and were both into storytelling before it was time to say our evening prayers, followed by a kiss and a hug. The stories we read were some of the “old chestnuts� of nighttime story telling, told often enough that my children would repeat the words as we read them from the book, with the same inflection in their voices as their parents. Because their mom and I are educators, we knew fully well that they were learning how to read and speak by this simple rite of passage. What made both children early readers was this repetitious activity, performed seven days a week, no matter how tired we were. “Good Night Moon,� “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,� “Make Way for Ducklings!� were wonderful tales, dwelling mostly on animals, colors, shapes and sizes with only a tad bit of drama or a touch of comedy in each tale told. Later in their life, the children’s mom did a bang-up job of regaling my kids with the Harry Potter tales. While we were teaching our children a world of images, colors, shapes and sizes, I also was aware that the children’s books also taught them cultural signs and symbols, morality and ethics. Many stories had the usual cast of characters, including a mom and dad, with a son and daughter, pets and a station wagon, submarine, magic broom or enchanted carriage to transport them around the neighborhood, world or other universes. The normative way of being family was

on being a gay parent

being slowly and methodically well bred within my children’s lives. Heterosexual parents or single parents ruled, with a brief mention of a grandparent or distant relative sprinkled in for good measure. In those early years, the only children’s book that was popular that presented an alternative, lesbian or gay parent world was “Heather Has Two Moms.� Thankfully, the world of children’s literature has changed in recent years. LGBTQ and straight parents can now find engaging children’s stories that present our families in ways that are healthy, fun, adventurous and endearing. For example, a classic tale that is loved universally is “And Tango Makes Three,� by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. This story captures the fantastic family of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, loving fathers, who take care of an otherwise orphaned penguin. Then there is “King and King,� by Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland. This tale is set in a fairytale narrative in which usually boy-meets-girl, this story breaks that convention and describes the love of two princes “who live happily ever afterward.� Finally, I recently received a book from Australia, “My Two Super Dads� (words by Bronwen Fallens and excellent illustrations by Muntsa Vicente). It is a lovely, simple story, well told by a little girl who loves her two dads, Mack and Tom, a cat and a dog and the wonderful extraordinarily ordinary life they live “Down Under.� Mack and Tom love their little girl as they cook and tend to housecleaning duties together and enjoy vacations at the beach. At night, the two dads did what my children’s mom and I did every night: the tucked the little girl into bed, with a story and kiss on the head and a big bear hug. The time and place for teaching the next generation about respect and inclusion of all kinds of families begins right in our children’s bedrooms, as we tell our children about all kinds of adventures in a world of bears, Dr. Seuss characters, ducklings, Harry Potter wizardry and gay dads. With hopes for a kinder future, telling these stories, night after night, the message will be made clear: we live in a world of wonder, with all kinds of parents, who provide what we all want and need, which is love. : :

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Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011





Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

Teddy bears need capturing!

Dec. 3 • Raleigh The Raleigh-Durham CBL Bear Dens will hold a holiday potluck dinner and party on Dec. 3, 7 p.m., at the View at Legends, 119 S. Harrington St. The event is open to the public. Bring a dessert, meat, side dish or salad to get in free. At 10 p.m. the party will move on down to Flex, 2 S. West. St., where Santa Bear is sure to be on board. Participants are asked to bring a stuffed teddy bear for the annual local children’s hospital drive. RSVP to with head count and shared dish type.

Dec. 1 • Charlotte The Voices Project We all have a story to tell and we hope you will join us on World AIDS Day for The Voices Project — stories from our community. Our hope is to bring our community a little closer together with personal stories from some of our friends and family who are living with HIV and AIDS. Presented by the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN). Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, 650 E. Stonewall St. 7 p.m. Free. Dec. 1-4 • Charlotte LeatherFET Charlotte’s annual leather and fetish festival heats up for a full four-day run in Uptown Charlotte. Featuring nightly parties, a vendor fair, author signings and more. Regular tickets for the full four-day convention are $145. For full registration and event location information, visit and sign up at Dec. 2-3 • Charlotte Hee Haw Holidays One Voice Chorus presents a festive, homespun holiday concert. Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, 234 N. Sharon Amity Rd. Evening performances on Dec. 2-3, 7:30 p.m. Matinee on Dec. 2, 2 p.m. $20/general. $10/student matinee. Dec. 2 • Charlotte Grown Up Avenger Stuff and more Hartigan’s Pub hosts Zoe Vette & the Revolvers and Grown Up Avenger Stuff. Hartigan’s Pub, 601 S. Cedar St. 9 p.m. $7. Dec. 3 • Greensboro Ever Green Triad Pride Men’s Chorus presents their an-

nual holiday show, “Ever Green,” in celebration of winter greenery, lasting youth and life and hope through music. Greensboro Day School, 5401 Lawndale Dr. 8 p.m. $10/advance. $15/door. 336-589-6267. Dec. 3 • Charlotte Bear Party The Charlotte Bear Lodge Christmas Party will be held at a private residence. Dinner, 6:30 p.m., party, 8 p.m. Free. Cash contributions welcome for Time Out Youth. Dec. 3 • Raleigh Women’s STD testing The LGBT Center of Raleigh hosts “Love, Hope, Truth,” an all-women’s HIV/AIDS and STD testing event. Food and gifts will be provided. LGBT Center of Raleigh, 411 Hillsborough St. 3-6 p.m. Dec. 4 • Charlotte An Oleen’s Christmas Scorpio hosts a special reunion show with your favorites and regulars from the old-time Charlotte bar, Oleen’s. Bring an ornament to hang on a special memorial tree in remembrance of Oleen performers and friends who have passed away. Scorpio, 2301 Freedom Dr. 5-9 p.m. Dec. 4 • Winston-Salem First Sunday Tea Dance First Sunday Tea Dance takes place the first Sunday of each month at Lucky Blue in downtown Winston-Salem. There is no cover! Free food, drink specials, music by D.J. Clash and a portion of the drink sales

we want your who/what/where

will benefit a local non-profit. The beneficiary for December is the Forsyth Humane Society. Lucky Blue, 271 W. 4th St. 5-8 p.m. Dec. 7 • Winston-Salem Film Screening OUT at the Movies Winston-Salem screens “Weekend,” named by The Advocate as this fall’s best movie. See the trailer online at a/perture cinema, 311 W. 4th St. 8-9:45 p.m. Dec. 9 • Charlotte Candyland Atlanta’s DJ Mike Pope visits Marigny for JustTwirl’s annual pajama party, one night before their annual Twirl to the World. Marigny Dance Club, 1440 S. Tryon St. 10 p.m. $5. Dec. 9-10 • Charlotte Drummer Boy The Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte performs in their annual holiday extravaganza. St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 1510 E. 7th St. 8:04 p.m. $20. Dec. 9-12 • Charlotte Fine Art Show presents their fourth annual Charlotte Fine Art & Craft Show, with handmade crafts and art pieces of all shapes, sizes and prices. Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St. For more information, hours and ticketing, visit charlottefineartshow/. Dec. 10 • Charlotte Twirl to the World JustTwirl’s annual holiday party featuring


events qnotes

arts. entertainment. news. views. New York City’s DJ David Marc and benefiting Crisis Assistance Ministry and the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots. Sponsored by Charlotte Pocket Rocket and CBM Design. Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. 9 p.m. $5/with new, unwrapped toy. $15/without toy. Dec. 10 • Winston-Salem Ever Green Triad Pride Men’s Chorus presents an encore performance of their annual holiday show, “Ever Green,” in celebration of winter greenery, lasting youth and life and hope through music. Wait Chapel, Wait Chapel, Wake Forest University, 1834 Wake Forest Rd. 8 p.m. $10/advance. $15/door. 336-589-6267. Dec. 10 • Durham Ye Merry Gentlemen The Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus presents a festive musical sleigh ride brimming with seasonal cheer, lush harmonies and holiday classics. Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Rd. 8 p.m. Free. Dec. 11 • Raleigh Ye Merry Gentlemen Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus presents a matinee performance of their holiday concert. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1725 North New Hope Rd. 3 p.m. Free.

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Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011





Nov. 26-Dec. 9 . 2011

QNotes Nov. 26-Dec. 9, 2011  

QNotes marks World AIDS Day with our 2011 special section, "Life, Positively," presented by Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina. Plus, an int...

QNotes Nov. 26-Dec. 9, 2011  

QNotes marks World AIDS Day with our 2011 special section, "Life, Positively," presented by Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina. Plus, an int...