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inApr. 3-16, 2010

Vol 24 No 24

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contributors this issue

Robbi Cohn, Matt Comer, Sabrina Diz,

Nathan James, Chris Kromm, Charlene

Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, Deaidre

Newby, Leslie Robinson, David Stout,

Trinity

front page

Graphic Design by Lainey Millen.

Photo copyright Jimmy Cobb, JC Digital

Photography Works.

news & features

5 Miss. ends HIV discrimination

6 Stand up and be counted

12 ‘Big queer bus’

15 Small town, big dreams

15 Shirli’s got a gun

16 QGuide: Triad

18 Uncounted on the streets

20 MeckPAC keeps pushing

22 Diocese moves toward schism

23 DADT tour announced

23 DADT, black women

25 Sanitizing Helms

26 Billboards raise awareness

29 Candidate attacks opponent

qliving/arts & entertainment

24 More than the dance

24 Worth more than 400 pictures

27 Tell Trinity

30 Out in the Stars

31 Q events calendar

opinions & views

4 Editor’s Note

8 General Gayety

9 T-Notes

10 Winning back the South

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15-19

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes


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editor’s

note

by matt comer

matt@goqnotes.com

The more

things

change…

The more things change, the more they

stay the same, right? Come this fall, it will have

been 10 years since I took my first step into

gay activism. As a freshman at R.J. Reynolds

High School in Winston-Salem, I started a gaystraight

alliance (GSA) barely two weeks after

students at nearby West Forsyth High made

history with the first such club in our district.

By the time I graduated in 2004, the system

had GSAs at West Forsyth, Reynolds, Mt.

Tabor and East Forsyth. Students at other

schools were interested in organizing clubs,

but they never got off the ground. Now, only

one GSA exists in the county — Mt. Tabor

High School’s GSA has managed to survive

and thrive for years.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Mt.

Tabor’s GSA in March. I was thrilled

to see how well their club was doing.

I told them a bit about my organizing

at Reynolds and clubs which used to

exist at other schools. Unfortunately,

student leaders today are battling the

same issues we fought when I was a high

schooler.

As students, we often ran into obstacles

when we tried to become more active on

campus. We were denied the opportunity to

put announcements in school publications

and were denied participation in the student

clubs component of our student government.

According to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County

Schools policy, political and religious student

groups aren’t allowed school sponsorship.

Somehow, the school system managed to

interpret GSAs as “political” in nature. Yet,

the school sponsorship policy was never

enforced fairly from club to club within an

individual school much less from school to

school within the larger district.

Today, the story remains eerily similar. Mt.

Tabor GSA leaders are forced to keep their

announcements limited to word-of-mouth

and the few opportunities they get for tabling

during lunch periods, even though the school

has let other non-school sponsored clubs take

advantage of official school announcements

in the past. And, according to a West Forsyth

High School senior I also met in March,

clubs at his school that should be non-school

sponsored — such as the Young Democrats

and Republicans — enjoy all the benefits of a

fully-sanctioned club.

Such lackadaisical and inconsistent policy

enforcement is nothing new in Winston-Salem.

LGBT students’ well-being and fair treatment

have never been a real concern for school

leaders here. Of all the state’s urban school

districts, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County

School System is, perhaps, the most conservative

and most anti-gay. Time after time, year

after year, community members, students,

teachers and parents begged the board of

education to adopt more inclusive anti-bullying

policies or include questions regarding antigay

harassment on the system’s annual school

climate survey. Each time, the board either

ignored or outright rejected the requests.

Longtime school board member Jeannie

Metcalf has been the most outspoken. During

the height of LGBT-related conversations with

the school board in 2003, Metcalf was quoted

by The Winston-Salem Journal from two

emails she sent to constituents.

In one, Metcalf compared LGBT people

to murderers and rapists: “I told

him we shouldn’t be making

concessions to homosexuals

because it is

clearly portrayed in

the Bible as sin…

And believe me, I

know we all sin but

what other sin can

you think of that has

been so white-washed?

Let’s have murder-pride

marches, rape-pride

marches etc.”

In a second email, Metcalf said anti-gay

bullying was a-okay by her: “I think homosexuality

is a sin. If they want to make fun of

them, I don’t have a problem with it.”

Thankfully, 2009’s School Violence

Prevention Act forced the board of education’s

hand. Last August they brought their

anti-bullying policies in line with state law,

making them inclusive of sexual orientation

and gender-identity, among other characteristics.

Conservative board members Buddy

Collins, Jane Goins and Metcalf voted against

the state-mandated changes.

Given the history and public anti-gay attitudes

held by its leaders, it should come as no

surprise the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County

School System continues to be a place where

LGBT students are treated unfairly. With or

without the School Violence Prevention Act,

LGBT students will continue to be victimized

by a board of education that has no regard

for their right to learn and grow in a safe and

supportive educational environment. : :

qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi

Department of Corrections (MDOC) has

agreed to end the segregation of prisoners

with HIV, a longstanding discriminatory policy

that has prevented prisoners from accessing

key resources that facilitate their successful

transition back into the community.

The decision by Mississippi’s corrections

commissioner Christopher Epps, leaves

South Carolina and Alabama as the only

states in the nation that segregate prisoners

based on their HIV status. Epps made the

decision ahead of a forthcoming report by the

ACLU and Human Rights Watch analyzing the

harmful impact segregation policies have had

in the three states.

“Commissioner Epps deserves a tremendous

amount of credit for making this courageous

decision to replace a policy based on

irrational HIV prejudice with a policy based

on science, sound correctional practice and

respect for human rights,” said Margaret

Winter, Associate Director of the ACLU

National Prison Project.

She added, “The remaining segregation

policies in South Carolina and Alabama are a

remnant of the early days of the HIV epidemic

and continue to stigmatize prisoners and inflict

them and their families with a tremendous

amount of needless suffering.”

Public and correctional health experts

agree that there is no medical basis for segregating

HIV-positive prisoners within correctional

facilities or for limiting access to jobs,

vocational training and educational programs

available to others. Since 1987, however,

MDOC has performed mandatory HIV tests on

all prisoners entering the state prison system

and has permanently housed all male prisoners

who test positive in a segregated unit at

the Mississippi State Penitentiary, the state’s

highest security prison.

As a result, prisoners with HIV have been

faced with unjustified isolation, exclusion and

marginalization, and low-custody prisoners

have been forced unnecessarily to serve

their sentences in more violent, more expensive

prisons.

The change in policy will enable prisoners

with HIV to participate in jobs, training

programs and other services to which they

were previously denied access and which are

designed to prepare prisoners for a productive

return to society. Prisoners with HIV will now

be able to participate in kitchen work, for example.

Many prisoners worked in kitchens, cafes

or restaurants prior to their incarceration,

and continued employment in that area can

help them upon re-entry into the workforce.

Additionally, prisoners with HIV will no

longer be assigned to a segregated HIV unit,

which resulted in the public disclosure of

their HIV status and left them at risk of being

ostracized and subjected to hostility and

violence at the hands of other prisoners. Epps

said he will phase in the new desegregation

policy gradually for prisoners currently

housed in the HIV unit, and will form a committee

to make individualized placement decisions

for these prisoners.

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news notes: beyond the carolinas

Miss. no longer segregating HIV+ prisoners

“Prisoners with HIV were often forced to

live in cruel, inhumane and degrading conditions,

and we’re delighted that Mississippi has

changed its policy,” said Megan McLemore,

health researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Integrating prisoners with HIV is the norm

across the United States and MDOC deserves

significant credit for making this decision.”

u Lambda Legal returned to the New

Jersey Supreme Court on March 18, filing

a motion seeking full marriage equality on

behalf of the seven same-sex couples they

represented in a 2006 lawsuit that led the

state legislature enacting civil unions. “The

New Jersey Supreme Court ordered equality

for same-sex couples when it decided our

marriage lawsuit in 2006, and the legislature

has failed to meet that crystal-clear obligation,”

said Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal

Director at Lambda Legal. “Civil unions are

a failed legislative experiment in providing

equality in New Jersey — marriage equality

is the only solution. Because the legislature

ignored the extensive research and unanimous

conclusion of its own Civil Union Review

Commission and the overwhelming evidence

presented in hours of legislative testimony, we

must go back to court.”

u William Mann, Greg Herren and J. M.

Redmann are featured among the dozens of

gay and lesbian authors who will be participating

in the second annual Gay and Lesbian

Literary Arts (GALLA) Festival, to be held

April 9-11 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The festival

by David Stout

david@goqnotes.com

will include workshops, seminars, panels,

presentations and readings at the Stonewall

Library & Archives and the adjacent ArtServe

facilities. For tickets or more information, visit

www.GALLAfestival.org or call Stonewall at

954-763-8565.

u In a 10-5 vote along party lines, the

Texas State Board of Education moved to

include increased favorable mentions of

anti-gay, right-wing leaders Phyllis Schlafly

(Heritage Foundation) and Jerry Falwell

(Moral Majority) in the state’s history textbooks,

which will also be used in school districts

across the U.S. “It’s unimaginable that

millions of kids across this nation may now be

taught that people who espouse and promote

religion-based bigotry are to be looked upon

as favorable,” said Brent Childers, executive

director of Faith In America. After a public

comment period, the board will vote on final

recommendations in May.

u LGBT soap fans were disappointed to

learn that “One Life To Live” is dropping the

storyline of gay characters Kyle and Fish. The

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

chided, “Last summer, ‘One Life to Live’

brought a ground-breaking relationship into

the homes of millions with Kyle and Fish’s

story, one that built acceptance and understanding

of gay people. While we understand

that the close of storylines is a frequent

occurrence on daytime dramas, canceling

this story just as it gains momentum is a step

backward in ABC Daytime’s representation of

the lives of gay Americans. : :

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes


news notes: carolinas

Stand up and be counted!

RALEIGH — Equality NC (ENC) reports on

their website that LGBT participation in this

year’s Census is essential. In the last Census,

North Carolina was reported as one of the

fastest-growing states, yet it also had a subaverage

response, meaning the growth was

underreported. Census data is critical to many

aspects of government and social services

and it directly affects what services are offered

and to whom.

The Census occurs every 10 years. It is a

constitutional requirement.

Census data is used to determine

the distribution of seats in the House of

Representatives and provides key population

numbers for Congress and the administration

to determine how federal dollars flow to the

states and cities for assorted needs.

This year the form asks simple questions

and does not get into relationship issues, etc.,

that were on the longer forms of years past.

Respondents are asked to supply their name,

sex, age, date of birth, whether they are of

Hispanic origin, race, household relationship,

own/rent, telephone number and number of

people living in the household as of Census

Day, April 1. There is room for more family

members in the form to capture their data.

The U.S. Census listened to the public

and created a separate form that is mailed

to some, but not all, households and group

quarters that captures far more detail than

the 2010 Census. It is call The American

Community Survey. Check to see if you received

one or both forms and use the information

below to assist you in your replies.

For the Survey, many same-sex couples

may wonder how to describe their relationship.

The U.S. Census Bureau asks us to

tell the truth as we understand it. So, if you

consider your partner your “unmarried

partner,” check that box. If you consider your

partner to be your spouse or if you have married

your same-sex spouse in any state, you

may choose the “husband or wife” option and

the Bureau will record and report on these

figures in it’s official Census tables on married

couples in the U.S.

If you are partnered, ENC encourages you

to identify your relationship.

According to Lee Badgett, research

director at The Williams Institute of the UCLA

School of Law, “Census data have done more

to make LGBT families and their needs visible

than any other source of data we have.”

Obviously LGBT folks have privacy concerns.

The coming out process is a very personal

one, and people are at different points

in it, from totally closeted to totally out. The

Census, however, ensures absolute confidentiality

through Title 13. In the past two decades

of offering the “unmarried partner” box, there

have been no repercussions against LGBT

individual or families.

Also, no census data are shared with

the Immigration and Naturalization Service

or in any way used to target individuals and

families for law enforcement purposes.

The Census was mailed out in March

and will continue for several months. If you

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did not receive a form, call the Telephone

Questionnaire Assistance center at 866-

872-6868. Spanish-speaking operators are

available at 866-928-2010. Hearing-impaired

respondents can dial TDD 866-783-2010. Lines

will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday

through July 30.

For further information, check out Our

Families Count at ourfamiliescount.org and

Queer The Census at queerthecensus.org.

Charlotte

Go, fight, win!

CHARLOTTE — A pep rally and social

fundraiser for Campus Pride will be held on

May 13 at 8:30 p.m. at The Bar at 316, 316

Rennselear Ave. Featured speaker will be

Brian Sims, an openly gay NCAA college

football champion.

In 2000, Sims was the captain of the

Bloomsburg University football team in northeast

Pennsylvania. In the middle of the greatest

season in the NCAA Division II school’s

history, Sims did the unthinkable: he came

out. In doing so, the regional All-American

and team captain became the only openly

gay college football captain in NCAA history

and the most notable college player to ever

come out today. Sims took his team to the

NCAA Division II National Championship and

12 seasons of winning football. Today Sims is

an LGBT advocate and successful policy attorney

who lives and works in Philadelphia.

This event is open to the public. Donations

by Lainey Millen

lainey@goqnotes.com

will be gratefully accepted on behalf of

Campus Pride.

For more information, call 704-277-6710.

‘The L Word’ star to appear

CHARLOTTE — Pam Grier, Kit to those

of you who were big-time “The L Word”

devotees, will appear on May 7, 7 p.m., at the

Harvey B. Gantt Center, 551 S. Tryon St.

“A Foxy Brown Affair” features the

legendary actress, director and author. She

serves as an inspiration for African-American

women. She will serve as host for the evening,

while attendees enjoy music, film, food

and more.

She will be be sharing her new book,

“Foxy: My Life In Three Acts.” Grier was

in the films “Foxy Brown,” “Above the

Law,” “Jackie Brown” and more. She has

made guest appearances on “Miami Vice,”

“Martin,” “Night Court” and “The Fresh

Prince of Bel-Air.”

Tickets are $25 advance/$35 at the door.

Advance purchase may be made at RealEyes

Bookstore at 3306-B N. Davidson St. in NoDa.

The “affair” is being sponsored by

RealEyes Bookstore, Harvey B. Gantt Center,

Best Buy and JSW Media.

For more information, call 704-344-8989.

Save the date!

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Lesbian and

Gay Fund (CLGF) will hold its Third Annual

Happening on May 13, 12-1:15 p.m., at the

Uptown Omni Hotel, 132 E. Trade St. Mayor

qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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Anthony Foxx will serve as keynote speaker.

This luncheon event is held to raise

awareness and support for the Charlotte

Lesbian and Gay Fund, while highlighting its

grant program and recent grant recipients

who will be notified on April 15. The application

submissions were accepted between

Jan. 29-March 18. This year there is a of

around $40,000 for basic operating grants.

CLGF was established to positively impact

the chronic underfunding of LGBT non-HIV

programs. The Fund is a collective giving and

endowment initiative of Foundation For The

Carolinas that supports organizations and programs

that reach out and serve lesbian and

gay individuals and their families, as well as

other initiatives that seek to cultivate a more

diverse community.

Networking will begin at 11:15 a.m.

Tickets are $30 and $350 for reserved table

for 10.

Event sponsorships are available.

For more information, call 704-665-1888 or

visit fftc.org/clgf.

Triangle

It’s a date

DURHAM — The Second Chance Queer

Prom, Night of Enchantment, will be held on

April 17 from 8 p.m.-12 a.m. at the Four Points

by Sheraton, 7807 Leonardo Dr.

This is for those of you who either had a

date with the opposite sex (but, wished secretly

to be with that gal or guy who was your

heartthrob) or did not go at all.

Enjoy a dessert social, great music while

you get your photo taken. Door prizes will be

awarded as a way of helping to raise funds for

a worthy cause, Triangle Community Works

(TCW), who is serving as host for the evening.

Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per

couple. Students get a $5 discount with an ID.

For more information or to purchase

tickets, call TCW at 919-832-4484, email twc@

tcworks.org or visit tcworks.org.

Church to hold workshop

DURHAM — A workshop on equality

will be held on April 17, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at

Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

(ERUUF), 4907 Garrett Rd.

“Marriage Equality Tomorrow, Legal

Realities Today: A Workshop for Same-Gender

Couples, With or Without Children” will be the

topical focus. As Washington D.C.’s marriage

equality law takes effect, some are wondering

what is happening in North Carolina.

Interweave at ERUUF, an action team for

LGBT persons and allies, is hosting this free

workshop on marriage equality including

legal issues of interest and a presentation by

Equality NC (ENC).

ENC will present their “State of Equality”

as an overview of the legislative situation in

N.C. for the LGBT community, both past and

future.

Following the ENC presentation, Alyscia

Ellis, a family attorney, will speak about

estate planning, power of attorney, wills and

adoption.

Light refreshments will cap off the event.

Interweave at ERUUF, a membership

organization affiliated with the Unitarian

Universalist Association, was formed as a

vehicle to deepen congregants’ faith and

themselves and to realize a more welcoming,

inclusive, empowering and just world for

all. Interweave is an action-oriented group

focused on bringing justice and equality, in

harmony with its faith and mission, to the

Triangle area and beyond.

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For more information, email Interweave@

ERUUF.org or visit eruuf.org/special-events.

It’s a hit

CHAPEL HILL — On March 25, the

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender-Straight

Alliance (GLBTSA) presented “Dance in the

Dark,” their spring drag show.

Students donned both male and female

personalities. Vivian Vaughn was the headliner.

According to The Daily Tar Heel, the performance

was a Lady Gaga-themed presentation

and drew 400 attendees.

Alex Kilkka, GLBTSA co-president, said he

was “inspired by the singer’s work in the gay

right community.”

GLBTSA also partnered with North

Carolina State University to purchase 3,000

toy soldiers. Grassroots activists in the

Triangle area are working to send 13,500

plastic toy soldiers each to Sens. Richard Burr

and Kay Hagan. Their efforts are part of the

Stand with Honor campaign. Charlotte and

Wilmington are undertaking their own efforts

to target Reps. Larry Kissell, Mike McIntyre

and Sue Myrick.

Kilkka and other activists will deliver the

toy soldiers to Washington, D.C. later in the

month.

Roll ’em out

RALEIGH — ENC’s Shawn Long, his

partner Craig and child were selected as part

of the Obama administration’s outreach to the

LGBT community to participate in the 2010

Easter Egg Roll on April 5.

President Barack Obama and First Lady

Michelle Obama will welcome families from

across the nation to hunt for eggs and be part

of an annual tradition at the White House.

It dates back to 1878. Theme for this year is

“Ready, Set, Go!”

Long’s family was selected by lottery.

Interactive opportunities will be available

online on the day of the event at whitehouse.

gov/easterEggRoll.

South Carolina

Shift undertaken

MYRTLE BEACH — The Center Project

has announced that they have closed their

facility at 736 8th Ave. N., effective March 31.

They will remain an organization committed

to service the Grand Strand’s LGBT community

with a number of upcoming events,

such as Myrtle Beach Pride from Aug. 26-29.

For more information, email

info@thecenterproject.com or visit

thecenterproject.com.

Campus Scene

Contest announced

CHARLOTTE — OUTmedia’s “Be Queer,

Buy Queer!” international video contest, in

partnership with Campus Pride, has been

announced.

Winner of the contest will receive $10,000

in free OUTMedia entertainment for one’s

campus.

Submit videos responding to the concept

with a friend, your LGBT campus group or

run wild with your entire campus community.

Present in video form “What Does Be Queer

Buy Queer Mean To You?”

Submissions will be accepted through

April 15.

For more information, visit campuspride.

org/outmedia.asp. : :

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes


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general gayety

by leslie robinson :: qnotes contributor

Fighting for the right party

The month of March has come to mean

one thing to me: prom struggles.

Last year, I wrote about a lesbian in

Indiana who sued her school district for the

right to wear a tuxedo to her prom.

She was represented by the ACLU and

Men’s Wearhouse.

Now a case in Mississippi is making

national, even international news. We’re at a

place in this country where LGBT teenagers

are willing to fight for their rights and they’re

running smack up against adults who believe

they have none.

Witness the events in Fulton, Miss., home

to under 4,000 people. Constance McMillen, a

senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School,

wanted to take her girlfriend, another student,

to the April 2 prom. She also wanted to wear

a tuxedo.

She might as well have wanted Adam

Lambert to perform at the prom. School officials

said she and her girlfriend wouldn’t be

allowed to arrive together and that they might

be thrown out if other students felt uncomfortable.

And, ixnay on the tux.

After that chat, the school circulated a

memo forbidding same-sex dates. McMillen

turned to the ACLU. Considering how that

organization supports Sapphic teens through

their prom distress, I now consider ACLU

an acronym for Against Causing Lesbians

Unhappiness.

The ACLU of Mississippi sent the school

district a letter demanding McMillen be allowed

to bring whom she wished and wear

what she wished, or else legal action might

ensue.

In last year’s Indiana case, when the ACLU

filed a lawsuit, the school district reversed its

policy requiring girls to wear dresses to the

prom. Would muscle-flexing work similarly in

Mississippi?

Is the Pope from Biloxi?

The Itawamba County Board of Education

cancelled the prom. Rather than relent, compromise

or fight, these leaders took their prom

and went home.

“Due to the distractions to the educational

process caused by recent events” the school

district won’t host a prom this year, the board

said in a one-paragraph statement. “It is our

hope that private citizens will organize an

event for the juniors and seniors.”

Private citizens who won’t be weighed

down by questions of civil rights and can merrily

exclude anyone they want. Segregation

for the 21st century.

“A bunch of kids at school are really going

to hate me for this, so in a way it’s really retaliation,”

McMillen told The Clarion-Ledger.

The morning after the decision, McMillen

would’ve preferred gum surgery to going to

school, but her father said she should face her

classmates. “My daddy told me that I needed

to show them that I’m still proud of who I am,”

she told The Associated Press. “The fact that

this will help people later on, that’s what’s

helping me to go on.”

She wound up leaving school early, owing

to the tension. Someone said to her, “Thanks

for ruining my senior year.”

That day the ACLU filed suit against the

school district, asking the prom be reinstated,

and McMillen be allowed to bring a same-sex

date and wear a tuxedo.

I’d also like the school board members be

required to serve the two girls punch, but I

guess that’s beyond reach.

While some in the area side with the

school board, others differ. “There are some

people on the board who think they are the last

word,” said Diane Roberts, a Fulton hairstylist,

to USA Today. “You can’t judge people like that.

That’s between them and their good Lord.”

A Steel Magnolia, bless her.

With newspaper coverage, television

appearances and Facebook action, McMillen

is in a whirlwind. “I didn’t want a bunch of

media,” she said. “But it’s good because now

other kids are going to know that they have

rights, too.”

Which means stay tuned for next year’s

prom rumpus. : :

info:

LesRobinson@aol.com . generalgayety.com

qpoll

Who did you take

as your date to

prom when you

were in high school?

See the options and vote:

goqnotes.com/to/qpoll

qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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t-notes

by robbi cohn :: qnotes contributor

Tough love or tough luck

It seems that people who post trans

blogs and commentaries — me included

— are always writing about discrimination,

hate crimes, health care and bathrooms.

Granted, each is critically important and

potentially life altering. Only after the tragedy

of someone taking their own life, however,

do we usually write about suicide and what

drives trans people to take their own lives.

Many of us have contemplated this drastic

act. More than a few of us have attempted it.

Generally, a person must reach the depths of

despair to want to escape from a life which

has become so burdensome, so unbearable,

that to live simply becomes unacceptable.

And, it usually takes a trigger.

So, imagine you lost your job for no

specific reason other than discrimination

and there is no legal remedy. There are still

no federal ENDA protections. And, for a

myriad of reasons, no one wants to hire you.

You’ve been scrounging to make ends meet,

but you’re running out of options. If you were

fortunate to have collected unemployment, it

doesn’t last forever — the same thing goes

for food stamps. Maybe you own your own

home, maybe you’re renting. Either way,

the day finally comes when all options have

been depleted and you are staring down

homelessness. You still have a car, maybe,

and you’re living in it. Or, you’re living on

friends’ couches (if there are any friends

left). Your only access to the internet is the

library and support groups are sadly the only,

albeit tenuous, lifeline you have left.

Perhaps you’re feeling alienated because

your family and friends have rejected you.

Your spouse sued for divorce. Your sense of

being alone is more than ponderous — it’s

overwhelming and seemingly endless. You

are unconnected. You literally have no one to

whom you can turn. Maybe your crisis is related

to your religious upbringing and an inability

to reconcile being trans with religious

precepts with which you were raised and/or

indoctrinated. In many situations, depression

stems from a combination of many ancillary

factors. More often than not, however, it’s

the pressures from without which drive us

to the brink of extinction, not the mere fact

we are trans. Many, if not most, of us have

no problems dealing with being trans — it’s

how we fare at the hands of others who are

steeped in cultural bigotry which causes distress.

In each of these scenarios, it is often

an internet connection and support groups

that keep us going.

You write to a few of those groups about

your problems, concerns and fears. Several

persons in those groups lay into you for

having a so-called “pity party.” Is this tough

love or is it really just another way of saying

tough luck? For some living on the edge, it

is, sadly, the latter. I fear it may also be the

trigger.

We have become a self-centered and

uncompassionate culture and most of us

don’t know how to act when we hear of others’

misfortunes. It’s almost as though there

is something infectious and we don’t want to

catch it, so we compartmentalize ourselves

and phase out. It’s the same kind of treatment

often given to persons with disabilities.

And, trans persons. It’s dismissive, insensitive

and shows a total lack of understanding

about what’s at stake.

Why are we so callous? For starters,

any kind of sense of community we might

have once had seems to be disappearing.

Our myopia and narcissism as a culture is

astounding. Perhaps we don’t want to be

perceived as enablers or maybe it’s that we

comfort ourselves in others’ misery, knowing

that it’s them, not us. Why someone would

dump on a person in their direst hours eludes

me and I have to wonder about their ability

to empathize. It’s possible that some kind of

psychic numbing is behind our inability to

relate to each other. We treat each other as

objects which are in some sense unreal and

detach ourselves from any consequences

which might ensue.

This behavior is more common in online

groups than in situations like in-person support

groups. Not that it doesn’t happen there,

or in one-on-one encounters, but it seems to

be rampant online and diabolical. Anonymity

allows us to pile on with complete disdain

for compassion and with a smugness that is

astonishing and bewildering.

I have always liked the “walk a mile in

the other person’s shoes” metaphor and

think that it’s one of the keys to a sense of

higher consciousness. We seem to be less

and less able to comprehend a concept

which should really be self-evident. We

are often called upon to evoke this kind of

higher consciousness throughout our lives;

it’s even more critical when we consider

that a human life may be in the balance.

After being subjected to the kind of rejection

which undeniably happens to so many trans

persons, one’s mental landscape can be

terribly fragile.

It is often said that when people talk

about suicide, they are crying out to

someone for a lifeline. Most are looking

for support and validation and they really

don’t want to take their lives. Alienating and

isolating any human being is the quickest

and easiest way to convince them that no

one really cares and to remove any reason

to cry out. That’s usually when a suicide

which has merely been entertained crosses

the threshold of reality. And, that’s when we

most need to be there for each other and not

dump on our sisters and brothers for having

an alleged pity party. : :

— Comments and corrections can be sent

to editor@goqnotes.com. To contact Robbi

Cohn, email robbi_cohn108@yahoo.com.

want more opinion & commentary

visit goqnotes.com/to/blog for daily insights, rants,

raves and news tidbits from qnotes staff and local

and national voices from around the web.

Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes

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How progressives can

win back the South:

Jobs

Strong legacy of Southern economic populism

could lead to victory

by Chris Kromm . Special to qnotes

For most people in America, the number

one issue right now is the recession — and

as Bob Herbert argues in a New York Times

op-ed March 9, Obama’s failure to grasp the

depth of this sentiment represents his and his

party’s biggest Achilles heel.

Herbert writes:

“The Obama administration and

Democrats in general are in trouble because

they are not urgently and effectively addressing

the issue that most Americans want them

to: the frightening economic insecurity that

has put a chokehold on millions of American

families…

“Instead of focusing with unwavering

intensity on this increasingly tragic situation,

making it their top domestic priority, President

Obama and the Democrats on Capitol Hill

have spent astonishing amounts of time and

energy, and most of their political capital, on

an obsessive quest to pass a health care bill.

“Health care reform is important. But

what the public has wanted and still badly

needs above all else from Mr. Obama and the

Democrats are bold efforts to put people back

to work.”

Obama’s lack of focus on jobs and the

economy has certainly made his road more

difficult in the South. We’ll know more about

how Southern states are faring when the new

state-by-state jobs numbers are released.

But despite some encouraging signs of

new business hiring, the new stats will likely

show the South is in the same situation as

when Obama gave his State of the Union

address in January, when eight out of 13

Southern states had unemployment rates

higher than 10 percent, the national average.

Of course, even a laser-like focus on

jobs and the economy won’t completely turn

around Obama’s and the Democrats’ popularity

in the South, where a complex blend of cultural

conservatism, right-wing agitation and racial

animosity have driven Obama’s poll ratings (at

least among whites) into the ground.

But to look at it another way: If there is any

one issue that could possibly revive progressive

prospects in the South, focusing on the

economy stands the best chance, for several

reasons:

1. It taps a deep vein of economic

populism in the South: In 2006, a Pew Center

survey found that 47 percent of all people who

identified as “populists” lived in the South.

At the time, the questions used to measure

“populism” included support for repealing

Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, belief that businesses

make too much profit and support for

a minimum wage increase.

In 2010, Southern populism might include

support for a Consumer Protection Agency

and investing heavily in fast job-creation

strategies.

2. It plays to progressive strengths: When

19 GOP senators — including eight from

Southern states with high unemployment

rates — voted against extending jobless in

late February, progressives were given a gift.

It was a clear example of how those representing

everyday Southerners don’t speak

for their interests — not in some abstract

way, but on a concrete issue of concern to

their families: receiving relief they need in this

tough economy to put food on the table and

provide for their families.

But progressives can only win on these

kind of issues if they are consistent. It won’t

work to be silent about protecting consumers

from credit industry greed one moment

and then claim to champion debt-struggling

families the next.

3. It speaks to the lessons of history:

History rarely repeats itself, and trying to draw

neat lessons from the past is a tricky and

dangerous exercise. But one of the most interesting

chapters in Southern history is the way

Roosevelt — widely decried in the media as

a fierce liberal, however cautious he was in

practice — was able to win over Southerners

to New Deal politics.

How did he do it? By an almost myopic

focus on the economy (often, critics point out,

to the exclusion of issues like civil rights).

Reformers inside the New Deal pushed to

ensure industrial and agricultural relief programs

benefit a broad swath of Southerners.

Projects like the Tennessee Valley Authority,

hatched in 1933, were guided by a broad

social mission of social uplift for struggling

Appalachian communities.

FDR had to be pushed from the outside,

sometimes hard, as the insurgencies of textile

workers in the famous Uprising of ‘34 and the

multi-racial Southern Tenant Farmers Union

proved. But Roosevelt came to see how a progressive

economic agenda could change the

South. By 1938, FDR’s advisers were releasing

a major report on economic conditions in the

South to help rally political support for the

New Deal agenda in the region.

Obama and the Democrats have no silver

bullet for winning over white Southerners.

But there’s a sure-fire way they can make the

situation worse: ignoring the South’s history of

economic populism and the very real economic

pain millions of Southerners face today. : :

— Chris Kromm is the executive director

of the Institute for SOuthern Studies and

publisher of Southern Exposure, the Institute’s

award-winning journal of politics and culture.

This piece was originally published on the

Institute’s online magazine, Facing South, on

March 9, is licensed under Creative Commons

and reprinted with permission. For more on

the Institute visit southernstudies.org.

we want your feedback

Your thoughts, concerns, suggestions and critiques

help to make qnotes better for you and other readers.

Take our reader survey at goqnotes.com/to/qpoll

10 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 11


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The ‘big queer bus’

goes rolling along

2010 Equality Rider shares her thoughts while in North Carolina

by Sabrina Diz :: Special to qnotes

Meeting Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Program: Gay Authors

Sheila Morris, Kelley Doherty, Frances Richter

Crowne Plaza, 201 S. McDowell St.

Time: Cash Bar Social/Heavy Hor d’oeuvres @ 5:30 pm

Program starts @ 6:45 pm

Cost:

$15 members, $25 non-members

To Reserve: Call 704.565.5075 by 12 pm

Friday, April 16, 2010

or email businessguild@yahoo.com

to request tickets for this event

www.charlottebusinessguild.org

12 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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Members of the 2010 Equality Ride pose for a shot with students from Campbell University.

Photo Credit: Soulforce Equality Ride

The Soulforce Equality Ride visited North

Carolina March 17-19. While in the state, the

group of 25 young activists made stops at

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in

Wake Forest and Campbell University in Buies

Creek. They also visited with students at the

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Rider

Sabrina Diz shared her thoughts and reflections

on the activities of each day while in the

state. Published on qnotes’ blog March 17-19,

her commentaries are reprint below.

March 17 — Southeastern Baptist

Yesterday we got together and talked

about Southeastern Baptist Theological

Seminary (SEBTS). The administration was

reluctant to let us do much more than attend

chapel with students and staff. They added

that they thought it was “ludicrous” for us to

request time for open dialogue with students

on campus and denied our requests to hold

workshops or discussions. I’m not sure what

is so crazy about an institution of higher

learning allowing for students to have a safe

space to talk and ask questions, especially

when these students are going to graduate

and one day find themselves in need of

answers to questions on the intersection of

justice, faith, and sexuality.

The stop organizer, Kimmy DeVries,

decided to accept their invitation to chapel;

after all, she believes that it came from

a place of love. Chapel and service went

smoothly. Aside from personally perceiving

the minister to be extremely sexist, it was

a good sermon with an honest message.

Ironically, the message was on “practice

what you preach” and the gap between your

faith and your character.

Essentially, the sermon is exactly what

the Equality Ride is all about. Our goal is to

allow the schools that we visit to re-examine

the ways in which they act toward the

LGBTQ community and the ways in which

Christian values call us to actually behave.

SEBTS has a policy that discriminates

against queer students. The school holds

a vague school policy that deems “homosexual

behavior” as synonymous to sexual

immorality and this, in our view, does nothing

to promote safety for the queer community

on campus. We believe that this is equal to

spiritual violence and can easily be understood

to justify other kinds of violence.

So after chapel we spoke to students that

came up to us for about 20 minutes. I had a

great conversation with three female students.

The conversation switched back and

forth between the Bible, ethics, and morality.

It was deep and yet lighthearted. Moments in

time that feel like you’re talking to old friends.

As I looked around I noticed that I was not

the only one. There were dozens of students

interested in chatting with us! Unfortunately,

security sternly asked that we leave. Afraid of

getting arrested, we had to go.

We drove on the big, queer bus to a corner

right outside of school grounds and vigiled.

The songs attracted some students, including

one of the girls who I was speaking to earlier!

We continued talking, and even though we

debated on some fundamental beliefs of

scripture (most notably that I don’t believe being

queer is a sin) we absolutely agreed that

justice is a cornerstone of Christianity.

Soon after we moved on to a public park

where even more students showed up to continue

dialogue. It was a beautiful sunny day

and perfect for making friends. Some students

and Riders were engaged in heady discussion

and debate, however, it was never angry

or violent. I truly believe that Southeastern

Baptist Theological Seminary could have

easily provided a space for all this to occur,

and it is a shame that they blew a chance at

providing all their students an opportunity to

practice what they preach

March 18 — Campbell University

As Southeastern Baptist Theological

Seminary and Campbell University are

relatively close to each other, this year the

Equality Ride decided that we could reach out

to students of both campuses during a threeday

stop. Normally it is emotionally as well as

mentally draining to visit a campus. Not that

I’m complaining, this is what drives me, but

justifying our views, beliefs and identities day


after day is not an easy task. As the bus drove

into the parking lot this morning we were all

exhausted from yesterday and yet still very

excited since Campbell invited us on campus

and agreed to host us for most of the day.

After our experience at the Seminary yesterday

I believe I can speak for everyone when I

say we hoped for a warmer welcome.

It was extremely disappointing to see

that the schedule for the day was so tightly

controlled. Again, there was very little time

allowed for student/Rider interaction. After a

presentation by our Riders in the auditorium

that went pleasantly well, instead of continuing

with the lively discussion, the President

of the school talked about Campbell history

for over an hour. It was a deliberate tactic on

their part in order to deter and derail conversation.

Afterward we were ushered out to a

campus tour and then to a closed area for

lunch that was “by invitation only.” During

lunch the speaker talked about football and

school legends for at least a half hour, after

cutting off dialogue between the Riders and

students that had begun organically. Even

though the moderator did his best to frustrate

our efforts the students were genuinely interested

in engaging us. One gay and out student

in particular has worked ceaselessly to have

a Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) approved on

About Sabrina Diz

As a youth, Sabrina, 28, yearned for

a faith community. As she also began

her coming out process at the same

time, she found searching for a faith

home difficult. That is, until she found

Metropolitan Community Churches.

Years later, the Frederick, Md., native is

taking her faith journey on the road to

visit other LGBT Christians, reach out to

those in need of support and speak to

those who would make outcasts of her

LGBT brothers and sisters. She says,

“There was no way I could pass up an

opportunity to engage in dialogue with

people who might not believe in God’s

superfluous love…or who might ignore

others that, like I did, may feel isolated,

deserted, or forgotten.”

About the Equality Ride

The Equality Ride is now in its

fourth year and on the road in pursuit

of justice for transgender, lesbian, gay,

bisexual, and queer people through

engagement and action. This year’s

ride will stop at 16 campuses in the

Northeast, South, and Midwest — all

with policies that are discriminatory to

LGBTQ students. The ride in 2010 places

a special focus on community work

and will engage with campuses and

their surrounding communities. We will

partner in volunteer work, host organizing

forums, link students with community

members, and support existing justice

work. Learn more at soulforce.org. : :

campus and boldly spoke out, telling the

moderator that he was sorely disappointed at

the school’s stance and their inability to take

action. It was a shining moment.

While the 25 of us have many wonderful

points to make, ideas to share, and are eager

to engage in conversation, Alexey Bulokhov

(2006 Rider, 2007 co-director) summed it best

when he said: “The Equality Ride bus is like a

giant mirror. Each school that we visit gets to

view themselves in it and how their campus

reflects Christian love.” Because of this we

always prefer when we can sit back in amazement

as students stand up for what is right and

just in the face of administrators and faculty

that have forgotten what those values look like.

Some of us were talking afterwards

and agreed that whatever the welcome we

receive it will be properly judged only after we

are gone, once we can evaluate the welcome

queer students on campus continue to experience.

After leaving campus we got together

close by with queer students and talked

together about their experiences at Campbell,

their frustrations, and their need for a safe

space to talk and continue to share. I felt saddened

that I did not have the opportunity to

connect and share with more students today.

It felt awful to be so controlled and manipulated,

treated so much less than I am used to

by my own Christian brethren! The boldfaced

lies by faculty and deliberate minimal student

interaction was discouraging, but we find

hope in the courage of the students who are

working diligently to create a safe space at

Campbell University and we are committed to

working with them until this goal is achieved.

March 19 — Chapel Hill

The Equality Ride visited UNC-Chapel Hill

today. We met up at the LGBTQ Resource

Center on campus, met with supporters, and

also showed a screening of “Equality U,” a

documentary of the first Equality Ride in 2006.

It is our hope that if students and community

members are aware of our efforts since they

are right around the corner from the schools

we visited, Southeastern Baptist Theological

Seminary and Campbell University, they would

be willing to help. Indeed, many UNC students

signed up to be a part of the winds of change

that are blowing through these other schools!

As I sat with my fellow Riders at the

resource center playing games and chatting

with UNC students it struck me that I felt safe.

I felt sure and at ease and safe. My fellow

Riders and the students from UNC all chatted

and spoke out loud words like “queer” and

“gender” and “lesbian” without worrying

about a backlash or consequences or losing

their community. It was the first time that I

was on a school campus and felt almost at

home and it really struck me that this was how

all students could feel everywhere, without

toppling the faith or moral structure of the

school. These thoughts sat heavy on my chest

because I know that it will be a long time

before the sense of safety UNC students felt is

experienced by students everywhere.

Tomorrow we travel to Daytona, Fla. to

attempt to enter an entire community where

homophobia persists. As someone who is

originally from Miami, it never occurred to me

that Daytona would be an unwelcoming town.

However, it has been very difficult to have

people even respond to our letters! So our big,

queer bus is on its way out of the Bible Belt for

a little bit, but not yet out of the woods! : :

— You can follow this year’s Equality Ride

at soulforce.org or write Sabrina Diz at

Sabrina_Diz@equalityride.com.

[Ed. Note — Editor Matt Comer was

a participant of the 2007 Equality Ride.]

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 13


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14 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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Small town, big dreams

Winston-Salem community members discuss beginnings of LGBT center, transgender outreach and inclusion

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

Winston-Salem’s increasingly vibrant downtown and LGBT-friendly arts scene could sustain a viable

LGBT community center.

A common bond. A sense of identity. A

source of support and therapy. That’s what

a small group of community members hope

can be accomplished as they sift through

possibilities for an LGBT community center in

Winston-Salem.

Home to almost a quarter-million people,

Winston-Salem is most known for its cigarettes

and doughnuts, banking and manufacturing,

arts and education. In the midst

of a seemingly sleepy, small town, there’s

a progressive community working to bring

awareness to issues of racial and ethnic

diversity, social justice, poverty and LGBT

people.

Therapist Louise Hahn, who’s spent years

focusing on the needs of transgender people,

thinks a community center could be a way

to bridge gaps in an often fragmented LGBT

community.

“We just thought it would be a wonderful

idea since the community here is kind of scattered,”

she said. “There is nothing cohesive

that seems to bind us all together or give the

community a sense of identity.”

Hahn and Andy Hagler, another local

therapist, have only met once to toss around

their ideas, but their discussions follow similar

conversations other community members

engaged in last fall.

In September, about 25 community members

met to brainstorm possibilities and solicit

feedback. A Facebook page was created and

more than 100 people have fanned the page.

Michele Lewis, involved in the initial

fall meeting, says organizing efforts from

September have largely stalled, but the idea

remains very much alive.

“The interest is great but the time commitment

is not there for many just yet,” she

said in an email to qnotes. “I am still very

interested in being involved with anyone who

wants to try.”

Hahn said the town used to have a psuedo-gathering

spot for the LGBT community. In

particular, a lesbian center existed near the

old Rainbow End Cafe, a popular coffee shop

and bookstore on the edge of downtown at

Broad St. and Brookstown Ave. Like the old

Rainbow End and lesbian center, Hahn said

she envisions a physical space that could

function as the LGBT community’s “home.”

“I could see a small storefront or small

building already zoned for business close to

the downtown area,” she said. “That would

make it convenient for people who live downtown

or didn’t have transportation and have to

take public transit. They could even walk to it

Photo Credit: James Willamor, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons. see Dreaming on 16

Shirli’s got a gun!

Guilford Green hosts next Green Queen Bingo on April 30

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

Grandma’s heading to bingo tonight, kiddies. Except, this

time, she’s not going to that boring bingo parlor down the street.

Guilford Green Foundation, which grants thousands of dollars

to Greensboro and Triad area organizations serving LGBT

communities, has hosted their Green Queen Bingo for six years

now. Part social event, fundraiser and community builder, the

rolling event raises close to $30,000 for the foundation each year

while providing for fun, fellowship and education.

“We’ve got a mixed audience,” says Bill Falcon, Bingo

chair and member of the Guilford Green board of directors. “It

isn’t predominately gay or straight, not predominantly men or

women. You’ve got a great mix of people who laugh, talk, get to

know each other and realize that its a group of people who put

their shirts or pants on one leg at a time.”

The premise of the game is simple: Community members

come together for a hilariously fun time of bingo, with added

entertainment from local drag queens. Interspersed between

some games are drag performances and sketches. As each

game is played, emcee Big Shirli Stevenz and each game sponsor

call out bingo numbers and trade jokes and one-liners.

“I think we’ve developed a cult following,” Falcon says. “We

have some hardcore, diehard fans there for every single Bingo.

They want to see every costume, participate in every theme.”

The money raised at each of the five Green Queen Bingos

held throughout the year — some $5,500-$6,000 per event

— goes to benefit Guilford Green Foundation’s granting operations.

Since the group’s inception, more than $550,000 has been

distributed to area organizations including more than $50,000

granted last year alone. But Falcon says Bingo didin’t start out

as a fundraiser.

“Bingo started out with a grant from the Community

Foundation,” Falcon says. “My sister and Ches Kennedy

were sitting around one night and said, ‘Let’s try it and

see if we get it.’ They wrote the grant and the Community

Foundation said yes. Bingo was born.”

The events became so popular, Guilford Green soon

realized it was a way to support their granting efforts. The

road to local popularity, however, met resistance in the

beginning. Some of the first games drew protesters.

“When Bingo first

started it was new, it

was different,” Falcon

recalls. “The city has

always been very diverse

and welcome but as with

any new, high profile

gay event in any city you

will always have people

coming out with their own

opinions. We welcome

them and I’m proud to say

that in my four years as

Bingo chair no one has

ever protested.”

Guilford Green Foundation’s next Green Queen Bingo will

be held on April 30, in Downtown Greensboro’s Empire Room.

The theme this go ‘round is “Bingo 911 — Don’t let the badge

fool you.”

Falcon explains: “In the words of Big Shirli, it is the good,

the bad, the ugly, and she’s got a gun so you better be careful!”

Not for Reproduction

Tickets are $15 ($10 with student or

military ID) and can be bought or reserved

online at ggfnc.org/bingo.html. Cocktails with

the Queens starts at 6 p.m. with the game

show beginning at 7 p.m. (Alcohol sales or

consumption are not permitted on the game

floor).

[Ed. Note — This writer is a former member

of the Guilford Green Foundation board.]

_________________________________

Calling all sponsors...

Guilford Green Foundation is looking for Green Queen Bingo

sponsors. Organizations and businesses can sponsor individual

bingo games or become season sponsors. For more information

or to sign up as a Bingo sponsor, contact Guilford Green at

336-790-8419 or info@ggfnc.org. : :

Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 15


Not for Reproduction

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T H R O U G H

US

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QGuide: Triad

Community resources

Adam Foundation

Education/support/social

PO Box 21113

Winston-Salem, NC 27120-1113

info@adamfoundation.org

www.adamfoundation.org

Alternative Resources of the Triad

Referrals, education

www.outtriad.org

Gay-Straight Advocates for Education

(GSAFE)

Education, youth, safe schools

PO Box 41044

Greensboro, NC 27404

336-271-8428

contact@gsafe.org

www.gsafe.org

336-852-8489

info@pflaggreensboro.org

www.pflaggreensboro.org

PFLAG Mt. Airy

Support/advocacy

1601 Cadle Ford Rd.

Mount Airy, NC 27030

sdnichols@surry.net

PFLAG Winston-Salem

Support/advocacy

PO Box 15477

Winston-Salem, NC 27113

1-888-PFLAGWS

info@pflagwinstonsalem.org

www.pflagwinstonsalem.org

Triad Business & Professional Guild

Professional and business networking

www.triadguild.com

Guilford Green Foundation

Education, support, grants, social

301 S. Elm St., Suite 21

Greensboro NC 27401

336-790-8419

info@ggfnc.org

www.ggfnc.org

PFLAG Alamance

Support/advocacy

PO Box 623

Elon, NC 27244

336-584-3366

info@pflagalamance.org

www.pflagalamance.org

PFLAG Greensboro

Support/advocacy

PO Box 4153

Greensboro, NC 27404

Triad Pride Men’s Chorus

PO Box 39566

Greensboro NC 27438

336-589-6267

contact@triadpridemenschorus.org

www.triadpridemenschorus.org

AIDS Service Organizations

AIDS Care Service

206 North Spruce St.

Winston Salem, NC 27101-2747

336-722-6551

www.aidscareservice.org

Triad Health Project

801 Summit Ave.

Greensboro, NC 27405

336-275-1654

www.triadhealthproject.com

16 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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Dreaming big

continued from page 15

if they wanted to.”

The push for a local LGBT organizing and

community center in Winston-Salem follows

years of similar trends nationwide and in the

Carolinas. Cities large and small have begun

centers to varying degrees of success.

In the Carolinas, Charlotte’s Lesbian &

Gay Community Center has been open since

2002 and Columbia’s SC Pride Movement has

long operated the Harriet Hancock Center.

Recently, community members in Raleigh

celebrated the opening of their center’s first

location. Wilmington once had a community

center but was forced to close due to funding

concerns. In March, a similar story played out

for Myrtle Beach’s Center Project — they’ve

closed their physical location but will keep

some programs and activities operational.

If the idea for organizing a Winston-Salem

center gets off the ground, Hahn hopes the

community there will stick around to support

it. From her personal work experience, Hahn

thinks reaching out to the transgender community

can be a key toward future growth.

“Some people I’ve run this by say the gay

and lesbian community is fickle, that they will

support something for a little while but then

they won’t give it their constant support,” she

said. “I’m more of an optimist. If we expand

services to include transgender folks and offer

them a place that is welcoming, providing

resources they will go.”

Hahn said her transgender clients have

always been appreciative of and loyal to

organizations and people who include them

and offer them a space.

Pamela Jones, the programming co-chair

of the Charlotte Center’s board of directors,

said she attended the fall meeting when original

thoughts for a Winston-Salem center were

discussed. “I was quite impressed that they

were so open to transgender outreach from

the get-go,” Jones said.

She agrees with Hahn, and thinks the

key to success will always lie in connecting

groups of people who have, for whatever

reason, been divided in the past.

“I know for a fact that prior to the

Charlotte Gender Alliance moving to the

Center, folks there didn’t know about trans

people and trans people didn’t have a lot to do

with gay people. It’s all about bridge-building.

We have to build those bridges within our own

community.” : :


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Faith

Church of the Holy Spirit Fellowship

1005-B Burke St.

Winston Salem, NC 27101

336-631-1331

www.churchoftheholyspiritfellowshipnc.com

College Park Baptist Church

1601 Walker Ave.

Greensboro, NC 27403

336-273-1779

www.collegeparkchurch.com

Grace United Church of Christ

201 South O’Kelly Avenue (meeting location)

Elon, NC 27244

336-226-0928

www.grace-ucc.com

MCC Winston-Salem

4105 Patsy Dr.

Winston-Salem NC 27107

336-784-8009

mccws@lycos.com

www.mccws.org

Wake Forest Baptist Church

Meeting at Wait Chapel, on the

campus of Wake Forest University

PO BOX 7326

Winston-Salem, NC 27109

LGBT Outreach:

Wade Boyles

336-306-3011

wboyles@triad.rr.com

www.wakeforestbaptist.org

Nightlife

Club Odyssey

4019-A Country Club Dr.

Winston-Salem, NC 27104

336-774-7071

www.clubodyssey.info

Club Tips

2519 High Point Rd.

Greensboro, NC 27403

336-547-6286

www.myspace.com/clubtips

Heaven

113 Elm St.

Greensboro, NC 27401

336-370-1311

www.muchbar.com

Q Lounge

708 W. Market St.

Greensboro, NC 27401

336-272-2587

www.theqlounge.com

Time Out Saloon

330 Bellemeade Ave.

Greensboro, NC 27405

(336) 272-8108

Warehouse 29

1011 Arnold St.

Greensboro, NC 27405

336-333-9333

www.w29.com

Other LGBT-friendly

establishments

Boba House Vegetarian Restaurant

332 Tate St.

Greensboro, NC 27403

336-379-7444

www.bobahouse.com

Caffe Prada

390 N. Broad St.

Winston-Salem, NC 27101

336-793-2468

www.caffeprada.com

Jan’s House

3932-B W. Market St.

Greensboro, NC 27407

336-855-9808

Leslie’s Pool Supply

4212 W Wendover Ave.

Greensboro, NC 27407

336-292-0108

www.lesliespool.com

Mary’s Of Course Cafe

301 Brookstown Ave.

Winston-Salem, NC 27101

www.marysofcourse.com

NOMA Urban Bar & Grill

321 W. Fourth St.

Winston-Salem, NC 27101

336-703-5112

www.noma-ws.com

Sweet Potatoes – A Restaurant

529 N. Trade St.

Winston-Salem, NC 27101

336-727-4844

www.sweetpotatoes-arestaurant.com

Tate Street Coffee House

334 Tate St.

Greensboro, NC 27403

336-275-2754

www.tatestreetcoffee.com

— Presented by goqnotes.com’s QGuide.

Find more, visit goqnotes.com/qguide and submit community

resources, ASOs, faith groups, nightlife establishments, other

LGBT-friendly businesses

and events online.

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 17


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Uncounted on the

streets

Homeless LGBT youth face uncertainly, lack of

resources in Carolinas

by Nathan James :: njames@goqnotes.com

Photo Credit: SamPac, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons

18 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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A person’s life can change in seconds.

Sometimes it can be the death of a loved one,

or it could happen by just a few words. “Mom,

Dad, I love you and I hope you will understand

what I’m about to tell you. I’m gay.” The ideal

scenario is that the parents will remember

this is their child and, no matter what, they will

provide unconditional love. All too often this

isn’t the case. Many young adults have found

themselves on the streets. Alone. Hungry.

Scared. Homeless.

This social disease cares not whom it infects.

It does not identify its victims by gender,

socioeconomic status, geographical area, but

it is more noticeable in the LGBT population.

Rev. Nancy McLean and her staff lead

Joseph’s House in Greensboro, which provides

housing to young men between the ages

of 18-24 years old from all over the state.

Joseph’s House received a $4,000 grant

from the Guilford Green Foundation (GGF)

to provide housing to LGBT youth. There

are only nine beds to serve this widespread

social ill. Currently there are four LGBT youth

at Joseph’s House. All four are African-

American — two are brothers.

The grant from GGF allowed Joseph’s

House to subsidize rent for two LGBT youth.

Although they are accepting more LGBT

youth to their program, the need continues to

rise. In February, McLean said, there were 12

applications and only two beds available at

the center. Four applicants were gay. McLean

estimates she has to turn away close to a

dozen young men every month.

“We believe it is an overlooked population,”

McLean said of the homeless LGBT

community. She estimates that over 40

percent of the applicants of Joseph’s House

self-identify as gay.

She has her own personal convictions, but

sets them aside in order to serve youth in need.

“How would Jesus interact with homeless

youth?” she asked. “I cannot be a

Christian and not reach out to a homeless

young person.”

McLean’s center is the only direct provider

of housing to young men in her area.

In the next five years, she hopes to increase

capacity.

The GGF grant also allowed McLean to

attend Wildacres Leadership Initiative. She is

using the tools she gained there to train the

staff. Challenging their personal assumptions

and beliefs will help foster a more equitable

atmosphere in the center. Staff is able to teach

youth that while they might have differences,

their circumstances should unite them.

Steve Bentley, executive director of

Charlotte’s Time Out Youth (TOY), said he’s

noticed the youth he works with have become

homeless because they have lost their jobs.

TOY does not have a shelter, but operates

an emergency housing program in which

volunteers temporarily take in youth between

the ages of 18-23. Their focus is to get youth to

become, and remain, self-sufficient, providing

resume preparation, bus passes and teaching

interview skills.

LGBT youth find it difficult to get housing

in shelters because they feel unsafe. During

Bentley’s two years at TOY he knows at least

three young people who have spent at least

one night in a shelter. Two of those three

reported sexual abuse during their stay there.

Homelessness is communal in nature and


is subject to the rules homeless society has constructed for itself, according to Liz

Clasen-Kelly of Charlotte’s Urban Ministry. Those rules don’t include much tolerance

for LGBT people.

Urban Ministry conducted a vulnerability study that has been done in 12 major cities

in the nation. Clasen-Kelly and a team of over 100 volunteers scouted out homeless

people in community shelters,

abandoned buildings and

worked with police to locate tent

camps in the city. The survey will

help identify “chronically homeless”

people — single adults

who are homeless for a year or

more, or those experiencing four

episodes of homelessness in the

last three years

Data from the Urban Ministry

survey showed 807 chronically

homeless people in Charlotte,

and projected 388 were likely to

Time Out Youth’s Executive Director Steve Bentley.

die on the street.

The vulnerability study did not identify the presence of the LGBT homeless community,

but national statistics show that 20-40 percent of homeless people self-identify

as LGBT.

“Our heart has always been with those hardest to serve,” said Clasen-Kelley, who

says her organization has been pro-active and taken steps to become a safe place for

all. Staff have received tolerance training. According to policy, abusive language is

not allowed, although staff are left to implement and enforce the policy — “abusive”

is not defined and left open to interpretation.

Urban Ministry partners with local colleges and churches to provide the area’s

homeless with a safe place to stay during the winter months. Women, and those who

identify as female, are the first people accepted.

All organizations agree that funding is paramount to their ability for providing services.

Funding not only provides beds for at-risk youth, but also provides job training,

apartment subsidies, education for staff and, most importantly, safety.

Bentley says the LGBT youth he works with are less likely to have family to fall

back on and most are not from here. Often, organizationsn like Joseph’s House, TOY

and general homeless shelters are the only support mechanisms left for at-risk youth.

Without family support, and being so far away from home, youth are left without

guidance in a turbulent world of uncertainties. “The younger we are the less we can

anticipate what’s next,” Bentley said. : :

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Filling the need...

Several organizations across the Carolinas work with or serve LGBT youth. Some offer limited

services to those facing homelessness.

Joseph’s House

Housing, support

709 E. Market St. Suite 106, Greensboro, NC 27401

336-389-9880

nancy@josephshouse.net

General youth services

A Safer Place for Youth Network (ASPYN)

Support, advocacy

316 W. Cabarrus St., Raleigh, NC 27601

919-832-4484

tcw@tcworks.org

YouthSAFE

Support, social

A project of Gay-Straight Advocates for Education (GSAFE) and PFLAG Greensboro, YouthSAFE

meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month for support, fun and informal discussion at the

Green Bean, 341 S. Elm St., Greensboro, NC 27401.

youthsafe@gmail.com

gsafe.org

Y-FLAG

Support, social

A project of PFLAG Winston-Salem, Y-FLAG is a social and support group for teens 15-19 years old

and meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at Trinity Presbyterian Church,

1416 Bolton St., Winston-Salem, NC 27103

336-922-3549

pflagwinstonsalem.org

For more LGBT community resources, visit goqnotes.com/qguide

Time Out Youth

Emergency housing, support

1900 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205

704-344-8335

sbentley@timeoutyouth.org

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 19


20 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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Not for Reproduction

As leadership changes,

MeckPAC keeps

pushing city leaders

Longtime chair Phil Hargett steps down as group continues

conversations on employment non-discrimination, benefits

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

CHARLOTTE — After four years at the

helm of the Mecklenburg Gay and Lesbian

Political Action Committee (MeckPAC), longtime

chairman Phil Hargett has stepped down.

Steering committee member Richard Thomas

has ascended to the position. The leadership

change comes as the group continues to

pressure city leaders on overdue changes to

employment non-discrimination policies and

domestic partner benefits.

In his time as MeckPAC chair, Hargett has

led the group through significant changes

and political victories for the LGBT community.

Appointed to the chair position with

Cindy Hostettler in spring 2006, Hargett said

MeckPAC has seen increased interest in the

group from local candidates.

“In 2004, I went to a MeckPAC fundraiser

— I was just a donor then — and there were

only three or four elected officials at the

event,” he said. “Candidates seek us out now.

Last August we had 26 local candidates of

all political stripes come to our pre-election

event at the Morehead Inn.”

He added, “At our event for the general

election at the Community Center we had both

mayoral candidates there. For the first time

ever, a Republican mayoral candidate showed

up, as well as Republican council and school

board candidates.”

Hargett has also spearheaded major victories.

In 2008, MeckPAC was instrumental in

behind-the-scenes discussions leading up to

the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ adoption

of a fully inclusive anti-bullying policy,

months before the legislature passed a similar

statewide policy mandate last year. In 2009,

the group worked closely with LGBT-friendly

members of the Mecklenburg County Board of

Commissioners when they considered extension

of domestic partner benefits.

While Hargett was certainly a key player

in the success of these local policy initiatives,

he’s reluctant to take any credit. “I by

no means take or even want to take full credit

for any of this,” he said. “This was certainly a

community-wide effort.”

Thomas said Hargett has “picked up the

torch and ran with it” during his time with the

organization.

“What I’ve seen is a really dedicated,

well-thought out, very professional person who

has a mindset of recognizing the importance of

relationship-building and maintaining those relationships,”

said Thomas, who thinks Hargett’s

open leadership style has allowed those with

varying ideas to come together at one table.

As the reins of MeckPAC are handed over,

Hargett says he’ll remain on the group’s steering

committee. Thomas hopes to continue Hargett’s

relationship building both within and outside

the LGBT community. “There is an importance

of working together to achieve common goals

not only within the LGBT community but also

supportive organizations and businesses and

the leadership of Charlotte,” he said.

Thomas has worked in a corporate setting

for years. Hargett says the new chair’s past

career experience will bring more professionalism

to MeckPAC and a willingness to

work as a team.

“He brings a lot of corporate organizational

skills that have proven already to be very

efficiently running the organization,” Hargett

said. “He’s also well known in the Charlotte-

Mecklenburg LGBT community and has lots of

ties to different parts of the community. A big

strength for him, or any new chair, is also the

strong steering committee he has to help him

keep things going.”

At the end of the day, Thomas said he

wants to see MeckPAC reach out to the community

it serves.

“The whole time you’re building relationships,

we need to be making sure that we are

speaking to our community,” he said. “I’d like to

see that done more visibly, whether it is through

town hall meetings or other forums where we

can get together and say, ‘Hey, let’s talk about it.

What are the wants? What are the needs?”

Moving forward...

Although Hargett is no longer chair, his

presence on the MeckPAC steering committee

will keep his institutional knowledge,

history and connections with elected officials

around for some time to come. That experience

will come in handy as MeckPAC works

diligently to see promises made by city council

candidates last fall kept this year.

Whether LGBT-inclusive changes to the

city’s employment policies and domestic

partner benefits is a success depends on

city council members’ willingness to make

proactive moves. According to Hargett, many

candidates said they were in favor of such

changes when MeckPAC endorsed them

before 2009’s election.

“We are working very hard to hold them to

that now that they are elected,” Hargett said.

“For some reason, the City of Charlotte has

drug its feet more so than any other large municipality

in North Carolina and its so illogical

that county employees who oftentimes work in

the same building with city employees already

have non-discrimination policies and domestic

benefits but city employees have nothing yet.”

Part of the hold up might be confusion

over city government’s ability to make

changes to their existing employment policies,

which do not include sexual orientation or

gender-identity. According to a 2003 memo

from Charlotte City Attorney Mac McCarley,

the city’s non-discrimination polices are tied

to its charter — any changes to the policy

contained within that document would require

approval from the state legislature.

MeckPAC has argued against such claims

and Hargett says McCarley’s opinion amounts

to nothing more than a “smokescreen.”

In a 2003 memo if its own, MeckPAC said

the city has the “legal authority to act unless

it is prohibited by state law or contrary to

state law,” and quoted the city charter, which

states: “The Council shall establish by appropriate

ordinances a system of personnel

administration . . . governing the appointment,

promotion, transfer, layoff, removal, discipline,

and welfare of City employees.”

MeckPAC concluded the charter’s

statements “make it clear that all employment-related

decisions for city employees are

to made on the basis of merit and fitness,”


and that the listing of race, creed and other

grounds are “merely examples.”

The group added, “The City has the authority

either to add ‘sexual orientation’ to the

list of protected categories or to define ‘merit

and fitness’ to specifically state that sexual

orientation and other factors shall not be considered

in a person’s fitness for employment.”

Other cities across the state — including

towns with populations as small as 5,000

— have added sexual orientation and/or gender-identity

to their non-discrimination policies.

In fact, Charlotte is the last of North Carolina’s

major cities to take up discussion of such

changes. The state legislature has not blocked

or objected to other municipalities’ decisions to

amend their non-discrimination policies.

Kim McMillan, director of the city’s

Corporate Communications Office, said recent

conversations regarding the employment

policies have resulted in some discussion of

possible changes.

“I know that [City Manager Curt Walton]

has discussed revising and broadening our

policy,” she said. “I don’t know if the final language

has been adopted but we are moving

toward that direction. We are moving toward

adopting broader language in the non-discrimination

policy.”

Thomas said movement on employment

and domestic partner issues remain at a “conversation

stage” with city leaders.

“We’ve started that conversation with the

mayor, city attorney and council members

have spoken to us about their support,” he

said. “A couple of council members say they

will support it if its brought up but they aren’t

willing to take the lead on it.”

Lacey Williams, an organizer with the

grassroots Charlotte Rainbow Action Network

for Equality (CRANE), said conversation and

relationships aren’t necessarily a bad thing

but the community needs to hold elected officials

publicly accountable.

“How many times do you have to be told

‘wait’ before we actually do something,”

Williams asked. “I can imageine a forum like

the kind Sue Myrick held with the Muslim community

where all these Muslim people were

able to hold her feet to the fire. I’d like to see a

real sit down between our elected officials and

our community where we can say, ‘We are

you constituents. This is what we’d like. We’d

like to have a measure of stability and safety in

our relationships and workplaces. As elected

officials, it is your job to provide that.’”

Hargett and Thomas said MeckPAC has

increased their volunteer base over the past

year and are now engaging in more direct lobbying

efforts to let elected officials know our

community expects them to act.

Williams said the lobbying efforts are fine,

but would like to see quicker action, more

public answers and consequences for empty

promises. “What we need to do as a community

— nationally, statewide and locally — is

ask people to put their money where their

mouth is. If we are giving them our votes and

money and they keep saying, ‘Wait,’ then we

need to actually enact some consequences.

I think we literally say, ‘Do this, or we are not

voting for you anymore.’”

qnotes contacted Mayor Anthony Foxx

and asked for comment on these issues.

Through his assistant, Erica Johnson, Foxx

declined our requests at this time and said

he could better answer any concerns in a

month’s time. : :

[Ed. Note — This writer is a volunteer organizer

with CRANE.]

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 21


22 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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South Carolina diocese

continues march

toward schism

Bishop speaks out against ‘false Gospel’ at diocese convention

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — Tensions between

the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and

the national Episcopal Church continued to

heat up at the diocese’s 219th convention

held March 26 and 27.

Delegates to the convention quickly

passed a series of resolutions asserting

its “sovereignty” from the national body.

Four of five passed resolutions addressed

the diocese’s heritage, so-called “ecclesiastical

intrusions” by Episcopal Presiding

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the

diocese’s authority to interpret religious

texts and doctrine independently. One

resolution spoke out against the Episcopal

Church’s use of lawsuits against seceding

parishes the diocese considers “in good

standing.”

Disagreements over LGBT inclusion

and equality within the church have

complicated the relationship between the

denomination, a member of the worldwide

Anglican communion, and its South

Carolina Lowcountry province. In recent

years, the diocese’s actions have become

increasingly more hostile and outspoken

as leaders here move the diocese closer

toward schism.

Last fall, the diocese passed four

resolutions speaking out against LGBT

equality, authorizing the diocese to begin

St. Michael’s Church, the oldest church building in

Charleston.

Photo Credit: chrismar, via Flickr.

Licensed under Creative Commons.

withdrawing from national church committees

and granting individual parishes the right to

enter into relationships with “orthodox congregations

across North America.” Several

parishes in the South Carolina diocese have

already separated from the national church.

Addressing the convention delegates,

Bishop Mark Lawrence said efforts to include

LGBT people in the church have moved

forward without consequence. He chastised

national leaders for a departure from orthodox

doctrine.

“The march of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,

and Transgender (LGBT) Movement has

gone on relatively unchallenged,” Lawrence

said, according to prepared remarks posted

on the diocese’s website. “Clearly these are

disruptive challenges to the teaching we

have received from the last two thousand

years in the church of Jesus Christ…This

false Gospel of Indiscriminate Inclusivity like

kudzu in an old growth forest has suffocated

the mission of the Church and has helped to

set The Episcopal Church on a denominationally

downward spiral of radically decreasing

membership and increasing irrelevance.”

The Diocese of South Carolina, which

includes all of Eastern and Coastal South

Carolina, was originally formed in 1706 and reorganized

in 1785. The diocese is home to 76

parishes and close to 30,000 members. Bishop

Lawrence opposed the election of openly gay

New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson in

2003. In 2006, the diocese rejected the authority

of Presiding Bishop Schori. The diocese

also opposed two LGBT-affirming resolutions

presented and approved at the denomination’s

national convention in 2009.

The diocese’s more liberal sister province

to the north and west, based in Columbia,

elected a moderate bishop in December. It

has not passed any anti-LGBT resolutions

or statements, and is considered generally

welcoming to LGBT parishioners. : :


DADT repeal tour announced

HRC, Servicemembers United plan tentative stop in Charlotte

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Human Rights

Campaign (HRC) and Servicemembers United

(SU) have united to present an awareness and

education tour on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as efforts

to repeal the 16-year-old military gay ban

ramp up in the nation’s capital. The journey

will take representatives of both organizations

and gay and lesbian veterans to some 26 different

cities across the country. Charlotte is a

tentative stop on the route.

The tour, “Voices of Honor: A Generation

Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” will include

public forums with gay and lesbian verterans

of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The groups

will also screen “Ask Not,” a PBS documentary

profiling SU founders Jarrod Chlapowski

and Greensboro, N.C.-native Alex Nicholson.

Chlapowski and Nicholson worked with

HRC on a similar tour a year ago, stopping in

Charlotte in August. Nicholson, SU executive

director, grew up in Greensboro and attended

college there. After less than a year of military

service, Nicholson was discharged in March

2002 — he says he never violated DADT and

was outed by someone else.

During the week of March 21, Secretary

of Defense Robert Gates announced new

guidelines on DADT enforcement. Under the

new regulations, DADT discharge orders can

only be initiated by at least a one-star general

or admiral. In addition, the new rules bar the

use of third party, confidential or non-credible

information about an individual’s sexual orientation

as a basis for discharge proceedings.

Since DADT’s implementation in 1994,

more than 13,500 servicemembers have been

discharged. As much as $360 million dollars or

more has been spent discharging and replacing

those troops.

The Voices of Honor Tour made its first

stops in Lincoln, Neb. on March 29 and

Indiana University in South Bend, Ind., on

March 30. The Tour’s tentative Charlotte stop

is planned for April 13. : :

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DADT, black women and

police misconduct?

by Deaidre Newby :: dnewby@goqnotes.com

Compared to partners of other same-sex

relationships, black women from same-sex

households are more likely to serve in the

U.S. Armed Forces, according to the National

Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute’s

2004 report, “Black Same-Sex Households

in the United States.” They are also being

discharged from the military at a higher rate

than other groups.

Black lesbians constitute less than one

percent of all U.S. servicemembers, yet

they are 3.3 percent of all servicemembers

discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

(DADT) policy, the1993 law banning open service

by gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans

and forcing out more than 13,500 LGB patriots

since 1994.

Despite these atrocious facts, black

women in same-sex households continue to

serve in the military.

The statistics, unfortunately, played out

for African-American Air Force Sgt. Jene

Newsome, who was recently discharged by

the military after local police officials “turned

her in” to Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Newsome refused to speak to law

enforcement, who were tracking down her

wife in connection to theft charges in Alaska.

Police went to Newsome’s home, peeked

into the windows and saw an Iowa marriage

license. In what seems like nothing more than

sheer retaliation, police informed Newsome’s

superiors of the relationship. Newsome

received a dishonorable discharge.

Military personnel were forced to follow

the law, despite the fact Newsome was

honorably serving her country, and following

DADT by keeping quiet. In the process of

the police’s actions and military’s discharge,

Newsome’s right to privacy was violated and

she was victimized by what seems like childish

and petty police vindictiveness.

Blacks are significantly disadvantaged

in term of wealth, income, health and other

measures. Newsome’s entire livelihood is now

being thrust into poverty because she was

outed. She has lost her career, benefits, her

earning power, ability to save money, support

her family, and prepare for retirement – simply

because she is lesbian.

DADT needs to be repealed now! : :

— Originally published March 17 at

goqnotes.com/to/blog.

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 23


qliving

arts. entertainment.

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qguide

Nightlife, coffee shops,

restaurants, community resources

u and more…

goqnotes.com/qguide

want more great features? visit goqnotes.com/to/qliving

More than the dance...

Southern Country Charlotte prepares to give back with this year’s Queen City Stomp

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

After the closure of the Charlotte Eagle

last year, Southern Country Charlotte (SCC),

the Queen City’s LGBT Country Western

dancing group, was left without a home. As

they prepare for their

premiere annual event,

Queen City Stomp, the

group’s leadership

says positive side effects

have come out of

the Eagle’s closing.

“It shook us up

a bit,” says Thomas

Healy, SCC president.

“We had to take a step

back and once the

initial shock wore off

we were able to rally

the membership and

we’ve gotten good

representation when

we do club nights at

other locations.”

When SCC isn’t

gearing up for Queen

City Stomp, which

takes place April

16-18 at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport, the

group is hosting weekly dance lessons and

occasional club nights where both members

and the public are invited to join in on the fun

and fellowship. Since the Eagle’s closing, SCC

has held their weekly lessons at Petra’s Piano

Bar in Plaza-Midwood and hosted club nights

at Hartigan’s, the Closet and the Rainbow Inn.

They’ve also reached out across the region.

“Leading up to the event this year, we’re

being a bit more aggressive in marketing,”

Healy says. “Not just to local clubs, but we’ve

also sent representatives to Atlanta and

Hickory. We’ve got posters going to people in

California and Texas. We’ve got lots of out-ofstate

representation.”

Atlanta’s Southern Line will attend and

perform at this year’s Stomp.

The annual event serves as both a social

gathering and community fundraiser. Since

SCC’s inception in 1991, the group has raised

and contributed more than $150,000 for area

non-profits. Last year, proceeds benefited the

Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte

and Time Out Youth. Both those groups as well

as One Voice Chorus will be the beneficiary of

Stomp’s proceeds this year.

SCC Vice President Chris Gray says

SCC’s supportive fellowship and the

community- building inherit in SCC’s mission

sealed the deal when he decided

to get involved. He and his partner had

just moved to Charlotte and ventured

out to the Eagle for a bit of fun on a

Wednesday night.

“The atmosphere of Southern

Country was so welcoming,” Gray says.

“They made us feel real comfortable.

Southern Country doesn’t turn anyone

away and we go out of our way to help

people and organizations.”

Healy says the volunteerism not only

attracted him to SCC but also inspired

him to get more involved. “Once I was

a member, I saw the good work being

done outside of just dancing — what

we’ve done to support other organizations

throughout the year,” he says. “I

felt it was a good way to give back to

the community as a whole, not just the

gay and lesbian community but the greater

Charlotte community.”

Healy says SCC has really allowed him to

“see the city at its best.” : :

see Stompin’ on 26

A statement is worth

over 400 pictures

International artist showcases Charlotte’s LGBT community

by Nathan James :: njames@goqnotes.com

On the second floor of the McColl Center for Visual Art, Charlotte’s gay icons are captured

on film—as we see them.

Artist Abdi Osman showcased his work during the closing reception on March 19 as part

of the center’s Artist in Residence (AIR) program. His studio was the stereotypical artist’s

space. Studio 215 had large windows, artwork clinging to starch white walls, bare concrete

floors and exposed ductwork hung from the ceiling.

The artist made disposable cameras available to Charlotte’s LGBT residents so we could

capture images that represented our community. He received 40 cameras back with more

than 400 exposures. He combed through the images to create a mosaic picture, which he

turned into a limited edition print.

Osman noticed there was not a single transgender person represented in the photos, so

he decided to make the final image more androgynous. He says that he does not see trans

people showcased very much in any part of the country.

As part of being an AIR he had to do a community project but he wanted to learn about

Charlotte’s LGBT life. “I figured if I worked with the gay and lesbian community it would be a

one-stop shop,” explained Osman.

He said he would like to come back to Charlotte and do something larger and more visible.

He wants to photograph Charlotte’s LGBT activists and display them along Tryon St.

Osman explained that he is not a gay activist but he does have an interest in gay issues.

“We are not invisible. I wanted to make it subtle but so you get the message,” he said. : :

Artist Abdi Osman stands with some of his work at the McColl Center for Visual Art.

Photo Credit: Nathan James

24 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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Sanitizing Helms

Bearers of Senator No’s legacy attempt a historic rewrite

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

North Carolina’s Jesse Helms was no gay

hero. A look through history and even a cursory

review of his record proves Helms was

nothing but a bigot whose time had clearly

come and gone long after he continued to

hold his 30-year tenure in the U.S. Senate.

The facts, however, aren’t stopping

Wingate, N.C.’s Jesse Helms Center from an

attempt to sanitize Helms’ history and actions

regarding LGBT people and HIV/AIDS.

The New York Times reported in March:

“Despite Mr. Helms’s storied opposition

to ‘a homosexual lifestyle,’ the Jesse Helms

Center in Wingate, N.C., is challenging the

idea that he was a “homophobe” or obstructive

in the AIDS fight.

“According to the center’s Web site, ‘It

was Senator Helms who worked most tirelessly

to protect the very principles of freedom

that homosexuals are denied in many other

nations.’”

When Helms passed away in July 2008,

qnotes devoted most of its news coverage

to his life and legacy. The title of the feature

piece, “Burying a fossil,” served as an appropriate

epitaph for a life that caused so many

so much pain and trauma.

From our July 2008 coverage, below are

the facts on Helms’ homophobia and racism

— truths the Helms Center is ashamed to

admit or acknowledge.

Top of the heap,

bottom of the barrel

Excerpt from ‘Burying a fossil,’

July 26, 2008

by Matt Comer

There’s no doubt that the ’80s and early-tomid

’90s saw Helms at his political and rhetorical

height. Taking the chairmanship of the

Agriculture Committee put him in a position to

defend tobacco and challenge expansion of

the federal food stamp program.

In fact, as a longtime detractor of welfare

as government-sanctioned “bumism,” Helms

fought bitterly against expansion of most

social aid programs.

He explained his opposition in 1965. “It’s all

very well and good to talk about ‘uplifting society,’

but somewhere along the line we must

face the fact that from the beginning of time a

lot of human beings have been born bums, but

most of them — until fairly recently — were

kept from behaving like bums because work

was necessary for all who wished to eat. The

more we remove the penalties for being a

bum, the more bumism is going to blossom.”

In 1982, Helms pushed the Senate to permanently

ban federal funding for abortion and

bar federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme

Court, from hearing challenges to organized

school prayer. Although both proposals were

defeated, Helms was lauded by Christian

fundamentalists for his unwavering “moral

conviction.”

Among moderate and liberal Americans,

however, Helms’ was notorious

for his radically conservative

and racist views. And, as lesbians

and gays became increasingly

visible, Helms’ attacks on

the LGBT community grew in

equal measure.

“Jesse Helms was first

elected to the U.S. Senate while

I was living in San Francisco,”

Mandy Carter, a Durham-based,

nationally-respected LGBT

activist, recalled to qnotes.

“He had already made his

reputation for being a staunch

segregationist during the Civil

Rights movement as a commentator

for WRAL-TV. Once he

became a sitting U.S. Senator,

his reputation for being anti-gay

became equally well-known.

He was well-known in San

Francisco with its large gay and

lesbian community.”

With the the rise of the HIV/

AIDS epidemic in the early ’80s,

Helms became fully engaged

in the fight — against the victims, demonizing

them for “bringing it on themselves.”

“We spend a great deal of time focusing

on the needs of drug addicts and homosexual

men,” Helms said on the Senate floor in 1989.

“The AZT Program has money which could

be better spent on others. Even the most

innocent of AIDS patients, children infected

by their parents, reap no benefit from this

program. If the American people have to fund

an AIDS treatment program, at least let the

money go to those who have contracted this

disease through no fault of their own.”

In 1990 when the Ryan White

Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency

Act came up for debate, Helms attempted

— unsuccessfully — to block its passage.

During debate he decried HIV/AIDS victims’

contraction of the disease as a result of their

“deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct”

and said that there was “not one single case

of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced

in origin to sodomy.”

As if having no sympathy for the unknown

victims of HIV/AIDS wasn’t enough, Helms

also showed no compassion for the stricken

sons of his very own friends. In June 1995,

Patsy Clarke, whose husband was a friend of

Helms, wrote the senator a letter describing

her gay son’s battle with HIV/AIDS.

“My reason for writing to you is not to

plead for funds, although I’d like to ask your

see Rewritting on 26

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 25

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Billboards raise

awareness for

Charlotte AIDS Walk

RAIN and Adams Outdoor Advertising team up to display two

billboards in advance of May 1 event

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

CHARLOTTE — Looking to raise awareness

of their upcoming AIDS Walk, the

Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN)

teamed up with Adams Outdoor Advertising

to display two billboards advertising the May

1 event.

The 14th annual AIDS Walk

Charlotte, the largest HIV/

AIDS fundraising event in the

Carolinas, will be held May 1 in

Uptown Charlotte. RAIN hopes

the two billboards, placed at

South Boulevard near Remount

Rd. and on Third St. near

Charlottetown Ave., will help in

their fundraising efforts.

RAIN says increased needs

have been brought on by significant

decreases in state and

federal funds. Organizers fear the cuts will

threaten the sustainability of many individual

and community support programs offered by

the group, even as the number of individuals

seeking services has increased 70 percent in

recent months.

Last fall, Metrolina AIDS Project shut

down amid leadership controversies after

years-long financial difficulties. Established

in 1986, Metrolina AIDS Project had been

the largest AIDS service organization in the

Carolinas. Compounding increased needs are

recent announcements that new enrollment

in the state’s AIDS drug assistance program

have been capped; the program provides

financial assistance for medications to lowincome

individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

RAIN and Adams Outdoor Advertising

estimate their billboards will be seen by as

many as 35,000 motorists each day. : :

info: carolinarain.org . adamsoutdoor.com

Rewriting history?

continued from page 25

support for AIDS research; it is not to [ask

you to] accept a lifestyle which is abhorrent

to you; it is rather to ask you not to pass judgment

on other human beings as ‘deserving

what they get.’ No one deserves that. AIDS is

not a disgrace, it is a TRAGEDY.”

Helms response was short and far less

than sweet.

“I know that Mark’s death was devastating

to you,” he replied two weeks later. “As for

homosexuality, the Bible judges it, I do not. …

As for Mark, I wish he had not played Russian

roulette with his sexual activity.”

Helms’ cold reply was a call to action and

in a matter of months mothers of HIV-infected

and/or gay children were standing arm-in-arm

to see him defeated.

Of course, this harsh incident was nothing

new for the hard-hearted public servant. In

1983, he unsuccessfully attempted to block

federal legislation making Martin Luther King,

Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday by accusing

King of “action-oriented Marxism” and attacking

his morality.

Ten years later, he stepped into a Senate

elevator with black colleague Carol Moseley-

Braun and began singing “Dixie.” Turning to

friend and colleague Orin Hatch, Helms said,

“I’m going to sing ‘Dixie’ till she cries.” : :

— Read the rest of ‘Burying a fossil’ at

goqnotes.com/burying-a-fossil/

A stompin’ good time

This year’s Queen City Stomp kicks off with a

Friday night welcome cocktail hosted by SCC’s

board. The group will also host a Friday night

dance. On Saturday, beginning, intermediate

and advanced dancers alike are invited to learn

more about Country Western dancing in lessons

offered 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Instructors this year include

Don Curran, Pepper Sharpe, Scott Schrank, Scott

Cooper and Dawn Rinkus. Curran is the current

director of dance for the International Association

of Gay/Lesbian Country Western Dance Clubs.

On Saturday evening, Stomp’s premier Cattle Call Ball kicks off at 9 p.m. in the Sheraton

Charlotte Airport’s ballroom. Sunday’s schedule includes more lessons, a BBQ lunch and

“dance swap” from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

Registration is available online at queencitystomp.com. Full weekend passes cost

$70. Other registration options, including ala carte choices, are available. Admission to

Saturday’s Cattle Call Ball is $15.

26 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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tell trinity

by trinity :: qnotes contributor

Barflies, distant men

and losers

Hello Trinity,

I met someone at the bar who

says he “wants to be with me” yet

doesn’t want to do non-bar related

stuff together, not even a movie. When

I confront him he compares me to his

abusive ex. Is there an unhealthy issue

I haven’t figured out?

He Loves Me… Not, Green Bay, WI

Hello He Loves Me… Not,

I don’t have much experience with

abusive relationships,

but I do with barflies,

distant men and losers and, honey,

when someone doesn’t want to spend

private time with you, they either need more

time, need a therapist or really are not interested.

Either way, aren’t there other men

who want to be with you alone outside the

bar scene? When someone likes someone,

they show it not avoid it!

Hey Trinity,

Come on! You know it’s all about sex,

sex appeal and money when it comes to

getting picked up. Don’t you think all this

talk about “inner” beauty or intelligence

is bull?

Beauty Or Bull, South Beach, FL

Hey Beauty Or Bull,

Yes, what you look like and have in the bank really helps

Not for Reproduction

to catch and keep someone, but eventually, baby, it’s inner

charm, strength and humor that keep two people happy. In

other words, you better have something “inside” that appears

when your looks and money disappear! (Get the “inside”

scoop from my cartoon, darling!)

Hey Trinity,

My friends claim I’m neglecting them because of my new

girlfriend. I want to spend time with them, but I don’t want to

neglect my new relationship. When is it safe to start spending

time away from a relationship?

Time Away, Sante Fe, NM

Hey Time Away,

According to “The Rules,” a book for women to catch and

keep men, which could apply to any relationship, “not being 100

percent available makes you look important and worthy.” So,

sweetie, it’s never neglectful, but rather healthy to spend time

apart because that’s what

successful people do!

Dearest Trinity,

My relationship is not

perfect, but my other half

thinks it should be. What

does it take to make the

perfect relationship?

The Perfect Solution,

Baton Rouge, LA

Dearest Perfect Solution,

Having the perfect

relationship is an unrealistic

expectation, unless,

of course, you have a staff

of 10 scholars guiding you

through every situation. So,

pumpkin, post this list on your fridge and see if your other half

lightens up:

Trinity’s Degrees, Training Programs And

Licenses You’re Expected To Have For

The Perfect Relationship

1. A Psychology Degree: Because you’ll be expected to know

just how to figure out, point out and prove it’s not your fault.

2. An Accounting Degree: Because anyone can go crazy spending

and you’ll be expected to know just how to pay for it.

3. A Law Degree: Because misunderstandings and/or accidents

happen and you’ll be expected to defend your

innocence.

4. A Handyman’s License: Because things break and you’ll be

expected to fix them. So keep the manuals!

5. A Chauffeur’s License: Because loved ones need a ride or a

move and you’ll be expected to drive anyone everywhere so

that everyone’s happy.

6. A Psychic’s License: Because you’ll be expected to “know”

or “see” everything, especially things that were never said

or shown to you yet.

7. A Secretary’s Training: Because mistakes come back to

haunt you and you’ll be expected to “pull up” everything in

perfect detail proving just what really happened.

8. A Motivational Leaders Training: Because one of you will

surely be less motivated and you’ll be expected to “take

responsibility” and “recreate a new outcome.”

9. A Telephone Lineman’s Training: Because communication

lines breakdown and you’ll be expected to know just the

right “line” to make it all work right.

10. A Nanny’s License: Because even if there’s no children

you’ll eventually be expected to clean, cook, sew, nurture

and keep everyone “pacified.” : :

— With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity was

host of “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama,

and now performs globally.

info: www.telltrinity.com . Trinity@telltrinity.com

Tell Trinity, P.O. Box 23861 . Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33307

Sponsored by: Provincetown Business Guild

800-637-8696 . www.ptown.org

Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 27

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qnotes

arts. entertainment. news. views.

qnotes

arts. entertainment. news. views.

28 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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Activist-candidate attacks opponent’s

pro-equality record

Republican Jason Phibbs says Sen. Bill Purcell is ‘promoting homosexuality’

by Matt Comer :: matt@goqnotes.com

LAURINBURG, N.C. — An anti-gay

grassroots activist running for a spot in the

state Senate is attacking his incumbent,

Democratic opponent over his pro-equality

votes on anti-bullying and sex ed laws passed

last year.

Jason Phibbs, who has worked as the

Stanly County organizer for the anti-gay

NC4Marriage, told a small group at a town

hall in March that Sen. Bill Purcell was

“promoting homosexuality.” He says Purcell’s

yes votes on the School Violence Prevention

Act and Healthy Youth Act will encourage

“legitimization” of homosexuality and allow

schools to teach about gay sex.

“Now school systems can teach whatever

they want,” Phibbs said, according to

The Laurinburg Exchange. “… If they want,

they can teach homosexual sexuality. They

can do that.”

Purcell has defended his votes, saying all

children should be protected from bullying

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and that new measures were needed to help

curb rising pregnancy rates.

Purcell, currently in his sixth term, represents

the Senate’s 25th District. Sixty percent

of voters there are registered Democrats.

As a county organizer for NC4Marriage,

Phibbs presented to the Stanly County Board

of Commissioners last April a resolution to

amend the state’s constitution to discriminate

against same-sex couples. Although the

board discussed the matter briefly, and each

member indicated they thought marriage was

“between one man and one woman,” the

elected body has never approved the measure.

Fifteen counties and one town across

the state have approved such resolutions

from NC4Marriage. : :

Is Jason Phibbs’ a long lost cousin of

qnotes’ editor Matt Comer? Read more

at goqnotes.com/to/blog.

daily news, blog posts and lgbt community event listings

Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter:

goqnotes.com/subs

connect to goqnotes.com

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 29


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out in the stars

by charlene lichtenstein :: qnotes contributor

April 3-16

Plan your actions very

carefully as retrograde

Saturn backs into

Virgo and opposes

shocking Uranus. Even

small gestures have large impact. Maybe this

is a good thing? Plan accordingly.

ARIES (03.21-04.20) Try not to feed the gossip

machine at work. It will only come back to

bite you later. Proud Rams like to do what

they want, when they want, but a certain

finesse is required as even small actions take

on monumental proportions. There is plenty

of time to upend the corporate order in the

next few months. Shhh! Plan it quietly and

carefully now.

TAURUS (04.21-05.21) You may feel like a

hearty party, Bull, but rein in your more

outrageous antics. In your celebration, you

may trod on the toes of friends and make a

spectacle of yourself in a large crowd. Maybe

this is what you want to do? If so, party on. If

not, find quieter outlets for your fun and frolic.

Sometimes, just a party of two is much more

fun that a party of 20 or 200.

GEMINI (05.22-06.21) There will be a temptation

to blur the lines of family and career. Try

not to do so, pink Twin. You know instinctively

that the decisions you make for one are really

based on the needs and demands of the other.

Be as neutral as you can while the two sides

push and pull. Soon, you have a clearer idea

of what is best for you, alone or otherwise.

CANCER (06.22-07.23) Do you have something

pressing on your mind? Keep the thought

there a little longer or carefully craft it and

deliver it closer to deadline. Any opinion you

have will blast into cyberspace with some

surprising and unintended results. Of course,

there are those feisty gay Crabs who ache for

drama. If that is the case, buy a movie ticket

and view it from the audience.

LEO (07.24-08.23) Love captures your heart

and your wallet. Hey, champagne and roses

don’t grow on trees! Proud Lions may find

that there may be a balance between what

you want and what you really need. Common

sense rears its ugly head and the ardor may

cool. Of course, life is too short to scrimp. So,

eat, drink and be merry. For tomorrow we diet.

VIRGO (08.24-09.23) Queer Virgins may take a

jaundiced look at their current relationships.

Things may be too serious, a bit boring and in

dire need of a bit of sprucing up. But, dramatic

changes now may not have the desired effect

in the long term. My advice — lie back and

relax. As the time passes, you will have more

opportunity to savor the good and decide on

next steps for the crummy.

LIBRA (09.24-10.23) Things that you have tried

to push into the background come back into

the spotlight, especially when it has to do

with the job. So, don’t let things slide at work.

Keep up appearances. Gay Libras should also

arrange for a medical check-up now. A check

up can lead to a tune up which can lead to

less problems down the road.

SCORPIO (10.24-11.22) If you find that your fun

times are being dampened by your friends, be

forgiving of them and wait before you ramp

up your party train again. Frivolous pastimes

should take a back seat to more pressing concerns

anyway. You are much more effective in

your career, if you can put your mind to it. But,

that might be asking too much right now.

SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) Professional projects

may hit a snag as unexpected problems

become apparent. In fact, the harder you try,

the more intractable these problems become.

So, why work hard when you can escape and

enjoy life for a while? But, since even home

life will have its tiresome surprises, try to get

away from it all. There is time to tackle the

gremlins later in the month.

CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) Anything you say, no

matter how calm and innocent, will be reinterpreted

as a raving rant. Or, maybe that is your

plan? Pink Caps are often very careful with

their thoughts and words, but it brings you a

microphone and a sense of outrage. Call it as

you see it, but do it in a relaxing and calming

environment so the tenor is more mellow than

“yell”ow.

AQUARIUS (01.21-02.19) The applecart of love

gets sidetracked and possibly toppled and

it may be due to differences of opinion and

things you both value. Someone is the spendthrift

and someone is just the thrift. Oh, well.

Let others have their opinion and leave yours

for another time and place. Let your actions

speak louder and prouder than your words,

along with a small gift or two.

PISCES (02.20-03.20) Guppies need to find the

right balance between being part of a couple

and crafting their own identity. Too often you

wind up being subsumed in a relationship and

give up too much of yourself. Happily, this time

period gives you an opportunity to reassess

and revise, if needed. If you are on the hunt for

a real catch, check your net for any holes and

be sure to pack the right bait. : :

© 2010 Madam Lichtenstein, LLC. All Rights

Reserved. Entertainment.

info: Visit www.TheStarryEye.com for

e-greetings, horoscopes and Pride jewelry.

My book “HerScopes: A Guide To Astrology

For Lesbians” from Simon & Schuster is

available at bookstores and major booksites.

goqnotes.com

daily news,

blog posts

and lgbt

community

event

listings

Sign up for

our weekly

e-newsletter:

goqnotes.com/subs

30 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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Taking it to the streets

Get those shoes out and stroll along

April 10 • Belmont

Walk for AIDS

The 17th Annual Walk for AIDS will benefit House of Mercy, a nonprofit residence serving low-income persons living with

advanced AIDS. Join our 3-mile walk through historic Belmont to raise AIDS awareness and funds. Register at 9:30 am at

the stone shelter on the Sisters of Mercy campus. Enjoy music by DJ Buddy Love. First 250 walkers raising $50 will receive

a Walk T-shirt. A picnic reception for participants follows the walk on the House of Mercy grounds. Seethehouseofmercy.

org for a donations form, map and details. Step up to fight AIDS! Sisters of Mercy Campus, 701 Mercy Dr.

April 4 • Charlotte

Easter Bonnet Party

Gene Cline and Buff Faye host a party just in

time for Easter. Bar at 316, 316 Rensselaer

Ave. 3 p.m.-6 p.m. bufffaye.com.

April 8-10 • Raleigh

We Are 1

The We Are 1 women’s empowerment

conference hits Raleigh. The theme is “Living

Your Best Life Ever.” Come for fellowship,

unity and friendship. For registration and

more information visit

infinitydiamondclub.com.

April 9-10 • Charlotte

Andrew Harvey

Best-selling author of “The Hope” and

spiritual activist Andrew Harvey will give

a book signing and presentation at Myers

Park Baptist Church on April 9 at 7 p.m. and a

workshop on “Sacred Activism” on April 10.

Sponsored by The Olive Branch Center.

Call 704-332-8933 or visit

theolivebranchcenter.net for tickets

and more information.

Apr. 9-11 • Chapel Hill

Unity Conference

The University of North Carolina-Chapel

Hill’s GLBTSA student group presents its

Southeastern Regional Unity Conference.

Entirely student-run, the conference draws

college and high school participants from

across the entire Southeastern U.S. More

information including this year’s them to be

announced at a later date.

unityconference.webs.com.

April 13 • Charlotte

Gay and Gray

The Centralina Area Agency on Aging invites

you to a three-part Progressive Dinner and

Dialogue Series discussing the LGBT community

and aging issues. The first of the three

dinners was held on March 23 at Hartigan’s.

The Laurel’s will host the April 13 dinner.

The Lesbian & Gay Community Center of

Charlotte will host the April 27 dinner. For

more information and reservations call

1-800-508-5777 or visit centralinaaging.org.

Food and transportation are free, though

participation is limited to 40 individuals.

April 15 • Charlotte

Tax Day social

The Charlotte Business Guild hosts a Tax Day

social at Art Aspects, 701 S. Sharon Amity Rd.

6-8 p.m. charlottebusinessguild.org.

April 16-18 • Charlotte

Queen City Stomp

A Country Dance Hoedown weekend presented

by Southern Country Charlotte and

benefiting the Lesbian & Gay Community

Center of Charlotte, Time Out Youth and One

Voice Chorus. The Sheraton Charlotte Airport

Hotel, 3315 Scott Futrell Dr. Various events,

times and prices. queencitystomp.com.

April 17 • Charlotte

Band concert

Charlotte Pride Band makes its first public

appearance and concert. The Queen City’s

new LGBT concert band performs for free (donations

encouraged) at MCC Charlote, 1825

Eastway Dr. 8 p.m. charlotteprideband.org.

April 17 • Charlotte

Charlotte Walks

The Charlotte Coalition for Social Justice

presents a walk to build an inclusive community.

Come out and celebrate diversity and

promote inclusion and social justice.

For registration and more information, visit

charlottecoalition.org.

April 17 • Charlotte

Choice Art

Silent art auction benefitting Planned

Parenthood Health System’s Teens Taking

Action peer education program. Includes auction,

raffle, music, beer, wine, light appetizers.

Sponsored by Planned Parenthood Young

Advocates. Donation Deadline: The deadline

for art donations is Wednesday, April 7th.

All visual mediums are accepted for review.

Contact ChoiceArtCLT@gmail.com for more

information. Charlotte Trolley Museam, 1507

Camden Rd. 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

April 17 • Durham

Marriage workshop

Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

hosts “Marriage Equality Tomorrow, Legal

Realities Today: A Workshop for Same-

Gender Couples, With or Without Children”

and a presentation by Equality North Carolina.

Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship,

4907 Garrett Rd. 9: 30 a.m. For more information,

visit eruuf.org/special-events or email

Interweave@ERUUF.org.

April 18 • Charlotte

Country Barnyard

Buff Faye hosts her next Sunday Drag Brunch

benefitting the American Cancer Society.

Hartigan’s, 601 S. Cedar St. Noon-3 p.m.

bufffaye.com.

April 18 • Durham

Second Chance Queer Prom

Join Triangle Community works for a “Night of

Enchantment” at their Second Chance Queer

Prom, with proceeds benefiting the organization’s

youth and helpline services. Four Points

by Sheraton at Southpoint, 7807 Leonardo Dr.

8 p.m.-Midnight. $25/individual. $40/couple.

tcworks.org.

April 22 • Charlotte

Men of Petra’s

The staff of Petra’s Piano Bar strap on some

heels and work for dollar bills. These boys

are about as amateur as they come. A winner

will be crowned based entirely on audience

votes. Come out and vote for your favorite

drag performance. With Christopher Jones

as “Barbara Burning Bush,” Sal Garcia as

“Sal Manilla,” Davey Roberson as “Moxy

D’outfire,” Stephen Seay as “Sheila Noya”

and Matt Vinson as “Stella Artwat” — it’s

bound to be one campy night. Petra’s Piano

Bar, 1919 Commonwealth Ave. 8:30 p.m.

petraspianobar.com.

April 24 • Morganton

Hike for Hope

ALFA’s first annual Hike for Hope is designed

to become ALFA’s premiere annual awareness

and fundraising event, and will benefit the

organization’s mission to enhance the lives of

those infected and affected by, and at the risk

for HIV/AIDS within the nine-county service

area of North Carolina. For more information

and registration, or do donate to the event, go

to www.ALFAHikeForHope.org.

April 25 • Charlotte

Bowling tournament

The Lesbian & Gay Community Center of

Charlotte hosts a fundraiser bowling tourna-

Qqnotes events

goqnotes.com/qguide/events

arts. entertainment. news. views.

ment, “Lose your Clothes Supporting the

Center.” Teams of two bowlers will be paired

with other teams. Registration costs of $25

includes bowling, shoe rental, the DJ and

drag entertainment. $20 pre-registration and

sponsorship opportunities are available. For

more information, visit gaycharlotte.com or

call Bryan Hinkle at 704-737-0749 or email

hinkone@msn.com.

April 27 • Charlotte

Gay and Gray

See April 13 event for description.

April 29-May 2 • Charlotte

‘Talk of the Town’

In “Talk of the Town,” Johnny Hobson, an irrepressible

small-town Texan sissy-boy, fights

back from those who bully him at school.

And, in the wake of his battles, finds work

and worth, as well as love, lust, and Lady Bird

Johnson at his local Dairy Queen. Johnny’s

story unfolds in pure Southern fashion

— alternately hilarious and poignant, though

simultaneously quick-witted and full of details.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Time

Out Youth, an organization providing support,

advocacy, and education for LGBT youth in

Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Petra’s

Piano Bar, 1919 Commonwealth Ave.

8 p.m. stephenseayproductions.com.

May 1 • Charlotte

AIDS Walk Charlotte

The Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN)

hosts its AIDS Walk 2010, the largest HIV/AIDS

awareness and fundraising event in the

Carolinas. For sponsorship or participant information

and signup, visit aidswalkcharlotte.org.

May 1 • Raleigh

AIDS Walk+Ride

Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina presents

its AIDS Walk+Ride, a day of celebration,

awareness building and fundraising. For more

information, to become a sponsor, make a

donation or register in the walk or cycle ride

visit aidswalkandride.org.

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Apr. 3-16 . 2010 qnotes 31


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32 qnotes Apr. 3-16 . 2010

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