March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes

March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes

March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes

qnotes March 5-18 . 2011


March 5-18, 2011

Vol 25 No 22


The cast of GayCharlotte Film Fest feature ‘Violet Tendencies’ (l-r): Macus Patrick, Mindy Cohn, Jesse

Archer and director/producer/actor Casper Andreas.

Photo Credit: Film still

news & features

6 News Notes: Regional Briefs

8 Anti-gay amendment intro’d

9 WBTV report questioned

opinions & views

4 Editor’s Note

4 General Gayety

5 Guest Commentary

5 QPoll

11 T-Notes


12 Out in the Stars

13 Tell Trinity

14 Queering up the big screen

15 Fully uncensored

17 Audiophile

18 Bingo gay-cation

19 Q events calendar


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contributors this issue

Leah Cagle, Robbi Cohn, Matt Comer, Charlene

Lichtenstein, Lainey Millen, Leslie Robinson, Don

Rosenthal, David Stout, Trinity,

front page

Graphic Design by Matt Comer

Photo Credit: Ruth Films

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Editor: Matt Comer, x202

Assoc. Ed.: David Stout, x210

Assoc. Ed., A&E: Leah Cagle, x202

Production: Lainey Millen, x209

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represent the opinions of qnotes or its staff. qnotes accepts unsolicited editorial, but cannot take responsibility for its return.

Editor reserves the right to accept and reject material as well as edit for clarity, brevity.

March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes


editor’s note

by matt comer

Correcting the record:

WBTV’s anti-gay and

sensationalistic tabloidism

[Ed. Note — The following is a statement

from editor Matt Comer. It was published at and released to Charlotte-area

media on Feb. 25.]

On Tuesday, Feb. 22, Charlotte news

station WBTV ran a story by reporter Steve

Crump (“Internet site links Charlotte to gay


asp?S=14080924) on alleged incidents of illegal

sexual activity occurring in James Boyce

Park in Southeast Charlotte. Their report

was biased, sensationalistic and furthered,

whether intentional or not, the stereotype

and negative social stigma that gay men are

a threat to children. For more details, you can

read qnotes‘ story on the station’s coverage


As I worked on covering WBTV’s original

story and the response to it, I also conversed

with both WBTV News Director Dennis

Milligan and reporter Steve Crump regarding

the production of their Feb. 22 story and the

reasons why many people, including myself,

felt that the story was biased and irresponsible.

Despite these conversations — which

included my thoughts on “group blame,”

in which an entire minority group, in this

case gay men, are blamed or asked to

apologize for or condemn the actions of a

few — WBTV’s follow-up report on Feb. 23

(“Commissioner requests investigation into

alleged sex acts taking place in park” wbtv.

com/Global/story.asp?S=14089194) wholly

misrepresented my statements and thoughts.

Steve Crump reported:

“Meanwhile, Comer feels some in

Charlotte’s gay community are being stigma-

tized by those who break the law in public


“‘I don’t think it’s the job of the entire gay

community to apologize for the actions of a

few within our community,’ Comer said.”

It should be made abundantly clear that

I do not believe the gay community is being

stigmatized by its own, the majority of whom

are likely gay or bisexual men who due to

societal discrimination and prejudice are unable

to acknowledge their sexual orientation

in public and healthy ways.

Instead, as related to both Dennis

Milligan and Steve Crump and as stated

during my interview with WBTV, I believe it

is the media and many times police departments

— not only in Charlotte but across the

nation — which too often and irresponsibly

correlate illegal sexual activity among men

with the entire gay community. Given that

positive coverage of the gay community is

often few and far between, negative stories

like these do a great disservice to this minority


Obviously, Steve Crump and Dennis

Milligan had a clear agenda in mind before

producing the “follow-up” to their Feb. 22


In this particular instance, the only people

stigmatizing gay men are the staff of WBTV.

Real facts and figures show a reality

much different from WBTV’s hysterical and

hyped-up sensationalism. There have been

no reported or documented incidents of

illegal sexual activity in a half-mile radius of

James Boyce Park since Jan. 1, 2009. Further,

figures from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Police Department on the number of charges

for solicitation of a crime against nature

throughout the entire city and county in 2010

and 2011 reveal that the overwhelming majority

of cases involve heterosexual prostitution.

If WBTV actually sought to be “on your

side,” they would use their skills as so-called

media professionals to report accurately

and fairly on news of substance. Instead,

they chose to forsake real journalism for

sensationalistic tabloidism backed up by no

numbers, no evidence and no fact — coverage

that ultimately furthers stereotypes,

discrimination, bigotry and prejudice against

gay men.

It is not hard to tell whose side WBTV is

actually on; certainly, it’s not with this minority

community. : :

You might want to do a few stretches

before reading this. We’re about to race

through the GLBT news and I don’t want to be

blamed if you strain something. I don’t have


Ready, set, etc.

Terry Jones, Florida pastor and would-be

Koran burner, will be the primary speaker

on the Stand Up America tour, which will

condemn the “deathstyles” of homosexuality,

Islam and abortion.

On this tour, the groupies will be War,

Famine, Pestilence and Death.

Another sad fellow, Congressman Chris

Lee of New York, resigned after the world

saw a shirtless photo of himself he sent to

a woman he met on Craigslist. The married,

socially conservative Republican wasn’t our

friend in Congress.

Pity. Gay men could teach the Craigslist

Congressman how to pose alluringly instead

of alarmingly.

general gayety

by leslie robinson :: qnotes contributor

Scampering through the news

Now to Colorado and another man

behaving badly. Lt. Jeff Egnor of the Douglas

County Sheriff’s Department posted hundreds

of anti-gay and racist comments on local

news websites using his work computer

while on duty.

Under the screen name “Abu Mybutt,”

Egnor reacted to DADT’s elimination by

suggesting new military slogans like “Butt

Rangers lead the way!” and “Join the Navy,

see naked men!”

He resigned from the force. Maybe he’ll

join the military.

Keep up now, people. Quick quick like a


Turning to gays behaving badly, we’re off

to the Caribbean and a charter billed as the

“world’s largest gay cruise.” Agents searched

Steven Barry Krumholz’s cabin and allegedly

found lots of meth, Ecstasy and cash. While

they waited for Krumholz, two passengers

came by to buy.

I’m shocked, shocked to hear of drug

dealing among gay men in a party setting.

Next you’ll tell me gay men and lesbians

smoke a lot.

In happier news, Mitchell Reich was

elected the first openly gay president of

the Harvard Law Review. Personally, as

publications go, I’d rather read the American

Journal of Gastroenterology, but this is still

primo news.

And, then there’s the story of Malcolm,

quite a kid. His mother gave him $140 to

donate to the charity of his choice. He divided

the money between the L.A. Gay & Lesbian

Center and the Human Rights Campaign.

In his seven-year-old handwriting, he

told the Center, “I’m sending you this money

because I don’t think it’s fair that gay people

are not treated equally.”

Stop crying. We don’t have time for it.

In international news, the flight attendants

for a new charter airline in Thailand include

four transsexuals. The airline is called P.C. Air,

which I’m certain doesn’t stand for Politically


The word is out about a proposed

gay-centric, but open-to-everyone, community

near Palm Springs, Calif. The designs

for “Boom” include 300 residences, eight

neighborhoods, an entertainment center and

a “rooftop mist disco.”

Those might be the gayest three words

I’ve ever heard.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim

DeMint, the Family Research Council,

Concerned Women for America and other

righty individuals and groups boycotted the

Conservative Political Action Conference,

huffy over the involvement of the gay conservative

group, GOProud.

I don’t agree with GOProud on much, but if

it can cause this kind of schism among rabid

conservatives, I say, you go boys.

Hang on. Last lap. Almost there.

The Hawaii House of Representatives

voted yes on civil unions and in Maryland

and Rhode Island, legislative committees

held hearings on same-sex marriage. A

Maryland state senator announced he’ll vote

for gay marriage because he was appalled

at the way opponents demonized gays.

Welcome to our world.

There. You’re done. Sorry for rushing you.

It was the only way to get through it all. Now,

you can take a nap. : :

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qnotes March 5-18 . 2011

guest commentary

by Don Rosenthal

Mecklenburg Democratic Party needs more LGBT inclusion

I have been involved in the Mecklenburg

County Democratic Party (MCDP) for the

last 10 years, but not in a particularly active

role, although I am vice-chair of my precinct

caucus. I have been struck repeatedly by

how weak a force for advancing LGBT rights

the MCDP has been. No group, including the

“gay” group that exists on paper within the

party, has been active in pressing LGBT concerns.

During those years, few party leaders

have made a serious effort to reach out to the

LGBT community. (Several have been indifferent

if not openly hostile.)

As a result, no one in the party leadership

raised any questions about the poor

performance of Mayor Foxx and members of

the City Council in last year’s efforts to add

sexual orientation and gender identity to the

employment policies of the city. (As readers of

qnotes may recall, the city manager supposedly

acted on his own authority to add sexual

orientation, but not gender identity, to those

policies.) This allowed Charlotte politicians

to get off the hook for lack of visibility on the

issue (except before LGBT constituents), but

it also created a situation where a new city

manager or city council might easily remove

even the limited protections added in 2010.


qnotes wants to hear from you.

With the Democratic National Convention,

with its significant inclusion of LGBT officials

coming to Charlotte in 2012, it is time for the

Charlotte LGBT community to be more visible

in putting forward demands for LGBT inclusion

and better treatment by both the party

organization and the city government.

As it happens, the MCDP is in the process

of selecting a new county party chair to

replace its current chair who is not running for

re-election. The election for chair is scheduled

for April 9. (Later in the year, there will also be

another election for mayor and city council.)

Because there has been no real effort

by the party to reach out to the LGBT community,

I thought I would take it on myself to

ask the three candidates who have indicated

their interest in becoming chair (Frank

Deaton, Aisha Dew and Darrin Rankin) about

their support for greater inclusion of the

LGBT community. All three have been quite

positive in their initial responses, though I

have learned to be cautious about politicians’

promises in Charlotte.

With this as background, I would like to

hear both from people who may already be

involved in Democratic Party work, as well

as others who might be interested in getting

For some time we have been featuring more local

and more arts-focused features. Do you like this new

direction and what other topics would you like to see

us cover?

See the options and vote:


involved. If you are interested in

being active, precinct meetings

for selecting party officials have

been scheduled between Feb. 28

and March 11. Unfortunately, there may not

be time for you to plan to attend the precinct

meeting in your neighborhood, but there is

still time to find out whether that is the case.

If you do not know your precinct, it appears

on your voter card or you can contact the

Mecklenburg County Board of Elections at

704-336-2133 for that information. (If you have

not voted before in Charlotte-Mecklenburg,

you should contact the board of elections

about registering to vote or updating your

former registration if you have moved.)

Once you have found out what precinct

you are in, either call the party organization

at 704-525-5843 or go to their website at If you access the

website, you need to check the “Calendar”

of meetings in the upper right corner of the

homepage and then review the list of meetings

and their locations. (The way the website is

set up, it may be easier to call the party office.)

The party organization is scheduled to have

office hours from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Mondays,

Wednesdays and Fridays and is planning to

add office hours one evening a week, probably

on Wednesdays.

I would welcome your expressions of

interest and your suggestions for possible

steps to be taken to expand an LGBT influence

within the MCDP. Please email me at

: :


RAIN reschedules

‘Amazing Race’

Last issue, qnotes ran an article on the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network’s (RAIN)

“Amazing Race Bar Crawl.” The event was set for March 5 but has been pushed back to

April 2.

Event planners say the original date coincided with the last day of the CIAA championships

and proved difficult to organize. For more information or for questions, please visit, email or call 704-372-RAIN (7246), ext. 162.

Meeting Date: Friday, March 11, 2011

Program: Third Annual Business Expo

(in conjunction with TakeOver Friday)

The Westin, 601 S. College St.

Time: 6-9 p.m.


Free Admission

Information: Call 704.565.5075

or email

for more details about this event

March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes



symposium slated

RALEIGH — North Carolina State

University (NCSU) is a hosting a “Stand Up,

Speak Out: Finding Opportunities to Protect

Our Youth Against Bullying” symposium on

March 29, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., McKimmon Center,

1101 Gorman St. It is sponsored by NCSU’s

University Counseling Center/Student

Health Services; Department of Curriculum,

Instruction, and Counselor Education;

Department of Social Work; and GLBT Center.

It will include sessions on bullying

prevention and intervention in schools;

cyberbullying and professional ethics;


the anti-bullying

law; and gender

identity and sexual

orientation issues

facing youth.


presenter will be

Jamie Nabozny

(pictured), who was featured in the

documentary “Bullied: A Student, a School,

and a Case That Made History,” produced by

the Southern Poverty Law Center. Nabozny v.

Podlesny held that schools can be held liable

for deliberately ignoring anti-gay harassment.

After the presentation, breakout sessions and

a moderated panel discussion will be held.

Continuing education credits and

certificates of attendance are available.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided

throughout the day.

Deadline for registration is March 11.

Registration fee is $40. There is a

discounted rate for NCSU students and

affiliates, as well as the GLBT-Community


For more information, email or visit

— L.M.


Bowlers raise big bucks

CHARLOTTE — The recent Bowling for

Equality fundraiser held in the Queen City

netted nearly $4,100 as more than 155 bowlers

took to the lanes for the Human Rights


Sponsors were Food Lion, By Design, Just

Twirl, Robert Dogens and Connie Vetter.

— L.M.


news notes:

from the carolinas, nation and world

compiled by Lainey Millen :: | David Stout :: | Matt Comer ::

Gold joins week’s celebration

WILMINGTON — Mitchell Gold, founder

of Faith in America, will speak about faith and

the LGBT community on March 6, 6-8 p.m., at

the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Part of Faith and Sexuality Week, the event

will be held in the Burney Center, with a

dessert reception and book signing after

Gold’s talk.

For more information, including other

events that week, visit or

qnotes March 5-18 . 2011

— L.M.

Festival causes debate

NAGS HEAD — The organizers of a

first-ever Pride festival have gotten some

opposition to their efforts.

According to a UPI news release,

OBX Pridefest co-founder David Miller, “is

offended by some critics.” He shared his

sentiments with the The Virginian-Pilot, saying

that statements from Pastor Charles Tyler of

Roanoke Island Baptist Church and others

were not going to thwart their attempts.

Tyler called “homosexuality, ‘a scourge in

any society that values decency’ and charged

the festival is being marketed as familyfriendly

to corrupt children,” UPI reported.

For more information, visit

— L.M.


CMF to hold fundraisers

RALEIGH — Crape Myrtle Festival will

hold a series of fundraising events to support

their work in the Carolinas.

A fashion show will be held on March 10,

followed by a movie series on March 16.

For more information on these events and

others, email or visit

— L.M.

Maddox film to be shown

CARY/CHAPEL HILL — A screening of

“Gen Silent,” the groundbreaking film by Stu

Maddox, will be shown on April 1, 7 p.m., at

Galaxy Cinema, 770 Cary Towne Blvd., Cary,

and the following day at the University of

North Carolina, William and Ida Friday Center

for Continuing Education, at 1 p.m.

It is being held in cooperation with the

LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Gay and Gray

observance and the University of North

Carolina School of Social Work’s Breaking

Generation Silent: Facing the Needs and

Challenges of LGBT Elders. Maddox will hold

a Q&A afterward at both venues. Joining him

for a panel at the Chapel Hill presentation

will be Mandy Carter, a co-founder of the

National Black Justice Coalition; Debi Lee,

lead regional ombudsman for the Centralina

Area Council on Aging; Connie Vetter, attorney

and mediator; and Dee Leahman, director for

Community Partnership for End of Life Care,

For more information, visit and


— L.M.


Resolution passed

ASHEVILLE — On Feb. 22, the city

council gave a green light to a resolution that

endorsed more rights for same-sex couples

and called for creation of a city registry for

people in same-sex relationships.

In addition to these protections, it also

called for an anti-bullying ordinance on

city property, as well as initiating a ban on

discrimination in city government employee

decisions with regard to sexual orientation or

gender identity.

The Citizen-Times reported that there was

support on both sides of the debate. Randy

Bray thought it was “endorsing a lifestyle

that we believe … is not approved by God.”

However, Angel Chandler said “quoting

scripture does not make the argument against

the resolution correct.”

Councilman Brownie Newman summed it

up by saying, “The steps we’re taking tonight,

I think, will make a difference to the lives of

people in Asheville.”

— L.M.

School acknowledges volunteerism

HICKORY — The board of trustees at

Lenior-Rhyne University recently presented its

annual Community Service Awards to those

who showed exemplary volunteerism.

Among recipients was Mitchell Gold

whose contributions have helped to bring

more acceptance and understanding for the

LGBT community. In 2010 he asked CNN’s

Soledad O’Brien to the school’s Visiting

Writers Series, where his book, “Crisis: 40

Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and

Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay

in America,” was honored.

[Ed. Note —This publication’s editor

contributed a chapter to Gold’s book.]

— L.M.

Book released on tolerance

ASHEVILLE — “Turning Controversy Into

Church Ministry: A Christlike Response to

Homosexuality” is one of the latest literary

contributions to hit the shelves. And, its

author, William P. Campbell, is not holding his

tongue with regard to how he wants to see

the Christian right and left be more tolerant

toward the LGBT community.

“There are thousands of people who have

embraced their faith and renounced their

homosexuality, but they are deeper in the

closet than even many homosexuals, because

they are afraid of the backlash from the left,”

he said. “Christ preached tolerance, not

prejudice. Both sides need to come together

and accept each other. This conflict isn’t only

tearing families and congregations apart, but

our whole country. We can do better than this,

and we must do better than this.”

Campbell, a Presbyterian minister, has

been writing and talking about the subject

and says that his denomination and the

country are “coming apart at the seams over

the issue” and he wants to help Christians

understand “homosexuality and then come

together to do ministry.”

“Statistically, the majority of people in

America identify themselves as Christians,”

he said. “And many of us don’t believe the

Bible supports homosexuality. But how many

of us are following the command of Christ

to love everyone? How many of us know

how to step beyond the controversy about

homosexuality and to show compassion?

Even many without faith recognize the Bible

tells the story of Christ, who reached out to all

people, especially those society rejected.”

For more information, visit

— L.M.


Week of Prayer slated

STATEWIDE — The National Week of

Prayer for the Healing of AIDS will be held

from March 6-12, 12-3 p.m. It brings together

people of all faiths to unite with “purpose,

compassion and hope.”

Prayer will focus on education about HIV

prevention facts; encourage and support HIV

testing; advocate for the availability of compassionate

care and treatment for all those

living with the disease in every community;

and love unconditionally all persons living

with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Every house of

worship is invited to join in.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC)

reports that more than one million people

are living with HIV in the U.S. (an estimated

1,106,400 adults and adolescents) and approximately

one in five of those (21 percent)

are unaware of their infections. New HIV

infections continue at far too high a level;

an estimated 56,300 Americans are newly

infected with HIV each year. On average,

that’s one new infection every 9.5 minutes in

the United States. More than 14,000 people

in the United States with AIDS die each year.

Forty six percent of all AIDS cases occur in

the South East with rural areas being the most

disproportionately affected.

In Hickory, ALFA is partnering with several

congregations to offer prevention education,

HIV testing and advocacy for those living with


To register a congregation or to learn

more about this initiative, visit

For more information on ALFA’s week-long

series of events, call David Zealy at 828-322-

1447, ext. 233, email

or visit

— L.M.

Producer seeks subjects

STATEWIDE — Stacey Cochran, a

Carolina author and filmmaker, is currently

working on a documentary, “One Nation,”

and is seeking LGBT households, preferably

co-parent, with children to discuss some of

the challenges faced by families who do not

receive equal protection under the law.

From the day-to-day challenges of finding

accepting schools, friends, other families,

places to shop, etc., to broader issues like

adoption policies, hospital visitation rights,

travel issues and marriage equality, he hopes

offer an unfiltered look at the defining civil

rights issue of a generation. “One Nation”

examines the intersection of inalienable rights

and religious interpretation and sets a course

for redefining the modern America family.

A finalist in the 2004 St. Martin’s Press/

PWA Best First Private Eye Novel contest,

Cochran is an instructor in writing at North

Carolina State University.

To learn more about the piece or to be

considered, visit



Obama ends defense of DOMA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack

Obama has decided that the government

will no longer defend Section 3 of the federal

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The controversial

law discriminates against legally

married same-sex couples by refusing to

recognize their marriages for any purpose,

even if they are valid under the law of the

states where the couples live. The decision

was announced Feb. 23 in a statement from

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The statement explained that the president

has concluded that laws targeting people

based on sexual orientation, like laws targeting

people based on race or national origin,

should receive more rigorous constitutional

scrutiny. Based on this conclusion, Holder said

the U.S. Department of Justice will no longer

defend Section 3 of DOMA in court.

There are several ongoing cases challenging

DOMA. The Attorney General clarified

that while the DOJ will continue to represent

the government in those cases, DOJ attorneys

will no longer argue that DOMA is constitutional,

because the law does not withstand

heightened constitutional scrutiny. Among

other things, the measure prevents married

same-sex couples from receiving any of the

federal benefits given to other married people.

Opponents argue it also sends a message that

LGBT people and their families are inferior.

— D.S.

Calif. high court accepts question

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California

Supreme Court has agreed to accept the

question sent to it by the Ninth Circuit Court

of Appeals in the federal court challenge

to California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot

measure that overturned same-sex marriage

rights in the state.

On Jan. 4, the Ninth Circuit panel asked

California’s highest court to clarify whether

state law gives ballot initiative sponsors the

extraordinary power to override the decisions

of elected state officials about how to litigate

cases involving challenged state laws. The

underlying question is whether the proponents

of Prop 8 can force an appeal of the

federal district court decision that deemed the

measure unconstitutional. State officials have

declined to appeal the ruling.

The California Supreme Court agreed Feb.

16 to answer the question. All briefs will be

submitted by May and oral arguments could

begin as soon as September.

— D.S.

Gay man new White House social sec.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The White House

announced Feb. 25 that Jeremy Bernard

has been named Special Assistant to the

President and White House Social Secretary.

He is the first man and first openly gay person

to hold the position. He joins the White House

staff from the U.S. Embassy in Paris, where he

serves as Senior Advisor to the Ambassador.

Prior to this role, he worked as the White

House Liaison to the National Endowment for

the Humanities.

— D.S.

Civil unions legalized in Hawaii

HONOLULU, Hawaii — Gov. Neil

Abercrombie has signed SB232, which establishes

civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex

couples in Hawaii. The state Senate

approved the bill in an 18-5 vote on Feb. 16

and Abercrombie signed it a week later. The

new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.

Civil unions will provide a full range of

state law protections and duties to unmarried

couples — gay and heterosexual alike

— such as access to family court to resolve

disputes in an orderly way, clear duties to pay

child support and alimony as appropriate, and

other vital family protections. The new law will

also honor same-sex couples’ marriages, civil

unions and broad domestic partnerships from

other states and countries.

Lambda Legal and the ACLU filed a lawsuit

in July 2010 after then-Gov. Linda Lingle

vetoed HB444, the previous civil unions bill. By

providing the remedy sought by the lawsuit,

SB232 eliminates the need to continue with

that case.

— D.S.

Facebook adds relationship options

PALO ALTO, Calif. — LGBT rights groups

applauded Facebook for adding ‘In a Civil

Union’ and ‘In a Domestic Partnership’ options

to user profiles. The options became available

Feb. 17 for users in the U.S., Canada, the U.K.,

France and Australia.

“Today, Facebook sent a clear message in

support of gay and lesbian couples to users

across the globe,” said GLAAD President

Jarrett Barrios. “By acknowledging the relationships

of countless loving and committed

same-sex couples in the U.S. and abroad,

Facebook has set a new standard of inclusion

for social media. As public support for

marriage equality continues to grow, we will

continue to work for the day when all couples

have the opportunity to marry and have their

relationship recognized by their community,

both online and off.”

Last October, Facebook partnered with

GLAAD and other national LGBT organizations

to create “Network of Support,” an educational

initiative that works to combat anti-

LGBT cyberbullying. The Network of Support

is comprised of LGBT advocacy organizations,

including GLAAD, GLSEN, HRC, PFLAG and

The Trevor Project, in conjunction with MTV’s

“A Thin Line” campaign. GLAAD also worked

with Facebook to reshape the way that the

site responds to hateful, anti-LGBT comments

posted on public pages.

— D.S.


Botswana gays to sue government

GABORONE, Botswana — Members of

the gay community plan to take the Botswana

government to court to challenge the constitutionality

of the African nation’s anti-sodomy

laws. Uyapo Ndadi, director of LGBT rights

group BONELA, confirmed in a newspaper

interview that a legal challenge to Section 164

of the Penal Code that criminalizes same-sex

relationships was being prepared.

In 2005, gay leaders attempted to register

an association called Lesbians, Gays and

Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) with the

Registrar of Societies but their application

was turned down on the grounds that the

Constitution outlaws homosexuality.

During a recent press conference,

the Deputy Director of Civil and National

Registration, Michael Mohautsi, reiterated the

position of his office. “Any body that is contrary

to the Constitution of Botswana cannot

be registered,” he said.

— D.S.

info: Have news or other information? Send

your press releases and updates for inclusion

in our News Notes:

March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes


‘Game on’ in Tar Heel marriage fight

Anti-gay amendment introduced in Senate as advocates gear up for potential 2012 ballot campaign

by Matt Comer ::

The introduction this year of

an anti-gay amendment prohibiting

the recognition of same-sex

relationships was a foregone conclusion as

far back as last fall’s election campaigns. The

amendment has been introduced in the state

Senate, spearheaded by Gaston County Sen.

James Forrester (R), every year since 2004.

When Republicans swept into legislative

power in November, LGBT North Carolinians

were faced with a stark and chilling reality:

2011 would be the year in which the anti-gay

marriage threat finally reared its ugly head.

Forrester introduced his amendment on

Feb. 22, nearly a month after the General

Assembly returned to work. As of press time,

a companion bill in the House had yet to be

filed though it is expected (see

for the most up-to-date news).

If approved by the legislature, it could

appear on the 2012 ballot — just two months

after Democrats visit Charlotte for their national


Forrester’s quest to write discrimination

into the state constitution has gotten more

severe with each passing year since he first

proposed the measure. This year’s version,

the same as last session’s, is the most extreme.

It has far-reaching consequences for

both opposite- and same-sex couples.


not hypothetical

Advocates say the text of the simply- but

powerfully-worded amendment could strip

both public and private employees of health

insurance or other domestic partner benefits.

“Marriage between a man and a woman

is the only domestic legal union that shall be

valid or recognized in this State,” the text of

the proposed amendment reads.

The possible consequences aren’t

hypothetical. Some states have already rolled

back domestic partner benefits as a result of

similar constitutional revisions. The Michigan

Supreme Court has even overturned domestic

violence statutes that protect unmarried or

cohabitating partners.

Just days after the amendment’s introduction,

statewide LGBT advocacy group Equality

North Carolina released a “Frequently Asked

Questions” on the bill.

“The language proposed is the most

extreme version of an anti-gay amendment,”

the group wrote. “In addition to limiting

marriage to opposite sex couples, as state

statute already does, it would prohibit any

other form of relationship recognition, such

as civil union or domestic partnership. This

kind of language has been used in other

states to take away private benefits, such as

health insurance for LGBT couples, unmarried

opposite-sex couples, and their children. This

is a not a hypothetical issue, but a very real

one. These amendments have also been used

to challenge other private contracts between


The group stresses that the amendment

would “take away rights and responsibilities

that are currently available to some couples.”

Building an opposition

Dan Gurley, chair of the Equality North

Carolina Board of Directors, says reaching out

to legislators will be key to stopping the amendment

before it has a chance to reach voters.

qnotes March 5-18 . 2011

“We need to be constantly reminding

those Republicans who were elected to the

General Assembly in the last election that this

past campaign they ran was not one focused

on social issues,” he says.

Voters want action on jobs, the economy

and the state budget, Gurley insists.

That message is being heralded by

Equality North Carolina’s executive director,

Ian Palmquist, and professional lobbyist, Dean

Plunkett, in their work each day at the legislature.

In addition to their lobbying in Raleigh,

Equality North Carolina plans to expand its

grassroots organizing.

On Feb. 25,

the group received

a $10,000

grant from the

Human Rights

Campaign to aid

in their efforts

to defeat the


“We’ll be

hiring in the next

couple days a

contract organizer

solely focused

on engaging voters

in the districts

of legislators we

need to persuade,”


says. “There’s a

ton of potential

to scale that up

and to have even

more activity in

those targeted

areas of the state

where we can

have the most


The group also expects to begin some

phone banking and polling, along with other

more expensive projects, but the biggest

investment will be in their organizing team.

“We need to mobilize as many people as

possible,” Palmquist stresses.

Potential GOP allies,

Democratic organizing

Advocates and keen legislative on-lookers

know that it takes action — or, rather, the lack

thereof — from just one of the state’s top two

legislative leaders to stop proposed laws dead

in their tracks. Gurley say it’s possible that either

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger

(Guilford, Rockingham) or House Speaker

Thom Tillis (Mecklenburg) could step up to the

plate. Both men have powerful positions. Both

set agendas, recognize speakers, assign bills

to committees and have general control over

floor debate in their respective chambers.

“I think it is absolutely possible,” he says

of the potential for either leader to block or at

least ignore the proposed amendment. “Is it

probable? I’d say that’s probably 50-50.”

Conversations with Republican legislators

and staffers have been “constructive,”

Gurley says. And, though he stops short of

calling those discussions “positive,” he does

say legislators have at least been “willing to

engage and listen.”

Gurley thinks the Republican Party infrustructure

will play a limited role in legislative

lobbying. At the same time, however, he

sees room for a more active presence from


David Parker, the state Democratic Party’s

new chair, has been outspoken on his opposition

to an anti-gay amendment and has

stressed the importance of LGBT-inclusion at

county- and state-level party operations.

“It’s fairly consistent that with the

Democrats, there is not support for the

amendment,” Gurley says, “but there are

a handful of Democratic legislators scattered

across the state who have previously

co-sponsored an amendment bill. It [the

A participant at a November 2008 Proposition 8 rally at the Legislative Building’s Halifax

Mall in Raleigh.

Photo Credit: T.W. Buckner, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Democratic Party] could be useful in those

areas, to have party leaders, other elected officials,

grassroots activists and voters contact

those legislators.”

‘Game on’ says blogger

News of the amendment’s introduction and

the more-than-likely possibility that it will be

heard in at least one chamber of the General

Assembly this year prompted Durham-based

blogger Pam Spaulding (PamsHouseBlend.

com) to come out swinging.

“What I do know is that if the GOP wants

to play hardball on this issue when we already

have a state [Defense of Marriage Act]…I

say go for it,” Spaulding wrote. “Game on.

We will explore every co-sponsor over the

next year. The taxpayers have a right to know:

How many times have these lawmakers been

married? Who’s breaking the sanctity of their

marriage vows? Are there closet doors to be

kicked open? Who’s carousing for same-sex

encounters at rest stops? Who has their hand

in the till?”

She added, “The voters of NC have a right

to know, since these elected officials have

decided that they have the right to enshrine

bigotry into the state constitution on the basis

of two consenting adults having any legal

relationship approximating marriage, let alone

civil marriage.”

Spaulding was at least partly inspired by

Washington, D.C.-based blogger Bil Browning

of Originally from Indiana, he initiated

a similar call for his home state which is

undergoing an anti-gay constitutional debate

of their own.

Browning’s and Spaulding’s tactics are,

without doubt, controversial. But they are

tactics some activists have used for years.

Blogger Michael Rogers, who also lives

in Washington, D.C., has used “outing” to

expose the hypocrisy of closeted, anti-gay

politicians like former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig

(R-Idaho) and U.S. Reps. Ed Schrock (R-Va.),

David Dreier (R-Calif.) and Mark Foley (R-Fla.),

among others.

Gurley, a former executive director

of the North Carolina Republican

Party and former Republican National

Committee staffer, was “outed” by

Rogers in 2004, though he says he was

open with his Republican National

Committee collegues long before

Rogers’ actions.

There are better ways to make

change and ensure the defeat of the

anti-gay amendment, Gurley says.

“Showing legislators that they

have people in their districts who are

affected by this legislation and showing

them that public attitudes have

changed and are changing is a much

more effective strategy at stopping

this kind of legislation,” he explains.

He also cautions against efforts to

“dig up dirt.”

“We need to be cautious on when

and how we move,” he says. “There

are consequences and those can be

public, it can be professional and it

can be personal. I think we need to be

very careful when we are playing with

people’s lives even if we might not like

what they are doing.”

A long road

Defeating the proposed amendment won’t

be cheap or quick. It’s hearing in either the

Senate or House is a near-guarantee, and the

numbers don’t favor the LGBT community.

In North Carolina, a constitutional amendment

must be approved by three-fifths of both

houses of the legislature. Republicans have

more than the required majority in the Senate

(31 of 50 seats). In the House, they hold 68 of

120 seats, only four votes shy of the required

72. Anti-LGBT Democrats could make up that


Gov. Bev Perdue has been relatively

supportive of LGBT North Carolinians. As

the session began, she told reporters she

doesn’t think the state needs an amendment

on marriage. Ultimately, her opposition isn’t

practically helpful; she’ll have no veto authority

if the legislature approves the amendment.

When or if it does, it will require only a simple

majority vote of the people to make it the law

of the land.

Each of the sponsors of the amendment

are all playing silent. Calls to Sens.

Forrester and co-sponsors Jerry W. Tillman

(R-Montgomery, Randolph) and Dan Soucek

(R-Alexander, Ashe, Watauga, Wilkes) weren’t

returned by press time. : :

more: Stay up-to-date on news of the

amendment and other legislative matters at


report on

public sex


Advocate, GLAAD decry

report as sensationalistc, lurid,

biased and inaccurate

by Matt Comer

CHARLOTTE — A news report on public

park cruising by a local TV news station has

managed to ruffle some feathers among the

LGBT community, including reaction from one

national LGBT media watchdog group.

The story, by WBTV’s Steve Crump and

which aired Feb. 22, examined reports of

illegal sexual activity in James Boyce Park in

Southeast Charlotte. It included interviews

with parents of young children and the leader

of a nearby neighborhood patrol, accompanied

by several video images of young

children playing on swing sets and other

playground equipment, on a baseball field and

with their parents. The report also stressed

that gay men were the alleged perpetrators of

the alleged activity. The online version of the

story was titled, “Internet site links Charlotte

to gay sex.”

Anchor Molly Grantham noted that men

were “being led to the park by a website, kind

of like a directory.” Copies of website postings

were shown to parents during interviews. In

one scene, the reporter mentions the name

of the website, “Cruising Gays,” followed by

a parent’s, “Oh no!” Later, a young woman is

heard saying, “This is awful.”

WBTV News Director Dennis Milligan said

his station learned of the park situation from

a viewer.

“It [the public sex] had been the subject

of neighborhood concern and consternation,”

Milligan told qnotes. “I think they had been in

contact with the police department and there

was some exchange of emails that there was

going to be something done and that was

forwarded to us.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

(CMPD) crime data tracking back to Jan. 1,

2011 show no reported incidents or calls for

service related to public indecency or other

sex-related crimes within a half-mile of the

Boyce Park area.

Raleigh resident Sean Kosofsky is familiar

with public park sting operations and the

media reports that often follow them. For 12

years, he worked as the policy director for

the Detroit, Mich.-based Triangle Foundation.

There, he says, he dealt with hundreds of

cases of gay men harassed, entrapped or

intimidated by police in public parks and rest

areas. [qnotes has requested data regarding

public park stings and arrests from CMPD.]

Kosofsky says WBTV should have been

more sensitive to the video images they used

when producing the story.

“There is still a pervasive public perception

that gay men are sex offenders and that

if they are in these parks that children are

somehow at risk of something,” he said. “Just

because this website says that some adult at

some time did something inappropriate in a

park, that doesn’t mean that straight people

aren’t doing this in public places all over. And,

so the focus that somehow if it is gay men

meeting in public that it’s a threat to children is

see WBTV on 18

March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes

10 qnotes March 5-18 . 2011


by robbi cohn :: qnotes contributor

Injustice at every turn

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s

(NGLTF) and National Center for Transgender

Equality’s (NCTE) survey has been percolating

for the last 12 months. Finally, groups have released

findings from the most comprehensive

survey ever directed toward the trans community.

The results are seriously disturbing.

Suffice it to say, preliminarily, that standards

of living and working for trans identified

individuals are well below national averages.

And, suicide rates are soaring.

Over 6,000 transgender and gender nonconforming

individuals were queried on an

wide range of issues. Areas covered in this indepth

report include education, employment,

health, family life, housing, public accommodations,

identification documents, police and

incarceration. Much of this column will be

comprised of actual citations from the study.

The conclusions cannot be overstressed.

There really is injustice at every turn!

Three meta trends were remarkable (quoting

from report):

1. Discrimination was pervasive throughout

the entire sample, yet the combination of

anti-transgender bias and persistent, structural

racism was especially devastating.

People of color in general fare worse than

white participants across the board, with

African-American transgender respondents

faring worse than all others in many areas


2. Respondents lived in extreme poverty. Our

sample was nearly four times more likely

to have a household income of less than

$10,000/year compared to the general


3. A staggering 41 percent of respondents

reported attempting suicide compared

to 1.6 percent of the general population,

2 percent with rates rising for those who

lost a job due to bias (55 percent), were

harassed/bullied in school (51 percent), had

low household income, or were the victim

of physical assault (61 percent) or sexual

assault (64 percent).

Those trends are startling, but the report

contained much more information.

as a result of their gender identity and/or expression.

Two percent are currently homeless,

although 19 percent reported having experienced

homelessness at one time or another.

Of this group, 55 percent had been victims

of discrimination in emergency and shelter

housing. As far as home ownership goes, the

number of trans persons who own their own

homes falls well below the national average

— less than half: 32 percent contrasted with

the 67 percent national average.

Public accommodations

According to the report: “Fifty-three

percent (53 percent) of respondents reported

being verbally harassed or disrespected in

a place of public accommodation, including

hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and

government agencies.”

That’s over one-half and wholly unacceptable.

Places where respondents had

experienced discrimination include retail

stores, restaurants, hospitals, police stations,

transportation carriers, legal clinics and a

handful of other settings. Treatment of gender

diverse persons ranged from services denied

to harassment and even physical violence.

Acquisition if ID documents

Only one-fifth of respondents had fully

matching and corrected IDs. One-third hadn’t

updated any ID documents. This includes, but

is not limited to, birth certificates, social security

cards and driver’s licenses. Regarding the

latter, 41 percent reported not having a license

which matched their gender expression.

Police and Prison

One-fifth of interviewees stated that they

had experienced harassment at the hands

of police. Of those who had been incarcerated,

16 percent had been subject to physical

violence and 15 percent had been sexually

violated. Almost half of the respondents

expressed fear if they had to interact with the



(quoting from report):

“Health outcomes for all categories of respondents

show the appalling effects of social

and economic marginalization, including much

higher rates of HIV infection, smoking, drug

and alcohol use and suicide attempts than the

general population.

“Refusal of care: 19 percent of our sample

reported being refused medical care due to

their transgender or gender non-conforming

status, with even higher numbers among

people of color in the survey.

“Uninformed doctors: 50 percent of the

sample reported having to teach their medical

providers about transgender care.

“High HIV rates: Respondents reported

over four times the national average of HIV

infection, with rates higher among transgender

people of color.

“Postponed care: Survey participants

reported that when they were sick or injured,

many postponed medical care due to discrimination

(28 percent) or inability to afford it (48


more: read the rest of this column online at


Seventy-eight percent of respondents

reported harassment as a student in grades K

through 12, 35 percent of it defined as physical

violence. There is evidence of a consistent

negative impact of school experiences upon

individuals throughout their lives as a result of

these experiences.


As might be expected, these conclusions

evince serious problems. Unemployment is

fully double the national rate. Ninety percent

of respondents reported harassment in the

workplace, 46 percent had negative job

outcomes like having been fired or denied

promotion and 26 percent had actually been

fired. Across the board, the impact of adverse

employment scenarios was marked in all


Housing discrimination &


Nineteen percent had been refused housing

and 11 percent had been evicted directly

March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes 11

out in the stars

by charlene lichtenstein :: qnotes contributor

March 5 - 18

Venus moves into

Aqueerius and conjuncts

dizzy Neptune.

This means that we

can tip our love boat

and fall overboard. Our

amour can take to the high seas or go adrift on

some sand barge. Pack a thermos and crackers

for any extended stay.

PISCES (02.20-03.20) Your intuition is in overdrive.

This may be a good thing because you

are especially observant. But, it can also mean

that you could blow certain things out of proportion

and take action where none is needed.

My advice — sit back and take it all in, Guppie.

Process everything and store it until a time

when you are thinking clearly. Then you can

take over the world.

ARIES (03.21-04.20) Gay Rams might confuse

platonic friendship for lusty love. And, why not?

The two of you are getting along famously and

there is so much connection. How can you resist?

But, resist you must if you want to maintain

a good relationship after the clouds of passion

dissipate. A good friend can be forever. A randy

lover? Well, maybe that has a limited shelf life.

TAURUS (04.21-05.21) If you think that you are

making an impression on the big bosses, that

may in fact be true. But, what type of impression

are you making, Bull? Give your grandstanding

a rest while you hone your act. A

desired promotion may take longer to secure

because of fuzzy communication. Just get close

to you-know-who and leave the intrigue and

politics until later.

GEMINI (05.22-06.21) Any travel plans may

undergo a change as more facts are collected.

The fancy hotel that you lust after may be a

dump. Do your research and re-check your

notes. Of course, if you are flexible and leave

yourself open to possibilities, you may have a

wild and wonderful experience full of mystery,

excitement and love. Hey, who cares about the


CANCER (06.22-07.23) Prepare for sexy excitement

as you are lovey-dovey with the world and

ready for action. Gay Crabs make any encounter

extra zesty, but temper your enthusiasm

until you calculate if the object of your desire

is worth the price. A gaudy trinket may seem

more exciting than the old reliable comforter,

but who will keep you toasty at night?

LEO (07.24-08.23) Put more zing into a routine

relationship while you have energy and desire.

Romance is highlighted and you are especially

delightful and delectable. But, as you pour your

essential oils into the effort, be sure there is give

and take from your significant other. It takes two

to rubadub. Proud Lions on the loose are travelling

in a pack of possibilities. Anyone is possible.

VIRGO (08.24-09.23) How hot does your coffee

steam at the office? Just wait and see, queer

Virgin. Co-workers give you the lusty eye and

you might just say “aye.” But, plan things out in

case the love of the workday becomes the love

of the weekend. Bleeding your work life with

home life will have its complications. Of course,

you may welcome those types of complications.

LIBRA (09.24-10.23) Proud Libras know how

to have fun. Get involved in something crazy

creative and immerse yourself in the artistic

process. This can be specifically in the arts or

you can add a twist to something that is usually

dry and boring. So, rev up your bubble machine

and prepare to let loose on whatever. But, be

warned — fun can go overboard. But, maybe

that is the plan?

SCORPIO (10.24-11.22) Family issues take center

stage. Are you considering loved one’s feelings

when you take a certain action or make a life

changing decision? Probably not. Queer Scorps

have their heads in the clouds, but should keep

their feet firmly on the ground. Consider all possibilities.

Ask for opinions. Then you can very

well do what you wanted to do all along!

SAGITTARIUS (11.23-12.22) If you sound otherworldly,

kind, gentle and fuzzy wuzzy, chalk it up

to the mellow vibes cascading through the cosmos

this week. Gay Archers are usually mouthy

and brutally honest. What a nice change a

pace to be diplomatic! Use it or lose it, pal. Too,

too soon you will lose your golden tongue and

political capital. Right now, amass it and store it

for future use.

CAPRICORN (12.23-01.20) Your value system

undergoes a massive reassessment. What

is it that you truly value? How much will you

compromise for the almighty dollar? Pink Caps

with an eye towards wealth and status suddenly

discover the advantages of enjoying the free

things in life. How can you put a price on sunshine?

Ah, but what if that sunshine happens to

be in Miami Beach?

AQUARIUS (01.21-02.19) Your personal star

shines brightly and why not? Aqueerians are

resplendent and standing in center stage. Start

new projects. Meet as many new people as you

can. Show the world what you can do and what

you can accomplish. There is something about

you that has the crowd on their feet. Uh, does

that mean that they are heading towards the

exits? Hurry. : :

© 2011 Madam Lichtenstein, LLC. All Rights

Reserved. Entertainment.

info: Visit for

e-greetings, horoscopes and Pride jewelry. My

book “HerScopes: A Guide To Astrology For

Lesbians” from Simon & Schuster is

available at bookstores and major booksites.

12 qnotes March 5-18 . 2011

tell trinity

by trinity :: qnotes contributor

Pharmaceuticals vs.

alternative medicines

Dear Trinity,

Do you really think natural foods

or alternative medicines have any

benefits? Isn’t all that just birdseed and


Bird Health, Topeka, KS

Dear Bird Health,

While pharmaceuticals save lives, they

also turn people into

addicts, abusers, even

corpses. Massage,

acupuncture, urine

therapy, hydrotherapy

and chiropractics, as well as

herbal and nutritional remedies have saved

many lives for millenniums. Before pharmaceuticals,

people also lived long healthy

lives with what is now called “alternative

medicines.” Don’t wait until it’s too late to

find out that many things cause dis-ease

and many things heal it as well. Keeping an

open mind about trying everything to heal

yourself, pumpkin,

is smart!

Hey Trinity,

The last guy I dated stopped dating me saying, “I didn’t use

good hygiene and didn’t dress well.”I’m a straight-acting gay

man. I’m not a “care about how I look” type. Shouldn’t I be liked

for who I am, not how I look or dress?

Looks: Bah Humbug, Jacksonville, FL

Hey Looks: Bah Humbug,

Yes, you should be liked for who you are, but first you have

to catch the fish with your hook, then later they can like you

as you are. Second, you have to act like a modern man, not

a cave man, honey. Looks, charm and dressing well have

allowed even the least important persons to get away with

incredible things. (I’ll show you how to take this awesome

journey in my cartoon.)

Dearest Trinity,

I’ve been dating someone for seven months who is in the military

and now has to go fight. I may not see her for six months

and she may even be sent to another place after that. Should I

wait for her?

Waiting Or Walking, Fort Wayne, IN

Dearest W.O. W.,

Question: Do you really have to make

a decision today? Can’t you take it

one-day-at-a-time, one email-at-a-time

and one war-at-a-time? If you wait

a while, this could be an experience

that transforms you, your ideas of

relationship and your understanding

of love! Remember, sweetie, ending a

relationship is easy, keeping one could

be difficult and exciting!

Hello Trinity,

A while back you were asked, “How do

I make myself stand out and get noticed? You answered in one

sentence. Now, girlfriend, I know you have more to say than


Looking For More, Baton Rouge, LA

Hello Looking For More,

Well aren’t you just a whip-cracking, slave-driving newspaper

editor. Darling, lets see if these help.

Trinity’s Alluring Tips For Standing Out

(Especially In A Club)

1. Looking nice, smelling nice, acting nice and having nice

breath promises you’ll get more than someone without

those qualities.

2. If you have a good shape sell it, I mean show it, never hide

it. If not, accentuate what you do have!

3. Don’t wait for someone to talk to you first. Talk to anyone

you like, but don’t stalk anyone you like!

4. If you’re young, act mature, but not too righteous. If you’re

old, act open-minded, but not immature. And, always act like

you’re having fun!

5. Before going out do something that loosens you up like have

a drink or meditate. You must put yourself in the mood!

6. Too much coffee makes one talk too fast. Too much liquor

makes one talk too much. And, too much eagerness makes

everyone runaway!

7. Charm, style, class and wit will always make you stand out

over someone with more looks or brains.

8. Wearing black hides everything bad, always looks stylish,

appears clean, rich and works everywhere. White is very


9. I know you have a pimple or feel fat, but isn’t there

something else you can talk about every time you start a


10. Lastly, teeth whitening, makeup, a modern wardrobe and

hairstyle, even a little plastic surgery (gasp!) will really get

you noticed. : :

— With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity was

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

and now performs globally.

info: .

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

Sponsored by: Provincetown Business Guild

800-637-8696 .

March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes 13


Queering up the Charlotte big screen

GayCharlotte Film Festival reels in the best of the best to hit Queen City screens this March

by Leah Cagle ::

Paris Pickard and

Dreya Weber star in

“A Marine Story.”

Photo Credit: Last

Battlefield Productions

Brace yourselves, Charlotte, for the

biggest, baddest and best GayCharlotte

Film Festival yet! The Lesbian & Gay

Community Center has partnered up with several

local sponsors to bring the hottest LGBT

films to hit the screens this year — so many,

in fact, that organizers had to make some

tough choices this year.

“GayCharlotte Film Festival organizers

recently expanded the festival season

from three days to eight in order to show

more movies,” a release on GayCharlotte.

com reads. “Little did they know, however,

that the expansion of the Third Annual Film

Festival still would not enable organizers to

show every movie on their wish list. Choosing

between lesbian romantic comedy ”And Then

Came Lola” and drama ”Elena Undone” was

as difficult as selecting Faith Trimel’s African-

American lesbian comedy ”The Family” over

documentary “The Other Brother.”

Luckily though, these excess films did not

get left behind. The center and festival worked

their magic to put on special screenings of

“Howl,” “Orgasm Inc.,” “Elena Undone” and

“Brother Outsider.” Various venues such as

Theatre Charlotte, McColl Center for Visual

Art and Aperture Cinema Winston-Salem

featured special showings to ensure our community

had an opportunity to experience all

the richness of this years top film picks.

14 qnotes March 5-18 . 2011

This year’s event, slated

for March 25-April 3 will mark

the Queen City’s third annual

GayCharlotte Film Festival.With

a variety of flavorful films, this

year’s festival is serving something

up for everyone’s taste. A

sampling below:

“A Marine Story” —

Military Drama — After Officer

Alexandera Everette (played by

Dreya Webber) experiences a

devastating discharge from the

Marines on counts of “conduct

unbecoming an officer” under

the discriminatory “Don’t Ask

Don’t Tell” policy, she returns

home to begin piecing her

life back together again. In

the midst of steep relational tensions with

friends, foes and a very confused boyfriend,

Everette seeks to reconcile her true identity

with her ultra-conservative hometown roots.

Meanwhile, the young and rebellious petty

thief Saffron is facing some treacherous

circumstances of her own – after a run

in with the law, she is forced to choose

between serving time in jail and enlisting in

the military. When Everette is chosen to train

Saffron, these two remarkably strong women

find their stories intertwining in ways they

Gay teenager C.J. Springer is one of several interviewed in the documentary

‘Out in the Silence.’

Photo Credit: Qwaves Documentaries

never imagined and a truly beautiful story of

strength, identity, and relationship unfolds.

“Violet Tendencies” — Outrageous

Comedy — Thirty-nine-year-old Violet (played

by Mindy Cohn) lives a fabulous life — she

parties at the best spots, is surrounded by loving

friends and never suffers a dull moment.

But, as her 40th birthday approaches, this

self-declared “fag hag” still longs for a man of

her own to fill a romantic void in her life. Hold

on tight to your seats audience and let the

hysteria and the hilarity pour as Violet’s wild

search for true love ensues.

“Out in the Silence” —

Documentary — When filmmaker

Joe Wilson submits the announcement

of his wedding with Dean

Hamer to his conservative hometown

newspaper, the controversial sparks

fly. Soon after, a concerned mother of

a local gay teen contacts Wilson for

guidance and help. A true-life story

of bravery, healing, and love, “Out in

Silence” sends a positive message of

hope and inspiration.

“Eyes Wide Open” — Religious

Drama — “Eyes Wide Open”

bravely marches into the reality

of repressed homosexuality in the

world of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism.

This intensely controversial film

dives into the lives of two men

within a conservative Jewish community

– one married with four children, the other a

young man in his twenties – as they struggle

against and with their forbidden attraction.

Facing dire spiritual, relational, and physical

threats, these men must endure unbearable

consequential tensions for acknowledging

their love for one another.

For more information on the festival,

visit or gaycharlottefilm : :

‘F.U.’ — Fully Uncensored

qnotes scores an insider conversation with Cuban native Carlos Alvarez Cortera, a local artist

to be featured at Art/Out’s upcoming gallery show

by Leah Cagle ::

Ever since he was a child living in Cuba

and scribbling sketches in the margins of his

father’s book collection, Carlos Alvarez Cortera

has been a natural artist. Sans academic training,

art lessons or even independent research,

Cortera developed his inborn artistic talent by

nothing more than simply “watching people,

asking questions and messing up.”

At the young age of 14, Cortera and his family

escaped from Cuba to Costa Rica and then

later relocated to the United States. After living

in Florida for over two decades, during which

Art/Out gallery show kicks

off at the center

The Lesbian & Gay Community of

Charlotte will host a kick-off exhibition

on Friday, March 18 from 5:30p.m.-9 p.m.

to celebrate the arrival of a new collection

of artwork. The showing features an

impressive and diverse compilation of

artists from all styles, ages, ethnicities

and walks of life including: Carlos Alvarez

Cotera, Carlieena Person, Justin Helms,

Tony Hiller, Dan Butner, Debbie Oliver,

Gary Benner, J. Scott Arnold, Kit Thomas,

Ronnie Carruthers and Gil Croy. The show

is open and welcoming to all. Snacks will

be served with a suggested donation of

$10. All proceeds benefit The Lesbian &

Gay Community Center. For more information,


time he met his husband and

partner of 13 years, he finally

made the move to Charlotte in

hopes of milder weather and a

fresh start.

Although he has only

been a Charlottean for four

years, Cortera is thoroughly

involved with the local artistic

community — participating in

NoDa art groups, teaching art

classes and displaying art at

The Lesbian & Gay Community

Center of Charlotte. In October,

Cortera decided to embark

upon a new project — a

project void of commercialism,

fueled only by conviction and

passion; thus the idea of “F.U.

— Fully Uncensored” was


“It is something that I’m

working on that has to do with

issues that are current, relevant

and important to the gay community,”

Cortera explains. ”The

theme is going to deal with HIV

and with the military, deal with

discrimination, with equality,

with teen suicide. It’s going to be very powerful,

visually, I believe. A controversial show.”

Listening to Cortera discuss his project,

voice infused with excitement, one can’t help

but open a heart and spark interest in his

Cortera pictured here with one of his many vibrant graphite drawings

new vision. He has already completed the

first pieces of his new collection, featuring a

heavyset, nude male model and anticipates the

process of working on the rest of the pieces.

But amidst all the promising opportunities

on the upcoming horizon, Cortera remains

Photo Credit: Cortera

dedicated to the stylistic root that first grounded

his artistic talent — drawing. He has

submitted several of his graphite drawings for

the upcoming Art/Out gallery show, slated to

run March 18-April 20 at the Lesbian & Gay

Community Center of Charlotte. : :

March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes 15

16 qnotes March 5-18 . 2011

It’s almost odd

to talk about “Born

This Way” in terms

of being Lady

Gaga’s comeback

song because,

well, she hasn’t

been anywhere.

An unbroken

streak of hit

singles, her coast-to-coast sell-out Monster

Ball tour and a string of red carpet appearances

and performances at one awards show

after another have kept her in the public’s

unblinking eye for two solid years.

But, as everyone knows, you’re only as

relevant as your last project in the entertainment

industry and Gaga became a popstar

exploring the allure of celebrity on “The


by david stout ::

Gaga track born to succeed

Fame” and graduated to superstar detailing

its pitfalls on “The Fame Monster.” Wags

couldn’t wait to find out whether she could

grow her success or even just maintain it with

the release of her next album, due May 23.

Based on the response to the set’s lead single

and title track, it looks like “Born This Way”

might lift the artist into the rare air of icon.

In mid February, the track leaped straight

into the pole position on the “Billboard” Hot

100. In doing so, it garnered the distinction of

being the 1000th #1 single since the creation

of the chart in 1958. It also set a record for

best one-week digital sales for a female artist.

At this writing, the song is perched atop the

Hot 100 for a second week.

Stylistically, “Born This Way” is a galloping

electro pop epic with a melody lifted

straight from Madonna’s late-Eighties smash

“Express Yourself.” It’s all good though, Gaga

says Madge has reached out to let her know

she loves the track. The lyrics to “Born This

Way” convey a love-and-unity message that

makes Up With People seem ambivalent.

The track is also an unabashed Queer

Anthem. Rather than employ winking or coded

language (like gay-fave divas usually do when

referencing the community), Gaga speaks

directly to/about LGBT people. In fact, a

“Billboard” cover story celebrating the mag’s

thousand-hit milestone reveals that “Born

This Way” is the first #1 to contain the word


That sounds like progress to me.

Sound Byte

In 2009, Adele took home a pair of Grammy

Awards — including Best New Artist — for

“19,” the British singer-songwriter’s acclaimed

debut that introduced her blue-eyed soul voice

to a rapt world. On “21,” Adele’s just-released

sophomore album, she comes of age with a

collection of deeply personal songs about the

power of real love and real heartbreak.

“To me,” Adele says, “music is all about

relating. I would never dare write a song

about success or anything to do with my

career, because it doesn’t happen to many

people. What I love about music is when I’m

totally convinced that someone has written a

song about me, even if it was written 80 years

before I was born. I would love it if someone

felt that about one of my songs and I love it

when people go ‘I thought you were inside

my heart or inside my head, you know exactly

what I’m feeling.’” : :


qomunity qonexions u

March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes 17

Bingo gay-cations for a cause

Equality Winston-Salem’s ‘Spring Break Bingo’ fuses fun and purpose to raise money for WSPride2011

by Leah Cagle ::

There’s an excitement in the air in the Twin

City these days. Winston-Salem isn’t necessarily

known statewide for its LGBT-friendliness,

but some community members there are

aimed to change that.

While no stranger to activism and advocacy,

Winston-Salem hasn’t seen a Pride festival

or parade in 15 years. Equality Winston-Salem,

a new group established last fall, is working to

organize “WSPride2011.” They’ve planned a

series of events, including gay bingo nights, to

raise money for the parade.

The group will hold their second bingo,

“Spring Break Bingo,” on Friday, March 18 at

the YWCA-Gateway. Themed “places gays

go on spring break,” the event will feature

spots such as Palm Springs, Ft. Lauderdale

and gay cruise ships.

Rex Welton, an organizer of the event,

explains further, “The tagline for our bingo

nights is ‘This is not your grandmother’s bingo,

but grandma is welcome to join us!’ The atmosphere

is fun, fast-paced and zany with great

music and talented performers.”

Equality Winston-Salem‘s board members

have also initiated grant requests and are collecting

scholarships for local students.

In her 25 years in the Winston-Salem area,

Mary Jamis has never experienced such a

strong “sense of urgency and necessity to

work hard on behalf of the LGBT community”

as she has in her involvement with the

group during the last 10 months.

“Our message is one of celebrating

the rich diversity of our community,” Jamis

explains. “I’ve come to believe strongly

over the last few months that we are too

small an LGBTQ community to splinter off

into separate and disparate groups…I think

our greatest opportunity in the LGBTQ community

is to come together as often as we

can to support and celebrate one another

in our collective efforts. So, it’s important to

educate our allies, but it’s equally important,

more important in fact, to educate

ourselves about each other.”

Jamis and Welton are among a larger

group of Equality Winston-Salem members

who say they envision a city that

embraces the fresh, creative zeal of the

LGBT community.

Last month’s event, “For the Love of

Bingo,” was wildly successful. The group

says they sold over 600 tickets — over half

of them to straight allies.

“One of the greatest gifts of the last 10

months is to witness the support of straight

allies in Winston-Salem,” Jamis says. “They

come from the expected places — close

friends, family and co-workers, but they also

come from unexpected places — senior

corporate individuals who understand that a

more inclusive community is good and necessary

for their business and this community.”

Welton reiterates the importance of gay

and straight alliance-building in these activities.

“As our straight allies get to know more

members of the LGBT community, they will

be in a much better position to assist us in

our goal of securing equal rights for all of the

members — not just LGBT — of our community,”

he says.

The doors open for Spring Break Bingo

at 6:30 p.m. and the bingo madness ensues

at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the public or a

discounted $10 for students who bring their

I.D. Tickets can be bought online at

or at one of the following

Winston-Salem establishments: Washington

Perk & Provisions, The Screaming Rooster,

Pet Supplies Plus, Whole Foods Market, or

Caffe Prada. : :


continued from page 9

lurid and a little bit biased, if not a lot biased.”

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against

Defamation (GLAAD), a national organization

that counters anti-LGBT bias in the media,

echoed Kosofsky’s sentiments.

“The sensationalistic nature of this segment

perpetuates crude stereotypes about

gay men, and only serves to stir panic and

prejudice in its audience,” GLAAD President

Jarrett Barrios said in a statement on Feb.

23. “By circulating these images, WBTV is

failing to meet the basic standards of fair and

accurate journalism.”

Milligan says his station’s report never

indicated that the men in the park were preying

on children.

“The issue was that people were concerned

about behavior going on in and around

the park that they didn’t approve of,” he said.

“I didn’t think it mattered if they were gay or

straight or anything else. People are engaging

in acts that are inappropriate for a park. There

are children playing in the park, teenagers,

adults — a lot of people use that park.”

The station did not interview or speak

with a representative of any LGBT community

organization in Charlotte.

“I don’t know that it even occurred that

there needed to be someone from the gay

community in that story,” Milligan said.

Kosofsky says the station ultimately

decided to ignore many issues of sensitivity in

favor of crafting an audience-shocking story.

He also says WBTV’s report ignored a basic

reality of human nature.

“The vast majority of people who choose

to, straight or gay, go to a ‘cruise’-y park don’t

want to get caught, don’t want to be seen at

all,” he said. “No one wants to get in trouble

and so they aren’t going to be stumbled upon

by some family, hence why those parents

were surprised. They’ve probably never seen

anything like this before because it is such a

discreet thing. It’s not a big, menacing problem

like the news says it is.”

A spokesperson for GLAAD said they

planned to reach out to WBTV. : :

more: Visit for more up-todate

news on this story and more.

18 qnotes March 5-18 . 2011

See this issue’s Editor’s Note on page 4 for qnotes’ statement regarding WBTV’s follow-up to their

Feb. 22 report, and visit for an indepth story exploring the reality of public sex and

pollice action in Charlotte.

Event showcases local companies

Diversity businesses featured

March 11 • Charlotte

CBG Business Expo

The Charlotte Business Guild partners with Takeover Friday to present its third annual Charlotte Business Guild

Business Expo, featuring “diversity-owned” businesses and their goods and services. Westin Hotel, 601 S. College

St. 6-9 p.m.

March 5 • Charlotte

Charlotte Pride Band

The band presents it’s spring concert, “Exit,

Stage Left,” with classic Broadway Tunes.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, 234

Sharon Amity Rd. 8 p.m. $10.

March 12 • Hickory

Woodstock Bingo

ALFA presents a night of bingo inspired by the

decade that brought us flower power, hippies,

bell bottoms, Woodstock and Nixon. Hickory

Jaycees Building, 470 Hwy. 70 SW (corner of

4th St, SW and Hwy. 70).

March 12-13 • Winston-Salem

OUT at the Movies

Winston-Salem’s LGBT film series presents

two films, one on March 12 on the campus

of the University of North Carolina School

of the Arts and a second, “Gen Silent,” at

a/perture cinema. First movie screening to be

determined. Visit

for more information. March 12: UNC School

of the Arts, 1533 S. Main St. 7 p.m. March 13:

a/perture cinema, 311 W. 4th St. 8 p.m.

March 17 • Charlotte

Pride Charlotte roundtable

The organizing committee of Pride Charlotte

and the Lesbian & Gay Community Center host

a special community roundtable. Come learn

more about the 2011 Pride Charlotte festival

and give your feedback to or ask questions

of Pride committee members. Lesbian & Gay

Community Center of Charlotte, 820 Hamilton

St., Suite B11. 6:30 p.m.

March 18 • Charlotte

Art/Out Gallery Show

Artists with Art/Out, an LGBT art group, will

feature their works at the Lesbian & Gay

Community Center of Charlotte, 820 Hamilton

St., Suite B11. 5:30-9 p.m.

March 18-19 • Charlotte

Feminine Mystique

For decades, female singer-songwriters and

women’s choruses have been making music

to fuel social change and justice. Join the Gay

Men’s Chorus of Charlotte as they present a

program drawn from the rich women’s chorus

repertoire and proudly host North Carolina’s

oldest women’s feminist chorus, Common

Woman Chorus. Performances Friday, March

18 and Saturday, March 19, 8:04 p.m. St.

Martin’s Episcopal Church, 1510 E. 7th St. $15/

advance. $17/door. Available at White Rabbit,

Paper Skyscraper, Sir Speedy on N. Caswell


March 19 • Charlotte

Petra’s Got Talent

Petra’s begins a search for huge talent.

Calling all performers: vocalists, instrumentalists,

dancers, comedians, drag performers,

stupid dog tricks and more! Cash prizes for

the top three and bookings for first place. Visit for official contestant

rules. Audience will decide the winner. Petra’s

Piano Bar and Cabaret, 1919 Commonwealth

Ave. 10 p.m.-midnight.

March 22 • Charlotte

Creative Showcase

Student artists and designers at the Art

Institute of Charlotte will exhibit their works

for fellow students, faculty, staff and the public.

Knight Theatre, Levine Center for the Arts.

7 p.m.

March 25-26 • Charlotte

‘When We No Longer Touch’

One Voice Chorus and other local musicians

including soprano Jenny Chen perform

“When We No Longer Touch” by Kristopher

Anthony. Heaton Hall, Myers Park Baptist

Church, 1900 Queens Rd. 7:30 p.m. $15/adult.


March 25-27 • Charlotte

GayCharlotte Film Festival

The Lesbian & Gay Community Center of

Charlotte hosts its annual GayCharlotte Film

Festival. Various venues.

March 27 • Durham

Over Jordan

Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus presents “Over

Jordan — A Sunday Afternoon Gospel

Celebration.” A TGMC fundraising event,

with special guest gospel music sensation

Mr. Robin Davis. VIP ticket package includes

catered lunch and concert, $35. Concert only,

$15. Tickets at www,

Eno River Unitarian Unversalist Fellowship,

4907 Garrett Rd. 2-4 p.m.

March 31 • Raleigh

‘Sing for the Cure’ Kick-Off Social

The Common Woman Chorus, the Triangle

Gay Men’s Chorus and The Mint host a casual

event to promote the upcoming Triangle

premiere performance of “Sing for the Cure.”

Proceeds benefit the choruses and Susan G.

Komen for the Cure-NC Triangle. Cash bar,

free appetizers. Suggested donation of $20.

The Mint, 219 Fayetteville St. 6-8 p.m.

April 2 • Charlotte

Amazing Race Bar Crawl

[Ed. Note — This event was originally scheduled

for March 5 and has been rescheduled

for this date.] The Regional AIDS Interfaith

Network (RAIN) hosts their annual Amazing

Qqnotes events

Race Bar arts. Crawl. entertainment. Teams compete news. through views.

a series of bars to complete the race and

raise money for RAIN and its services. Event

begins at Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, 225 E. 6th St.

April 2 • Chapel Hill

Breaking Generation Silent: Facing the needs

and challenges of LGBT elders

This free event kicks off with a viewing of

the one-hour 2010 documentary film, “Gen

Silent,” focusing on the realities that many

LGBT seniors are facing: the need to go back

into the closet to avoid discrimination from aging

providers and bullying from fellow seniors

in long-term care settings. A panel discussion

will follow to further explore the social,

medical and financial needs of LGBT elders.

Registration is encouraged:

aging. The William and Ida Friday Center, 100

Friday Center Dr. 1-4 p.m. 919-962-6418. ssw.

April 9 • Belmont

20th Anniversary AIDS Walk

Join House of Mercy’s 20th Anniversary Walk

for AIDS to raise AIDS awareness and funds

to benefit the organization’s low-income

residents living with advanced AIDS. First

300 walkers raising $50 or more will receive

Walk T-shirts. Sotte Voce of One Voice Chorus

and Honorary Walk Chair Eric Thomas,

WBTV Meteorologist, will welcome walkers

at 10 a.m. A picnic reception with music

on the House of Mercy grounds follows the

three-mile walk through historic downtown

Belmont. See

htm for donation forms, map and team


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March 5-18 . 2011 qnotes 19

20 qnotes March 5-18 . 2011

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