QNotes, August 9, 2019


It's that time of the year for our annual InFocus: Charlotte issue and we've got a look back feature on Charlotte's bar history. We've also got lots of helpful resources including ones for support, local government leadership, LGBTQ events, as well as candidate listings for the upcoming primary and special election in September. Of course, Charlotte Pride is coming up and we've got a feature interview with some performers at the festival, as well as a full slate of events that will keep festival participants quite busy over the week. A&E coverage includes an interview with French film star Felix Maritaud. We also have current local, regional and national news, along with other pieces, that will serve to enlighten and entertain our readers.

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 1

2 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019

Aug. 9-22, 2019

Vol 34 No 06





contributors this issue

Joey Amato, Carlyle Addy,

Camilla K. Cannon, Charlotte Pride,

Vic Germani, Jack Kirven, Lainey Millen,

Terri Schlichenmeyer, Trinity,

front page

Graphic Design by Lainey Millen

Photography: Staff Archives


The focus of QNotes is to serve the LGBTQ and

straight ally communities of the Charlotte region,

North Carolina and beyond, by featuring arts,

entertainment, news and views content in print

and online that directly enlightens, informs and

engages the readers about LGBTQ life and social

justice issues.

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a local news partner of

The Charlotte Observer

inside this issue


18 Gay Bars and Clubs:

Charlotte’s History


4 Sheriff to Join Pride


4 Buff Faye Wins

NEOY Crown

4 News Briefs

5 Gov. Cooper Issues

Executive Order


25 Out in Print:

‘Rainbow Warrior’

28 10 Questions with Vic:

Felix Maritaud

29 Tell Trinity


6 Charlotte Pride Events

10 Charlotte Pride


15 Queen City Events

16 LGBTQ Resources

20 Char-Meck Government


21 Government 411

22 Charlotte Ballot Box

27 Health & Wellness: Fat

31 Our People: Brisa Ramirez


24 Pride Journey:

Providence, R.I.


32 Hummingbird Festival

32 Fortune Feimster


Out in Print:

‘Rainbow Warrior’

Gilbert Baker’s journey is shared

through manuscripts compiled after

the late author’s death in 2017.

As a gay activist during a turbulent

time, his story gives a glimpse of the

creator of the rainbow flag.


Health & Wellness:

Fat is Not Fab

Fat acceptance is a morbid idea that

wellness coach Jack Kirven explains in

his painful and emotionally challenging

exploration of what it means to be

seriously overweight..


These rates only cover a portion of our true cost,

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Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 3


4 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019

Sheriff to join Pride parade

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden will be a participant in

the upcoming Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade on Aug. 18 in Uptown Charlotte.

He will be joined by LGBTQ staffers and supporters from various departments across Mecklenburg

County. This marks a first for the law enforcement office and others to walk in the parade.

“The First Responders Unit of the Parade is full of staff, their families and allies alike. When

creating this endeavor, we wanted to be inclusive of all law enforcement agencies in the area.

For most, it is still a sensitive issue to be ‘out’ at work when in law enforcement. Unfortunately,

not all agencies are supportive of this initiative. With that said, we invited everyone to shed

their uniforms and march with the sheriff, under his cloak of acceptance. So maybe, just for a

moment, they will truly feel completely accepted and appreciated for who they are and what

they do,” the sheriff’s office emphasized.

“My decision [to walk in the parade] was based solely on my belief that I needed to serve

and better understand my entire community. After meeting with several of the key members

of my executive staff, it was easily decided that Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO)

needed a platform and vehicle to move us forward. That platform and vehicle was the LGBTQ

committee,” McFadden stated.

In the meantime, the sheriff’s office with the help of Sgt. Aaron Sims has created an LGBTQ

Committee to help address concerns of Mecklenburg County citizens, residents in the detention

centers and sheriff’s office staff who identify as LGBTQ individuals. Its formation came

after a call from office staff for change and serious self-analysis of the agency. Upon election,

McFadden received a change proposal from staff. Paired with his own passion for unequivocal

civil rights, the committee was created. From that moment, the numbers have steadily grown and projects realized.

The committee is an organization which supports LGBTQ sworn, civilian and retired members of Mecklenburg County Law Enforcement

agencies. “We strive to build lasting relationships between Law Enforcement and Mecklenburg County’s LGBTQ communities by advocating

equal and fair treatment for all. The vision of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) LGBTQ Committee is to provide service, education

and protection on LGBTQ issues in Mecklenburg County for Law Enforcement personnel and the citizens alike,” the sheriff’s office said.

Currently, the committee has representation and composition of sworn and civilian staff, as well as medical personnel. (There are approximately

107 staffers who identify as part of the LGBTQ community.)

“Sheriff McFadden has expressed unprecedented support and commitment to ensure that LGBTQ rights are being addressed and analyzed

to better both those on his payroll as well as the community he is charged to serve. For those within the agency moniker, the creation

of the committee was just a necessity personified. In order to create change, it must first begin from within and that entailed support of staff

who identify within the LGBTQ spectrum. Once there, analysis of current policies and practices ensued as well as development of training

and workshops conducive in ensuring that LGBTQ rights of staff and those in custody are being addressed and protected. Sheriff McFadden

has continued to show his commitment and support by personally meeting with prominent LGBTQ community organizations to advance his

knowledge and seeking to better the time any queer offender has in the Detention Center or any exposure a queer individual may have with

a Sheriff Deputy. While he is the sheriff, these policy changes and actions will be slow to start but once implemented, it’ll leave an everlasting

effect on the jail and the community,” office representatives stated. This is essential considering the current political and societal climate.

Sheriff McFadden added, “In my career with CMPD [Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department], I worked closely with members of the

LGBTQ community who are also employees of the department. I’ve had the pleasure of establishing lifelong friendships and confidants. My

interest in the LGBTQ community is nothing new. My new role as sheriff allows me the opportunity and platform to make a difference and

implement positive changes. “

Accessibility to the community is key to the committee. They will continue reaching out to local organizations, assisting with fundraisers, community

forums and donation drives. “We encourage the community to reach out with suggestions and needs as well,” the sheriff’s office shared.

They added, “Alongside Charlotte’s First Responders, the Sheriff’s Office has spearheaded a collaborative effort with [the] Charlotte Fire

Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and MEDIC to participate and march in Charlotte Pride 2019. We want to celebrate

the men and women who identify as part of the community and have taken an oath to protect and serve. In addition, we are currently in

the process of teaming up with Time Out Youth to create an event where we open our ears to community and youth complaints surrounding

LGBTQ confinement. Our goal is to hear the opposing side to identify the cause and then create a solution together.”

The MCSO LGBTQ Committee is the first organized effort to recognize and support civilian and retired members of Mecklenburg

County Law Enforcement Agencies.

info: mecklenburgcountync.gov.

— Lainey Millen

Buff Faye wins NEOY crown

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On July 28 Charlotte, N.C.’s Buff Faye was crowned Miss

National Entertainer of the Year (NEOY) 2019 at the C2 Event Venue in Louisville, Ky.

This was Buff Faye’s fifth year competing in NEOY — placing second alternate

in 2018 and in the top five contestants in 2017. She was the former North Carolina

Entertainer of the Year in 2017 and represented Michigan Entertainer of the Year

the last two years. Buff Faye began doing drag in 2007 as a way to raise money for

local and national charities.

Buff Faye, whose name is Shane Windmeyer, is a national LGBTQ author, longstanding

civil rights leader and pioneer for LGBTQ youth across the country. He

works as the founder and executive director of Campus Pride, an organization for

LGBTQ youth at colleges and universities.

Windmeyer said, “I am humbled and honored to win National Entertainer of the

Year and carry on the national legacy of creativity and excellence in entertainment.

This would not have been possible without the many fans locally who come to my

brunches and shows. I am deeply appreciative and look forward to an amazing year

ahead traveling the country.” Buff Faye will travel the country as EOY and promote

preliminary pageant contest and plan next year’s 30th anniversary celebration.

This year’s NEOY first alternate is Jessica Jade from Roanoke, Va. and second

alternate is Sabrina White from St. Louis, Mo.

For the last 29 years, the NEOY pageantry system has served as a charitable

contest raising funds for the non-profit SLS Pride Foundation which is “dedicated to the betterment of diverse cultures.” This was the third

national titleholder and first National EOY FI titleholder from Charlotte area.

Next year, NEOY will celebrate its 30th Anniversary on July 24-26, 2020 in Louisville, Ky.

The National Entertainer of the Year pageantry system started in 1991 showcasing drag creativity and entertainment honoring Emeritus

Naomi Sims.

info: EOY.net. campuspride.org.


Community loses ally

Beverly A. McIntyre, an ally community

member, died on July 29. She was

formerly owner of Pink Lady Travels that

catered to the gay and lesbian community.

McIntyre was also active with PFLAG,

the Metrolina AIDS Project and served

on the boards of the International Gay

and Lesbian Travel Association and the

Charlotte Business Guild. She also sang

with One Voice Chorus of Charlotte and

was honored by the LGBTQ community

through Pride Charlotte as the inaugural

Champion of Pride’s Outstanding

Ally award which she shared with her

husband Bill.

info: legcy.co/2ZwTYKP.

Pride honors champions, names

grand marshals

Charlotte Pride has released the names

of their annual Champions of Pride

awards. Those recognized are: Time

Out Youth Center staffer James Rice III

(Harvey Milk Award

for leadership), former PFLAG Charlotte

President Ashley Nurkin (Outstanding

Ally), and youth advocate Audrey Ansel

(Young Catalyst Award). Each are honored

for their commitment and dedication

to the LGBTQ community and will

be recognized on the Wells Fargo Stage

on Aug.17. Grand marshals for the Bank

of America Charlotte Pride Parade are

Charlotte Black Pride and The Hon. John

S. Arrowood (North Carolina Court of

Appeals). Arrowood is the first openly

LGBTQ person to win a statewide election

in the South. All will ride in and be

honored in the parade on Aug. 18.

info: charlottepride.org.

‘Bathroom’ legislation settled

A federal judge approved a settlement

in late July stating that HB142 cannot be

used to ban transgender individuals from

using public restrooms and other facilities

in state government buildings under the

purview of Gov. Roy Cooper, Equality

North Carolina shared. The settlement,

stemming from Gov. Cooper and the

ACLU, applies only to public restrooms

and similar facilities in state government

buildings that are under Gov. Cooper’s

control. The legislation still needs to be

repealed in order to secure protections at

the local governmental level. Additionally,

the settlement does not do anything to

address state agencies’ and local municipalities’

inability to protect LGBTQ North

Carolinians in private employment and in

public accommodations.

info: equalitync.org.

Couple tops marriage record

Michael McConnell and Jack Baker were

featured in a story on Queerty. The

two share the distinction of being the

longest-married same-sex couple in the

U.S. The tied the knot in 1970 during

a time when the American Psychiatric

Association still considered being gay

a “mental disorder.” Three years after

they wed, the association removed the

black mark from its list of disorders. The

couple published “The Wedding Heard

’Round The World” in 2016.

info: bit.ly/2YEasPV.

Fundraiser date announced

The Second Annual Stonewall Rainbow

5K Run will be held on Sept. 28 in

Charlotte, N.C. It is produced by

Stonewall Sports of Charlotte. The

organization has completed its signup

for runners and has completed the

— Lainey Millen see News Briefs on 23

Governor issues executive order

RALEIGH, N.C. — On Aug. 2 North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper

signed an executive order directing the North Carolina Department

of Health & Human Services to ensure that no taxpayer dollars are

used for conversion therapy for minors, including North Carolina

Medicaid and North Carolina Health Choice, Equality North Carolina

(ENC) announced.

This executive action makes North Carolina the first southern

state to establish a state-level policy to protect minors from anti-

LGBTQ conversion therapy.

In March, ENC and the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE)

launched a joint statewide campaign to end conversion therapy in

North Carolina, including through the passage of the Mental Health

Protection Act (HB516/SB426). This legislation was proposed in

March 2019 to protect minors across the state from the practice.

The campaign built momentum for the bill’s passage, including being

sponsored by 35 legislators; a coalition of more than 65 organizations,

clergy members and mental health agencies; press attention

from dozens of outlets; and engagement from hundreds working to

protect youth from conversion therapy.

According to polling conducted in February 2019, 80 percent of

North Carolinians — including 87 percent of Republicans, 75 percent

of Democrats, and 78 percent of Independents support protecting

North Carolina’s young people from conversion therapy.

ENC said that in the months ahead, Protect Our Youth NC will

share stories of LGBTQ young people, family members of LGBTQ

people, faith leaders, mental health professionals, educators, and

more who support protecting youth from conversion therapy. This

storytelling effort will help educate decision-makers across the

state and advocate for lawmakers to pass statewide legislation

that definitively and expansively protects minors from conversion


“What leaders do matters,” said Mathew Shurka, Born Perfect

co-founder and conversion therapy survivor. “Gov. Cooper’s executive

order sends a clear message that he and his administration will

protect LGBTQ youth and ensure that no taxpayer money is spent

on this life-threatening practice, which has been condemned by

every leading professional medical and mental health organization.

Now more than ever, LGBTQ children need to hear that they are

born perfect.”

Other comments by LGBTQ rights groups and organizations


“Thanks to Gov. Cooper’s leadership, North

Carolina is now the first state in the South to take

statewide action to protect youth from conversion

therapy,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the

National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

“This year our campaign ignited a conversation

among North Carolinians about the importance of

protecting our kids from ‘conversion therapy.’ It’s

gratifying to see Gov.Cooper take this critical step

in the right direction. No child should be told that

they must change their sexual orientation or gender

identity; we’re grateful that Gov. Cooper agrees. We

are committed to ending this debunked practice and

will work for statewide protections,” ENC executive

director Kendra R. Johnson stated.

“Gov. Cooper’s order will create a safer North

Carolina for LGBTQ youth. Young LGBTQ people

who endure ‘conversion therapy’ are at an immensely

higher risk for depression and suicide than those

whose identities are affirmed, a primary reason

that we must do all we can to end this dangerous

pseudoscience. As we continue our campaign to end

conversion therapy once and for all, we’re looking

forward to working across North Carolina to share a

message of love and affirmation. We have the momentum,

and now it’s time to amplify the voices of

North Carolinians everywhere who are taking action

to protect our youth,” added Allison Scott, director

of policy and programs at CSE.

The Born Perfect campaign to end conversion

therapy was founded by NCLR in 2014 to bring

survivors and legal experts together to end conversion

therapy. Born Perfect has partnered with the

Human Rights Campaign and state equality groups

across the nation to pass state and local legislation

protecting youth.

Eighteen U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the District

of Columbia have banned conversion therapy

through state-level legislation. Governors in Utah, New York and

Puerto Rico have taken executive action on the issue.

info: equalitync.org. southernequality.org. nclrights.org. bornperfect.org.


— Lainey Millen

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 5


Charlotte Pride Event Schedule

Entertainment and Activities Across the Queen City

AUGUST 9 | 5-8 PM




Freedom Park, Shelter # 2

1908 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203



Charlotte Pride will be hosting an evening

out at the park for you and your four-legged

friend. They will be hosting a PAWS-itively

Fierce! Doggie Fashion Show! Dogs have

the chance to win in two categories: Best in

Pride (rainbow and Pride-themed wear) and

Natural Beauty. First and second prizes will

be given for each category. Light refreshments

will be available for the humans and

treats and water for the pups.

AUGUST 9 | 6:30-8:30 PM


Time Out Youth Center

3800 Monroe Rd., Charlotte, NC 28205



Join an annual Pride dance sponsored by

Charlotte Black Pride and Charlotte Pride.

They will have food, DJ, live drag performance

and will celebrate the grand opening

of Time Out Youth’s new David Bohnett

Cyber Center. Participants will get a first

look at the 2019 Youth and Family Zone for

Charlotte Pride 2019.

AUGUST 10 | 6-9:30 PM



C3 Labs

2525 Distribution St., Charlotte, NC 28203



CLT NOW is kicking off Charlotte Pride Week

with the Queerlesque show. Queerly Beloved,

based out of Atlanta, is a collective of queer

artists of all spectrums entertaining in the arts

of Burlesque, Drag and much more. In addition

to the performance, Charlotte Pride will also

conduct a forum with elected officials from

Mecklenburg County to learn how they will

engage the LGBTQ community. The candidates

have been invited as a joint effort with YDNC

LGBT+ Caucus and CLT NOW. Snacks are available

throughout the night and are included in

the paid admission. A cash bar will be available

to purchase alcoholic beverages. Doors open at

6 p.m. Show begins at 6:45 p.m.

AUGUST 11 | 4-6 PM



Caldwell Presbyterian Church

1609 E. Fifth St., Charlotte, NC 28204



Charlotte Pride’s annual LGBTQ-affirming

Interfaith Service is open to all people of

all faith backgrounds in the community.

This year, in recognition of Stonewall, the

Interfaith service “comes home” to its original

host, Caldwell Presbyterian Church.

AUGUST 13 | 11 AM-3 PM



Leon Levine Opportunity Center

Goodwill Opportunity Campus

5301 Wilkinson Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28208



Trans-affirming employers will be present to

discuss career opportunities for transgender

community members. Other folks from the

LGBQ community are welcome. Confirmed

employers so far include Bank of America,

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, FedEx,

Goodwill, JetStream, Novant Health, Turner

Construction Company, Year Up CPCC and


AUGUST 13 | 2 PM


Beatties Ford Road Regional Library

2412 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte, NC 28216



Deepen your understanding of issues facing

the LGBTQ community, network with others

in our community from across Mecklenburg

County, learn what organizations and individuals

are doing to advance health, safety, fairness

and inclusion in the LGBTQ+ community

in North Carolina, learn about efforts to

ensure LGBTQ protections in North Carolina.

Meet established and emerging leaders, activists,

advocates, community members and

allies from throughout Mecklenburg County

for an afternoon of learning and networking.

AUGUST 13 | 6-9 PM



Resident Culture

2101 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205



Join Charlotte Trans Pride for a social mixer

at Resident Culture in Plaza Midwood following

the Charlotte Trans Pride Job Fair earlier

in the day. This event venue is accessible for

those using wheelchairs or other mobility

devices, including accessible restrooms.

AUGUST 13 | 8:30 PM



1919 Commonwealth Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205

21+, $1 for new memberships


Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd

place winners. Attendees can enjoy drink

specials. This is hosted by Trivia Vixen, Onya

and Point Butch Will Charmer. Doors open

at 7 p.m. Team registration starts at 8 p.m.

Check out at dragtrivia on Instagram at noon

the day of for your hint of the day. Purchase

your tickets and message Drag Trivia for

table reservations.

AUGUST 14 | 8 PM


Mellow Mushroom Uptown

255 W Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Charlotte,

NC 28202



Join hostess Onya Nerves for Wine Down

Wednesday on Aug. 14 starting at 9 p.m. to

kick off Charlotte Pride with a cast of drag

queens. Get your tickets in advance; your

admission includes front row access to the

cast of drag queens where you can indulge in

a selection of food from Mellow Mushroom.

The house DJ will keep the party going from

8-12. $10 house wine bottles along with a

signature cocktail special for the night will

be available. Door cover starts at 8 p.m.

Showtime begins at 9 p.m.



Single Barrel Room

1221 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205



A comedy show featuring the top LGBTQIA+

comics from Charlotte and the surrounding

areas. It is hosted by Shaine Laine and Glass

Ceiling Comedy Productions.

AUGUST 15 | 5:30 PM


Bar Argon

4544 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28209



Take this opportunity to expand your business

card list from over 45 Charlotte area

organizations, and for your company’s LGBT+

ERG/BRG to mix, mingle and connect with

those who support the LGBTQ+ community.

AUGUST 15, 2019 | 6PM


Missiongathering Charlotte

420 E 15th St., Charlotte, NC 28206



Join Charlotte Pride for their first annual

Pride Family Picnic. They will have free food,

drinks, cotton candy, bounce house, music,

activities, crafts, lots of rainbows and lots of


AUGUST 15 | 6-8 PM


Ascent Uptown

225 S Poplar St, Charlotte, NC 28202


RSVP requested at bit.ly/2YMYPWV.

Join Equality North Carolina as Charlotte

see Events on 8

6 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 7

8 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019



continued from page 6

Pride teams up with their friends at Greystar

Properties to host a Pre-Pride mixer at Ascent

Uptown Charlotte. Revel at the panoramic

views of Uptown Charlotte and beyond,

enjoy a premium open beer and wine bar,

nibble on treats and learn more about how

to become involved in Equality NC, featuring

Kendra Johnson, the organization’s executive

director, with surprise guests to join in at the


AUGUST 15 | 7 PM


Pour Taproom

1212 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205

FREE (registration required, via Facebook)


We’re excited to celebrate Charlotte Pride

with Seabrooks Entertainment hosting Pride

Music Bingo! There will also be drag performances

and Shimmer Down will be in the

house for all of your sparkle needs!

AUGUST 16, 2019 | 6PM


Silver Wolf Crossfit

2128 Remount Rd., Charlotte, NC 28208



You’re invited to come #sweatforacause

with OUTWOD. OUTWOD is not your typical

workout fundraiser and is 100 percent

inclusive and has something for every skill

level. Register online at iamout.org/events/


AUGUST 16 | 6:30 PM


Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church

1510 E 7th St. Charlotte, NC 28204



A service to proclaim God’s love in all and

especially within the LGBTQ+ community.

Everyone is welcome. (Special appearance by

the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte.)




Taproom Social

430 W 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202



Open to all women-identified people. Drink

specials, raffle prizes, and other goodies. Free

gift bag for the first 150 people who attend!

AUGUST 16 | 8 PM


Crown Station

3629 N. Davidson St., Charlotte, NC 28205



Annual Pride Friday Bear Happy Hour. An

evening of drinks, music, and fun. The event

is open to all.

AUGUST 16 | 8 PM



The Fillmore Charlotte

820 Hamilton St., Charlotte, NC 28206

$12 presale, $15 day of show,

$7.50 on Groupon


Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and show begins at

8:30 p.m. Ticket prices will increase the day of

the show.

AUGUST 16 | 10 PM


Visulite Theatre

1615 Elizabeth Ave., Charlotte, North Carolina




Celebrate Stonewall Sports Charlotte’s 5th

birthday, while honoring the 50th anniversary

milestone of the Stonewall uprising.

Featuring DJ “Neon the GlowGoBear,” with

special guest entertainment and event host

Arron Malachi.

AUGUST 16 | 9 PM


World of Beer

210 E Trade Suite E280, Charlotte, NC 28202

21+, $5


Pride Kickoff Party @ WOB Epicentre. Best

of the ‘90s spun by DJ Eric B (Argon) plus

two shows featuring: Skylar Michelle-Monet,

Angela Lopez, Tia Douglas, Ashley Jordan,

Breonna Tenae and Jayla Serena Mitchell.

Showtimes are 9:30 p.m. and Midnight.

AUGUST 17-18



Uptown Charlotte



The Carolinas’ largest celebration of LGBTQ

Pride! A two-day, free street festival with

national and regional entertainment and

parade on Sunday. The festival is on Aug. 17,

12-10 p.m. and Aug. 18, 12-6 p.m. The parade

is on Aug. 18 from 1-3 p.m.

AUGUST 17 | 1-5 PM



Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

420 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202



A mini- arts festival within the larger

Charlotte Pride Festival, Flourish showcases

the talents of local LGBTQ artists — including

local LGBTQ choral and other musical groups,

dancers, theatre, spoken word, visual art and

more. It is open from 1-5 p.m. on Aug. 17.

AUGUST 17 | 10 PM


WORLD Nightclub

900 NC Music Factory Blvd., Charlotte, NC


$25+ for General Admission, $40+ for VIP


Just Twirl Events proudly presents ZŪTOPIA

featuring International DJ/Producer Dan

Slater. A portion of proceeds will benefit Twirl

to the World Foundation, including one of

this year’s beneficiaries, Charlotte Pride.

AUGUST 17 | 10 PM


Basement Nightclub

Dilworth Neighborhood Grille

911 E. Morehead St, Charlotte , NC 28204

$15 advance, $20 door, 21+


RAINBOWTOPIA is an annual girls’ party, featuring

two stages of sound with national DJs,

gogo dancers, party favors, giveaways, photo

booth and more.

AUGUST 17 | 10 PM



Chasers Charlotte NoDa

3217 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205



The Creepshow, featuring Abhora of

“Dragula” Season 2 and Priscilla Chambers

of “Dragula” Season 3. Also appearing at the

party is Vegas Van Dank and Misster, with

special guests Lolita Van Dank, Reptilian

Anderson Chambers and Pride Spotlight

Performance by Skylar Michelle-Monet.

— Compiled by Charlotte Pride

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 9


Charlotte Pride highlights queer talent in 2019

Entertainers at This Year’s Festival Dish on Their Art and Community

The Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade is just around

the corner — and with it comes an awesome line-up

of entertainment on both the Wells Fargo main stage

and Truliant Federal Credit Union community stage.

For the second year in a row, Charlotte Pride’s organizers

have put an intentional focus on attracting entertainers

who represent a broad and wide spectrum of the

LGBTQ community. Like last year, the Wells Fargo Stage

headliner is a member of the LGBTQ community, and so

are the overwhelming majority of entertainers taking to

the stage!

Charlotte Pride asked short Q&As with many of its entertainers

this year. Hear from some of them below — including

their thoughts on the LGBTQ community, their art

and their inspirations. Want to read more from Charlotte

Pride entertainers this year? Be sure to check out the new

Charlotte Pride Magazine, distributed across the city right

now, or visit charlottepride.org.

Betty Who

Charlotte Pride:

Especially important

this year with

the Stonewall 50th

Anniversary, Pride

festivals are the

opportunities for

LGBTQ folks to see

themselves visible

and proud of their

identities. What

does Pride mean

to you?

Betty Who: Pride, to

me, is about community.

It’s about


and seeing people

who are living their

lives authentically

and proudly and being inspired by that and trying to bring

more of that to your own life. We excite and inspire each

other through the celebration of love and joy.

Can you talk about your identities and how they inform

your music and your artistry?

My strangeness, my individuality, my bisexuality, my

queerness... It’s all a huge part of what informs my art.

I want to tell inclusive stories as well as explore myself

through art-making. Playing with different characterversions

of myself through song and film have proved to

be an amazing outlet for experimentation. It’s a really safe

way for me to explore and discover parts of myself I didn’t

even know were there.

Frequently, we see news stories about violence

against trans women of color, discrimination from

governmental and healthcare agencies toward trans

and queer people, conversations of homelessness, and

a huge array of obstacles facing our community. What

do you believe are some of the most important issues

facing our LGBTQ community that need more attention?

What are some issues that you are personally

most passionate about?

I think it’s important to not forget about those in our

community who are still seeking representation, legislation

and acceptance. Our fight is not over and we have so

many more hearts and minds to change. We have to stick

together and take care of each other. We’re all on the same

side and want the same thing — for everybody to be able

to live as they choose, in whatever body they feel most at

home in, with whatever partner makes them happy.

TT The Artist


important this

year with the

Stonewall 50th


Pride festivals

are the opportunities


LGBTQ folks

to see themselves


and proud of

their identities.


does Pride

mean to you?

TT: Pride is all

about taking a

chance and being


you! Every

Pride festival

brings people of

all backgrounds

together to

celebrate and uplift the voices of the LGBTQ community.

Can you talk about your identities and how they inform

your artistry?

My art and identity are influenced by culture and the

people around me. When I am making my club music I like

to think about who the song is for. It can range between

delivering a vogue track for all the queens to serve the

runway with, or my own personal narratives.

What do you believe are some of the most important

issues facing our LGBTQ community that need more

attention? What are some issues that you are personally

passionate about?

Homophobia and bullying are huge issues that many

LGBTQ+ people face. The amount of people committing

suicide, as well as murders and harm to the LGBTQ+

community, has always struck a deep place in my soul.

Through the arts and media, I think we can create resources

and a universal language promoting tolerance, peace,

understanding, unity and love to fight against these issues.

Courtney Lynn & Quinn Henderson

What are you hoping audience members and event

attendees take away from either your performance or

the event as a whole?

Courtney Lynn: Oh, gosh. I feel like I could say a 150 different

things for that question. I remember my first Pride

festival. I wasn’t out yet. I wasn’t out to my friends or my

family. Nobody. It was the first time I had ever gone and

I was totally wrapped up in the love and the support.

Looking back, now being in a happy marriage, I think if

there’s anything that I hope people get, it’s hope. We’ve

come a long way as a community. There’s still, obviously,

a lot to be done. But events like these are a nice moment

to stop, to hope, to enjoy love and enjoy each other and

feel supported.

Quinn Henderson: I hope that what we bring is a message

from our music that shows the love that we have for one

another as openly as we do. But not just that — also that

we can show a younger generation that just because

sometimes you can feel lost or alone in a world that can

be scary, there are still people who will wrap you up in

love and support. We want young people to know that it’s

okay to be who you are and it’s okay to love who you love.

It’s okay to be open with yourself.

see Entertainers on 12

10 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 11



continued from page 10

Kristen Merlin

What do you believe are

some of the most important

issues facing our LGBTQ

community that need more

attention? What are some

issues that you are personally

passionate about?

Kristen Merlin: The fight for

LGBTQ rights in the United

States has come a long way

since the Stonewall uprising.

However, there is still a ways

to go regarding discrimination

with parenting, employment,

housing, public accommodations,

health care, criminal justice

and our homeless youth.

An issue that I’m personally passionate about is the lack of equality in the country music

establishment. I’ve been a part of this community for over a decade, yet I still feel that

I’m kept in the shadows and looked at as a “risk” and that I don’t belong.

You’re an artist — and often in the spotlight. Visibility is a key component of Pride

events. Why do you think visibility and awareness is important?

Change comes with numbers. The more of us that show up, the more we can have an

impact for change. We can also become more visible by banding together and writing to

our Senators and pleading that the Equality Act be passed.

Kristin Collins, 2018 Ms. Charlotte Pride

What is your favorite “Pride


Kristin Collins: “I Am What I Am”

and “This Is My Life” speak to

who I am. I’ve enjoyed them

for years. However, more

recently, “Love Wins” by Carrie

Underwood has become my favorite.

It speaks to the message

I’ve wanted to deliver during

my reign as Ms. Charlotte Pride.

When was it that you first

starting doing drag, and

why? What attracted you to

the art form?

I first became interested

in drag, while I was a theatre

student at Western Carolina

University, in the early ‘90s. I was attracted to the art form, because it allowed me to express

myself creatively and in an arena that was accepting of it.

What are some lessons you’ve learned from doing drag?

I’ve learned a lot in the past 25 years as a drag performer. I’ve learned that competition

brings out the worst in some and the best in others. I’ve learned that everyone has a place

on the stage and that at the end of the day, we’re all here to make you smile, laugh and

have a good time. Don’t take yourself so seriously and step away from the art form when

it’s no longer fun. It’s okay to pull back and do a reboot.

What advice would you give to drag performers who want to get more involved in

their community?

My advice is to look beyond your comfort zone, try something new, and use that to

better yourself as an entertainer and as a community member. For me, I wanted to be the

person I needed when I was younger. I took that statement and a charge to mentor younger

entertainers and queer kids, volunteering with Time Out Youth and doing my part to make

the LGBTQ community in Charlotte a better place.

12 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 13




sponsored by

Annual LGBT Newcomer & Community Resource Guide

14 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019




Annual LGBT Newcomer & Community Resource Guide

sponsored by

Queen City LGBTQ Events

Fundraisers, Film Screenings, Entertainment and More!


Human Rights Campaign Carolina Gala


Annual HRC black-tie fundraiser.


After Dark|Unlimited


Charlotte Gay Men’s Chorus’ annual gala

fundraising bash.


Reel Out Charlotte


An annual festival of established and up-andcoming

LGBTQ films.

House of Mercy AIDS Walk


Hosted annually in downtown Belmont, this

fundraiser provides support for House of

Mercy’s clients.


The Happening


Annual Charlotte Gay and Lesbian Fund




This annual HIV/AIDS awareness and fundraising

event is the largest of its kind in the


Speed Street


Uptown Charlotte is transformed by this

celebration of motor sports featuring endless

entertainment on two stages and countless


Time Out Youth Gala


An evening of music, food and fun benefiting

Time Out Youth Center. (Shifted from June

to May)


Taste of Charlotte


This foodie’s heaven event features a sampling

of local culinary arts in Uptown Charlotte.


Charlotte Black Gay Pride


Annual event celebrating the diversity of the

LGBTQ community. Pride festivities, expos,

town halls and events.


Charlotte Pride


Charlotte’s annual Pride festival takes

Uptown Charlotte by storm. Latin Pride and

Trans Pride (programs of Charlotte Pride) are

also part of the annual event and have their

own separate programming in addition to

participating during the festival’s celebration.

Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade


Community-wide event with bands, organizations,

businesses, arts groups, politicians and

more that march in Uptown Charlotte.

LGBT-Friendly College Fair


Campus Pride hosts its regional LGBTQ-

Friendly National College Fair in Charlotte.

Flourish Queer Arts Consortium


A “Festival within a festival,” Flourish showcases

Charlotte’s rich LGBTQ arts and cultural

community during Charlotte Pride.


Festival in the Park


Annual arts festival overtakes Freedom Park.




UNC Charlotte’s annual LGBTQ speaker



World AIDS Day Luncheon


A meal in tribute to the millions of people

living with HIV or AIDS.

Gay Bingo Charlotte


A wild, fun, outrageous costumes, song,

dance, and totally unconventional fundraiser

for RAIN.

[Editor’s Note: qnotes’ research into finding

community events was only as good as what

was available online and from other sources.

Should readers find errors and wish to send

corrections to the list or want to have an

event listed, email qnotes with “InFocus

addition” in the subject line to editor@

goqnotes.com. qnotes wants to make these

listings as accurate as possible to maintain

integrity of the information provided.]

— Compiled by qnotes Staff

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 15




Annual LGBT Newcomer & Community Resource Guide

sponsored by

Local & Regional LGBTQ Community Resources

Providing Support for All


ACLU of North Carolina


Campus Pride



Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce


Elder Law Clinic at Wake Forest



Equality North Carolina


HRC Carolina


Mecklenburg Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual

and Transgender Political Action

Committee (MeckPAC)


North Carolina Gay and Lesbian




North Carolina Transgender Unity


The Freedom Center for Social Justice


Safe Schools NC



Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte


Big Mammas House of Burlesque


Charlotte Pride Band


Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte


One Voice Chorus


Queen City Theatre Company


ReelOut Charlotte


Stephen Seay Productions



Caldwell Presbyterian Church

1609 E. Fifth St.

Charlotte, NC 28204



Carolina Center for

Spiritual Awakening

12125 Statesville Rd.

Huntersville, NC 28078



Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics


Charlotte Buddhist Vihara

3423 Stonehaven Dr.

Charlotte, NC 28215


First Christian Church

1200 East Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28203



First Presbyterian Church

114 W. Main St.

Lincolnton, NC 28092



First United Methodist Church

501 N. Tryon St.

Charlotte, NC 28202



Havurat Tikvah

2821 Park Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28209



Holy Covenant United Church of Christ

3501 W. WT Harris Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28269



Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

1900 The Plaza

Charlotte, NC 28205



Inclusion Community United

Methodist Church

21209 Catawba Ave.

Cornelius, NC 28031


Interfaith Equality Coalition


M2M: Matters to Mission

The Evening Muse

3227 North Davidson St.

Charlotte, NC 28205



3900 Park Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28209



MCC Charlotte

17121 Orr Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28213



Compiled by Qnotes Staff

Missiongathering Charlotte

420 E. 15th St.

Charlotte, NC 28206



Myers Park Baptist Church

1900 Queens Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28207



New Life MCC

New Life MCC Gastonia

1201 S. New Hope Rd.

Gastonia, NC 28054



Park Road Baptist Church

3900 Park Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28209



Piedmont Unitarian

Universalist Church

9704 Mallard Creek Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28262



ReBirth Cathedral

2229 Village Lake Dr.

Charlotte, NC 28212



Seigle Avenue Presbyterian Church

600 Seigle Ave.

Charlotte, NC 28204



Sacred Souls Community Church

2127 Eastway Dr.

Charlotte, NC 28205



St. John’s Baptist Church

300 Hawthorne Ln.

Charlotte, NC 28204



St. Luke Baptist Church

1600 Norris Ave.

Charlotte, NC 28206



St. Martin’s Episcopal Church

1510 E. 7th St.

Charlotte, NC 28204



St. Peter’s Catholic Church

507 S. Tryon St.

Charlotte, NC 28202



St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

115 W. 7th St.

Charlotte, NC 28202



South Park Christian Church

6650 Park South Dr.

Charlotte, NC 28210



Temple Beth El

5101 Providence Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28226



Temple Or Olam

5300 Poplar Tent Rd.

Concord, NC 28027



Trinity United Church of Christ

38 Church St. N.

Concord, NC 28025



Unitarian Universalist Church

of Charlotte

234 N. Sharon Amity Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28211



Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of

Lake Norman

484 Presbyterian Rd.

Mooresville, NC 28115



Unity Fellowship Church

2508 N. Davidson St.

Charlotte, NC 28205



Wedgewood Church

4800 Wedgewood Dr.

Charlotte, NC 28210




Amity Medical Group

East Charlotte

6010 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28215


South Charlotte

10508 Park Rd., Suite 130

Charlotte, NC 28210




Carolinas Care Partnership

5855 Executive Center Dr.

Suite 101

Charlotte, NC 28212



16 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019




Annual LGBT Newcomer & Community Resource Guide

sponsored by

Hearts Beat as One Foundation



House of Mercy

304 McAuley Cir.

Belmont, NC 28012



Lake NormanFree Clinic

14230 Hunters Rd.

Huntersville, NC 28078



Mecklenburg County Health Department


Southeast Campus

249 Billingsley Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28211

Northwest Campus

2845 Beatties Ford Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28216


PowerHouse Project

1420 Beatties Ford Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28216



Quality Comprehensive Health Center

3552 Beatties Ford Rd.

Charlotte, NC




601 E. 5th St., Ste. 470

Charlotte, NC 28202



Rosedale Medical

103 Commerce Centre Dr., Suite 103

Huntersville, NC 28078


321 West 11th St.

Charlotte, NC 28202




Urban Ministry Center

945 N. College St.

Charlotte, NC 28206




Amity Medical Group

East Charlotte

6010 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28215


South Charlotte

10508 Park Rd., Suite 130

Charlotte, NC 28210




Novant Health Midtown

Family Medicine

335 N. Caswell Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28204




Planned Parent — Charlotte

Health Center

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic

700 S. Torrence St.

Charlotte, NC 28204



Rosedale Medical

103 Commerce Centre Dr., Suite 103

Huntersville, NC 28078


321 West 11th St.

Charlotte, NC 28202





Charlotte Lesbian and

Gay Fund




Carolina Softball Alliance


Charlotte Front Runners


Charlotte Rainbowlers


Charlotte Roller Girls


Charlotte Royals Rugby


One World Dragon Boat


Queen City Tennis Club


Stonewall Sports


Social & Support

Alpha Psi Kappa Fraternity


Carolina Bear Lodge


Carolina Transgender Society


Charlotte Black Gay Pride


Charlotte H2Os


Charlotte Latin Pride


Charlotte Trans Pride


Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce


Charlotte Pride


Charlotte Tradesmen


Convergence Riders




PFLAG Charlotte


Prime Timers of Charlotte




Queer People of Color Collective


Southern Country


Transcend Charlotte


Transgender Healthcare Group



CPCC Spectrum Club



LGBTQ Caucus

Davidson College


Gender Equity Center

Johnson & Wales University



Winthrop University



Pride JWU

Johnson and Wales University



LGBT young adults



Queers & Allies

Davidson College




Queens University




University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Time Out Youth Center



[Editor’s Note: qnotes’ research into finding

community resources was only as good as

what was available online and from other

sources. Should readers find errors and wish

to send corrections to the list or want to have

a group listed, email qnotes with “InFocus

addition” in the subject line to editor@

goqnotes.com. qnotes wants to make these

listings as accurate as possible to maintain

integrity of the information provided.]

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 17




Annual LGBT Newcomer & Community Resource Guide

sponsored by

Gay bars and Clubs:

A Look at Charlotte’s History

Taking a Journey Back to the Bar Scene in the Queen City

BY David Aaron Moore & Camilla K. Cannon | QNotes CONTRIBUTING WRITERs

As a young gay man in

Charlotte of the 1980s, I managed

to snag a fake ID that

was realistic enough to convince

bar owners I was five years older

than I actually was. The fact that I

was over six feet tall came in handy,

too. There’s something about

height that implies age.

Beginning at the age of 16,

I was able to gain entree into a

number of Charlotte’s gay bars.

My first experience came at a

center city nightspot known as The

Odyssey, At the time it was located

at the corner of Morehead and

Tryon Sts. in what had previously

been a restaurant and its regional

corporate headquarters.

It wasn’t all that large, really,

but sizable enough to offer three

separate bars and a dance floor.

Downstairs was another gay bar

known as the Brass Rail.

Standing outside and waiting

in a line to the stairs that took you

to where the Odyssey was, I heard

other young gay men referring

to the Brass Rail as “The Wrinkle

Room,” indicating it was a place

where mostly older gays congregated.

Even then I thought their

assessment seemed crass and

flippant, but I was initially so nervous I just stood in the

line quietly.

I can still recall making my way past a door man and

into the main dance and social area.

I watched as mostly young gay men and a handful

of lesbian couples, mixed in with a smattering of drag

queens, danced without care to a popular song by openly

gay and cross dressing disco artist Sylvester.

When we’re out there dancin’ on that floor, darlin’

And I feel like I need some more

And I feel your body close to mine

And I know, my love

It’s about that time

Make me feel, mighty real

Make me feel, mighty real

Yooooooooo make me feel, mighty real

Yooooooooo make me feel, mighty real

Lights flashed, clouds from dry ice created faux smoke

that filled the room and the happiness of perceived freedom

was palpable. It was a magical moment. I felt I had

come home.

• • • • •

18 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019

— David Aaron Moore

The history of oppressed people is always fragmentary.

It often goes undocumented for fear of unintentionally

providing oppressors with information that could lead

to unwanted trouble for those suffering under irrational

scrutiny and harassment.

Such is the case for much of Charlotte’s LGBTQ history

prior to the 1980s.

Tens of thousands of gay, lesbian and transgender individuals

around the country who came out at a young age

in the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties have their

The Odyssey was a popular bar during the 1980s. (Photo Credit: Staff Archives)

own unique experiences — each defined by their own

personal life journey, location and time period.

Here’s a look back at what qnotes was able to uncover

about Charlotte’s LGBTQ bar history.

It is by no means complete, but through research and

conversation, we’ve been able to reconstruct some of that

past. qnotes welcomes additional information and shared

stories in the comments section online.

While there was mention of a Charlotte “homosexual

hotspot” found in the pages of a True Crime magazine

dating back to the 1950s, very little is known about the

community’s nightlife culture of that time. There has also

been talk of a lesbian bar dating back to that same period,

reportedly located on Wilkinson Blvd., though confirmation

and details have yet to be uncovered.

The first concrete evidence of social night clubs for

gays and lesbians dates back to the 1960s with the opening

of Oleens and the Scorpio Lounge on South Blvd.,

reportedly within months of each other. Oleens was

reportedly a former service station and auto repair shop.

Brafford became part-owner of the iconic Oleens in

1984 and went on to open a second Brass Rail in 1985 in

West Charlotte after the original downtown bar closed.

Not one to overlook the growing gay population in

the Plaza-Midwood area, he opened Central Station in

1998 after closing Oleens. Later came The Woodshed in

2001, when the city forced the bar out to redevelop the

property. That allowed him to capture patronage from the

city as a whole and the surrounding metro area simply by

virtue of its location: less than a few hundred feet from

Interstate Highway 85. It also had the distinctive history

of being a former residence turned barbecue restaurant

(previously owned and operated by Charlotte’s late drag

legend Boom Boom Latour). The Woodshed continues to

operate today,

But back to Oleens: it was a popular destination for

gay men, lesbians and transgender individuals. In fact,

it became one of the city’s most popular drag bars, and

remained so for several years. The club closed its doors in

1997 after nearly 30 years in the

business. The building still stands

and is now a Dunkin’ Donuts.

The Scorpio Lounge, as it

was known at the time, was also

popular among the same crowd,

though it eventually moved to

Freedom Dr. for a larger space

in then-brand new digs. Now

known simply as Scorpio, the

club continues to operate at

that same location after more

than 50 years in the business.

While it still identifies as a gay

specific nightspot, in recent

years it has become increasingly

popular with an accepting

straight crowd, too.

Throughout the ‘70s multiple

clubs came and went, among

them Nikki’s Express (previously

located in a long-since demolished

building that once stood

at the corner of Morehead St.

and Kings Dr.) and 20th Century

Fox, located in Center City.

The Odyssey began its life

at some point in the late 1970s

at the corner of Morehead and

Tryon Sts. It later moved to a

location on The Plaza at Eastway

Dr., where it boasted drag

performances, a massive dance

floor that included faux snow, rain and fog machines, as

well as dancer cages. It thrived throughout the first half

of the ‘80s attracting a fashionable LGBTQ crowd, curious

straight visitors looking to trip the light fantastic and a

bevy of media attention for performers like Cher impersonator

Kelly Allman and transgender show host Johanna

Reis (later Vegas showgirl Johanna Steele).

After its closing later in the decade, another club came

along to take its place: City Nights.

City Nights was as much a ground breaker as the

Odyssey had been and brought in the city’s gay club elite

en masse.

It took up residence in the old Visulite Theater on

Elizabeth Ave., across the street from what was then

known as Presbyterian Hospital. It wowed the crowds with

a sophisticated dance floor and imported guest DJs. After

just a few short years, it abruptly closed, with the owners

ripping out the expensive light and sound system on their

way out.

The full story about its demise remains a mystery, as

does the fly-by-night relocation of its owners. They were

never seen or heard from again and reportedly left behind

a massive debt, as well as extensive damage to the building.

In conversation, Brafford has acknowledged there was,

on occasion, criminal elements involved in both the city’s

gay and straight club scenes.

Among the most sensational criminal incidents in LGBTQ

bar history were the Scorpio fires. The first took place during

the late 1970s and closed the club for more than a year.

It is thought the fire was set by criminal elements seeking

protection racket money to keep the Charlotte-Mecklenburg

police at bay. Scorpio was only one of several clubs burned

(the others were all straight) throughout a multi-year period

during the last half of the 1970s.

The second fire took place during the mid-1980s.

After the closing of the Odyssey, another new club

opened at the corner of Freedom Dr. and Morehead St.

called Charades.




Annual LGBT Newcomer & Community Resource Guide

sponsored by

At the time it, along with City Nights, pulled crowds

away from Scorpio in droves and was a huge sensation.

However, that only lasted for a brief time. Charades

owners realized that Scorpio was reclaiming its clientele,

so they hatched the plan to put an end to the club’s

returning success.

Set in the early morning hours of a night when the

business was closed, the damage from the second fire

once again resulted in the closing of the club, leaving very

little in the form of a dance club for the LGBTQ community

to congregate at on the westside other than Charades.

Although details on how the determination was made

are unclear, two owners and one employee of Charades

were arrested, charged and convicted with setting the fire.

Eventually, all of them spent time in prison.

Needless to say, by decade’s end, Charades quickly

faded into history and Scorpio had reopened.

As the bars battled it out in Charlotte, The Hide-A-

Way in Rock Hill, S.C. was getting the late night business.

Tucked away in the woods off the beaten path Hide-A-

Way was and still is a great laid back getaway.

The 1990s ushered in a completely different era for

Charlotte’s gay bars. The city saw a trend begin to develop

that had already taken place in cities like Atlanta and New

York: the mixed club. Pterodactyl, Mythos, Park Elevator

and Tonic were among many clubs that urged a co-mingling

of both gay and straight.

Often referred to as cool clubs, fashion clubs and

places to see and be seen, straight and gay generally

dressed in their best alterna-clothing and engaged in intellectual

conversation, casual dancing, creative networking

and never-ending attempts to out-fabulous each other.

That’s not to say there wasn’t an atmosphere of sexuality

or flirtation, it simply wasn’t as prevalent as what one

might find in a standard gay club. Some of these clubs

survived well into the first decade of the 2000s, though all

have since closed.

Also opened in the 1990s were The Charlotte Eagle

and Illusions. The Charlotte Eagle modeled after the

Atlanta Eagle and the D.C. Eagle was a leather/fetish bar

complete with a leather store and barber shop. It closed

around 2009 or 2010 and the location is now home to

Sidelines and Bar Argon.

Illusions, located on South Blvd. not far from South

End, was a drag and dance bar that was opened for several


There were still additions to the gay specific club scene

during that era that were tremendously successful, like

Stonewall, which took over a building that was previously

an Asian restaurant. Before its demolition, it was located

in the lot next to the Westin Hotel in Center City Charlotte.

Its unique early 1970s architecture blended with a hint of

of Pagoda made the two story building the perfect downtown

dance club and a go-to attraction for both straight

and gay, even though the owners made it clear it was gay

territory. The same goes for another gay-specific club

popular during the 1990s known as Genesis. It boasted

several years of a successful run, as well. Both closed

down near the turn of the 21st century.

It’s important to note that Charlotte boasted three

lesbian-specific clubs during this same time. Garbo’s

Oleens brought people in to see drag shows and enjoy the laid back atmosphere. (Photo Credit: Staff Archives)

was opened by members of the band Doubting Thomas.

Hartigan’s was an on-again, off-again straight, gay and

lesbian club, but spent most of its thriving years as a

popular destination intown for Charlotte’s lesbian crowd.

L4 was in a small building on Central Ave. easts of the

Plaza-Midwood neighborhood. Now there is Hattie’s Tap

& Tavern on The Plaza.

One bar has sustained an LGBTQ customer base over

decades with a few name changes. First it was a bar/

restaurant named Amanda Rose, then Steven’s, Liaisons

and now the popular Bar at 316. Another bar of note is

Chaser’s. Opened as a male strip bar in 1991, it is still going

strong. However, because of zoning laws, the strippers

are a bit more tame.

While there were only a few complaints of racism at

Charlotte gay bars (one at Scorpio in the early 1990s), it

is clear that the city’s black gay population did not tend to

frequent most of the mainstream gay bars.

“It wasn’t that I was made to feel unwelcome,” recalls

Larry Sanders, an African-American gay male native to


“I just didn’t usually care too much for the music,” he

laughs. “It was too...white.”

Sanders and many of his friends got their first taste

of a gay club directed at a black clientele with Club Mixx,

located at the corner of Wilkinson Blvd. and Morehead

St., later moving to S. Tryon St. near Clanton Rd. While

it remained active for a number of years, it soon closed,

leaving a vacuum that would not be filled until the opening

of The Nickel Bar in Charlotte’s West End in 2009.

With the closing of The Nickel Bar earlier this

year, owner Milton Howard has since opened Jewels

on Beatties Ford Rd., less than 10 minutes away from

Northlake Mall. Like The Nickel Bar, he wants the environment

to be inclusive of everyone who wants to come.

Although detailed history may be lacking, many club

names continue to linger on the tip of gay history’s lips.

What was once known as TAGS later became

Manford’s and then Masquerade before closing. Other

names like Dax, Cell Block, Closet, the Crystal Room,

Cathode Azure, The Golden Cock, Road House, Spike’s,

Twist and Shout, Marigny and Velocity are all a part of

Charlotte’s gay nightlife history, though they are no longer

with us.

Currently opened now are: Bar at 316, Chaser’s,

Petra’s, The Scorpio, Sidelines, The Woodshed, Hattie’s

Tap & Tavern, Bar Argon and The Hide-A-Way.

While the Internet, cruising and dating apps, marriage

equality and the largely positive attitude Americans

now maintain toward LGBTQ citizens, it left many smaller

towns and cities without a traditional LGBTQ watering

hole. The bars and clubs that remain will keep doing what

they always have: weathering storms and adapting to the

changing face of the queer community in order to remain

a place for congregation, family and solace. : :

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 19




Annual LGBT Newcomer & Community Resource Guide

sponsored by

Char-Meck Government Leadership

City Council and Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners

Charlotte Mayor and City Council

Mayor Viola Alexander Lyles


Elected 2017; seeking re-election 2019



Mayor Pro Tem and City Council

Member at-Large Julie Eiselt


Elected 2015; seeking re-election 2019


Transportation & Planning, Economic

Development, Intergovernmental Relations



At Large

Dimple Ajmera


Elected 2017; seeking re-election 2019


Intergovernmental Relations,

Transportation and Planning,

Well-Managed Government (Budget)



James Mitchell, Jr.


Elected 2015; seeking re-election 2019


Economic Development (chair),

Intergovernmental Relations



Braxton Winston


By Camilla K. Cannon | QNotes CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Elected 2017; seeking re-election



Neighborhood Development

(chair), Transportation & Planning



District 1 (Dilworth, Plaza-Midwood,

Grier Heights, Freedom Park, Myers

Park, Eastover, Elizabeth, Chantilly)

Larken Egleston


Elected 2017; seeking re-election



Intergovernmental Relations (chair),

Neighborhood Development



District 2 (Central Business District, Third and

Fourth Wards, Wesley Heights)

Dr. Justin Harlow


Elected 2017; not seeking re-election


Neighborhood Development (chair),

Economic Development



District 3 (West Charlotte)

LaWana Mayfield


Elected 2011; seeking election for at-large

councilmember 2019


Transportation & Planning (vice chair),

Charlotte City Council: (left to right): Matt Newton, Tariq Bokhari, Gregory Phipps, LaWana Mayfield, Dimple

Ajmera, James Mitchell, Mayor Vi Lyles, Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt, Braxton Winston, Ed Driggs, Justin Harlow

and Larken Egleston. (Photo Credit: City of Charlotte)

Well-Managed Government (Budget),

Intergovernmental Relations



District 4 (northeast Charlotte, from The

Plaza to the City Limits. I-85 North runs


Gregory A. Phipps


Elected 2013; not seeking re-election 2019


Well-Managed Government (Budget) (chair),

Transportation & Planning



District 5 (East Charlotte, near N Sharon

Amity Rd., Albemarle Rd., Rama Rd., and

Idlewild Rd.)

Matt Newton


Elected 2017; seeking re-election 2019


Economic Development, Neighborhood




District 6 (South Charlotte)

Tariq Bokhari


Elected 2017; seeking re-election 2019


Intergovernmental Relations (chair),

Well-Managed Government (Budget)



District 7 (Southeast Charlotte, along

Highway 51)

Edmund H. Driggs


Elected 2013; seeking re-election 2019


Well-Managed Government (Budget) (vice

chair), Economic Development (vice chair),

Neighborhood Development



Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners

Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners: (left to right, front to back) Pat Cotham, Ellla B.

Scarborough, Chair George Dunlap, Vice Chair Elaine Powell, Vilma D. Leake, Mark Jerrell, Susan

Rodriguez-McDowell, Trevor M. Fuller and Susan B. Harden. (Photo Credit: Mecklenburg County)

The Mecklenburg County Board of

Commissioners are responsible for adopting

the annual county budget, setting the

county property tax rate and assessing

and establishing priority of the many community

needs, especially relating to health,

education, welfare, mental health and

20 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019

the environment. The board also makes

appointments to citizen advisory committees.

Elections for the Board are held in

November of even-numbered years. Six

commissioners are elected by district and

three are elected at large.

At Large

Pat Cotham


Elected 2014



Trevor M. Fuller


Elected 2014



Ella B. Scarborough


Elected 2014



District 1

Elaine Powell, Vice Chair


Elected 2018



District 2

Vilma D. Leake


Elected 2008



District 3

George Dunlap, Chairman of the Board


Elected 2012



District 4

Mark Jerrell


Elected 2018



District 5

Susan B. Harden


Elected 2018



District 6

Susan Rodriguez-McDowell


Elected 2018







Annual LGBT Newcomer & Community Resource Guide

sponsored by

Government 101

How the City of Charlotte Runs and Who Runs It

By Carlyle Addy | QNotes Contributor

Charlotte is one of the fastest-growing

cities in the U.S. according to the

U.S. Census Bureau. The Charlotte

metropolitan area is home to about 2.4

million people. In other words, running the

city means making policy decisions that

impact a lot of people.

The city’s website outlines 10 traits that

the government wants to model in order

to confront changing demographics and

cultural trends, continuing to be a major

U.S. city. Among these are an increase in

affordable housing and being an inclusive

community. Ideally, elected officials will

further those goals.

The main official responsible for reaching

those goals is City Manager Marcus

D. Jones. Charlotte’s form of government

leaves the city manager with the task of

carrying out decisions made by the city

council and the mayor, effectively making

Jones the executive head of local government.

The city manager is not an elected

position, but the manager is appointed by

the mayor and the city council.

The city’s mayor is a representative

of the city at the state and federal level.

Officially, the mayor presides over city

council meetings and official city ceremonies.

The current mayor of Charlotte is Vi

Lyles, who is up for re-election on Nov. 5.

Lyles is the first African-American woman

to be the mayor of Charlotte.

Running against Lyles in the Democratic

primary are:

• Tigress Sydney Acute McDaniel, who has

two degrees related to agriculture.

• Roderick Davis, who was also a mayoral

candidate in 2015 and a city council

candidate in 2017.

• Joel Odom, who is running on a platform

involving economic growth and crime


• Lucille Puckett, who was a candidate for

the N.C. House of Representatives in

2018 and a mayoral candidate in 2017.

There are no Republican candidates

running for the office of mayor.

A majority of the legislative power in the

city belongs to members of the city council.

Up this year are four at-large city council

seats and a race for every district seat.

The at-large candidates for CIty Council are:

• Incumbent Dimple Ajmera

• Incumbent Julie Eiselt

• Incumbent Braxton Winston

• Incumbent James Mitchell

• Jorge Millares

• Former City Councilwoman LaWana


• Former State Senate candidate Chad


There are four at-large seats on the city

council, and the four winning candidates

on Nov. 5 will take office.

Ajmera, Eiselt, Winston, Mitchell,

Millares, Mayfield and Stachowicz are

Democrats. There are no Republicans running

at-large for city council.

The candidates for the seat for District 1 are:

• Incumbent Larken Egleston

• Sean Smith

Smith and Egleston are Democrats.

There are no Republican candidates for

this district.

The candidates for the seat for District 2 are:

• Jeremy Arey

• Jessica Davis

• Antoinette (Toni) Green

• Former State Sen. Malcolm Graham

Arey, Davis, Green and Graham are

Democrats. There are no Republican candidates

for this district.

The candidates for the seat for District 3 are:

• Terry Brown

• Caleb Theodros

• Victoria Watlington

Brown, Theodros and Watlington are

Democrats. There are no Republican candidates

for this district.

The candidates for the seat for District 4 are:

• Richmond Baker

• Gabriel (Gabe) Cartagena

• Charlene Henderson El

• Renee Perkins Johnson

• Charles Robinson

• Sean Thompson

Baker, Cartagena, Henderson El,

Johnson, Robinson and Thompson are

Democrats. There are no Republican candidates

for this district.

The candidates for the seat for District 5 are:

• Incumbent Matt Newton

• Former city council candidate Vinroy Reid

• Mark Vincent

Newton, Reid and Vincent are

Democrats. There are no Republican candidates

for this district.

The candidates for the seat for District 6 are:

• Incumbent Tariq Bohkari

• Co-president of Charlotte Women’s

March Gina Navarette

Bohkari is a Republican. Navarette is a


The candidates for the seat for District 7 are:

• Incumbent Edmund Driggs

• Victoria Nwasike

Driggs and Nwasike are Republicans.

There are no Democratic candidates for

this district. : :

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 21




Annual LGBT Newcomer & Community Resource Guide

sponsored by

Charlotte’s Ballot Box

Upcoming Special Elections and Primaries

By Camilla K. Cannon | QNotes CONTRIBUTING WRITER

On Sept. 10, a primary election for the

offices of mayor and city council will take

place in Charlotte, N.C. A primary runoff

is scheduled for Oct. 8 should the need

arise. The city’s general election for mayor,

and city council will take place on Nov. 5.

Also on Sept. 10 will be the special election

for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional

District. The special election was initiated

following allegations of absentee ballot

fraud during the 2018 race.

A list of the individuals running for

each office can be found below. To register

to vote and find your polling place, visit

vote.org. To verify your registration status,

visit mecknc.gov/BOE.

• • •

9th Congressional District

Dan Bishop, Republican


Joel Odom, Democrat


Tigress Sydney Acute McDaniel, Democrat


City Council


• • •

Dimple Ajmera, Democrat


Julie Eiselt, Democrat


Jorge Millares, Democrat


James (Smuggie) Mitchell, Democrat


Sean Smith, Democrat


• • •

District 2 (Central Business District, Third

and Fourth Wards, Wesley Heights)

Jessica C. Davis, Democrat


Malcolm Graham, Democrat


Antoinette (Toni) Green


Jacob Robinson, Republican


• • •

District 3 (West Charlotte)

Charlene Henderson


Renee Perkins Johnson


Brandon Pierce, Republican


Charles Robinson


• • •

District 5 (East Charlotte, near N. Sharon

Amity Rd., Albemarle Rd., Rama Rd., and

Idlewild Rd.)

Matt Newton, Democrat (incumbent)


Vinroy Washington Reid, Democrat


Dan McCready, Democrat


Joshua Richardson, Republican


Terry Brown, Democrat


Mark L. Vincent, Democrat


Allen Smith, Green Party


Jeff Scott, Libertarian



• • •

Roderick Davis, Democrat


Vi Lyles, Democrat (Incumbent)


David Michael Rice, Republican


LaWana Slack-Mayfield, Democrat


Chad Stachowicz, Democrat


Braxton David Winston II, Democrat


• • •

District 1 (Dilworth, Plaza-Midwood,

Grier Heights, Freedom Park, Myers Park,

Eastover, Elizabeth, Chantilly)

Larken Egleston, Democrat (incumbent)


Caleb Theodros, Democrat


Victoria Watlington, Democrat


• • •

District 4 (Northeast Charlotte, from

The Plaza to the city limits. I-85 North

runs through)

Richmond V. Baker, Democrat


Gabriel (Gabe) Cartagena


• • •

District 6 (South Charlotte)

Tariq Scott Bokhari, Republican (incumbent)


Gina Navarette, Democrat


• • •

District 7 (Southeast Charlotte, along

Hwy. 51)

Ed Driggs, Republican (incumbent)


o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

22 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019


News Briefs

continued from page 4

application process from local charities to

be a beneficiary from monies raised. Three

recipients will be selected to receive funds.

The event is comparable to The Spartan Race,

Tough Muddler and Susan G. Komen Walk/

Run and is open to all age groups.

info: stonewallrainbowrun.org.

GBO Pride fest upcoming

Greensboro Pride will take place on Sept.

15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., along S. Elm St. in

Downtown Greensboro between E. Market

St and Smothers Place. Presenting sponsor

is Ralph Lauren. Leading up to the event

will be a volunteer social on Aug. 25 and

a Dinner With the Queens on Sept. 9. The

organization is currently accepting applications

for entertainers, vendors, sponsors and

volunteers. Additionally, Green Queen Bingo

will have its quarterly event on Sept. 13 at

the Greensboro Coliseum Complex to benefit

both Greensboro Pride and the Guilford

Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center.

info: greensboropride.org.


Republican officiates

same-sex wedding

Virginia Republican Congressman Denver

Riggleman has officiated a same-sex wedding

despite his party’s platform, RVA reported.

The party vote to censure him failed in getting

the necessary backing. Riggleman has

maintained a hands-off approach to marriage

equality. After the wedding, he shared with

the Washington Post, “My real belief is that

government shouldn’t be involved in marriage

at all, but if it is, everybody has to be

treated equally before the law.”

info: bit.ly/2YMeYME.

to creating a great workplace environment,

supporting our community, and leading with

fairness,” Page stated.

info: bit.ly/2GNrbu4.

Woman fights for trans

prisoner rights

The Associate Press reported that transgender

Deon “Strawberry” Hampton of Chicago, Ill.

was recently released from prison and will

continue to fight for the rights of transgender

inmates. Hampton underwent abuses, sexual

assault, taunting and beating while incarcerated

in a men’s prison. She was later moved

to a women’s prison to avoid these actions.

info: bit.ly/2YDz6Ah.

NCAAP votes thumbs up

for resolutions

On July 23, the National Association for the

Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

voted unanimously on three pro-LGBTQ

resolutions with far reaching impact on their

2,000+ units/chapters across the country.

The NAACP was a champion for marriage

equality and remains a strong advocate for

the Equality Act and is now taking action to

do deeper work with their units and chapters

to invoke change locally. The resolutions

marked the next chapter in the NAACP’s support

for the LGBTQ community and are: ending

murders and violence against transgender

women and supporting the transgender

community, prevention and earlier detection

of HIV virus, and inclusion of LGBTQ diversity

and sensitivity training for units/chapters.

info: naacp.org.

Upstate gets first youth center

Spartanburg PFLAG and Fernwood Baptist

Church are establishing their LGBTQ Uplift

Outreach Youth Center at the church. The

space will serve as a safe, judgment-free zone.

It opens on Aug. 27 on Tuesdays and Saturdays

from 3:30-6:30 p.m. PFLAG is now searching

for volunteers to serve as supervisors for the

youth participants. They must pass a SLED

check, WSPA reported. Now funds are being

raised to build a facility in the next five years.

info: bit.ly/2YG8sH1. pflagspartanburg.org.


ENC set for 40th anniversary

Equality North Carolina will welcome LGBTQ

leaders from across the state when the

organization celebrates its 40th anniversary

with a gala at The Cookery in Durham, N.C.

Founders will be honored during the festivities.

Starting in 1979 at the NC Human Rights

Fund, it provided legal assistance to gays

and lesbians facings discriminatory enforcement

of the Crime Against Nature Law. The

gala will be catered by James Beard Award

for Outstanding Chef in America’s Ashley

Christensen. The chef is from Raleigh, N.C.

and is a member of the LGBTQ community.

She has been a staunch advocate for equality.

Tickets for the gala are available online.

info: equalitync.org.

Page speaks out for LGBTQ protections

LGBTQ community member Bob Page,

founder and CEO of Replacements, Ltd.,

shared in a guest commentary in the

Winston-Salem Journal that companies are

stronger when they protect LGBTQ workers

from discrimination. He has spent years defending

LGBTQ individuals’ rights. “As I built

my company from the ground up, I wanted

to be sure that we were always committed

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 23


Pride Journey — Providence, Rhode Island

Queer Travelogue: Plenty of Fun in the Nation’s Smallest State

BY Joey Amato | Guest WRITER

Being a proud gay journalist, I’ve

travelled to dozens of Pride events

around the world. From São Paulo,

Brazil to Nashville, Tenn., I’ve seen just

about everything. But, the one thing I

had never seen was a night-time parade.

That all changed in Providence. Yes…

Providence, R.I.!

I was thoroughly impressed by the

scope and attendance of this Pride

festivity called Illuminated Night Parade,

part of Rhode Island Pride Fest. The over

two-hour parade dazzled spectators with

dozens of floats from the traditional to

over-the-top masterpieces, most notably

the recreation of the Stonewall Inn, which

closed out the parade.

Just as the sun set over downtown

Providence, the parade began, with floats

decked out in lights, glitter and lots of color.

Hundreds of people marched in the parade,

which continues to grow each year.

From age 5 to 75, the people of Rhode

Island came out in full force to show their

support for the LGBTQ community.

Some of the most memorable participants

in the parade included Youth Pride

and Proud Moms & Dads who held signs

offering free hugs.

After the parade, it seemed like the

entire crowd headed to Ego, a nightclub

24 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019

Providence, R.I, goes all out for Pride festivals and shows its support along its streets and

thoroughfares. (Photo Credit: GoProvidence)

which organizes a massive block party every

year, ironically called Massive. This year

the celebration was brought to new heights

with DJ Nina Flowers and Alex Acosta at the

turntables. Thousands of people lined the

street and partied to amazing music and a

spectacular laser light show. I never would

have known this type of event would take

place in Providence.

Block parties are apparently a thing

here, as the night prior, many of the

other gay bars in the city including Stable,

Dark Lady, Alley Cat and The Eagle all

threw block parties of their own during

the weekend-long celebration. The Dark

Lady/Alley Cat party was headlined by

musical group Exposé, which brought me

back to my teen years. I may have shed

a bit of a tear when they sang “I’ll Never

Get Over You,” which they dedicated

to Chris Harris, one of the pillars of the

Providence LGBTQ community who recently

passed away and was an honorary

Grand Marshall of the parade.

My host hotel for the weekend was the

beautiful Omni Hotel, and everywhere I

turned there were rainbow flags, glitter

and scores of LGBTQ people in the lobby

gathering with friends. It was wonderful

to see a city of its size have such a large

celebration that brings in visitors from

around the region.

I continued the Pride celebration

at The Official Rhode Island Pride Drag

Brunch, which was held at The Graduate

hotel. The festive brunch was hosted by

Miss Gay Rhode Island 2019, Pulp and Mr.

Gay Rhode Island 2019, Bret Jacob and

featured performances by “RuPaul’s Drag

Race” All Stars 4 alumni Jasmine Masters,

Jaqueline DiMera, Kira Stone, Onyx, Assa

Sination and Complete Destruction. A big

shout out to Rhode Island Pride president

Joe Lazzerini and his team for organizing a

truly incredible festival.

In addition to being an extremely

gay-friendly city, Providence also has a

bustling foodie scene, so head to Yoleni’s,

a wonderful Greek-inspired eatery and

market which serves delicious sandwiches,

aromatic coffee and freshly squeezed

juices. My favorite item on the menu was

the authentic Greek yogurt, which is offered

in a variety of flavors. You can also

choose from over a dozen toppings. I, of

course, opted for rainbow sprinkles.

Another restaurant worth visiting is

Rosalina (Yoleni’s sister restaurant). A truly

authentic Italian experience, I was drawn

to the Caprese salad prepared with burrata

cheese, tomatoes, fresh basil and olive oil,

with rolled slices of prosciutto de Parma.

The cheese simply melts in your mouth and

the pairing of the prosciutto is delectable. I

could have made this my meal.

Not too far away is Sarto, an Italian

Osteria and Salumeria that offers a

creative and modern take on rustic

Italian fare. While there, I enjoyed the

Pan Roasted Skate, which was served

with Green Almond Salsa Verde, Charred

Lemon and Riso Nero. The skate was

cooked perfectly, and the portion size was

enough to feed two people. Providence

doesn’t lack Italian eateries, and the ones

I had an opportunity to visit on this trip

were unique and delicious.

Since the focus of my trip was centered

around Rhode Island Pride, I didn’t

have a ton of time to explore many of the

city’s neighborhoods and attractions like I

normally do. However, I did have a chance

to visit the Soldiers and Sailors Monument,

which was constructed to honor the 1,727

Rhode Islanders who gave their lives in the

Civil War.

There is so much more to explore in

Providence as well as the rest of Rhode

Island, so I guess that means I need to go

back for an extended visit.

Enjoy the Journey! : :

Joey Amato is the publisher of Pride Journeys,

a website dedicated to LGBTQ travel. He

has spent over a decade in LGBTQ media

and public relations and currently resides

in Indianapolis, Ind. He can be reached at



‘Rainbow Warrior:

My Life in Color’

Out in Print

BY terri schlichenmeyer | CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Author and LGBTQ rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker proudly poses with a sea of color.

(Photo Credit: Mark Maxwell)

“Rainbow Warrior:

My Life in Color”

by Gilbert Baker


Chicago Review Press


256 pages

At its most basic,

it’s just a piece of


A nice poly-blend, perhaps, or a hank

of nylon in a fade-resistant color. There

are holes in one end to fasten to a pole

or rope, but it’s otherwise just a piece of

cloth. Yet, people have died for it and, as

in the new book “Rainbow Warrior” by

Gilbert Baker, that flag could be the fabric

of revolution.

Even as a small child, Gilbert Baker

knew that he was gay.

He grew up in Kansas, a child who

loved to draw, create, wear fancy dresses

and dream of being an artist. Alas, art

wasn’t a career in his parents’ eyes, so

Baker, as a young man, lied about his gayness

and enlisted in the Army, where he

quickly realized that he was in for years of

abuse (at best) or Vietnam (at worst). He

“lived in terror” before filing as a conscientious

objector; the Army instead listed him

as a medic and sent him to San Francisco.

It was the perfect accidental gift.

“When I got to San Francisco,” he said, “I

knew I wasn’t ever going back to Kansas.”

Five days a week, Baker worked in an

Army laboratory; the rest of the time was

his to fall in love, explore his new city and

work on his sewing skills. Stitching became

an obsession and by 1977, he was making

costumes and banners for demonstrations.

When he was asked to make something

special for the city’s Gay Freedom

Day Parade of 1978, he thought about the

rainbow as a flag, and dived right in.

While that first flag was a big hit, Baker

writes that the symbol didn’t take off quite

as much as he’d hoped. Still, it was present

in every “street activists” event he was

part of, at every parade and protest. “One

pair of scissors” and a mile of fabric could

“change the whole dynamic,” he wrote

later. It was “a pure act of rebellion…”

“Rainbow Warrior” was compiled from

several manuscripts that the late author

Gilbert Baker left after his death in 2017, a

fact that would have been helpful to have,

early-on. You’ll be more forgiving of the

overly-florid prose, knowing that.

Aside from that annoyance — one appearing

throughout the book — readers

may also notice a bit of pretentiousness,

lot of snarky fighting, endless drugs and

getting naked in Baker’s narrative, which

is likewise forgivable because much of it

takes place post-Stonewall, post-Summerof-Love,


And thus is the appeal here.

Baker was one of the more ferociously

involved protesters, by his own account,

and his anecdotes are priceless. He gives

readers a good first-person look at early

efforts for gay rights, and eye-opening,

sometimes jaw-dropping, behind-thescenes

peeks at life as a young gay man

during an uprising. It’s a lively, outrageous

look at outrage, in an account that seems

not to have held one thing back. That

makes “Rainbow Warrior” readable and

entertaining and, despite its overly-ornate

verbosity, a good look at revolution cut

from a different cloth. : :

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 25

26 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019


For many years I would cheer and congratulate

people when they would say

something along the lines of, “I’m fat, but I

love myself as I am. And anyone who doesn’t

agree isn’t my friend!” Or there’s also this selfdefeating

gem: “It’s just how I am. Genetics

blah blah blah…” I am all about personal empowerment,

and given my own struggles with

body image, I am certainly not trying to body

shame anyone. However, it has gone too far.

I was right there nodding my head in approval

when shampoo commercials started

featuring “plus size” models. I was proud

when the magazines (which had been teaching

us all terrible body image ideals all along)

suddenly “woke up,” and realized that “real”

people are beautiful, too. So… the same

publications that didn’t know what they were

talking about when they were pushing everyone

to be skinny and/or ripped are now

being celebrated for pushing another false

narrative? The narrative that you should be

exactly as you are? What if exactly as you are

is as terrible for your health as what they

were serving before? We celebrate that flip

as enlightenment or liberation?

First and foremost, I am not suggesting

everyone should be thin. I’m not suggesting

everyone should be fit. I’m not suggesting

everyone who isn’t is ugly, stupid, dirty, bad or immoral.

I’m not suggesting fat people should be bullied, harassed,

ignored, ridiculed or humiliated. I’m not suggesting fat

people should be ashamed of themselves. What I am suggesting

is that everyone should be below morbid obesity.

And if that’s too much to ask, then standards have sunk so

low that we deserve the healthcare disaster to come.

But first, let’s take a moment to define fat. When I say

“fat,” I don’t mean a man with up to 25 percent body fat, or

a woman up to 35 percent. That is the upper edge of overweight,

and it would be ideal for that man to be between 10

percent-20 percent (or the woman to be 20 percent-30 percent).

The problem is when a man slips past 25 percent, or

a woman edges up above 35 percent. After that, a person is

fat. What’s more, when a man gets above 30 percent body

fat (and a woman gets above 40 percent), that individual

is obese. And what is even more alarming is when a man

edges past 40 percent (or a woman slides past 50 percent),

and then lands right into morbid obesity. Look at that

term: Morbid obesity. That which is morbid, by definition,

is associated with the unpleasant or abnormal, especially

concerning disease and death. And that is very specifically

what obesity creates in the body: Morbidity.

There is not a single situation I can think of wherein

someone’s health is improved by being fat. And no, I will

Fat is not fab

Health & Wellness: Fat Acceptance Is a Morbid Idea

BY Jack Kirven | qnotes contributor

Accepting how one looks when issues of obesity are at stake is not always the healthy way to

approach life. Being overweight impacts the quality of life of a person. And, it can lead to an

early death, all of which can be avoided.

not use euphemisms here. A fat person isn’t cushioned,

plus sized, curvy, thick, cuddly or pleasantly plump. A fat

person is fat. This coddling has already been done too

much, and it has created a normalizing effect that really

needs to be questioned and challenged.

This does not mean I blame people for being fat, or

that I think they are failures by default. Far from it. I have

explained to many people that we are being sabotaged by

the food industry.

They pump “food” full of chemicals to rev up our appetites,

then pump it full of other substances that block

our ability to feel full. They include massive amounts of

sugar in practically everything, so that our pleasure and

reward responses are constantly innervated, perhaps

to the point of addiction. And then they make up stupid

theories like the famine mode to encourage health

conscious people to come back into the fold by eating so

frequently (six times a day??? REALLY??) that their insulin

responses become constantly elevated. Add to this all

the fat-storing hormones released by the fight or flight

response to stress, as well as sedentary jobs, and what

would anyone expect to happen?

The final straw for me was the new video by Lizzo, “Tempo.”

I fell in love with her the moment I heard her for the first

time. Her sense of confidence was inspiring. Her acceptance

of herself was admirable. She speaks truth to people

who would shame her for being herself. She

celebrates the idea that all sorts of people can

be attractive. I love that. I agree. It’s a great

message. However…

Lizzo, and many other fat famous people,

tend to justify their self love within the parameters

of humor or sassiness. And what is

that? It’s an inverted fat joke, and how is that

actually helpful or healthy? How is it empowering

to be huge and knowingly eat crap

food in a music video while simultaneously

acknowledging to some degree that it’s oddly

repulsive and needs to be softened with

whimsy? But the moment that gave me a visceral

response? When umpteen huge women

in ridiculously small shorts (so, it’s now equal

opportunity sexual objectification?) formed a

circle around Lizzo and started twerking.


Not because these women were celebrating

themselves. Not that they want to be

attractive. Not that they want to dance and

be happy. But because they are feeding into

the utterly false narrative that their weight is

normal. It is not. “I was born this way!” Bitch,

no you weren’t! You didn’t pop out of your

mama weighing as much as two or three

babies. Miss me with that nonsense.

There is a famous Buddhist mantra that

has been misquoted so much that it no longer means

anything. The first half is, “You are perfect as you are.” And

people conveniently stop there. The full quote is, “You are

perfect as you are, and you can be better.” That isn’t so

sweet, but it’s far more empowering. In its full form this

means that you are deserving of every goodness, joy, and

success. You are a sentient being full of light, love and talent.

And you also have room to improve yourself with education,

relationships, adventures, and hard-won wisdom.

No, it is not healthy, helpful, empowering, desirable,

smart or kind to feed into the idea that fat is fab. It is not.

Accepting it from others, or promoting it yourself, means

you are contributing to the idea that expecting someone

to take care of themself is an insult or inconvenience. And

how are you helping then? Of 350 million Americans, 70

percent are fat (245 million people). If you wouldn’t cheer

and celebrate when someone starves themself to death

with one eating disorder, why would you do it when they

are engorging themselves to death? : :

Jack Kirven completed the MFA in Dance at UCLA, and earned

certification as a personal trainer through NASM. His wellness

philosophy is founded upon integrated lifestyles as opposed

to isolated workouts. Visit him at jackkirven.com and


Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 27


10 Questions with Vic:

Featuring Felix Maritaud

French Film Star



were still

talking about

Felix Maritaud’s

performance in the

2017 hit French

film, “120 Beats Per

Minute,” about the

HIV/AIDS epidemic

in 1990s France,

when another

critically acclaimed

film, “Sauvage”

premiered at the

Cannes Film Festival. Felix, hailed as the

top leading man of French cinema gives an

outstanding performance as a Strasbourg

street hustler in director Camille Vidal-

Naquet’s film. In the film, Maritaud

alternates between walking the streets

with a rock-star smirk — and surrendering

himself to moments of deep tenderness.

I interviewed Felix on the phone while he

was driving to the premiere of the film in

New York City.

You have been in several highly successful

and critically acclaimed films

back to back. Do you feel on top of the


That’s really not my goal. I trust that my

honesty and my work have been moving

that many people and that they’ve been

touched by what I am doing. I feel exactly

the way as before. Just that now, I have

more possibilities. I don’t feel on the top of

the world at all.

What gravitated you to the character of

“Leo” in “Sauvage?”

The main reason is that I never met

someone like him in my life.

Did you do anything special to prepare

for the role?

I think that the director has made

many research, but my character is a

What did you try

to avoid in creating

the character?

I didn’t want to

make it psychological

or sociological.

night character,

for the prostitution.

I wanted to

keep him like a

virgin, a virgin sensation

who goes

through these


With the risk of sounding presumptuous,

does Hollywood seem appealing to


You know what is attractive to me is

artists that work in the profession, so that

can be applied anywhere in the world.

Are there any directors and/or actors

that you would like to work with that

you haven’t done so yet?

I am wishing to make movies with

people about courage and change.

How about your fans? What is their


I decided in my life to focus on what

I’m doing with my own, and if this makes

people happy, then I’m proud of it.

Are there any charities or causes that

are special to you?

I like to create safe spaces where

people can be themselves.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

I have many plans; I shoot a film in

English at the end of the year for an

Australian director.

Tell me a secret- a good one.

I was an Altar Boy. : :

Felix Maritaud in a scene from ‘Sauvage.’ (Photo Credit: film still)

28 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019


When In Rome Do As The

Romans Do

Tell Trinity

Hello Trinity,

Recently, I moved in with my father and

his new wife. But she wants me to be quiet

about being gay. She’s afraid she will lose

custody of her grandchildren because a gay

man is living in her house. I told her it won’t

happen. It’s against the law. Unfortunately, I

don’t have a job or the money to move. What

should I do?

Upset & Depressed, Billings, MT

Hello Upset,

You’ve the right to be upset. It’s awful

being closeted. BUT if you choose to live

in their house, then you must live under

their rules. She’s not so awful for wanting

to protect her grandchildren. And if she’s

afraid it will end up in court, or even if

she’s making the whole thing up, it’s her

house! When you have your own house

you can make the rules up too. For now,

get a job, save your money and get out

ASAP! Oh, and, pumpkin, give yourself a

pat on the back for being able to make

adult compromises in tough situations.

Hugs, Trinity

Dearest Trinity,

I met a guy who is new to gay life. We’re


having lots of sex, and I’m falling in love. But

he doesn’t want to get serious or even call it

dating. Am I going to need a heart transplant

in the end?

Thanks, Falling Hard From Just Sex,

Atlanta, GA,

Dearest Falling Hard,

If you’re falling in love when he wants

you to just enjoy a sexual relationship

with him, then you’re a healthy man in a

world where many men have a “fear of

D-A-T-I-N-G.” This is life, and the situation

you chose to get into. For now, enjoy the

moment, but heed his warning that he’s

“not ready,” period! And when you’ve had

enough, enjoy your “I’ve had enough”

moment as well. Otherwise, sweetie, you

may want to start shopping for a new

heart. (But don’t run away scared like my

cartoon shows. Be brave!)

Love, Trinity

Dear Trinity,

Not too long ago you did a Trinity’s Tips

for “the wrong moment” to end a relationship.

What about “the right moment” to get

out of one?”

Yours, Avid Reader, Seattle, WA

Dear Avid Reader,

It’s taken me years of research to find

just the right moment to kill, I mean end, a

relationship. So, honey, here are:

Trinity’s Final Tips For (TRM)

“The Right Moment” To File

For Divorce

1. With a bouquet of flowers and tickets

for a cruise, you throw open the door

to find him on top of… your best

friend. TRM!

2. Your entire family has flown in

for your wedding, and guess who

comes stumbling drunk up the aisle?


3. He suddenly announces, “I’m fasting

from sex for six months, and my

mother is moving in.” TRM!

4. After two months of dieting, liposuction

and getting off antidepressants,

she reminds you, “You’re still an overweight

mess who’ll never be happy.”


5. Your partner of five years says, “Either

change everything you do, or I’m leaving!”


6. Not only has he been a lunatic from

the steroids, the gym and his sleep

schedule, now he insists on replacing

all “our” meals with protein drinks.


7. Your friends are around the piano

singing happy birthday to you, when

your partner starts screaming (again),

“Why is it always about you!” TRM!

8. You give up your great job, move

to his country and change your last

name to his. But now he wants you

to give up all ties to your (very large)

family! TRM!

9. While on a business trip, you call

and call, but no answer. Finally, your

neighbor calls to say, her husband has

left her… for yours. TRM!

10. After five years of working on your

Ph.D., you’re finally two days away.

But he gets jealous, destroys your

computer, yelling, “Your career is

always more important than me!”

TRM! : :

With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity

hosted “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio

drama performed globally, and is now minister

of sponsor, WIG: Wild Inspirational Gatherings,

wigministries.org, Gay Spirituality for the Next

Generation! Learn more at telltrinity.com.

Send emails to: trinity@telltrinity.com.



space starting at $22:

call qnotes for details


Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 29


August - September 2019

Submit your events: editor@goqnotes.com

Aug. 9-30

Architecture of the Immaterial

LaCa Projects

1429 Bryant St., Charlotte

Times Vary

Latin American Contemporary Art

(LaCa) Projects presents Architecture

of the Immaterial, a collective

exhibition featuring six prominent

artists of Latin American origin.

Gallery times and ticket information

can be found online.


August 9

Queen City Anime Convention

Charlotte Sheraton Hotel

555 S McDowell St., Charlotte

5 p.m.

This three-day event celebrating

the world of anime features

a cosplay contest, vendors, fan

programming, and video game

contests. Children’s tickets are free

and adult passes start at $30. Day

and weekend passes are available



August 10

Comunidad Colectiva Community

Yard Sale Fundraiser

Oakhurst Common Market

4420 Monroe Rd., Charlotte

This community yard sale will

benefit Comunidad Colectiva, an

immigration advocacy organization

in Charlotte that fights to keep

families together. Those looking to

donate are asked to drop items off

at 6769 Albemarle Rd., Suite B by

Aug. 8. Additional information can

be found online.


August 10

City of Immigrants 5k

Latin American Coalition

4938 Central Ave., Charlotte

6-9 p.m.

Charlotte’s Latin American Coalition

hosts a run through the beautiful

Plaza Midwood neighborhood in

support of Charlotte’s immigrant

communities. All proceeds will

benefit Latin American Coalition’s

Immigrant Welcome Center, which

provides language specific, culturally

attuned programs and services

to Latinx families seeking crisis

intervention, access to resources

and capacity building opportunities.

Registration closes July 31 and

is available online.


August 11

Sunday Funday with Jaymes


The Comedy Zone

211 N. Main St., Greenville S.C.

10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Drag superstar Jaymes Mansfield

presents two wig-snatching shows

spreading love, fabulousness and



August 13-14

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Queens University

1900 Selwyn Ave., Charlotte

Times Vary

The Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte

presents an retelling of Shakespeare’s

classic play. The production

will serve as the inagural play

in a planned annual “Shakespeare

in the Park” festival taking place on

the campus of Queens University.

Admission is free and attendees

are welcome to bring blankets,

picnic food and, for those over 21,

beer and wine. A full schedule of

performances is available online.


August 13

Pride: Commemorating 50 Years

of Progress

Hosted by Capco, this event will

bring together leaders and supporters

in the professional LGBTQ community

that have served as change

agents. It features Kimberly Melton

(keynote speaker), Scott Mealus,

Matt Singleton, Bobby Wilkinson

September 28: Fortune Feimster

Queer southern comic Fortune Feimster holds a live taping for an

upcoming comedy release at the McGlohon Theater. Tickets start at

$20 and are available online. McGlohon Theater, 345 N. College St.,

Charlotte. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. bit.ly/2YvcyFU.

30 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019

and Joshua Carlile (moderator).

Free admission, but registration is

required in advance.


August 15-18

NC Gay + Lesbian Film Festival


The Carolina Theatre

309 W. Morgan St., Durham

Various Times

The Carolina Theatre’s 24th

Annual North Carolina Gay +

Lesbian Film is among the largest

gay, lesbian, transgender, and

queer-centric film festivals in the

U.S. It has attracted hundreds of

thousands of filmmakers, artists

and guests to the Carolina Theatre

over more than two decades.

Discover Durham named NCGLFF

a Signature Event for Durham,

the highest honor bestowed on a

cultural event or attraction by the

city’s marketing agency. Visit the

website for films being featured.

Tickets and Ten-Passes are on sale

now online. Tickets to individual

film screenings are $10. 10-Passes,

which enable guests to choose 10

film screenings at NCGLFF, cost


ncglff.org. bit.ly/2ZtI9Fl.

August 15

Drago!: Not Your Grandmother’s


Single Barrel Room

Whiskey Warehouse

1221 The Plaza, Charlotte

8 p.m.

This edition of Whiskey Warehouse’s

weekly drag bingo night is

hosted by CiCi Deelite and benefits

the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte.


August 16

Stonewall Sports Birthday Pride

Dance Party

Visulite Theatre

1615 Elizabeth Ave., Charlotte

10 p.m.

Stonewall Sports, Charlotte’s

LGBTQ community sports league,

celebrates its fifth birthday with a

dance party hosted by DJ Neon the

GlowGoBear. Tickets start at $10

and are available online. This is a

21+ event.


August 16

Pride Fest Friday

Ink N Ivy

222 S. Church St., Charlotte

11:55 p.m.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Nina

West leads a star-studded night

of drag hosted by Candis Cox and

featuring The Vanity House’s Erica

Chanel, Riley Malicious, and Chloe

Cassidy. A signature cocktail will

be provided with each ticket free

of charge to each customer of

legal drinking age. Tickets start at

$25 and are available online.


August 24: Hummingbird Festival

Celebrate the beginning of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird’s amazing

500+ mile journey from Charlotte back to their winter home in Central

America. The festival will feature guest speakers, nature walks, food

trucks, and games. Admission is free. Reedy Creek Park and Nature

Center, 2900 Rocky River Rd., Charlotte. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

August 16-September 1

‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love

and Murder’

Raleigh Little Theatre

301 Pogue St., Raleigh

Time Vary

Raleigh Little Theatre presents “A

Gentleman’s Guide to Love and

Murder,” a laugh-out-loud romp

following a scheming heiress, a

pinch murder and a war of succession.

Tickets start at $27 and are

available online.


August 17

Campus Pride College Fair

Charlotte Pride Festival

135 Levine Ave. of the Arts, Charlotte

12:30-3 p.m.

Prospective college students and

families and college and university

representatives alike are welcome

to learn about and showcase

LGBTQ-friendly campuses. RSVP

and registration is available online.


August 18

August Drag Brunch with

Kahanna Montrese

Chemistry Nightclub

2901 Spring Garden, Greensboro

11 a.m.-3 p.m.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Kahana

Montrese and host Anjelica Dust

lead a brunch of drag performances,

food, and drink specials.

Tickets start at $15 and are available



August 20

Foreplay! Goes South


1919 Commonwealth Ave., Charlotte

7 p.m.

Foreplay! Goes South provides a

fun and safe venue for sharing

one’s stories of sex, desire and romance.

Stories can be as innocent

as a first kiss or as salacious as

one’s last orgy. Admission is free.


August 22-25

South Carolina Black Pride Week

Multiple Locations, Columbia S.C.

Times Vary

South Carolina Black Gay Pride

hosts a jam-packed weekend

celebrating Columbia’s vibrant

LGBTQ community, featuring welcome

reception, the 14th Annual

Cultural Arts & Wellness Festival

and a Unity Block Party. Information

about individual events can

be found online.


August 22-23

MSM HIV Prevention Institute:


Brookland Banquet & Conference

1066 Sunset Blvd., West Columbia, S.C.

Time Vary

The Black Gay Men’s Research

Group presents two days of

educational sessions aimed at

improving sexual health outcomes

and influence healthy life choices

of South Carolina’s same-genderloving

men. Registration begins at

$25 and is available online, as well

as a scholarship application for

free admission.


September 15

Lizzo: Cuz I Love You Too Tour

Charlotte Metro Credit Union


1000 NC Music Factory Blvd.,


8 p.m.

Superstar Lizzo brings her positive,

energizing music to Charlotte.

Tickets start at $39.50 and are

available online.



Charlotte Latin Pride

Spanish-language support nights,

second and fourth Tuesday of each

month, 7 p.m., Charlotte Pride offices

at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1900

The Plaza, Charlotte.

info: charlottepride.org/latin/

PFLAG Charlotte

Support meetings, second Monday of

each month, 6:30-8 p.m., Time Out Youth

Center, 3800 Monroe Rd., Charlotte.

info: pflagcharlotte.org

Prime Timers

Monthly meeting including dinner,

speaker, games and more for gay men

ages 21 and up, 5-7 p.m., Park Road

Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 3900

Park Rd., Charlotte.

info: primetimersww.com/charlotte/

Trans Youth Group

Weekly discussion groups for transgender

youth ages 13-20 each Thursday,

4:30-6 p.m., 3800 Monroe Rd., Charlotte.

info: timeoutyouth.org

Transcend Charlotte

Support groups for partners, friends

and family of transgender and gender

non-conforming adults ages 18 and

older, second and fourth Sundays of

each month, 6-7 p.m., Time Out Youth

Center, 3800 Monroe Rd., Charlotte.

info: transcendcharlotte.org

Youth Drop-In Space

Drop-in space Monday-Friday, 3-6:30

p.m., 3800 Monroe Rd., Charlotte.

info: timeoutyouth.org

Youth Discussion Group

Weekly discussion groups for LGBTQ

youth ages 13-20 each Wednesday, 6:30-

8:30 p.m., 3800 Monroe Rd., Charlotte.

info: timeoutyouth.org

Youth of Color Group

Weekly discussion groups for LGBTQ

and ally people of color each Thursday,

7-8:30 p.m., 3800 Monroe Rd., Charlotte.

info: timeoutyouth.org


Do you have a regular and reoccurring

community event you’d like listed? A

listing to update? Email us at editor@



Our People: Brisa Ramirez

Charlotte Pride Board Member, Analyst, Community Volunteer

Brisa Ramirez is a member of the

board for Charlotte Pride and an

analyst at 25 Capital. Ramirez is one

of the United States’ 600,000+ beneficiaries

of Deferred Action for Childhood

Arrivals, an immigration policy that allows

individuals brought to the U.S. as children

to continue to live, work and gain an education

in the country. Ramirez has done

extraordinary things with those opportunities,

graduating Magna Cum Laude with

a B.S.B.A. in Finance from the University

of North Carolina at Charlotte while holding

leadership roles in multiple student

organizations. Since completing her education,

Ramirez has established herself in

the competitive capital markets industry

and strives to inspire more women and

minorities to join her in the field. Of her

many accomplishments, Ramirez is most

proud of being the favorite aunt to her

seven-year-old niece and six-year-old

nephew (as voted by Ramirez herself).

What inspired you to become a member

of the Charlotte Pride Board?

I became involved with Charlotte

Pride as a volunteer several years ago.

It was actually how I experienced Pride

for the first time. There was something about the atmosphere, the

community and the people at Pride that made it feel like home.

The more I got involved, the more I fell in love with the organization.

I vividly remember having “a moment” at Pride last year. I stood

back, and it was as if everything went silent for a few seconds as I took

note of my surroundings; people from all walks of life, coming together,

selflessly giving their time and dedication to make the Festival

and Parade a success — it was beautiful! I think that was the moment I

decided to become more involved as a member of the board.

What would be your first question after waking up from being

cryogenically frozen for 100 years?

Where can I get some coffee? (Once the coffee has kicked in)

Do we live in a society where EVERYONE is equally empowered to

live their best life?

In your day job, you work in the capital markets industry. What

do you do to unwind from a long day of research and analytics?

At the end of a good workday, I like to reset with a nice workout.

What artist, whether it be a musician, poet, visual artist, etc,

BY Camilla K. Cannon |qnotes staff WRITER

has most helped you through difficult

times in your life?

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou is my go-to

anytime the going gets tough.

You have a chance to win $1 million, but

you must win a board game against the

world’s best player. What game do you


Cards Against Humanity (I think it qualifies

as a board game). I can’t think of a time

that I’ve played that game where the room

was not full of laughter and comradery.

Best case scenario I win $1,000,000, worst

case, I’ll get a good laugh (win/win).

Name one of your LGBTQ+ heroes whom

more people should know about.

I am a huge fan of Robin Roberts from

GMA [“Good Morning America”], she has a

tremendous life story that’s just inspiring!

She’s a total Boss — Great role model!

She has a podcast called “Everybody’s Got

Something”… a nice one to add to the playlist.

What is your favorite Charlotte

hang-out spot?

I am a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur,

I make it a point to try new coffee

places in Charlotte. So far, Trade and Lore in NoDa makes the best

oat vanilla latte in town and hence is my favorite spot in Charlotte.

If I could wave a magic wand and give an unlimited amount

of any resource to Charlotte Pride, what would it be and what

would you use it for?

We have a tremendous team, from our staff, our volunteers,

and the board; the strength and heart of our organization is our

team. One resource that I think either makes or breaks an organization

is its human capital, so that would be the resource I would

want to have unlimited access to for Charlotte Pride. I’d use it to

find more ways to serve our community and expand our reach.

What non-professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I’m very proud of how I manage my finances today. It wasn’t

always the case; I have a personal bank statement from over 10

years ago when I paid over $1,000 in overdraft fees in a single

year. The art of frugality is something that I proudly employ today.

What do you hope to accomplish next?

As far as personal goals go, I’d like to become a better cook. Looking

forward to taking a few cooking classes in the coming months. : :

Aug. 9-22, 2019 qnotes 31

32 qnotes Aug. 9-22, 2019

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