QNotes, May 14, 2021

QNotes

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists over 20 documented hate groups located in North Carolina. While it is still far too many, it is a much lower amount than North Carolina used to have. This leads to the question: Are hate groups dying out, or just in hiding? We take a look at some of the groups on the list that are still considered somewhat active and their histories. Also, with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, more and more people are looking to travel. As part of our InFocus Triangle issue, we have provided highlights of attractions in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. We also have an extensive list of LGBTQ resources in the triangle, from support groups to nightclubs.

May 14-27, 2021 qnotes 1


2 qnotes May 14-27, 2021


May 14-27, 2021

Vol 36 No 02

connect

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contributors this issue

L’Monique King, Jack Kirven,

Jesse Monteagudo,

David Aaron Moore, Ali Nininger-Finch,

Julianna Peres, Chris Rudisill,

Terri Schlichenmeyer, Gregg Shapiro,

Trinity

front page

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charlotteobserver.com/1166/

a local news partner of

The Charlotte Observer

inside this issue

feature

10 Hate Groups in

North Carolina

news

4 Anniversary of

Lesbian Couple’s

Death Leaves Spotlight

on Wilmington Police

8 Rally at the

Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Government Center

8 South Carolina Rejects

Anti-Trans Bill

8 Lesbian Health

Proposals Wanted

8 Briefs

a&e

13 Screen Savor: Not

Another Gay Movie

14 ‘Laundry Love: Finding

Joy in a Common Chore’

17 Tell Trinity

18 Holding Space

life

16 How Hatred

Undermines Wellness

19 Our People: Surya Swilley

views

12 The Trumpiest State?

14 Cleaning Up Your

Criminal Record

events

For event listings, visit

goqnotes.com/events-calendar.

How Hatred

Undermines Wellness

Spending energy feeling hateful can

induce physical and mental harm to

oneself. Members of hate groups, like

white supremacists, face an increased

risk for heart disease and other afflictions

associated with chronic stress.

PAGE 16

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Anniversary of

Lesbian Couple’s Death

Leaves Spotlight on

Wilmington Police

The recently engaged women passed in

a car crash a year ago. It took authorities

over two weeks to find their bodies in their

vehicle, despite the fact that a witness

called 911 to report seeing a car run off

the road. People continue to question why

it took police so long, and whether or not

the fact that they were part of the LGBTQ

community played a role.

PAGE 4

5 Touring the Triangle

6 LGBTQ Resources

in the Triangle

May 14-27, 2021 qnotes 3


news

Anniversary of Lesbian Couple’s Death

Leaves Spotlight on Wilmington Police

How Did Recently Engaged Pair’s Deaths Go Unsolved for So Long?

by Julianna Peres

qnotes Staff Writer

by David Aaron Moore

qnotes Staff Writer

April 15, 2020 was the last day that

Stephanie Mayorga and her fiancée,

Paige Escalera, were seen alive. The couple

was classified as “missing persons” for 19

days after their fatal car accident. Over

a year after this tragedy, the Wilmington

Police Department (WPD) is still being

scrutinized for its massive delay in finding

the women’s bodies.

On May 14, 2020, Deputy Chief Alex

Sotelo held a press conference confirming

the WPD discovered the car with the two

dead women inside on May 4. That announcement

was made, despite a witness

calling 911 and reporteing seeing their

2013 Dodge Dart run off the road moments

after it occurred.

Sotelo claimed that the search lasted

more than two weeks for several reasons.

First, he emphasized that the couple was

not reported missing until April 19. Then,

Sotelo stressed that there were “no obvious

signs of a wreck. The only evidence of

the crash was a faint tire imprint near the

curb, as well as scuffmarks on the curb

itself.” This was contested by friends and

family of the two women, who pointed to

the 911 call on April 15, at 11:45 p.m. In

the press conference, Sotelo professed

that police, firefighters and the EMS crew

surveyed the area for only eight minutes,

determining that there was nothing that

warranted further investigation and “there

were no skid marks and no debris.”

A Facebook page titled “Missing Girls:

Paige Escalera & Stephanie Mayorga” was

started by the couple’s family members

as a way to garner information on the

women’s whereabouts. Once the discovery

of their bodies was made, most of the

members were shocked and heartbroken,

leaving messages that indicated as much.

That cop completely disregarded the

eyewitness,” wrote one. “So many questions

swirl now. Could they have been

saved? I’m incredibly disgusted at their

lack of investigation and follow up.”

“Just as we had suspected, they didn’t

take the 911 caller seriously. Cannot

believe the officer didn’t even get out

of the car to search. It’s no wonder they

were only there a total of eight minutes,” a

friend posted.

The couple’s sexual orientation has not

been addressed by the Wilmington Police

Department but does not seem to have

any bearing on the case.

Wilmington’s LGBTQ community, however,

continues to question whether or not

Escalera and Mayorga’s sexual orientation

and race played a factor in the delay of the

eventual discovery of the wreckage and

their bodies, which had remained inside

the car for over two weeks.

Sotelo has remained adamant there was

no wrong doing in the initial investigation,

pointing out that it was later discovered the

car battery broke in half on impact, which

shut off any lights or sounds that could have

made the crash visible to police and that

thick foliage at the back of the car completely

covered the taillights and prevented any

reflection from searchlights.

“This crash happened in the blink of an

eye,” Sotelo explained.”From the time the

vehicle hit the curb to the time of the collision,

only 0.99 seconds elapsed.”

Investigators believe that the vehicle

was traveling over 100 miles an hour

on Independence Boulevard when it

hit the curb to the left of Wilmington’s

Watermark Marina entrance, and likely

went airborne, completely clearing the

ground by about 20 feet.

While it has been a year since their

deaths, the love and support their

parents felt for the two women as

daughters and as a soon-to-be-married

couple is evident in this post from their

Facebook page:

Official statement from Stephanie

Mayorga & Paige Escalera’s parents

It is with our deepest sorrow that we

inform you all of the untimely death of

our beloved daughters, Paige Escalera and

Stephanie Mayorga. We are all heartbroken

and trying to process the devastating news.

We want to thank each and every one of

you for all of your amazing support and

love. It meant so much to us and will never

be forgotten…

Thank you and God bless. Be safe, be

kind and love one another. : :

4 qnotes May 14-27, 2021


IN

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Community Resource Guide

Touring the Triangle

Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill Attractions

by L’Monique King

qnotes Staff Writer

The Raleigh State Capitol building is one of the best

examples of Greek Style Revival architecture in the

United States.

Around the turn of the 20th century Durham was a

nationally known hub of successful Black entrepreneurs.

Downtown Chapel Hill becomes a bustling hub of

nightlife on the weekends.

COVID-19 Pandemic numbers are down substantially

in North Carolina since the beginning of the year. Vaccines

are readily available, and summer is on the horizon. Most

people are happy to see the end of curfews, quarantining

at home and television reruns as they once again look

forward to getting out and about.

Even though Out! Raleigh Pride has been on hold since

2020 and will remain off the calendar until 2022 to safeguard

progress with the pandemic, regional travel is once

again an opportunity many are returning to. If you’re looking

for an extended weekend getaway or something even

a bit more extended, the triangle area of Raleigh, Durham

and Chapel Hill offer a variety of places to go, see and do.

Chapel Hill is the home of the University of North

Carolina at Chapel Hill (where Michael Jordan played college

basketball for the Tar Heels), and it’s the perfect place

to relax at the edge of the triangle.

From the website chapelhill.org: “Our community has a

long-standing reputation as the most welcoming place in

the state for the LGBT community,” says Lydia Lavell, the

state’s first lesbian mayor.

The area hosts The North Carolina Botanical Garden

(ncbg.unc.edu/visit), which offers events, exhibits and

guided tours. Main gardens are open to the public, free

and don’t require reservations. It’s a great place for getting

in touch with nature or tying the knot. This spring and

summer the Garden is allowing small outdoor gatherings

of up to 50 people. Indoor events permit as many as 25

individuals, but you’d better move quickly. Applications are

no longer being accepted for May or June, and they’re already

beginning to book for the remainder of the summer,

fall and into 2022.

If you’re looking for an activity that’s a little less

flowery, head over to the Ackland Art Museum (ackland.

org) Wednesdays through Saturdays (1-5 p.m.). They’ve reopened

and admission is free, but you will need to reserve

your free timed tickets online.

Currently there’s a riveting exhibit, “Holding Space for

Nobility: A Memorial for Breonna Taylor.” Get there before

it leaves on July 4, and don’t miss the “Clouding: Shape and

Sign In Asian Art” installation during your visit. It explores

the diverse forms and functions of clouds in Asian art, with

different works from different time periods.

Last and certainly not least, you can’t take a trip to

Chapel Hill without visiting Franklin St. Considered the center

of nightlife for university students and a social destination

for all residents of the town, it is home to numerous

The North Carolina Botanical Gardens

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

coffee shops, restaurants, museums, music stores and bars.

Durham has a busy downtown with an artsy warehouse

district with many renovated warehouses now serving as

apartment complexes. Its rich history includes a four-block

area known as Black Wall Street — formerly a hub for Black

business and the Black middle-class. A historical marker on

Parrish St. tells the history of the area with details of early

1900s Durham accomplishing national success because of

the many Black-owned businesses in the area.

Among them were N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Co. and

Mechanics & Farmers Bank. Well known authors Booker

T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois celebrated those

achievements in their writings. By the 1960s desegregation

and eventual gentrification brought about the demise

of Durham’s Black Wall Street, though the influence

still remains.

If you’re interested in exploring the history of the area,

check out Duke University. The school is a depository of

historic information like no other in the country and well

worth a visit.

If you’re looking for a more theatrical experience, you

should make your way to the Durham Performing Arts

Center-DPAC (dpacnc.com) for Broadway style entertainment

and more. A bevy of various musical performances

by national and local bands began as early as July.

If you’re in Durham around lunch, stop by Dame’s

Chicken & Waffles (dameschickenwaffles.com) on Foster

Street for some sweet and savory deliciousness. Dame’s is

A historic building on Parrish St.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

known for their “Almost World-Famous Chicken & Waffle

Inspirations,” which offer palette pleasing pairing varieties

that will suit just about everyone.

In case you’re wondering how to end the day or evening

in Durham, pay a visit to 21c. Located in the center of downtown

Durham, the 21c Museum Hotel (21cmuseumhotels.

com/durham) offers 10,500 square feet of art-filled exhibition

and event space, a full-service boutique hotel with luxurious

guest rooms and a restaurant. You can explore the

current exhibit, dine among thought-provoking works of art

at their Counting House restaurant or lounge in the original

bank vault — transformed by contemporary art.

Raleigh offers The North Hills shopping area. It’s filled

with an array of shops and stores; among them is the specialty

shop Beyond Blue, where you can find hand crafted

furniture, excellent design advice, unique gift items, wine

and locally roasted coffee. There’s just about anything a

shopper could want at North Hills, including gyms, boutiques,

eateries, a gourmet grocery store and more.

As you might imagine, there’s more to Raleigh than

shopping. In addition to being the home of the state

capital (the Greek revival style main legislative building

is generally open Monday through Friday for self-guided

tours), N.C. State University and Shaw University. It’s also a

place Matt Martin can’t wait to return to.

Martin is a Professional Grass-roots Advocacy Manager

currently living in Burlington.

“[I] left Raleigh in 2017, when my partner got a job

out of town, and we’ve wanted to get back ever since,” he

explains. “That’s where all our people are. We miss it [and]

North Carolina’s state capital.

(Photo Credit: Visit Raleigh)

just recently purchased a house [there.] We’ll be moving

back sometime in June.

“[We] love everything about the city [and] there are

a lot better places to eat that aren’t chain restaurants,”

he continues. “One of our favorites is a vegan restaurant

called The Fiction Kitchen (thefictionkitchen.com) and our

favorite coffee shop is Cup A Joe” (cupajoe.com).

Once you get to Raleigh, and you’re interested in places

to visit after lunch, consider visiting the North Carolina

Museum of Natural Sciences (naturalsciences.org). They’re

open Tuesdays through Sundays (10 a.m.–4 p.m.) with

a new [COVID-19] procedure and plans in place to help

ensure everyone’s safety.

There is an endless list of things to experience: Have

you ever touched the bones of a Right Whale, sat in the

center of the earth to hear a scientist talk or come face

to face with a scary carnivore? You can do all of that

and more in exhibits at the North Carolina Museum of

Natural Sciences.

Destinations

The North Carolina Botanical Gardens

100 Old Mason Farm Rd., Chapel Hill

919-962-0522

ncbg.unc.edu/visit

Aclkland Art Museum

101 South Columbia St., Chapel Hill

919-966-5736

ackland.org

Durham Performing Arts Center

123 Vivian St., Durham

919-680-2787

dpacnc.com/home

Dames Chicken and Waffles

530 Foster St., #130, Durham

919-682-9235

dameschickenwaffles.com

21c Museum hotel

111 North Corcoran St., Durham

919-956-6700

21cmuseumhotels.com/durham

The Fiction Kitchen

428 South Dawson St., Raleigh

919-831-4177

thefictionkitchen.com

Cup a Joe

3100 Hillsboro St. Raleigh

919-828-9665

cupajoe.com

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

11 West Jones St., Raleigh

919-707-9800

naturalsciences.org : :

May 14-27, 2021 qnotes 5


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Academic

Community Resource Guide

Duke University Center for Sexual and

Gender Diversity

csgd@studentaffairs.duke.edu

919-684-6607

studentaffairs.duke.edu/csg

LGBTQ Center at UNC Chapel Hill

lgbtq@unc.edu

919-843-5376

lgbtq.unc.edu

North Carolina Central University LGBTA

Resource Center

nccu.edu/lgbta/index.cfm

North Carolina State University GLBT Center

oied.ncsu.edu/divweb/glbt

Addiction Recovery

D-icers— CMA Meeting

dicerstriangle@gmail.com

North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition

loftinwilson@gmail.com

919-370-0671

nchrc.org

Pipe Down — CMA Meeting

725 N Boylan Ave, Raleigh NC 27605

pipedownnc@gmail.com

Business / Professional

Raleigh Business and Professional

Network (RBPN)

RaleighBizNetwork@gmail.com

raleighnetwork.org

Bull City LGBTQ Professionals

tacnc@aol.com

RBPN — Raleigh’s LGBT Chamber of

Commerce

RaleighBizNetwork@gmail.com

919-349-0063

raleighlgbtchamber.org

Community Service

ReachOUT N.C.

info@reachoutnc.org

gayforgood.org/raleigh-durham

Community Support

N.C. State University GLBT Center

glbtcenter@ncsu.edu

919-513-9742

diversity.ncsu.edu/glbt

N.C. Central LGBTA Resource Center

nccu.edu/life-nc-central/health-and-wellbeing/lgbta-center

The Counselor Education Research Center

for Community Mental Health at N.C. State

ajhebard@ncsu.edu

919-515-6358

ced.ncsu.edu

Flex

2 S West St., Raleigh, NC 27603

flex-club.com

PFLAG Triangle

pflagtriangle@gmail.com

pflagtriangle.org

Wake County HIV Support Group: Under

One Roof

wake.nc.networkofcare.org/mh/services

Compass Center

clientservices@compassctr.org

919-968-4610

compassctr.org

LGBT Center of Raleigh

info@lgbtcenterofraleigh.com

919-832-4484

lgbtcenterofraleigh.com

Oak City Cares

Kathy.Johnson@oakcitycares.org

919-790-8533

oakcitycares.org

Triangle Empowerment Center, Inc.

triangleempowermentcenter@yahoo.com

800-806-3558

triempowerment.org

Wellness and Education Community Action

Health Network (WECAHN) — Siler City

ricky@wecahn.org

919-742-3762

LGBTQ Center of Durham

info@lgbtqcenterofdurham.org

919-827-1436

lgbtqcenterofdurham.org

Crisis

Trans Lifeline

877-565-8860

translifeline.org

Trevor Project Lifelin

866-488-738

thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now

Wrenn House / Haven House Crisis Line

919-832-7866

havenhousenc.org/

Durham Crisis Response Center

crisisline@durhamcrisisresponse.org

919-403-6562

durhamcrisisresponse.org

HopeLine, Inc.

919-231-4525

hopeline-nc.org

Orange County Rape Crisis Center

info@ocrcc.org

919-967-7273

ocrcc.org

Elder Care

Village Hearth Cohousing

villagehearthcohousing@gmail.com

561-714-800

villagehearthcohousing.com

Legends

330 W Hargett St., Raleigh, NC 27601

legends-club.com

Nightclubs

Entertainment

Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus,

tgmchorus.org

North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film

Festival — The Carolina Theatre

919-560-3030

carolinatheatre.org/films/festivals/ncglff

Family

Raleigh Area Gay Families/Triangle Families

mnysewan@gmail.com

facebook.com/groups/255750047888031

Nathanson Adoption Services

919-844-5212

nathansonadopt.com

Health, Medical & Wellness

Alliance Of AIDS Services — Carolina

info@aas-c.org

919-834-2437

aas-c.org

Durham VA Health Care System

919-286-0411

durham.va.gov/services/lgbt/index.asp

N.C. AIDS Training and Education Center

at UNC

919-843-8604

med.unc.edu/ncaidstraining/prep/PrEPfor-consumers

Planned Parenthood (Raleigh Health Center)

919-833-7526

plannedparenthood.org/health-center/

north-carolina/raleigh/27603/raleighhealth-center-3338-90860

UNC Fertility

erica.mccready@integramed.com

919-908-0000

uncfertility.com/understanding-fertility/

lgbt-family-building

Wake County Health Department —Clinic E

wakegov.com/humanservices/publichealth/information/hiv/Pages/default.

aspx

Student Health Action Coalition HIV

shac.hiv.unc@gmail.com

919-956-4000

UNC Infectious Disease

984-974-7198

Lawyers/Legal

Duke Health Justice Clinic

rice@law.duke.edu

919-613-7169

Lambda Law Students Association at UNC

slk8575@live.unc.edu

studentorgs.law.unc.edu/llsa

The Pinhook

117 W Main St., Durham, NC 27701

thepinhook.com

Legal Aid N.C.

866-219-5262

legalaidnc.org

Political

ACLU of North Carolina

contact@acluofnc.org

919-834-3466

acluofnorthcarolina.org

Equality North Carolina

equalitync.org/

Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

hrc.org/local-issues/community/thetriangle

NC AIDS Action Network

lee@ncaan.org

919-914-0311

ncaan.org

NC National Organization for Women

northcarolinanow.wordpress.com

Social

Mu Chapter of Kappa Psi Kappa

Fraternity, Inc.

muchapterkpsik@gmail.com

919-520-1331

muchapterkpsik.com

Carolina Bear Lodge — Raleigh Den

groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/

RaleighNCBears/info

Gay Men’s Social Club

anthony@copianart.com

meetup.com/Trianglegayguys

Men’s Abuse Survival Tools

playwright1010@yahoo.com

RDUCH Prime Timers

meetup.com/rdu-pt

Queer Women’s Book Club

library@lgbtcenterofraleigh.com

gbtcenterofraleigh.com/library/librarysponsored-groups/queer-womensbook-club

The Society of Femmes, Inc.

info@societyoffemmes.org

societyoffemmes.org

Geeks and Gaymers

meetup.com/GeekNC

Holly Springs Gay and Lesbian Group

groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/hollyspringsncgl/info

Triangle Area Gay Scientists (TAGS)

tags.zuberfowler.com

Triangle LGBTQ Active Adventures

meetup.com/Triangle-LGBTQ-Active-

Adventures

Ruby Deluxe

415 S Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27601

rubydeluxeraleigh.com

6 qnotes May 14-27, 2021


ide

Triangle LGBTQ Couples and Friends

info@trianglelgbtq.com

trianglelgbtq.com

Spiritual

Rainbow Gathering • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

jang7e@gmail.com

919-348-9599

Sunday Assembly Chapel Hill

info@sundayassemblychapelhill.org

sundayassemblychapelhill.org

Beth El Synagogue

info@betheldurham.org

919-682-1238

betheldurham.org

Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

info@htelc.org

919-828-1687

htelc.org

Pilgrim United Church of Christ

pilgrimucc@frontier.com

919-489-1381

pilgrimucc-durham.org

Raleigh Friends Meeting (Quakers)

friends@raleighquakers.org

919-821-4414

quakercloud.org/cloud/raleighfriends-meeting

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

info@stlukesdurham.org

919-286-2273

stlukesdurham.org

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church

javier@stphilipsdurham.org

919-682-5708

st-philips-durham.dionc.org/

Triangle Insight Meditation Community •

Episcopal Center at Duke

info@triangleinsight.org

919-383-0179

triangleinsight.org

United Church of Chapel Hill

office@unitedchurch.org

919-942-3540

unitedchurch.org

Watts Street Baptist Church

contact@wattsstreet.org

919-688-1366

wattsstreet.org

Sports

Durham Rainbow Bowling League

facebook.com/groups/1311614945576677/

Sports, Kings & Queens Bowling League

kingsqueensbowling@gmail.com

kingsandqueensbowling.org

Stonewall Sports — Raleigh

raleigh@stonewallsports.org

stonewallraleigh.leagueapps.com/

Triangle Rainbow Bowling League

trianglerainbowbowling@gmail.com

trianglerainbowbowling.org

Triangle Tennis Club

triangletennisclub.com

Bull City Running Co.

bullcityrunning@gmail.com

919-265-3904

bullcityrunning.com

Durham Queer Sports

IG @durhamqueerkickball

katyaweissandersson@gmail.com

Triangle Front Runners

triangle-front-runners@googlegroups.com

trianglefrontrunners.wordpress.com/

Transgender

Duke Voice Care Center

tara.nixon@duke.edu

919-684-3834

Durham Gender Alliance Group

groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/durhamgenderalliance/info

El Centro Hispano

elcentronc.org

Hutchison Voice Coaching

janebhutchison@gmail.com

919-389-5028

LGBT Center of Raleigh Transgender Initiative

gbtcenterofraleigh.com/programs/adultprograms/transgender-initiative

North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition

loftinwilson@gmail.com

919-370-0671

nchrc.org

Triad Gender Association

Transgender support group

triadgender.org

UNC GLBTQ Center

Trans Talk Tuesday

lgbtq.unc.edu/news-events/calendar

Kuan Yin — Transgender Health Services

kuanyinsep@gmail.com

NCHRC Trans Discussion Group

loftinwilson@gmail.com

919-370-0671

Youth

PFLAG Triangle

pflagtriangle@gmail.com

919-354-2999

pflagtriangle.org

Safe Schools N.C.

contact@safeschoolsnc.org

safeschoolsnc.org

Capital Area Youth and Young Adult Center

info@edsisolutions.com

919-758-8453

edsisolutions.com/locations/capital-areayouth-program

iNSIDEoUT

insideoutsterling@gmail.com

919-706-2941

insideout180.org

Friendly, Loving Support

thomas.taylor@alliancecil.org

919-833-1117

alliancecil.org

Queer Oriented Rap/Rock Day School

qordsinfo@gmail.com

503-680-0763

qords.org

May 14-27, 2021 qnotes 7


news

Rally at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center

The “Protect Charlotteans Now” rally takes place May 24 at 6 p.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. Scheduled just

before the beginning of Pride Month, the community gathering is organized by the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce (CLGTCC),

LGBTQ Democrats of Mecklenburg County, Sunrise Movement Charlotte, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

(NAACP) and the National Organization for Women (NOW). This rally is an effort to extend nondiscrimination ordinances to Charlotte.

The murders of Jaida Peterson and Remy Fennell, two black transgender women who were killed in Charlotte last month, are also a

major motivating factor behind this rally. The Facebook event page states, “We especially uplift our Transgender siblings, who continue to

face tragic levels of violence and discrimination.”

The page confirms the ordinance will protect natural hairstyles, hiring and job security for pregnant individuals, marital or familial status

and veteran status, as well as gender expression and sexual orientation.

The coalitions and organizations involved in the rally respond to social issues outside of the LGBTQ community. The Sunrise Movement

Charlotte defines themselves as “a national movement of young people uniting to stop climate change and bring about climate justice.”

Meanwhile, the NAACP continues their efforts to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights and to eliminate

racial hatred towards people of color and discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

The interconnectedness of these groups and issues has encouraged the intersectional approach that will be taken by the “Protect

Charlotteans Now” rally. According to their Facebook page, the rally’s focal purpose is to ensure that people have equal access to employment,

public accommodations and housing.

To sign up for the “Protect Charlotteans Now” petition, go to bit.ly/3vNokIy.

info: bit.ly/3upnKjZ

— Juliana Peres

The “Save Women’s Sports” bill has been struck down. (Photo Credit: Ted Eytan)

8 qnotes May 14-27, 2021

South Carolina Rejects Anti-Trans Bill

South Carolina’s Judiciary Committee voted against transphobic

bill H.4153 on April 27. This bill had posed a significant

threat to the athletic participation of transgender middle and high

school students.

The recent influx of “Save Women’s Sports” bills has further

demonized the LGBTQ community; particularly those who identify

as transgender, nonbinary or otherwise gender expansive. The

judicial villainizing of LGBTQ youth has led to bullying and, in

some cases, outright violence. In Connecticut, a cisgender girl’s

family filed a lawsuit against the school for allowing transgender

girls to play on her same sports team. During this time, one of the

transgender players was attacked by her fellow teammates.

South Carolina United for Justice & Equality released a statement

in response to the H.4153 ruling, “We are relieved and

grateful that, once again, lawmakers have rejected their colleagues’

blatant attempts to discriminate against transgender

student athletes. Today’s vote sends the message that H.4153, just like its predecessor, H.3477 and any other bill that discriminates against

transgender people, has no place in South Carolina.

“For months, transgender young people and the many South Carolinians who love them have been making their voices heard to oppose

these discriminatory bills, and we won’t stop until we have ensured a South Carolina where trans students are included, affirmed and

afforded the same opportunities as any other student. Every South Carolinian deserves an equal opportunity to thrive, no matter who they

are, and we will remain vigilant until that day comes.”

From State Representative Beth Bernstein came this response: “I think there’s a lot of uneasiness with this bill because what we’re trying

to do is create a solution for [a] problem that does not exist.”

Organizations outside of South Carolina as well, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have pushed back on

South Carolina’s anti-trans measures.

From their website: “The NCAA’s Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes

to compete in college sports. This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition.”

info: bit.ly/3upnKjZ

— Juliana Peres

Lesbian Health Fund Proposals Wanted

In honor of Lesbian Visibility Day, the organization known as Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality (formerly the Gay and

Lesbian Medical Association) has opened their annual Lesbian Health Fund (LHF) to public proposals. Applicants will have until July 16 at

11:59 p.m. to submit ideas to the LHF Grant Committee. These grants will range from $1,000 to $10,000 for each of the three to eight accepted

proposals. The announcement states that these grants should be able to “identify or address health disparities among sexual and/

or gender minority women, or gender diverse people AFAB [assigned female at birth].”

Since the first call for proposals in 1993, the program and content has changed tremendously. The first three LHF grant recipients conducted

their studies on the stigmatization of children with lesbian mothers, methods of insemination used by lesbians and sexual orientation

data. These topics were ahead of their time in terms of taboo subjects, and, as the range of Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ

Equality has increased, so has the subject matter.

In 2016, a study was conducted to determine the status of shared management of chronic pain in lesbian couples. Eligible applicants

included graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, scholars, nonprofit groups and faculty.

Intersectionality (multi-faceted discrimination) is one of the key factors for framing research for potential grants. Health Professionals

Advancing LGBTQ Equality specified the following: “Our calling is to illuminate the health needs of our community that too often go invisible

and underfunded.”

As further ode to Lesbian Visibility Day, LHF launched new social media platforms available on Twitter (bit.ly/3xrFjSA) and Instagram

(bit.ly/3sXE3TE).

Along with several Charlotte-based groups, LHF posted resources throughout the week to continue spotlighting Lesbian Visibility

Day. Charlotte Pride presented social media content to commemorate the day as well, for Charlotte Pride TV, which posted on Wednesday,

April 28, with brief interviews and spotlights with lesbian and queer women business owners in Charlotte.

info: bit.ly/3upnKjZ

— Juliana Peres

Briefs

North Carolina

Community Picnic and Drag Show

at Unifour Church

On May 16 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00

p.m., Newton’s Unifour Christian

Church will be holding a “Family

Friendly Drag Show” with the option

to drive-in or mill about. There will

be games, food, drinks and established

Drag Queen Connie Conover.

Impersonator, comedian and human

rights activist, Conover is also available

for event bookings such as this. All

proceeds from the community picnic

will go to Unifour Church. The event

will take place at Unifour Church 2257

Old Conover-Startown Rd Newton, NC;

pre-registration is not necessary.

info: unifourchurch.org

Guilford Green’s Give OUT Day

This month-long fundraiser will continue

through to the end of June; aka Pride

Month. The Guilford Green Foundation

(GGF) hopes to receive $5,000 for their

grand re-opening in June. The Give OUT

Day page states that there is a minimum

of $10 per donation and that all donors

will be eligible to receive prizes. Hosted

by Horizons Foundation, this annual

event provides a list of LGBTQ organizations

throughout the United States and

Puerto Rico that are in need of monetary

contributions. GGF is encouraging donors

to share the event on social media

and reach out to Development Manager

Lucy Acosta at Lucy.Acosta@ggfnc.org

with any questions.

info: bit.ly/2SuMXvD

National

Ohio’s Lesbian Prom Queens

Two 18-year-old students, Annie Wise

and Riley Loudermilk, were voted prom

king and queen at Kings High School

in Kings Mills, Ohio. They are the first

same-sex couple to be awarded the

titles at their school. Many parents

were upset by this development; one

parent even said, “sorry, but I believe

that there are still two genders, a male

and a female.” This, however, did not

deter Kings High School from proudly

posting about the coronation on their

Facebook page. Loudermilk’s mother

also commented, “it made me mad

that adults were commenting on a

high school dance.” Regardless, the

couple enjoyed their time together at

prom in the midst of their six-month

anniversary celebration.

info: bit.ly/3eZ8yD

International

Gay Man Killed by

Homophobic Neighbors

Normunds Kindzulis was set on fire by

his homophobic neighbors in Tukums,

Latvia on April 28. Kindzulis died in

the hospital from the severe burns.

Out Magazine states, “Kindzulis and

Jaunklavins [the victim’s roommate]

had reported the numerous threats

they received from their homophobic

neighbors to police, but to no avail.”

The police have also not yet ruled

this a homicide, rather emphasizing

that Kindzulis could have committed

suicide. They do, however, stress that

if Kindzulis took his own life due to discriminatory

harassment, the neighbors

may also be prosecuted for driving him

to the act.

info: bit.ly/2QYu2IT

— Compiled by Juliana Peres


May 14-27, 2021 qnotes 9


views

Hate Groups in North Carolina

Are White Supremacist Groups Dying, or Just Hiding?

by David Aaron Moore

qnotes Staff Writer

Hebrew Israelites

What is a hate group?

For the most part, the question

answers itself. However, they do

come in all different shapes and sizes, with

a variety of flavors, philosophies, theories

and fairytales.

To determine specifically how a person

ends up in a far fringe hate group would

require far more space than what we have

available here. Various sources point to

three specific elements: the general cultural

environment an individual was exposed

to while growing up, more impacting and

specific perhaps, the opinions and actions

of a parent or caregiver, and psychological

issues, such as paranoia and irrational

fear, which could be brought about for a

myriad of reasons.

While these possibilities certainly don’t

excuse the behavior, they may offer some

insight, and perhaps a pathway, to changing

hearts and minds.

Hatred and violence between people of

differing cultures has likely existed since

the dawn of humanity, but the United

States, particularly during the last presidential

administration has witnessed an

explosion of violence and polarization not

seen since the 1960s.

The topic has been explored in literature,

television and film. One particular

film produced in 1951, entitled “Storm

Warning,” examines the experiences

of two sisters in a small Southern town

when one comes to visit and accidentally

stumbles on an attack by the Ku Klux Klan

against an ethnic foreigner who is suspected

of committing a crime. The elder sister

(played by Ginger Rogers), sees the face

of one of the Klansmen when he removes

his hood. Hiding in a darkened alleyway,

she goes unnoticed. When she arrives at

the home of her sister (Doris Day) a few

hours later, she is shocked to find out

that her sister’s husband is the murdering

Klansmen (portrayed by Steve Cochran).

Although a specific state is never mentioned

during the film, the town the elder

sister visits to see her younger sibling is

called Rock Point, a name which bears

an uncanny similarity to North Carolina’s

Rocky Point and Rocky Mount.

While it may sound shocking, it is a

historic fact that during the 1950s and

1960s, North Carolina’s Klan membership

numbered around 10,000, which

was larger than all of the other Southern

states combined.

Since that time, the state has

evolved in a much more positive direction,

and Charlotte, as well as many

other urban areas throughout the state,

are respectable centers for progressive

thought and activities.

Still, hate groups continue to exist in

the state. And though small, even the Klan

continues to maintain a presence.

That raises a specific question: Who

are the people that are the members of

these groups, and who do they hate?

Predominantly, the hate groups are

Caucasian and of European descent,

10 qnotes May 14-27, 2021

although there is some variation. In North

Carolina there are known to be more than

20 documented hate groups, as designated

by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Individuals and groups they choose to

single out for their wrath and disdain vary

widely based on religious beliefs, race and

ethnicity, political ideology, sexual orientation,

gender identification and more.

Here’s a look at some of the most pernicious

culture based and religious organizations,

as well as other independent and

national groups that have, or attempted

to have an impact on the state of North

Carolina with negative energy, teachings

and sometimes, actions. Some are locally

based, while others are national.

ACTBAC

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists over 20 hate groups located in North Carolina.

Headquartered in the tiny town of

Snow Camp in Alamance County, ACTBAC,

which stands for Alamance County Taking

Back Alamance County, has been on and

off the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list

of hate groups. They claim to be based

on the principles of preserving Southern

heritage and Southern Pride. Like many

of the newer organizations and groups on

this list, ACTBAC appears to have ridden

the whirlwind of Donald Trump’s presidency,

frequently calling out liberal and

progressive politicians and hurling insults

at North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. Since

Trump’s loss at a re-election bid, the

group has either disbanded, lost motivation

or gone underground.

Asatru Folk Assembly

While the Asatru Folk Assembly is

based in Linden, N.C., in what was once a

Methodist church, they maintain a small

and quirky presence throughout the United

States with roots that can be traced back

to pagan beliefs in this country and further

back to Nordic culture in Europe. Although

they are known to contribute to community

programs with efforts like monthly food

banking and they defiantly deny accusations

of racism and decry the label of hate

group, their teachings, in the United States,

insist that members must be of Caucasian

and European descent. They espouse such

values as marriage for opposite sex couples

only and steadfastly refuse to recognize the

legitimacy of transgender individuals. It is

interesting to note that Asatru assemblies

in Europe have distanced themselves from

their American counterparts largely over a

schism related to LGBTQ rights. It comes as

no surprise that the American offshoot of

Asatru are the ones who take issue with the

LGBTQ community.

In North Carolina there are many

chapters of the Hebrew Israelites. In

Raleigh there is Masharah Yasharahlla:

Government of Israel; in Concord

and Raleigh there is Israel United

in Christ; in Charlotte, Greensboro,

Greenville, Winston-Salem, Durham and

Fayetteville there are six different chapters

of the Israelite School of Universal

Practical Knowledge.

Comprised predominantly of individuals

of African descent who believe

themselves to be original descendents of

ancient Israelites, they adhere to certain

aspects of both Christianity and Judaism,

although they have created their own

interpretation of religious texts similar to

the Bible.

According to the Anti-Defamation

League and the Southern Poverty Law

Center, some but not all, are outspoken

anti-Semites and racists. In an ironic statement

made by former Ku Klux Klan grand

Wizard Tom Metzger to the Southern

Poverty Law Center, he referred to the

Hebrew Israelites as, “the black counterparts

of us.”

Heirs to the Confederacy

While they are listed as headquartered

in Asheboro, N.C., the neo-Confederate

group Heirs to the Confederacy largely

flies under the radar. According to various

Internet and news reports they frequently

appear on the scene to protect

Confederate monuments or to protest

the removal of Confederate monuments.

There is evidence of an ongoing association

with the Proud Boys (more on them

later), and press reports confirm members

of the organization have been arrested.

Currently, they have virtually no Internet

presence. Regardless, their history from

the past two years has been duly noted,

and they are considered to be a growing

right-wing entity, worthy of monitoring.

Identity Dixie

This group maintains a forceful

Internet presence and loves to excite


their followers with some good old-fashioned

bigotry, usually aimed at non-Caucasians

and people from regions of the

country other than the South. From their

own website:

“For what it’s worth, Asheville is actually

a beautiful place, nestled in the midst

of some of the highest mountains in the

Appalachians, with old-styled homes and

the beautiful Biltmore estate nearby.

Urban sprawl has also been kept to a

minimum thanks to the low population,

preserving much of the woods surrounding

the city. However, the same

cannot be said for the inhabitants of

this city – smelly hippie transplants of ill

repute. How many carpetbaggers are in

Asheville? I do not know. However, I do

know that what isn’t a mentally disturbed

carpetbagger or displaced Latino is most

likely some reprobate.”

The Ku Klux Klan

(Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,

Pelham; United Klan Nation, Thurmond)

As mentioned earlier in this story, the

Klan once held strong sway over the state

of North Carolina. Today, that is simply

not the case. Their numbers are extremely

small and their presence is felt most often

in small rural communities, and even then,

only in a limited capacity.

They are well known throughout

19th and 20th century history for the

murders of African-Americans and other

minorities, including individuals in the

LGBTQ community.

While they do continue to exist and are

recognized as a hate group, their influence

is barely detectable in 21st century North

Carolina, and nonexistent in Charlotte.

Nation of Islam

Louis Farrahkhan.

(Five chapters in North Carolina:

Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-

Salem, Wilmington)

The Nation of Islam (NOI) was conceived

in Detroit in 1934, by Elijah

Muhammad, who had previously worked

with Wallace Muhammad (beginning in

1931) when the organization was known

as the Allah Temple of Islam. Under the

direction of Elijah Muhammad, the name

change was instituted and the new leader

then proclaimed himself to be the messenger

of God.

According to reports from those around

him and comments by Muhammad himself,

NOI began in response to treatment of

Black people in the United States during and

following the depression. Muhammad saw

Islam as a rallying tool for Black Americans

looking for their own cultural identity and a

religious faith that did not carry with it the

European trappings found in Christianity.

Muhammad’s ideology also asserted the notion

of a completely separate state for Black

Muslims living in America. Needless to say,

that never quite took off.

An unknown homophobic hate group spotted in Charlotte. (Photo Credit: David Aaron Moore)

When Nation of Islam member

Malcolm X visited Muslim countries in

the Middle East, he was exposed to a completely

different interpretation of Islam.

He came back with a distinctly alternate

attitude and felt the teachings of Islam

were a religion that should be available

to everyone in the United States, not just

Black Americans. This did not sit well with

other members of NOI.

On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X

was assassinated. Three members of

NOI were eventually convicted and

given indeterminate life sentences for

his murder.

Regardless, speculation has continued

to this day that Louis Farrakhan may

have been responsible for his murder.

That theory was only enhanced when

Malcolm’s daughter Quiballah Shabbaz

plotted to kill Farrakhan in 1995.

Farrakhan, who has been the

leader of the organization since 1977

(Muhammad passed away in 1975), has

steadfastly denied the accusation to this

day. Now 87 years old, he continues to

control NOI and has spent the past 44

years spewing out a plethora of anti-Semitic,

homophobic and racist comments.

In Charlotte and North Carolina

the Nation of Islam maintains a strong

presence, however, the aforementioned

issues have not been at the

forefront of the organization’s efforts

here. While visits by Farrakhan have

often stirred controversy, NOI has

received positive recognition for efforts

in at-large community building and

social assistance programs.

Patriot Front

The Patriot Front is a white supremacist,

neo-fascist and American nationalist

organization founded by Thomas

Ryan Russo. While sharing the helm

of another similar organization known

as Vanguard America, he and his followers

participated in the notoriously

anti-Semitic Unite the Right March in

Charlottesville Virginia. After receiving

an extensive amount of negative press

attention, he seized the name Patriot

Front from his former collaborator

and took the followers with him to the

new organization.

Members of the Patriot Front were

involved in the Jan. 6 storming of the

United States Capitol in Washington. In

North Carolina, the organization is known

to have distributed flyers in the town

of New Bern in an attempt to rally new

recruits. Reaction from town leaders was

swift and likely prevented the organization

from gaining a foothold in the state.

A visit to their website shows they

have taken no actions and made no additional

posts since Feb. 2021.

Proud Boys

They describe themselves as a pro-

Western, chauvinistic fraternity for men.

While that sounds vaguely tolerable, the

opposite is true: They are misogynistic and

anti-woman, anti-immigrant and xenophobic,

islamaphobic and homophobic.

Following the Jan. 6 riots on the Capitol

in Washington , members of the North

Carolina chapter of the Proud Boys were

arrested and charged for taking part in

the far-right uprising. Since that time, the

internet provider that hosted their website

has since dropped them and shut down

their website.

The United Nuwaubians

Clearly one of the most unusual of all

the organizations that has been labeled

as a hate group by the Southern Poverty

Law Center, the Nuwaubian Nation is an

American religious group of sorts, founded

by Dwight Z. York in the 1960s. Initially

his organization followed the teachings of

Islam, but later incorporated elements of

Christianity and Judaism into the mix. By

the late 1980s he abandoned that in favor

of ancient Egyptian teachings and a dose

of UFOlogy.

York later moved his group from

New York, to Eatonton, G.A., where his

followers built an ancient-Egyptianthemed

compound and changed their

name to the United Nuwaubian Nation

of Moors.

In the years that followed the organization

changed names multiple times and its

leader was arrested and convicted of child

molestation, resulting in multiple life sentences

in federal prison. The compound

was eventually sold and demolished, but,

it would appear a handful of followers

continued to hold on, eventually opening

a bookstore in Charlotte called United

Nuwaubians Worldwide. It closed during

the COVID-19 pandemic.

After pleading guilty and being sentenced

in 2003, York began to serve a 135-

year sentence. A year later he wrote this

letter from prison to one of his followers:

“The Caucasian has not been chosen

to lead the world. They lack true emotions

in their creation. We never intended

them to be peaceful. They were

bred to be killers, with low reproduction

levels and a short life span. What you

call Negroid was to live 1,000 years each

and the other humans 120 years. But

the warrior seed of Caucasians is only

60 years old. They were only created to

fight other invading races, to protect

the god-race Negroids. But they went

insane, lost control when they were left

unattended. They were never to taste

blood. They did, and their true nature

came out. … Because their reproduction

levels were cut short, their sexual

organs were made the smallest so that

the female of their race will want to

breed with Negroids to breed themselves

out of existence after 6,000

years. It took 600 years to breed them,

part man and part beast.”

Now purportedly 75, and imprisoned in

Colorado, his release date is July 7, 2120.

Note: Of the various organizations reported

on here, four of them simply stopped being

involved with the world around them when

it became apparent there was no way for

Trump to recapture his former role in the

Oval Office. It raises the question, did they

simply give up and walk away, or are they

somewhere hiding on the dark web, the deep

state or off the grid in Florida, contemplating

their next moves? : :

May 14-27, 2021 qnotes 11


views

The Trumpiest State?

Jesse’s Journal

by Jesse Monteagudo

Contributing Writer

A Trump sign in Citrus County, Florida.

(Photo Credit: Tsado via Adovbe Stock)

This is not an easy time to be a political progressive

in Florida. Though the Republican

Party held the governorship and the legislature

since the 1990s, the Sunshine State was

thought by many to be a “purple” state. After

all, Florida gave its electoral votes to Barack

Obama in 2008 and 2012 and returned Bill

Nelson to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and 2012.

This perception changed in recent years, as

Rick Scott defeated Nelson in 2018 and Donald

Trump carried the state in 2016 and 2020.

Republican governor succeeded Republican

governor and the GOP increased its hold on

the Legislature. The GOP now holds 32 seats

in the State Senate (to 16 Democrats) and 78

seats in the State House (to 42 Dems). Florida,

once purple, is now as red as a tomato, and as

conservative as Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi

or Oklahoma. Even Texas seems more likely to

turn purple in the near future.

Most of Florida’s move to the right can be

attributed to the influence and followers of

Donald Trump, now a Florida resident. Thanks

to the Trumpy crowd, Florida’s GOP governors went from mild conservatives like Jeb

Bush and Charlie Crist, to right-wing radicals like Scott and Ron DeSantis, the incumbent.

DeSantis served several terms in the U.S. Congress, representing Daytona Beach, where he

worked alongside fellow Trumper Matt Gaetz of Pensacola. DeSantis credited his narrow

victory against Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee in 2018 to support from the master of Mara-Lago.

Though DeSantis’ victory was slight, he went on to govern as if he had won a mandate.

In this, he was aided and abetted by a supportive state legislature and an increasingly

conservative state Supreme Court. Even the Covid-19 pandemic, which proved brutal to

other politicians, was used by this Trumpiest of governors to his political advantage.

Like other Republican governors and state legislators, the Trumpy crowd in charge

of the Sunshine State used their power to propagate the lie that Joe Biden “stole” the

election and to pass legislation dictated from Mar-a-Lago. Under DeSantis’ direction,

our GOP Legislature passed a brutal “law and order” bill designed to discourage Black

Lives Matter and other progressive protestors. They also voted to punish BigTech, after

Trump was banned from his Twitter account and tightened voting laws to discourage

African Americans and other majority Democrat communities from voting. And, in the first

explicitly anti-LGBTQ move in decades, they passed a bill that would ban trans girls from

competing in high school or college sports. Tallahassee’s Trumpian majority also voted to

restrict the power of city and county governments which might have Democratic majorities.

Through it all, DeSantis and the GOP legislators dealt with their Democratic opponents

by ignoring them completely, which in Florida they can do with impunity.

Ron DeSantis’s popularity among the GOP is based in part to his ability to espouse

Trumpian policies without Trump’s craziness. To his credit, DeSantis does not go on Twitter

every morning and send out crazy, nutty, kooky messages. On the other hand, DeSantis

knows better than to directly oppose the master of Mar-a-Lago, who is very popular with

his base and who still intends to reclaim his throne in 2024. Right now, the governor’s plan

seems to include his reelection in 2022 and then to run for president (if Trump does not

run again) or vice-president, as Trump’s running mate, in 2024. In either case, DeSantis

hopes to continue to carry the Trumpian torch. : :

12 qnotes May 14-27, 2021


a&e

Not Another Gay Movie

Screen Savor

by Gregg Shapiro

Contributing Writer

Just a few years before gay performer

Michael Carbonaro worked his magic

on his popular hidden camera illusionist

show The Carbonaro Effect, he cast a

spell over us in Todd Stephens’ raunchy

queer teen flick parody Another Gay

Movie (Breaking Glass Pictures). Newly reissued

in a 15th anniversary directors’ cut

edition, the extended version also includes

a bevy of bonus material.

What follows is a series of wacky

(and whacking off) episodes in which

each of the bros does his damnedest to

get deflowered. Andy, who is perfectly

happy pleasuring himself, finds himself

in a variety of uncomfortable situations

at home, where he constantly alarms his

parents (played by drag legend Lypsinka

and gay actor Scott Thompson), as well

as in Mr. Puckov’s dungeon, where the

action is streamed live online. Nico’s

penchant for older guys results in one

disaster (with Survivor champ Richard

Hatch playing himself) and one success

(Grandpa Muffler as portrayed by George

Marcy). Jared is having somewhat better

luck in his experiences with Beau (James

Getzlaff of Boy Meets Boy fame), but he

almost bites the dust in a penis pump

incident. As for poor Griff, a fling with

personal trainer/exotic dancer Angel

(Darryl Stephens) eventually gives him the

courage to pursue the man he truly loves

(no spoilers here).

Bursting at the seams with offensive

humor, particularly the material related to

race and disability, Another Gay Movie has

a habit of going too far and then going

even farther. Most of the characters

are overblown caricatures, much more

exaggerated than practically anything

portrayed in non-gay movies of this ilk.

This is especially true of the prominent

lesbian character Muffler (Ashlie Atkinson)

who may once in a while drop a pearl of

wisdom, but is mostly beyond obnoxious.

Even Nico’s citing of Paul Lynde feels more

dated than it did the first time around.

Perhaps what’s most shocking

about Another Gay Movie is that it was

directed and co-written by Todd Stephens,

the writer of the beloved gay movie Edge

of Seventeen, and director of Gypsy 83, as

well as the forthcoming and hotly anticipated

Swan Song (starring Udo Kier and

Jennifer Coolidge). It was probably just

something he needed to get out of his

system (twice, as it turns out, because a

sequel was released in 2008). : :

Rating: C-

In typical teen sex comedy style, the

movie features a group of horned-up

friends all eager to lose the virginity they

managed to cling to throughout high

school before the end of the summer

and the beginning of college. When Andy

(Carbonaro, who spends a lot of time in

various states of undress) isn’t masturbating,

thinking about masturbating or fantasizing

about teacher Mr. Puckov (Graham

Norton), he’s a clerk at Rainbow Video.

Nelly Nico (a kooky Jonah Blechman) also

works at Rainbow Video as the business is

owned by his mother Bonnie (Stephanie

McVay). Hot jock Jared (Jonathan Chase)

is ashamed of his lack of endowment and

nerdy Griff (Mitch Morris), the bookish

one, is harboring a secret crush on one of

his buddies.

BUILD

THROUGH

US

Call Q-Notes

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May 14-27, 2021 qnotes 13


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by Ali Nininger-Finch, Attorney

Guest Writer

According to the National Center for Transgender

Equality (bit.ly/2RzzqCm), almost half of Black transgender

people have been incarcerated at some point in

their lives. And with new anti-LGBTQ laws being proposed

every year, queer and gender nonconforming folks will

continue to have disproportionate run-ins with the criminal

legal system. North Carolina has several expunction

statutes that allow folks to erase things from their criminal

record. Thanks to efforts by coalitions like the NC Second

Chance Alliance (ncsecondchance.org), our expunction

laws continue to expand to provide relief for more people.

This is great news for the 25 percent of adults in our

state with criminal records. That said, most folks don’t

have the time or patience to wade through a bunch of

statutes to figure out whether any of them apply to your

specific situation.

Generally, the big categories of things you can get off

your record are any charges that were dismissed or where

you were found not guilty, a first-time conviction of a nonviolent

felony and certain nonviolent misdemeanors.

Dismissed charges are pretty easy. Anything that

shows up as dismissed or not guilty on your record can be

removed. The judge has to grant your expunction if everything

on your record falls into these categories. If you have

a mix of dismissals/not guilty and convictions, the judge

can decide whether to grant your expunction. Fill out the

form called AOC-CR-287, and take it to the clerk of court in

each county you have dismissed charges.

Cleaning Up Your Criminal Record

Legal Eagles: The Ins and Outs of Expunction Laws

Nonviolent Felonies

You can get one nonviolent felony conviction removed

from your record. This means you can’t have been convicted

of more than one felony. This includes anything you

were convicted of outside of North Carolina. You also can’t

have been convicted of any violent (generally* meaning

A1) misdemeanors. Nonviolent felonies are generally*

class H or I felonies, things like embezzlement and credit

card fraud. Anything that involves assault, meth, heroin

and possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine are

all considered violent. You have to wait 10 years from the

end of your sentence to ask for an expunction.

The form you need to fill out is called AOC-CR-281.

You also need to include two statements from people

who aren’t related to you that say you are a good person.

These statements have to be signed in front of a notary.

You also have to write a statement saying that you are

of good moral character, haven’t had any convictions

other than traffic violations during the the 10-year waiting

period, don’t have any outstanding restitution orders and

that the “Petition is a motion in the cause”. You’ll need to

sign this statement in front of a notary. There is a $175 fee

to request this kind of expunction. If you can’t afford that,

you can fill out form AOC-G-106 to ask to not pay.

Nonviolent Misdemeanors

Nonviolent misdemeanors include everything except

class A1 misdemeanors. Anything that involves assault is

considered violent. You have to wait five years from the

end of your sentence, which includes probation and paying

all your fines and fees. You can have multiple misdemeanors

expunged if they were all taken care of at the

same time. The waiting period for multiple misdemeanors

is seven years.

The forms, additional statements and fee are the

same as for nonviolent felonies. Unlike with felony

convictions where the judge can decide whether to give

you an expunction, once you’ve turned in all the correct

forms, the judge is required to remove your misdemeanor

convictions.

Additional Resources

There are many other things you can get expunged

based on very specific situations, particularly related to

drug crimes and youthful offenses. There are also many

little details related to each of the categories above. The

NC Justice Center (bit.ly/33qkKZ0) has a very lengthy guide

that covers everything you’d ever want to know about

getting an expunction. The Southern Coalition for Social

Justice also has a DIY toolkit (bit.ly/33tfIed) that’s written

more for the general public.

*Lawyers are required to tell everyone who isn’t their client

that we can only provide legal information, not advice,

under threat that we might reveal secrets that put us out of

a job. It is always a good idea to discuss your specific situation

with a trusted professional and to not rely on information

you read on the internet written by a stranger. : :

Ali Nininger-Finch is the lawyer behind Affirming Legal

Services (affirminglegalservices.com). She believes in helping

folks navigate the legal system to live their authentic lives. Her

focus areas are name and gender marker changes, expunctions,

and nonprofit and small business startup issues.

a&e

‘Laundry Love: Finding Joy in a Common Chore’

Out in Print

by Terri Schlichenmeyer

Contributing Writer

Laundry Love: Finding Joy in a Common Chore

by Patric Richardson with Karin B. Miller

©2021, Flatiron Books

$25.99

185 pages

Tomorrow’s outfit is on a chair

over there.

That’s where it’s been since

you last washed it. What you wore

today came from a basket and off

a hanger, the shirt needed ironing,

there was a tiny stain on the

pants but who noticed? And you

just bought new socks, so there’s

that. Time to do the wash? Yeah,

but get a load of this: “Laundry

Love” by Patric Richardson (with

Karin B. Miller).

In one of his earliest memories, Patric Richardson’s

uncle holds him aloft so that Richardson could watch laundry

swimming in the washer. He was almost a baby then,

but the fascination was set: At age three, Richardson was

“over the moon” when he received a toy washing machine

as a birthday gift. He remembers that it was Harvest Gold.

Growing up, Richardson absorbed washday secrets

from an extended family of women, and he learned the

appeal of laundry hung on a line outside. While at the

14 qnotes May 14-27, 2021

Author Patric Richardson. (Photo Credit: Jesi Hoolihan)

University of Kentucky, he met three professors who

taught him about textiles, and employers educated him

further. Love of fabric eventually became Richardson’s

career, and laundry is his love-language: “Caring for your

loved ones’ clothes shows them love.”

The first thing to know, Richardson states, is that “our

clothes are bossy.” If something you enjoy wearing says

“Dry Clean Only” on the label, lay it on the kitchen counter,

grab a pair of scissors and cut that label off because,

“anything can be washed at home.”

Here, you’ll learn how to save time on wash day. Find

out why big-brand-name detergents are unsafe, and see

what you need to care for your clothes properly. Learn to

iron, eliminate horrible stains, wash woolens and other

awkward-to-clean items and see how to rescue yellowed

linens and special-event clothing like a pro.

Remember, says Richardson: “You don’t have to do

laundry — you get to do laundry.”

These days, though, author Patric Richardson doesn’t

“get to” very often. His husband, he says, does their wash

while Richardson runs a clothing store and offers “Laundry

Camp” at the Mall of America. But since not everyone can

be a happy camper, there’s “Laundry Love.”

If you’re thinking that a book about joyfully washing

clothes would be a mighty skinny book, you’re right, but

laundry is only a part of this story here. The rest is biography

and a love-letter to Appalachain and Southern women.

In giving props to the women who raised him, Richardson

shows how his interest in fabric grew too; the subject of

textiles, which may be perceived as mundane by many, is

treated in this light as something precious and accessible.

If you come for the biography, you’ll be glad you stayed

for the hints as Richardson shows how even the most

delicate items can be safely home-cleaned. That fur you

love? Done. That stinky-perfumed vintage item you found?

Clean. Ahhhhhhh, so pick up the undies in the corner, use

grandma’s linens, shop thrift-stores with impunity. Go

ahead, fear-free. Having “Laundry Love” should take a load

off your mind. : :


May 14-27, 2021 qnotes 15


life

by Jack Kirven

qnotes Contributor

hate beets,” I said.

“I “Hate is a strong word,” my friend

Ron replied.

“You’re right. I abhor them.” Because,

you know, sometimes hate isn’t a strong

enough word.

All kidding aside, the two most powerful

emotions we experience are love and

fear. And whereas we at qnotes do at minimum

two special issues each year dedicated

to various types of love (Valentine’s

Day, Pride Month, etc.), we don’t necessarily

dedicate so much concentrated space

to fear. Unfortunately, our community has

been the brunt of far too much of it, and

we have to report far too often on those

consequences. But this particular issue is

looking specifically at hate groups, and I

wanted to touch a little on the mechanics

of this emotional state.

But why is hatred so unhealthy?

Beyond the psychological and sociological

fallout, hatred makes us physically sick.

Before we dig a little deeper into why,

let’s first consider how to define hatred.

According to Robert Sternberg, a Professor

of Human Development at Cornell

University, there are three main elements:

“1) A negation of intimacy, by creating

How Hatred Undermines Wellness

Health & Wellness: The Corrosive Nature of Fear and Loathing

distance when closeness had

become threatening; 2) an

infusion of passion, such as

fear or anger; and 3) a decision

to devalue a previously

valued object.” Additionally,

Freud said that hatred is

“an ego state that wishes to

destroy the source of its unhappiness.”

Note the violence

and fury inherent to those

descriptions. Both therapists

also include the idea of selfpreservation

as an underlying

motivation, and this compounds

the health risks.

As I discussed in two

previous entries about stress

(bit.ly/3vYnNnv and bit.

ly/3w6MSgb) and another

about inflammation (bit.

ly/3hdxVVb), our bodies

speak in the language of

hormones. And the only

response to stress of any kind is “fight

or flight,” and its accompanying stew of

adrenaline, cortisol, and other triggering

agents. Although we needed this response

thousands of years ago to escape from

lions, tigers and bears, we don’t need it

now for the comments section on blogs

or a job interview. Unfortunately, it’s the

only response we’ve got, and it’s because

Hatred can make you unwell, both physically and mentally.

(Photo Credit: fizkes via Adobe Stock)

the primitive parts of our brains are on

constant patrol for life threatening events.

So, whether it makes sense or not, we

often perceive that situations are more

important than they are, and that those

experiences are potentially more dangerous

than they are. This is where the

connection between hatred and survival

comes into play.

It is common to hear that such-andsuch

groups “threaten” to cause all sorts

of chaos to the world in general, cultures

more specifically, and individual people

particularly. The “homosexual agenda” (Did

you get your copy yet? I cannot find mine.)

will interrupt the continued existence of humanity

by reducing the birthrate, which will

result in smaller Judeo-Christian populations,

and thus place Baptists in the minority

(which would then expose them to the

same abuses they have been inflicting on

others for centuries — and they wouldn’t

want that!). So, then LGBTQ people must

be “stopped” (i.e. erased, criminalized,

isolated, murdered), so that we… won’t… do

that… to straight people? I mean, I guess…

But that is essentially the logic that

feeds hate groups. Whether it be people

of color, immigrants, women, religious

minorities, queer people, etc. ad nauseam,

bigoted organizations perceive a risk

that “their own kind” are being abused,

attacked or eradicated by the targets of

their loathing. That certainly qualifies as

a source of stress that would then invoke

fight or flight. Hatred is a form of anger,

and anger is a defense mechanism. If a

person who is full of hate is by definition

also full of fear, that person is also

saturated with stress and inflammation.

As far back as 2007 the professionals at

Psychiatric Times have wondered whether

bigotry itself isn’t a mental disorder (bit.

ly/3b9DfFl). The National Institutes of

Health wrote in 2002 that bigotry “can be

a delusional symptom of psychiatric disorders”

(bit.ly/3bePRLk). Systemic racism

very clearly undermines the health care

people of color access and receive; however,

white supremacists also experience

increased risk for heart disease.

According to Science Daily (bit.

ly/3uxntvu), in addition to the risk factors

associated with chronic stress and inflammation,

white bigots are also less likely

to form strong social bonds and have a

tendency to trust institutions less. They

often treat medicine in general, hospitals

specifically, and doctors in particular with

suspicion, and thus tend to seek care less

frequently. But that is a generalized statement

about broader racist attitudes that

might not be specific to hate groups.

But this is: According to April Celeste

Robinson Leviton, a sociology researcher

at the University of California at Riverside,

White Supremacist Terror groups (WST)

“thrive on emotional energy — even if

this energy is produced by violence and

hatred… In fact, WST groups are strengthened

by the shared anger, hate and

violence of their members because the

adrenaline associated with WST activities

cultivates a shared energy that bonds the

group” (bit.ly/2RI2RC4). Because heightened

emotions are a very specific cause

of inflammation, it is easy to surmise that

the corrosive nature of their feelings can

literally exacerbate mental, cardiovascular,

gastrointestinal and endocrine system

illnesses. Addiction is also a common risk

factor for members of WST groups. : :

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 INTEGRE8Twellness.com.

16 qnotes May 14-27, 2021


a&e

Can an Ex Cheat on You if

You’re Not Dating?

Tell Trinity

Well Trinity,

I was with this girl for two months until

I found out she was telling people she was

single. Now I found out that she’s in a threeway

with two other women. Isn’t that cheating?

And do we have a chance of getting back

together? I still love her!

Thanks, Love’s Triangle, Minneapolis, MN

Well Love’s Triangle,

First, you can’t get VD from a doorknob

and you CAN’T be cheated on from

someone you’re not dating. Second, yes

you can get back together, but why? She’s

obviously exploring her sexual freedom

and doesn’t seem the least bit interested

in you. Sorry, but it had to be said! If you

have that much love for her, why not give

it to someone who wants it? It’s time, baby,

to love yourself as much as you love her

and release her to the triangle of love!

Move On, Trinity

Hey Trinity,

I can never seem to get ahead. Even when

I make a good pay check for the month it

never lasts. I know you give dating advice, but

I need a little financial advice.

Money Woes, Des Moines, IA

by Trinity | Contributing Writer

Hey Money Woes,

There’s three ways to make money,

“make it, invest (some of) it and/or save it.”

Think IRA, TD Ameritrade or “under

the mattress!

Hello Trinity,

Every time I go out hoping to meet potential

dates, I end up wasting time with guys

who inevitably only want sex. Am I the only

gay man on earth who goes to bars hoping to

meet future dates, not just one-night stands?

What am I doing wrong?

Sincerely, Not Only Sex, Boston, MA

Hello Not Only Sex,

If you’re truly going to bars looking for

future dates, then don’t waste time flirting

with guys after 1 a.m. who, a) are from

out of town, b) are overtly sexual and/or

c) you think just want a quickie from you.

Otherwise, you’ll never meet Mr. Right,

just Mr. One Night, which isn’t bad, but

it won’t get you a second date. Pumpkin,

you have to be strategic with your time at

the bars, not just seduced

by sexy guys.

Stay Aware, Trinity

Dear Trinity,

I know I shouldn’t ask this, but isn’t there

something I can do to punish someone I was

dating for standing me up on our last and

final date. Isn’t some revenge appropriate?

Yours, Revenge, Albuquerque, NM

Dear Revenge,

No! Living your own life to the fullest

is the best revenge. But if you still don’t

believe me, sweetie, then try reading:

Trinity’s Empowering Tips for What You Can

and Can’t do to Someone Who Stands You Up

1. You can’t scratch his car or break his windows because you must trust that he or she

will be taught a lesson of greater punishment.

2. You can’t continually call or text her just to bother her because you’re not twelve anymore,

you grew up, remember!

3. You can’t go to his work and harass him because it was JUST a date.

4. You can’t call the police and have her arrested on bogus charges such as kidnapping or

burglary, although it would be fun!

5. And lastly, you can’t have him beaten up, scared or maimed because you don’t want to

waste that much energy on ANY date!

6. You can, however, ignore her when you see her knowing that she missed out on someone

really great.

7. You can let other people know that he has no integrity!

8. You can discard her phone number, rip up her letters and toss out her toothbrush!

9. You CAN be way choosier of who you date.

10. And lastly you can imagine your life being really successful, adventurous, colorful and

romantically fulfilling with someone who is really, really into you. : :

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.

Q-mmunity

connections

space starting at $22:

call qnotes for details

704.531.9988

May 14-27, 2021 qnotes 17


a&e

Holding Space

Time Out Youth Celebrates 30 Years With Mural Reveal

by Chris Rudisill

qnotes Contributor

Nearly 80 people gathered at Time Out

Youth (TOY) on Saturday during the

organization’s first large in-person event in

over a year. Like other community organizations,

the pandemic caused TOY, a Charlotte

nonprofit serving LGBTQ youth, to go virtual

for much of its services since March 2020.

When it adapted to virtual platforms

and programs, Interim Executive Director

O’Neale Atkinson thought for sure they

would impact less kids in 2020. “Nothing

could be further from the truth,” said

Atkinson on Saturday. “We actually impacted

over 1,300 (unduplicated) young people directly

through programs, services and direct

outreach, almost a 30 percent increase from

the previous year.”

Being socially connected while physically

distant has become the impetus for much

of the organization’s work. One that will

continue post-COVID.

“There are so many things that we have

learned in the past year that we’ll carry with

us,” said Atkinson. Time Out Youth hopes

to hold in-person programming in the fall.

“All these platforms won’t go anywhere. This

transformed the landscape on how we do

the work and how we reach youth that otherwise

would never be able to walk in front

of our doors.”

In addition to the temperature checks,

mask mandates and hand sanitizer stations

that we have grown accustomed to,

people were welcomed back to the building

on Monroe Road with a new mural by Bree Stallings.

It is the newest addition to Charlotte’s growing public

art scene and one of three that Stallings has completed

in the past two months.

She worked with over 20 local youth to complete

the project at TOY, a culmination of the creative initiative

called “Holding Space” that focused on developing

identity-based workshops. The project was supported by

an ASC Cultural Vision Grant and a “Bear HUG” grant from

Charlotte is Creative.

Stallings spoke about the process of working with

young LGBTQ people on the project. “Through workshops

based on identity, stereotypes and assumptions, I

started to pull together a design – one that is intentional

in connecting people with each other and the spaces they

occupy,” she said.

The central design of the mural features a vibrant array of birds with various symbolism. (Photo Credit: Chris Rudisill)

A rainbow spectrum of birds and floral patterns cover

the wall, each steeped with symbolism of hope, love, joy

and strength to name a few. It is bookmarked by portraits

of Leo Street and Ken Isaac, two young people from TOY’s

programs who participated in the workshops.

Stallings used skin tones “as an allusion to the modern

trans flag.” In combination with the vibrant colors across

the wall, “Holding Space” also references the Progress

Pride Flag designed in 2018 by Daniel Quasar. Quasar’s

color scheme included both black/brown stripes as well

as those from the transgender flag (pink, blue and white)

in a chevron added to the classic rainbow. Like the new

flag design, Stallings’ mural focuses on the current needs

within the LGBTQ community and centers the lives of

Black LGBTQ people.

This weekend’s event also marked Time Out Youth’s

30th anniversary. The organization started as a small group

in the home of Tonda Taylor on April 8, 1991 and over the

past three decades has provided social, health and supportive

services to LGBTQ youth ages 11 to 20 years old.

Thanking donors and parents in attendance, TOY

board chair Jacob Hamm said, “It has done so with the financial

support of people who understand the importance

of our mission to foster unconditional acceptance and

create safe spaces for the LGBTQ community.”

Stallings hopes this public art piece will play a role in the

organization’s future. Before ceremoniously pulling back

the tarp that covered the new mural, she said, “I hope this

public art piece challenges the public to hold space for our

youth — to see and know them as beautiful, vibrant, worthy,

exceptional, talented, joyful, complex and human.” : :

[Editor’s note: Time Out Youth board of directors member

Jacob Hamm is married to qnotes’ contributor, Chris Rudisill.]

18 qnotes May 14-27, 2021


life

by L’Monique King

qnotes Staff Writer

Named for the sun and needing to

be in constant motion, Surya Swilley

paces between the living room and kitchen

of her North Philadelphia studio apartment.

With the exception of an occasional

passing bus, no sounds can be heard.

Surya is a dancer, and she affectionately

refers to Charlotte as her home. Sipping

water from a thermos while dressed comfortably

in a long-sleeved black tunic and

blousy grey pants, she’s been busy preparing

to share her journey as a mentor with

the QUEER|ART|MENTORSHIP Program,

a non-profit arts organization serving a

diverse and vibrant community of LGBTQ+

artists across generations and disciplines.

The mentorship supports a year-long

exchange between emerging and established

artists in five different creative

fields: film, literature, performance, visual

art and curatorial practice.

What led you to get into dancing?

My mama, she would take me to her

rehearsals with her.

Your mother’s a dancer?

Yes, she is. I think once a dancer, always

a dancer.

What’s your primary style of dance?

I’d say it’s mostly a West African adjacent

Post-Modern blending.

Is that your favorite style of dance?

That’s always been a hard question for

me to answer because when people

ask that I’m not sure what they want to

know. I overthink it. I like different forms

of Afro-Modern.

What have you found most difficult

about being a dancer?

There are a few things, one difficult thing

for me is that it puts you in an arena

where you are constantly comparing

yourself. Not comparing my body, the

range it can reach, it’s been difficult not

to compare those things. Like the scope

of my experience, it’s that space that

measures one’s career. The richer your

Our People: Surya Swilley

How Sun Dances and Shines

experiences it seems, [the

more likely they’ll serve as]

the gateway to get you to

the high places of dance.

So, unless you’re born with

immense self-esteem, it

can be a toxic environment

in the classroom or the

studio. That’s because it’s a

performance-based genre,

so [you’re] being seen and

presented in your greatest and weakest

ways. If we’re not careful about those

things, it can do some damaging things

to dancers.

Who is on your top three list of dancers

or dance troupes who inspire you?

Urban bush Women, Lela Aisha Jones of

Fly Grounds and Pearl Primus.

Do you watch any televised

dance shows?

I do not. Oftentimes I find them corny.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted

your ability to share or showcase

your work as a dancer?

Oh, it shut down a lot of gigs I had

lined up. Theaters and performance

gigs were cancelled. My house had to

become my studio. I was an adjunct

professor at Temple University, so my

studio apartment became a teaching

space. I didn’t enjoy teaching from

home. The fact that I made home my

workspace was hard.

How’d you come to be involved with the

QUEER|ART|MENTORSHIP Program?

I got an email one day from Rio, the

Programs and Operations Director. She

said that someone had selected me to apply

for it. They’d done it anonymously so I

wasn’t able to thank them.

Have there been any challenges for you

as a program mentee?

It’s been hard to land how I want the

texture of the movement for this [culminating

project] dance to be. Different

phrases are coming to my mind and

body. I’ll share them with my mentor, but

then it doesn’t feel like it’s translated. My

creative process hasn’t fully presented

itself it seems. Ugh, that’s been difficult.

Can you share with qnotes

readers a little bit about

the culminating performance

piece you’re working

on for the QAM Annual

showcase in October?

Right now, I’m looking at this

concept of flirting with death. It

will be in a black box space to

be presented in person or live

streamed. Where sex and death

intersect is amazing. There are so many ways

to look at those intersections. I started looking

at death deities and why death is taboo in

conversations, like in circles of Christianity. In

thinking about these things, I’ve questioned

what it is to truly transition from this realm to

another. What’s on the other side.

I’ve always been fascinated with death,

and the more visible Black death became

during the pandemic, the more I began to

ask questions surrounding what ways death

could be liberatory for Black folks. I started

interrogating the history and the chronology

of death for Black people since we were trafficked

here to the U.S.

When Black folks are memorialized,

when we see caskets, especially [those] of

the young, there’s almost a sweetness —

almost a sensual tone towards death. The

conversations surrounding a young person

in comparison to an elderly person. The

language is more endearing, surrounding the

promising youthful life and how that had so

much to come, so much more to do and look

forward to.

Why are programs like these important?

I can speak to why QAM is important. Queer

liberation is queer folk feeling free. When

queer folk are sought out to be in their purpose,

which is as an artist and activist, that is

a kind of empowerment that is very sacred

because it allows every artist to know that

they are important, supported and loved.

What’s next for Surya Swilley?

I will be relocating to a full-time position at

a university and will keep working on my

art. I am still going to keep creating, I’m

still gonna’ keep dancing.

If you would, please share some thoughts

with up-and-coming dancers who are

interested in a professional dance career.

What do you want them to know?

It just seems like there are more possibilities

now to be accepted and celebrated

in your bodies and your own style. It’s so

much different than it was even a decade

ago. So, use what is at your touch, social

media. Not necessarily to create a viral

sensation for yourself, but to use your

gifts and talent to create a vocation for

yourself. It’s abundant. Capitalize on your

gifts to secure generational wealth. : :

May 14-27, 2021 qnotes 19


20 qnotes May 14-27, 2021

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