May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 1
2 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
May 28-June 10, 2021
Vol 36 No 03
contributors this issue
Joey Amaro, Rev. Chris Ayers,
Andrew Dys, L’Monique King,
Gary Montgomery, David Aaron Moore,
Julianna Peres, Chris Rudisill,
Gregg Shapiro, Trinity
Graphic Design by Natasha Morehouse
Photography: Charlotte’s Got A Lot
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a local news partner of
The Charlotte Observer
inside this issue
12 Pride in the Carolinas
5 Supporting LGBTQ
6 $15K Reward Offered
by N.C. Police and FBI
6 Time Out Youth Launches
6 Asheville Drag Brunch
8 Parent of Trans Daughter
Calls for Equality Act Support
8 RAIN Introduces New Logo
11 York Transgender
Now in Custody
18 Trans Deaths in N.C.
16 Tell Trinity
22 Screen Savor:
When Stars Align
20 A Journey Back in Time
23 Our People: Eternity Philops
9 Preferred Names to be
Displayed on Diplomas
15 Urban Gay-Friendly
Churches Need to Reach
Out to LGBTQ People in
Now in Custody
Thomas Hardin was tragically killed
in York, S.C. on May 2. Tyler Terry has
been caught following a manhunt..
During his crime spree, he killed four
people total and injured others.
Preferred Names to be
Displayed on Diplomas
Multiple colleges in North Carolina
are updating their policies to allow
preferred names to be used on a
person’s diploma. This change is
particularly impactful to those in
the gender expansive community.
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May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 3
4 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
Supporting LGBTQ Journalism
QNotes Launches the Carolinas LGBTQ Journalism Fund to Support Local Writers
by Chris Rudisill
In discussing a new collaborative journalism
playbook released by Solutions
Journalism Network (SJN) this week, Alicia
Bell said, “The future of journalism includes
journalists, and it includes so many other
people who have never once considered
themselves bearers of the news.”
Bell, who authored the guide,
“Gathering Toward Solutions: A
Community Event Playbook for Journalism
Collaboratives,” is the Media 2070 director
for free press and has served as the organizing
manager of the organization’s work
in North Carolina through a program called
News Voices. “Community organizers will
play a role in the future of news. Baristas
will play a role in the future of news. There
will be gardeners and retired people and
students and actors,” she continued, “All
of us will be there. And all of us will need
information, stories and community.”
That “journalism as a community
center” idea has been inspiration for
qnotes and its parent company Pride
Publishing & Typesetting, Inc. the past
year as it created and launched work
on the QnotesCarolinas.org project. The
publication celebrated its 35th anniversary
last month and has worked with
Free Press since 2019 as a member of
the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative,
a project of SJN.
In December, qnotes announced
$130,000 in funding from the Google
GNI North American Innovation
Challenge. “We realize that it is time for
our publication to evolve,” said qnotes
Publisher Jim Yarbrough.
In the three and a half decades of the
publication’s existence, it has connected
the LGBTQ community to news stories
that did not often get covered in mainstream
press. Despite difficult economic
years for the news industry, it continued
to operate, often with no full-time staff to
represent the population it serves.
While the funding allows a large investment
in infrastructure to build out a new
online platform, funds are still necessary
to operate and pay the journalists who are
delivering those stories.
“In order to receive the full funding, we
still need to raise nearly $60,000 in match
support,” says Yarbrough.
Shortly after the announcement
in December, the Carolinas LGBTQ
Journalism Fund was launched with an
initial goal of raising $30,000, half of what
is required. A second campaign will follow
in phase two of the project. The fund is
administered by Local Media Foundation,
a charitable trust affiliated with the Local
Media Association. It supports more opportunities
for LGBTQ writers in North and
South Carolina and has raised just over
$10,000 so far, including a $5,000 donation
from Bob Page, founder and CEO of
Replacements, Ltd., based in Greensboro.
Page’s company is the largest tableware
business in the world. He has fought
LGBTQ Local News, Voices and Community
hard for the LGBTQ community and as
Passport Magazine said, “his driving force
now is for social justice and charity.”
“We’re incredibly thankful for the support
of Bob Page and others in the community
that understand the importance
of having local LGBTQ news sustained in
North Carolina,” says Yarbrough.
The project will also launch community
reporting workshops and town
halls, a partnership with Free Press.
“It is centered on community support,
but also community involvement,” says
Yarbrough. “We are involving our readers
in every aspect of the project.”
Donations to the fund are tax-deductible
and can be made online at givebutter.com/
lmf-qnotescarolinas. For more information
about the project, visit qnotescarolinas.org.
Solutions for the Community
qnotes has been involved in the
Charlotte Journalism Collaborative since
its launch, adding an LGBTQ perspective
to the affordable housing conversation.
A second grant of $15,000 from Solutions
Journalism Network (SJN) will now help the
organization increase opportunities for
Black LGBTQ journalists.
The project is part of SJN’s Economic
Mobility initiative. According to its Medium
page, The Whole Story, “the goal is to
catalyze reporting that looks at both the
systemic causes of poverty and potential
solutions that are worth sharing.”
While amplifying the voices of more
communities in North Carolina, the qnotes
project will also uncover responses that
can impact the lives of Charlotte residents.
A 2014 study by Harvard University
researchers ranked Charlotte last for
economic mobility among the 50 largest
U.S. metro areas. The study also found
that low economic mobility disproportionately
affects people of color. For instance,
a Black child growing up in a low-income
home can expect a household income of
$21,599 a year at age 34. A white child can
Multiple reports show that Black
LGBTQ people face even starker disparities
in economic security and upward
mobility, and these have only been
heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a recent call for journalists by
qnotes, “This urgent problem has created
the prevalence of increased research and
the launch of innovative responses by
grassroot organizations, policy makers
and communities to improve outcomes
for a community that is at the intersection
of two marginalized identities.”
qnotes is seeking Black LGBTQ and
allied writers to work on the project and
multimedia journalists are encouraged
to submit proposals. Stories should focus
on rigorous investigation and reporting
of regional and national responses,
including their limitations, and how
those solutions may impact decisionmaking
in the Charlotte area. Stories
should also include the experiences
of Black LGBTQ people living in North
Carolina, telling their real-life experiences
while seeking to better understand
the limitations that exist to overcoming
structural racism and discrimination.
Writers, photographers and videographers
who are interested in being a part
of the project should email publisher@
“Both of these projects are helping us
better serve the local community, but we
need the support of people who can do so
to secure the future of LGBTQ press in the
Carolinas,” says Yarbrough, “Whether it
be $5 or more, every amount helps us tell
these stories, keep people informed and
further foster that sense of community
that supports us all.” : :
[Editor’s note: Chris Rudisill is the project
manager for the QnotesCarolinas.org Project
and is also the Director of the Charlotte
May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 5
$15k Reward Offered By N.C. Police and FBI
Several months after her murder on Feb. 24, Jenna Frank’s death is still being investigated. On May 17, the FBI and Jacksonville Police
announced they are offering a total of $15,000 for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of Franks’ killer or killers.
Franks, 34, was a member of the Onslow County LGBTQ+ Community Center in North Carolina.
As is the case with many transgender or nonbinary deaths, Franks was misgendered repeatedly in the official police reports. According
to the Humans Rights Campaign (HRC), more than 75 percent of gender expansive persons are misgendered or dead-named by law enforcement
The FBI, which is offering $10,000 of the overall reward funds, emphasizes that Franks could very likely be the victim of a hate crime.
“Jenna was a beloved member of the LGBTQ+ community, and her absence has been felt by her friends and family members,” FBI
Special Agent in Charge Robert Wells says, “We do not believe this was a random act. There is a strong possibility the person who did this
continues to work and/or live in the community. We believe someone has information to help us get justice for Jenna and her family.”
The threat of continued violence to transgender women by the same individual is one that the Jacksonville police are also taking very
seriously. The 25th transgender person killed in 2021 made headlines on May 19. Serenity Hollis, a 24-year-old woman, was, just like
Franks, misgendered by police and media outlets.
Hollis resided in Georgia and was the third transgender woman shot to death there in 2021. Similar to Franks, she also lived in a rural
area that was prone to LGBTQ harassment by the general population.
Franks is survived by her sister, Amber Franks, who is creating a nonprofit in her sister’s name.
“Everyone I have spoken with, especially at her memorial service, said that she was a delight to be with,” says Onslow County LGBTQ+
Community Center Director of Communications, Samuel Johnson, “She was an amazing person inside and out. I still cannot fathom that
“Being here my whole life I never thought anything like this could happen,” Johnson continues. “It’s taken us all aback for just a little bit,
but we’re still here and we’re still pushing forward.”
To contact the FBI about Franks’ case, call 704-672-6100 and to contact the Jacksonville Police, call 910-938-3273.
— Julianna Peres
Time Out Youth Launches “Bare Necessities” Donations
The Time Out Youth (TOY) Life Essentials Closet is open, by appointment, for any LGBTQ youth in need. James Rice III, volunteer and
special events coordinator, took over the Life Essentials Closet in 2017, working to expand it into something more than a simple pantry.
Affectionately referred to as “Gay Walmart” by clients, Rice has updated the closet to include items most needed by members of TOY.
Says Rice: “My lived experience [as] a Black gay man has allowed me to walk into the closet and see there was nothing there for Black
and brown people.
“It took some uncomfortable conversations, but we were no longer going to use the method of being happy with what people give us,”
Rice explains. TOY now asks youth to search through Amazon and highlight items that would be useful to them.
In order to ensure that all youth have the most inclusive experience within the closet, Rice has also implemented an organizational
system that is gender-nonspecific. “We all have what we prefer,” Rice emphasizes, “With skincare and fragrance, people like what they like.
We don’t use any gendered items; anyone can get what they want. We place brands with the same brand, but we don’t section anything off
as ‘men’s’ or ‘women’s.’”
Before the Life Essentials Closet was temporarily closed during the state-regulated two-week shutdown, TOY contacted all youth and
advised them to stock up on necessities. Having nearly emptied their supplies during this time, the TOY staff would do home deliveries of
food and any emergency goods.
After this period, Time Out Youth began operating on an appointment basis. Access to the closet was never denied, just modified during
the pandemic. Youth in need of “bare essentials” can email Rice at Jrice@timeoutyouth.org for an appointment.
For those wanting to give, Rice urges potential donors to read the regulations on the Life Essentials Closet page. Gift cards may be
donated to stores such as Walmart, Target, Amazon or Walgreens but should be no more than ten dollars on each. All items must be brand
new and full-sized.
The Life Essentials Closet is in need of some custom-made shelves for their uniquely shaped room. Added shelving would allow for
more items to be displayed and more youth to peruse the items.
To view the Life Essentials Closet needs, go to bit.ly/2QB7IVB. To make a donation to Time Out Youth, go to bit.ly/3u6G2Wq. If you
would like the donation to go directly to the Life Essentials Closet, specify so in the comment section.
— Julianna Peres
Asheville Drag Brunch Has Returned
The Asheville Drag Brunch crew heads back into action for a new, now in-person, season of performances June 27 at noon and 2 p.m.
These shows will be donating proceeds to BeLoved Asheville, an organization that is working to help those whom have fallen on hard times
during COVID-19. In their official press release, Asheville Drag Brunch stated that, “the family-friendly drag queen entertainment is singalong
top-notch fun with plenty of laughter and audience interaction.”
This Sunday performance will feature several local drag queens and be hosted by recurring cast member Divine. The purpose of this
event, as with all of the group’s past events, is to celebrate the LGBTQ community while raising money for nonprofit organizations.
Some past shows have supported the Make A Wish foundation and Youth OUTright WNC Blue Ridge Pride. All other 501(C)3 organizations
are encouraged to apply for benefit brunches as well. The submission form for a sponsored event is informal and will be followed up
with an email. To submit an organizational need, go to bit.ly/3fhZOIW.
BeLoved Asheville was formed in February of 2019 and has worked to support local eateries, participate in fun-runs and facilitate clothing
drives. Recently forming #BeLovedCampClean, this nonprofit has created a project to support the homeless population of Asheville in a
very direct way. This campaign “provides access to cleanup supplies, trash and recycling cans, and pickup to residents in the city who must
camp because they do not have a home.”
Asheville Drag Brunch has been hosting these hour-long shows for a multitude of occasions over the years. Performances can be, and
have been, made for any celebration, including weddings, divorces, anniversaries and birthdays. Tips are always encouraged as a source of
further donated funds from attending guests.
All shows take place in local restaurants and bars. The June 27 Asheville Drag Brunch will be at Bankes Avenue Bar and will allow for only a
limited number of seats. Since tickets may not be bought at the door due to COVID-19 restrictions, pre-purchase a seat at bit.ly/2QbRHFq.
— Julianna Peres
6 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
Poplar Tapas Mix-Mingle with the
Charlotte Gaymer’s Network
May 25 at 7 p.m., the Charlotte
Gaymer’s Network (CGN) is hosting
“CGN After Dark: Poplar Tapas
Edition”. A vodka bar, discounted
food and gaming consoles will be
available to guests. There will also
be three themed rooms featuring
either board games, video games and
Dungeons and Dragons. The event is
sponsored by the Great Wagon Road
Distillery, and interested participants
must be 21 or older.
Lesbian Couple’s Home Becomes San
Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, founders
of the lesbian rights organization the
Daughters of Bilitis, will be forever
commemorated as their home was
deigned a landmark designation by
San Francisco city supervisors. As of
May 11, this lesbian hotspot of 1955
will be immortalized as a historical
site in California.
Missouri To Provide Over-the-Counter
The third state to allow individuals
to purchase post-exposure prophylaxis
(PEP), Missouri will dispense
this medication to those approved by
pharmacists. This protocol will allow
those exposed to HIV to significantly
reduce their risk of contracting the
disease. The CDC has published a
study that 13 of Missouri’s rural
counties have a high probability of
contracting HIV due to their extreme
use of drug by needle.
California Elects First Transgender
Bishop in U.S. History
Rev. Megan Rohrer already made
headlines when they became the
first transgender Lutheran pastor.
Now, Rohrer has taken on the title of
bishop at the Sierra Pacific synod. Of
this development, Rohrer comments,
“During this time when some imagine
trans people at their worst, Lutherans
have once again declared that transgender
people are beautiful children
of God. Thank you to everyone who
has been praying for me and my family
as I accept this call.”
Young Gay Man Murdered in Iran as
Part of an “Honor Killing”
20-year-old Iranian citizen, Ali Fazeli
Monfared, was beheaded by male
relatives for being gay. In Iran, military
service is required. However,
Monfared was able to receive an
exemption card due to his “mental
illness” (i.e. homosexuality). It was
because of this card that Monfared’s
extended family learned of his
LGBTQ identity. Iran is one of the
world’s 11 countries that still allow
for same-sex relationships to be
castigated by death.
— Compiled by Julianna Peres
May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 7
Parent of Trans Daughter
Calls for Equality Act Support
Katie Jenifer is a board member of Genderbands, Board Director of Conversion
Therapy Dropout Network, licensed N.C. attorney and mother of two queer children.
Just after Mother’s Day, Jenifer published an “open letter” on the Advocate website
that spoke out in favor of the Equality Act.
This plea mentioned the individual nondiscrimination protections that are being
enacted across North Carolina; including Jenifer’s own hometown of Carrboro. Jenifer
emphasized that, although the town was doing its part, nondiscrimination ordinances
have not taken root everywhere.
“Just a quick drive a few miles down the road and that protection ends for my
children in neighboring towns,” Jenifer wrote, “My kids and all LGBTQ+ folks are vulnerable
to being denied service, evicted and mistreated at health care facilities solely
because of who they are or who they love.”
In the letter Jenifer talked about her personal experiences with the Christian
faith and how that impacted coming to terms with the gender identities and sexual
orientations of her children. While there were supportive members of the church, she
explained, there was also a lot of backlash.
“There were some equally disapproving responses from anonymous notes quoting
scripture to us, to a couple spending hours trying to convince my husband and me9 to
send Maddie to conversion therapy, to people leaving the church because they didn’t
want us influencing their children anymore,” Jenifer recalled.
Now having dedicated her life to helping transgender individuals pay for transition-related
costs through Genderbands and providing support to those whom were
harmed by conversion therapy through Conversion Therapy Dropout Network, Jenifer
has found herself in what was previously an unlikely position of LGBTQ advocate.
In her open letter, Jenifer outlines the need for the Equality Act in North Carolina.
“LGBTQ+ people aren’t asking for special rights. We’re just asking to be treated with
human dignity like anyone else. For my children, for your children, for all of us, and as
a lasting legacy of your many years of public service to the people of North Carolina,
please support the Equality Act.”
Sen. Richard Burr has not yet commented on any support for the Equality Act but
does have a history of disagreeing with anti-LGBTQ legislation.
However, in an interview with the Huffington Post regarding HB2, Burr said, “The
legislature botched what they were trying to do. It [HB2] was far too expansive.”
— Julianna Peres
RAIN Introduces New Logo
On May 7, the HIV service organization
RAIN rolled out a new logo, coinciding with
many changes taking place in the organization.
One of the changes is Chelsea Gulden’s
position of President and CEO of RAIN. Says
Gulden: “We are going through transition as a
company with new leadership. Now seemed
like a good time to release a logo that represents
who we are.”
Gulden explained the significance of the
new look for the logo.
“The red ribbon starts over the I in RAIN to
mean ‘individual’ and goes on to encompass everything
else. We try to look at each individual
client as a holistic picture, examining barriers that keep them from being successful.”
After spending 16 years with RAIN, Vice President of Philanthropy Nathan Smith is
excited about the changes he has seen occur.
“More staff in their twenties and thirties,” he explains. “The younger generation
is starting to lead the community toward RAIN’s ultimate vision of an HIV future. This
new logo represents the youthful generation stepping up.”
Prior to adopting RAIN as its defacto organizational name, the title served as an
acronym Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN).
“As HIV care moved from being rooted in communities of faith to being rooted in
the professional world, we dropped the terms interfaith. There was also a big national
push not to use the phrase AIDS [because some think of it as] more of a clinical term.”
RAIN works with clients that are living with HIV and AIDS.
Friends and family of those with HIV are some of the organization’s largest donors.
One anonymous supporter is responsible for covering much of the costs for this new logo.
“We started making changes before the new logo rollout,” Smith explains,
“There’s a graphic designer at RAIN who worked for months prior to create new
banners and brochures. This change took about a year overall because it’s a big
conversation to have. Fortunately, we also have a board member who works for
Bank of America and has a background in branding that was able to use his talents
in this situation.”
As for the future of RAIN social events and fundraisers, Smith is upbeat.
— Julianna Peres
8 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
Preferred Names to be Displayed on Diplomas
A Look at the Policies of North Carolina Universities
by Julianna Peres
qnotes Staff Writer
The University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill (UNC) announced to
graduating seniors this past month that
preferred names may now be specified for
their diplomas. This process was five years
in the making; spearheaded largely by the
school’s LGBTQ Center.
But the question arose: Why was
this such an uphill battle? Had there not
been a precedent for this action, the
lengthy process would make perfect
sense. However, both the University
of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC)
and the University of North Carolina at
Greensboro (UNCG) have been offering
preferred name changes on diplomas
for quite some time. The answer largely
comes down to the difference between
legal and ceremonial documents.
For the transgender, non-binary and
otherwise gender expansive community,
name changes are extremely important.
Deadnames can be triggering for many
members of the LGBTQ community and,
having to display these names on their college
diplomas can cause psychological and
Marshall Pritchard, a current student at
UNCC, says, “Having my dead name shown
would be incredibly disheartening to have
to go through, not to mention it would out
me to others. I don’t want people to know
my dead name and use that against me,
and I don’t want the reminder.”
Even without malicious intent, the
showcasing of alumni’s incorrect names
could have negative impacts as mentioned
earlier in this article. This applies to
student ID cards, online course pages and
classroom settings, as well as diplomas.
But the protocol for name changes differs
depending on the university policies.
At UNCC and UNCG, all of the previously
mentioned identifications can be
altered in lieu of one’s preferred name.
UNC, on the other hand, is unable, or
unwilling, to offer changes to student IDs
because the school recognizes these cards
as legal forms of identification. In order for
the diplomas to be altered, the UNC staff,
Should students be able to choose what name is on their diplomas? (Photo Credit: Venya Pak via Pexels)
faculty and Board of Governors had to
come to the consensus that the diplomas
are merely a ceremonial document with
no legal baring.
Says Dr. Terri Phoenix, Director of
the LGBTQ Center at UNC: “They [the
students] have worked hard to get those
diplomas, for people with multiple marginalized
identities in particular, it is not an
“I think having the ability to have your
preferred name on documents and ID
cards should always be allowed,” says
Pritchard, “It’s a small thing that can mean
the world to a transgender person.”
This process, however seemingly
simple, involved long hours and lots of
conversation behind the scenes.
“I worked with the Registrar’s Office, including
the former and current Registrar,
the former and current Vice Chancellor
for Student Affairs, IT technicians, the
Provost’s Committee on LGBTQ Life, the
Provost and many others in order to allow
the process now used to put preferred
names on diplomas,” Phoenix recalls.
The National Center for Transgender
Equality does mention that there are different
processes for altering one’s birth certificate
and driver’s license as well as legally
changing one’s name before a court of law.
These legal processes take time and funds
that many college students may not have.
Without a legally recognized transition,
students may not have the opportunity to
change names on their diplomas.
“In the worst case scenario, it [the
diplomas] can also unintentionally out
someone, which can be very physically
dangerous [and] academically dangerous
because of the prejudice and discrimination
that exists,” Phoenix explains.
In contrast, not every gender expansive
person wants name changes implemented.
One such student is Pritchard. Despite
altering all of his other school documents,
he does not want to alter his diploma. “I
asked for it to be my birth name since it
hasn’t been changed legally, and I don’t
want that to cause confusion,” says
Pritchard, “I also [want] to avoid any
potential issues with long distance family
who I haven’t come out to yet.”
As with all LGBTQ-inclusionary practices,
the preferred name changes at
universities are not a requirement, but an
opportunity. It is about having the option
to do so. At UNC, students may also retroactively
change their names and receive a
According to Phoenix, the UNC name
change option will not only benefit LGBTQ
students, but all students. “This change will
allow for students to display their diplomas
proudly. It does not just apply to transgender
or nonbinary people, but to others who
may not go by their legal names.”
Correcting people on one’s name is
not exclusive to the LGBTQ community.
However, it is much more common.
“The only issues [relating to name and
pronouns] I’ve ever had was with other
students,” Pritchard explains.
Speaking to the importance of all university
staff being well-versed in LGBTQ issues,
Pritchard adds, “The faculty has been great
about sharing and getting everyone’s preferred
pronouns. They were always fantastic
about handling that [transphobia from other
students] when I brought it up to them.”
Sensitivity training is one area in which
all colleges should be investing. According
to recent developments, many North
Carolina-based schools house an LGBTQ
Resource Center or faculty-lead LGBTQ
group. Outside of the previously mentioned
institutions, NC State University, Wake
Forest University and North Carolina State
University are some other colleges that
have made way for their transgender, nonbinary,
gay, lesbian and bisexual students.
Offers Phoenix: “Chosen names on
one’s diploma is a great step forward.
However, there are many other things to
be done within the UNC system to make it
a more affirming space for students, staff
Pritchard also voiced his opinion on
the LGBTQ-centered modifications that
could be made to all colleges. “I’ve found
that having gender neutral bathrooms or
family bathrooms in buildings is incredibly
useful for people who are still early in their
transition, or for nonbinary people.
“I think housing can also be very difficult
to navigate when transitioning, and
I’d say it would be beneficial to have some
way for trans people to either choose
what gender they’re rooming with, or
avoid roommates entirely,” Pritchard adds.
These accommodations, including preferred
name changes to diplomas, could
be pivotal to a gender expansive student’s
college experience, level of achievement
and psychological well-being. : :
your business, organization or service
throughout the Carolinas
May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 9
10 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
York Transgender Woman’s
Murderer Now in Police Custody
Suspect Killed Four Total and Injured Others
Police in South Carolina have caught a
manhunt suspect wanted in connection
with a deadly crime spree in South Carolina
and Missouri that left four people dead and
others injured, officials said Monday.
Tyler Donnet Terry, 26, was taken into
custody in a field of high weeds around
10 a.m. in Chester County, said Sheriff
Neither Terry nor law enforcement officers
were injured, Dorsey said.
Terry was caught near the small town of
Richburg near Interstate 77, officials said.
Officials said Monday more than 300
officers had been positioned around Terry
in the Richburg area after a confirmed
sighting. Several roads, including S.C. 9,
The shooting spree that Terry is accused
of began on May 2. He is charged
with shooting two people in Chester
County and killing a transgender woman
in the city of York, according to investigators.
Missouri police say Terry is a suspect
in the killing of a doctor and one other
person on May 15. Missouri police said
Terry’s vehicle was seen in that state.
Police from Chester County, York
County, state and federal agents from the
FBI, ATF and Homeland Security had been
searching for Terry since early Tuesday
morning after he fled during a police chase.
The driver in the police chase, Adrienne
Simpson, 34, was caught and remains in jail.
Wednesday night, Terry was seen on
video at a Chester business where he
allegedly stole a gun, clothes and other
items, police said.
Dorsey told reporters in an impromptu
news conference near the scene, broadcast
live Monday on television, that ATF
agents found Terry hiding in a field.
Terry did not resist, and was taken
into custody without any officers or Terry
sustaining injuries, Dorsey said.
“It was peaceful,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey said officers, including himself,
made sure EMS gave Terry care. Terry
received Gatorade and other nutrition,
“He was tired, he was thirsty...” Dorsey
said. “He had bug bites.”
Dorsey praised the work of the more
than 300 officers from around South
Carolina and the country involved in
“I am so proud,” Dorsey said. “These
men and women sacrificed, they put their
own lives on the line.”
Dorsey praised the public and Chester
County community for their assistance
and patience during the search.
“For the community there was anxiety,
frustration, and at times doubt,” Dorsey
said in the news conference. “We thank
the public for their help.”
Randy Newman, sixth circuit solicitor
in South Carolina and top prosecutor
for Chester County, said he was proud
of the officers who worked for days to
“This was a team effort to take Mr.
Terry into custody,” Newman said. “We at
the solicitor’s office now stand ready to do
Kevin Brackett, 16th circuit solicitor
and top prosecutor for York County, said
his office will coordinate with Chester
and Missouri officials on the charges
“We are very thankful for the work of
the officers who took Mr. Terry into custody,”
Brackett said. “We will now review
our case and work to ensure that justice
Prosecutors stressed Terry has been
charged with crimes but has
not been convicted and is
William Frick, who was
named Sixth Circuit Public
Defender on Friday, said his
office will represent Terry.
Kay Boulware, an assistant
public defender in Chester
County, represented Terry on
a pending June 2020 domestic
violence case, Frick said.
“We at the public defender’s
office in Chester County
will be taking representation
of Mr. Terry and making sure
his Constitutional rights are
protected,” said Frick, who
had been deputy public defender
until his appointment
to the top slot when Mike
Lifsey retired last week.
Geoff Dunn, a Rock Hill
lawyer, has been appointed
by Andrew Dys | Charlotte Observer Reporter
Thomas Hardin, a transgender woman from York, S.C., was killed May 2. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
to represent co-defendant Adrienne
Simpson in Chester County. Dunn declined
comment pending Simpson’s first
Simpson is charged with murder in
Chester County and accessory to murder
in York and Chester counties, according to
police and court documents.
It remains unclear who will represent
Terry in York County. B.J. Barrowclough,
16th Circuit Public Defender, said Monday
his office has not yet been appointed
for Terry because Terry is in custody in
Chester County. However, Barrowclough
said, if his office is appointed will conduct
Murder suspect Tyler Terry.
(Photo Credit: Chester County Sherrif’s Office)
its own full and complete investigation
into the allegations against Terry if the office
represents either one.
“Although we have not been appointed
yet, the 16th Circuit Public Defender’s
Office stands ready to defend Mr. Terry if
called upon,” Barrowclough said. “We will
do as we always do and conduct a full investigation
that ensures Mr. Terry’s rights
under the Constitution are protected.”
It is unclear when Terry will be booked
or make a first appearance in court. Law
enforcement and court officials said it is
likely Terry will need a medical evaluation
before he can be taken to jail or prepared
for a first court appearance.
Terry is charged with murder in the
May 2 shooting death of Thomas Hardin in
the city of York. Simpson is charged with
accessory to murder in that case.
Thomas Hardin was a 35-year-old
transgender woman. According to
WBTV, a friend contacted police after
not hearing from Hardin. A few months
prior, Terry had been staying at Hardin’s
home, but was put out when the living
situation did not work out. Hardin’s
friend, Chimere Hicks, says Hardin and
Terry were romantically involved at one
point, but their relationship had recently
deteriorated. Hicks states that after this
incident, Terry would repeatedly send
Hardin threatening messages.
Terry and Simpson also are charged
in two separate shootings in Chester on
May 2. One incident happened on Ehrlich
Street and the other at the Taco Bell on
J.A. Cochran Bypass.
Terry and Simpson are both suspects in
May 15 murders near St. Louis. A male doctor
and a woman were fatally shot in separate
incidents an hour apart in Brentwood
and University City, Missouri, which are
suburbs of St. Louis, police said. The shootings
happened after robberies and police
in Missouri called Terry and Simpson, “a
modern day Bonnie and Clyde.”
After last Tuesday’s police chase, Terry
was charged with attempted murder
for allegedly shooting at three Chester
deputies who tried to pull the car over.
Deputies returned fire, but Terry and
Simpson were not hurt. The deputies were
not hit by the gunfire.
Terry and Simpson were both charged
Friday with murder after South Carolina
Law Enforcement Division agents found
the body of Simpson’s husband, Eugene
Simpson, Wednesday night in a rural
Chester County ditch. He had been shot
Several Chester and York County
schools were under lockdown last week
after sightings of Terry.
The FBI, York County Crimestoppers,
and Midlands Crimestoppers had offered
a combined $12,000 reward for information
leading to the capture. : :
This story originally appeared on The
Charlotte Observer, charlotteobserver.com.
May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 11
Pride in the Carolinas
Mix of In-Person and Virtual Events Kick Off in June and Continue Through October
Pride events in the Carolinas kick off
in Durham the last week of May and
continue throughout the Carolinas
during spring, summer and fall.
There’s a lot to do in the larger cities
and in some of the small towns. However,
the COVID-19 Pandemic has and continues
to affect most Pride celebrations, just as it
has daily living around the globe.
In our compilation you’ll find a mix of
events that are in-person, and virtual.
A few celebrations are attempting to
recapture the excitement of large crowds,
outdoor events with stage shows, vendor
markets and parades, though they are in
We’ve tried to be as thorough as possible
with this list, but please keep in mind
that events everywhere continue to be
impacted by the global pandemic. Some
Pride celebrations may be smaller than in
years before and some may not happen
at all. We have tried to list something
about every event that we were able to
find. If you are a Pride celebration in the
Carolinas and you don’t see yours listed
here, or you would like to update some
details, feel free to contact us so we can
add it to the online version of the story.
by L’Monique King
qnotes Staff Writer
by Gary Montgomery
May 30-June 6
According to press info from Pride
Durham’s social media sites, many of their
Pride activities will be virtual. On May 30,
they will kick off their Pride celebration
with the online event Rocky Horror Movie
Night (7 p.m.-10 p.m.) for those 16 and
older. The following day, Pride fans can
start their week with two additional virtual
happenings. A Pride Flag Raising event will
be live streamed on Facebook on Monday,
May 31 and later that evening participants
can turn to their phones, tablets or
laptops to wind down with some Pride +
Peace Yoga at 7 p.m. For those missing
in-person Pride events, there will be a
Kick-Off Party at Club 717 (officially The
Durham Alliance Association Social Club-
DAASC) on Friday, June 4. With a variety of
virtual events continuing throughout
the weekend, Pride Durham will wrap
June 6. For more information visit
The one and only Utica Queen (of RuPaul’s
Drag Race fame) headlines this South
Carolina Pride celebration, to be held at
The Vista (1200 block of Park Street, near
the intersection of US 378-Gervais Rd.).
12 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
Be prepared for the zaniness you’ve come
to know from this drag diva. Co-hosts
Paris LeFaris and Carla Cox headline a full
day of Pride festivities along with music
grooves by DJ*EZ, live performances by
Fendi Moore, Oliver Clothesoff, Don Javi,
Leslie Lain, Fendi Moore, Cierra Nichole
and more. The Outfest Drag Pageant
will continue throughout the day with
competition categories in presentation,
evening gown, talent and response to
onstage questions. The theme is “Be the
Rainbow.” For directions, hotel special
rates, COVID precautions and more,
Chatham County Pride
Virtual Film Screening
The Chatham Community Library will host
daily virtual screenings of the documentary
“Deep Run.” Released in 2015, the film
explores the life of a transgender man living
in Lenoir County, N.C. The library wanted
to focus on small, local areas; demonstrating
that LGBTQ people can come from
anywhere and should be afforded the
same level of respect as any non-LGBTQ
individual. The subject of “Deep Run,”
Cole Ray Davis, struggles to come out as
a lesbian and then later to come out as a
transgender man over the course of the
film. The Hollywood Reporter review of the
documentary offers this summary:
The threat of being outed at church,
where the pastor believes Cole is a nice respectable
young man, is especially trying,
as the two take their faith very seriously
and have little trouble maintaining an inclusive
vision of Christianity, despite what
they’ve been taught.
The Chatham County Library is encouraging
post-screening feedback from all
participants. This survey will allow attendees
to make suggestions for future Pride
Month programs, as well as the implementation
of more LGBTQ-inclusionary resources.
The film screening will be open to
anyone, regardless of county of residence,
but does require a password. To request
access or inquire about any specifics,
Black Pride Week: Upstate SC
According to Upstate Black Pride’s
website, the weeklong event is an opportunity
for marginalized people to
enjoy a celebration for the entire community.
Events scheduled include a Meet
& Greet, Wine Tasting, Pageant, Trans
Fashion Show, and multiple After Parties
galore. Get your grass skirt ready for a
Pride Luau on June 27. The Main Event
for the week is the Black Pride Festival,
slated for Saturday, June 26 in Falls Park,
Downtown Greenville. For more info on
Black Pride Week: Upstate SC,
Charlotte Black Pride
The vision of Charlotte Black Pride (CBP)
is to empower the hearts, minds and spirits
of all LGBTQIA people, while embracing
diversity, uplifting the community and
working to bring social change. They’ve
been working toward these goals for 16
years and are back this year with inperson
events and a week’s worth of Pride
activities. CBP will kick off the week’s
events with their Mr. & Ms. CBP Pageant
at Chasers with all the glam and fanfare
pride pageants are known for. Later in
the week, their annual CBP Town Hall
Meeting (Wednesday, June 14) community
members will have a chance to discuss
and address pertinent LGBT BIPOC issues
at the Midwood International Center,
where the CBP Expo will take place on
Saturday, July 17. This year’s Expo will be
a slightly scaled down version because
organizers are continuing to work with
COVID-19 precautions. Fear not, however,
the Expo will still host vendors,
community organizations and riveting
entertainment. For those still feeling a
little iffy about in-person attendance, all
events will also be live-streamed. CBP
has announced an exciting, culminating
event is in the works: the CBP Skyline
Brunch, which is planned to be held on
the rooftop of a Charlotte Center City
High-Rise. For more information visit
their website at charlotteblackpride.org
or their Facebook page at facebook.com/
Aug. 21-Nov. 23
Those dates initially read like an announcement
for the longest Pride
celebration event in history, but that’s
not exactly the case. In a press release
from Charlotte Pride, Communications
Director Matt Comer explains what’s
going on, “Charlotte Pride Season event
plans are flexible and elastic, and they
can be scaled up or scaled back depending
on health and safety benchmarks.
Organizers have taken the pieces of a
normal festival, parade and Pride Week,
and expanded them into a series of
unique events and activities that balance
a collective desire to return to normal
with a clear need and responsibility to
ensure the safety, health and well-being
of the entire community.”
Here is a run-down on what’s in the
works for a Charlotte’s Pride Fall:
Charlotte Pride Weekend of Service
Kicking off Charlotte Pride Season with
a community-wide opportunity to give
back. Volunteer and service opportunities
throughout Charlotte being on what
would have been the 2021 festival and
Charlotte Pride Interfaith Service
Charlotte Pride’s traditional Interfaith
Service, this year hosted in a new
location with expanded opportunities
Pride Night: A Charlotte Pride
Slated to be a day-long concert event featuring
local, regional and national LGBTQ
artists and entertainers.
Blue Ridge Pride
at Washington Square Park. Two weeks
later get ready for the annual Pride
Winston-Salem Pride weekend, Friday,
Oct. 15 to Saturday, Oct. 16. The fun gets
started with the annual Pride Parade at
11 a.m. on Fourth Street in the Downtown
Arts District. And don’t worry about missing
brunch that day! The Pride Festival
and Food Truck Rodeo runs just about all
day from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. so march your
hungry self down to Trade St. for plenty
of delicious delicacies from your fave food
truck. More details at pridews.org.
this year. Who can forget the Pride Bar
Crawl or the Fantail Dance Party of 2019?
It’s normally held on or about Labor Day
Weekend. As of this time, specific events/
dates/times have not been confirmed.
Eastern North Carolina Pride
Unspecified October Date
Charlotte Pride’s Pop-Up Pride Festival
A truly unique, truly local celebration of
Pride in the Queen City, the Pop-Up Pride
Festival will feature special zones and
activities throughout Uptown, providing a
familiar festival feel while avoiding the full
crowds that normally attend the festival.
Charlotte Pride Parade
Charlotte Pride plans to host a normal, inperson
parade in October. A final date will
be announced soon.
Reel Out Charlotte
The Queen City’s Annual LGBTQ Film
Festival returns to Camp North End
for a weekend of LGBTQ short and
Charlotte Pride Community
Empowerment Conference and
Community Job Fair
An expansion of the 2019 Charlotte Trans
Pride Job Fair, this one-day event will bring
together educational and communitybuilding
workings with a job fair expo for
all those seeking new work and exploring
career potential. For additional information
Nags Head, N.C.
Outer Banks PrideFest is planned for
this fall, currently slated for Sept. 10-12.
This year marks OBX PrideFest’s 10th
Anniversary and the only reason the organization’s
website mentions possible cancellation
is a hurricane or a rise in widespread
COVID-19 rates. The main portion
of the festival will likely be on a Saturday
afternoon (as always, from 1:30 p.m.-6:30
p.m.) and host concerts, merchant vendors,
restaurant vendors, microbrews and
craft and nonprofit vendors at the Creef/
Davis town park on the historic waterfront
in Manteo, N.C. It is truly one of the most
scenic places one could be for a PrideFest.
This year, OBX PrideFest is not offering
Pride Passes for their paid events, so they
are encouraging participants to purchase
tickets in advance through their website
If you enjoy Asheville, you’ll love Blue
Ridge Pride. Blue Ridge Pride is back,
outside and proud. After over a year of
pandemic isolation, Blue Ridge Pride
organizers are excitedly planning many
2021 pride events, including their Sept.
19, Pride Pageant (open to all forms of
Drag Entertainment) and their Festival and
Welcoming WNC Procession on Saturday,
Sept. 25. They call it a procession because
there are no floats or grand marshals. It’s
a walking only event and it starts Saturday
morning at 10:00 a.m. The festival will
begin shortly after at 11:00 a.m. Festival
activities will conclude that evening at 7
p.m., giving pride goers plenty of time to
browse, shop and connect with friends
and various LGBTQ groups.
In case you are interested, there’s still
plenty of time to get involved with Blue
Ridge Pride activities. You can join the
procession, volunteer, vend, participate
as an entertainer or provide community
education with information tables from
local organizations, groups and businesses.
Registration is now open for just about any
way you’d like to become involved. All the
information you could ask for is accessible
on their website at blueridgepride.org.
Myrtle Beach Pride
Thinking about heading to Myrtle Beach
for Pride? Friday, Oct. 1, is the kick off
for Myrtle Beach Pride at the Main Street
Theater in Conway, S.C. We’ve heard they
are in talks with a well-known national
entertainer. Then on Saturday, Oct. from
12-7 p.m. head outdoors for the Pride
in the Park festival at Grand Park. The
shindig features live music, entertainment,
food trucks and retail vendors.
Finally, close things out after dark with
a Pride Celebration Party at Pulse Ultra
Club. Find more info about other upcoming
fundraising events on Pride Myrtle
Beach’s Facebook page at facebook.com/
Oct. 2 and Oct. 15-16
Events begin with a special Trans Pride
event on Saturday, Oct. 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Famously Hot South Carolina Pride
Columbia is showing their Pride twice this
year, it would seem, with The SC Pride
Parade and Festival weekend, hot on the
heels of Outfest on June 5. Presented by
Famously Hot South Carolina Pride, the
annual statewide-welcoming celebration
includes the SC Pride Parade on Friday,
Oct. 22, followed by the SC Pride Festival
on Saturday, Oct. 23. Planning is still
underway, but more info about the South
Carolina Pride celebration (and OUTfest) is
available at scpride.org.
While there is limited information listed on
the website, organizers tout there will be
no shortage of Drag Artists, Performers,
Food Trucks, Walking Tours, a Pride
Parade and a closing party at this year’s
Charleston Pride Festival. For more info
Hendersonville Pride is tentatively
scheduled for Sept. 21 and will reportedly
feature a formal proclamation from the
Mayor of Hendersonville, the famed Pride
Picnic and other events TBA. For updates,
For 2021, the Salisbury Pride theme is
“Together We Can.” While the date for
Salisbury Pride has purportedly been
confirmed, organizers have not officially
released a statement about the event, nor
have they confirmed if it will be in-person
or virtual. Visit their website for updated
information at salisburypride.org.
Port City Pride
Unspecified September Date
We’re hoping Port City Pride’s festivities
in Wilmington will return to Castle St.
According to ENC Pride’s website, the
board of directors decided to postpone
the ENC Pride festival, originally scheduled
for June 20, because of COVID-19
and concern for the safety of attendees,
so disregard the countdown clock on the
organization’s webpage and read their
updated information carefully.
In lieu of hosting a festival, the ENC
Pride board hosted a smaller event, ENC
Pride’s Miss Gay America Show on Sunday,
May 16 at The Heritage Bar in Kinston.
Currently, they have unspecified plans to
host the ENC Pride festival in October to
coincide with National Coming Out Day.
Going forward, ENC Pride’s festival will be
in October instead of June.
Unspecified October Date
Original spring event canceled because of
COVID-19 pandemic. Although no details
are currently available, the organization is
considering holding their Pride event during
October in conjunction with National
Coming Out Day. Check with their website
at alamancepride.org for potential updates.
No Known Events
Until Further Notice
Out Raleigh Pride
Purported reboot in 2022.
Fayetteville Black Pride
No current updates.
No current updates.
Catawba Valley Pride
Purported plans for this fall. : :
May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 13
14 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
by Rev. Chris Ayers
The memories of being rejected by
parents, preachers, churches, family, coworkers,
friends and society do not go away.
Rejection memories may not carry the same
punch as the rejection memories first did or
once did, when the wound was inflicted or
still open, but they never cease to exist.
I had the privilege of being the pastor at
Wedgewood Church in Charlotte, N.C. for
30 years. We were the congregation with
the Philadelphia rainbow colors painted on
our church’s front doors. Before the rainbow
doors, we flew a rainbow flag and a
trans flag at the busy intersection of Tyvola
and Wedgewood Dr. When someone
painted “Fags are piedofhiles” (yeah, surprise,
they couldn’t spell) on our doors, we
decided to paint our front doors rainbow
colors as way of saying we were offering an
extravagant welcome to all people.
Unfortunately, that was not the first or
the last vandalism of our property. Early
on, someone broke into our message
sign and rearranged the letters to read “A
LESBO CHURCH.” Several times, someone
Urban Gay-Friendly Churches Need to
Reach Out to LGBTQ People in Rural Areas
took the trouble to bring a ladder onto our
church property so they could take down
our rainbow flag. They never stole it. They
simply laid it on the ground (for us to put
back up). Transcend Charlotte came to the
rescue, raising money for a flagpole security
system and even installed it for us.
There was a lot of news coverage of
the vandalisms. In interviews, I always
tried not to speak about the church first,
but to speak to LGBTQ people witnessing
another rejection by some in our society.
I said, “My heart goes out to my LGBTQ
friends for whom this act of vandalism is
a reminder of previous hurts they have
experienced because of their sexual orientation
and/or their gender identity. This is
just one more stab in their heart.”
The vandalism stories were carried far
and wide, to the point that George Takei,
Sulu on Star Trek, tweeted about one of
the stories. Every Charlotte television station
covered the attacks on Wedgewood.
As you can imagine, I got a lot of
emails in response to the stories, but the
emails that concerned me most were
from gay people who lived in rural areas.
Invariably, they would write, “I love your
church. Can you help me find a church like
Wedgewood near me?” I always tried to
find them one, but 95 percent of the time
there was no church to recommend.
My wife grew up in western North
Carolina in Bakersville, which is in between
Boone and Asheville. Her parents died in
the last two years, and we have renovated
their home and built Willis Observatory,
one of the best observatories in the
southeast United States. The universe is
amazing. Saturn and its rings — stunning.
Jupiter and its four largest moons — stunning.
The Earth’s moon with all its craters
— stunning. And open star clusters and
globular star clusters are amazing too.
Recently, Southern Baptist pastors in
the area wrote a letter to the school board
requesting teachers and students be restricted
from going to the observatory due
to the observatory’s “gay agenda.” I list on
the observatory’s website that, as a retired
liberal clergyperson, I continue “to work for
the equality of all people, especially LGBTQ
people.” On a Facebook post referring to a
song in the movie “The Prom,” I wrote that
we would encourage students to celebrate
their DNA and help them realize they are
perfectly made, which is just another way
of saying we want all students to “reach
for the stars.” All that was too much for the
Southern Baptist preachers to swallow. The
pastor who ignited the uproar lives right
down the street from the observatory and
is the father-in-law of my wife’s cousin.
A long time ago my article published
in The Charlotte Observer, “Homosexuality
Is Not A Sin: The Christian Education of a
Baptist Minister” was copied and distributed
at the uproar-starter pastor’s church.
Nobody should have been surprised
by the observatory’s core values which
include diversity and inclusivity.
All the uproar reminded me of the
LGBTQ people living in rural areas who
contacted me over the years seeking
information on gay-friendly churches near
them, churches which typically didn’t exist.
Urban gay-friendly churches need to
figure out how to reach out to LGBTQ
people in rural areas. Urban gay-friendly
churches have used Zoom and other
streaming platforms for worship during
the Covid pandemic. Soon churches will
return to their sanctuaries and buildings.
What if those churches, using their newfound
media skills, developed outreach
programs to gay people in rural areas?
The need is great. I can imagine Zoom
Bible studies, Zoom worship services and
Zoom support groups for LGBTQ people in
rural America. : :
May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 15
Does a Thirty-Year-Old Virgin
At fourteen I suffered from a colonic disease
and had something attached to my side
that I was shy about. It’s gone now, but at 30
I’m still a virgin. I recently decided to explore
dating ads and websites, but I’m still nervous.
So I’ve decided to go to counseling, and was
wondering if you think it’s a good idea?
Yours, Thirty And Ready, Oklahoma City, OK
Everyone should try counseling at least once
in his or her life. With counseling you get support,
education, compassion, insight into your
fears and you get some great second opinions.
Most importantly, counseling teaches
socialization skills and techniques you need to
bring you up to speed emotionally, physically
and sexually. So sweetie, DON’T waste any
more time doing it alone, I mean being a virgin
alone, I mean, well, you know what I mean.
Sometimes life has too many apples to
choose from. How do I know if I’m choosing
the right or wrong apple? Is there any special
secret about good decision-making?
The Good/Bad Apple, Atlanta, GA
by Trinity | Contributing Writer
As with Adam and Eve, you have to decide
whether to taste the apple and then how
to deal with the outcome of your decisions.
Either way you always have to do
something so that something happens. Yet
for all your decisions, use intuition. And for
all the wrong decisions trust that great decisions
will come from them. Also remember
darling, don’t waste time wasting time
in the garden, just LIVE!
I’m in love with my best friend. He
also has feelings for me. What should
we do about it without potentially ruining
Yours, Friends and Feelings, Panama City, FL
This dilemma is as common as wanting
to touch a stove to see if it’s hot. Some
people are willing to get burned, and
some are boring, I mean, too afraid or
too practical to take risks. I say never be
afraid and when all else fails, ditch your
fears and follow your intuition. Now,
honey pie, if someone doesn’t try something
soon no one will even get hot, never
My girlfriend always gets on my case
about saying the wrong thing. She says I
should’ve just said nothing! How does one
know when to say nothing?
Thanks, Tongue Tied, Memphis, TN
In life, there are definitely times to shut
up, stay silent and/or simply say, “nothing.”
But pumpkin, if you haven’t learned about
these special times, how could you know?
Trinity’s Unforgettable Tips for When to “Say Nothing” (SN)
1. When you catch your roommate masturbating in a dark closet, SN.
2. When your very drunk lover slips you a few hundred bucks cause, “I (burp) luv ya,” SN.
3. When you and your partner have a big fight and she says, “I need a few minutes,” besides
saying, “no problem” also SN.
4. When the cop says, “If you say another word, you’re under arrest,” SN.
5. When your best friend’s mother dies and he’s uncontrollably crying in your arms, let
him cry, rub his head and SN.
6. When you’re given free food, admission and/or drinks by the flirtatious host, besides,
“thank you,” SN.
7. When the medical marijuana clinic gives you two edibles for the price of one, SN.
8. When your very old and very wealthy dying grandmother at the restaurant table begins
stuffing her purse with sugar packets, bread, butter and maybe a fork, SN.
9. When your boyfriend spills his guts about what’s not working in the relationship, let
him talk and SN till he’s done.
10. When the man of your dreams suddenly plasters a wet kiss on your lips then says,
“Sorry, I thought you were someone else!” SN. : :
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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16 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 17
Trans Deaths in N.C.
by Julianna Peres
qnotes Staff Writer
by David Aaron Moore
qnotes Staff Writer
This year has proven especially
dangerous for transgender people
in North Carolina. The two most
recent deaths of Remy Fennell and Jaida
Peterson stand out in everyone’s minds.
But there have been a record number of
transgender deaths in 2021 across the
United States. 25 confirmed fatalities have
taken place in the U.S. this year, with three
in North Carolina. The numbers reported
here for this year do not include the
suicides or deaths of deceased individuals
who were not identified as transgender.
The most recent victim this year is
Serenity Hollis, a 24-year-old Black transgender
woman, who was shot on May 8
Last year also proved to be a record
breaker, in the worst possible sense. 44
transgender individuals were killed in 2020
with the majority of them being Black or
Latinx transgender women.
While the number of transgender
deaths has increased over several decades,
history confirms that discrimination,
prejudice, violence and harassment
have long been a part of the lives of
gender expansive people.
In April 1998, a gay man named
Christopher Todd Cloninger, who performed
as a professional female impersonator
at nightclubs of the time like
Oleens and Scorpio, was shot to death in
his apartment in East Charlotte.
As a performer, Cloninger was
known as Victoria Sinclair. Her death
sent shockwaves throughout the local
LGBTQ community, according to a report
written by former qnotes writer and editor
Only 28, Sinclair was popular and well
known regionally as an accomplished
entertainer and a multiple titleholder. She
was described by many acquaintances as
friendly and outgoing, and never without
At the time, police told qnotes her
death was somehow related to a possible
drug theft. Multiple witnesses gave
different accounts as to exactly what happened
when Sinclair was gunned down,
and friends of Sinclair’s insisted there had
been no wrong doing on her part.
Sinclair’s aunt, Beth Cloninger, talked
with qnotes about her nephew’s death in a
phone interview May 21.
“That’s what the police told us,” she
recalled. “It was really a case of him being
at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“We were all so heartbroken,” she
continued. “He was one of the funniest,
kindest people you could ever encounter.”
According to Beth Cloninger, the police
later informed the family the chief suspect
in the murder of Sinclair was under
surveillance and about to be arrested at a
motel when he abruptly put a gun to his
head, taking his own life.
18 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
Victoria Sinclair, murdered April 1998.
“So we think that some kind of justice
was served,” Beth Cloninger recalled. “But
was it? Do we really know if that was the
person that killed him? I guess we’ll never
A representative for the Charlotte
Mecklenburg Police Department did not
have any additional details. “It’s sad,” the
CMPD representative said. “Especially back
then. There wasn’t always a person to step
up to the plate to be an advocate in cases
Victoria Sinclair’s gravesite.
like this. [With no further investigation] that
murder just slipped through the cracks.”
Unfortunately, that’s a trend continued
with the violent death of another
performer and gender expansive
individual in 2002, known as Franklin
Freeman. A devoted fan of Aretha
Franklin, Freeman would occasionally
lip-sync songs by the R&B diva at the
long-since shuttered Oleen’s, a former
Dilworth neighborhood gay bar.
“Franklin’s shows were unlike any
other,” recalls Lupie Duran, a friend of
Freeman’s and owner of Lupie’s Cafe. “He
didn’t pull off being a woman as much as
some of the other drag queens did. But he
didn’t care. He was just Franklin. And he
was very funny.”
Duran initially met Freeman in her
“There was something about the way
he carried himself,” she says. “The way
he just busted up in a place. I knew he
was the kind of person I wanted to meet.
He didn’t care if somebody looked at him
funny. He was definitely one of a kind for
Charlotte. He’d be all done up with lipstick
and false eyelashes and then he’d have
this five o’clock shadow.
“He didn’t care that he didn’t pull off
being a woman. I think he just enjoyed the
outrageousness of it all. He was a good
person. I totally miss him.”
Freeman was found shot to death in
early June 2002 in Center City Charlotte. A
passing motorist had called 911 to report
seeing a person lying by the road. When
officers arrived Freeman was unconscious
and bleeding profusely. He died within
minutes and was pronounced dead at the
scene. An autopsy report later revealed
that Freeman’s death was the result of a
gunshot wound to his leg that lacerated
his left femoral artery and vein.
The element in the mix that caught
the attention of the media and the LGBTQ
community: Freeman was shot to death
just days before a courtroom appearance,
scheduled for him to testify against
Officer Michael Marlow of the Charlotte
Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).
Freeman had been involved in an altercation
with Marlow prior to his death.
Almost immediately, Officer Marlow fell
completely off the radar.
Like Cloninger, no one has ever been
charged with Freeman’s death, and both
cases remain definitively unsolved.
Despite efforts by HRC (Human Rights
Campaign) to keep track of transgender
deaths since 2013, there can be no way
to account for every suicide, as well. One
such case was the suicide death of Blake
Brockington in 2015.
Brockington’s passing stirred the community
of LGBTQ and allied people to post
on social media and create fundraisers.
The first transgender homecoming king of
East Meck High School, Brockington was
constantly fighting against the stigmatization
of his gender identity.
In a letter to qnotes, Tracy Setzer,
mother to one of Brockington’s friends,
says, “I am heartbroken that he chose
to surrender to the fight of being
overwhelmed with grief from narrowminded
individuals that make it hard
for people such as Blake to just be who
they are… human.”
Gender expansive individuals’ suicides
are, without question, the result of acts
of transphobic harassment, violence and
intolerance, causing mental, physical and
emotional harm, which lead to the individuals
making the decision to take their own
lives. According to a study by the Trevor
Project, 52 percent of transgender and
nonbinary youth reported having suicidal
thoughts in 2020 (bit.ly/3wnIrxk).
* * * SPONSORED CONTENT * * *
Season: A Return to
(Lean este artículo en español: charlottepride.org/14229/#esp)
We’re still here! We’re still queer! And we’re excited to bring Charlotte
Pride’s annual events back in person for 2021!
Our Charlotte Pride team has spent the beginning of 2021 working carefully
to take our standard week of events and transform it into Pride
Season 2021! We’re stoked to expand our usual week-long celebrations
into a full Pride Season running from August through November. Charlotte
Pride is the Queen City’s way to celebrate, commemorate, empower, and
uplift our community — and this year we are bringing you even more
unique opportunities, activities, and programs than ever before!
Pride Season brings you events that are familiar and new, all with that
distinctive Queen City spirit. Our four-month Charlotte Pride Season will
bring you familiar events with new or unique spins. Events will include a
Weekend of Service, the annual Interfaith Service, Pride Night! Charlotte
Pride Concert Event, Pop-Up Pride Festival, the annual Charlotte Pride
Parade, annual film festival, a community conference and job fair, plus so
much more! You can see a full line-up of our events and the full version
of this letter to the community online at charlottepride.org/14229.
Franklin Freeman, murdered June 2002.
“We don’t actually know about the
nuances those individuals experience
throughout their day,” says Hopkins.
“Nor do we know if the chances of losing
one’s life or being violently attacked is
going to happen.
“We just set out to live another day. We
are just trying to survive. We struggle in a
corrupt system that’s been in place for decades,
where we are left with very limited
options. It continues to deny many of its
citizens their equal rights or opportunity to
earn and make a decent living.”
The fact that both Fennell and Peterson
were sex workers has been highlighted by
various media outlets. The importance of
this common denominator is that many
gender expansive individuals, especially
transgender women of color, are left with
no other viable career options.
There’s Still Hope was created as a way
to address an area that Hopkins says the
city of Charlotte has ignored: transgender
adults of color.
“This system continues to judge,
criticize and draw up conclusions about
us,” Hopkins continues, “It’s a system that
constantly makes things extremely hard
for some to get a decent education, access
to quality health care, good paying jobs
and affordable housing.”
“They [are] critical and disrespectful
almost every chance they get. This
means the path we’re forced to travel
down often turns many within our community
to substance abuse; and to street
work to simply put or keep a roof over
our heads, find food to eat and put clothing
on our backs.”
As social consciousness grows in light
of these deaths, LGBTQ and allied communities
are coming forward in an effort
to help. Hopkins points to the importance
of helping where help is needed.
“Fundraisers should [help] nonprofits
that are already doing the groundwork.
The purpose is to channel that kind of energy
towards struggling individuals whom
have become fallen victims with guidance,
help and support.”
In addition to donating funds to
organizations like There’s Still Hope and
Equality NC, Hopkins confirms the need
to establish a local community center in
a neighborhood, like the NoDa area. “It’s
a central safe haven location that would
exist for trans individuals to go rest, find
information and develop connections with
The model There’s Still Hope uses for
operation is one that Hopkins believes all
organizations should adopt.
Dubbed the “pizza pie” method,
Hopkins has created the “Steps for
Stability Program” that allows other
nonprofits around the city to interact with
There’s Still Hope in order to provide as
many services as possible.
The idea behind this process is that no
one organization can offer housing, counseling,
health care and transportation.
Instead, Hopkins believes that all existing
groups should work together to ensure
that all gender expansive people have access
to the help they need.
Says Hopkins: “Society needs to learn
how to be more sensitive to its fellow citizens,
no matter how they identify.” : :
Why can’t we go “back to normal”? In a “normal” year’s events, some
200,000 or more people would gather along Tryon Street in Uptown
Charlotte for the annual festival and parade, with hundreds or even
thousands more packed into small bars, restaurants, theatres, and other
spaces for events spread out through Pride Week. To put it simply:
There is no safe way to bring together hundreds of thousands of people
at a single event in a single space and time this year. We know it may
come as a disappointment, but we’re confident our event plans this year
will enable our community to come together in safe, meaningful ways
until we can return to a full-scale event in 2022.
Pride Season 2021 was created with your health and safety in mind. It is
flexible and elastic, and events can be scaled up or scaled back depending
on health and safety benchmarks. The plans we have outlined
for this year’s Pride Season provide opportunities for all of us to join
together in fun and fellowship. The events will be familiar, new, and reinvented.
We’ve taken the various contingent parts of a “normal” festival,
parade, and Pride Week, and we have broken them out into separate
events that can be custom tailored to whatever health and safety guidelines
may exist at the time.
You can get involved now! We’ve already opened up applications for vendors
and parade participants, as well as nominations for the Champions
of Pride Awards. Learn more at charlottepride.org/pride2021 and be sure
to stay tuned for more details as they are announced!
You can read the full version of this letter to the community at
May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 19
by Joey Amato
Taking a trip to Savannah is like taking a journey back
in time. Even the airport is designed with architectural
elements in mind that make it clear to guests that they are
in for a unique experience.
Savannah is a city of squares. Designed in the 1700s,
the city contains 22 squares, most of which are named in
honor of a person or historical event, and many contain
monuments, memorials or statues in the center. One can
spend an entire day strolling around the city squares,
admiring the stunning landscape and foliage.
I would highly recommend spending your first day in
Savannah on foot rather than jumping on a packed trolley
filled with tourists. You’ll get a better lay of the land if you
discover the city on your own at first. There are many walking
tours which operate during the day as well as at night which
can provide you with a boat load of historical data and in
some cases, you can learn about Savannah’s haunted past.
Savannah has been called the most haunted city in the
country for good reason. The city has been the site of war,
disease, fire, murder and slavery. According to one source,
a French ship called Grietely arrived in Savannah in 1854
to pick up 71 escaped slaves. The ship sank while exiting
the Savannah Harbor and many sailors say they feel a
force pulling them off course and hear voices speaking in
French and Bantu even today.
There are dozens of stories like this, so if you are
looking to go on a ghost hunt during your stay, join a
Haunted Savannah Walking Tour from 6th Sense World
— a woman-owned business that prides itself as being
A Journey Back in Time
Pride Journey : Savannah
Savannah’s original ghost tour company. The nighttime
tour visits multiple haunted areas of the city including the
famed Mercer House.
Wake up bright and early the next morning and catch
a glimpse of the sunrise along the riverfront in the Plant
Riverside district, home to numerous restaurants, boutiques
and art galleries. One block south on East Bay St.
lies B. Matthew’s Eatery, a two-story restaurant which
serves up some of the best brunches in the city. Since I
was planning on walking a lot during my stay, I ordered
the Fried Green Tomato & Crab Cake Benny, a delicious
fried green tomato coupled with a blue crab cake, poached
egg, mixed greens and goat cheese served over a homemade
buttermilk biscuit and topped with mornay sauce.
Calories don’t count when you’re on vacation!
If you feel like you need a bit more exercise than walking,
the fitness center at the Perry Lane Hotel is probably
one of the largest and nicest hotel gyms I’ve ever seen.
After your workout, head up to the rooftop for a stunning
view of the city. The hotel consists of two buildings, the
north building houses the rooftop bar and pool, while the
south tower has a rooftop event space. Grab some complimentary
champagne from the hotel lobby and head to the
top floor for the most amazing views of Savannah.
There really is a surprise around every corner in
Savannah, and one such surprise is a wonderful boutique
called Frieze. Bailey, the store dog, greets customers when
they walk in and is quite possibly the most well-behaved
dog ever. The store contains a variety of exotic treasures
from around the world hand-selected by the owner, which
are perfect for your home or a gift for that special person.
History buffs will enjoy the American Prohibition
Museum which sits just outside of Ellis Square. The
6,000 square foot building contains 13 different galleries,
four vintage cars and a functioning speakeasy. The
18th amendment to our Constitution was passed in 1919,
prohibiting the sale, transportation and consumption of
alcohol, so of course people tried to find a way around this
law, leading to the rise of organized crime, as gangsters
began to form well-organized and profitable bootlegging
operations. The museum shines a spotlight on this era
paying tribute to the good, the bad and the ugly.
Art enthusiasts should swing by the SCAD Museum
of Art, a contemporary art museum featuring the works
of internationally renowned and emerging artists. The
museum serves as a source of inspiration for the students
of the Savannah College of Art & Design, which has grown
to encompass multiple locations throughout the city and
an enrollment of almost 15,000 students, many of which
travel here from other countries to attend the institution.
With a student population that large, the city boasts a
decent LGBTQ community despite the number of nightlife
options. Club One, the city’s only official gay club, offers
daily entertainment ranging from Drag Bingo on Monday
evening to karaoke and full drag performances in their
showroom every Friday and Saturday night. The club was
home to world-renowned transgender performer The
Lady Chablis, who was known as the ‘Grand Empress’ of
the club. Chablis was a superstar in her own right, playing
herself in the Clint Eastwood-directed movie adaptation
of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, starring Kevin
Spacey and John Cusack. Although Chablis passed away in
2016, Club One honors the icon every week with performances
that bear her name.
Whether you are looking for great food, culture,
history, paranormal activity or a little bit of everything,
Savannah is a great destination to explore.
For more information, go to visitsavannah.com. : :
20 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 21
When the Stars Align
by Gregg Shapiro
There are some people (this writer included)
for whom Colin Firth’s Academy
Award-worthy performance was in 2010’s
“A Single Man” (Firth’s initial gay role), his
first such nomination, even though he
won the trophy the following year for “The
King’s Speech.” That said, 10 years later,
straight Firth is playing gay again, in Harry
Macqueen’s “Supernova” (Bleecker Street),
and this time could potentially snag his
Pianist Sam (Firth) and author Tusker
(Stanley Tucci) are a married gay couple who
have been together for many years. Their
communication consists of playful banter,
sweet bickering and loving admiration. The
pair, who live in Sam’s native England, are
on a road trip in their caravan with their dog,
Ruby. Among the plans they have for this
journey area revisit to a campsite from years
earlier, as well as a stopover at the home of Sam’s sister Lilly
(Pippa Haywood), her husband Clive (Peter MacQueen) and
daughter Charlotte (Nina Marlin). A recital, marking Sam’s
return to concert performance, is also on the schedule.
This voyage, however, has more significance than
others. Tusker, who has been diagnosed with early onset
dementia, is in rapid decline. For all intents and purposes,
this odyssey is a chance for Tusker to say goodbye to
people who have meant something to him.
Of course, the hardest farewell will be the one with
Sam. Sam, who put his entire performance career on
hold to care for Tusker, is in denial. But there’s no refuting
Tusker’s condition. Early in the movie, after a pitstop
where Sam leaves Tusker asleep in the caravan and returns
to find him and Ruby gone. In a panic, Sam drives
down the road for a stretch, only to find Tusker off to
the side, standing stock still in a state of confusion.
In terms of acceptance of his condition, Tusker’s approach
differs from Sam’s. For example, he didn’t bring his
medication with him. Not because he forgot
it, but because he doesn’t think it helps him
and it only serve as a reminder of his illness.
Sam and Tusker keep an audio journal on
microcassettes as another way to monitor
his waning ability to recall, as well as create
an audio scrapbook of memories. It’s one
of the things that continues to link them, in
the same way that looking at constellations
through Tusker’s high-power telescope does.
The scenes with Sam’s family bring a
lightness to the story. There is a surprise
party and the occasion, which provides some
much-needed humor, feels genuine and
celebratory. But the bliss is short-lived when
Sam makes a series of discoveries pertaining
to Tusker’s latest writing project, as well as
his plans for the near future.
Road trip movies, including Oscar-winner
“Nomadland” and the gay-themed “Uncle
Frank,” made before COVID-19 forced us to
shelter in place, underwent something of a
revival during the pandemic. If we couldn’t
travel, at least we had the pleasure of watching
others do it. In that way, Supernova fit right into the
zeitgeist of the moment.
In addition to that element of escapism, Supernova
also brings dramatic realism to same-gender love and relationships,
along with all the heartache that it potentially
generates. DVD bonus features include a featurette and
the theatrical trailer. : :
22 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021
by L’Monique King
qnotes Staff Writer
Eternity Philops is a yoga instructor and
creator of the Kamili Yoga Health &
A native of Garnern, N.C. (a small town
just outside of Raleigh), she moved to
Charlotte in 2005, after graduating from
University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
These days, she proudly calls the QC home.
Philops is ready to talk with qnotes.
She’s at home: a two-story, sunbathed
townhouse on the city’s east side. With her
feline pal, a purring calico cat at her feet,
she settles in to discuss sharing yoga with
the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People
of Color), queer and trans communities;
her joys and overcoming some hurdles.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
What made you to become an instructor?
Spirit led me to instructing. I had no intention
of actually doing any kind of instruction
when I first started, but opportunity
opened for me to be in yoga teaching
training. As time went on, this is where I
ended up. Originally, I would have been
happy being a yoga teacher’s assistant.
There’s a unique and resonating logo
that’s been popping up on your social
media, posters, merchandise and quite
a few things. It seems to speak heavily
to Black women. Are men also welcomed
to your classes?
Most certainly. The logo was chosen to
be a woman, but it’s not actually about
gender. So, it’s not meant to speak exclusively
to women, but it acknowledges
the power of women, how they are often
the background and catalyst to empower
social change. The first human was a Black
woman, so it acknowledges how we all
come from a Black woman.
What is Kamili Yoga and what makes it
any different than other forms of yoga?
Kamili Yoga is my modern Afrocentric
system for Black holistic wellness. It is a
system that centers African culture, history
and identity through the practice of
Our People: Eternity Philops
Forever Teaching Radical Peace, Power and Freedom
yoga. What makes Kamili Yoga different
is the fact that it’s a modern system I
personally created and launched in 2020.
The system utilizes Swahili [language,
also called Kiswahili; it’s predominantly
a mix of local Bantu languages and
Arabic] for its terms, it’s very spiritually
based. There’s movement, but yoga
poses are not required. Your movement
can be dancing or drumming. There’s an
emphasis on pursuing Black knowledge,
encouraging yogis to continue to study
and acquire diverse knowledge. It’s the
only modern [yoga] system created by a
Black queer person.
You mentioned Kamili Yoga in connection
with holistic wellness. Does that
include mental health?
Most definitely. Within this system we look
at the self as five dimensions; physical,
mental, emotional, spiritual and universal.
I teach that each individual dimension
needs to be addressed and cared for.
We have to have greater awareness for
each individual dimension because all of
them together make us who we are and
connects us to all of life. Mental health
is definitely a key part of that. I deal with
mental health issues myself.
When you’re not practicing
or teaching yoga
what are some of your
joys or hobbies?
Anime! Anime is my
happy place. Even when
I’m going through some
of my mental health episodes,
I often turn to anime
because it keeps me
balanced. And, doing fun
shit with my partner. We
like to watch movies and
series and talk shit about
them. And we like to go
out and find fun places to
eat. We’re getting back to
that now that things are
opening up again.
Speaking of partners,
one of your social media
posts seemed to affirm
those who are polyamorous.
Are you poly, and
what does that mean in your life?
Being polyamorous for me means that I
embrace the freedom to have multiple
intimate relationships. Whereas with
monogamy it’s just one — though intimacy
isn’t necessarily about sex. There are
asexual people and aromantic people who
For those who don’t understand that
concept, how do you deal with the
stigma, if there is any, of being
The funny thing is, if anyone is judging
me, they haven’t had the guts to say it
to my face. I feel like a lot of people I
know are pretty conscious, aware and
growing. I’m in a space where I’m going
to live and walk in my truth. I’m not really
concerned about what people think.
The only person I need to be concerned
about is my partner.
Thanks for your candor. We’ve covered
a lot of serious subjects. On a lighter
note, what makes you smile?
Playing and dancing to Sylvester’s “You
Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” anime, my
sweety and connecting with my yoga
students. Knowing the work that I do, truly
That’s a lot of smiles. Anything else
you want qnotes readers to know
I’m a dope ass motherfucker. I’m serious.
You can put that down. Spell it like I spell
it: “Dope ass muthaphukkah,” who loves
connecting with new people and invites
you to approach me, to ask whatever
you wanna’ know. I’m very transparent
and approachable. : :
May 28-June 10, 2021 qnotes 23
24 qnotes May 28-June 10, 2021