QNotes, July 9, 2021


In this issue, we introduce Sarah Mikhail, the new executive director for Time Out Youth! She shares her goals for her new job and more. We also offer several stories on museums and art exhibits and how they are dealing with the lingering of COVID-19. We also have current local, regional, and national news, along with other pieces, that will serve to enlighten and entertain our readers.

July 9-22, 2021 qnotes 1

2 qnotes July 9-22, 2021

July 9-22, 2021

Vol 36 No 06






contributors this issue

David Boraks, Justin R. Ervin,

L’Monique King, Jack Kirven,

Hannah Erin Lang, Lauren Lindstrom,

David Aaron Moore, Nate Morabito,

Julianna Peres, Adam Polaski,

Chris Rudisill, Terri Schlichenmeyer,

Gregg Shapiro, Frank Summers, Trinity

front page

Graphic Design by Natasha Morehouse

Photography: Jim Yarbrough


The focus of QNotes is to serve the LGBTQ and

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a local news partner of

The Charlotte Observer

inside this issue


9 Time Out Youth Hires

Sarah Mikhail as New

Executive Director


6 News Notes

6 Briefs

8 ‘Going to Be the Big One’

12 Infectious Art

13 Levine Museum Details

Plans to Sell Uptown Home


10 Immersive Van Gogh

14 Queering the

Vagina Monologues

15 New Work from Southern

Equality Studios Debuts

17 Screen Savor:


of Things Past

18 Tell Trinity

19 ‘As a Woman: What I

Learned About Power,

Sex and the Patriarchy

After I Transitioned


19 Fact and Fiction


4 Financial Planning

Strategies for

LGBTQ People

16 Sharing a Home

With Your Partner


For event listings, visit


Sharing Your Home

With Your Partner

Buying a house with someone you

love is an exciting time, but it is

important to take proper steps in legal

protections for you and your partner.



Queering the

Vagina Monologues

An all-LGBTQ cast will be performing

Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.”

See it July 31 at The Enclave, located

in south Charlotte. The production is

directed by TG Matthews Cox.


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July 9-22, 2021 qnotes 3


Financial Planning Strategies for LGBTQ People

Advancements Create New Opportunities — and Needs

by Frank Summers

Guest Contributor

Something important is happening in healthcare systems

across the country: They’re recognizing the health needs of

the LGBTQ community deserve attention, and many are forming

dedicated services. For the first time, LGBTQ healthcare

was a dedicated topic at a recent international conference on

healthcare and aging. It’s more than just patient & condition,

however. It’s also about cultural competency. They realize that

many of us are uncomfortable discussing certain topics with

our doctors, or even just being out. It’s also about respect for

our chosen families and relationships, and who we want involved

in our medical decision-making. There’s a greater understanding

that our experiences and histories as LGBTQ people,

including physical and psychological, shape us and impact our

health our entire lives. You see, healthcare is not just about

patient/condition — it’s about seeing us as complete people.

At the same time, there’s a cultural shift in how we see

the latter part of our lives. Gone is the idea of retirement as

sitting in a rocking chair, watching life pass by and reminiscing

about our youths. Instead, “elderhood” is seen as a

vibrant phase of life, when we’re active and doing new and

exciting things…hopefully with the freedom that comes with

leaving a full-time career behind. As exciting as that is, the

truth is that each of us will someday be older and these advancements

give us more options, but only if we plan. Living

longer, more active, healthier lives…that sounds wonderful.

But how much will it cost? How will we pay for it?

Just as healthcare has changed for LGBTQ people, so has

financial planning — and it’s more than just new products or

investment options. The personal connection is every bit as

important. Understanding how we want to experience the

phases of our lives and the connections to our community

and chosen families helps design plans to be sure the funds

are there to enjoy them. But what if something happens…an

illness or injury or chronic condition?

Financial planning has changed, and awareness of our

needs can help avoid a costly mistake. Some of us are now

married, some couples have chosen to remain unmarried,

and others are single. In fact, there is a higher percentage of

single LGBTQ+ people than our straight counterparts, and

many more of us do not have children to provide care or

financial support for us when we get older.

For example, with long-term care planning, there are options

that can give us control over who we hire and what we

pay for. Traditional long-term care policies require specialty

care by facilities or providers that they define. That may not

work for someone who wants to remain in their own home

and wants to control who is providing care. A traditional

long-term care policy won’t fund the retrofit of a bathroom

— but there are other options that will. In fact, there are now

options for HIV+ people to help fund long term care or to get

life insurance that didn’t exist just a couple of years ago.

Unfortunately, some things haven’t changed. Many

LGBTQ people report discrimination or harassment in care

facilities. Many of us want more options and control of where

we live, and with whom, and to set the direction of our care.

We want to decide who provides services for us. Reviewing

the options and making decisions in advance can make all

the difference.

Equality may be the law of the land, but marriage isn’t

for everyone. Unmarried couples still want to care for one

another and to have control over decisions and assets. That

requires special planning and clarity. For the couples who

do get married, or are considering it, there may be Social

Security considerations to be taken into account.

Being single brings its own set of planning needs, especially

when it comes to setting expectations for care if we

become incapacitated or need care. At all times, we should

have control over who will make our medical decisions for

us, who will have access to our money, and who will decide

what is done with our property and belongings.

Many of us want to be sure that it’s our chosen family and

not our family-of-origin that makes our decisions. The right

attorney can make sure that all of the paperwork is done

properly and the right financial planner can be sure that the

products and accounts are structured to support that.

While marriage equality has leveled the field, and

financial products are the same for everyone, it’s our needs

as people that make us different. Your financial planner,

attorney and care advocates should work together as a team

dedicated to you and your needs. We’ve worked too hard

and achieved too much to settle for less. : :

For more information, visit franksummers.ceterainvestors.com.

Frank Summers is a financial planner who specializes in the

needs of the LGBTQ+ community. He works with clients across

the country, though his office is based in Charlotte, NC. 5200

77 Center Dr #330, Charlotte, NC 28217. Cetera Investors is a

marketing name of Cetera Investment Services. Securities and

Insurance products are offered through Cetera Investment

Services LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are offered

through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Cetera is under separate

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PrEP • LGBTrans Care • HIV Care

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Accepting new patients daily!


Amity Medical Group, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that

proudly serves the Charlotte community in providing medical care

and linkage to community services to serve your daily needs.


East Charlotte (Practice & Pharmacy Hours: 8am-5pm)

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Fax: 704-248-8068

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4 qnotes July 9-22, 2021

July 9-22, 2021 qnotes 5


Local LGBTQ Groups Donate Collection of Books for Youth

More than 350 children’s books, all centering around LGTBQ characters and topics, have been donated to the Charlotte Mecklenburg

Library Foundation. Rosedale Health in Huntersville and Stonewall Sports Charlotte pooled their resources to celebrate Pride month with

literature and youth outreach.

This idea emerged when players from Stonewall Sports Charlotte decided to sprinkle the Queen City’s public libraries with stories of

acceptance and inclusivity. Rosedale Health + Wellness, a gay-owned HIV patient care center, then matched all of these donated books by

providing an extra copy of each. Childcare professionals selected, evaluated and approved each piece for their appropriate age groups.

Although the library is a safe haven for many children, transportation to and from the building is not always possible. So, as with

years past, the Charlotte Mecklenburg library will be re-launching their Mobile Library once more. The importance of reaching secluded,

underrepresented communities emphasizes the need for new books. More so than anyone, these youths deserve to see themselves

embodied in writing.

Executive Director of the Mecklenburg Library Foundation, Jenni Gaisbauer, says, “These titles reflect and celebrate the diverse world

we share, and will help more young readers see themselves, their families and their neighbors in the books they read.” Some of these

children’s books are “Amazing Grace” by Mary Hoffman, “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell and “The Family

Book” by Todd Parr.

“This donation shows [another] way our players give back to the community,” says Roger Howard, Stonewall Sports Commissioner,

“We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in their home, school and community. We hope these books will support LGBTQ children

and their allies.”

As with the Stonewall Sports’ philosophy, there is no LGBTQ-requirement. Baseball, racquetball and tennis players do not need to be

LGBTQ-identified to play on a Stonewall team. Children who check out these new books do not have to be anything but respectful. The

goal of this rainbow collection is to educate, include and celebrate all young readers throughout North Carolina.

To learn more about Rosedale Health + Wellness, go to myrosedalehealth.com. To learn more about Stonewall Sports Charlotte, go

to stonewallcharlotte.org.

info: bit.ly/2UnZOAn

— Julianna Peres

Changes in Hong Kong May Spell Trouble for Gay Games

Next year will be the first time Hong Kong plays host to the Gay Games. For all of the controversy

and questions surrounding China’s history with LGBTQ civil rights and human rights in general, Hong

Kong (formerly a British Colony handed back to China in 1997) has been mostly accepting and welcoming

of gays and lesbians, even after the city was returned to Chinese authorities. Even as late as

2017, when the Federation of Gay Games (FGG), announced that their next event would be held there,

businesses and city officials were enthusiastic about the potential tourism the events would attract.

Now, just four years later, things are decidedly different

That formerly positive enthusiasm is getting harder to come by these days as the central Chinese

government is impacting Hong Kong. What was once a previously progressive and cosmopolitan

culture is regressing, as indicated by city lawmakers.

According to a report carried by the website Hong Kong Free Press, Junius Ho, a member of the

Hong Kong Legislative Council, said of the Gay Games and its participants: “It is your business what

you do in your own room, but if you go out and do it in public, it’s disgraceful. The point is simple, the

[city governing body] should not get involved in this, it’s the civil society’s business if they want to do

it, it’s wrong to throw money into this, and I don’t want to earn this type of dirty money, it doesn’t matter if we earn the HK$1 billion.”

Several companies have been shocked by the outright homophobic comments made by government officials like Ho.

“Our position on the Gay Games is we understand the purpose is to promote inclusiveness and diversity, so we have no problem with

that sort of spirit,” said Carrie Lam, chief executive of Hong Kong,

For now, the Gay Games continues to be promoted by the FGG and several members of the Chinese government.

info: gghk2022.com/en

— Julianna Peres

N.C. Cherokee Tribe Still Prohibits Same-Sex Marriage

Tribal courts, such as those who govern the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in North Carolina have their own governing bodies

and laws outside of the United States. In 2014, the Eastern Band Tribal Council passed a resolution that would ban all marriage between

same-sex couples. Tamara Thompson and her partner Jillian Goldstein, who met at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, set out to make a change in

their Native American Reservation, only to be immediately shot down by the Tribal Council.

Tribal Council Chair Adam Wachacha dismissed Thompson’s well-researched LGBTQ-inclusive bill at the preliminary stages. The shock

of such an abrupt rejection sent Thompson reeling, and she insisted that Wachacha’s actions should not have been possible — the resolution

should have been merely reviewed, and not ruled upon, at this reading.

She complained to a reporter for the news and culture website Cherokee One Feather that, although she and Goldstein could marry

in the United States, they would not be considered wives within their Cherokee community. This was further complicated by the fact that

Goldstein is not an enrolled member of the Eastern Band.

Atsei Cooper, however, is an enrolled member. Cooper was raised by two moms and identifies as bisexual. In an effort to create some

kind of tribal LGBTQ cohesion, Cooper, tribal member Justin Lee and other LGBTQ members and friends of the Cherokee Qualla Boundary

created a Facebook Group called “Nudale Adantedi,” meaning “different hearted, different spirited.”

More than 400 individuals have joined this group and they, along with Thompson, are hoping to reach out to the Tribal Council once

more. This group keeps LGBTQ individuals all over the country informed on the elections, hearings and rulings of the EBCI.

“Our goal is to bring same-sex marriage to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians,” Cooper told radio station WFAE 90.7. “On top of that,

we want decolonial education and changing the homophobic and transphobic culture that we have adopted here.” The EBCI has been

criticized by many community members for having strayed from their traditional attitudes of love and acceptance.

The Nudale Adentedi group mentions that the shift from a matriarchal to a more patriarchal society is said to have made for a more

conservative Council. This is yet to be seen, but many members of the Cherokee community are waiting for the July 1 Tribal Council meeting

results. LGBTQ and allied members of the EBCI intend on making a demonstration before the meeting as a display of solidarity.

info: bit.ly/3wfHmYb

— Julianna Peres

6 qnotes July 9-22, 2021



Time Out Youth Resumes

In-Person Discussion Groups

As July begins, so too will Time Out

Youth’s (TOY) phase to begin in-person

events once more. For youth between

the ages of 11 and 20, Melanin, MagiQ,

Tea Time, Space Aces and the Poetry

Group will resume discussions at the

TOY Center. COVID-related precautions,

like new “air scrubbers,” masks and

temperature checks are still in place, and

all staff members have been vaccinated.

Vaccine clinics are being hosted throughout

July, and drop-in hours are being

reinstated on Saturdays from 12 p.m.

to 4 p.m. With any queries, reach out to


info: timeoutyouth.org


Mayor of Hillsborough Publicly

Supports LGBTQ Residents

The sun shone over an array of

rainbow flags in the small town of

Hillsborough, N.C. on June 1. Overnight,

each lamppost was adorned with its

own Pride flag throughout the downtown

area. The town’s mayor, Jenn

Weaver says of this demonstration,

“I think policies are the most important

thing, but symbols are also really

meaningful and powerful, and this

certainly is one.” Public response was

mostly positive with only a few citizens

leaving negative comments on the official

town’s Facebook page. But this is

to be expected as Weaver puts it, “We

live at the crossroads of progressivism

and conservatism.”

info: bit.ly/3h00IMo


Transgender Women Sue Georgia for

Transphobic Medicaid Program

Shon Thomas and Gwendolyn Cheney

reached out to the American Civil

Liberties Union (ACLU) for legal aid.

According to their case, Georgia’s

Medicaid program covers several surgeries

that, despite being needed by gender

expansive persons for transitional

purposes, is only offered to cisgender

individuals. The lawsuit claims that

Georgia’s Medicaid “incorrectly characterizes

their gender-confirming health

care needs as “cosmetic,” “experimental”

and/or investigational.”

info: bit.ly/2SxiFsi


Homophobia is Running

Rampant in Turkey

Police used tear gas on Pride parade

participants in Turkey this past month, a

parade which has been officially banned

for the foreseeable future. More than

20 individuals were either arrested or

detained for marching in the parade.

Earlier in 2021, Turkey’s government

asked to be taken out of the Istanbul

Convention due to its progressive views

on LGBTQ persons. This convention,

however, was created as a way to keep

women safe from systemic violence.

Many members of Turkey’s government

have been vocal about their disdain

for gay, lesbian or transgender persons.

The Human Rights Watch writes,

“Anti-LGBT speeches and social media

posts by top government officials have

become common.”

info: wapo.st/3jkRRGD

— Compiled Julianna Peres

Will Senate Apologize for

Decades of Hate and Intolerance?

In a paper titled “America’s

Promise of Reconciliation and

Redemption: The Need for an Official

Acknowledgement and Apology for

the Historic Government Assault on

LGBT Federal Employees and Military

Personnel,” the LGBTQ Washingtonbased

organization Mattachine

Society, along with the law firm

McDermott Will & Emery, are calling

upon the U.S. Senate to apologize

for their long history of homophobia.

Among the government-level supporters

of this paper are senators Tammy

Baldwin and Tim Cain.

The paper calls all members of Congress, the military and the Executive Branch to

action, outlining each sectors’ explicit racist, homophobic, transphobic, colorist and

xenophobic activities actions of hate and intolerance. The 28-page record goes into

detail about anti-LGBTQ legislation, lynching of African Americans, Japanese-American

internment and harming/harassing Native Hawaiians.

Charles Francis, President of Mattachine, says, “Our mission of archive activism

strives to prevent America from repeating the most appalling errors of our history. For

this project, we were inspired by the fundamental question ‘Do you want to remember

or forget?’ which has been posed to governments worldwide when considering grave

wrongs committed against their citizens. The government’s assault over seven decades

on LGBT Americans is [one of such] wrongs requiring acknowledgment and apology.”

Over the course of two years, several members of both McDermott and

Mattachine pored over Freedom of Information Act (FIA) requests in an effort to piece

together the United States’ past of LGBTQ discrimination. In addition to these documents,

Mattachine and McDermott brought the history of the U.S. military and federal

employment into question.

No financial reparations are being requested from the government.

This means that, unlike past resolutions, the House of Representatives will not

have to pay any one person or group as a consequence of the statement. The paper

also brings up the issue of international hate crimes from the nations of Canada,

Australia, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil and the Netherlands.

info: bit.ly/3zDwlTk

— Julianna Peres

Raleigh Resident Featured in

Gallery, Documentary and Book

Once the ball started rolling on the “Not Another Second” art exhibit, it couldn’t

be stopped. 12 queer seniors had their photo portraits on display in a Brooklyn, N.Y.

gallery when the show started picking up speed. The series was transformed into a

documentary and, shortly thereafter, into a coffee table book.

The photographs, taken by Karsten Thormaehlen, feature individuals and couples

over the age of 60. Each of the subjects were asked about their experiences with

recognizing, accepting and living in pride of their LGBTQ identities. Some of them

spent over 50 years in the closet, living life surrounded by intolerance, bigotry, discrimination

and, in some cases and places, the risk of arrest. The exhibit opened at

the start of this year in The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights and will remain open until

September 2021.

Participant Richard Prescott sums the purpose of the project up perfectly when

he says, “I think I lost a lot of years not being myself. Not only do we get to share our

stories, but give courage to younger generations who are still scared of being their

authentic self.”

Younger generations will benefit from the stories in the book “Not Another

Second,” as well as all proceeds from sales, which will be donated to Watermark for

Kids, a nonprofit that focuses on providing aid to LGBTQ youth.

This intergenerational effort is something that Ronnie Ellis Jr., a North Carolina

native, cites as integral to the fight for LGBTQ equality. Growing up in the rural Raleigh

area, Ellis was wary of losing his career because of his sexual orientation and did not

come out for 54 years. Both Ellis and his now-deceased partner feared for their careers

and lives. Despite the risks, they made a secret life for themselves during a large

portion of the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the next. They

spent 44 years together before his partner passed away in 2011.

Ellis later purchased a Victorian home in the Historic Oakwood district in Raleigh,

became a leader in spearheading the conservation and restoration effort of the area

and was frequently referred to as “Mr. Oakwood” around Raleigh. These days he

spends his residential time between Raleigh and Tarboro, N.C.

Ellis, 81, mirrors Prescott’s sentiments about today’s gay youth, “Somebody needs

to let the young people know, we did what we could, and now they can pick up and

make life better for other younger people.”

Watermark Retirement Communities and SAGE are funding this multimedia

project, hoping to reach LGBTQ and allied elders and youth alike. SAGE Central North

Carolina continues to serve individuals like Ellis, advocating for and supporting LGBTQ

seniors over the age of 50 across the city of Raleigh.

info: notanothersecond.com

— Julianna Peres

July 9-22, 2021 qnotes 7


People who are behind on their rent

because of the coronavirus pandemic

got another reprieve last week: The

federal Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention extended its moratorium on

evictions for one more month.

The CDC has said it will be the last

extension. Several extensions have been

made since the moratorium was first

enacted in September.

The moratorium doesn’t mean evictions

have come to a standstill. A review of

court records shows judges are continuing

to order evictions for Mecklenburg County

renters who failed to pay rent — and for

other reasons like lease violations.

While cases have slowed dramatically,

they’re about to pick up again, as

courts begin scheduling cases that have

been delayed during the pandemic. An

estimated 250,000 North Carolinians are

behind on their rent, according to the U.S.

Census Bureau.

That worries housing advocates and

social service providers, who are preparing

for a flood of cases and more people seeking

rent relief and other assistance.

“I’m concerned that there are going

to be a lot of people getting evicted,” said

Tommy Holderness, a lawyer with Legal

Aid of North Carolina, “I just think the

numbers are gonna be really bad.”

Looking at Evictions

Reporters for the The Charlotte

Journalism Collaborative, a group of six

newsrooms working together to cover the

city’s housing crisis, recently tried to access

court data on evictions before and during

the pandemic across North Carolina.

The court system either says they don’t

have them, or there are barriers — even

though these are public records. Much

of it is only in paper copies, filed in the

courthouse. In one instance, the collaborative

was given a $6,000 estimate in fees for

a state data set.

So reporters examined, by hand, more

than 700 eviction orders issued at the

Mecklenburg County Courthouse between

October 2020 and April 2021. Despite

the federal ban, most of those were

for nonpayment of rent. Some tenants

were able to work with their landlords to

stay, or caught up on their balance, but

many were removed from their homes.

Advocates say the ban worked well for

some tenants whose income levels and

pandemic-related hardships qualified

them, but in some cases, either tenants

didn’t submit necessary paperwork or

didn’t qualify for protection.

Some tenants owed just a month or two,

but others were $10,000 or more behind.

This is consistent with what officials with

two local rent relief programs see every day.

Never before have so many people been

able to rack up months and months of late

balances. Carol Hardison of Crisis Assistance

Ministry says the amount of rental assistance

they’re paying out has soared.

“Pre-pandemic, you wouldn’t have

been able to get more than a month or

two behind without the landlord completely

pad-locking you out,” Hardison

said, “Now we’re sometimes paying two,

8 qnotes July 9-22, 2021

‘Going to Be the Big One’

Renters, Advocates Brace for End of Eviction Moratorium

by David Boraks, Lauren Lindstrom & Nate Morabito | Guest Contributors

Hattie Howie, center, talks to Crisis Assistance Ministry customer service representative

Lawrence Winston. (Photo Credit: Nell Redmond via Charlotte Journalism Collaborative)

three and four, five months worth of rent

to help a person.”

Erin Barbee, who oversees

Mecklenburg’s rent, mortgage and utilities

assistance RAMPCLT program for the

nonprofit DreamKey Partners, says they’re

seeing applicants come with overdue balances

of $7,000 to $8,000, on average.

James Surane, a Charlotte-area attorney

who represents landlords, says they’re

seeing what he calls “unprecedented”

amounts of overdue rent.

“Normally we’ve seen one or two

months, whatever, $1,500 to $2,000.

We’re seeing ledgers now at $20,000 and

$25,000,” Surane said. He says some tenants

who qualified for the eviction protections

don’t realize the moratorium does

not write off that debt.

Hattie Howie came to Crisis Assistance

Ministry this week looking for help paying

three months of rent

totaling about $3,000.

She said she was

grateful her landlord

has been patient with

her efforts to catch

up, but the balance weighs on her.

“It’s so stressful not knowing how the

rent is going to be paid,” she said. Howie,

68, had to stop working after 33 years as

a housekeeper and factory worker when

her mother, who died in October, needed

care, and her own health declined.

Her daughter, Thomasina Howie, lost

her housekeeping work during the pandemic

when people were wary of inviting

others into their homes. She stayed in a

hotel for several months before moving

into a new apartment in May with help

from the Salvation Army.

Thomasina said the pandemic hit

harder for those already struggling.

“Before the pandemic, things were

starting to look up on my end,” she said,

“But when it hit, it made me fall all the way

back and give so much of what I didn’t

have back.”

Greater Charlotte Apartment

Association Executive Director Kim

Graham said property managers need stability

as well, so they can provide critically

important rental housing. Graham compared

the moratorium extensions to riding

a neverending rollercoaster in the dark.

“Just when you think you’re towards

the end of this rollercoaster, you get

another dip and another loop thrown your

way and that is scary,” she said.

While court records show judges

ordered the evictions of some for nonpayment,

Graham said the vast majority

of property managers and landlords have

remained patient with renters and have

worked with them in good faith. In fact,

she said landlords were the ones who

originally stepped up at the beginning of

the pandemic before the federal government

and financial industries stepped in.

“I do believe that

there has been an

injustice done to the

landlords,” Graham

said, “I definitely

believe there was this

sense that landlords had deep pockets,

that landlords were at an advantage

over the people that they housed, that

landlords could weather the storm and

that landlords really didn’t care, and all of

those things are misnomers.”

What Happens When

the Moratorium Ends?

A Mecklenburg County court spokeswoman

said 1,070 eviction filings are

pending at the court as of this week. Those

are eviction filings from landlords who are

waiting for a hearing date. Experts also

told the CJC they expect many more landlords

are waiting to file their petitions until

after the moratorium expires.

A key factor for how quickly people

might lose their homes is the speed that

courts schedule hearings. Before the

pandemic, Mecklenburg County routinely

scheduled hundreds of cases in an hour,

because many tenants did not show up to

court or didn’t have a lawyer.

COVID-19 slowed down scheduling,

sometimes only 20 cases per courtroom,

per hour, to avoid too many people in

a room together. Others were done by

video conference.

Holderness, the Legal Aid attorney,

said he hopes the courts don’t rush to

return dockets to pre-pandemic levels.

“I think that’s the one way to keep the

numbers from just getting horrendous in a

hurry,” he said, “but if the courts increase

those docket sizes, it’ll be ugly in a hurry.”

People who spoke to the Collaborative

think it will take months for the courts to

hear all these cases.

What’s Being Done?

Housing advocates say sufficient and

timely rent relief is essential to preventing

evictions once the moratorium lifts.

Both RAMPCLT and Crisis Assistance

Ministry are increasing staffing to prepare

for expected increased demand.

RampCLT has distributed a little more

than $39 million since launching in 2020,

with another $9.2 million available for city

of Charlotte residents with a COVID-19

income loss or hardship.

Applications are available at Rampclt.com.

They will also begin prioritizing applicants

with evictions filed and a scheduled

court date within 30 days, in hopes of

pushing out money first to those at greatest

risk of becoming homeless.

“We’ve reprioritized in a way that we

think will help us to impact the most

vulnerable and get them the funds

that they need to stay in their homes,”

Barbee said. The program had previously

prioritized applicants with the lowest

incomes first.

Hardison said Crisis Assistance Ministry

has added two “navigator” positions,

trained to learn about all available aid opportunities

at Crisis and elsewhere, and to

help people sign up with the right program

to maximize their help.

“This is going to be the big one,”

Hardison said, “We’ve been focusing on

this like a laser beam.” : :

The following people contributed to this

story: David Boraks (WFAE-FM), Lauren

Lindstrom (The Charlotte Observer), Nate

Morabito (WCNC-TV), Lexi Wilson (WCNC-TV),

Jasmin Herrera (La Noticia), Gavin Off (The

Charlotte Observer), David Raynor (Raleigh

News & Observer), Rick Thames (Queens

University) and David Griffith with the

Charlotte Journalism Collaborative.

qnotes is part of six major media

companies and other local institutions

reporting on and engaging the community

around the problems and solutions

as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism

Collaborative, which is supported by the Local

Media Project, an initiative launched by the

Solutions Journalism Network with support

from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and

reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all of

our reporting at charlottejournalism.org.


Time Out Youth Hires Sarah Mikhail

as New Executive Director

First Generation Egyptian-American Fills position Aug. 9

by David Aaron Moore

qnotes Staff Writer

Charlotte’s 30-year-old LGBTQ

organization Time Out Youth

(TOY) is welcoming a new executive

director. Coinciding with the

landmark anniversary year for the

city’s queer youth services institution,

Sarah Mikhail has been named to the

position following a unanimous vote

of the search committee and Board

of Directors.

Mikhail officially takes the reins at

TOY Aug. 9. “This is a dream job for

me,” says Mikhail, a social work leader

and advocate with over 15 years

of experience working in the LGBTQ+

community and youth leadership,

“and it came at such a perfect time; it

was like a gift.”

As a queer, first generation

Egyptian-American woman, Mikhail’s

personal modus operandi is deeply

rooted in recognizing the value of intersectionality.

As well, she’s devoted to

social justice matters for LGBTQ youth.

In her position as executive director

at Time Out Youth, Mikhail plans

to increase the visibility of TOY and expand

outreach programs to the many

LGBTQ young people the organization

serves. Additionally, she will handle

strategic and operational planning

along with administrative and financial

decisions for TOY.

Sounds like you’re about to be extremely

busy. While you still have time, tell us

how you find power in intersectionality.

Intersectionality is at the core of my

social work. I’ll use myself for an example:

I am more than one identity. So it seems

like “Oh this queer person came in” and

that’s it. It’s all under the lens of queerness.

Well, sure, yeah. That’s true but I’m

also informing the world of my femme

identity, I’m under the lens of my leadership,

my work, my friendships, the crosscultural

experience I’ve lived. Everything

I do is under that lens. All of that is my

identity. That informs the way I show

up in the world. So to me, it’s seeing we

are all showing up with many identities.

Sometimes, I know, it seems like we talk

about that only when we’re talking about

marginalized identities. But intersectionality

is noting that we all have multiple

identities that bring something to the issue

that we’re talking about. We can’t ask

someone to say, “Oh, I’m talking to you as

my brown self, or my queer self.” We’re

all of it. We’re all of it all the time. Like

Audre Lorde said, “We don’t lead single

issue lives, so there’s no such thing as a

single issue struggle.”

How do you anticipate applying that to

your new position at TOY?

I want to come to Time Out Youth,

talking to the team as their whole self,

with every part of them being seen. In

Sarah Mikahil is looking forward to her new job at Time Out Youth. (Photo Credit: Jim Yarbrough)

the work I’ve done, and what I want to

do, we help the most marginalized, and

we’re helping everyone. It’s very exciting

to be the first woman of color serving

as executive director at Time Out Youth,

but it’s also very important for me to ally

myself with people who don’t necessarily

share that identity. Intersectionality

isn’t just about marginalization. It’s also

about this great moment for us to see

there’s another perspective, there’s

more work to be done and to be able

to draw from the experiences of those

people around us.

Tell us about your journey to Charlotte.

I moved here in September [2020]

from New York. It had become unbearable

to live there during that point of the

COVID-19 pandemic. I’m originally from

northern Virginia, but I moved to New

York right after college. I lived in Brooklyn

for 15 years, and I was already getting to

a place, like many New Yorkers do, after

about 10 years or so. I’m not 23 anymore,

and I was already thinking about leaving.

Then the pandemic hit, and my partner

and I were working out of our one-bedroom

apartment. My previous job was remote

already, but I used to travel a lot and

that just stopped. It seemed like the time

was right, we already had friends here and

my goddaughter is here. We visited in the

summer of 2020, and we just packed up

and came back three months later. I still

love New York, but it was really hard and

exhausting. I came to Charlotte and really

loved it. It’s a big city that is robust and

growing. There’s just a time in life when

you don’t want to try so hard to live. Life

shouldn’t have to be that hard and coming

here for like a month and realizing there

were affordable places to live made the

move such a no-brainer.

Are you enjoying life in the city?

We live in Country Club Heights, [and] I’ve

found I like to live a quieter life, so, yeah.

I love nature, I love outside, and I love all

[the] things that were really difficult to

access in New York. I found that it had

impacted my wellness and my sense of

well-being. Here, I’m in a community that

is warm and inviting. And I have access to

some of the things that make me feel well

about the world around me.

Tell us about your family. Your parents

came here from Egypt?

Yes. My parents were Egyptian born

and then moved to the United States

in 1979, right before they had me and

my brother. They moved to the United

States in a very typical way. You know,

the American dream, we want to give our

children a better life. They didn’t even

speak Arabic to us because they were

very much a part of that assimilationist

movement of the 1980s. My parents

were going to have American children

and live an American life. My parents

were Christian, and my grandfather was

an Evangelical Pastor, in Egypt! That’s

unusual because most of the Christians

in Egypt are Coptic Christians.

So far, what have you encountered

here that really surprised you?

I find it so incredibly fascinating

there are so many churches around

Charlotte that are LGBTQ supportive.

Especially growing up in an environment

that was Christian and so not

supportive. That’s really beautiful.

Here’s a place where queer Christians

have obviously found their message

and overcome some of the things society

has told them. Driving around and

seeing that is really uplifting, especially

for me, because I still have a very

religious family. My brother — who

lives in Greenville, S.C. — is a supportive

Christian. He’s like, “Okay, maybe

I don’t get it, but I love my sister,” so

I’m always welcome. I’m happy that

people can have their religion and still

be accepting of queer people.

What’s on your to-do list at TOY?

So I have a couple of things. I want

to learn all about the team and what

I can do to make the foundation, or

structure at Time Out Youth, a place

where people who work there are

happy and want to stay. I’ve learned

that people who work there really

love the work, but I also know lots

of people don’t stay for years and

years because it’s a small team and

there’s not a lot of room to grow. I’m

the kind of person who wants to see

lifelong careers, and I want to make

it a place where people are paid well,

they want to stay and they have room

to grow and expand, in terms of size and

scope of work.

Another one — I want to learn what’s

working for the young people that are already

attending Time Out Youth and what

is missing for those that aren’t coming

here, so that we can grow the programs

from a young person’s perspective.

Over the past couple of years, there’s

been talk in the community about

creating a new LGBTQ center, and developing

events for seniors at Time Out

Youth. Have you heard any discussion

of that?

I haven’t heard anything about senior programming,

no, but I have heard mention

about the need for a community center.

I understand the need for both. If we’re

going to have LGBTQ youth that thrive and

grow, it’s important that we have a place

for everyone and a place for our elders

and seniors.

What do you think it is about Time Out

Youth? How has it been so successful

and continued to thrive for so long?

It’s pretty amazing! It can’t be understated

how important it is this center has

been around for 30 years and how it has

impacted the community. To me that

says it’s just primed and ready to expand

and grow, whether that be a community

center that goes beyond just youth, or we

expand on programs offering more for

youth. I’m just excited about what we can

bring to the LGBTQ community across

Charlotte in general. : :

July 9-22, 2021 qnotes 9


by Chris Rudisill

qnotes Contributor

Imagine walking into a field of sunflowers.

Bursts of yellow and burnt orange

surround you against a sea of sky blue.

Soon the flowers that have become synonymous

with artist Vincent Van Gogh fill

every corner of the room and launch your

journey into the life and work of one of the

most influential artists in the world.

The Immersive Van Gogh exhibition,

now open in Charlotte’s bustling new

Camp North End, spreads across 76,154

square feet, or one and a half football

fields of sensory overload. The specs

include 118,800 frames of video, 500,000

cubic feet of projections and 190,000 pixels

displaying Van Gogh’s work from the

sunny landscapes and night scenes to his

portraits and still life paintings.

The exhibition includes some of

his most recognizable paintings like

“Mangeurs de Pommes de Terre” (The

Potato Eaters, 1885), “Nuit Étoilée” (Starry

Night, 1889), “Les Tournesols” (Sunflowers,

1888), “Le Chambre à coucher” (The

Bedroom, 1889) and so much more. Over

400 images were licensed for the exhibition

from museums across the world.

Adding to the immersive experience,

Italian composer Luca Longobardi has

created an imaginative soundtrack. As the

petals from “Ramo di Mandorlo Fiorito”

(Almond Blossoms, 1890) fly across the

room, Longobardi’s own “Kyoto” moves

to Murcof’s “Lost in Time - Chapitre I” and

Van Gogh’s “Camera da Letto” (Bedroom in

Aries, 1888) is created all around you. Later

in the roughly 35-minute show, blasts of

color fill the room as the majestic sounds

of Mussorgsky’s “Great Gate of Kiev” bring

viewers to a moment of awe. The partnership

of Artistic Director Massimiliano

Siccardi and Longobardi is magnificent.

“Beyond art exhibiting, it’s also filmmaking,”

said Corey Ross during the June

16th pre-opening and ribbon cutting.

Ross is just one of two producers from

the Toronto-based Lighthouse Immersive

company that created the immersive

exhibition. “You’re going to find yourself

standing in the middle of an animated

film where Massimiliano Siccardi has

deconstructed all of the works of Van

Gogh and reconstructed them in a very

interesting way.”

The blockbuster exhibition was seen by

over 2 million visitors in Paris, received tremendous

acclaim in Toronto, Chicago and

San Francisco, and has additional openings

scheduled for 16 cities across North

America, but Charlotte currently has the

largest exhibition in the world.

“This historic Ford Factory is such an

incredible palette for Massimiliano to

work on, and also for our team to work

on,” continued Ross, “Each installation is

completely unique and different. It’s informed

by the architecture of the building.

It’s informed by the culture of the city, the

collaboration we can have with the local

presenter and moreover with local artists.”

Bree Stallings helped create those

opportunities for the local art community

in numbers that have far surpassed other

10 qnotes July 9-22, 2021

Immersive Van Gogh

An Enchanting Return to Live Art

Visitors admire the large-scale projections of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

(Photo Credit: Michael Browsilow)

cities in the exhibition’s tour. Stallings was

recently named Blumenthal Performing

Arts Director of Artistic Experience and is

a popular local artist and muralist herself

who recently completed a mural at Time

Out Youth with local LGBTQ youth.

Connecting to the history of Camp

North End, a classic Model T with Van

Gogh racing stripes sits near the opening

of the exhibition. In 1924, nearly 35 years

after Van Gogh’s death, architect Albert

Kahn designed the first factory at the site

for the Ford Motor Company. 300,000

Hundreds of images of Van Gogh’s work were used to create the exhibit.

(Photo Credit: Michael Browsilow)

Model T and Model A cars were built at the

factory prior to the Great Depression.

The exhibition space also features

photographs from the 1890s in Charlotte,

showing what the city looked like during

Van Gogh’s life. Murals, installations

and sculptures complete the space with

work from 19 local artists. In addition, 26

Charlotte-based artists are selling their

custom merchandise in the boutique area

of the exhibition gift shop and Blumenthal

is expected to announce soon the 10

artists who will take up residence in the

space through September. According to

Stallings, “one dollar from every ticket

is being sewn back into the creative and

small business community.”

A Welcomed Return to Art

Tom Gabbard welcomed a room full of

city officials, local artists and community

members to the event on June 16 with a

smile on his face, acknowledging the long

time since he had spoken in front of a

physical audience. “We are at this unique

point in time, as a world, as a country,

coming out of the COVID crisis we’ve been

living through,” said Gabbard. “Immersive

Van Gogh in Charlotte and in many other

cities is one of the first opportunities that

we’ve had to be back together — to enjoy

a live experience together.”

Gabbard has been the CEO of

Blumenthal’s Performing Arts since 2003

and in that time has taken the organization

to becoming a Top 10 market for touring

Broadway shows in North America.

The Blumenthal’s 110 employees manage

six theatres in Charlotte, typically hosting

over 1,000 performances annually in addition

to numerous education programs.

Revenue has been down however,

with a 90 percent reduction over the past

year because of pandemic shutdowns. In

February, the arts organization released

its PNC Broadway Lights and Equitable

Bravo series lineup. Additional changes

to the popular theatre seasons were

announced in April, but exhibits like

Immersive Van Gogh and local entertainment

options are welcomed by residents

and by the organization as our lives seem

to be edging back to normal.

Reminders of the virus still exist however,

with sitting or standing circles spaced

throughout the exhibition at the appropriate

six-foot intervals we’ve all grown accustomed

to, and guests are encouraged

to wear masks if they have not been vaccinated.

Hand sanitizer stations are spaced

for guests convenience and the Boileryard

behind the Ford Building provides a perfect

space to gather with friends outdoors

after walking through the exhibition.

Ross further discussed the fully experiential

moment that Immersive Van

Gogh provides. “What’s been so wonderful

about this project is coming out of COVID

when none of us have been able to experience

any of the usual experience of art,

here is an opportunity to see a completely

new type of genre as the first thing that

you get to see,” he said.

When you visit, make sure to walk

around the room, experience how the colors

play off the corners and fill the space

with light. Benches are scattered around

the space for when you want to relax and

take in the full breadth of the show, along

with a bit of people watching. Cushions

are also available for people to rent or

purchase, allowing you to sit directly

on the floor.

“Astonishing in scale and breathtakingly

imaginative, this is a completely new

look at the Master’s work.”

Tickets start at $39.99 for adults and

$24.99 for kids. For more information

about Immersive Van Gogh and to

purchase tickets, visit vangoghclt.com. : :


Join Charlotte Pride for

Our Weekend of Service,

August 21-22

Charlotte Pride invites the entire community to a citywide and regional

weekend of service and solidarity. The pandemic has taught us important

lessons. One of the most important things we have learned from this

pandemic is how important it is to give back and support each other.

The Charlotte Pride Weekend of Service will be held on August 21 – 22,

2021, our original festival and parade dates, to highlight our community’s

passion for giving back and supporting each other and our neighbors.

How you can participate:

Get together with your team at your nonprofit, community group, schools

or student organizations, faith institution, business, ERG, or even an

informal group of friends and plan out a community service or volunteer

project that your team can lead and participate in, Aug. 21-22!

Ideas for service or volunteer projects:

Park, stream, or road clean ups. Neighborhood or other community

beautification projects. Community gardening or support. Food, clothing,

and other resource drives/events/free stores. Soup kitchens. Elder or youth

support. Community arts project. Animal shelter support. Free little library

or pantry construction, installation, and/or stocking. And so much more!

Examples of community partners:

The list of community organizations and service opportunities below

are for reference only. Feel free to reach out to these organizations or

others like them. Not all organizations listed may have group volunteer

opportunities, or they may already be committed with another project,

but this list should give you an idea of the kinds of organizations you can

reach out to as you plan your service project:

• Roof Above • House of Mercy • Classroom Central

• Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation • Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful

• Hands On Charlotte • Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina

• Crisis Assistance Ministry • Friendship Trays

• Humane Society of Charlotte • The Relatives

• Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden • The Bulb

• Charlotte Family Housing • Habitat for Humanity

You can find a database of local nonprofit organizations and group

volunteer opportunities via Share Charlotte at sharecharlotte.org.

Get involved today! Register your project!

Once you’ve determined and chosen your project, register it with

Charlotte Pride! We want to give you shout outs and keep track of our

collective community impact! You can learn more, find a downloadable

one-sheeter of this information in this article, and register your service

project online at charlottepride.org/service.

Coming Soon: Charlotte Pride Clothing and Resource Drive

In the coming days, be sure to stay tuned for information on the Charlotte

Pride Clothing and Resource Drive. As part of our Pride Season and

Weekend of Service, we’ll be kicking off an effort to collect clothes and

other resources for our community and neighbors. We’ll also be hosting

a Free Store at the Pop-Up Pride Festival on Saturday, Sept. 18. You can

ensure you get news and updates on this and other projects by signing up

for our email newsletter at charlottepride.org/signup.

July 9-22, 2021 qnotes 11


Infectious Art

Charlotte Museums’ Responses to COVID-19

by L’Monique King

qnotes Staff Writer

As the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be leveling out and

the number of cases decreases, the world is opening

back up. In-person events are on the rise, businesses

are re-opening their doors and the price of masks is declining

as folks are being vaccinated and opting not to wear them.

The Queen City arts scene is no different. Charlotte has

a thriving arts community that includes multiple museums.

In this article qnotes takes a look at how area museums

have handled COVID-19 pandemic safety measures

from the beginning, to where we are now.

The Levine Museum of the New South’s mission is to

“Connect the past to the future and to realize the promises

of the New South.” As proudly stated on their website, [over]

30 years ago, Levine Museum of the New South was founded

as a history museum that would tell everyone’s story — a

radical idea at the time and a radical idea still. Their mission

has led them to create a space that uses exhibits and programs

to confront some of the most difficult issues facing

us today in a historical context that deepens understanding,

fosters empathy and inspires action toward a better future.

In keeping with the Levine’s history of radical ideas, they

have big changes in the works. The museum is selling its

uptown Charlotte building and plan to pursue a digital-first

approach to serving the diverse population of Charlotte and

beyond. See more about the museum’s plans on page 13.

It may take some time to sell the building and until then,

the museum is open.On its website is a prominently displayed

text box that includes a link beneath a statement on

how the health and welfare of visitors, guests and staff are

always top priority. When you click the link, a September

2020 statement on how the Museum will reopen at half-capacity

and with decreased attendance times appears. There

are links to learn more about the institution’s COVID-19

protocols, but they are currently inactive. Like much of

the world, Levine Museum of the New South seems less

inclined to put the pandemic front and center as it was

during the height of infection rates. However, in attempting

to meet folks where they are, they continue to alternately

offer virtual experiences along with in-person exhibitions.

Speaking of virtual experiences, the Harvey B. Gantt

Center for African-American Arts and Culture certainly

seemed to have handled them appropriately during the

pandemic. Named for the architect who was the first Black

student accepted at Clemson University and Charlotte’s

first African-American Mayor in 1983 — the Gantt center

has a history of showing visitors the importance of addressing

social issues by way of awareness, diversity and

representation. For the Gantt Center, the COVID-19 pandemic

was no different. They closed temporarily during the

time that stay-at-home orders were recommended by Gov.

Cooper and ramped up their virtual offerings to include

Like many other museums, the Mint continues to take

protective measures. (Photo Credit: jpellgen via Flickr)

showcases and full exhibitions, as well as a video series of

community conversations and programs that highlight the

disparities within various sectors of the Black community.

As the Gantt Center became increasingly more aware of

the pandemic’s toll on the community, they changed their behavior

in response to it. Likewise, folks can also virtually learn

how the Gantt Center aims to continue to push the boundaries

of creativity through the use of arts as activism. With

all that being offered, the Harvey B. Gantt Center has also

reopened with access granted to visitors six days a week.

The Mint Museum has two locations: One At Levine

Center for the Arts on South Tryon St. and another on

Randolph Rd. Both are operating full time and admission is

free every Wednesday. In speaking with qnotes, a museum

representative shared some of the Mint Museum’s

COVID-19 protocols, which are still in place. Still taking

protective measures against the pandemic, they have clear

barriers in place at visitor and ticket stations and prefer

that visitors continue to wear masks, though it’s not a requirement.

Like other area museums, the Mint has also responded

by offering some virtual experiences. That doesn’t

preclude The Mint from in-person exhibitions focusing on

local artists. At the Randolph location, “It Takes a Village” allows

visitors to view artwork that is in celebration of the vibrant,

grassroots art happening throughout Charlotte. For

this exhibition The Mint Museum is collaborating with three

of Charlotte’s innovative art collectives: BlkMrktClt, Brand

the Moth and Goodyear Arts. The works of art in the exhibition

are done by more than 25 collective members and

recognizes local artistic talent across a broad cross section

of demographics: economic, racial, ethnic, age and education.

Equally exciting and directly inspired by the pandemic

is “Silent Streets: Art in the Time of Pandemic,” presenting

works of art by local, regional, national and international

artists who useart to surve y and tackle the challenging

times. From comic strips to abstract painting, the exhibition

embraces the potential of all artforms to grapple with the

most urgent issues of our day, providing viewers with both

solace and insight.

For museum goers that have had just about enough of

dealing with today’s issues of viruses, gas line hacks and

social unrest, there’s a new museum opening up — just in

time to transport viewers back to a simpler time. Well, at

least a time prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s a house listed on Airbnb that’s also utilized for

photo shoots and events called the “Home of the 90s.” It’s

a one-bedroom house decked out in colorful floor-to-ceiling

murals, a payphone and countless memorabilia from the era.

Apparently, the pandemic didn’t cramp the style of LGBTQ

community member and founder Jessica Jones and her business

partner Camille Stinson. The two have taken the vision

of the “Home of the 90s” and expanded upon it. The Home

of the 90s Museum, located in Concord, N.C.opened on July

3. With the same 90s theme in mind, it will be bigger and

grander than the one-bedroom house. The museum offers

over 3,800 square feet (and 12 rooms) of 90s memory lanes

with hand-painted murals by area artists. The Home of the

90s was so successful (in part due to folks seeking smaller

less crowded ways to have fun during the pandemic) that it

enabled Jessica Jones to save enough to open the museum.

Jessica told qnotes that though the COVID-19 state

mandate has been lifted, her concerns for the safety of

visitors still warranted the museum being professionally

cleaned daily by a COVID-19 certified cleaning service provider.

She and her partner hope the museum continues

to put smiles on the faces of visitors like the “Home of the

90s” has. They also hope the museum will become known

as “The Date Space of the Year.”

From the moment COVID-19 forced people into their

homes, art became a source of solace. Our area museums

have continued to provide a vehicle for artists to showcase

how they use their creativity to release the tensions the

pandemic has created and allow patrons to find comfort in

art in a manner that is enjoyable and safe. : :

qnotes is part of six major media companies and

other local institutions reporting on and engaging

the community around the problems and solutions as

they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a project of the

Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the

Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions

Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation

to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all

of our reporting at charlottejournalism.org.

12 qnotes July 9-22, 2021


Levine Museum Details Plans

to Sell Uptown Home

A Part of Many Changes

The Levine Museum of the New South is

selling its building on 7th Street

in uptown Charlotte as it looks to transform

itself and how it interacts with

the community.

In an email sent to museum members,

Levine President and CEO Kathryn Hill said

the museum will search for a “more flexible

uptown facility” and pursue a “community-centered,

digital-first transformation.”

“As part of our calling to reach new

audiences and deliver non-traditional

programming, we have decided to sell

our Uptown property to fully embrace our

next chapter,” she wrote in the email.

No immediate changes are planned,

however, and the museum will continue to

operate while the property is on the market.

“Our mission remains unchanged,

and our role in this community is more

important than it’s ever been,” Hill said

in an interview with the Observer. “What

we’re looking at now are new ways of

delivering that are broadly accessible

and highly compelling.”

“By digital-first, we don’t mean digitalonly,”

she added, “There is nothing that replaces

the power that’s generated in a room

full of people who are sharing their stories

and learning from each other, and in-person

programming is still part of our strategy.”

Hill said selling the site could take up to

a year. The sale also opens up a significant

piece of uptown real estate.

Pandemic-related closures spurred

the museum to embrace new types of

projects, such as a digital walking tour of

by Hannah Erin Lang | Guest Contributor

The Levine Museum of the New South said it is searching for a “more flexible uptown facility”as

it moves to sell its building. (Photo Credit: The Charlotte Observer)

the Brooklyn neighborhood launching

this August, Hill told the Observer. “It has

forever changed us,” she said.

“The museum’s mission has never been

more important, and if we are to reach

broadly across the community, we must

imagine new ways to create and deliver

content in the digital age,“ Hill said in the

email, “We recognize, too, that we need to

work more closely with and in the communities

we serve, to ensure all Charlotteans

are heard and known.”

The museum has received a threeyear,

$600,000 grant from the John S. and

James L. Knight Foundation to support the

shift. The funds will go toward expanding

the Brooklyn tour initiative and hiring a

community engagement manager, among

other items, Hill said. Last August, Hill said

that the museum was exploring a potential

sale or redevelopment of its uptown property,

which comprises 0.7 acres at the corner

of 7th St. and North College St. At the

time, Hill said the board has been studying

options for he site for several years.

The museum’s current facility opened

in 2001, although the organization had a

presence in the building for several years

before that. The building and land it sits

on are worth about $7.7 million, according

to county real estate records cited by the

Observer last year.

The Levine Museum was founded in

1991, according to their website. : :

This story originally appeared on The

Charlotte Observer, charlotteobserver.com.

July 9-22, 2021 qnotes 13


Queering the Vagina Monologues

An All-LGBTQ Cast to Perform Eve Ensler’s Famous Feminist Performance Piece

by Julianna Peres

qnotes Staff Writer

he Vagina Monologues” is a

“Tshow that, when seen, can

never be unseen, or so is typically

the goal. Director TG Matthews

Cox’s cast (of all LGBTQ performers)

possesses the chemistry,

intensity and passion required

to achieve this goal.

On July 31 at Charlotte’s The

Enclave, stage lights will rise

over an almost wholly lesbian

cast at 7 p.m. This production

is the third time that Cox has

directed a stage performance of

the play, and, despite the challenges

that COVID-19 has put

forth, she is excited to see the

show come to life.

“As a lesbian, I always appreciate

art that incorporates an inclusive

and/or diverse presence,”

Cox shares, “Though the context

or intent of the monologues that

are performed doesn’t change,

with having an all LGBTQ cast, the energy

does. In my opinion, the deliveries seem

more powerful and more relatable for

non-binary women, even more poignant.”

Most of the participants have been

engaged in the theatre for years and

are a part of the tight-knit community of

North Carolina-based performers. Cox

invited each team member on merit as

well as chemistry. In the past, rehearsals

have been held in cast members’ homes.

COVID-19, however, has seriously limited

the amount of time and number of locations

available for rehearsals.

“Preparation has been interesting

because we are in a state of collective

trauma,” performer Fatima Mann says

of the pandemic-related practice restrictions.

Mann goes on to emphasize the

balance necessary for those emerging

from months of quarantine as they

readjust to group gatherings. Multiple

cast members also point out the limited

seating at the event itself, again highlighting

the importance of staying safe during

the pandemic.

TG Matthews Cox directs “The Vagina Monologues.”

See it at The Enclave on July 31.

In addition to being LGBTQidentified,

the cast is also made

up of several women of color.

Many scholars have studied Eve

Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues”

with a critical lens, claiming that

her production does not put

women of color in the most flattering

of spotlights.

“Rape is represented directly

in the script only in monologues

where the speakers are

women of color,” alleges a piece

published in the University of

Chicago’s Women’s Studies

Department. Author Christine

Cooper goes on to write, “Unlike

these others, the unmarked

voices of American whiteness

have their vaginas and selves

intact. They may get pissed off at

the gynecologist’s office, but they

get the best of medical care.”

The lack of representation

for voices of Black women

in “The Vagina Monologues”

is a feeling of limitation that

performers Kistyn Matthews

Cox and Cayme Andrea would

like to see lifted. Actress Jenny

Ashcraft would like to highlight

the struggles of sex trafficking.

“Too many girls and women

are being sex slaves,” she says,

“and more education needs

to be provided.”Cox feels

that Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina

Monologues” should be performed

as they are; the production

itself should not be altered.

However, she hopes to create

a series of monologues written

from the perspective of LGBTQ

individuals in the future.

Myrna Key-Parker and her

fellow performer GoddessLyrical

Carter have pondered what “The

Vagina Monolgues” might be

like if they included their gender

expansive siblings in tales of

vagina-revelry and disdain.

Carter says she believes

male-to-female transgender

individuals should have a safe

Myrna Key Parker lends her talents to the production

of “The Vagina Monologues.”

space to explore their thoughts on the

importance of the vagina. On the other

side of that coin, Key-Parker is interested

in seeing the perspective of a femaleto-male

individual as they undergo the

transition process. She says that she, and

many who do not identify as transgender

men, could learn a lot from hearing how

a trans man’s relationship evolves with

his genitalia.

Leslie Verleane Oliver says that incorporating

men in the show would add to

the performance’s purpose of representation.

“It could be interesting to have men

in the production that affirm vaginas,”

Oliver suggests, “and own their mistreatment

of them.”

Unfortunately, there is not enough

time for every single story to be told

throughout the three-hour show.

Cox and the cast maintain that,

although they would add some things to

the show if given the opportunity, they are

proud to present an LGBTQ rendition of a

20-year-old production.

One of the main motivating factors for

Cox to direct “The Vagina Monologues”

in 2021 was the memory of her

friend Samantha Cer-John.

Cer-John was instrumental in

the previous two versions of the

play that she and Cox produced

in 2014 and 2016. A portion of

the proceeds from this year’s

performance will be donated to

My Style Matters, Inc. in honor

of Cer-John. An educational

nonprofit, My Style Matters is a

nonprofit for those with cancer

and their caretakers.

The July 31 show will be hosted

by special guest Chirl Girl, a popular

Queen City media personality.

“People with vaginas are

impacted by what happens to

their vaginas,” Mann says matterof-factly.

We are not separate

things, and it’s okay to admit

when the impact to our vaginas

shows up in our daily lives. I

hope that what audience members

take away is that it is okay

to be in-tune with what is happening

to their bodies, whether

they have vaginas or not.” : :

14 qnotes July 9-22, 2021


New Work from Southern Equality Studios Debuts

Featured Work in New Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Exhibition

by Adam Polaski

Guest Contributor



In April, the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts

Center (BMCM+AC) opened a new exhibition, I AM A

CITIZEN OF THE WORLD, which features the artwork

of Southern Equality Studios artists Liz Williams and Al

Murray. Southern Equality Studios is a program of the

Campaign for Southern Equality focused on connecting

with and supporting queer artists and creatives across the

South and exploring how art is a catalyst in and force for

achieving social change.

Through video and photographic work, entitled “Building

a Better Table” and “You’re Welcome” (commissioned

by BMCM+AC), Williams and Murray invite the viewer to

explore their role in taking or having a “seat at the table” —

that is, how we use our voices and positions to enact social

change. The work encourages viewers to acknowledge how

their own place in the world may relate to the representation

and liberation of BIPOC and queer people.

The multimedia piece “Building a Better Table” allows

viewers to literally take a seat in front of a printed work

and video. When the viewer sits, they reveal a series of

words and images in a scene of a table presided over by

models Quay Mills and Sage Jean, who wear shirts emblazoned

with the words “You’re Welcome,” nudging viewers

to acknowledge labor performed for their benefit and

also serving as a cordial invitation to join in the work for

social change. The viewer is guided a step further by being

encouraged to create their own calls to action and share

these aspirations as a promise to themself as well as to

their community.

Liz Williams, Southern Equality Studios Manager for the

Campaign for Southern Equality, said about the work:

“Being a global citizen means becoming aware of

the wider world and our place in it, and these works

point to that awareness in two distinct ways: first, to

respond to the mainstream exclusion and erasure of

BIPOC trans and queer voices, and second, to hold

audience members accountable for their own complacency

and demand their commitment to address those

exclusions. We’re grateful to Black Mountain College

Museum + Arts Center for the opportunity to share

this message in this exhibition, and we’re looking

forward to a spring and summer season of inviting

everyone to help build a better table so we all have

an impactful seat.”

Al Murray, Director of Relationships & Special Projects

at the Campaign for Southern Equality, said today:

“The Southern Equality Studios program has evolved

over the past three years at the Campaign for Southern

Equality — but at the heart of it all has been centering the

power of art to open our hearts, expand our minds, and

create change. I’m excited about this new undertaking for

Southern Equality Studios and can’t wait for folks across

the region to see this work and think about how they can

build a better table.”

The exhibition also features historic work by BMC

artists including Josef and Anni Albers, Leo Amino, Ruth

Asawa, Ilya Bolotowsky, Jack Tworkov, Jean Varda and

more. Contemporary responses include works from Iván

Argote, Onicas Gaddis, Steve Locke, Mateo López, Sherrill

Roland, Southern Equality Studios (Liz Williams and Al

Murray), Javier Téllez and Grace Villamil. Curated by Kate

Averett and Alice Sebrell.

I AM A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD will be available to view

from April 9 – August 14, 2021. To learn how to make an

appointment, go to blackmountaincollege.org/visit. : :

July 9-22, 2021 qnotes 15


by Justin R. Ervin, Attorney

Guest Writer

Many of us want a partner to share our lives and

homes. For some, sharing a home means adding

a partner as co-owner of a home owned before the

relationship. This is a great way to recognize your relationship

and provide security for your partner, but is it

right for you?

Gift Tax

Although many people talk about “adding their partner

to the deed,” what they’re really doing is giving away partial

ownership of their property to their partner. This is a

gift that could be subject to federal gift tax.

A gift worth more than the annual exclusion amount

($15,000 in 2021) to anyone other than a spouse triggers

the obligation to file a gift tax return. It also either chips

away at your lifetime exclusion amount (the amount that

you can give away free of federal gift and estate taxes

during life and at death, $11.7 million in 2021), or, if

you’ve already exhausted that, results in tax due at rates

up to 40 percent.

For example, if your home is worth $200,000 and

you “add your partner to the deed,” then you’ve made

a gift worth $100,000. Subtract the annual exclusion

amount of $15,000 and that leaves a taxable gift of

$85,000. If you haven’t exhausted your lifetime exclusion

amount, then that’s $85,000 less that you can

give away during life or leave behind at death without

owing gift tax or estate tax; otherwise, the gift tax

could be $34,000.

Selling part of your home to your partner for a token

amount won’t help you avoid the gift tax. Any “sale” for

less than full market value is considered a gift to the

extent that the fair market value of the property exceeds

the “sale” price.

For example, if your home is worth $200,000 and

you “sell” half of it to your partner for $5, then you’ve

exchanged property worth $100,000 for $5, resulting in a

gift of $99,995, which doesn’t make much of a dent in the

hypothetical gift tax described above.

A way around this is to marry your partner, because

gifts to a spouse are not taxable. Another way around

this is to make a will and/or trust giving the home to your

partner after your death.

Sharing Your Home With Your Partner

Legal Eagles

Mortgage Default

If you borrowed money to buy your home, then you

have a promissory note and a mortgage. The promissory

note obligates you personally to repay the loan and

allows the lender to sue you if you don’t. The mortgage

makes your home the collateral for the loan and allows

the lender to repossess the property if the loan

isn’t repaid. Failure to pay is referred to as “default,” but

that’s not the only thing that counts as a default. Your

promissory note probably defines “default” to include

giving away partial ownership of your home. Unless you

refinance the loan to include your partner as a borrower

when you give them partial ownership of your home, the

lender can probably call the loan due and require you to

repay the remaining balance immediately.

There are a few ways around this. You could: (1) pay

off your mortgage and then give partial ownership to your

partner, or (2) simultaneously refinance with your partner

and give them partial ownership. Those won’t get you

around the gift tax issue, though. Another way around

this is to make a will and/or trust giving the home to your

partner after your death.


No one likes to consider the possibility that their relationship

could end, much less on a sour note, but we all

know that it happens. If you’ve given away partial ownership

of your home to your partner, then you can’t just

take their name off the deed if you break up; they have to

give their partial ownership back to you, triggering gift tax

consequences as previously described.

If you and your partner refinanced together when you

gave them partial ownership, then giving partial ownership

back to you would leave your (now ex) partner responsible

for the mortgage without any ownership of the home to

show for it.

A way around this is to make a will and/or trust, which

you can change whenever you want, that gives the home

to your partner after your death.

Disinheriting Children

There are two types of co-ownership available to unmarried

co-owners. The default is Tenancy in Common (TIC). If

you co-own your home in TIC with your partner, then only

your part ownership will pass at your death to your beneficiaries

by intestacy or under your will, while your partner

will continue to own their part ownership of the home.

Another type is Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship

(JTWROS). To elect it, your deed must contain specific wording.

If you co-own your home in JTWROS with your partner,

then your part ownership will automatically pass to your

partner; it does NOT pass to your beneficiaries by intestacy

or under your will. After your death, your partner could sell

the home, give it away, or make a will to leave it to whomever

they want, excluding your other family members.

A way around this is to make a will and/or trust giving

the home to your partner after your death for life and

then to your children or other beneficiaries after your

partner’s death.

Other Issues

This article discusses only North Carolina law and

federal law applicable in North Carolina; other states’ laws

might be different. There could be other tax consequences

that are beyond the scope of this article. Spouses have

many automatic protections; they’re beyond the scope of

this article, but I wrote about them in the Dec. 1, 2017 issue

of qnotes. Unfortunately, unmarried partners have no

such automatic protections.


It’s a natural instinct to protect those closest to you,

including ensuring that your partner has a home after

your death, but you should do so thoughtfully, fully aware

of your options and their consequences. : :

Copyright 2021, Justin R. Ervin, III; all rights reserved.

Justin R. Ervin, III practices with the law firm of Johnson,

Peddrick & McDonald, PLLC in Greensboro, where he ended

up after growing up in Rockingham, and is an adjunct

professor of law at Elon University, his legal alma mater.

Licensed to practice law in North Carolina and Florida,

Justin’s practice focuses on estate planning, estate administration

and adult guardianships. Justin enjoys working with

all sorts of clients and has a particular affinity for serving

queer individuals and families, as well as immigrant families.

Justin is open and active in the local queer community,

having served on the Board of Directors of Guilford Green

Foundation and LGBTQ Center. Justin regularly volunteers at

pro bono estate planning events and has also served on the

boards of directors of Benevolence Farm, the Greensboro

Estate Planning Council and the Greensboro chapter of the

Society of Financial Service Professionals.



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16 qnotes July 9-22, 2021


Remembrance of Things Past

Screen Savor

by Gregg Shapiro

Contributing Writer

If the mayor of Sandusky, Ohio hasn’t done

so yet, he should definitely present gay

filmmaker and native son, Todd Stephens,

with a key to the city. Stephens has managed

to make Sandusky, which Charles

Dickens described as “sluggish and uninteresting…something

like the back of an

English watering-place out of the season,”

somewhat captivating. He did so in David

Moreton’s beloved, queer 1996 flick “Edge

of Seventeen” (for which Stephens wrote

the screenplay), as well as his 2001 directorial

debut “Gypsy 83” and 2006’s over-thetop

comedy “Another Gay Movie.”

Sandusky also figures prominently in

Stephens’ wonderful award-winning new

movie “Swan Song” (Magnolia Pictures).

“Inspired by a true icon” (Pat Pitsenbarger,

1943-2012), “Swan Song” stars Udo Kier as

Mr. Pat, the formerly famous hairdresser

known for the magic he worked with a

brush, a comb, and hairspray on the heads

of the city’s socialites.

Retired for years, following a series

of bad breaks, including a stroke, Pat is

reduced to residing in an assisted living facility,

wearing sweatpants and gym shoes

with Velcro straps, sneaking a few puffs on

a More cigarette when he can.

Pat’s fortunes could potentially change

following a visit from lawyer Shanrock

(Tom Bloom), who tells him that not only

has his richest former client Rita (Linda

Evans) died, but that she stipulated in

her will that she wanted Pat to do her

hair and make-up, for which he will be

paid $25k. Pat, who hasn’t “pulled hair in

years,” initially declines because he had a

falling out with Rita, when she ceased to

be his client and went to the salon named

Kharma across the street, which is run by

his competitor (and former employee, Dee

Dee (a restrained Jennifer Coolidge). Pat

tells Shanrock, “Bury her with bad hair.”

After a restless and emotional night,

Pat has a change of heart. He digs out his

fanny pack, stuffs it and his pockets with

some Mores, favorite rings, a check from

the government, his scissors and other accoutrements,

and slips out of the home.

As Pat flies the coop, “Swan Song” becomes

a road movie on foot. On his route

to the funeral home, Pat pops into a convenience

store, stops off at the cemetery

where his lover, David, is buried, pays a

visit to his former beauty supply store

which is now a Black hair salon (one of

the best scenes in the movie) and jumps

rope with some kids. When he gets to

the former location of his and David’s old

house, he’s heartsick to discover that it’s

been torn down. Because David, who died

in 1995, didn’t have a will, everything went

to his nephew, leaving Pat with nothing.

Inside Kharma, Pat and Dee Dee have a

showdown (another marvelous scene), but

Dee Dee relents and gives Pat the bottle

of once-popular shampoo for which he’s

been hunting.

A couple more significant happenstances

— one with Rita’s gay grandson

Dustin (Michael Urie) and a marvelous

visit to a local gay bar on its closing night

(after 41 years!) — as well as what appears

to be a reunion with old friend Eunice (Ira

Hawkins), and the stage is set for Pat’s

final meeting with the deceased Rita.

Stephens masterful “Swan Song”

screenplay proves that he hasn’t lost

his gift for comedy and drama, something

he first demonstrated in “Edge of

Seventeen.” “Swan Song” is the kind of

movie where you laugh out loud, have a

good cry, and then laugh so hard you cry.

Kier gives a career-high performance and

deserves to be remembered during awards

season. Coolidge, and the rest of the

supporting cast are all exceptional, allowing

“Swan Song” to take wing and soar. : :

Rating: A-

July 9-22, 2021 qnotes 17


My Girlfriend, Her Pets

and Our Tiny Apartment

Tell Trinity

Dear Trinity,

One month into dating, my girlfriend’s

job was cut cause of COVID-19, and “to save

money” she and her two pets moved into my

tiny ONE-bedroom apartment. Well, now five

months later I still love her, but I want my

place back. She never pays rent or utilities,

and anytime I bring up moving it ends up a

bad scene. I miss my alone time.

Trapped At Home, Wichita, KS

Dear Trapped,

She doesn’t pay rent AND gets mad

when you bring up moving! Why should she

move, it’s free rent? However, [smirk] you

could make it less comfortable for her, i.e.,

tell her you’re moving out or that you’re quitting

your job and need financial help! Most

importantly, darling, you have to decide, “Do

you love yourself or do you love her more?”

Good luck, Trinity

Hello Trinity,

There’s a budtender at my local dispensary

who is so right for me. I visit him often at work

and keep asking him out, but he keeps declining.

Now I think he thinks I’m stalking him because I

found his address and sent flowers. Help?

Yours, Stalking? Denver, CO

by Trinity | Contributing Writer

Hello Stalking,

When you find out someone’s not

interested in you, yet you keep appearing

at his job and sending flowers to his home,

the only word I can think of is “stalking”

which is the furthest thing from “starting”

a relationship. So honey, chase guys who

want to date you and far away from stalking

guys who don’t.

Hey Trinity,

I met someone great online, went to their

home and they became a sex pig, spitting, pain

and more. I’m not vanilla, but how do you tell

if someone wants a “scene,” not just sex?

Gone Too Far, Toronto, ON

Hey Gone Too Far,

With one-night stands you have to take

a stand. Next time, just ask, “what are you

into?” And then listen for key words like

affection versus asphyxiation. Some think

that to make love means to make war. If

sex is an adventure, plan each trip wisely!

Hugs, Trinity

Dearest Trinity,

Since he invited me for dinner and a

movie, I assumed it was a date, but after

dinner we ended up in bed where he “accidentally”

orgasmed and immediately asked

me to leave, in the middle of a snow storm.

Was my beautiful date really just a bad onenight


Shocked, Montreal, QC

Dearest Shocked,

He cooked, came and kicked you out in

the snow. That monster! Sorry pumpkin,

but yes you were yet another man’s toy.

Next time read:

Trinity’s Scenarios for Knowing When Mr. Cool is Really Mr. Fool

1. When meeting you for a date… she arrives unkempt, in greasy work clothes, unshowered

and insists on fooling around!

2. On every date… he shows up late and gets angry if you bring it up.

3. At the club… she cruises without caring if you notice!

4. While meeting your friends… they act confrontational, argumentative and selfrighteous

just to get a reaction!

5. During dinner… her dinner arrives first, so she starts eating without waiting or offering

to share it until your meal arrives.

6. During conversation… he burps, coughs in your face and sneezes towards your food

without any apology!

7. During a Netflix movie… you have to use the bathroom, but they refuse to pause the

film because they’re “so into it!”

8. At breakfast… he knows you’re vegan, but makes his favorite ham and eggs with no

alternative for you!

9. While making Saturday night plans… she says, “I’ll call you around 8:00 p.m. if I can

make it,” without caring that you’ll be left without plans if she cancels.

10. Lastly, during sex… he has an orgasm first, gets dressed and leaves without offering

you an orgasm or post-sex cuddling. : :

With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity hosted “Spiritually Speaking” a weekly radio

drama, performed globally and is now minister of WIG: Wild Inspirational Gatherings.

Sponsored by: WIG Ministries, www.wigministries.org Gay Spirituality for the Next Generation!

Send e-mails to: Trinity@telltrinity.com

18 qnotes July 9-22, 2021


by Jack Kirven

qnotes Contributor

Happy (belated by the time you see this) Juneteenth!

To celebrate the first Federally observed

Juneteenth, I decided it was time to better understand The

Emancipation Proclamation. I have never felt I grasped

what it did and did not do, or how it does or does not reinforce

Abraham Lincoln’s reputation as a force for equality.

I assume many of you, just like myself, have never really

been told the truth about this document. I hope you will

enjoy what I have discovered for myself.

The fallacy: The Emancipation Proclamation did not free a

single slave.

The actuality: It immediately freed 20,000 - 50,000 slaves upon

its proclamation. It applied to those slaves already in custody of

Union forces within Confederate territory. Eventually, it freed

3.5 million of the 4 million enslaved people living at the time.

The fallacy: The Emancipation Proclamation couldn’t be

enforced because it applied only to places where the U.S.

government didn’t have authority. It “freed” slaves in areas

the U.S. didn’t control, and it left enslaved those people in

areas the Union did control.

The actuality: It applied to all enslaved people within

territory occupied by Union forces. Initially that area was

Fact and Fiction

Health & Wellness: Juneteenth

more limited. However, as the Union line advanced deeper

into Confederate territory, it freed more and more slaves.

It also prevented escaped slaves from being returned to

their owners. In this way, as more Black people were behind

Union lines, more became instantly and irrevocably

freed peoples. The slave holding areas within the Union

were exempted for reasons I will next explain (Tennessee,

parts of Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Delaware, the 48

counties reorganizing as West Virginia, and the counties

within Virginia under Union control).

The fallacy: The Emancipation Proclamation left slaves

within the U.S. enslaved.

The actuality: There were 500,000 slaves living within

the boundaries of the US who were not freed by the

Emancipation; however, all those areas were already in

the process of abolishing slavery. The document did not

need to apply to those areas, and in fact it could not for

the reason I am about to explain.

The fallacy: Lincoln didn’t care about Black people. The

Emancipation Proclamation was only a cynical ploy used

as wartime propaganda.

The actuality: Lincoln did say in a letter that he would

or would not free all, some, or no slaves in order to

preserve the Union. He portrayed it merely as a wartime

tactic in those letters. However, he did this as a way to

soften northerner sentiment. Many northern people did

not support emancipation, but they did want to preserve

the Union. In order to prepare public sentiment,

Lincoln framed emancipation as a tool for destroying the

Confederate economy. However, taking the broad context

of all his other speeches and writings, Lincoln did in fact

want to abolish slavery as a matter of morality. His saying

otherwise was a clever manipulation.

The fallacy: Lincoln didn’t have the authority to free slaves.

The actuality: Lincoln could not circumvent slavery

during times of peace, because it was enshrined in The

Constitution. However, during the war he invoked his

powers as Commander in Chief. He could not use that

authority in areas already in compliance with the U.S.,

but those areas were already emancipating their slaves.

He definitely had authority to enforce the proclamation

within areas in rebellion specially BECAUSE they were

in rebellion. It was a wartime act, and therefore had the

full force of law. As more territory came under Union

control, the proclamation applied to more and more

enslaved people.

So then: The Emancipation Proclamation freed millions

of slaves, and those it did not cover were liberated

by the jurisdictions where they lived. One of the

conditions for reentry into the Union was abolition of

slavery within those states’ newly written constitutions.

It cemented the momentum of ratifying the Thirteenth

Amendment. It was an expression of Lincoln’s desire

to end slavery, though it was presented as a war tactic,

rather than an equality strategy. : :


‘As a Woman: What I Learned About Power,

Sex and the Patriarchy After I Transitioned’

Out in Print

As a Woman: What I

Learned About Power,

Sex and the Patriarchy

After I Transitioned

by Paula Stone Williams

©2021, Atria Books


256 pages

by Terri Schlichenmeyer

Contributing Writer

There are two sides to

every story.

In politics, there’s left

and right; in fairy tales,

it’s good or evil. Guilty or

innocent in court, salty or

spicy mealtimes, dog or cat

among friends, heads or

tails. Sometimes you choose and at other times, like

in “As a Woman” by Paula Stone Williams, you can see

both sides.

From the time he was very small, Paul Williams thought

that he “should have been born a girl.” He wasn’t bitter

about it — not when he was a teen, not even as an adult

— but it lingered in the background of his life.

Oh, he tried to tamp down his desire to dress in his

mother’s clothes, but he could not, despite knowing it would

anger her. She caught him once wearing his Grandmother’s

cast-offs, and he never forgot her reaction; even so, he

Author Paula Stone Williams. (Photo Credit: Rebecca Stumpf)

ransacked her closet at least once a week during his adolescence,

hoping his parents wouldn’t come home early.

His feelings of furtiveness were perhaps exacerbated

by a family legacy of evangelical ministry. Every man he

knew was a leader in their church; when he was young, it

was assumed that Williams would follow them, as if there

was no other option. And so, dutifully, he became a CEO in

a “church planting” organization. He married a woman he

genuinely loved, and they started a family.

But the urges didn’t go away. As his children grew and

left the nest, Williams began to explore the possibility of

letting out the woman he was inside. He confessed everything

to his wife, started hormones and asked for his wife’s

silence until he made plans for a transition physically and

at work. He’d been at the organization for 35 years, and he

was respected, although less than he believed. Williams

was fired and humiliated.

Marriage in question, children shaken, job gone, he

began to assess his life.

The world needed to know the truth.

And so, on July 29, 2014, Paula Stone Williams officially

took to her blog...

Come to “As a Woman” looking for a memoir, and you’re

going to be happy: Most of the pages here tell a tale of

transitioning while immersed in a major evangelical organization,

which are generally incompatible things. This is interesting,

told in an unabashedly forward manner as author

Paula Stone Williams resists minimizing her male past.

Dig deeper, though, and there’s more to this book: Its look

at the difference in how society as a whole regards the roles

of men and women, from someone with knowledge of both,

is funny and sharp-eyed and could serve as a primer/warning

for newly-transitioning women. It’s fiery, it’s sometimes the tiniest

bit whiny, it’s a little repetitious, and it’s eyebrow-raising

with a dash of heated argument-starter for zest.

In the end, “As a Woman” leaves a lot for female readers

to agree with; Williams’ observations are honed, hard

and honest. Men, however — particularly cis men — could

take umbrage at her observations and might give this

book a little bit of side-eye. : :

July 9-22, 2021 qnotes 19

20 qnotes July 9-22, 2021

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