PHOTOS: LGBT welcome party attracts delegates and locals

Nearly 1,000 attend for evening of entertainment and fellowship before start of Democratic Convention

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: September 3, 2012 in News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Organizers of the Unity Through Community LGBT welcome event for the Democratic National Convention said nearly 1,000 people attended their special event on Sunday evening, held at the new North Carolina Dance Theatre building on S. Tryon St., just blocks away from official convention venue sites in Uptown Charlotte.

Among the guests were recognizable names like former Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, Democratic National Committee Treasurer Andy Tobias, National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director Jerame Davis and his partner Bil Browning of Bilerico.com. Also present was Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer and several Human Rights Campaign board members including Meghan Stabler. And, according to blogger Joe Jervis, other big names in the LGBT community were also present, including former Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Brian Ellner and Clinton White House advisor Richard Socarides.

On the local front, openly gay Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield and openly gay Chapel Hill, N.C., Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt attended the party, as did openly gay North Carolina state Rep. Marcus Brandon and Charlotte City Councilmember Patsy Kinsey, who represents one of the most diverse and gayest districts in the city. Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, popular with LGBT voters, welcomed those in attendance to the city.

Organizer Craig Snider, one of dozens of locals who came together to plan the party, said the event bested all expectations. Several delegates from across the country, he said, told him they were pleased with the welcome which defied all their expectations.

Nearly 1,000 attended the special Unity LGBT welcome event for the DNC on Sunday.Nearly 1,000 attended the special Unity LGBT welcome event for the DNC on Sunday.Nearly 1,000 attended the special Unity LGBT welcome event for the DNC on Sunday.Nearly 1,000 attended the special Unity LGBT welcome event for the DNC on Sunday.
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx greets attendees at the Unity LGBT DNC welcome event.Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx speaks to attendees at the Unity LGBT DNC welcome event.Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx at the Unity LGBT DNC welcome event.Openly lesbian Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield (right) greets Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (center).
Openly lesbian Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield poses for a shot with a Unity attendee.Unity party organizers including Unity Fellowship Church of Charlotte Bishop Tonyia Rawls (right).Locals said they were pleased to have the opportunity to welcome LGBT visitors to their city.Nearly 1,000 attended the special Unity LGBT welcome event for the DNC on Sunday.
Nearly 1,000 attended the special Unity LGBT welcome event for the DNC on Sunday.Nearly 1,000 attended the special Unity LGBT welcome event for the DNC on Sunday.

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