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Q-Notes: a look back
Noteworthy covers from the archives of Q-Notes

by Donald Miller
In celebrating 20 years, we’ve chosen a handful of past covers to reminisce with. One represents a major milestone for the paper — our first cover — while others capture moments of significance to the LGBT community both in achievement and times of tragedy.

The beginning
As a tabloid sized newspaper — Q-Notes first popped up the Charlotte gay community in June of 1986. On the cover of that first issue was a stylized announcement for the Mr. Drummer ’86 contest, featuring a stylized rendering of a mustachioed leather man reminiscent of a Tom of Finland drawing.

A story accompanied the announcement with details about the event. On the inside eight page issue were additional stories about “Pride Week,” the staging of a production of the play “Bent,” tips from Metrolina AIDS Project about safe-sex parties, profiles of local community members a voter’s guide for an upcoming election.

Another particularly dramatic cover we’ve chosen from our distant past: November, 1987.

“That cover will always be one of my favorites,” says publisher Jim Yarbrough. The headlines announce in oversized large black type: 650,000 March on Washington.

The picture Yarbrough shot shows the massive crowd converging on the Capital’s mall during the historic march for LGBT equality. A detailed article accompanied the image in the center spread, with multiple images of speakers and attendees from the 1987 event.

Also in the eight-page issue: a story on Mr. SE Leather, an essay on gay health issues and a report on how a fundraising event — Labor of Love — raised over $5,000 for PWAs.

In recent years
In the 21st century Q-Notes has seen a lot of change — but then so has the rest of the world. As the debate over LGBT rights continues to heat up — so did the headlines of Q-Notes.

July 5, 2003
The cover announces what is the biggest achievement for the LGBT community to date: Sodomy laws are struck down across the nation. Among the multiple features inside the 40-page paper are stories about Canadian gay marriage, Fred Phelps Mary Cheney and a South Carolina television station that was staking out gay men cruising for sex.
August 16, 2003

In the headlines: Episcopalians elect first gay openly gay bishop. That was a story that sent religious leaders around the globe into a frenzy and LGBT Christians into celebration. Also in the issue: an in-depth profile of the openly gay former model who assassinated a Brooklyn city councilmember and then turned the gun on himself. Othniel Askew had once been a resident of Powellsville, N.C. Other stories of the day —ex-gay poster boy Michael Johnson caught with his pants down, President Bush finally takes a stand (the wrong one, of course) and denounces same-sex marriage and Charlotte billboard companies reject an ad from TimeOUT Youth.

February 14, 2004
Massachusetts court says the state must allow gay marriages! Also in the issue: a story about the violence in Jamaican culture towards gays and lesbians (that’s one trend we’ve seen little advancement on), an unusual piece about President George W. Bush reportedly flirting with the Canadian Prime Minister’s senior strategist, and an interview with Courtney Love.

September 10, 2005
The headlines announced “New Orleans gays weather hurricane disaster” while anti-gay televangelists around the country seized on the moment to blame gays and their annual “Decadance” celebration as the reason Hurricane Katrina laid much of New Orleans to waste. The popular gay area of the French Quarter, of course, was barely touched by the Hurricane. Other stories in the issue: details about an upcoming N.C. Pride celebration, a victory for North Carolina gays and lesbians as the N.C. Legislature adjourned without voting on an anti-gay marriage measure and an in-depth look at then Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts.

August 13, 2005
As the struggle in the Middle East has continued, perhaps the most disturbing images for the LGBT community has been those of two young Iranian teens just moments before being hanged because they were romantically involved. The image glared out at you from page one, with the headline asking the question, “What happened to Iranian teenagers?” Other stories in the issue included a profile of the new director of the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Center, a Q-Living feature on upscale and unusual gay homes and a look at how the military is discharging gay men with information obtained from internet profiles.

WWW Q-Notes.Com

Ride ’em cowboy! Queen City Stomp spurs up
Technology tests candidates
N.C. House expulsion could have LGBT impact
Center finds new home
Pride releases 2007 finances
European Scouts take liberal stance on sex, drugs
N.C. gay rights profit from Senator’s wife
10-year study debunks bisexual ‘phase’
Ketner files for coastal congressional run
AFFA celebrates year of achievement
Neal receives key endorsement, makes another
Couples face tax headaches
New website refutes the ‘ex-gay’ myth
HRC to launch second annual True Colors tour

Organically yours: a labor of love
Organic gardening and food tips
Easy ways to live greener
‘Stop-Loss’ examines unjust war policy
Kaki King dreams of another brilliant year
A call for rural queer youth support


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