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.
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
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.