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Matt Comer

DJ who attacked gay student deletes tweets, but the internet will remember (because I saved screenshots)

April 1, 2014 in Blog by Matt Comer

Brian "B-Daht" McLaughlin, in a photo posted on his personal website.

Brian “B-Daht” McLaughlin, in a photo posted on his personal website.

RELATED: Gay Winston-Salem State student victim of online threats, slurs by popular local DJ, MTV2 star

Brian “B-Daht” McLaughlin, a popular Greensboro, N.C., DJ for and cast member for season 6 of MTV2′s and Nick Cannon’s “Wild N Out” improv comedy show has deleted several messages on Twitter publicly attacking a gay Winston-Salem State University.

The deletions came sometime after qnotes‘ original report today, and a resulting report from The Winston-Salem Journal, documenting his online harassment of the student, who is running for Mister Winston-Salem State University. Some other anti-gay tweets, including at least one regarding the WSSU student and others mocking an LGBT church, were still published at the time of this post.

But, you see, the thing is this: the internet doesn’t forget your hate. How? Because, I saved screenshots, that’s why.

Lesson for B-Daht: revisionist history is much harder in the 21st century.

Also worth noting:

(1) McLaughlin at some point changed his Twitter name to “Teflon Daht,” assumingly a reference to the old cliche that “nothing sticks” to a person who is “like teflon”

(2) Neither WJMH-FM 102 JAMZ nor MTV had yet to respond to requests for comment by Tuesday evening.

And, now, for posterity, a record of B-Daht’s harassment…


bdaht1-dragqueen bdaht2-dragqueen bdaht3-dragqueen bdaht5-misswssu bdaht6-respectdress bdaht7-putrid-womandress bdaht8-imagelitteboys bdaht9-quitpaduties bdaht10-dragquit bdaht11-opinions bdaht12-representation bdaht13-picture bdaht14-lgbtchurch bdaht15-transgriotresponse

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Matt Comer

Hindsight is 20/20? Five Cannon quotes that seem eerie today

March 27, 2014 in Blog by Matt Comer

Patrick Cannon

Patrick Cannon

As now-former Mayor Patrick Cannon was running for his mayoral office last fall, qnotes sat down with both him and his Republican opponent Edwin Peacock. Our Q&As and full suite of election coverage then gave LGBT voters the opportunity to get to know the candidates.

But, in light of Cannon’s arrest yesterday for federal corruption and bribery charges, and his resulting resignation yesterday evening, some of the quips and quotes from Cannon’s initial Q&A with us could certainly be taken eerily out of context. And, we’re doing it for you.

Yes, perhaps it’s a bit unfair. But, cutting through red tape? Influencing government? Given the current allegations, these bits and pieces take on a hilarious life of their own.

Cutting through red tape:
“I saw people that were having to cut through a lot of red tape to realize a result and that’s something that I don’t subscribe to, red tape that is. Things should be a little more fluid without people having to jump through hurdles to realize an end result that is positive for them.”

Influencing government:
“I said you don’t know me from Adam, but if there’s anything I can do to go before a city council, a school board or the county commission, let me know because I’d like to help you further any cause you’d like to see coming to fruition.”

An ‘extra push’ for business:
“It goes beyond that example to even partnerships where the city may want to engage in something where monetary support is needed, but you probably need some extra push from the public sector in attracting a business to bring it into existence.”

Transit and economic development:
“I remain in support of an alternative mode of transit like that that I think can bring about an expansion in our tax base, create jobs and provide a level of retail and housing that’s needed. It makes good sense, I think, to always look to do something that’s going to have a ripple effect in terms of being able to use those other tax dollars on other infrastructure needs.”

Government and ‘public-private’ partnerships:
“Being an entrepreneur and small businessman myself, it means a great deal to me that we continue to be about supporting our small businesses and still engaging in public-private partnerships.”

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Matt Comer

VIDEO: Local spoofs Cannon’s ‘feminine hygiene product’

March 27, 2014 in Blog by Matt Comer


It didn’t take long for the spoofs on now-former Mayor Patrick Cannon’s corruptions arrest and resignation to come out of the woodworks.

Yesterday, Charlotte Observer editorial cartoonist Kevin Siers was among the first out of the gate, with a Monopoly-inspired graphic he called “The New Game of Real Estate.”

Other commentators and news outlets followed, like Charlotte’s Creative Loafing, which offered a musical playlist to listen to as you read the federal complaint against Cannon.

Today, local freelancer and YouTuber Joanne Spataro, who hosts an online show, “Pillow Talk,” is spoofing Cannon’s alleged “feminine hygiene” company, which he allegedly used as a ruse to solicit cash in the bribery scheme for which he was arrested yesterday.

The company, which later records showed never actually existed, was to be called “HERS.” According to the federal complaint against Cannon, he accepted a $12,500 “zero-percent-on-return loan” for the fake company from an undercover agent posing as a businessman and seeking Cannon’s assistance with approvals for a new nightclub.

Spataro’s spoof may be slightly Not Safe For Work, but she handily mixes in quotes and factoids from the complaint against Cannon.

HERS, Spataro notes, comes in three varieties, including, “Payoff Paradise.” It’s “so fresh and breezy you’ll swear Patrick Cannon is fanning hundred-dollar bills up your skirt,” she says, referring to the government’s account of Cannon, who placed some of the $12,500 he received “near his ear and fanned the bills.”

That and more witticisms from Spataro in the video below:

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Matt Comer

Unintended irony: Charlotte-area Chick-fil-A to host ‘Over the Rainbow Family Night’

March 11, 2014 in Blog by Matt Comer

In what has to be the most unintentionally ironic poster and event name ever, a local Chick-fil-A in the Charlotte area is hosting an “Over the Rainbow Family Night” in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

As you might already be well aware, Chick-fil-A has been embroiled in controversy over its owner’s thoughts on marriage equality and the company’s past funding of anti-LGBT organizations (which decreased dramatically last year).

So, when a reader popped in and found this poster at the Afton Ridge Chick-fil-A in Concord, he couldn’t resist sending it to us.

To the average LGBT person, the rainbow-ed poster and words “Over the Rainbow” might immediately bring to mind visions of Judy Garland, LGBT equality or inclusion. (We’re not always fans of Wikipedia, but if you need a quick primer check out “Judy Garland as gay icon,” “Friend of Dorothy” and “Rainbow flag.”)

But, I’m more than certain that’s not what the poster’s creator exactly had in mind. I’m not entirely sure what local Chick-fil-A workers would do if they suddenly found their dining room full of LGBT parents and their kids.

Either way, happy St. Patrick’s Day, y’all!


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Matt Comer

UNC student drops trou, wishes you a happy spring break (NSFW)

March 7, 2014 in Blog by Matt Comer


It might be rainy (or icy, depending) and dreary today, but it’s still Friday. And, who says qnotes is old and staid?! We know a good laugh when we see one…

Like this video of a University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill student’s strip-tease prank this week in a biology lecture at the esteemed, two-century-old campus.

There’s no real nudity; we promise. Just laughs.

Happy Friday, y’all…

The student, who goes by “Nicky Showtime” on YouTube, says he is a media production major at Chapel Hill, where he also is part of the men’s track and field team.

And, as soon as you’re done laughing (or gazing in amazement at the courage it must take to defy all rules of university lecture propriety), click on over to some of our latest headlines.

And, in case you missed them in the past, here are two other powerful videos right from Tar Heel nation…

VIDEO: UNC student’s powerful poem says ‘God is Gay’

VIDEO: UNC student athletes are ‘Tar Heels for Equality’

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Matt Comer

An apology to Jessica Wood

February 13, 2014 in Blog by Matt Comer

In a series of three articles (1, 2, 3) published last week, qnotes covered U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers’ and her spokesperson Jessica Wood’s reaction to Clay Aiken’s congressional campaign announcement. In doing so, I included information about Wood, incorrectly and offensively linking her volunteer work in Uganda with that nation’s current movement to criminally penalize LGBT people with long prison sentences and, in extreme cases, death.

While it is true that such an extremely violent movement currently exists in Uganda, and while I thought it might be relevant at the time, given the intimacy with which conservative U.S. Christian organizations have been involved in Uganda, I have since learned that the comments were personally offensive to Wood. I did not intend for the comments to be mean-spirited, but realize now how they might have been, and indeed were, interpreted in that manner. I have reached out privately to Wood and offered my apologies, and I do so now publicly.

As journalists, spokespeople and leaders, individuals like myself, Wood and Congresswoman Ellmers have an honor and duty to accurately and respectfully inform and lead the people who trust us. In that vein, I have offered my apologies, edited the past stories and I am retracting the original, offensive remarks in question.

I hope that Wood and Congresswoman Ellmers might consider taking similar action to rectify the great offense they caused to LGBT and other fair-minded North Carolinians when they chose to utilize traditionally anti-gay rhetoric commonly used to link LGBT people to vice, immorality and otherness. We all deserve a North Carolina where all are respected and included, regardless of their political affiliation, religious faith or sexual orientation.

With respect,

Matt Comer, editor

Note: Comments on this post have been disabled.

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QNotes Staff

QNotes seeks models for 2013 swimwear issue

April 22, 2013 in Blog by QNotes Staff

Have a HOT bod? Not afraid of showing some SKIN? QNotes, Charlotte’s LGBT community newspaper, is looking for two male models to help us out with our 2013 swimsuit/underwear issue. You get some free underwear and/or swimwear and a free set of photos for your own use after our publication. Photo shoot would take place this weekend or early next week. Respond ASAP to editor ‘at’ goqnotes.com with head shot, full-length or torso body shot (no nudity, please) and a brief summary of any past modeling experience you have.

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Matt Comer

SC Equality celebrates one year of group license plate

April 9, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

South Carolina Equality, a statewide LGBT advocacy and education group, is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its organization’s official, state-issued license plates.

The plates, which have the organization’s name and logo emblazoned on them, were released last year. Since then, more than 400 plates have been sold. A portion of plate fees go directly to SC Equality.

SC Equality says South Carolina is one of only two states nationwide with a pro-equality license plate.

For more information on the plates, visit scequality.org/license_plate/.

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Matt Comer

Gay Gaston Co. Dem Chair says Obama is his hero

February 4, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

Robert Kellogg, the openly gay chairman of the Gaston County Democratic Party, has some praise for the president.

“Mr. President, your words and actions over the past four years concerning LGBT equality have opened up the doors of acceptance and begun to close the door on discrimination,” Kellogg wrote in a guest commentary for The Gaston Gazette in late January. “You have advanced love over hate and have made countless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered men and women proud to be Americans, empowered to embrace their sexuality and emboldened to seek a place at the table of American equality. You are not only my president, but you are my hero.”

Kellogg’s piece is inspiring and moving. But, of course, that didn’t stop another reader from responding with some old, tired anti-gay rhetoric.

“The parade of militant homosexuality continues its march forward with the drumbeats merging in the rhythms of Hell,” writes Mark Huffman.

Sigh. You know, Huffman’s words might actually have been taken seriously 20 years ago. Now, it just seems like hyperbolic hot air.

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Matt Comer

Charlotte lands in ‘Top 10 Moving Destinations’

February 4, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

Photo Credit: dionhinchcliffe, via Flickr. Licensed CC.

CBS MoneyWatch and Yahoo! Finance report some interesting statistics from Penske Truck Rental, which compiled information on the most popular cities people moved to in 2012.

The Queen City, well, she came in ninth. Here’s what they had to say: “Charlotte is a major U.S. financial center, with Bank of America and the East Coast operations of Wells Fargo both headquartered here. In 2011, the city was named the second largest financial center by assets, behind New York City. Nicknamed ‘The Queen City’ Charlotte is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, more than 40 public golf courses and plenty of other big-city attractions. On average, homes sell for around $162,000.”

And, in case Charlotte folks still find themselves pining over Atlanta, they’ll have a long way to go. The Gate City was number one on the list.

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Matt Comer

Science, education and LGBT involvement

January 31, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

The annual ScienceOnline conference is being held this week in Raleigh. Today, at 2:30 p.m., North Carolina State University GLBT Center Director Justine Hollingshead, pictured right, will participate in a conversation on science education and LGBT involvement.

From the panel description:

Online minority science writers, i.e. historically from African-, Hispanic-, and Native-American communities, are small in number reflecting their underrepresentation in the STEM pipeline. Broadening the participation of these groups involves mentoring and training activities which can make the STEM disciplines more welcoming to all. Diversity discussions today also recognize the needs of the disabled, LGBT, veteran, female, and other populations outnumbered in majority institutions. This session will bring together minorities, allies, and stakeholders who are interested in using online tools to diversify both the sciences and science communication.

Hollingshead talks about her experiences in a special write-up in Scientific American blog. Catch it here.

Be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter this afternoon, using the hashtag #scio13.

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Matt Comer

Bible-minded cities: Four Carolinas markets make top 25

January 31, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

A hat-tip to The Charlotte Observer‘s religion reporter, Tim Funk, who brings us this tid-bit of news: The American Bible Society has released a ranking of the most “Bible-minded cities” in America.

According to Funk, the rankings were weighted by locals’ regular Bible-reading habits.

Four Carolinas markets came in the list’s top 25. The Charlotte market ranked third, the only Carolinas market in the top 10.

Other markets included Asheville/Greenville/Spartanburg at 11, Greensboro/Winston-Salem at 19 and Raleigh-Durham at 22.

According to Funk: “Big cities like Charlotte rarely make these kinds of lists. In fact, the folks at the American Bible Society say, only three of the Top 25 Bible-minded markets have populations of more than a million souls — Charlotte; Nashville, Tenn; and Raleigh-Durham.”

See the whole list…

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Matt Comer

Calling local young professionals! Be featured in QNotes!

January 31, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

In April, qnotes will debut our first “Queen City Creatives” issue, profiling 6-8 successful LGBT young leaders and young professionals.

We’re reaching out to our readers and asking for your suggestions and nominations.

What we’re looking for:
1. Locals in the greater Charlotte area and greater Raleigh-Durham area 35 years of age or younger
2. Professionals in creative and dynamic fields like banking/finance, law, politics/government, technology, communications, hospitality, science/engineering, medical, etc.
3. Community leaders, whether paid or volunteer, in either LGBT or non-LGBT progressive organizations/causes
4. Individuals who have demonstrated a unique entrepreneurial spirit or who have worked or led in creative, insightful and progressive ways, leaving a lasting mark on their business, neighborhood, community or field
5. Individuals who are “out” and identify as LGBT, queer or who are strong straight allies with a proven dedication to, knowledge of and understanding of LGBT/progressive causes and issues
6. Must be willing and able to attend a photo shoot in mid-March and appear on the cover of the newspaper

We are committed to representing a full diversity of our community, including a diversity of ages within the under-35 bracket as well as a diversity of fields/expertise, gender, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

If you have suggestions of young professionals or young leaders we should profile, email us at editor@goqnotes.com.

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QNotes Staff

VIDEO: Charlotte Pride Band prez mixes it up for HRC Bel-Air style

January 11, 2013 in Blog by QNotes Staff

Charlotte Pride Band President Erin Ellenburg might seem like she’s being all fancy and stuffy with her video asking for your support for the Human Rights Campaign’s Carolina Gala next month. But, just wait for it… wait for it… A good laugh for a good cause.

Learn more about the Charlotte Pride Band at charlotteprideband.org and the Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala at hrccarolina.org.

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Matt Comer

A new generation fights for broader inclusion

January 11, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

The New York Times ran a significant piece this week on young adults and those seeking to push for broader inclusion in the LGBT community.

Entitled “Generation LGBTQIA,” the write-up by reporter Michael Schulman delves into the lives and thoughts of a slew of young people, mostly freshman from the University of Pennsylvania.

What does this new generation want? According to Schulman:

“If the gay-rights movement today seems to revolve around same-sex marriage, this generation is seeking something more radical: an upending of gender roles beyond the binary of male/female. The core question isn’t whom they love, but who they are — that is, identity as distinct from sexual orientation.”

Schulman was even able to get quick comment from Shane Windmeyer, executive director of the Charlotte-based Campus Pride.

“Youth today do not define themselves on the spectrum of L.G.B.T.,” Windmeyer told the writer.

The piece is a wonderful read and revealing of some deeper, forthcoming trends and conversations that many LGBT community organizations, perhaps, have not begun to have. Read the whole piece at The New York Times


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Matt Comer

New Bern lesbian couple handed letter of condemnation by restaurant owner

January 11, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

A lesbian couple living in New Bern, N.C., had just finished their meal at the Stingray Cafe in downtown New Bern when they say the restaurant’s owner handed them a letter condemning them.

TV station WCTI 12 reported the story yesterday, which restaurant owner Ed McGovern confirmed he provided the hand-written letter to married couple Ariel and Shawnee McPhail.

The letter:

God said in the last days that man and wom[a]n would be lover of self, more [than] the lover of God.

That man and woman would have unnatural [affection] for one another. Then, the coming of the Son of Man, who is Jesus. So please, look at your life. See how it hurt[s] everyone around you. And ask the Lord to open your eye[s] before it [is] to[o] late.

The Love of Christ

P.S. my daughter also was gay. It destroy[ed] her life and my grandson.

Read the full story and watch WCTI’s video report… 

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Matt Comer

Huffington Post: ‘Horrific Anti-Gay Statements’

January 9, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

In reporting on recent anti-LGBT comments from right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh, The Huffington Post compiled a list of 19 other “horrific anti-gay statements.” Some of the usual names are featured, including the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins.

Plenty of North Carolina names also made the list:

  • Maiden, N.C., Pastor Charles Worley who said gays and lesbian should be fenced in electrified pens
  • Pastor Ron Baity of the Winston-Salem, N.C., Berean Baptist Church who said gays should be criminally prosecuted
  • Pastor Sean Harris of the Fayetteville, N.C., Berean Baptist Church who advocated punching effeminate children
  • Pastor Tim Rabon of Raleigh’s Beacon Baptist Church who said marriage equality would lead to marriages between “persona and a beast”
  • Pastor Patrick Wooden of Raleigh’s Upper Room Church of God in Christ who said gay sex causes gay men to need diapers

Read The Huffington Post‘s coverage of Limbaugh’s statement and see the video gallery of other anti-gay statements…

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Matt Comer

Update: California Boy Scout won’t receive Eagle

January 9, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

Update, Jan. 9, 2013, 2:41 p.m.: According to ABC News, Ryan Andresen will not be granted the Eagle Scout rank, national Boy Scouts of America officials said. Read more at ABC News…

Original report:

California gay Boy Scout Ryan Andresen made national headlines last year, even appearing on the Ellen Show, after his scoutmaster refused to sign off on his Eagle Scout rank. Andresen had successfully completed all the requirements for the rank, the highest award given to Boy Scout members, but after coming out, his scoutmaster refused.

Today, the local council has decided to grant Andresen the award. The decision places the local council in direct violation of national Boy Scouts of America policies banning membership and leadership by openly gay youth and adults.

From Reuters:

A California chapter of the Boy Scouts of America is directly challenging the national organization’s ban on gays by formally recommending that an openly gay former Scout be awarded the top rank of Eagle.

“From what I understand, this has never happened before,” Eric Andresen, father of former scout Ryan Andresen, told Reuters.

“It’s the first in-your-face (challenge),” said Bonnie Hazarabedian, who chaired the Boy Scout district review board that signed off on Ryan’s Eagle scout application and forwarded its recommendation last week to the national headquarters for final approval.

Ryan, 18, and his parents drew national attention in October after his Scoutmaster refused to sign his Eagle scout application because of his sexual orientation.

More than 462,000 people subsequently signed the Andresens’ petitions at Change.org calling on the Scoutmaster to sign. Meanwhile, the Andresens pushed Ryan’s application up the Boy Scout hierarchy in the San Francisco Bay area, where it landed before Hazarabedian.

Read the rest via Yahoo! News…

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Matt Comer

National Stonewall Democrats enters rebuilding phase

January 9, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

Jerame Davis

In two separate interviews with LGBT media on Tuesday, Jerame Davis, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats, announced that the national organization was suspending some of its activity and entering a rebuilding phase.

Davis made the announcement in an interview first published by the Dallas Voice. He later spoke with the Washington Blade.

The decision to curtail the operations of the group’s national office operations was made after National Stonewall Democrats failed to bridge a $30,000 budget gap in December. A year-end fundraising campaign netted only $10,000.

The national group will temporarily shut down its national office and Davis will depart as the organization’s paid executive director. A new board of directors will soon be elected and operations for state and local chapters will remain unaffected as the organization takes a year to refocus its mission and operations.

The announcement comes just months after the National Stonewall Democrats came to Charlotte and participated in several events here as the city hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention. North Carolina is one of few states with a statewide LGBT caucus for its state Democratic Party. The National Stonewall Democrats website lists a chapter in Charleston, S.C., though the local website has no updates since 2009. No other chapter currently exists in the Carolinas, though a Wilmington chapter once operated.

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Matt Comer

Gayest Cities? This year, not in the Carolinas…

January 9, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

The Advocate released their 2013 “Gayest Cities in America” today. The annual listing has plenty of fans and its fair share of critics, especially considering the publications sometimes humorous and self-admittedly “totally subjective and constantly changing” criteria.

The highlights:

  • No city in the Carolinas made the list this year, though Asheville came in at number 12 in 2010. Asheville is the only Carolinas city ever featured in The Advocate’s listing since in the past four years.
  • St. Louis, with which Charlotte competed for hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention, placed at 15. The city was at number 10 in 2011.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, which also competed for the Democratic Convention, came in at 10. The city has made several past lists.
  • Atlanta placed at number 9 this year, where it also placed in 2012. Atlanta placed first in 2010 and seventh in 2011.
  • Washington, D.C., placed fourth this year. It came in eighth in 2011 and 16th in 2012.
  • Atlanta was the only southern city (unless you’re one of those who counts D.C. as “southern”) in the 2013 list. Other southern cities have been listed in the past, including Knoxville, Tenn., which scored eighth in 2012. Richmond received honorable mention this year, placing 19th. Fort Lauderdale also received honorable mention, placing 24th.Other past southern cities listed by The Advocate include New Orleans, Gainesville, Orlando, Miami, Little Rock and Austin, among others.

This year’s criteria included some serious notes, like the number of LGBT elected officials, number of businesses with a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, transgender-inclusive protections and marriage equality. The less serious and maybe humorous criteria: the number of concerts by Scissor Sisters, Uh Huh Her, Girl in a Coma and the cast of “Glee,” presence of Whole Foods, West Elm or Pottery Barn stores, gay rugby groups and roller derby.

Click here to see The Advocate‘s full list…

And, what if Charlotte had been scored? Our scores in red for each criteria below:

LGBT elected officials — 1, Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield
According to Victory Fund;
1 point for each federal, state, and local official in office or elected in 2012
HRC Corporate Equality Index 100s — 1, Bank of America
1 point for each company located in a city
Concerts by Scissor Sisters, Uh Huh Her, Girl in a Coma, and cast of Glee — At least 3: 1 Scissor Sisters, 1 Uh Huh Her, 1 Girl in a Coma 
1 point for each stop since 2009
Fabulous shopping — 3, one each
1 point each if a city has Whole Foods, West Elm, or Pottery Barn stores
Transgender protections — 1, City of Charlotte
1 point for every jurisdiction with laws prohibiting discrimination, according to National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Gay rugby — 1
1 point for each team
Bisexual resource groups — 0
1 point per organization, according to BiNetUSA
Roller Derby — 2
1 point for each league
Marriage equality — 0
5 points