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A happy year-end for SC Equality

January 8, 2013 in Blog by Matt Comer

SC Equality year-end fundraising campaign ended with a bang last week, capping of an exciting year of change and ushering in a new year of growth under new executive director Ryan Wilson.

According to an email from the group to its supporters, SC Equality broke through its $7,500 December 2012 fundraising goal to reach a total of $12,425. A matching contribution of $7,500 brings the total fundraising to nearly $20,000.

SC Equality is the Palmetto State’s LGBT education and advocacy organization. Their work will begin in earnest this week as the South Carolina General Assembly returns to work today.

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National news-magazine returns to newsstands

January 7, 2013 in Blog by QNotes Staff

The Advocate, the national LGBT news-magazine, announced today that their print edition is returning to newsstands after a two-year absence.

The press release below:

The Advocate Returns to Newsstands
After a two-year absence, the world’s leading LGBT news source returns to major distributors nationwide.

January 7, 2013 (LOS ANGELES) — Here Media Inc. (www.heremedia.com), the world’s leading LGBT media company, today announced that The Advocate(www.advocate.com) print publication will be returning to newsstands in 2013. For more than 45 years, The Advocate has maintained a rich tradition of reporting cultural and political news, astute commentary, investigative journalism, and absorbing profiles of interest to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities. The brand defines what it means to be gay today as the definitive LGBT news and information source. The brand challenges and broadens conceptions, provokes conversation, and propels issues both inside and outside the LGBT world.

“Due to both reader and advertiser demand, we are thrilled to bring The Advocate print edition back to newsstands in 2013,” said Advocate editor in chief Matthew Breen and executive vice president Publishing Joe Landry in a joint statement. “We remain committed to providing timely and in-depth reporting of issues important to the LGBT community and our community allies, as well as providing the best media outlet for businesses targeting the gay market.”

For the first time in over two years due to strong reader demand, The Advocate, which has been sold only by subscription since 2010, will again be available at major distributors nationwide starting February 2013. Additionally, The Advocate’s thriving online presence has achieved exponential growth and a devoted social media following and will continue its timely content and reporting. The Advocate will also continue to explore and implement new and impactful ways to leverage mobile and tablet devices to connect with readers whenever and wherever they are.

The Advocate returns to newsstands on January 15, 2013. The magazine can be purchased at Barnes & Noble, Hastings, and other select retailers.

The Advocate is currently available to consumers via the print publication, online at Advocate.com, and via mobile devices. Follow The Advocate on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/TheAdvocate and on Twitter at @TheAdvocateMag.

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Raleigh center receives full funding for youth camp

January 7, 2013 in Blog by QNotes Staff

In our Jan. 4, 2013, print edition, qnotes reported on the LGBT Center of Raleigh’s fundraising efforts for a new youth camp to be held this March. The community responded to the center’s needs in such a timely manner, that the project was fully funded the same day our print edition hit news stands!

According to center staff, the organization is still collecting donations to fund related youth programming projects, including efforts to obtain more youth resources for the center’s library and to fund the center’s Safe Space stickers program. The group aims to get Safe Space stickers for every teacher in Wake, Durham and Orange Counties.

Learn more at lgbtcenterofraleigh.com. Their donation form is here.

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Charlotte center says happy holidays

December 26, 2012 in Blog by QNotes Staff

The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte is saying happy holidays to all of its supporters and asking for your year-end support.

In a holiday message to supporters, the center said 2012 was a year of achievement. Next year will bring more, as the organization moves into its new space on N. Davidson St.

The email:

The Board of Trustees would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in and support of The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte.
2012 was an amazing year for The Center – we led a number of great activities this year including:
  • Our seventh Annual Pride Charlotte Festival (2nd year in Uptown!), fourth Annual Transgender Day of Rememberence, fourth Annual GayCharlotte Film Festival and second Annual Stonewall Celebration.
  •  New community groups for men, women and young adults as well as new recurring activities such as yoga classes, community Bible studies and other educational programming.
  • Outstanding Arts projects including The Human Canvas, Project Colors and the amazing Mural Project wrapping the entire exterior of The White Rabbit at 920 Central Avenue.
2013 is looking to be another fantastic year for The Center as we move to a larger and more flexible space in NoDA at the corner of North Davidson and 28th Streets (a few steps from Amelies!). You can read more about our move at gaycharlotte.com.
Help us make 2013 the greatest year in The Center’s history by making a year-end, tax-deductible donation in support of the diverse programming and events we’ve continued to offer as well as the expanded programming our larger location will alllow us to deliver. You can make your donation today online at gaycharlotte.com/donate.
Happy Holidays from YOUR Community Center!
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VIDEO: Trailer released for James Franco’s controversial gay, indie erotic-art film

December 19, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

A scene from James Franco’s ‘Interior. Leather Bar.’ Photo Credit: Rabbit Bandini Productions.

James Franco has been making waves this year as news circulated about his indie art film project, an homage to the controversial 1979 film “Cruising,” directed by William Friedkin and starring Al Pacino.

From IndieWire:

According to Mathews, Franco wanted to update the film, but he couldn’t get the rights. As Mathews’ gay art porn/drama “I Want Your Love” was getting press attention, Franco’s people emailed Mathews to ask him to talk about the film. Within 24 hours, they were talking.

“He knew he wanted real gay sex in it,” Travis said. “His people went looking for a filmmaker who had filmed real gay sex, and I suspect someone who would complement his vision. We talked about why we would be interested in still looking at this film. We talked about his interest in the film and his interest more broadly in so many gay-themed stories and visionairies. He’s worked with so many in front of and behind the cameras over the years.”

Mathews, who plays himself and directs, and Franco, who also plays himself and produces, decided to document the recreation of the 40 minutes that were lost from the film after an intense battle with the MPAA to change its rating from X to R.

The trailer for Franco’s “Interior. Leather Bar.” was recently released (h/t Queerty). Watch it below (in case you’re wondering about safe-for-work-worthiness, there’s no nudity spare a few ultra-quick shots of a couple bare butts).

Read more about Franco’s project at IndieWire. See Queerty’s past coverage here.

INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR. trailer from Travis Mathews on Vimeo.

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NC gun rights group wants to arm teachers

December 19, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

A state lawmaker isn’t alone in his opinion that teachers and school administrators should have access to guns on school campuses. In an opinion piece published by The Charlotte Observer today, the president of a statewide gun-rights group suggested the same.

Grass Roots North Carolina President Paul Valone writes: “Wondering how teachers with concealed handgun permits would respond, I asked our email recipients and received uniformly positive responses from teachers, college instructors and post graduate professors who lamented inability to protect students from even “routine” murders, assaults and rapes. Said a middle school principal who carries a firearm everywhere but to work: ‘I am charged with the safety of nearly 700 children and adults every day I step into the office. Yet the only instruments I have to carry out that task are my good intentions.’”

You can read the full opinion piece at charlotteobserver.com…

Valone’s group said it will begin working for legislative changes next year.

“When the General Assembly convenes on January 9, 2013, Grass Roots North Carolina will immediately push for legislation enabling teachers and other concealed handgun permit-holders to protect students from violent predators on the state’s campuses,” Grass Roots North Carolina wrote in a news release yesterday, according to WRAL’s Mark Binker.

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Carolinas’ largest newspapers begin digital pay wall

December 19, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer in Raleigh today instituted their new digital subscription plans. (Note from Charlotte publisher here, note from Raleigh publisher here.) The State in Columbia previously launched their pay wall on Dec. 4 (their editor’s note here).

The online pay walls give readers unlimited access to the newspaper websites’ home pages and other sections like local news, sports, business and entertainment, as well as obituaries, real estate listings and other advertising sections. After a reader views 15 individual articles or other pieces of content, however, they will be asked to subscribe to the digital edition.

The new plans are dubbed “Charlotte Observer Plus,” “The N&O Plus” and “The State Plus.” The plans include access to the newspapers’ websites and smartphone and tablet editions.

All three newspapers are owned by McClatchy. The company has said they will institute pay walls on all of their online properties. The company also owns several other smaller Carolinas papers, including The Herald in Rock Hill, The Sun in Myrtle Beach, The Beaufort (S.C.) Gazette and The Island Packet in Hilton Head.

The newspapers have differing subscription plans and rates. The information is reprinted from both newspapers below.

The Charlotte Observer (FAQ page):

Q. What are my digital subscription options?

A. There are several options. Charlotte Observer newspaper subscribers can add the digital bundle with unlimited digital access for an additional 67 cents a week for seven day subscribers; or 45 cents a week for Sunday only subscribers. This is the best deal for digital access.

Without a digital subscription, you will have unlimited access to some portions of our site, including the Home Page, section fronts (such as Business, Sports and Entertainment), obituaries, dealsaver, Cars.com, real estate listings and other advertising areas. Access to some other content will be limited to 15 pages every 30 days. Once you reach the 15-page limit, you’ll need to subscribe or wait 30 days to view additional content. Mobile devices have a different limit.

If you want digital-only access, without a print subscription, the digital bundle alone is $9.95 per month (or $99.95 per year if paid annually).

For occasional readers, a one-month trial is available for 99 cents.

The News & Observer (FAQ page):

Q What are digital subscription options for subscribers?

A There are several. News & Observer newspaper subscribers can add the digital bundle to their newspaper subscription for an additional $2.46 every four weeks (or $32.00 per year for those who pay their subscription annually). Whether their newspaper subscription is 7-days, 6-days, weekends or Sunday only, they have access to our digital products 24/7. Adding the digital bundle to your newspaper subscription is our best deal.

To sign in or subscribe go to www.newsobserver.com/plus

For readers who do not have a News & Observer newspaper subscription and want only digital access, they can purchase the digital bundle alone for $0.99 for the first month. The subscription will automatically renew at $6.95 per month. They can also purchase the digital bundle for $69.95 per year if paid annually.

To sign in or subscribe go to www.newsobserver.com/plus

For those occasional readers from around the world who need access to our website for just a day, a 1-day pass is available for $0.99.

The State (FAQ page):

Q. What are my digital subscription options?

A. There are several. The State newspaper subscribers can add the digital bundle to their newspaper subscription for an additional $2.77 per month, less than 10 cents a day. Whether their newspaper subscription is seven days, five days, weekends, or some other frequency, they have access to our digital products 24/7. Adding the digital bundle to your newspaper subscription is our best deal.

For readers who do not have a newspaper subscription to The State and want only digital access, they can purchase the digital bundle alone for $8.95 per month or an annual rate of $99.

For those occasional readers from around the world who need access to our website for just a day, a one-day pass is available for 99 cents.

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Council news: Carolina Theatre, Capital Plan

December 18, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

The Charlotte City Council chose current Assistant City Manager Julie Burch to lead the city as interim city manager at their meeting last night. Read more about Burch’s appointment here. Other news from the council meeting, via The Charlotte Observer:

Charlotte selects Foundation for the Carolinas to restore theater
The bid by the Foundation for the Carolinas to restore the mothballed Carolina Theatre was narrowly approved Monday night by the Charlotte city council, despite the wishes of some council members to sell the site for more money to a rival group. Read the rest…

City Council: No capital spending plan this year
There will be no deal on a capital budget this year as a glum Charlotte City Council voted unanimously Monday to delay further discussion on hundreds of millions of dollars in projects until 2013. Read the rest…

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Help us grade your favorite Charlotte-area gyms

December 18, 2012 in Blog by QNotes Staff

Calling all work-out and gym enthusiasts: We are looking for folks who regularly work out or have memberships at local gyms. qnotes will be profiling several in our first print edition of the new year and we want to provide anonymous reviews and grades for Charlotte’s gay-friendliest, hippest gyms.

If you want to volunteer, shoot us an email to editor@goqnotes.com with the Subject: “Rate My Gym.” Please respond with your interest to participate no later than 4 p.m. this Wednesday, Dec. 19. All gym grades and reviews will be due by Thursday, Dec. 27.

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Hagan gets in the holiday spirit

December 13, 2012 in Blog by QNotes Staff

North Carolina Democratic U.S Sen. Kay Hagan hosted members of the University of North Carolina-Asheville’s UNCA Singers at her Washington, D.C., office today. The group is in D.C. for a variety of performances, including their sixth-annual appearance at the White House.

Photo courtesy Hagan below, via Facebook and Instagram: “#UNCA Singers just performed their rendition of “Deck the Hall” in my office and sounded fantastic! I’m grateful that they’ll be singing for our wounded warriors tomorrow at Walter Reed. http://instagr.am/p/TMJN53iQja/

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VIDEO: FOX Charlotte picks up hate crimes story

December 13, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

FOX Charlotte picked up on our story this week detailing the FBI’s new hate crime statistics. They spoke with LGBT Center Vice Chair Roberta Dunn and activist Paige Dula. Watch their report by Kirk Hawkins last night below and be sure to read over our original in-depth report here.

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Weekend To-Do: Shiprocked for Sandy, Gay Men’s Chorus winter concert and more

December 13, 2012 in Blog by QNotes Staff

It’s not quite the weekend yet, but there’s plenty of events to fill your social agenda starting tonight. Check out these cool upcoming events Thursday through Saturday:

Thursday, Dec. 13

Shiprocked Birthday and Sandy relief party
Shiprocked, the weekly Snug Harbor party for Charlotte’s punk and hipster queer folk, rocks out for organizer Scott Weaver’s birthday while partying for a good cause. Donations at the door ($2 minimum requested) will benefit Sandy relief projects run by Occupy Sandy, a group providing local assistance to those affected by hurricane damage in New York. See event details…

Friday, Dec. 14

Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte: “The Last Big Gay Christmas Ever”
Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte presents its annual winter concert in preparation for the end of the world as calendars count down to Dec. 21 and the end of the Mayan calendar. (and, an encore performance on Saturday here).

Other events:
Buff Faye’s special Friday night Drag Diner. Bring a toy to benefit Levine Children’s Hospital. Details…
Hartigan’s presents “The Nutcrackers” drag king show. Details…

Saturday, Dec. 15

Andrew Christian underwear show
SILVERFLY and Cathode Azure team up to present a special Andrew Christian underwear show, 9-10:30 p.m. See event details…

Twirl to the World
Just Twirl returns with its annual winter party, benefiting Toys for Tots and Crisis Assistance Ministries. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and admission is just $5. Without a toy, admission is $15. Proceeds benefit the charities. See event details…

More events

Be sure to check out our full community calendar, a collaborative project between qnotes, the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte and Visit Gay Charlotte. Submit your events here.

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VIDEO: Duke student raising money for homeless LGBT youth

December 13, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

UPDATE (Dec. 13, 2012, 2 p.m.): Tobia’s MSNBC appearance below:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Original post:

Duke University student Jacob Tobia, currently living in New York City where he is a human rights intern at the United Nations Foundation, will appear today on MSNBC with host Thomas Roberts. Tobia will be discussing his fundraising efforts for the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBT youth, which was devastated from damage caused by Sandy. The interview is scheduled to take place sometime between 11:30 a.m. and Noon Eastern time.

Tobia’s fundraising efforts on Saturday, Dec. 15, will take him on a one-mile run across the Brooklyn Bridge — in five-inch-high heels. The run marks his fifth anniversary of coming out and he hopes to raise both funds and awareness for homeless LGBT youth. He explains the fundraising effort in a post at The Huffington Post and in the video below:

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VIDEO: Charlotte guy sings Cam Newton praise (plus awesome Queen City scenes)

December 12, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

Owen Stuart, courtesy owenstuartmusic.com

Charlotte guy. Rapping. About his love of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Set against the backdrop of beautiful shots of the Bank of America Stadium and Uptown.

Really, what more could one ask for?

Got to give him credit for standing by his man, even if his man’s team hasn’t been doing all that well in recent seasons.

The singer is 17-year-old Charlottean Owen Stuart, a senior at Northwest School of the Arts who auditioned this year for “X Factor.” He was later teamed up with other solo auditioners who formed the “X Factor” boyband, Playback.

Stuart’s video for his song, “Cam Newton,” is below, along with some videos from the boyband.

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VIDEO: Charlotte’s HRC gala featured in year-end recap

December 12, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

Charlotte’s Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala, held at the Charlotte Convention Center in February, was featured in a year-end “Best of 2012 HRC Galas” video released by the national LGBT advocacy group.

Openly gay CNN anchor Don Lemon, who spoke at the Charlotte event, was featured briefly, as was his partner.

Though, on a sad note for locals, the Charlotte dinner was the only one not identified by the city in which it occurred. Other events were noted as occurring in “Los Angeles, CA,” or “Columbus, OH,” or “Boston, MA,” or “National Dinner, DC.” Charlotte, NC? Nope. Just a plain “North Carolina.” Locals in the Queen City love their home state, but we’re just as proud as our hometown. Why no love, HRC? ;)

Watch the video below:

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Wedding quandary: Should gay N.C. man attend niece’s wedding?

December 12, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

Steven Petrow

“Mr. Manners” Steven Petrow, a Chapel Hill resident and The New York Times‘ “Civil Behavior” columnist, this week addressed a question from a fellow North Carolinian frustrated by the inability for he and his partner to marry. In addition, the North Carolina man has been invited to his niece’s wedding.

“My partner and I live in North Carolina, a state whose constitution now prohibits same-sex marriage,” the North Carolina man writes to Petrow. “We have been together for 25 years and have been to lots of weddings in that time. I used not to mind so much going to other people’s weddings even though we couldn’t make our own union legal. But now I do. I’ve had enough. I’m tired of being polite. In fact, I would like to announce to all friends and family that I will not be attending anyone’s wedding until I attend my own. Do I have your permission to skip my niece’s wedding?”

Petrow’s response, delicately balanced, might surprise you.

“All that being said, you need to choose the high road and go to your niece’s wedding,” Petrow responds. “I’ve always believed that family trumps politics, especially in matters like this. Assuming your niece didn’t actively campaign in favor of Amendment One, don’t make her pay the price for it. I’m guessing you’ve celebrated a lifetime of milestones with this young lady, all as an expression of your love and support for her. How will she feel about your absence on this important day? And how will you feel in 5, 10, or 15 years about having boycotted it?”

Petrow adds, “[T]his doesn’t mean you need be a rollover kitty,” and goes on to suggest several ways the North Carolina man can express his feelings to his niece: writing a letter to her, donating to groups like Freedom to Marry in her and her soon-to-be husband’s name and asking his niece to make a public statement in support of her uncle and his right to marry.

You can read Petrow’s full column at The New York Times

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Your thoughts: Newspaper pay walls and reading habits

December 10, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

Starting Dec. 19, The Charlotte Observer and Raleigh’s News & Observer will institute a metered pay wall requiring readers to purchase an online subscription after reading a set number of free online stories each month. McClatchy, which owns the two newspapers, also owns The State in Columbia, The Herald in Rock Hill and The Sun in Myrtle Beach. The company plans to place pay walls on all its websites. qnotes plans to remain free both in print and online.

We’d like to know what you think about the pay walls and how it might affect your reading habits. Visit our poll on Facebook to share your vote and your thoughts.

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What do you think? AP discouraging use of ‘homophobia’

November 30, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

The Associated Press is discouraging the use of the word “homophobia” by its staffers and writers.

From writer Rev. Irene Monroe at Bilerico.com:

AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn shared with Politico his opinion that the word “homophobia” is “just off the mark.” He explained, “It’s ascribing a mental disability to someone, and suggests a knowledge that we don’t have. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: anti-gay, or some such, if we had reason to believe that was the case.” It is my opinion that keeping the word “homophobia” narrowly used and confined within a medical context is controlling. It’s also absurd for the AP to think that it could discourage the use of the word with absolutely no consultation with the LGBTQ community; this demonstrates hubris and insensitivity, and it raises questions about the political and social motives behind this decision.

Monroe goes on to delve into the history of the word and her thoughts on why it is most appropriate.

Personally, I’ve always preferred the use of “heterosexism” over “homophobia.” Persons called homophobic aren’t necessarily “afraid” of LGBT people, they simply believe, as white supremacists do about non-white people and some men do about women, that heterosexuality is superior and other sexualities are inferier. Heterosexism and, perhaps, “hetero-supremacy” (though I’ve never personally used this variant) seem more appropriate.

What do you think?

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Winston-Salem art house cinema wants to expand

November 21, 2012 in Blog by Matt Comer

a/perture cinema in downtown Winston-Salem. Photo from Facebook, facebook.com/aperturecinema

Winston-Salem’s downtown art house theater, a/perture, is asking for support in its bid to expand from a two-screen cinema to three. The theater is known for screening award-winning independent and art house films and has participated in the RiverRun International Film Festival. a/perture has also supported Out at the Movies Winston-Salem, the Twin City’s LGBT film series.

a/perture says it needs $50,000 for their expansion, which will include a new screening room and expanded lobby space. They are raising the money online and are offering a variety of perks for those giving as little as $10 and as much as $10,000 toward the project (and, if you give the highest amount, the new screening room can be named after you or your business!).

As the theater explains on its fundraising page:

We have recently leased space immediately underneath our current theaters to create an additional 52-seat screening room, a larger lobby and gathering space, and a private party rental room. The additional screening room will provide us an opportunity to expand our programming selections and carry on our mission to bring even more in the best arthouse films to town. In order to do this, however, we need your help!

a/perture cinema is currently in the midst of converting the projection in our two current screens from 35mm projection to state-of-the-art digital cinema projection. This is an enormous financial endeavor, but an absolute necessity for us to continue to play the types of films we do. We have financed this conversion the traditional long-term bank loan route. Because we have this new obligation along with existing long term debts, we can’t look to traditional financing for our expansion plans. Instead we must look to you, members of our community and fans of what a/perture has to offer, to help us out.

Read more about the expansion project and donate online…

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Poll: Would you read a QNotes app?

November 21, 2012 in Blog by QNotes Staff

We’re reaching out to our readers and community to gather feedback!

We are currently brainstorming ways we can better reach our readers and community. One of our options is a mobile app (on Apple’s Newsstand for iPhone or iPad, for example). Would you download and read QNotes’ biweekly print editions on your smartphone or tablet? Would you pay a small nominal fee (for example, a per issue download, initial purchase or an in-app subscription) to do so?

Click here to vote in our poll question on Facebook and let us know your thoughts!