Gay Bingo raises big bucks

North Carolina News Notes

Charlotte

Bazaar date changed
CHARLOTTE — The date for the Women’s Business Bazaar has been changed to Nov. 22. It will still be held at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B11, between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A schedule of featured presentations will be announced closer to the event.

Owners of businesses of interest to women will display products, business cards, flyers, answer questions to Bazaar attendees and give special presentations.

Business owners are encouraged to become a vendor for $30. Event coordinators are waiving table fees in some cases. Vendors do not have to stay the entire time and those who are not part of the LGBT community may sign up for table space as long as they have businesses of interest to LGBT women.

Admission is free. Beverages, prizes, giveaways and snacks are available as well. This is a cost-effective way to promote a business.

For more information, call Teresa at 704-962-1426 or email LGBTCenterEvents@yahoo.com.

Time to vote
CHARLOTTE — The Pride Charlotte 2009 Committee has selected four choices for next summer’s theme.
Includes on the list are: Alive With Pride; Equality, Me and the QC; Out is In; and Stand Up, Stand Out, Stand Proud!

Voting was closed on Nov. 13. A theme reveal party will be held soon to announce the winner. The time and date for the event will be forthcoming.

For more information, visit www.pridecharlotte.com.

It RAIN-ed big bucks
CHARLOTTE — The Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) has sent out a huge thank you to the community for participating in the Gay BINGO event held on Oct. 18 at the Grady Cole Center.

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RAIN’s coffers were filled with $90,000 raised to help make a difference to those affected by HIV and AIDS. They are appreciative of those who purchased a ticket, sponsored the event, volunteered and especially to all those that made a contribution of any kind.

Shelita Hamm was the belle of the ball with her court of BVDs (Bingo Verifying Divas) during the evening’s fundraiser. Matt and Ramona from 107.9 The Link (the presenting sponsor) were also on hand.

Many recorded the event and have posted their videos on YouTube. Those who have any pictures or videos from the evening are encouraged to send them (links to the pictures/videos or email them directly) to Manager of Community Resources Nathan Smith at n.smith@carolinarain.org.

In other news, RAIN is holding a large-scale bake sale, Slice of RAIN, to benefit its services and clients. Deadline for order entry is Nov. 17 by 5 p.m.

Fresh-baked pies by sponsor Something Classic are available in pumpkin spice with candied ginger; apple, cranberry, currant; and bittersweet bourbon brownie (with and without walnuts). Distributor sponsor is Party Reflections.

To learn more about the fundraiser, to place orders or see the Nov. 24-25 pickup locations, visit www.sliceofrain.org.

Eastern

Town hall to address bullying
GREENVILLE — Equality NC (ENC) is hosting a town hall meeting on Nov. 19 to gather local support for the School Violence Prevention Act at The Tipsy Teapot, 409 S. Evans St. from 7-8 p.m.

Physical appearance, real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are top reasons reported by students for being bullied at school. Seventy-two percent of North Carolinians support legislation to protect children from bullying based on their sexual orientation. A 2002 report by the U.S. Secret Service on 37 school shootings said that most of the shooters were motivated by revenge for longstanding bullying and harassment.

However, even in the face of these statistics, The School Violence Prevention Act, which would standardize how bullying and harassment are treated in public schools in North Carolina and would include protections for those bullied due to sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, among other characteristics, still has not been passed.

Be part of the solution
ENC and a broad coalition of partner organizations are working together to ensure that all children in North Carolina are safe at school and need help. ENC is bringing the discussion about school bullying in the form of roundtable and town hall meetings across the state. The community can only win this if all work together to show legislators that there is strong state-wide support for inclusive measures that protect all students.

To attend, visit equalitync.org/events2/school-violence-prevention-act-town-hall-meeting to RSVP.
For more information, email ENC Community Organizer Rebecca Mann at rebecca@equalitync.org.

Triangle

Diversity embraced
DURHAM — The Montessori Children’s House of Durham (MCHD), 2400 University Dr., will hold an open house for perspective parents on Nov. 16 from 3-5 p.m.

The school is accepting applications for the 2008-09 academic year. MCHD encompasses grades 1-6, plus pre-three class and kindergarten. The pre-school is 40 percent racially diverse and they embrace families with adopted children or with same-sex parents. They welcome those who practice one of the world’s many religions as well as homes which are bi- or multi-lingual.

For more information, call 919-489-9045 or visit www.mchdurham.org.

Statewide

Time to honor
CHARLOTTE/RALEIGH — The 10th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance will be observed on Nov. 20 across the globe. Candle lighting vigils will be held as a way to memorialize those who were killed due to prejudice or anti-transgender hatred. It is held yearly in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on Nov. 28, 1998, in Boston, Mass., launched the Remembering Our Dead (ROD) web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Hester’s murder, like most anti-transgender murder cases, has yet to be solved.

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For over the last decade, according to the ROD, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. ROD says that this trend shows no sign of abating.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves to raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people. It also provides a way to publicly mourn and honor the lives of community members who may be forgotten. Vigils create a way to express respect and love and reminds non-transgender people that sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers are among those who are regularly beset by hatred and bigotry. Allies are given a chance to step forward and stand in vigil, memorializing those who have died by anti-transgender violence.

In Charlotte, the vigil will be held at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B11 at 7:30 p.m. The event will begin inside followed by a candlelight vigil and reading of names outdoors (weather permitting). For more information, email Stephanie at nc_southernbelle@windstream.net.

On the same day in Raleigh, a candlelight vigil is scheduled at the Halifax Mall, 16 W. Jones St., from 6-8 p.m. The Halifax Mall runs from the N. C. Legislative Building to the Archdale Building, which is the 16-floor high-rise at the end of the State Government pedestrian mall. Janice Covington Allison from TransCarolina will speak. Due to respect and confidentiality, no filming or photography will be permitted without direct permission from individuals.

For more information, call Madeline Goss at 919-632-5993 or email madeline.goss@gmail.com.

Equality Riders support sought
STATEWIDE — Halloween has passed and costumes have been stashed away for another year. The sweetness of candy has even been consumed. However, there are many LGBT students who remain locked away in a closeted existence inside Christian colleges and universities. For them harassment is not a trick and life is not a treat. The reality is that they are forced to wear a mask every single day — one they dare not remove or else face ridicule, condemnation and expulsion. That is why the Equality Ride is so important — it literally saves lives.

A request from Soulforce’s Executive Director Jeff Lutes on behalf of its riders
has been solicited in the form of monetary contributions.

Thousands of LGBT people will continue to suffer violence and discrimination at the hands of those who do not understand them. At universities, this oppression often hides in plain sight, masquerading as rigid doctrine or timeless tradition. Consequently, it goes unchallenged and unchanged. Guided by principles of nonviolence, the Soulforce Equality Riders approach these controversial issues with a readiness to meet people where they are. It is their belief that open and honest discussion begets understanding and healing and that philosophy is at the heart of their work.

At press time, the tour has been completed, but there is always a need to shore up the war chest for short falls from this year’s ride and for upcoming ones as well. Soulforce will weather the current economic storm, but donations brings encouragement to the Riders.

Since 2006, the Ride has visited more than 50 schools. There are an excess of 200 U.S. colleges and universities which have explicit policies that discriminate against LGBT students.

Upon visiting Ouachita Baptist University on Nov. 5 in Arkadelphia, Ark., Equality Ride Co-director Katie Higgins remarked, “I think the Equality Ride brought a vital affirming voice for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people and hopefully the Equality Ride’s visit is the first step in an extended and continuous conversation about faith, sexuality, and gender.”

To make a contribution, visit www.soulforce.org/donate.

Businessman on ‘Charlie Rose’
STATEWIDE — Gay North Carolina businessman Mitchell Gold appeared on Charlie Rose’s nationally-syndicated talk show on Nov. 7.

Gold discussed his new book “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America.” Several Carolinas leaders, including Q-Notes Editor Matt Comer, appear in the book, available at area Borders, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and the Raleigh and Charlotte locations of White Rabbit.

To see a recap of the show, visit www.charlierose.com/shows/2008/11/06/3/a-conversation-with-mitchell-gold.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.