CHARLOTTE — QNotes, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community newspaper based in Charlotte, celebrates its landmark 25th anniversary with its May 14, 2011, print edition due out on newsstands this Friday and Saturday in Charlotte and across North Carolina.
The publication was founded in June 1986 by the non-profit community organization Queen City Quordinators (QCQ). It traces its history to 1983 when QCQ started publishing a monthly newsletter that shares the paper’s name. A little over two years later, the newsletter ceased publication and QNotes was reborn as a monthly tabloid newspaper; its first issue’s publication coincided with LGBT Pride Month in June 1986. At its 10th anniversary in 1996, the paper transitioned to an every-other-week publishing schedule.
“I’m honored to have been involved with QNotes from its beginning as a newspaper,” said publisher Jim Yabrough, who served as a volunteer with Queen City Quordinators and later purchased the rights to the newspaper in 1989. “The LGBT community has seen tremendous change and growth over the past 25 years and I’m proud QNotes has been here to document that history. We plan to continue that service and keep on keeping on.”
QNotes is the oldest continuously published LGBT community newspaper in North Carolina. In 2006, QNotes merged with Raleigh, N.C.-based newspaper The Front Page, founded in 1979. Both The Front Page and QNotes succeeded The Free Press, founded in Charlotte in 1975 as the first LGBT community newspaper in North Carolina. The Free Press ceased publication in 1979.
Despite challenging economic times and changes in media consumption, QNotes has remained a go-to source for LGBT community news, opinion, arts and entertainment.
“We have a continuing commitment to meeting our community where it is,” said editor Matt Comer. “We’re reaching out and interacting with readers through our print edition, through our website, through social networks like Facebook and Twitter and through face-to-face outreach. More people today have access to and read QNotes than at any time in our quarter century of service.”
The paper is distributed in Charlotte, the Raleigh/Triangle area and the Triad, among other locales. The paper’s content and other news and features are also available online at goqnotes.com.
Throughout its anniversary year, the newspaper will celebrate and document the LGBT community history it’s covered. Twenty-fifth anniversary coverage will be available at goqnotes.com/25years beginning on Friday, May 13, 2011.