TOY CEO scrutinized
“LGBT youth group CEO under scrutiny”
June 14
“Time Out Youth CEO resigns”
July 12

In the summer, community members, Time Out Youth members and donors learned of internal problems at the Charlotte-based LGBT youth service organization.

On June 17, former Time Out Youth CEO Janine K. Eustache resigned her position with the organization. Her departure came three days after a Q-Notes investigative article revealed serious allegations by ex-interns and youth members suggesting the agency’s leader was uncomfortable working with the LGBT community and uninformed about its issues. There were also concerns that she did not want to be publicly associated with the organization.

Concerns ranging from presenting “both sides” of the religious debate over sexual orientation to offering an unreviewed prayer line on a list of youth resources, along with other questionable actions, put Eustache’s dazzling resume into doubt.

After former Time Out Youth CEO Janine K. Eustache began closeting the organization, many believed this might be the future of Time Out Youth.
After former Time Out Youth CEO Janine K. Eustache began closeting the organization, many believed this might be the future of Time Out Youth.

Although this writer (a TOY member at the time) and others attempted to address the group’s problems before making them public, the group’s board of directors simply built a wall around their executive director.

“After speaking both with other individuals present for the incidents cited and with Janine Eustache, we have found nothing that we believe substantiates these allegations,” an original public statement read.

While some charged Eustache was homophobic, others insisted she was simply too inexperienced to work with the LGBT community and for queer youth.

In a statement after Eustache’s resignation TOY board chairman Brandon G. Major acknowledged the need for open communication: “This transition is an important learning experience for the whole organization,” he said. “We see the continuing dialogue with our stakeholders as a great opportunity to improve and increase Time Out Youth’s effectiveness.”

He added, “We appreciate the outpouring of support from friends and the entire LGBTQ community for Time Out Youth’s mission and are excited about the organization’s future.”

Openly gay, community leader Steve Bentley has replaced Eustache as the group’s CEO.

SC is so gay
“S.C. Governor demands personnel and procedure changes in tourism fracas”
July 16

In a series of breaking news articles posted online and in-depth stories published in Q-Notes’ print editions, Contributing Writer Gareth Fenley documented what seemed to be the never-ending controversy over the South Carolina tourism department’s decision to advertise the state during London’s gay pride festivities.

The controversy over the “South Carolina is so gay” ads eventually got a man fired in backroom, anti-gay dealings reaching as high as the governor’s office.

“Rumor has it that Gov. Sanford is on the short list in the Republican veepstakes,” this writer said in an editorial published July 26. “Sanford’s hostility toward LGBT citizens and his reluctance to deal with our existence are key character flaws. If Sanford hopes to be McCain’s V.P. (a pie-in-the-sky dream after his abysmal, Miss South Carolina-style performance on CNN), let’s hope he quickly learns the value of appreciating and valuing all of his constituency — gay or straight.”

The amount of international, anti-gay attention thrust on the Palmetto State was enough to make everyone’s head spin. But the controversy allowed SC Pride to shine — they offered to pay up the $5,000 the state refused to pay, after saying it would.

The HIV-positive DJ files
“Raleigh man pleads guilty to HIV health law violation”
Sept. 6
“House arrest for gay DJ’s second
HIV violation”
Nov. 1

Q-Notes took the most flack this year for deciding to run with the story of Joshua Waldon Weaver, a 23-year-old DJ in gay clubs in Raleigh and Wilmington.

In September, Weaver pleaded guilty to violating state health regulations on communicable diseases. His infractions were failing to use a condom during intercourse and failing to inform his partners of his HIV-positive status.

Evidently, failing to learn his lesson the first time, Weaver was arrested and charged yet again with a second set of HIV health regulation violations in November. This time, a court put him on three months house arrest.

Community members decried our decision to publish the story and his photo. We felt it was in the best interest of the community and of reporting the news accurately and fairly.

Since then, Weaver’s stayed out of the limelight as far as we know.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.