Just a few days after qnotes published our own QList, Best of LGBT Carolina, Charlotte’s Creative Loafing has unveiled its 2012 Best of Charlotte. Both readers and CL‘s own critics took notice of plenty of LGBT organizations and businesses this year. Come on, you can’t have a real party without bringing the fabulousness, right?

Among readers’ picks, Time Out Youth won “Best Support Group” and the Charlotte’s little-gayborhood-that-could, Plaza Midwood won “Best Area to Live in Charlotte,” an honor also given it by the newspaper’s critics. Scott Weaver, promoter of the popular Snug Harbor gay night, ShipRocked, was chosen as the readers’ “Best DJ.” Readers also named his weekly, Thursday-night party their “Best Nightlife Event.”

LGBT bars also fared well with readers. Sidelines was voted “Best Sports Bar.” Plaza Midwood’s Petra’s Piano Bar won “Best Gay/Lesbian Bar,” also chosen the same by critics. Though not exclusively gay, the very LGBT-friendly Soul Gastrolounge won “Best Cocktail Selection.”

Among choices made by the newspaper’s slew of critics: Drag performers BethAnn Phetamine and Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer’s alter-ego Buff Faye tied for “Best Drag Performer.” Marigny Dance Club got the nod for “Bar With Hottest Staff” and The Bar at 316 got a “bonus” pick as “Best Place For Ladies To Find A Gay ‘Boyfriend.'”

But, don’t be fooled: The “Best of” isn’t all fun and games. CL addressed some serious issues (even if in a slightly comedic way) important to local LGBT residents. While readers chose anti-gay Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James their “Local Zero,” the newspaper’s critics had harsher words for him (and his supporters), dubbing him the “Best Local Politician for Voters Who Didn’t Realize There Was A Civil Rights Movement and That It Won.” Republican City Councilmember Andy Dulin was named “Worst Member of Local Government,” in part for his opposition to same-sex domestic partner benefits for city employees and their families.

You can see all of Creative Loafing‘s “Best of Charlotte” picks in their Oct. 4-10 print edition or online at clclt.com/charlotte/best-of-charlotte-2012/BestOf?oid=2804266.

Matt Comer

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