Charlotte is proud: Community leaders share their thoughts

What makes them proud to be who they are and why are they proud to call Charlotte home?

proud_cbgI’m proud to be a part of Charlotte’s LGBTQ community because our community gets better and better every single day. For more than a decade, our LGBTQ community has been so active and vibrant that anyone could engage in at least one, if not more, LGBTQ activities/programs/events every single day.
Teresa L. Davis,
President, Charlotte Business Guild

proud_demarest_durdenWe’re proud to call Charlotte home because it is always growing, changing, and evolving. Charlotte is a city of endless possibilities, and the LGBTQ Law Center is grateful to call Charlotte our home.
Sarah Demarest and Kelly Durden,
Freedom Center for Social Justice
LGBTQ Law Center

proud_deriosI am proud to be a part of a sisterhood of strong women dedicated to being a positive influence in the community for future generations.
Sukema Derios,
Social Events Director/
Co-Founder 
of
Xi Epsilon Tau Sorority, Inc.

proud_donderoI am proud to call Charlotte home for all of the amazing work that we have done as a city in the way of diversity inclusion. Charlotte is a melting pot of so many different cultures, and when one considers that we’re in the Bible belt, we’re actually a fairly progressive place.
Anthony Dondero,
Director of Outreach of
UNC Charlotte’s Trans* Port

proud_gonzalesI’m proud to call Charlotte home because it is a culturally and socially diverse city, filled with brilliant minds who know the value and true meaning of community.
Ann Gonzales,
Co-Owner, Create-ster, LLC

proud_gordonI’m proud to call Charlotte home because it is a growing city enriched with diversity and gives the best mix of both southern culture with a city vibe. If you are an entrepreneur or desire to start or grow your business, the residents of Charlotte should know your brand.
Y.”Starr” Gordon,
CEO & Founder, SLE Group, LLC,
Sophisticated Lyfe Entertainment

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proud_griffinI’m proud I found my way to the LGBT Community Center. My goal as Operations Director is to help the Community Center thrive by bringing new and innovative programing that will appeal to all members of the Charlotte LGBT Community, and to truly make it an all-inclusive place to go. Now that we are settling down in our new building, I want to help the Community Center thrive once again as it did on Central Avenue, and have it be an important part of the Charlotte LGBT Community Experience.
Glenn T. Griffin,
Operations Director, LGBT Community Center

proud_grimstadI’m proud Charlotte has the largest LGBTQ Pride Festival between Washington DC and Atlanta. It is a testament to Charlotte Pride’s strength, our growth, and our visibility as an LGBTQ organization in a southern city.
Richard Grimstad,
Co-Director, Charlotte Pride

proud_newtonI’m proud I am lucky enough to be part of such dynamic city that has transformed over the years into such a forward thinking, forward moving, and progressive community.
Mario Newton,
City Host for 2014 HRC Gala Dinner,
board member of Step Up Charlotte

proud_pierceI’m proud to call Charlotte home because my partner Ed Harrell and I feel welcomed as a gay committed couple in the South in a city like Charlotte. The community as a whole has as much to offer as a “big” city for us, while allowing or that small-town feel.
Dale J. Pierce,
President and CEO, Different Roads Home, Inc.

proud_rawlsI’m proud to call Charlotte home because it is a city that is still “becoming.” I have lived in major cities on the east and west coast, but never been part of the real shaping and framing of one. We have a window of opportunity, as Charlotteans, to build something truly magnificent here.
Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls,
Pastor of Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte and
Founder of 
The Freedom Center for Social Justice

proud_smithI am proud I have parents who love and accept me for who God created me to be.
Nathan Smith,
Director of Development and Marketing, RAIN

proud_tuckerI’m proud to call Charlotte home because of the rich history and progressive nature of the city.
Rodney Tucker,
Executive Director, Time Out Youth Center

proud_valdezI’m proud to call Charlotte home because this community has given the opportunity to be me. It has challenged my idea of what the “south” is and at times given me an insight into what it can be.
Daniel Valdez,
Crisis Assistance Ministry

proud_warrenI’m PROUD that I live in Charlotte — a community that is so warm and generous; it has so many creative and passionate people who share their extraordinary gifts with our LBGT nonprofits. I’m also very proud of the many faith communities here who fought Amendment One and who continue to advocate for LBGT people.
Debbie Warren,
Founder, President and CEO, RAIN

proud_warshaurI’m proud Charlotte has local City and County governments that value their LGBT employees by offering full benefits and employment protections. I’m proud Charlotte is a community that recognizes that only with full inclusion will each of us reach our potentials and be able to offer our full selves to enable the city to reach its potential too.
Tom Warshaur,
Community Engagement Manager,
City of Charlotte/Neighborhood & Business Services

 

chipsyomega_christinawhitner

Chi Psi Omega members (left to right, front to back, listed below) and inset

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I am proud to be a part of Chi Psi Omega Fraternity, Inc., an organization whose purpose is to serve the growing and diverse community of Charlotte.
Tania Cox, Frat Virtuoso

I am proud to be a lesbian and OUT in NC! Because there was a time I wasn’t due to my religious upbringing — I have a supportive family and loving God who opens my family’s eyes and voice to my truth and allow me to be me!
Kellee Phillips, Frat A’Blaze

I am proud to call Charlotte home because the diversity here makes it okay to be an out and proud wife to my wife, second mother to my daughter, leader at my church and a financial professional. I grew up hiding my truth to make people comfortable but now that Charlotte is my home, I can be free to express myself and the city embraces me for me!
Leslie Bond, Frat Bodacious

I am proud to call Charlotte my home because since I moved here in May 2010 everything has been positive in my life with no setbacks. I’m proud Charlotte has an openly gay community, and festivities like my hometown Chicago.
Devon Copeland, Frat Tenacious

I am proud to call Charlotte home because it has given me a positive second chance at life and a HOME. I’m proud Charlotte has people of “Equality,” serving on boards and councils in positions of power.
Deanna Cooper, Frat Nonchalance

I am proud to be a part of an organization that gives back to the community. I love my Frats. Ride or die, I can’t deny. Chiiiiiii Psiiiiii!
Nicole Grier, Frat Vigorous

I am proud Charlotte is evolving into an inclusive city. This city has become its very own melting pot of people, ideas, and beliefs. My only hope is that we begin to respect one another’s choices.
Kisha Fox, Frat Divinity

I am proud I joined forces with my fellow founders to create our LGBT Greek organization. Through this org, we have been able to touch so many lives in such positive ways, from the homeless with our One Community Cares Initiative, to young students with our anti-bullying campaign, to my fellow Frats.
Diana Nutter, Frat Sublime

I am proud I co-founded an organization that is truly making a positive impact in the community. I’m proud Chi Psi Omega Fraternity, Inc. is a safe space for dominant lesbian women to grow professionally in each of our skill sets all while servicing the community.
Samantha Mercer, Frat Assiduous

I am proud to call Charlotte my home because since coming here I have discovered who I really am. The city truly has come a long way and I’m proud to call it home.
Melinda Dixon, Frat Masterpiece

I am proud to be a part of the current and active LGBT community. We have come a long way in 15 years. Our presence is known and people can see how active we are in supporting our community. I would not have been able to say that 15 years ago.
Christina Whitner, Frat Vehemen

QPoll: Be Heard

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What makes you most proud of Charlotte?

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