Charlotte

Liaisons closes
CHARLOTTE — Since August 1989, Liaisons, or “The Pink House,” has operated as either a restaurant or a bar (or both) for Charlotte’s LGBT community. On Aug. 15, a full 20 years after they opened, Liaisons said goodbye.

The bar’s owner said she is looking to re-open the business in a new location.

Soirée slated
SALISBURY — The local PFLAG chapter of Salisbury and Rowan County will hold its annual Autumn Soirée and Fundraiser on Sept. 19, featuring entertainment by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte and a keynote by activist Anne Stanback.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit the organization’s youth scholarships, which enables deserving Rowan County youth to attend college. Food Lion is an event sponsor.

The Soirée will be held at Catawba College’s Peeler Crystal Lounge, 2300 W. Innes St., from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $20. A silent auction will be held.

For more information, visit www.salisbury-pflag.org.

Bingo update
CHARLOTTE — Shelita Hamm and her Bingo Verifying Divas have unveiled their theme for the upcoming Gay BINGO on Nov. 21 at the Grady Cole Center, 310 N. Kings Dr.

“Shelita Goes To Hollywood” will be chocked full of all the fun and flavor attendees have come to know and love.

At press time, a date has not been set for the start of ticket sales. Tickets are $25. Reserved tables are available through the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network office by calling 704-372-7246, ext. 100. They will also be available at Paper Skyscraper, 330 East Blvd., and White Rabbit, 920 Central Ave.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the fundraising and festivities starting at 7:30 p.m.

Sponsorships and volunteer opportunities are available. Visit www.gaybingocharlotte.org to find out more.

¡Hable español!
CHARLOTTE — The Lesbian & Gay Community Center, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B11, will be offering Spanish classes beginning on Sept. 14.

“Yes, We Can Speak Spanish” will take place every Monday from 7-8 p.m. Admission is $5 per class and is payable on an as-you-go basis.

Participants are welcome to bring snacks and drinks.

“Say It Right in Spanish” is the text that Betty Chapman and Cliff Davis are slated to use. It is published by McGraw-Hill and can be ordered online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, as well as other online retailers.

After every fourth lesson, the class will host a salsa/margarita party, inviting the Latino LGBT community to join in for recreation and conversation.

For more information, call 704-333-0144, email info@gaycharlotte.com or visit www.gaycharlotte.com.

Coastal

Hate crimes protest held
WILMINGTON — Aiming to spark community discussion on hate crimes after an anti-gay attack in July, a dozen people gathered Aug. 24 outside the New Hanover County Courthouse for a morning rush hour rally.

The group organizing the event, Safer Communities Action Now! (SCAN), said the demonstration’s intent was to raise awareness of hate crimes legislation that would protect victims on the basis of sexual orientation and gender-identity. Such legislation has stalled in the North Carolina legislature for years, but the July 17 attack on two gay men on a riverfront street in downtown Wilmington has brought a renewed focus on the issue of hate crimes and community safety.

The two men, recent University of North Carolina-Wilmington graduates, were punched and kicked repeatedly. Both will need several surgeries and one is suffering from brain injuries causing impaired motor functions. The four accused of the crime face felony assault charges.

Updates on community meetings, protests and the on-going criminal case against the gay men’s attackers can be found at www.noh8nc.com.

Eastern

Game’s on
GREENVILLE — The Pitt County AIDS Service Organization (PICASO) is looking for volunteers to staff the concession stand at East Carolina University football games. PICASO makes a percentage of all the sales at the booth and it is a great way to connect to the big games and help a great cause.

Volunteers are needed from 1.5 hours before and throughout the entire game. PICASO provides entry to the stadium but cannot provide parking. If the booth is fully staffed participants generally will get a little time to watch the last quarter of the game.

Game schedule is: Sept. 5, Appalachian State, noon; Sept. 26, University of Central Florida, 3:30 p.m.; Rice, 3:30 p.m.; Virginia Tech, 7:30 p.m.; University of Alabama-Birmingham, 3:30 p.m.; and Southern Mississippi, 1 p.m.

To volunteer, make a contribution or for more information, email aaronluciernc@yahoo.com (football in the subject line) or visit www.picaso.org.

Triangle

Writing gay
CHAPEL HILL — The North Carolina Literary Festival, hosted by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Library, will host two gay authors who will speak about writing about gay and lesbian issues and characters.

The festival runs Sept. 10-13, on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

Dorothy Allison, author of “Bastard Out of Carolina,” and Randall Kenan, a 1985 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate and author of a James Baldwin biography, will host the “Writing Gay” workshop on Friday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m.

For more information, visit www.ncliteraryfestival.org.

Grab the grub
RALEIGH — A fish dinner will be held at St. John’s MCC, 805 Glenwood Ave. on Sept. 18 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

All plates include fish, two vegetables, rolls and dessert. Cost is $6.

All proceeds will go to support the ministries of the church.

To pre-order, volunteer or for more information, call 919-834-2611 or email churchadmin@stjohnsmcc.org. For a full listing of all church-related activities and commentary, visit www.stjohnsmcc.org.

Tapestry to be sung
RALEIGH — The Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus will present “Threads of Hope: A Concert Celebrating NC GLBT Pride” on Sept. 25 from 8-10 p.m. at Long View Center, 118 S. Person St.

John-Philip Mullinax is director.

Special guest is the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte.

A portion of the proceeds from the concert will benefit the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

For purchase and more information, email info@tgmchorus.org or visit www.tgmchorus.org.

Come out, wherever you are!
RALEIGH — The LGBT Center of Raleigh and its Board of Directors will host a coming out fundraising party on Oct. 17 at Moore Square, 200 S. Blount St., from 5-9 p.m.

There will be food, wine and beer to purchase and free, live entertainment to enjoy, along with the companionship of the gay and gay-friendly community from all of Eastern North Carolina.

This is just one of many events to help build the foundation of a much-needed community center for all LGBT people and their friends.

Entry is free. However, financial support in the way of contributions will enable the Center to become a reality. Become a member at the Founders level by being one of the first 1,000 people to donate $100 each. However, contributions of any size will be equally welcome.

For more information, mail to 514 Daniels St., #152, Raleigh, NC 27605, email lgbtcenterofraleigh@gmail.com or visit lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.

Western

Conclave slated
GRANITE FALLS — On Sept. 11-13, LGBT-affirming churches from across the Southeast will gather to worship, celebrate and “grow in grace” with like-minded “brothers and sisters.” The Healing Rain Conference 2009 will be held at the Quality Inn and Suites, 1725 13th Ave. Dr. NW.

Pastor David Thomas, Abundant Grace Church, says that it will be a time to refresh and renew one’s “relationship with the Lord and His people.”

There is no fee for the conference. Food will be provided Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday morning at no cost.

Special guests include: Apostle Dale Jarrett, Washington D.C.; Janice Lacount, Dallas, Texas; and Pastor Sherry Phillips, Bluefield, W.Va.

A special rate of $69 per night is available at the hotel for those who alert the reservation department or clerk.

For more information, call Thomas at 828-638-0566.

Annual retreat sets date
MAGGIE VALLEY — The Cross & The Rainbow, a spiritual retreat for lesbian and gay Christians, will be held Oct. 9-11 at the Living Waters Reflection Center. It is sponsored by The Diocesan Ministry for Gay and Lesbian Catholics, a project of the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C.

This is the 11th year for this weekend get away. Participants are surrounded by a warm, welcoming atmosphere which prompts making new friends, renewing old ones, sharing stories of faith and strengthening one’s relationship with God.

The event director will be Sr. Fran Grady, who specializes in nature and art retreats.
Group sessions and meals, a mountain hike, a Catholic Mass (all are welcome) are coupled with personal quiet, reflective time.

Cost for the event is $90 and includes a semi-private room, six meals and retreat sessions.

For more information or to reserve a spot, mail David Ferguson, P.O. Box 12451, Charlotte, NC 28220, call 704-921-5711, email devensleigh@aol.com (retreat in subject line) or visit www.catholicretreat.org.

Publications merge
ASHEVILLE — Despite the faltering state of affairs in LGBT media across the country, the publisher of three LGBT-focused publications in the Carolinas says his company is growing.

OnQ Network’s Jamie Seabolt and Stereotypd’s Lin Orndorf and Porscha Yount announced on Aug. 24 the merger of their companies. Stereotypd, an Asheville-based monthly LGBT newspaper, will now be published by OnQ Network, currently based in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and making a move to the Raleigh-Durham area. The company also publishes the glossy nightlife guide OnQ Carolina Edition and the smaller, Charleston, S.C.-based Drag Magazine.

“With our now sister publication, OnQ Carolina Edition, showing the only growth in gay media throughout the Carolinas this year, it only made sense to share that opportunity and growth with Stereotyd’s readers,” Seabolt said in a press release. “The same edgy and thought-provoking content that you have come to know from us in Western North Carolina is now going to be shared with the entire Carolina region — from the mountains to the coast, north & south.”

Seabolt promises growth for the Asheville-based publication. “You will notice many positive changes over the next 3 months as we grow with OnQ Carolina Edition including enhanced directories, a new magazine layout, and a new two-state distribution,” he said in the release.

The company also announced it will be expanding Drag Magazine’s coverage area.

Lin Orndorf, Stereotypd’s former editor-in-chief, will continue as managing editor. Porscha Yount, former business and creative director, will continue as art director. Seabolt will serve as publisher and executive editor. Former owner and publisher Ira Schultz will still have a role to play with the publication, including writing his weekly column, “This Week with Stephanie Sinclair.”

Published monthly, Stereotypd has a print circulation of 8,000. OnQ Carolina Edition has a bi-weekly print circulation of 5,000.

Campus Scene

HRC announces scholarship winners
ASHEVILLE — The Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced on Aug. 13 five winners of the Generation Equality Scholarship for LGBT and allied students who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to queer equality.

Recipients will receive $2,000 and have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. in October for HRC’s National Dinner.

Recipient from the Carolinas is Natalka Wiszczur, a second-year student at University of North Carolina–Asheville (UNCA) and is active both on campus and in the Asheville community. She volunteers at One Voice, a rape crisis center, where she provides short-term counseling and crisis intervention and trains new advocates on LGBTQ issues.

Since 2007, she has been actively involved with Tranzmission, a project of Asheville Prison Books that supports queer and transgender prisoners by providing books and pen-pals. Wiszczur has created a queer prom in Asheville that serves as a major fundraiser for Tranzmission and has organized annual events like Take Back the Night and Stonewall Remembrance Day.

At UNCA, she has developed an interdisciplinary major focusing on sex and sexuality. “My degree is designed to integrate the ideas behind sex and sexuality from sociological, psychological and physiological perspectives while simultaneously developing the skills to actively promote healthy sexuality within the community.” In the future, she plans to increase collaboration between queer prison support groups and continue working with at-risk queer and transgender youth.

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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,...