First as a newsletter…
qnotes began as a newsletter. Here’s what happened when it was created.
September 1983 — qnotes founded in its first incarnation as a monthly newsletter of the non-profit Queen City Quordinators (QCQ). (Associate Editor Lainey Millen designed its first logo/nameplate.)
October 1983 — The newsletter reports on the first case of AIDS in Charlotte.
…Then as a newspaper for 30 years
qnotes has provided near-continuous coverage of LGBT news, views, arts and entertainment for three decades. It has used both local talent, interns, freelance writers, as well as national columnists, cartoonists and more to catalogue the story of the LGBT community. Take a look at some significant mile markers along its journey below.
June 1986 — QCQ, under the leadership of President Robert Sheets, establishes qnotes as a monthly print newspaper. Hires Don King as the first editor.
January 1987 — Dean Gaskey was elected president of QCQ.
June 1987 — Gaskey resigned as president of QCQ and Vice President Jim Yarbrough assumed the post.
September 1987 — Don King resigned as editor of qnotes. QCQ continues publication. Gaskey, Yarbrough and Joel Smith take on the production of the paper.
January 1988 — Gaskey becomes editor.
May 1988 — qnotes is published using a desktop publishing system for the first time.
July 1988 — The board of QCQ votes to dissolve the organization and authorizes qnotes to begin operating independently under the for-profit umbrella of Charlotte Advocacy Network, Inc. (C.A.N., Inc.).
October 1988 — Spot color (purple) was used for the first time in qnotes.
December 1989 — qnotes purchased by current publisher Jim Yarbrough.
June 1996 — qnotes celebrates its 10th anniversary and begins publishing bi-weekly.
May 2001 — qnotes published its first issue using full color.
July 2005 — qnotes is the first-ever business recipient of The Charlotte Business Guild/Don King Community Service Award.
February 2006 — qnotes receives via United States Postal Service, a U.S. flag flown for qnotes over the Coalition Forces Compound at Camp Taji, Iraq, by a gay N.C. military person who had been writing a column in qnotes about his thoughts as a gay, active duty soldier serving in Iraq.
May 2006 — qnotes and The Front Page, a Raleigh, N.C. LGBT newspaper founded in 1979, announce a merger at qnotes 20th anniversary.
April 2008 — qnotes debuts its new website using a content management system instead of traditional, static HTML as its platform. The HTML version was used for nearly a decade.
July 2008 — qnotes changes the traditional quarter fold of the newspaper to a flat layout, reflecting the layout more typical of an average, weekly tabloid newspaper or news-magazine.
June 2009 — qnotes holds its first annual QList Best of LGBT vote and publishes the winners.
January 2010 — qnotes rebrands, dropping the dash from its name and promoting a new website, goqnotes.com.
October 2010 — qnotes partnered with The Charlotte Observer by joining its Charlotte News Alliance, a network of papers and blogs that share its content with the Observer and visa versa.
November 2010 — qnotes publishes its first “Life, Positively” issue to coincide with World AIDS Day.
December 2010 — Editor Matt Comer attends President Barack Obama’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal signing ceremony.
September 2012 — Under the leadership of Editor Matt Comer, qnotes develops a consortium of some half-dozen LGBT publications and bloggers from around the U.S. and serves as lead and disseminator in the coverage of the Democratic National Convention, held in Charlotte, N.C.
June 2013 — Comer and Yarbrough attend President Obama’s LGBT Pride Month Reception at the White House. Both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the group.
May 2016 — qnotes celebrates its 30th anniversary.
qnotes wishes to thank its advertisers and contributors for their overwhelming support over the years. Without them, the privilege of chronicling the LGBT experience would not be possible. We would also especially want to acknowledge the tireless work of its past editors who piloted the process over the years: Don King, Dean Gaskey, Craig Epson-Nelms, Joel Smith, Jim Yarbrough, Dan Kirsch, David Stout, Clay Ollis, Leah Sepenwol, David Moore, Matt Comer and O’Neale Atkinson. We apologize in advance if we inadvertently omitted anyone from the list of editors.