News Briefs for 09.18.20

ACTION ALERT!

COMPLETE YOUR CENSUS NOW

In just a few weeks, the 2020 Census will be completing their field operations and responses are still needed in order to ensure that full and accurate data is gathered. Information from the census determines how much funding each state receives for schools, hospitals, nutrition and additional programs in those communities, among other objectives.

If you have not completed a survey, either online, with an enumerator or over the phone at 844-330-2020, do it today! It only takes about 10 minutes.

Visit my2020census.org and be heard and counted.

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‘Bears’ creators launch new web series

Ben Zook and Joe Dietl from “Where the Bears Are” have created a new web series, “That Darn Corona!” which focuses on the pandemic. It explores a gay couple trying to make the most of sheltering in place — the “struggle with drinking too much, COVID weight gain, too much medicinal pot, doomed self-improvement projects, crappy birthdays, disastrous haircuts and more.” The five-part sitcom spoof offering is available on YouTube.
info: youtu.be/5TQnRDc15i0.

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Voices to connect community

Engage 2020: Community Conversations – Local Voices Matter will be held from 3-4 p.m., on Sept. 27, Oct. 11, Oct. 25 and Nov. 8. The virtual event is being conducted through a partnership between the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library and Local Voices Network. The goal of the gatherings experience is to connect residents in conversation around past and current civic and social trends, and to discuss how people’s neighbors experience civic, social, and political engagement. Engage 2020 programs are offered in partnership with the Digital Public Library of America.
info: bit.ly/3iJU0c5.

HRC goes virtual gala

The Human Rights Campaign is taking its Gala fundraising efforts online this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. On Sept. 24, 8-9 p.m., people from across the nation will show their support for the work that the campaign does in pursuit of equality. Currently, a call is out for equality captains. Monies raised will be used to defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden on Nov. 3. Sign-ups are available online, as well as a vehicle to contribute to the cause.
info: bit.ly/2QHibeQ.

Youth conference sets date

Registration is now open for the 2020 Carolina Conference on Queer Youth scheduled for Oct. 16, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. This online experience will allow youth from across the state to gather virtually to discuss and engage in this year’s thematic work, “Black Queer and Trans Lives Matter: Uplifting QTBIPOC and Addressing Anti-Blackness in LGBTQ+ Spaces.” Cost to attend ranges from $5-$10. To register, visit bit.ly/35HJqye.
info: timeoutyouth.org/ccqy.

Youth ‘spirited’ resilience day upcoming

We Are Family is hosting their Spirit Day 2020: Queen Youth Fest from Oct. 15-18 and will be highlighting the role of art in queer/transgender resilience. It kicks off with “Pose” star Cecilia Gentili on Oct. 15 and continues throughout the virtual festival. The organization is also hosting a GSA coalition meeting on Sept. 23, 5:30 p.m, via Zoom, that focuses on the pandemic, among other topics. Registration is available online.
info: waf.org/spirit-day-2020. waf.org/gsa.

In Memoriam: Rev. Gil Caldwell

The Rev. Gil Caldwell, 86, has died. The civil rights activist stood up for gay rights in the United Methodist Church, Religion News Service reported. The Greensboro, N.C. native was a “foot soldier” for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The son of a preacher, Caldwell was a founder of Black Methodists for Church Renewal and United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church. He had previously officiated at a wedding for two Black gay men and had affirmed LGBTQ rights in a sermon in Durham, N.C. Former PFLAG National board President Jean Hodges shared that Rev. Caldwell was a role model for work within the faith communities and those of color.”
info: bit.ly/3hAYMHf.

History Month icons announced

The Equality Forum has released the names for the 2020 LGBT History Month icons listing. Those chosen will be featured throughout the month of October in vignettes online at goqnotes.com. They are: Nikolay Alexeyev (Russian activist), Deborah Batts (first out federal judge), Angie Craig (congresswoman), Emily Dickinson (poet), Felicia Elizondo (transgender activist), Rob Epstein (Oscar-winning director), Emile Griffith (world champion boxer), Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katzu (Indian LGBTQ rights attorneys), Alexander von Humboldt (father of ecology), Christopher Isherwood (writer), Moisés Kaufman (award-winning theater director), Lori Lightfoot (mayor of Chicago), Claudia López (Bogota, Columbia mayor), Bernárd Lynch (Catholic priest), Anne McClain (NASA astronaut), Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live” comedian), Harris Glenn Milstead/Divine (actor), David Mixner (civil rights activist), Lauren Morelli (writer and producer), Ifti Nasim (poet and activist), Jess O’Connell (national Democratic strategist), Mary Oliver (Pulitzer-winning poet), Billy Porter (award-winning Broadway actor), Laura Ricketts (Chicago Cubs co-owner), Angelica Ross (transgender rights advocate), Sappho (seventh century B.C. poet), Megan Smith (U.S. chief technology officer), Baron von Steuben (Revolutionary War general), Laxmi Narayan Tripathi (Indian transgender rights activist), Deborah Waxman (national rabbinic leader) and Lil Nas X (rapper).
info: equalityforum.com.

Scientists, tech pros slate virtual conference

The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Professionals (NOGLSTP) and Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) are collaborating this year to present a fully virtual joint conference to take place from Nov. 12-15. The event combines the 10th Annual oSTEM Conference with NOGLSTP’s Out to Innovate 2020 Summit. Details are currently being finalized.
info: bit.ly/2FyKb1J. noglstp.org. ostem.org.

UNC series focuses on Baldwin

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will present their Process Series presentation of “They Do Not Know Harlem: In Communion with James Baldwin” on Sept. 25 and 26, 7:30 p.m., as a live streaming staged reading. It is a homecoming that finds Tristan Parks (who created, choreographed, and performs the play) alongside his community summoning the spirit of James Baldwin to “excavate the idol of race and the disillusionment of white supremacy. How does one’s black and queer life define ‘home’ in relation to the Western World? Baldwin’s voice demands that Tristan grapples with ghosts of his own history and invites the audience to bear witness.” Baldwin was a gay writer and activist who spoke out against injustices. Tickets for the virtual show are free, but must reserved in advance online at bit.ly/3c5wtzK. A link will be provided prior to the performance. A suggested contribution of $10 can also be made to support production costs by visiting unc.live/3iqHyh0.
info: processseries.unc.edu.

Pentagon asked to halt HIV discrimination

On Sept. 14, Lambda Legal and the Modern Military Association of America asked a federal district court to bar the Trump Administration and the Pentagon from discriminating against people living with HIV by denying them the opportunity to enlist, deploy, or commission as an officer. In a hearing on two related lawsuits before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, lawyers argued the Pentagon’s “categorical bar to the enlistment, deployment or commissioning of people living with HIV is unconstitutional” and asked the court to order the Department of Defense to allow servicemembers living with HIV to deploy and to serve as officers. The two lawsuits are Roe & Voe v. Esper and Harrison v. Esper.
info: lambdalegal.org.

Athletes to host virtual run

OUTAthletics has announced their first-ever Virtual 5K will be held on Nov. 8 to raise money for the organization’s programs supporting the LGBTQ community. The event kicks off at 11 a.m. via Instagram Live with opening remarks from OUTAthletics Founder and Chief Mission Officer Will Lanier, Hall of Fame triathlete Chris Mosier and Black, queer, and transfeminine storyteller Ianne Fields. Registration is $20, and those fundraising over $50 will earn the newly-designed Virtual 5k T-shirt. The T-shirts come in Run 5K, Walk 5K and Wheel 5K styles. The first 100 people who register will receive an exclusive medal. Money raised will support the work of The OUT Foundation to remove the barriers that block LGBTQ+ individuals’ access and participation in fitness, health, and wellness. The top three fastest racers and the top three fundraisers will receive a prize bag with goodies from our corporate sponsors, including RockTape, goodr Sunglasses, Athletic Brewing Company, and more. There will also be a spirit award for the most colorful, most engaged, super extra racer for those who tag @out.athletics on Instagram using hashtag #OA5K. Registration is available online.
info: bit.ly/3ml3g8B.

Ministry unveil new initiative

Reconciling Ministries Network has announced its newest social justice initiative, Rooted & Rising, a comprehensive campaign for the next season of the Reconciling movement, organizers shared. It refocuses the organization’s efforts on its grassroots organizing with a deep commitment to intersectional LGBTQ justice. “Rooted & Rising represents a movement ready to be the Church, no matter what the denomination decides when the General Conference meets,” organizers added.
info: bit.ly/2E33PTe. rmnetwork.org.

‘Giant’ supporter dies at 90

Henry van Ameringen, a philanthropic “giant” and early supporter of LGBTQ equality, died on Sept. 9. He was 90. His early support, coming at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, was crucial to laying the foundation upon which the LGBTQ advocacy movement was built, Lambda Legal shared. van Ameringen was also a founding contributor to the Movement Advancement Project. Philanthropist David Bohnett, also a founding funder of MAP, said, “[Henry] championed important causes long before they were popular, he invested deeply in communities who feared they had no voice, and he rallied his fellow philanthropists when the going got tough. … I, and social justice activists everywhere, owe Henry an enormous debt of gratitude.”
info: lambdalegal.org. lgbtmap.org.

New domain extension goes live

After a decade-long application process, Top Level Design has announced the public release on Sept. 16 of a .gay domain extension to support the LGBTQ community. The company worked alongside LGBTQ organizations like GLAAD to make sure that “LGTBQ people and our wishes were at the very heart of this endeavor.” The company then went through a test period where several early adopters, like Instinct Magazine, George Takei, Roxane Gay, PFLAG and more, were able to acquire .gay domains and troubleshoot the process. A percentage of domain registrations will go toward LGBTQ organizations GLAAD and CenterLink. Additionally, .gay has engaged in a joint new web series, “The Library,” which helps to explain many of the common (and uncommon) terminology and concepts found within the LGBTQ community, Instinct Magazine reported.
info: bit.ly/35vUY7U.

Married couple to star in film

Actors Ben Lewis and Blake Lee will star in Lifetime’s “Christmas Setup” movie this winter. The couple are actually married in real life. This is the network’s first holiday movie with an LGBTQ-led storyline, TVLine reported.
info: bit.ly/2ZAm1em.

Sports group reports on fall schedule

Stonewall Sports Charlotte has released its fall schedule of play and some made the field for play and some did not. Canceled was fall bowling, under discussion is cornhole and preparing for the season is fall kickball (with an amended rule book and logistics for safer play amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions). For kickball players, there is a zero tolerance COVID-19 restriction policy which must be agreed upon in writing when registering, plus there is a shortened season with smaller team sizes. For more information, email charlotte.commissioner@stonewallsports.org.
info: stonewallsports.org.

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Court short list includes anti-LGBTQ candidate

WRAL has reported that Judge Allison Jones Rushing from North Carolina has been nominated to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, representing West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas. NBC News reported in March 2019 that Rushing had ties to anti-gay The Alliance Defending Freedom, designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. Lambda Legal’s Chief Strategy Officer Sharon McGowan shared, “The President’s ‘litmus test’ for SCOTUS nominees seems to have demanded zealous opposition to abortion and common sense gun control measures, as well as an unrelenting commitment to destroying the Affordable Care Act and a deep hostility to LGBTQ equality. All of these positions are far outside of the mainstream, and threaten not only the legal rights but also the health and safety of LGBTQ people, everyone living with HIV, and other groups who rely on fair and impartial courts to vindicate their rights.”
info: bit.ly/2RtoJhg. lambdalegal.org.

Orgs hiring personnel

Both regionally and nationally, several organizations are seeking to add to or replace staffers as they continue their work on behalf of the LGBTQ community. In the Carolinas, Transcend Charlotte is looking for a case manager, development director and TransCloset program director. LGBTQ, women and BIPOC candidates are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter to: apply@transcendcharlotte.org. We Are Family is seeking a part-time office coordinator and a part-time volunteer coordinator. Deadline for resume and cover letter submittal to We Are Family is Oct. 1. Email info@waf.org with “Office Coordinator” or “Volunteer Coordinator” in the subject line. On the national scene, MPact Global is seeking a new executive director to replace Dr. George Ayala who is stepping down from a 16-year-plus career with the organization. Deadline for applications is Oct. 5 and can be submitted online at bit.ly/3kgtyH3. A full description of the position is listed. In other related news, The Freedom Center for Social Justice has announced that is debuting a new TGNC (Trans and Gender Non-Conforming) Artist Entrepreneurship Program, two communications fellowships, and a re-launch of the Alumni Networks program. The center is also bringing its Liberating Theologies Speaker Series to Zoom on Oct. 17, 12 p.m., with presenters Rev. Dr. Emilie Townes and Rev. Dr. William Barber II. Registration is available online at bit.ly/3km5Lp9. Center founder and executive director, Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls, will be the keynote speaker at PFLAG Charlotte’s online “At the Intersection of Faith & LGBTQ Identities: Establishing New Normals in Times of Chaos” on Oct. 3, 1 p.m. Registration is available at bit.ly/2FxbyJP.
info: transcendcharlotte.org. fcsj.org. mpactglobal.org. pflagcharlotte.org.

Health, coronavirus survey participants sought

Gender Benders and the Campaign of Southern Equality are seeking LGBTQ Individuals in the U.S. South for a LGBTQ Health and Coronavirus survey. Those living in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas from the LGBTQ community and are 18 and older are being asked to participate. Researchers want to hear about how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted access to resources, as well as health and well-being. The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete. For more information, email Prof. Austin Johnson, directly at johnson2@kenyon.edu.
info: bit.ly/32sCxiw.

Kids get “family” coloring book

WTVR recently reported that Mark Loewen has created a coloring book series that celebrates LGBTQ families and educates others about them. The creator was looking for options and found a glut in material available for same-sex parents. Nothing depicted the framework of his family structure, so he developed one.
info: bit.ly/32unk09.

First critics awards announced

Hugh Jackman, Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter, John Oliver and “Schitt’s Creek” creator-star Dan Levy, plus stars and producers of “Killing Eve” and “Watchmen,” were among those who virtually accepted awards from GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics during the group’s first TV special on Sept. 13. “The Dorians TV Toast 2020,” a recorded two-hour program, aired on Revry.
info: galeca.org.

BOA makes commitment to advance racial equality, economic opportunity

On June 2, Bank of America made a $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. Now, the company is announcing its initial progress by directing one-third, or $300 million, of its $1 billion commitment to four key areas across 91 U.S. markets and globally: $25 million in support of jobs initiatives in Black and Hispanic/Latino communities, $25 million in support of community outreach and initiatives, $50 million in direct equity investments to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), and $200 million of proprietary equity investments in minority entrepreneurs, businesses and funds. The $1 billion, four-year commitment is being overseen by Anne Finucane, vice chairman of Bank of America and head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Capital Deployment and Public Policy, in coordination with several business lines and business support areas across the company. “These initial investments will address access to jobs and support for small businesses by creating more pathways to employment in communities of color and more support for minority entrepreneurs,” said Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America.
info: bankofamerica.com.

Effort underway to save stages

Independent musical venues are experiencing strains under the pandemic. Thirteen of Charlotte, N.C.’s stages are asking the public to sign a petition to help save their venues. Those asking for help are Amos’ Southend, The Evening Muse, Free Range Brewing, MaxxMusic, Middle C. Jazz, Neighborhood Theatre, Petra’s, Skylark Social Club, Snug Harbor, The Tipsy Burro, The Thirsty Beaver, Tommy’s Pub and The Visualite.
info: bit.ly/3iwYeDG.

ASO gets new digs

Triad Health Project has announced that it is moving to new offices at 501 Westwood Ave. The new facility is currently under construction and is need of partnerships to help with bringing the project to fruition. They are seeking technology for their conference room/educational space; funds for new blinds for privacy; sponsorship of an indoor mural for a local artist; and funds for landscaping and outdoor beautification efforts. To learn more, email info@triadhealthproject.org.
info: triadhealthproject.org.

Heroes votes being gathered

LGBTQNation is holding their Heroes of the Year voting poll online through Sept. Sept. 30. Categories include Newsmaker, Celebrity Activist, Hometown Hero, Small Business Owner, Up & Coming Politician, Pundit, Twitter Advocate and Instagram Advocate.
info: bit.ly/3mjPrap.

ENC accepting RYE Fellowship apps

Equality North Carolina is accepting applications through Oct. 2 for their 2021 Rural Youth Empowerment (RYE) Fellowship, a year-long mentorship and training program for LGBTQ young people in rural areas of North Carolina. Over the course of a year, a cohort of 10 RYE Fellows will attend day-long leadership institutes in three different locations throughout the state, attend major ENC community events, participate in monthly video conferences, work one-on-one with community mentors, and receive fellowship stipends to help offset costs associated with their project. Applications are available online for fellows and mentors.
info: bit.ly/33xVmzY. bit.ly/35FEwSv.

Choir director can sue

Gay City News reported that a Sandor Demkovich can sue the Catholic church that fired him after learning that he had married his boyfriend. Grounds for the suit are based on claims of subjection to hostile work environment by his supervisor because of his sexual orientation and physical disabilities.
info: bit.ly/3iv2SC0.

Artist featured in creative initiative

Charlotte, N.C. artist Irene Nguyen (aka Lil Bit Design) was spotlighted by Charlotte Is Creative for her signage that she created in support of Black Lives Matter, as well as LGBTQ, transgender and human rights. The art piece featured a rainbow flag as the background with a transgender colored circle overlay and Black fist completing the work.
info: bit.ly/3mlmoTL.

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Posted by 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, x205.

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