Center receives feedback, UUA anniversary to be held in Charlotte

News Notes: Carolinas

Charlotte

Center receives feedback

CHARLOTTE — Members of the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte Board of Trustees held a special community roundtable on Dec. 28 to hear community members’ concerns, suggestions, feedback and other items of interest.

The event, the first of its kind since 2007, was billed as an opportunity for the center’s board and staff to “[reach] out to the LGBT Community to learn of the Community’s needs and concerns so The Center can better address and provide them.”

Among the many topics addressed at the meeting was fundraising, the center’s physical location, the annual Pride Charlotte festival’s location, outreach to youth and communities of color and visibility and civic engagement.

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Center chair John Stotler and board members Devlin McNeil and Roberta Dunn moderated. Board member Bert Woodard and other center-affiliated community leaders also attended the event.

Center board members have invited members of the community to attend their monthly programming committee meetings to share ideas and thoughts. Those meetings are held every third Wednesday of each month.

The center’s work can’t be done without the support of the community. Contributions are always welcome to help sustain the many activities it provides.

For more information, visit gaycharlotte.com.

— Matt Comer

Golden anniversary planed for UUA

CHARLOTTE — The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) will hold its 50th anniversary celebration during its 2011 General Assembly opening ceremonies which begins on June 22 and will be held in Charlotte.

The actual date of the anniversary is May 15, when the consolidation of the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association began.

The church has a ministry that addresses justice and diversity. It is a welcoming congregational body that supports full LGBT rights.

A specially commissioned hymn has been created for the festivities. During the general assembly, Rev. Debra W. Haffner will present “Fifty Years of Sexual Justice.” Haffner is the director of the Religious Institute.

For more information, visit uua.org.

— Lainey Millen

Join the ‘Sissies’

CHARLOTTE — Queen City Theatre will present the regional premiere of a Del Shores’ production of “Southern Baptist Sissies” from Jan. 20-Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. at the Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. A special matinee will take place on Jan. 30 at 3 p.m.

This award-winning comedy follows the journey of four gay boys in the Baptist church. It is directed by Glenn T. Griffin.

A percentage of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to The Trevor Project, with an initial fundraising goal of $3,500.

Tickets are: general admission, $20-24; students and seniors, $14-16. A special discounted performance on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. costs $12 is available for purchase online only.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit queencitytheatre.com.

— L.M.

Mancini awards local orgs

CHARLOTTE — A local foundation formed to support programming for the LGBT community announced on Dec. 28 its 2010 grant recipients.

The Wesley Mancini Foundation will disperse a total of $5,000 to programs meant to students, youth and freedom of speech. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program will receive $2,500 toward support of the university’s OUTspoken speakers series. The university’s Multicultural Resource Center will receive $1,000 for its Transgender Committee and their “Transgender Inclusion in Charlotte Institutions of Higher Education” program. The Charlotte-based national organization Campus Pride and Charlotte youth services group Time Out Youth will jointly receive $1,500 toward the groups’ joint “Believe in Youth” program.

The foundation, named after its founder Wesley Mancini, is one of a few United States foundations dedicated solely to supporting the LGBT community. Mancini, a longtime LGBT philanthropist both nationally and locally, established the foundation in 2000 in response to heavy censorship in Charlotte by funding resources, as well as the pervasive attitude among major Charlotte benefactors that gay and lesbian programs were too risky to undertake or underwrite. Since its inception a decade ago, the Wesley Mancini Foundation has awarded grants to 21 organizations.

— M.C.

Youth group needs help

CHARLOTTE — In the wake of the 2010 youth suicides, Time Out Youth’s work is more critical now than ever. Bullying has caused an outcry for help across the nation. And, that is no different in the Queen City.

LGBT youth require the assistance of organizations to provide the support they need as they move through the challenges of coming out, living their lives from day-to-day, as well as dealing with less-than-supportive family and friends.

Loneliness and abandonment stand at the top of the heap of issues that youth must encounter. With that, their very survival is tested.

The staff of Time Out Youth are always looking for volunteers who can share their time helping their charges. They are also in need of the financial means by which to provide this necessary work.

For information about Time Out Youth

and how to contribute to them, visit timeoutyouth.org.

— L.M.

Studios merge

CHARLOTTE — On Dec. 19, AEBN, the world’s largest adult VIdeo On Demand (VOD) provider, announced the acquisition of Falcon Studios and its merger with Raging Stallion Studios. They, along with Naked Sword and the Gunzblazing Affiliate Program, will be part of AEBN’s gay division.

According to AVN Media Network, Raging Stallion chief Chris Ward will head up the combined studio. James Hansen, current Falcon Studios president, will stay on as chief financial officer. A single staff responsible for the production of nearly 60 new titles per year and more than 40 compilation titles, will be comprised of employees of both studios.

The current Falcon Studios membership site will remain in the Next Door Entertainment network, while the current Raging Stallion sites will remain part of Gunzblazing. DVD distribution channels for both companies will remain the same. All titles from both studios are available for viewing at Nakedsword.com, AVN reported.

“Combining the iconic libraries of both studios will offer consumers one of the largest and highest quality catalogs to choose from. Putting the two companies’ incredibly talented staffs together will bring tremendous creativity and even higher production standards,” Hansen said.

The combined company will become the largest all-male erotic producer, with 12 major DVD lines, each of which will maintain its own branding. The main brands are Falcon, Raging Stallion, Naked Sword’s Golden Gate, Mustang, Jocks, Monster Bang, Twinks.com, Fisting Central, Fetishforce and Hairyboyz. In addition, Hard Friction, Stag Homme and Edger Nine are affiliated brands released via Raging Stallion.

“Our intent is to keep each of the important Falcon and Raging Stallion brands as individual entities, each with their own look and feel,” commented Ward.

— L.M.

Coastal

Safe place meeting slated

WILMINGTON — Wilmington Pride Youth Meetings are scheduled for Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 18 and April 15, 2011, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Buena Space, 27th N. Front St.

Join other LGBT youth in a safe, confidential environment. Parents are welcome.

For more information, email youth@out

wilmington.com or visit outwilmington.com.

— L.M.

Triad

B-I-N-G-O time

GREENSBORO — The Guilford Green Foundation will host “Once Upon a Bingo!” on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Empire Room, 203 S. Elm St.

On board will be the Dancing Queens and a raffle for various goodies.

Funds raised go to support local LGBT initiatives in the Triad community.

Sponsors are The Q, Custom Jewelers Gallery, Triad Boot Camp/Heart In Sol, Lincoln Green and Goodwill.

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Tickets are $15/adults, $10/students and $10/military.

To secure a spot, visit ggfnc.org/bingo.

— L.M.

Triangle

Gay man elected prez

RALEIGH — Retired IBM executive Stan Kimer (pictured), has recently been elected as the president of the North Carolina Council of Churches. He is the first openly gay person to do so in the south, The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported.

As a lay leader within the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) fellowship, the Dec. 2010 vote was not one that was political, but rather about who he was as an individual. He is only the second nationally to have been elected by one of the 33 other similar councils as an openly gay person. The state council is a coalition of eight individual churches and 17 Christian denominations that address social issues.

His election breaks ground in the conservative south where there has been few instances of overwhelming support of the LGBT community. MCC joined the council 20 years ago. Soon after MCC’s inclusion, Kimer stepped up to serve as a board representative of St. John’s MCC where he serves as the stewardship ministry chair and a lay delegate.

In recent years, mainline Protestant church groups have become more accepting, however, ones such as the Southern Baptist Convention has not. In fact, it is not a member of the council. Churches may be more open to its LGBT members, but they may not be with regard to sexuality, the News & Observer stated. It also added that some friction may arise. However, since the council’s objectives only require that members have a belief in Jesus Christ. They do not require “theological agreement.”

“As much as he wants his tenure to be devoted to the issues raised by the council, though, Kimer said he’s aware he’ll be looked at as a representative of gays in general,” the Raleigh newspaper said. Kimer says he wants to be a good LGBT community representative.

Former Methodist minister Jimmy Creech told the News & Observer that “Stan’s getting elected president is not a referendum on gay individuals.…It’s about Stan’s leadership.” They also reported that the council’s executive director, Rev. George Reed, stated that Kimer being a gay man “was not a disqualifying factor.” Member denominations have “internal battles” with LGBT issues, but that did not prevent Kimer’s election for a one-year term.

— L.M.

Center seeks renewed support

RALEIGH — The LGBT Center of Raleigh has announced that it had a successful 2010 year serving the community.

Strides were made. it opened its offices in downtown, as well as expanded its programs and services.

A wide range of expanded program and services offered to the community, includes LGBT Helpline; A Safer Place Youth Network (ASPYN); M Club; First Friday events; Healthworks; Raleigh NightFest; Raleigh is Coming Out; OutRaleigh; Q-Nights; Gay’n’Gray; youth leadership organizations; and confidential HIV testing.

To sustain itself in 2011 and beyond, they are diligently searching to obtain corporate sponsorships and grants, but donations from individuals are the financial backbone of the Center.

On-going needs for funding to pay for rent, hardware and software, printed materials, electricity, water, telephone, internet, etc., stay on the front burner.

Join the monthly recurring donation program. Here are some samples of how it can be used: $10 will cover one month’s telephone and internet charges; $25 will pay for about three months of printed materials; $100 will help cover the cost of one month’s rent, hardware, software for the office.

Not able to provide financial support? Then how about volunteering time and talent instead.

To make a tax-deductible contribution or

to lend a hand, send checks to 316 W. Cabarrus St., Raleigh, NC 27601 or visit

lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.

— L.M.

Members wanted

RALEIGH — He wants a few good people to join him. He’s sent out a “straight-forward pitch for you to become a member.” He’s Gaston Williams, president, and he is looking to add to the roster of members of the Raleigh Business & Professional Network.

The Network holds two monthly events — a dinner meeting on the second Wednesday of the month and a casual mid-monthly social on the fourth Wednesday.

The group’s website includes an online business directory and easy registration and payment options for its events.

To join, visit raleighnetwork.org.

— L.M.

Western

ALFA successes continue

HICKORY — With the help of its volunteers, board of directors and staff of ALFA, 2010 saw several milestones for the two-decades-plus organization whose mission it is to serve an eight-county area for HIV/AIDS support.

It received a $47,000 grant from NC Care Branch, providing the resources required to train 10 volunteer HIV testers.

ALFA’s medical case management program added new services to increase availability of support in the northwestern NC mountains.

Two special awareness and fundraising events, Hike for Hope and Not Your Mama’s Bingo, were added. Combined dollars raised was $150,000.

To learn about more ways to contribute or for more information, call Rodney Tucker, executive director, at 828-322-1447 ext. 244, email alfadirect@alfainfo.org or visit

alfainfo.org.

— L.M.

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