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April 2, 2011 – QNotes

Sex in the park?

Investigative Commentary: Police records debunk the media-driven myth of gay sex in public parks

If Charlotte news station WBTV or Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James were your only sources of information, you’d likely be led to believe the Queen City has a significant problem with men engaging in illegal sexual activities in the city’s and county’s public parks. Fortunately, real journalism uncovers hard numbers — facts backed up by police records — that show an astonishingly low rate of arrests for men soliciting so-called crimes against nature in public places.

No strings attached

Avenue Qmmunity characters and puppets use fiction to highlight real issues

As bright-eyed young people, we all had questions about life, love and how the world works. So, we turned to the influences we trust most in life — our parents, our friends and, perhaps, most memorably, our TV programs. But, what happens when we cross over that inevitable border into adulthood? Who is there to answer the difficult questions we encounter them then? Often, just as the most pressing questions of adulthood emerge, the advising panel disappears. Well, lucky for us, our answer may have just pulled into town.

Liz Taylor mourned by AIDS activists

The world lost a fierce HIV/AIDS advocate with the March 23 death of actress Elizabeth Taylor. The Oscar-winning beauty launched a second career as an AIDS activist in 1985 when she organized AIDS Project Los Angeles’s first “Commitment to Life” event, which would go on to become the biggest AIDS fundraiser in history.

Stomp 2011 celebrates anniversary

Southern Country Charlotte marks 20 years of service

Charlotte’s LGBT Country Western dancing and social group is celebrating 20 years this year and their annual Queen City Stomp — slated for April 15-17 — is set once again to raise much-needed funds for area non-profits.

Marching backward to the beat of a despotic drum

Editor's Note

Back in December, Vice President Joe Biden said “there’s an inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage.” It is a theme has been repeated often enough in days of late. There’s plenty of evidence to support such a hypothesis.

The word is out

General Gayety

At Wayne State University in Detroit, the Word Warriors wave the banner on behalf of the English language’s neglected words. Last year the Warriors released a list of words they hoped to rescue from disuse. As the obliging type, I wanted to assist the restoration effort. So, I tested all 15 words to see if they fit snugly with my LGBT subject matter.

Coming out ally

Commentary: Straight sister gets a taste of rejection

I should probably start out with a confession — throughout my youth, my attitude towards the LGBT community was little more than a formulaic result of a traditional Southern Baptist upbringing in small town Hendersonville, N.C., and a unanimously-dedicated Republican family.

Marriage equality or bust?

T-Notes

I don’t expect this to be the most popular column I’ve ever written. In fact, this will probably be deemed contentious and recalcitrant. I know how important the issue of marriage equality is to many within the gay and lesbian communities. You may have wondered why some of your trans friends are turning their collective backs regarding this issue. It’s not that we don’t support the general agenda of equal rights. We do. And, it isn’t that spousal equality doesn’t affect trans individuals. It does.

Fort Worth settles gay bar-police debacle

News Notes: Beyond the Carolinas

Chad Gibson and George Armstrong, two Fort Worth, Texas, men who were injured during a police “inspection” of the Rainbow Lounge nearly two years ago, received a $400,000 settlement from the Fort Worth City Council on March 23. Plus: Civil unions bill introduced in Delaware, DOMA news, gay giving for Japan, and more.