A headline in the July 3, 1981 issue of The New York Times read “Rare cancer seen in 41 homosexuals.” An advertisement for Independence Savings Bank featured a cut-out with the lyrics of “The Star Spangled Banner” to the story’s right.
Pride events in Charlotte grew out of the activism of the 1970’s, such as the short-lived Charlotte Gay Alliance co-founded by the late Don King in 1972, and a chapter of Dignity, organized in 1977, and later changed to Acceptance to expand its diversity and outreach.
In 1984, when Greg Brafford became part-owner of O’leens, one of Charlotte, N.C.’s most storied gay bars, the city was not far removed from the time when “suspected homosexuals” would be arrested in Freedom Park and have their names featured on the front page of The Charlotte Observer.
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