For Zach Smith, gaming has been a safe space for much of his life. “Some of my first memories are of playing video games,” he says. Smith, who is the executive director of the Charlotte Gaymers Network, remembers playing on a Sega Genesis with his sister when he was young.
For months, in response to Gov. Roy Cooper’s decree for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, all the bars and private clubs in the state have been closed. In the last decade, there had already been a noticeable decline in the number of LGBTQ establishments nationwide, and this public health crisis only adds to the pressure these businesses face.
On Aug. 2 North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order directing the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services to ensure that no taxpayer dollars are used for conversion therapy for minors, including North Carolina Medicaid and North Carolina Health Choice, Equality North Carolina (ENC) announced.