charlottepridebandBand gearing up for Charlotte Pride

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Pride Band (CPB) is in preparation mode to participate in the upcoming Charlotte Pride Parade, slated for Aug. 17 in Uptown Charlotte.

The two-year-old marching performers rocked out last year while marching down Tryon St., kazoos on hand.

“Marching in the Pride Parade was an incredible experience,” said out-going Charlotte Pride Band president Ron Vereen, who played a pivotal role in making CPB’s marching band dream a reality. “Part of our mission is to bring communities together through our music, and the Pride Festival enabled us to do just that. We had so much support and enthusiasm from the LGBT community and its allies on the day of the parade.”

Marching band rehearsals are beginning soon and the band hopes to see more of the community eager to join in. “The more the merrier,” says Vereen. “We want as many musicians and color guard as possible to participate. And, summer band is a great opportunity to give the band a test run if you’ve been considering joining.”

Outreach is an integral part of CPB’s mission. It made a second appearance at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, making history as the first LGBT group allowed to carry the rainbow flag in that parade. Their pep band has been a regular fixture at Charlotte Royals rugby games. And, a smaller ensemble has played for a variety of causes since it’s inception.

Artistic Director David Wallace said that CPB’s mission is to bring change through music. “There are so many principles that we stand for individually: marriage equality in our home states, a more secure and accepting workplace, safer schools, the support of a loved one. The list goes on and on. But, what brings us together to perform is the understanding that we are a community, and the belief that we can make the world a little better, or even just a bit more accepting, through our united performance.”

Interested parties are encouraged to contact the band for opportunities.


Seniors’ dinner upcoming

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The LGBT Aging Solutions Dinner group will hold a meeting on July 21, 7 p.m., at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall, 1900 The Plaza. Topic will be Lifelong Housing Solutions and will be lead by Carolyn Cook. A presentation and panel of speakers will be on hand to review housing and innovation for elders.

Unlike recent meetings, this one will not include dinner. An RSVP is requested.

The group has partnered with AARP while interested parties work together to address the issues and concerns of area LGBT elders. Last month, 32 were in attendance.

At the August meeting, Issues and Solutions Groups will be formulated. At press time, they were: housing; diversity training and support services; legal and financial; medical; and social. These special interest groups will meet between monthly meetings. Coordinators are being sought.

Group coordinators shared that AARP purchased rights to show “Gen Silent” and is looking to screen it over the next half year. The film’s showing will also include a panel discussion and dinner.


Queen City makes fitness index

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The American College of Sports Medicine, Indianapolis, Ind., with support from the WellPoint Foundation, announced that Charlotte was named 27th in its American Fitness Index.

The data report, “Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas,” reflects a composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions and community resources and policies that support physical activity, the consortium shared.

The metropolitan statistical area (MSA) of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill area scored 48.1 out of 100 possible points.

“Health advocates and community leaders have come to expect the arrival of the American Fitness Index as an annual checkup regarding their community’s health and fitness levels,” said Walter Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, chair of the AFI Advisory Board. “The AFI data report is a snapshot of the state of health in the community and an evaluation of the infrastructure, community assets and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles. These measures directly affect quality of life in our country’s urban areas.”

To assist with measurement and to provide a baseline measure of health and fitness status, ACSM worked with the Indiana University School of Family Medicine and a panel of 26 health and physical activity experts on the methodology of the AFI data report. Researchers analyzed the data gleaned from U.S. Census data, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), The Trust for the Public Land City Park Facts and other existing research data in order to give a scientific, accurate snapshot of the health and fitness status at a metropolitan level.

Raleigh, N.C., ranked 13th in the standings with 61.5 points. It beat out Atlanta, Ga., which garnered 56.0 points and obtained a 16th place rank. Others in the region were Richmond, Va., 21, 52.0 and Virginia Beach, Va., 22, 52.0.

For a complete list and downloadable report of Charlotte’s areas of excellence and improvement priorities, plus a breakdown of the components that helped make up its score, visit the AFI online.

Also, read our story on Carolinas LGBT sports teams online at to learn more about what opportunities are available to get fit and enjoy camaraderie.

Not only are there sports teams and social groups that cater to the “athletically inclined,” but there are also area athletes who are working toward participation in the upcoming Gay Games to be held in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, from Aug. 9-16. At press time, 17 participants hail from North Carolina.

Belong to a sports-related group or a team? Let us know so we can share your news with our readers. Email Currently, there are rugby, softball, roller derby, bowling, kickball, tennis teams and leagues and more across the Carolinas that are either LGBT-focused or LGBT-friendly.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.