Artist mounts LGBT exhibit, project

DAVIDSON, N.C. — Liss LaFleur, an visual arts professor at Davidson College, has been showcasing her MUM storytelling project since it launched in September. It seeks to gather recollections LGBT and queer high school love stories through November on an international level. The experimental assemblage will materialize the experiences as a series of homecoming mums.

Mums were selected as a classic show of affection when celebrating homecoming in the South. LGBT and queer students often suppressed their own sexuality, identity or experiences out of fear, difference or necessity.

MUM was created to provide a positive and loving image around LGBT and queer youthfulness. It is safe collection space and a way to share one’s story with the world.

Throughout homecoming season, individuals are asked to share their experiences online of first loves, dating and crushes that signified their own sexual differences. Selected stories will be re-created as a series of white homecoming mums and soundscapes, LaFleur shared. Participants are asked to type their initials, select their gender identity and anonymously submit a written story. Eventually, all of the stories will be populated onto the MUM site.


NCSU to show its pride

RALEIGH, N.C. — Over the next month, North Carolina State University’s GLBT Center will host a number of events to showcase inclusion.

On Oct. 23, students will sport their “I Heart Diversity” T-shirts on campus. Students, faculty and staff will gather at 11:30 a.m. at Wolf Plaza to show solidarity for the cause.

Laverne Cox will bring her clever repartee on Nov. 11, 7 p.m., at the Talley Student Union Ballroom. At press time, the event, “Ain’t I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood,” was sold out, but a waiting list has been created in the event that there were cancellations. Visit to be added.

On Nov. 21, 7 p.m., at the Talley Student Union, the center will host its annual NC State Cabaret promoting campus diversity through entertainment. Various student organizations around the campus will participate.

More information is available online for each event.


Local college gets grant

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Johnson C. Smith University received a $4,000 grant from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Promised Land Film as incentive to use the documentary, “The New Black,” to foster LGBT inclusion, the Associated Press reported.

This initiative is being undertaken to “advance LGBT inclusion on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities,” the AP added.

It also shared that, “The group says the documentary looks at how race, faith, justice and identity came together in Maryland’s politically powerful black community in 2013 as the state was getting ready to vote on whether gay marriage should be legal.”

The university will host a screening with a discussion afterward.


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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 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.