Film fest hits milestone

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Reel Out Charlotte will be held from May 16-20 at Camp North End, 1824 Statesville Ave.

In its 10th year, the festival kicks off with a celebratory reception on May 16 at 6 p.m. with special guest, transgender “Queen Sugar” actor Brian Michael.  This event is free and open to the public. Those with weekend passes will receive a special invitation to a private VIP pre-reception at 5:30 p.m.

Then at 8 p.m., “Family Commitments” will lead off the film festival. This screening is presented in partnership with the Charlotte Jewish Film Festival.

On May 17, 6:30 p.m., join the community for a free short films showcase. Attendees will be able to vote on their favorite from those presented, with the winner being given the Best Short-Audience Pick designation. Registration is encouraged.

Later in the evening at 9 p.m., enjoy “The Feels,” presented in partnership with the Charlotte Film Society.

On May 18, 6 p.m., head out to the Camp North End Friday Night Series featuring food trucks, live bands and more. Stop by the festival’s outdoor lounge for drinks and peek into the Screening Room at selected times throughout the night as organizers show a variety of LGBTQ shorts, with some encores from Thursday’s Short Films Showcase. Screenings are free, with a suggested contribution of $5.

“Saturday Church” will be screened at 9 p.m. in Charlotte Black Gay Pride.

May 19 films are: “Trans Youth,” 11 a.m. (in partnership with PFLAG Charlotte); “Hello Again,” 2 p.m.; “God’s Own Country,” 5 p.m. (in partnership with Takeover Charlotte); and “Tom of Finland,” 9 p.m. (in partnership with The Charlotte Tradesmen, Uproarr and The Woodshed Bar).

Two side events on Saturday are a Takeover Charlotte reception, 7-9 p.m., at Camp North End and a “Tom of Finland” after party, 11 p.m., at The Woodshed, 4000 Queen City Dr.

The Takeover Charlotte reception is being held along with Charlotte Pride. Enjoy drinks and music by DJ SPK. This event is free and open to the community.

The after party celebrates Tom of Finland and his iconic work. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best Tom of Finland-inspired leatherwear. Members of The Tradesmen will be there to chat more about their work in the community, including their annual philanthropic efforts for House of Mercy and other local organizations.

The festival ends on May 20 with “Beats Per Minute,” 1 p.m.; “Signature Move,” 4 p.m.; and “Southwest of Salem,” 6 p.m.

Visit the festival website for more film details and descriptions.

Tickets are $10/individual, $5/students, seniors and Charlotte Film Society members, $75/weekend pass and $175/VIP combo and are available online. Individual tickets are also available at the door.

Weekend pass holders receive a pack of 10 tickets, free popcorn, invite to the VIP pre-reception and free entry to other film screenings throughout the year. VIP combo purchasers receive VIP perks, as well as early bird pricing for the Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade VIP Experience.


Fund ‘happening’ recipients honored

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund will host their 11th Annual Happening luncheon on May 16, 12 p.m., at The Westin Charlotte, 601 S. College St.

The event showcases the fund’s 2018 grand recipients, as well as raises awareness for the LGBTQ community.

Networking begins at 11:15 a.m.

“As the primary fundraising vehicle for the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund, the success of the Happening has a direct impact on the vitality of many Mecklenburg County-based LGBTQ non-profit organizations and programs. Whether to develop an outreach campaign about domestic violence and sexual assault, to train healthcare providers about transgender expansive issues, or to simply pay the bills to keep the lights on, all of the funds raised make a tremendous difference in the lives of individuals and in the fabric of Charlotte’s LGBTQ community,” the organization said.

Tickets are available online at $45/individual and $425/table captain. For other table captain options, contact Jeremiah Nelson at Contributions are also being accepted to support the work of the fund.


TOY gala set

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Time Out Youth Center will host its annual Platinum Gala, “As I Am,” on June 1 at  Le Méridien, 555 S. McDowell St.

Sally Belk Gambrell, CEO of the Gambrell Foundation, will serve as keynote speaker. The foundation recently gifted the center with a 1.5 million contribution to secure its new community and services center for Charlotte’s LGBTQ youth.

“Time Out has provided quality services to the LGBTQ community, focusing on youth and building leaders for tomorrow,” stated center Executive Director Rodney Tucker. “This evening is just one way the community can show their continued support of LGBTQ youth and celebrate Time Out’s contribution to the community.”

The evening will feature entertainment, speakers, silent auction, dancing, cocktails and food.

Tickets are $100 per person and are available online. Cocktails will be available along with alcohol-free options. One complimentary beverages will be provided to each guest. Additional spirits will be available for cash purchase.


Pride scholarship apps open

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Pride has announced that its annual Charlotte Pride Scholarship application season is now open for LGBTQ and ally high school seniors and college students from the Charlotte metro area.

Multiple recipients will be chosen for awards up to $2,500 in this year’s round of scholarships. Applications can be completed online. The deadline is June 10, and recipients will be notified no later than June 30. Inaugural scholarship recipients from 2017 have also been given the opportunity to renew their scholarships.

The scholarship program marks a continued focus by the organization on intersectional and collaborative programs benefiting a wide range of Charlotte’s LGBTQ community, the organization shared in a release. It was created as the local community faced the aftermath of anti-LGBTQ legislation and increased focus on the economic immobility plaguing the city’s most at-risk communities. It is one way it can aid in the future economic success of local youth and ease barriers to higher education, the organization added. Recent studies on economic mobility have shown that Charlotte ranks at the bottom of 50 metro areas. Access to higher education and career readiness has been identified as a key pathway to increasing economic mobility and other opportunities for young individuals.

The Charlotte Pride Scholarship is open to LGBTQ and straight ally youth from the Charlotte metro area. Funds may be applied toward tuition, fees, on-campus housing or books at an accredited two- or four-year college. In order to be eligible, applicants should be a high school senior or current college student, have a significant, unmet financial need and should have a GPA of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale. More details on eligibility can be found online.


Walk raises funds

BELMONT, N.C. — The Walk for AIDS was held on April 14 to benefit the House of Mercy and organizers reported that they were able to raise over $45,000.

Walkers traversed a three-mile route through downtown Belmont. A picnic reception followed featuring music by DJ Love.


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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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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.