Guild celebrates with gala, awards

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Business Guild will host its A Giving Gala & Award Ceremony on March 21 at Label, 900 N.C. Music Factory Blvd.

Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m., with dinner following at 7:30 p.m. Attendees can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, dinner and cash bar.

TV personality Jesicca Milicevic will serve as emcee and The Tenya Colemon Quartet will provide entertainment, along with a house DJ.

Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-37), Charlotte City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield and Rocio Gonzales, executive director of the Latin-American Chamber of Commerce are the slated speakers for the evening.

Tickets for members, non-members, VIP, couples, seniors, veterans, military and student options are available online. Tables of eight can be secured as well.


— Lainey Millen

Parish to host conference

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Parish Gay & Lesbian Ministry of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, 507 S. Tryon St., and PFLAG Charlotte will hold a conference on May 16, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The event, “Including LGBT People and Their Families in Faith Communities,” is open to the community and is free of charge.

“Our hope is that the conference will help parents see their LGBT children as loved by God and created by God to be just as they are. We expect the conference to give inspiration and practical tools to help more congregations to become LGBT welcoming,” PFLAG Vice President Jim Green said.

He added, “We at PFLAG frequently talk to parents whose high school or college-aged children come out as LGBT. The parents often are upset and worried. The parents who are most troubled about LGBT children are parents who have received strong anti-LGBT messages from their faith communities. Often they have never heard spiritual perspectives that affirm their LGBT children. So we work to help the parents have more information. And, we want to work toward more faith communities becoming LGBT affirming.”

Keynote speaker will be Sister Jeannine Gramick, Ph.D., a Roman Catholic nun. She helped to co-found News Ways Ministry, an organization advocating for justice and inclusion for LGBT individuals and their families and has been an activist in the movement for decades.

info: Diane Troy, 704-578-5065. Jim Green, 704-375-2822.

— Lainey Millen

Group gets ‘Kinky’ for party

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Out on the Town affinity group from Blumenthal Performing Arts Center will host a post-show party after seeing the award-winning musical production of “Kinky Boots” on March 19, 9:45 p.m., at Blue Restaurant and Bar, 206 N. College St.

“Kinky Boots” was scored by Cyndi Lauper. It is based upon Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein’s book.

An RSVP is required by email to

For those who are not members, simply send an email to with name, email address and address.

Tickets are available for the performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Belk Theatre, and are available online.

And, due to the popularity of the production, it has been booked for a return performance from Dec. 29-Jan. 3.

info: 704-372-1000.

— Lainey Millen

Gaston to hold LGBT conference

GASTONIA, N.C. — Gaston Has Heart will host a free, one-day LGBT awareness and education conference, “Sharing Our Stories: An LGBTQ Awareness and Education Event,” on March 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at All Saints’ Episcopal church, 1201 S. New Hope Rd.

Gaston Has Heart is a new LGBT community group, and the conference is a way to introduce the new group and educate the community, organizers say.

“A few months ago, a group gathered to discuss ways for supporting our brothers and sisters,” the group says. “Out of that meeting, came the idea for several opportunities – including [the March 28] Awareness Event. We also gather the first Wednesday of each month for our Wednesday Walks for Awareness. Each walk has a different theme related to the LGBTQ Community.”

Several community leaders will present workshops, including on topics like LGBTQ youth, LGBTQ faith work, LGBTQ history and more.

The event’s morning keynote speaker is University of North Carolina-Charlotte staffer and Charlotte LGBTQ Community Archive organizer Joshua Burford. The closing keynote speaker is this publication’s editor, Matt Comer. Other speakers and workshop presenters include Robert Kellogg, Jim Long, Diana Fehr, Annie Earle, Dr. Amy Sifford and Ginger Feimster, among others.

Learn more about the event and see a schedule of workshops at Registration for the event is free and available at

— Matt Comer

Survey ponders state of community

GASTONIA, N.C. — A short survey is collecting information in hopes of presenting results that help to define the current state of the LGBT community in Gaston County. The results, which are being collected anonymously, will be presented by community organizer Robert Kellogg in a workshop at the Gaston Has Heart March 28 conference, “Sharing Our Stories: An LGBTQ Awareness and Education Event.” [Ed. Note — This publication’s editor is a keynote speaker at the conference.]

Kellogg asks that only those people who identify as LGBTQ and reside in Gaston County complete the survey. The survey remains open through March 9. Kellogg hopes to do a future survey for straight allies.

The survey includes 16 questions, including on topics like family support, bullying, politics and other community concerns. The survey is available online at

— Matt Comer

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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.