HOM seeks walkers

BELMONT, N.C. — The House of Mercy has announced that its 24th Annual Walk for AIDS will be held on April 22, 9:30 a.m., at Sisters of Mercy Campus, 500 Mercy Dr., and traverses historic downtown Belmont.

The event is held to raise awareness, along with funds to support the House of Mercy and its compassionate care for low-income individuals living with AIDS.

Participants engage in a three-mile walk. The first 300 who raise $50 or more receive a free Walk for AIDS T-shirt. The goal is $41,500.

A picnic reception with DJ and dancing follows the walk on the House of Mercy grounds. Free STD/HIV testing will be offered.

Contributions are encouraged and welcomed.

In other news, the Community Foundation of Gaston County granted House of Mercy with $10,480 in funds for a new therapeutic-accessible tub, in addition to the necessary plumbing, electrical and tile work to complete the installation of the project.

info: thehouseofmercy.org/walkforaids.asp.

Trans artist ‘resists’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Lara Americo, a transgender woman of color, has been pushing back against discrimination and as reported in The Charlotte Observer, has become one of the faces of the fight against HB2. She has even shared her perspectives on NPR and the BBC, and was in an American Civil Liberties Union campaign.

She told the Observer that “everything I do is a protest of that narrative” of being someone who would statistically be homeless or a sex worker. Americo uses her indie rock genre to share her activism message.

Americo shared with the Observer that she had been performing, but when she appeared on the front cover of qnotes, “audiences realized that she’s transgender.” There was a mix of “hurtful and supportive” responses which she took in stride.

Along with her music, she has also been the focus of a mural, “A City on Its Side” created by Sharon Dowell as a response to HB2.

“HB2 made it clear that there are many people who don’t like that we exist,” she told the Observer and added, “Optimistically I hope this new spotlight will lead to more understanding of what we go through.” All in all, Americo has described her experience as “largely positive.”

“Sometimes when people ask where I was born, I say Charlotte,” the Observer reported. “That’s the first place I could be Lara.”

info: charlotteobserver.com.

Theatre presents ‘Children’s Hour’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The iconic and groundbreaking “The Children’s Hour” is currently being presented at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Anne Belk Theater of the Robinson Hall for the Performing Arts, 9201 University City Blvd. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 24-25, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Feb. 26. It is directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Robin Witt and student Jessica Woodworth.

Written by Lillian Hellman, the play is based on a true story and ignited a scandal when it was first produced in 1934, nevertheless, it won both critical accolades and financial success, running on Broadway for two years.

Hellman discovered the plot for “The Children’s Hour” in a true-crime anthology, which reported a case from 1810 in which a young girl at a boarding school in Scotland accused the schoolmistresses of having an affair. Though the two women were acquitted in court, their reputations and the school were ruined.

“The Children’s Hour” has since become a classic of American drama.

In 1961, a film adaptation staring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner was released. It received five Academy Award nominations. More recently, Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss starred in a 2011 stage production in London’s West End.

Tickets are $18/general admission, $12/faculty, staff and alumni, $10/seniors and $8/students and are available online at bit.ly/2kP8oRf.

info: coaa.uncc.edu.

SBA accepting emerging leaders apps

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) North Carolina District Office is seeking 15-18 Charlotte-area business owners to apply for the city’s next SBA Emerging Leaders class. This federal training initiative is designed to give them a three-year, tailored strategic growth plan to help bring their business to the next level.

The program is free for those accepted and executives must commit to approximately 100 hours of classroom consisting of 13 evening training sessions and out-of-classroom homework completion. The class begins in April and meets twice a month through October. The initiative targets small business owners or principals with an annual revenue of at least $400,000. The business must be at least three years old and have at least one employee other than the owner. Additionally, participants must live in the Charlotte, N.C. commuting area.

The SBA is partnering with local organizations including Central Piedmont Community College where participants will attend classes on the main campus.

Deadline is March 3 and registration is available online at interise.org/sbaemergingleaders.

info: bit.ly/2kCVwm8.

Youth artists jury seeks submissions

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Young Affiliates of the Mint have announced that their Second Annual Art Show, “Gendered: An Inclusive Art Show,” will be held from June 16-July 21 at the Mint Museum Uptown’s Level 5, 500 S. Tryon St., and will be open to the public.

A call has been issued for artists to submit of bodies of work that explore intersectionalities with gender, race, class, and identity. The group exhibition will include 101-15 artists. Deadline for entry is March 15.

The regional show is accepting submissions from across the South. Artists must submit high resolution images of the works submitted, an artist statement and a CV. The entry fee is $40 for up to 15 works of art from a cohesive body of work.

For more details or questions regarding the exhibit, email youngaffiliatesartshow@gmail.com.

info: youngaffiliates.org/gendered.

Parents to host fundraiser

CONCORD, N.C. — The Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of Concord/Kannapolis will hold its Annual Spring Fundraiser and Spaghetti Dinner on March 18, 6 p.m., at McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Poplar Tent Rd.

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte will provide a concert to be held during the event. Also, the Concord-Kannapolis PFLAG Advocacy Award will be presented to the selected recipient. The board is now reviewing applications and the awardee has not been chosen as of press time.

Email ckpflag@gmail.com to order tickets at $10 each.

Additionally, raffle tickets will be available for purchase at the event, as well as bidding for silent auction items.

info: pflag.org/chapter/pflag-concordkannapolis.

TOY, ENC join forces

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Time Out Youth Center (TOY) and Equality North Carolina (ENC) have announced that they have entered into a partnership have named Dr. Todd Rosendahl as its new joint director of youth policy.

Dr. Todd Rosendahl

Rosendahl has been on staff with TOY as its director of school outreach.

Under the new partnership, ENC and TOY will collaborate to host the fifth annual Carolina Conference on Queer Youth, held in the fall each year. ENC will also rent offices in the new center located at 3800 Monroe Rd. that is due to open in April. This will allow close collaboration and highlight the partnership between the two organizations. Dr. Rosendahl’s time will be split between supporting Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the center’s largest partner in the region, and providing resources to the entire state. The biggest focus of the joint venture is to protect LGBTQ youth through advocacy and direct services.

In other news, TOY and ENC started a series of workshops on Feb. 20 which will continue through June 19.

This program is designed for school staff, and for the first time to parents and community members featuring training modules for Welcoming Schools, an LGBTQ-inclusive national program for elementary schools that focuses on school safety.

The Feb. 20 workshop focused on an overview of the Welcoming Schools approach and law and policy review. The next one will take place on March 14 at the center’s current location at 2320-A N. Davidson St. and will revolved around bias-based bullying prevention.

The other two workshops will take place at the center’s new location at 3800 Monroe Rd. They are Embracing Family Diversity on April 17, and Creating Gender-Expansive Schools on May 22 and Creating LGBT-Inclusive Schools on June 19. Participants can choose the sessions that interest them the most and attendance at all of them is not required.

CEU credits are available for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employees through MyTalent. Contact John Concelman via email at john.concelman@cms.k12.nc.us for details.

info/registration: timeoutyouth.org.

Parent shares trans child story

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ashley Nurkin, mother of an eight-year-old transgender girl, became a voice in the HB2 battle as she shared what it was like to have a son who wanted to be a daughter.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Nurkin had no doubt that her child’s gender identity was not a choice and that she is definitely a girl.

“Nurkin, who has two children, said she began noticing something ‘different’ when her younger child was 4. He liked to dress up in girls clothes and asked to wear nightgowns to bed,” the Observer added.

Wrapping one’s head around the issue was not easy for her and her husband when they realized that their child was “more than likely transgender” and were “admittedly a little freaked out” and did not know what it meant.

They purchased girls clothes for the child who was allowed to wear them around the house. Eventually, this extended outside to shopping trips. The girl shared that she was a girl and not a boy with some close friends. However, in first grade she went to school dressed in a boy’s uniform, but ditched them at home for girl’s clothes.

The back and forth usage of “she” at home and “he” at school and with those who did not know the situation became taxing and led to stomach issues, panic attacks and some depression.

A decision was made between first and second grades to transition the child to full-time existence as a girl, meeting with the school’s principal and arranged for Time Out Youth Center’s staff to train the school’s personnel.

For the first time in a couple of years, a birthday party was held with friends and family invited.

Research, counseling and conference attendance helped the Nurkins understand more. They also sought help from Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gay in Charlotte, N.C. The organization was helpful, but more was needed. Ashley Nurkin and another mother organized Transparents of PFLAG Charlotte as a subgroup. Since its inception it has grown from two families to over 20, mostly consisting of elementary school age children.

Last year, Dr. Deanna Adkins, director of the Duke Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care, was among 20 North Carolina pediatric endocrinologists who wrote to the then Gov. Pat McCrory to object to HB2, the Observer said.

info: charlotteobserver.com. timeoutyouth.org. pflagcharlotte.org.

Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes: editor@goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com.

Share your news with us
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 specialassignments@goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com. 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.