TOY to hold gala

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Time Out Youth Center (TOY) will hold its Platinum Gala, “Forever,” on June 2, 6:30 p.m., at Le Méridien Charlotte, 555 S. McDowell St., celebrating 26 years of service to LGBTQ youth.

Keynote speaker is Rabbi Judith Schindler and the master of ceremonies is Bobby Sisk.

Attendees will enjoy cocktails, silent auction, dinner and dancing.

The gala brings additional awareness to the center’s recently launched capital campaign. The funds will be used to build a 10-bed homeless LGBTQ youth transitional living shelter in 2020 on its purchased property located at 3800 Monroe Rd. The new facility is currently under renovations and should be ready for occupancy in June.

Co-chairs for the events are Sara Abadi and Layton Campbell.

Sponsors are Rosedale Infectious Diseases, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Time Out Youth Center is still seeking other community sponsors for the event. Funds assist the organization in its service of providing support and social events for youth.

Tickets are $100 each and are available online at Guests will receive two complimentary beverages.

In other news, TOY has announced that it has new grants available for regional gay-straight alliance student-led organizations in middle and high schools. The purpose of the grant is to provide funding to student groups that are working toward improving campus climate and LGBTQ visibility and inclusion in schools through advocacy and awareness events, projects and meetings. Schools in the following counties are eligible to apply: Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Union, in North Carolina and York in South Carolina. More information via email to Rebby Kern, the center’s new assistant director of school outreach, at Kern has worked previously with Campus Pride, Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International and is the co-founder of the Intercollegiate Adventist GSA Coalition.


Chamber welcomes Barnes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce will host Sonya Barnes on May 23, 6:30 p.m., at The Rabbit Hole, 1801 Commonwealth Ave.

Barnes has over a decade of experience in both image consulting, image education and personal and fashion styling. She has done both the internal work on her personal transformation and re-branding herself both personally and professionally. Her mission is to discover the full potential of groups and individuals by providing world-class programs proven to enhance their peak appearance, behavior and communications.

RSVPs are available online at


Fund hosts ‘happening’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund will hold its 10th Annual Happening on May 24, 11:30 a.m., at The Westin Charlotte, 601 S. College St.

The fund is a collective giving and endowment initiative of the Foundation For The Carolinas.

Tickets are $40/individual and $400/table of 10.

Registration is available online.


Breakfast honors leaders

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — MeckMin will honor three recipients of its community leaders awards on May 25, 7:30 a.m., at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 E. Morehead St.

Those accepting honors will be Toussaint Romain, a public defender with Mecklenburg County and Rose Hamid, president of Muslim Women of the Carolinas, Snydor Thompson, Jr Community Leader Award; and Levine Museum of the New South, Bridge Builder Award.

Romain was a mediator between the city and community during recent Charlotte protests who walked with protestors, gaining their trust and the city’s respect.

Hamid has been instrumental in building bridges and shattering misunderstandings and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims.

The museum has been on the forefront of providing provocative programming and willingness to tackle difficult topics, sparking awareness and dialogue.

Registration for the event is $45 and available online.


Run supports ASO

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolinas Care Partnership Annual 5K Run takes place on June 3, 8 a.m., at McAlpine Creek Park, 8711 Monroe Rd.

Funds collected go to support those Carolinas Care’s efforts to end chronic homelessness for people living with HIV.

Entrance fee is $35 and registration is available online.

Sponsor for the event is Ballantyne Family Medicine.


Takeover ready to splash

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Takeover Charlotte has announced that it will host LGBTQ and ally pool dates at Uptown hotels on June 4, July 19, Aug. 13 and Sept. 10.

On June 4, head to Le Meridien, 555 S. McDowell St., from 12-4 p.m. for the return of the annual event. Included are a cash/credit bar, DJ and light food.

On July 9, 12-4 p.m., move next door to the Sheraton Hotel at 555 S. McDowell St. to continue the fun with the same amenities

Attendance is free for either event.

Details on the other two events have not been announced.


Equality March comes to Queen City

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Equality March for Unity and Pride will be held in the nation’s capitol on June 11 and a sister march will be held on the same day at 12 p.m. in First Ward Park, 301 E. 7th St.

The global movement is bringing its message to the epicenter of HB2 and participants will engage in showing the community its solidarity and respect for all. It is hosted by Anthony Danisi and Spread Progress NC.

“We will use the Equality March – Charlotte, along with our national and sister marches, to give voice to our concerns, and to support, uplift, and bring attention to those in our communities who are targeted due to immigration status, ethnicity, religion, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability. We affirm and celebrate that we are a mix of diverse communities,” organizers said.

Marchers are asked to meet at the park, stay on the sidewalks and obey traffic and pedestrian signals while also being mindful of other pedestrian traffic.

The march route will head northwest on E. 7th St., then southwest down N. Tryon St. until reaching The Green located next to the Mint and Bechtler Museums.

To join in, visit the march Facebook page at to RSVP. Volunteers are also being sought. Email to contribute time to the cause.

Donations are also being accepted through


New PFLAG prez named

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Charlotte has named Ashley Nurkin as the organization’s president. Her term began on May 1.

Nurkin has been charged with the responsibility of the continued success and growth of PFLAG Charlotte. She will provide ongoing peer support for families and allies, facilitating community engagement in both the private and public sector and educating the general public on the importance of LGBTQ equality.

“Ashley brings a tremendous amount of passion to her new role, and we are delighted that she has accepted this challenge” said Diane Troy, PFLAG South Atlantic regional director.

A long-time Charlottean and mother of two daughters, one of whom is transgender, Nurkin has worked in conjunction with the Time Out Youth Center on several outreach programs for Charlotte’s LGBTQ children.

In 2015, Nurkin co-founded Transparents of PFLAG Charlotte, an affiliate of PFLAG Charlotte that provides peer support and resources to the families of Charlotte’s transgender youth. Today, Transparents of PFLAG Charlotte supports more than 25 families throughout the county.

Most recently, Nurkin was instrumental in securing and administering a 2016 charitable grant to provide educational resources to Charlotte’s medical community and to promote a better understanding of caring for transgender youth in the healthcare setting.


PFLAG meeting slated

CONCORD, N.C. — The Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Concord/Kannapolis will meet on June 13 at 7:15 p.m., at Trinity United Church of Christ, Fellowship Hall, 38 Church St. N.

On tap for the program is a screening of the National Geographic film, “Gender Revolution, A Journey with Katie Couric.”


Satellite group begins

BELMONT, N.C. — A satellite meeting for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Gaston began on May 4 at the town’s public library. Joshua Burford, faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, was the guest speaker.

Plans are on target to have meetings in Belmont, N.C. in January, May and September and are in addition to the chapter’s regular meetings held in Gastonia, N.C.

Those who reside in Belmont, Mount Holly, Cramerton, McAdenville, Lowell, Stanley, Ranlo, East Gastonia and West Charlotte in North Carolina, and in Upstate South Carolina are invited to attend either meeting. Supper followed by an educational program will occur at each meeting.


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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 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.