Voices gala approaches

Updated: May 9, 2014, 5:40 p.m.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Time Out Youth Center will hold its annual Platinum Voices Gala on June 6, 6:30 p.m., at Center Stage, 2315 N. Davidson St.

Host for the event will be Ben Thompson, anchor and reporter for WCNC-TV.

Keynote speaker will be Ann Tompkins, a U.S. attorney serving the Western District of North Carolina.

Tompkins has been a staunch advocate against bullying behavior in schools, Time Out Youth said. “Under her leadership, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has partnered with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to launch ‘Making It Better,’ an LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying initiative.”

“As a strong advocate and representative in the LGBTQ community, Tompkins’ voice is one that needs to be heard. The gala theme this year is ‘Voices.’ It will feature stories, songs and voices of LGBTQ youth in our community,” Steven Wilson, gala co-chair, added.

Attendees will be treated to food, cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks, music, art auction and more.

Tickets entitle the bearer to two complimentary beverages. Cash bar purchases are available with a portion of the proceeds going to Time Out Youth.

Sponsorships are still available. Packages can be downloaded online.

Also, auction items are being secured now. Art submissions are due by May 30.

Cost is $75 per person if bought by May 16. After that the price goes up to $100. VIP tables are available for 10 guests for $750.

info: 704-344-8335.

Youth group unites with state rights org

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Equality North Carolina (ENC) has teamed up with Time Out Youth Center and iNSIDEoUT to launch the #GetEngagedNCYouth project. A kick-off event was held at Time Out’s facility at 2320-A N. Davidson St. with ENC and Time Out in attendance. A two-hour workshop, “Strong & Strategic Stories,” was the center piece to the activities.

#GetEngagedNCYouth is a unique advocacy opportunity developed to empower youth to harness the power of their own stories and lived experiences for change.This program will help further develop the tools students and youth already possess and help them channel their passion into effective conversations with leaders of their school boards, local governments, and even elected representatives at the state level, ENC said.

They hope to gain momentum as the young people share their stories to help change minds and hearts on equality issues.

On June 10, the team will hold a #GetEngagedNC Youth Lobby Day of Action, a day devoted to getting youth, 20-years and younger, more involved in North Carolina’s pro-equality advocacy.

A week later ENC is taking the same young people to the General Assembly to meet lawmakers so they hear the concerns of youth constituents and the laws that protect them.

Registration is available online.


Elder’s group taking shape

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On April 28, over 25 people attended a fact-finding and interest meeting focusing on LGBT aging solutions.

During the meeting, attendees were broken down into groups to discuss four questions: What do you think are the most significant LGBT elder issues?; What is the most important service you want today?;  If you were going to get sick tomorrow, who would take care of you?; and Do you have your Advanced Directives, your Will, and your other legal documents complete?

A variety of answers were gathered to enable organizers to better understand what the community felt were important issues to consider for future discussion. Items included LGBT assisted living training, legal documents; retirement communities, medical issues, lists of those who would be able to care for an LGBT elder and more.

The next meeting will be held on May 19, 7 p.m., at Flying Biscuit Cafe, 4241 Park Rd. Topics will be “Losing Zest for Life” and “Looking at Health Care Differently.” To attend, send RSVP via email

Save the date for woman watch

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The North Carolina Women Are Watching Campaign 2014 will kick off on June 10, 5:30 p.m., at The Elder Gallery, 1520 S. Tryon St.

It features Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

The campaign is a project of Planned Parenthood. Its efforts are directed toward turning back assaults on women’s health statewide and electing candidates who support women’s health. The initiative puts boots on the ground to target infrequent and swing votes and gets them to the polls on election day, promoters said.

Sponsors are being sought at the following categories: host, $2,500; sponsors, $1,000,; donors, $500; and guests, $250. A VIP reception with Richards can be obtained for those who contribute at the $5,000, $2,500 or $1,000 level.

info/registration/sponsorship: 704-536-7233, option 4, ext. 6542.

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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.