The next couple of weeks in Charlotte will be buzzing. There’s almost too much going on. Between Pride Charlotte, the upcoming 2012 Democratic National Convention and so many new and progressive changes here at qnotes, I can barely contain my excitement.

Pride Charlotte

It’s been a pleasure having the privilege to once again sit on the organizing committee for the Pride Charlotte Festival. This year has been full of surprises and changes. An expanded two-day festival and an expanded 10-day Pride “Week” are just the beginning of the story.

I’ve served on the committee in previous years, but the level of excitement and engagement coming from community members, organizations and businesses this year is like nothing I’ve seen before. It’s obvious that people are geared up for what will truly be a fantastic experience.

Pride Charlotte’s growth is a testament to the city we call home. People sometimes deride Charlotte as a city with no history. Obviously, that’s not true. There is a history here, but there’s no doubt that Charlotte is a New South city on the move, making its own rules and challenging itself toward growth and future potential. Our LGBT community is no different: We are growing, changing the rules as we go, learning from our mistakes and, ultimately, becoming a bigger, better and stronger community.

As we grow and change together, we also have the opportunity of being among the first communities to welcome the nation and the world to our Queen City. Just one week after Pride Charlotte takes over Uptown, 35,000 or more people will descend on our humble hometown for an experience of a lifetime. It’s an honor that we get to be the first to say, “Hey y’all!”

Follow our DNC coverage

Starting with this issue, qnotes ramps up its special coverage of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Along with Pride Charlotte coverage, this issue contains a wealth of preview coverage of the national political event with its official activities hosted here Sept. 4-6.

We’ll cover the convention with indepth and exclusive features in the days leading up to the event. During the convention, follow us for important updates and news multiple times each day at

We’re delighted to be in the midst of this history and have many to thank for helping to make it possible. We’ve partnered with several LGBT news publications across the country to syndicate our convention-related coverage to their readers, including The Advocate (,, Denver’s Out Front (, Out In Jersey (, San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (, Chicago’s Windy City Media Group ( and LGBT/progressive blogs and

Locally, we send a very special thank you to our special coverage sponsors, including Equality North Carolina, Chi Psi Omega Fraternity, the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte and Ken Badgett. Together with our news partners, our sponsors will enable us to give you the indepth coverage you expect and deserve. We hope you’ll send your thanks their way as well.

It’s not too late to sign up as a sponsor. You can learn more at

The New Q

In this issue, you’ll also notice a few slight design changes. Everyone deserves a small makeover every now and then, newspapers not excluded.

But, our biggest changes are online. If you haven’t taken a visit with us at any time lately, I encourage you to sign on today. Our completely revamped website offers a cleaner, more organized design, but its true strength lies in its robust community features.

The modern media landscape is always shifting and transforming. We’re changing with it. Starting today, you can sign up for an account on our website where you can submit press releases, photos and videos. If you’re the citizen-journalist type, you can even submit your own news stories and features.

Gone are the days when media was a one-way street with some bland editor sitting at a desk and telling you what is and isn’t news. Our readers are the reason we’re here and your voices will be featured alongside ours — right where they should be.

Learn more and explore the new online experience at

Bittersweet departure

For nearly a decade, qnotes has had the utmost and distinct honor of publishing the commentary of out lesbian columnist Leslie Robinson. Her witty and engaging thoughts on some of the toughest and most controversial issues of the day have filled the opinions section of our newspaper for far too long for us to see her go without a very fond and heart-felt thank you. This issue, we publish Leslie’s last column, at your left.

We wish Leslie well on her future endeavors and, from the very bottom of our hearts, thank her for her tireless word wizardry on behalf of the LGBT community.

Leslie, it’s been a blessing and a pleasure. Thank you. : :

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.