Rev. Bill Braswell and Rev. Lauri Hays-Coffman received awards at the recent Reconciling United Methodists of North Carolina luncheon.

RUM bestows awards

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Reconciling United Methodists of North Carolina, a part of The Reconciling Ministries Network, held its Second Annual Gayle Felton Love Thy Neighbor luncheon and worship service on June 12.

It’s Executive Director Matt Berryman served as keynote speaker, sharing his experience coming out as a gay United Methodist Church pastor.

The Gayle Felton Drum Major for Justice Award was presented to Rev. Laurie Hays-Coffman by Rev. Alan Felton, son of Gayle Felton. Hays-Coffman is secretary of the Methodist Federation for Social Action and is a graduate of the Duke Divinity school.

Rev. Bill Braswell received the Jimmy Creech Award. He has been a proponent for LGBT inclusion within the Methodist church.


Pride hits coast

NAGS HEAD, N.C. — OBX Pridefest will be held from Sept. 18-20 at First Colony Inn, 6720 S. Virginia Dare Tr., encompassing a full weekend of activities with daytime family-friendly events.

Weekend passes are available for $100 and individual events are available on an a la carte basis as detailed below. Visit the website to make purchases.

On Sept. 18, festivities open with beach time at Jennette’s Pier, 7223 S. Virginia Dare Tr., at 1 p.m.

That evening at 7:30 p.m., enjoy the New York touring show “Pirates of Penzance” at First Flight High School, 100 Veterans Dr., Kill Devil Hills. Tickets are $25.

For those who want to keep the party going, head out to see Sterling Maxwell’s Kings & Queens of Burlesque and Boylesque at Pamlico Jack’s, 6708 S Croatan Hwy., at 10 p.m. Tickets are $15. DJ Sek Z Dance Party will provide entertainment at midnight for free for guy and girl dancers.

On Sept. 19, 12-6 p.m., the 5th Annual Outer Banks Gay Pride Festival will be held at the First Colony Inn. Bands include Humble Tripe, Chris Mcauley, Dharc Wine, Someone’s Sister, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte and more. The event is free.

Set out on the harbor for a two-hour excursion from Pirate’s Cove Marina, 2000 Sailfish Dr., Manteo, at 6 p.m., with a Sunset Booze Cruise. Tickets are $35. Participants are treated to a free open bar, onboard entertainment by the GoGo Boys and DJ Amy Alderman, as well as local historical and wildlife sites.

Delighted Tobehere will present her One-Woman Musical Comedy Show at 10 p.m. at Pamlico Jack’s. Following up at 11 p.m. will be the Pride & Joy Drag Show with Jamie Monroe, Veruca Assault, Kassandra Hylton, Lola Lovelace and Amore Diamone. Tickets are $20.

Finish off the day’s festivities with a dance party at 12:30 a.m. with DJ Amy Alderman.

A drag brunch will be held at 11 a.m. on Sept. 20 at the Hilton Pier House, 5353 N. Virginia Dare T., Kitty Hawk. Tickets are $25.

The first same-sex Weddings with Pride Outer Banks Expo will follow at 1 p.m. for couples who want to get tips for and help in planning their nuptials. Over 30 vendors, including caterers, coordinators, officiants, photographers and other professionals who identify as being gay owned, gay friendly and have experience with same-sex weddings, will be on hand to guide couples with the wedding planning process. The event is produced by Weddings with Pride, owned by Eric Hause and headquartered in Norfolk, Va. It serves North Carolina, Virginia and the Maryland/Delaware eastern shore. Expo vendors are vetted to ensure that they “embrace marriage equality,” Hause shared. It is co-sponsored by the Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks and OBX Pridefest.

Afterward, enjoy a Backyard Bands & Brews at 3 p.m. at the Outer Banks Brewing Station, 600 S. Croatan Hwy., Kill Devil Hills.

The OBX Pridefest comes to a close at 10 p.m. with Jamie Monroe’s Pridefest Wrap Party and Dance Club at Kelly’s Restaurant & Tavern. Tickets are $5.

OBX Pride is also seeking vendors, volunteers and sponsorships. Visit the website to learn more.


Flag creates beach buzz

CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. — WECT-TV reported on July 8 that lifeguard Zach Hupp flew a rainbow flag from his guard stand to show support for the LGBT community on July 4th. Immediately complaints began and it was assumed that Hupp would only rescue “gay people.” Hupp only wanted “everyone to feel accepted and safe,” the station added. Hupp is straight.

“I feel like with that flag, I would hope that everyone would feel welcome to come down to the beach, especially near Freeman Park which is filled with other flags that may turn some people away,” Hupp shared with WECT.

Now, the town policy is under change with regard to beach flag posting. Flags that are posted on lifeguard stations are ones that alert beach goers about surf conditions and other safety issues. Since the beach falls within the town’s jurisdiction, public servants who are assigned to that area or any area are to perform their duties on an unbiased fashion, Fire Chief Alan Griffin said.

A warning was given to Hupp. Had he known that there would have been “such a reaction,” he would have chosen not to display the flag. Subsequently, Carolina Beach will makes its policy on stand flag flying more specified to avoid this kind of issue for the future.

Online comments about the incident were lively and showcased the diversity of those within the community.


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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.