Guild hosts holiday celebration
CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Business Guild (CBG) will hold its annual holiday celebration and gift drive on Dec. 16 at the VanLandingham Estate, 2010 The Plaza, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and music. Former Charlotte LGBT leader Gordon Roqué Marcelo, who now lives in Nashville, Tn., will be back in the Queen City as special musical guest.

The Guild will once again partner with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) for the holiday gift drive. But the organization, which helps immigrant families of all faiths transition to life in America, has asked the Guild to make a change in this year’s drive — to donate everyday items the families need during this economic downturn instead of children’s toys. Although most of HIAS’s current refugee clients have jobs, the 40 adults who have arrived in the past several months aren’t employed yet — and the prospects aren’t good.

In addition, HIAS officials fear that many who are employed now will be laid-off by the end of the year. Even though the newly arrived and the laid-off refugees will get food stamps, food stamps cannot be used for such “non-food” items as soap (bath, shampoo, laundry, cleaning), toothpaste, toilet paper, sanitary products, disposable diapers or socks, gloves and hats. Therefore, the Guild is asking members and guests who attend to bring gifts of necessities such as the non-food and clothing items listed above. In this challenging economic situation, these gifts could really make a difference to families’ health and daily lives. CBG members can certainly bring an unwrapped, children’s toy, as well.

The Guild will welcome Marcelo, who has recently launched his debut album, “Seahorses.” Marcelo will have copies of the CD available at the event. For more information on Marcelo, see the story on page 17.

Cost to attend is $15 for members, $25 for guests and non-members. An additional $5 fee will be assessed for reservations and walk-ups made after Dec. 12 at noon.

To make a reservation, call 704-565-5075 or email
For more information, visit

Film submissions sought
CHARLOTTE — The Lesbian & Gay Community Center has announced its Call for Entries for its first-ever Gay Charlotte Film Festival taking place Jan. 29-Feb 1, 2009.

Unlike The Center’s past film series events, this competition-style festival encourages both emerging and established moviemakers to submit their full-length features, full-length documentaries and shorts. A panel of judges will select the winning submissions which will be screened at the January festival. During the festival audiences will vote on “Best of Fest” entries and cash awards will be presented at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony. Additionally, screenwriters are invited to submit full-length narrative feature scripts. The winning scripts will not only win prizes, but will be performed as staged readings later in 2009.

In order to encourage more local moviemakers, emerging filmmakers and film students to submit movies and scripts, the Festival’s organizers have made the entry fees extremely low. For entrants interested in taking advantage of early deadline on Dec. 29, the entry fee for full-length movies is only $25 and the fee for shorts and student-made entries is only $15. Screenplay entries only cost $20. Festival organizers are aware that fees at other area film competitions can range as high as $70. The regular deadline is Jan. 5, 2009.

“These days, more and more students and emerging filmmakers are producing higher-quality products and the Charlotte LGBT Community Center wants to discover these works and promote them for the benefit of our entire LGBT Community,” explained Festival Director Teresa Davis. “Our mission is defeated if emerging filmmakers can’t afford to enter their works.” Davis adds, “As long as the submission is of interest to and is by and/or about members of the LGBT Community, our Judges will give it serious consideration.”

For more information and entry forms, visit

Jingle, jangle, joy
CHARLOTTE — The Lesbian & Gay Community Center, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B11, will be open on Dec. 25 from 1-6 p.m. for an open house/potluck with a sing-a-long featuring professional pianist Teresa Davis on the keyboard.

Everyone is encouraged to stop by on their way to or from their already-planned festivities to join the Center for a drink and some music. And, those wanting to stick around and enjoy the potluck should bring a dish to share. At this time of year, there are community members who may not have a place to go or a welcoming family awaiting them. This event gives them a safe, warm and embracing place to call “home” for the afternoon. The arch of the rainbow encircles all, making one big “family” of choice.

For more information, visit

Filmmaker seeks support
CHARLOTTE — Reka, a freelance videographer and filmmaker, is looking to make short films to be entered into LGBT film festivals. The films will be of the romance, comedy, drama and documentary genres and will contain LGBT actors and actresses.

She is looking to meet aspiring actors, actresses, crew members and investors who would be willing to work on low-budget productions. These short films will be a great way to give the LGBT community a non-stereotypical voice and portray it in a positive light. Although people from all backgrounds are needed, African-Americans and lesbians are encouraged to respond.

Those interested in being a cast member, should send a photo and industry resume (if you have one). Those interested in being part of the production crew should state what area they would like to work in. Reka is willing to work with participants with all levels of experience. Participants should let her know if they have prior production experience.

To submit a resume and photo or for more information, email

Book club forming
CHARLOTTE — Want to spend time with a great group of lesbians who will spend time reading and talking about books of interest?

Coordinator Amber Shockley has been in search of such and now says that around 20 responses have come in to move the idea forward.

The first book selected for discussion will be “Backslide” by Teresa Stores.

At press time, a definitive place had not been booked. Interested parties should send in suggestions. However, participant’s apartments and locations out of the general Queen City vicinity are being discouraged until the club is stronger and can have smaller sub-groups.

Days being considered are Friday, Saturday or Sunday evenings. A place should be secured for use by the end of the month.

For more information, email


Someone’s Sister on radio
WILMINGTON — Someone’s Sister will appear as guests on WHQR Public Radio’s “Soup to Nuts Live” radio show on Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

This program will showcase their music and stories from their new CD, “Calm in the Chaos.” Proceeds from the sale of the CD go to raise money for the creation of a child abuse prevention foundation.
The group is comprised of Georgia Winfree and Katherine Jones.

Inspired by events in Winfree’s life, Someone’s Sister set out in 2004 to put their music and message of child abuse prevention into motion. They began by following the words of the peace activist, Gandhi with his quote: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Tickets are free. Seats go fast, so call to reserve one now at 910-343-1640.

The station is located at 254 N. Front St.
For more information, email or visit or


Bible study workshop slated
GREENVILLE — Joyce Meyer’s book “100 Ways to Simplify Your Life!” will be the starting point of discussion at a newly-formed LGBT Christian fellowship group held in a Bible study format at Tipsy Teapot beginning on Jan. 14 from 7-8:30 p.m.

The evolving group will meet every other week on Wednesdays.

The laid back study will be open to local participants and out-of-town guests. The facilitator, Laura, says that she wants to provide a safe and comfortable place for people to go and have fellowship with others who have similar beliefs.

One does not have to be Christian to attend. Books will be provided at the meeting.
For more information, call 252-367-5687 or email


GSAFE looks for members
GREENSBORO — Gay Straight Advocates for Education (GSAFE), who works to make every student and educator safe at school regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, is asking the community to consider either making a contribution or renewing or securing a membership in its organization.

Anti-LGBT behavior anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. The local work that GSAFE undertakes to combat bullying, name-calling and harassment directed at LGBT youth, educators and administrators is crucial.

Membership and ongoing financial support over the years has made the work of GSAFE possible. Through its ongoing programs like YouthSAFE, a social networking and support program for LGBT youth age 14-18 in Guilford County that meets every other Thursday evening and promotion of observances like The National Day of Silence, they have seen many lives changed for the better.

Some of GSAFE annual programs have included Peterson Tuscano Presents…“Doin’ Time in the Homo Nomo Halfway House” at Guilford College’s Dana Auditorium, co-sponsorship of The Page High School Playmakers’ “The Children’s Hour” and Jennifer Lanier’s one woman show “None of the Above” at Greensboro College Student Center “Mane Stage.”

Additionally, they have also sponsored viewings of “For The Bible Tells Me So” at Unity Church of Greensboro and at Beth David Synagogue.

Most recently, they sponsored the When I Knew panel at Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Library, a program that sought to highlight the diverse storied lives and array of coming-out experiences of various LGBT adults.

In February 2009 GSAFE will welcome to Greensboro Academy award-winning documentary filmmaker Debra Chasnoff (pictured) whose work has fueled progressive social-change movements in many fields for screenings of her films “That’s a Family,” “It’s Still Elementary” and “Let’s Get Real,” along with the premiere of “Straightlaced.”

All donations are tax deductible and can be made payable to GSAFE, P.O. Box 41044, Greensboro, NC 27404.

The GSAFE Board will host its annual Holiday Celebration on Dec. 18, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Higher Ground Interfaith Network House, 210 E. Bessemer Ave. All food and beverages will be provided.
For more information, call 336-327-7499, email Co-Chairs Dara Nix-Stevenson at or Annette Green at or visit

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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.