[Disclosure — The following is reprinted from a press release. This newspaper’s editor, Matt Comer, has been among several community members planning the community-initiated celebration of Don King’s life.]
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A celebration of life will be held for early Charlotte LGBT community leader Don King on Nov. 23, 3-5 p.m., at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, 721 N. Tryon St. Community members are invited to remember King, who starting in the 1970s became one of the earliest and most outspoken LGBT community leaders in the Queen City.
The special community-initiated celebration will include a sharing of memories of King by several speakers who were colleagues with him at The Charlotte Observer and those who worked with him in LGBT causes. Music will be offered by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte’s small ensemble, 7th Son. A second celebration will follow in April.
King died on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 at the age of 72. He moved to Charlotte in the 1970s and helped to begin several early LGBT social and support organizations. In 1981, he co-founded a community fundraising group which gave birth to QNotes, an LGBT community newspaper where King worked as its first editor in 1986 and 1987. In the late 1980s King spearheaded efforts to challenge the harassment and entrapment of gay men by local law enforcement. King continued his involvement throughout the rest of his life, often serving as a community mentor, advisor and historian.
Its with a heavy heart that I accidentally found this post about Don. We had met when I was quite young and he was a writer for the Charlotte Observer. Fell head over heels in love with Donald and being so young pestered the hell out of him, lol, but we had some good times and he spared my feelings many times. After we parted and went our separate ways I lost contact but over the years have thought of him many times and wondered if his life was a happy one. Like I said I came across this article accidentally while reading an article on Greensboro. Don was the true Scorpio and quite the charmer, I’m sure his friends and family will experience quite a loss in their lives, he was a good man and takes a part of my heart with him.You never forget your first love and I never have, farewell dear friend and Godspeed.
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