Elders selling wreaths

Charlotte LGBTQ Elders is winding down its holiday greenery sale fundraiser of fresh North Carolina mountain wreaths and garlands with the last day to order being Nov. 1. The items are being offered by The Choir School at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte, N.C. North Carolina Fraser Fir wreaths, available either plain or decorated, come in 20,” 24” and 36” sizes and cost $28-$54/pickup and $46-$72/gift shipped. Pick up dates are Nov. 25-26 at the church located at 115 W. 7th St. For more information, email Dan at charlottelgbtqelders@gmail.com. Online ordering is available now. Type in LGBTQ Elders or Elders in the order notes section.
info: thechoirschool.org/greenery.

AIDS garden slates clean up

The Wells Fargo NC Triad Pride Team Member Network has invited the community to participate in a cleanup and maintenance effort on Nov. 9, from 9-11 a.m., at the North Star LGBTQ Community Center AIDS Memorial Garden, located at Tanglewood Park, 4061 Clemmons Rd. in Clemmons, N.C. The garden was developed in 1997 by two Senior Girl Scouts, Erica Brady and Carrie Watson, as their Girl Scout Gold Award Project, and realized through contributions by local agencies and individuals along with volunteers. It serves as a memorial to those lost to AIDS, “a place of solace for those living with or affected by the disease and an inspiration for those continuing to work for progress against HIV/AIDS,” the center shared. It is located in a grassy area shaded by pecan trees and is surrounded by irises, ferns, benches and birdbaths. A brick path winds through the garden. In subsequent years, improvements and maintenance to the garden were provided by members of HOPE (HIV Outreach Programs and Education), students at The Summit School and members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston Salem and now by the Wells Fargo team. Engraved bricks to honor or memorialize individuals or organizations can be ordered for placement in the path. Email pridetriad@wellsfargo.com for more details.
info: northstarlgbtcc.com.

Church seeks pantry goods

Metropolitan Community Church of Charlotte has issued an appeal for food pantry items to help meet the demand for and sustain their work for providing for those in need. They are currently seeking canned goods, especially vegetables, fruit, tuna/chicken and soup. The church has served 65 families and 106 individuals, with distribution on Thursdays over the course of 2019 with over 11,000 pounds of food purchased at a cost of $1,750 from Second Harvest. The food pantry has reached a critical point in its ability to continue at the current rate. Donations are essential in keeping pace with the demand. To learn how to make contributions, email mymcccharlotte@yahoo.com.
info: mymcccharlotte.org.

Cereal giant, GLAAD launch ‘Together’ campaign

Kellogg’s and GLAAD have joined forces to stage an anti-bullying campaign with a new “concoction” of Raisin Bran, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Frosted Mini Wheats in the same box of cereal named “All Together,” CNN reported. The varieties are individually wrapped inside a purple box adorned with mascots of the six selections. The two entities are using this platform to raise awareness and their work in LGBTQ advocacy and said the cereal is “a symbol of acceptance no matter how you look, where you’re from or who you love.” Kellogg’s also contributed $50,000 to GLAAD to support their work.
info: cnn.it/2BPjEIk.

Global Pride org elects officers

InterPride held its 2019 conference in Athens, Greece in October and elected officers for the coming year. They are Linda DeMarco, co-president; Julian Sanjivan, co-president; Frank van Dalen, vice president, global outreach; Marsha H. Levine, vice president, global outreach; Natalie Thompson, vice president, global outreach; Sherri Rase, vice president, development; Carlos Idibouo, vice president, accessibility, diversity and inclusion; and David Wait, treasurer.
info: interpride.org.

Majority favor workplace protections

Metro Weekly reported that most Americans were supportive of the protection of LGBTQ individuals against workplace discrimination. The basis of the statement came from a new poll from Marquette University Law School. Currently, 61 percent support “prohibiting employment discrimination…based on sexual orientation.” Also, 39 percent “strongly favored” the expansion of protections to include LGBTQ individuals.
info: bit.ly/2JqUioC.

Partnership formed for seniors

Lambda Legal and AARP have entered into a partnership to secure protections for LGBTQ elders, Lambda’s Senior Council and Seniors Strategist Karen Loewy. She added, “[Seniors] are a testament to the resilience of the LGBT community and they deserve to age in dignity and security … [they] have earned the right to age openly and proudly, and to ensure that they know they have the right to age free from discrimination.”
info: bit.ly/2NePOm1.

Men detained in Uganda

A group of 16 men was detained in Kampala, Uganda on suspicion of being gay and human trafficking, The Associated Press reported. The arrests came following a “complaint from the public,” an unidentified police officer confirmed.
info: bit.ly/2JsvT1E.

Provider certification program announced

HealthHIV has announced the launch of its HIV Prevention Certified Provider program. The CME curriculum is available online and is self-paced. It is composed of five free e-learning courses in HIV prevention. Recipients receive 5.0 continuing education credits upon completion and a listing in the new HIV PCP National Online Directory for providers to promote their practices. The distinction allows for consumers to identify “clinically and culturally competent” providers of PrEP and other HIV prevention services. The program is open to doctors, osteopaths, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, nurses with a B.S., pharmacists and other science degrees. More information and registration is available online, including a course listing.
info: hivpcpcertificaiton.org. healthhiv.org.

Gay couple assaulted

Kenny Coppedge and Jordan Frye, a gay couple, were assaulted by a group of men who claimed to be off-duty New Jersey police officers in Charlotte, N.C.’s South End on the evening of Oct. 20, FOX 46 News reported. When Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers arrived the men spoke with them before they were allowed to leave the scene. Coppedge wants the assailants charged.
info: bit.ly/2pmkCJo.

Smithsonian receives Perry, MCC artifacts

Artifacts and records from Rev. Troy Perry and the Metropolitan Community Church were recently donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Included, but not limited to, was the “Book of Common Prayer” used by Perry at the church’s first service, as well as a book of hand-written sermons. Some items will be on public display, while others will reside in the LGBT Collection. This all came about in celebration of the church’s 50th anniversary being observed in 2019.
info: lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/troy-perry.

Officer wins lawsuit

An officer, Sgt. Keith Wildhaber, who was told to “tone down your gayness” has won a $20 million anti-discrimination lawsuit against the St. Louis, Mo. County Police, the New York Daily News reported.
info: bit.ly/36cgbBy.

Trans teen killed

Scout Undercoffer, a student at Holly Grove Middle School, was hit by an automobile and succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. Undercoffer was in the process of transitioning at the time of his death. Prior to initiating his transition, he went by Olivia. Undercoffer’s parents have reached out to the LGBT Center of Raleigh in order to have a scholarship fund set up in Scout Undercoffer’s name. Visit the center’s website and go to the donations page to make a contribution earmarked for Scout’s Scholarship Fund. Additionally, a vigil was held on Oct. 21 and was attended by his family, fellow students and others.
info: bit.ly/2Pz4AqD. lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.

Asian country amends law

Singapore amended their Religious Harmony Act to specifically list sexual orientation as a protected ground against religiously motivated hate speech, violence and discrimination, OutRight Action International shared. “This is the first time that a legal or policy document in Singapore includes the words ‘sexual orientation,’ indicating that public morality, peace or public order, which have often been used to prevent LGBTIQ people from organizing public events or founding organizations, are not a justification for violence and discrimination,” the organization added. Singapore has been one of 68 countries globally where same-sex relations are still criminalized.
info: outrightinternational.org.

Foundation opens athletic program applications

The OUT Foundation and CrossFit gyms across the U.S. have entered into a partnership that will provide a safe, comfortable place at which to participate in fitness. “The OUT Foundation provides access to health, wellness, and fitness to the LGBTQ+ community,” said Will Lanier, executive director of the foundation. “In service of our mission, we launched the OUTAthlete Program to set LGBTQ+ young adults up for success by providing year-long gym memberships, nutrition coaching, and more to deserving applicants to help them establish a healthy lifestyle.” Enrollment is open until Nov. 22 and applications are available online. The OUTAthlete Program is funded, in part, by OUTWOD events hosted by CrossFit affiliates worldwide to create a more inclusive environment and show support for the LGBTQ community. Participants also receive 30 percent off OUTWOD apparel, gifts from sponsors and more. Those chosen will be notified by Dec. 20 and the partners will help find a local, inclusive CrossFit affiliate at which OUTAthletes can begin their witness journey at the first of 2020.
info: iamout.org/outathlete.

Trans dating app launched

David Minns, an online dating entrepreneur, has launched a transgender dating app called Butterfly. A key feature is a gender search option. The app is free to use and optional upgrades are available.
info: butterfly.dating.

AIDS Memorial awards scholarships

The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship, a program of the National AIDS Memorial, has awarded 10 undergraduate students a total of $50,000 in financial scholarships for the 2019-2020 school year. The scholarship recipients, attending universities in 10 states, will each receive $5,000 to support their educational goals for the 2019-2020 school year. They will be honored on World AIDS Day at a ceremony at the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco, Calif. The scholarship is open to current high school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors who demonstrate an active commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS and taking on roles of public service and leadership. Through the application process, applicants must demonstrate leadership in their efforts to raise greater public awareness about prevention, public policy, treatment and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. The next application open period begins on March 1, 2020.
info: aidsmemorial.org.

Salesforce exec sends warning

TechCrunch reported that Salesforce Ventures top executive John Somorzai, when speaking the Entrepreneurs’ Series 2019 panel in Durham, N.C., said that a state “can’t attract talent when it’s not ‘welcoming to all people,’” with regard to North Carolina’s political swings, thus threatening the tech hub potential.
info: tcrn.ch/2pWMdRD.

Network slates HIV conference

The NC AIDS Action Network’s annual HIV advocacy conference, Building Power Across the Spectrum 2019, will be held from Nov. 15-16 in Charlotte, N.C. Advocates from across the state will be able to learn how to improve lives and fight for the rights of those living with HIV/AIDS and affected communities. Day one kicks off with the Social Determinants of Health Summit at Johnson C. Smith University, 100 Beatties Ford Rd. Day two focuses on various topics related to HIV and its intersections and will be held at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte City Center, 320 E. 9th St. with a reception following that evening. Plenary speaker for the event brings Rita Harcrow who serves as director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Housing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The conference is free, however, contributions ranging from $15-$70 are welcome to help defray expenses. Registration and other details are available online at bit.ly/2NgIwOC.
info: ncaan.org.

Global protest staged

On Oct. 29, International Internet Day 2019, a joint coalition of activists from around the world protested censorship on social media platforms, including Instagram, under the hashtag banner EveryBodyVisible. #EveryBODYVisible is an online campaign specifically highlighting Instagram’s censorship of women, the LGTBQ community, people of color, pole dancers, sex workers, photographers, models, artists, feminists, yogis, fitness athletes and other marginalized interest groups.
info: everybodyvisible.com.

Retirement community gets SAGE credentials

Grace Ridge Retirement Community has received its SAGECare LGBT Cultural Competency Training 2019 Platinum credentials and certification. Located in Morganton, N.C., the community is owned and operated by Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge.
info: bit.ly/32PY9Di. graceridge.org.

Shepards criticize AG Barr

Judy and Dennis Shepard, parents of slain gay college student Matthew Shepard, have “assailed Attorney General William Barr…for what they called hypocrisy on LGBT rights during a Justice Department ceremony commemorating a hate-crimes law named after their son, The Associated Press reported. The ceremony was conducted in the Justice Department’s Great Hall and marked the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
info: bit.ly/34hI2Ph.

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.