ENC holds end-of-year fundraiser

Equality North Carolina (ENC) began celebrating their #40DaysOfGiving on Nov. 22, which continues through the end of the year, during which time the organization has been posting a fact each day about the organization online. ENC is encouraging its supporters to give back to ENC and the communities they serve, from restaurant nights to drag shows to shopping at favorite retailers. For a few of these fundraisers, they are asking their supporters to showcase the “beauty of your diverse families by submitting your favorite photos of your kids and pets” to give@equalitync.org. Photos will be posted on the website and everyone can vote for their favorite picture by making a donation of at least $5. Special prizes will be given out for the photos with the most donations in both the kid and pet categories.
info: equalitync.org.

MCC leader memorial service announced

A memorial service for Rev. Elder Freda Smith will be held on Dec. 21, 1 p.m., at Episcopal Church of St. Anne, 1020 W. Lincoln Rd., Stockton, Calif. “As we continue to grieve the death of Rev. Elder Freda Smith, a saint, pioneer, activist, and iconic MCC pastor, we invite you to join us in celebrating her life organized by Freda’s widow, Kathleen Meadows; pastor, Rev. Terri Miller; and Rev. Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches,” officials shared.
info: mccchurch.org/rev-elder-freda-smith.

HIV resources expanded

HealthHIV has added two downloadable resources to its HIV Prevention Certified Provider program — the “HIV Prevention Protocols for Providers” and “PrEP Myths and Urban Legends.” Both are available within Module 4: Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Clinical. They supplement the clinical and practical information provided in the module to assist providers in administering PrEP and educating their clients about HIV prevention.
info: hivpcpcertification.org. bit.ly/38h9cZg.

Gilead awards orgs

Leaders from Gilead Sciences, Emory University, and grantee non-profit organizations My Sistah’s House and Brotherhood, Inc. on Dec. 5 unveiled the names of recipients of $2.3 million of grants to organizations fighting HIV in the South. Local organizations from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee received the funds. Carolinas recipients are: AIDS Leadership Foothills-area Alliance, Inc. (ALFA), Circle of Friends Task Force, Latino Commission on AIDS, Positive Wellness Alliance, Gender Benders and the University of South Carolina Education Foundation. These new grants are the second installment for Gilead’s more than $100 million COMPASS Initiative. Despite being home to only 38 percent of the country’s population, the South accounted for 52 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2017. Those in the South also face societal disparities— poverty, housing instability and food insecurity — that pose challenges which organizations working in those communities are best equipped to navigate.
info: gileadsciences.com.

Choruses ‘invade’ Christmas

GayCities reported that gay choruses have swept North America bringing their songs to usher in the holiday season. Nearly 90 “family” groups, made up predominately of men, spread Christmas (and Chanukah, too) cheer to audiences in their communities. Across the Carolinas music is presented by: Asheville Gay Men’s Chorus (“Sound the Trumpet”), One Voice Chorus (“Season to Remember”), Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte (“Dear December:), Midland Men’s Chorus (“GLOW”), Triad Pride Men’s Chorus (“Queerly Joyful”) and Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus (“Seasons of Love”).
info: bit.ly/2Pox2JY.

Hallmark gets movie petition

The conservative LifeSite has circulated a petition asking Hallmark “not to produce LGBT movies for Christmas, or generally.” It has now received over 25,000 signatures. The initiative was mounted due to an interview that a Hallmark executive gave to TheWrap.com which stated that the channel’s Vice President of Programming Michelle Vicary said that they were looking at pitches for LGBTQ movies. LifeSite said that petitions like the one mentioned, demonstrate little demand for LGBTQ-themed Christmas movies. The news site also said: “As the petition also says, there’s another big reason Hallmark should not cave into the LGBT indoctrination mob: the LGBT activists will never be satisfied. They will always want Hallmark to be pushing more and more aberrant views and characters. That doesn’t sound like a fun Christmas movie at all!”
info: bit.ly/2DVs16g.

Rye cohort names participants

Equality North Carolina has selected its six LGBTQ youth for their Rural Youth Empowerment fellowship for 2020. The year-long program includes one-on-one mentorship, among other opportunities. Those chosen and their project focus are: Hailey Ruby Hernandez (18), creation of a collaborative zine that forges a safe space for LGBTQ individuals; Liam Waller (20), focus on LGBTQ liberation; Paola Michelle Medina Villalon (19), creation of an effective academic network of support for minorities and other statistically disadvantaged groups as they apply to college; Rebecca Snavely (28), work centers on the needs of rural queer youth and will work with local businesses and healthcare providers to produce a Tri-County LGBTQ+ Community Resource Guide for the support of queer youth and adults alike in their region; Gray Rodgers (24), project focus on connecting younger and older queer folks in the community and addressing the needs of the aging LGBTQ population; and Asher Warg (20), focus on creating meaningful space for transgender and gender non-conforming folks on his college campus and growing the number of accessible resources available to professors, administration and medical professionals.
info: equalitync.org.

Gay bishop elected

Rev. Deon Johnson was elected as the next bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, The Associated Press reported. The clergy member is openly gay and has a passion for “social justice and inclusion.” He and his husband who live near Detroit, Mich., have two children.
info: bit.ly/352IUIe.

Lauper nets global award

On Dec. 10 at her Home for the Holidays concert, Cyndi Lauper received the inaugural High Note Global Prize for her work for LGBTQ youth which was presented by the United Nations Human Rights and the High Note Global Initiative, The Advocate reported from an announcement in Rolling Stone.
info: bit.ly/2YAJjPB.

Conversion ban wins in Utah

Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert has sent a rule to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to file that bans conversion therapy. The state now becomes the 19th one to enact such this kind of directive.
info: bit.ly/2rrvsit.

Actor announces gender fluidity

Best known for his role as Star Wars’ Lando Calrissian, actor Billy Dee Williams has shared in an Esquire interview that he is gender fluid.
info: bit.ly/36i394Y.

Pageant sees first out contestant

The Miss Universe Pageant System had its first LGBTQ contestant at its recent competition. Swe Zin Htet from Myanmar came out as a lesbian days before the pageant got underway.
info: bit.ly/2Yuvv9j.

Alt act proposed by Republicans

The Republican and Mormon Church-backed Fairness for All Act, a countermeasure or so-called compromise legislation, was introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Chris Stewart from Utah. Unlike the Equality Act, this version allows for anti-LGBTQ discrimination from religious institutions and small-business wedding vendors, The Washington Blade reported. Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said that he “strongly oppose[s]” the act because it “sells LGBTQ people short and erodes existing protections under federal civil rights law.
info: bit.ly/2sRiLh9.

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.