Local orgs participate in Give Out Day

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Second Annual National Give Out Day! will be held on May 15, 12 a.m.-11:59 p.m. The day-long initiative seeks to engage hundreds of organizations and mobilize thousands of people across the country to give in support of the LGBTQ youth community.

Several local and regional organizations are participating in the event for a chance to raise critical funds, including Campus Pride, Charlotte Pride, Equality North Carolina, Freedom Center for Social Justice, Harriet Hancock LGBT Community Center, South Carolina Equality, South Carolina GSA Network, South Carolina TransAction, Youth Outright and others.

National organizers shared that it was a chance for LGBTQ groups large and small, to work across the wide range of issues and activities that matter to the LGBTQ community from sports to policy change, families to the arts.

Contributions will be sought on the day of the event and can be facilitated online.


ENC launches affiliates program

RALEIGH, S.C. — In its growing efforts to improve the lives of LGBT communities in eastern and western North Carolina, Equality North Carolina (ENC) launched its regional affiliates program.

Cape Fear Equality in Wilmington, N.C., and Equality Foothills in Hickory, N.C., will spearhead important local cultural work and civic engagement.

“From the mountains to the coast, the citizens of North Carolina consistently prove that they are ready, willing and able to work for the equality for all citizens, including the state’s gay and transgender populations,” said Chris Sgro, executive director of ENC. “Equality NC’s leadership is therefore excited to provide essential training, resources and organizational support to these fast-growing LGBT and allied networks throughout our state as part of community-led affiliates focused on voter engagement, LGBT issue education, and pro-equality work within all regions of North Carolina.”

Equality Foothills is co-chaired by Michelle Mathis and Karen Lowe.

“I am privileged to be a part of the equality movement in Western NC, promoting education, advocacy, community service and legislative action. My desire is that one day, across our great state, and across our nation, LGBTQ individuals will be viewed not as marginalized , but equal members of our society, enjoying the same rights and privileges as everyone else,” Mathis said. “Until that day, the Foothills Affiliate of Equality NC will be an ever-present voice for those who cannot speak for themselves and a support for those who can.” Lowe also added that history would not allow them to be silent.

Ryan Lee Burris serves as chair for Cape Fear Equality.

“I’m very excited to be a part of such and enthusiastic group of folks in promoting diversity and advocating for equality for the LGBTQIAA community here in the Cape Fear Region,” said Burris. “Through education, political awareness and community service in our area, it is our mission to continue the fight for Equality for all North Carolinians, including geographic communities and marginalized voices often underrepresented in the Tar Heel state.”

Formal introductions to the media and respective communities will take place on June 6.


Marriage cookout in gear

RALEIGH, N.C. — Equality North Carolina is holding a statewide initiative called CookOUT for Marriage Equality, encouraging participants to invite friends and family to their homes to fire up the grill and celebrate loving, married gay and lesbian couples living throughout the state. The event began on May 8 and continues through May 18. The organization also includes committed, same-sex couples that North Carolina refuses to recognize.

Events will bring about greater visibility and lend voices to the cause, while uniting with others across the South as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals begins to hear this district’s case for marriage freedom.

Equality North Carolina is hoping to net 50 CookOUTs. Complete participation packets are available online as well as registration.


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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.