It’s a real drag
CHARLOTTE — Lip Service, the Queen City’s only open mic for the mature and creative LGBT community, is kicking off Masquerade Month on Oct. 1 with B Who Ya Wanna B at Faces Nite Club, 2815 Crisman St. Doors open at 8 p.m. and participants must sign up to read by 8:43 p.m.

Drag kings or costume enthusiasts are encouraged to read as their alter egos. Prizes will be awarded for the best presentation.

Cover is $7. Parking is free.

For more information, email L. Monique at or visit

‘How to’ on membership
CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Business Guild (CBG) Small Business Seminar will be held on on Sept. 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B11.

Topic for the event is “The Civic and Marketing Value of a Charlotte Chamber Membership.”
Michael Greene, investor recruitment; Lori Lewis, chief revenue officer; and Kathy Vitale, investor recruitment of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce will outline the benefits of a Chamber membership. During this seminar, participants can learn how to connect and network; access tools and resources to grow business; and learn how the Chamber is an advocate for issues that impact the business community and the Charlotte region.

The Guild is is a Diversity Partner with the Charlotte Chamber. CBG members can receive a 50 percent discount on Chamber Membership.

Please bring business cards or business ideas to share. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session with an additional opportunity to network.

For more information, call Melissa Woods at 704-661-6368 or visit the Chamber website at


Lend a hand
GREENVILLE — Due to some recent unanticipated renovation costs The Tipsy Teapot, 409 S Evans St., needs community support to ensure it’s doors remain open.

Over the years it has evolved into a much needed free thinking space of expression and community. Tipsy has expanded to bring live music, wireless internet access, poetry nights, V-Day events, an English-style brunch on Sundays, the sale of beer and wine, and, more recently, Indie films. It has continued to provide a space where everyone may experience diversity acceptance and community.

Ways to help are to frequent the establishment, share with others the need for assistance at Tipsy, attend special events and contribute much needs funds to assure that the doors remain open.

For more information on how to help, call Delia at 252-413-0087 or visit or


ENC to hold conference, gala
DURHAM — The Second Annual Equality Conference and Gala will be held on Nov. 15 at Duke University.

This dynamic event features a full day of cutting-edge workshops, speakers and celebration.
The Conference is North Carolina’s largest LGBT forum.

A keynote panel will feature noted national leaders including Mara Keisling (National Center for Transgender Equality), Kate Kendell (National Center for Lesbian Rights) and Alexander Robinson (National Black Justice Coalition). Attendees will also be able to choose from a wide-range set of workshops covering topics such as community organizing in small towns, LGBT health and wellness, an introduction to transgender issues for LGB allies, and more.

Following the Conference will be the Gala, chocked full of fun, friendship, food and festivities.
Student rates are available.

For more information and to register, visit or contact Seth Maid by email at

RUM expands vision
DURHAM — Reconciling United Methodists (RUM) has announced that The Sanctuary at Lakewood has joined the list of inclusive congregations across the state. The congregation voted in late August to open its doors to the LGBT community.

On Sept. 9, RUM sat down with students at Louisburg College to share stories and voice concerns about the intersection of faith, sexualities and the church. This was the first of four meetings scheduled during the Fall.

RUM and Calvary United Methodist Church are teaming up to join others during the NC Pride march festivities on Sept. 27. They will also have booth space.

For more information, call Caleb Parker at 919-667-3787 or email

Need support?
DURHAM — Therapist Jessie Sell, an advocate and friend to the transgender community for several years, is interested in starting a TG support group. She has found limited resources for members of this often invisible community.

She is interested in creating a safe place for individuals to come and express themselves without judgment. She is in the initial planning stages of formulating the group, but wanted to gage interest and need in the Triangle area. She is open to creating a group based on issues relevant to its group members.

There is no established time line presently. She has expressed her passion to create some resources that she feels are lacking.

For more information, call Sell at 919-225-3478 or email


Retreat slated
MAGGIE VALLEY — The annual The Cross & The Rainbow spiritual retreat for lesbian and gay Christians will be held on Oct. 10-12 at Living Waters Reflection Center.

Join others during the 10th annual retreat in a warm and welcoming atmosphere designed to allow participants to make friends, share stories and strengthen one’s relationship with God. Enjoy group sessions and meals, a mountain hike, a Catholic Mass (where everyone is welcome) and quiet reflective time. The cost is $90 for the whole weekend and includes a semi-private room, six meals and the retreat sessions.

Retreat Director will be Fr. Frank Cancro, pastor of Queen of the Apostles Parish in Belmont, N.C. It is sponsored by The Diocesan Ministry for Gay and Lesbian Catholics, Diocese of Charlotte, N.C.

For information or to reserve a space, call David Ferguson at 704-921-5711 or email (with ‘retreat’ in the subject box) at

In other news, the Diocese Ministry will hold its first service project on Oct. 25 at the House of Mercy in Belmont. A 5 p.m. mass will be offered at Queen of Apostles Parish Church, 503 N. Main St., followed by a pizza dinner with House residents.

Other events slated for the Fall and Winter are a Taize prayer service at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Charlotte; an evening of reflection on Nov. 12 in Asheville (for more information, call Guy Morris at 828-230-1607); and an Epiphany party on Jan 4 in Charlotte. Plans are underway in Asheville for a parents listening session with LGBT people and their families, as well as a mini retreat for the Hispanic community.

On a final note, long-time leaders within the Diocese stepped down, making way for others to participate. Kevin Melody of Charlotte and Chris Cicotello of Asheville have vacated their posts. Melody is well known in the Queen City for his work with the beginning of Metrolina AIDS Project, among other initiatives. Cicotello has devoted much of her time to work within the church on behalf of the LGBT community.


It’s greek to me
STATEWIDE — The Out Greek National Leadership Conference will be held on Nov. 14-16 at DePaul University, Lincoln Park Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, Ill.

Share coming out Greek stories and network with other LGBT inclusive and ally leaders. Learn strategies for a safer, more LGBT-friendly community.

This the first of its kind for undergraduate fraternity and sorority leaders and is sponsored by Lambda 10 Project, an educational initiative of Campus Pride.

The Lambda 10 Project, founded in 1995, works to heighten the visibility of LGBT members of the college fraternity and sorority by serving as a clearinghouse for educational resources and materials related to sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. The conference will highlight the progress on issues of sexual orientation within Greek life and introduces a “Transgender Action Guide” as well as many other strategies to be more LGBT-inclusive.

To be a workshop presenter, submit a proposal by Sept. 26. Highlight your efforts or ideas to be inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression issues in fraternity and sorority life. There will be a track for advisors and staff, designed to coincide with the leadership conference.
Undergraduate student cost is $165 on/before Nov. 1 and $225 afterwards.

Professional staff/advisors/graduate student cost is $195 on/before Nov.1 and $255 afterwards.
Registration includes program materials, entertainment and select food during the three day conference. Payment must be recieved prior to the conference.

To register, to submit a proposal or for more information (including hotel and travel data), visit

It’s not toaster time
STATEWIDE — Are you ready to make a difference in a college student’s life? Do you want to recruit out LGBT ally students? Then this is your opportunity.

Campus Pride will host a number of fairs across the U.S. over the next few months. Perhaps you are an alumnae of one of the universities or colleges that are hosting events.

Campus Pride will be on hand at the following universities or locations: Oct. 3, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Oct. 11, University of Pennsylvania; and April 18, San Diego LGBT Community Center.

Free and open to the public, the Campus Pride College Admission Fair allows students and their families the opportunity to interact with colleges and universities that value LGBT and ally people. The fair features campuses that have demonstrated this commitment by participating in the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index ( Any college/university may exhibit at the annual fair(s) by having designated staff, students or past alumnae share their LGBT-Friendly programs and services. Registration is required for exhibitors only.

Special feature presentations include “Finding Your LGBT-Friendly Campus” by Shane L. Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and author of the first-ever “The Advocate College Guide for LGBT & Ally Students,” listing the Top 100 LGBT-Friendly colleges and universities in the United States.
Participants will learn about scholarships and other queer tips like how to best navigate the college admissions process, prepping for campus visits, as well as how to find LGBT and ally scholarships and other financial assistance.

Any interested LGBT and ally students and their families/friends are welcome to attend the fair without any prior registration. For those who plan on bringing a van or bus from an area high school or youth group, email for assistance with special parking and any logistics.
A grand prize drawing giveaway with DVDs, CDs, books and more will take place throughout the day, so anyone can win.

If your school is not listed, perhaps you can help coordinate with officials to be a part of the Campus Pride College Admission Fair. Vendor space is also available for a fee.

For more information on the campuses to be visited, schedule and programs, vendor registration or to volunteer your services, visit

info: Announce your community event in NC News Notes.
email: or fax 704-531-1361.

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.