Don King, pictured here as the keynote speaker at the 20th anniversary Charlotte Business Guild Gala in December 2012. Photo Credit: David Lari.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A community celebration honoring the memory and life of Donaldson (Don) Wells King will be held on May 2, 3 p.m., at the Metropolitan Community Church, 1825 Eastway Dr.

King’s countless contributions to the LGBT community during his lifetime spoke to his passion for inclusiveness. One of his departing wishes was to sponsor a gathering for all to celebrate one’s life.

During the event, community members will share stories about King.

This second celebration of life was planned according to King’s wishes. A separate memorial event was held in November shortly after his passing on Oct. 30 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 72.

Beginning in the mid-to-late 1970s, King helped to organize and lead organizations like Dignity and Acceptance, early LGBT support and social groups.

In 1981, he and the late Billie Rose founded Queen City Quordinators (QCQ), a joint fundraising umbrella group for organizations like Acceptance, the Gay & Lesbian Switchboard, Lambda Political Caucus and the Metropolitan Community Church of Charlotte. King was also a charter member of the church.

In 1983, King assisted with the early “Q-Notes” newsletter for QCQ. In June 1986, coinciding with the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the newsletter was re-established as a monthly print newspaper. King was hired as the publication’s first editor serving through September 1987.

Read more about Don King’s life and legacy and community reflections…

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.