Thomas Engelhard Myers, Jr.

Community leader dies

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Thomas Engelhard Myers, Jr., founder of We Are Family, a founding board member of Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA) and a key figure in the creation of a PFLAG chapter in the coastal city died on April 25 at his home of causes related to Lewy Body with Alzheimer s disease. Funeral services were held on May 1 at St. Stephen s Episcopal Church, with interment at St. Philip s Churchyard.

AFFA shared in a release that Myers was known for his generous spirit and dedication to social justice issues, particularly for the LGBT community. He was seen by many as the godfather of the LGBT movement in the Lowcountry having introduced, connected or encouraged LGBT persons to join together working for equality in South Carolina. He championed LGBT youth and was a friend, mentor and guide who would be terribly missed.

Myers was a graduate of The University of the South and Harvard Business School. He led an active life and over his lifetime he climbed mountains, scuba dived and sky dived.

Memorials to his memory can be made to We Are Family, 29 Leinbach Dr., Charleston, SC 29407, Charleston Respite Care, 405 King St., Charleston, SC 29403 and/or the Bishop Gadsden Resident Assistance Fund, One Bishop Gadsden Way, Charleston, SC 29412.


Masquerade quickly approaches

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The inaugural A Night for Pride fundraiser for Charleston Pride will be held on May 7, 7 p.m., at The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, 122 E. Bay St.

The masquerade event is hosted by Brooke Collins and Patti O’Furniture. It includes an open bar, silent auction, DJ, entertainment, dancing and live music.

Honorees include Britney Nesbit, a graduate assistant at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Office of University Chief Diversity Officer and a pharmacy intern at CVS; Lee Anne Leland, a We Are Family board member and co-facilitator for the Charleston Area Transgender Support Group; and Warren Redman-Gress, executive director of Alliance for Full Acceptance.

Cocktail attire and masks are suggested. Attendees must be 21-years-old and up.

Tickets are $80 and are available online.

Charleston Pride Parade and Festival has announced its 2016 theme Stand Out to be held on Aug. 13. Complete details on all the events during the week s festivities will be detailed at a later date.

The organization has just completed its third Paint the Town fundraising party and now has hit its halfway mark. Green, blue and purple parties will be held leading up to the festival week.


Bigoted bill dead

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina legislature s SB1203 was officially stopped on April 30 when the state’s Senate allowed its crossover day to pass without moving on the action that was aimed at LGBT discrimination.

The “bathroom bill” posed by Sen. Lee Bright will not be considered this year and has been deemed dead.

SC Equality Executive Director Jeff Ayers said, “South Carolina told the nation it will not make the mistakes of its northern neighbor. We applaud the Senate, our friends and ally organizations, and we join our state in proudly saying South Carolina does not stand for discrimination or wasting taxpayer dollars on unnecessary legislation, and that we open for business.” The organization went on to thank nearly 75 activists groups, churches, non-profits and businesses and more. Included, but not limited to the list, were various chambers of commerce, the state s hospital association, Target, Inc., Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, AFL-CIO, South Carolina and the Campaign for Southern Equality.

“While we celebrate this monumental victory today, we caution South Carolinians that Sen. Lee Bright has noted his intention to attempt to include a version of the language of S.1203 as a proviso in the state s budget to be considered by the Senate very soon. We caution opponents of this bill to steadfastly continue to speak out about such discriminatory efforts,” Ayers added.

On May 2, SC Equality reported, “As we continue to celebrate the victory over the Sen. Lee Bright ‘bathroom bill,’ our worst concerns appear to be a potentiality: the embarrassment that is Lee Bright is going to have the full South Carolina Senate vote on a version of the ‘bathroom bill’ as an added on proviso in the state budget. It could happen at some point next week. The budget proviso would deny funding to local governments in the state that pass an ordinance protecting the right of bathroom access for transgender people.”

However, on May 3 the organization shared, “Just moments ago on the Senate floor, Senator Lee Bright attempted to file a proviso to the state budget with language from his failed S.1203 ‘Transgender Bathroom Bill.’ However, Henry McMaster, Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, ruled it out of order as not being germane to the budget.”

It appears that for now the measure is a dead issue. qnotes will release updates as they become available.


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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.