Movie still from ‘Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine’

Film series screening approaches

WINSTON-SALEM — OUT at the Movies will screen “Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine” on May 18, 8 p.m., in cooperation with Apeture Cinema, 311 W. Fourth St.

On Oct. 7, 1998, University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten, tied to a fence and left to die because he was gay. Years later, Michele Josue, a close friend of Shepard’s, revisits the case with never-before-seen photos, rare video footage, as Matt’s all-too-brief life is remembered through the vivid testimonies of those whose lives he touched, from the friends and family who knew him best to the bartender who saw him on the night of the attack. New revelations emerge in one of the most notorious hate crimes in U.S. history, leading to a multi-layered biographical and sociological portrait. In the end, the notion of forgiveness — embodied in the final act of Shepard’s parents — takes on heroic proportions, the theatre shared.

Immediately after the showing, there will be a panel discussion with Suzanne Reynolds and Shannon Gilreath of the Wake Forest School of Law and Mary Dalton, professor of communication, film studies and women’s and gender studies at Wake Forest University.

Ticket price is $9.50/regular, $7.50/seniors, $8.25/students with college ID and military and students and are available online.


Prom slated

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — An alternative prom, “A Love Story,” will be held on May 15, 8 p.m., at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem, 4055 Robinhood Rd..

UUFWS, PFLAG and Interfaith Voice serve as sponsors.

High school students (9th-12th grades) from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County are welcome to attend the prom.

Refreshments will be served and a photographer will be available to capture participants’ memories. Casual through dressy attire is encouraged. Organizers want attendees to be comfortable.

Students may bring guests. Admission is $5 at the door.

Volunteers are being sought to help with chaperoning, setup and cleanup. Email to learn more.

info: 336-259-3688.

Minister tenders resignation

MCC Winston-Salem Minister Ron LaRocque
MCC Winston-Salem Minister Ron LaRocque

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — On April 26, Rev. Ron LaRocque notified his congregation at Metropolitan Community Church Winston-Salem, 4105 Patsy Dr., that he would be leaving the ministry and his “pastoral responsibilities” at the church. His last date will be June 14.

He shared in an email message to congregants and others that the decision “was not made hastily or easily. It is the result of a long process of discernment about where God is leading me and this church. The decision was a difficult one. I … love MCCWS and the people who make up the church. I want only the best for you.”

He added that he was fully committed to his duties until his last day as pastor. LaRocque even offered to be available to congregants individually via email at through the process. He expressed his gratitude to the church and said that his time there was transformative.

Vice Moderator Merri Byrd shared in an email that members and friends of MCCWS might serve as guest speakers in the interim. The board of directors and transition team, along with Rev. Tony Freeman, director of church life and health for the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, will ensure a “healthy separation agreement” for all involved.


Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes:

Share your news with us
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 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.