Melissa Ivy “Melvy” Shaw has been hired as the center manager for the new LGBTQIA Center of Greensboro.

LGBTQIA center opens

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The LGBTQIA Center of Greensboro has officially opened at the Guilford Green Foundation headquarters at 1205 W. Bessemer Ave., Suite 226.

The center is a programming arm of the foundation and will serve as a meeting space for programs and ongoing events, as well as a place for community members to find resources, the foundation shared.

“The community center is a safe and affirming space to connect with the LGBTQIA community. We are bringing in existing programs and serving as a convener for the community,” said foundation Executive Director Jennifer Ruppe.

Melissa Ivy “Melvy” Shaw has been hired at the center manager. Shaw grew up in Greensboro, N.C., but moved to Los Angeles, Calif. after college where she worked as a post-production supervisor on documentaries and reality television shows.

After she transitioned, she did not realistically see moving back to North Carolina as an option. However, that notion changed.

“…seeing what Guilford Green was doing really opened up my eyes to returning to the East Coast,” Shaw said. “Greensboro has become a much more inclusive city.”

She has has been working with community groups, private businesses and individuals to bring programs, services and events to the space.

“We want to bring suicide prevention resources and testing services into the center, while offering a space for everything from speech therapy and self defense clinics for trans folk, to movie nights and social hours for all age groups,” Shaw added. “We really want this center to be defined by the community it serves.”

The Guilford Green Foundation staff plans to begin offering open center hours this summer. This will provide an opportunity for community members to drop by the center and utilize its resources and library.

To host a workshop or program, call Shaw at 336-790-8419 or email The foundation website will feature center programs.


Church plans Easter observance

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Metropolitan Community Church of Winston-Salem will hold its Easter service, “Resurrection,” on April 1, 11 a.m., at 4105 Patsy Dr. Rev. Wanda Floyd will be the guest speaker and Rev. Jon M. Hamby will officiate. Earlier that day, they will have their annual Sunrise Service with  breakfast following. Volunteers are being sought to be at the church at 6 a.m. in order to prepare the meal. Food and monetary contributions are also needed. Currently, organizers need whipped cream, fruit cocktail, strawberries, coffee, tea, cooked sausage links, cranberry juice, apple juice, assorted bagels and croissants. Email to help out.

On Palm Sunday on March 25, Rev. Renee DuBose will serve as guest speaker. A potluck lunch will follow worship services.


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Center focuses on youth

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — North Star LGBTQ Community Center has developed a number of programs and initiatives geared toward LGBTQ youth, from focusing on leadership to hosting an Alt Prom.

The center has taken on this work so that LGBTQ youth have a viable resource and support system.

Currently, North Star is accepting contributions of formalwear for prom. Until April 22, dresses, suits, tuxes, ties, shoes and other prom attire can be dropped off at the center from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 1-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Items collected will be made available to youth who are unable to afford formal attire. Interested shoppers should email to express interest.

The Alt Prom “Glow” will be held on May 12, 7 p.m., at Old Salem Visitor’s Center, 900 Old Salem Rd., and is being hosted by the center and its Youth Leadership Council along with support from community partners Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Winston-Salem and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem. More businesses and organizations are being accepted for the event.

Music will be provided by DJ Clash and there will be performances by local drag queens and kings.

The event is open to any high school student in grades 9-12. Admission is free, however a $5 suggested contribution will be graciously accepted. Tickets are not required, but registration is requested to help organizers estimate numbers. Visit to sign up. For security reasons, once each young person has entered the event, they cannot re-enter a second time.

The center is seeking adult volunteers (email and contributions (visit to help defray costs. Youth volunteers who would like to be involved in the prom planning should email and ask about being part of the Youth Leadership Council. Monthly meetings, typically the first Saturday at the month from 3 to 5 p.m., are open to middle and high school students from Forsyth and the surrounding counties. Visit the website to learn more about other youth programs.


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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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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.