Filmmaker Caleb Holland’s ‘Chasing Capri’ is now available via Vimeo.

Teen featured in film

RALEIGH, N.C. — Late in May, “Chasing Capri,” a documentary film by southern filmmaker Caleb Holland, was released and featured a Carolina transgender teen at the center of the storyline.

Capri Culpepper captured news headlines when she attempted to obtain her South Carolina driver’s license from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The catch was that she was denied a license based upon her appearance. She eventually triumphed.

The film has significant importance in today’s climate. It also captures the struggles currently facing the broader LGBTQ community in the south, including the infamous “bathroom bills” and the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting. The film explores the impact of North Carolina’s House Bill 2, highlighting the response of businesses and individuals across North Carolina including Lightning Bolt Ink in Asheville, N.C., Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, N.C., and 21C Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C.

A series of screenings are planned across the South benefitting various LGBTQ charities.

Holland shared his motivation for creating the film by saying, “I grew up gay and afraid to be myself in the same town as Capri. I was drawn to her story because I recognized many of her struggles from my own journey. It’s important to me that as few young people as possible grow up as we did, expecting to have to leave their hometown in order to be accepted. I hope this film provides an opportunity for conversation and opens the doorway to cooperation between individuals of all different backgrounds.”

The film is available online via Vimeo for rent at $2.99 and for purchase at $7.99.


Spano holds reading

Mark Spano

RALEIGH, N.C. — Writer Mark Spano will read from his award-winning novel “Midland Club” on June 25, 1 p.m., at the LGBT Community Center of Raleigh, 324 S. Harrington St., as part of the center’s 2017 Sizzling Summer “Meet the Author” Series.

Following the reading, Spano will sign copies of his book.

Set in a midwestern city in 1958, “Midland Club” addresses the pain of one gay man, alone in a town that despises him.

The book is published by Thunderfoot Press and received a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award from the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs, one of only two books honored for Winter 2017 in the Mystery category.

Spano resides in Chapel Hill, N.C. Besides writing, he spends time as a filmmaker.

The event is free and open to the public.


Gospel takes to the stage

RALEIGH, N.C — The Gospel Drag and Talent Show will be held on June 23, 7 p.m., at St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church, 622 Maywood Ave.

The event is a fundraiser for the LGBT Center of Raleigh with 100 percent of proceeds going to toward programming at the center.

To perform in the show or for general information, email Vance Haywood at

Each performer may have as many as two acts. All musical selections and other acts should promote love, diversity, inclusion, unity and pride. While Gospel numbers are encouraged, other musical or talent selections are also appropriate.


SAGE set for 4th celebration

CARY, N.C. — SAGE Raleigh will hold its annual 4th of July cookout and potluck on July 4, 1:30 p.m., at Umstead State Park – Reedy Creek, Shelter #2, 1800 N. Harrison Ave. Look for the SAGE banner to locate the group.

The organization will provide hamburgers, hotdogs, brats and more, along with condiments, utensils, paper plates and soft drinks.

Participants are asked to bring a salad, side dish or dessert to share.

Weather pending, outdoor games will be on hand to keep the day fun-filled.

RSVP to Les Geller at


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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 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.