Patrick Haggerty at Seattle Pride in the early 2000s.

Country band to play Hopscotch

RALEIGH, N.C. — WRAL has reported that Lavendar Country will play at the upcoming Hopscotch Music Festival on Sept. 10 at Fletcher Opera Theatre, 2 E. South St.

The band is the first openly gay country band in the U.S. In 1973, it released what was considered to be the “first openly gay country music album” according to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the station shared. The album fought back against homophobia with tracks like “Back in the Closet Again.” It struggled for airplay and one Seattle [Washington] DJ even had her FCC license revoked for playing one of its tracks [‘Cryin’ Those Cocksucking Tears’],” WRAL added.

The album was re-issued in 2014 by Carborro-based record label Paradise of Bachelors. The release captured a new set of fans, bringing the experiences of Lavender Country and its songwriter, guitarist and singer Patrick Haggerty, 71, to a new generation. Album notes shared that the LP “stands as nothing less than an artifact of courage, a sonic political protest document of enormous power, clarity, and grace.”

Haggerty was brought up on a tenant dairy farm in rural Washington State. Due to his sexuality, he was dismissed from the Peace Corps, WRAL reported. He struggled as a young gay man in the immediate aftermath of Stonewall while navigating the Pacific Northwest.

A documentary, “These C*cksucking Tears,” about his life was screened in April at the South by Southwest festival held in Austin, Texas. And, he recently performed in Nashville, Tenn., for the first time.

The group’s appearance, at the Hopscotch festival, its first in North Carolina, is considered a response to North Carolina s HB2.

Tickets go on sale on May 12 at 10 a.m. Three days beforehand, the festival lineup will be released.


NCSU holds LGBT grad event

RALEIGH, N.C. — The GLBT Center at North Carolina State University held its Lavender Graduation on April 19.

In doing so, it acknowledged the achievements of 23 undergraduate and four graduate students, the Technician reported.

Senior agricultural science student Ian Pike “reminded the audience that the journey of self-discovery concerning sexual orientation and gender identity is special and unique to everyone,” and added, “We must be cognizant of this and not put people down for where they are or how they got there. As an institution and a community, we must meet people where they are without causing them to move on before they re ready Now’s a time for celebration but not a time for complacency. “


Tech interest accessed

RALEIGH/DURHAM/CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Annette Horan and Terry Mehlman are currently asking the community if it is interested in creating a Lesbians Who Tech group in the Triangle.

The work would center around hosting eight events a year, six as a social gathering and two with speakers and/or panel discussion.

Members would be invited to attend the national summit in New York, N.Y., from Sept. 22-23 and San Francisco, Calif., in February 2017.

Lesbians Who Tech is a global community of over 11,000 queer women in and around the technology field. It is currently seeking a 501c non-profit status. And, it is offering 12 coding school scholarships.

Email to express interest in being involved with the project.


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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

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.