Henry Amador, son Ben and Joel Batten
Henry Amador, son Ben and Joel Batten

Group supports gay dads

DURHAM, N.C. — Henry Amador and Joel Batten, co-founders of DADSquared, hosted a potluck on May 4 commemorating International Family Equality Day to create a space for LGBT families to enjoy camaraderie and familial support. In fact, some of them met each other for the first time at the event. Twenty families attended.

This may not seem too remarkable, but the organization they started prior to moving here in recent years, has gone a long way to provide resources for gay families.

“I am very passionate about my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, but especially to the families raising children and just hoping to give their babies the best this world has to offer,” Amador said. “DADsquared’s motto is that ‘We are Changing The World One Family at a Time,’ and I truly believe that.”

They moved to North Carolina a little less than a year ago to be closer to Batten’s family. They find the climate supportive and Amador said that there are very few to dad families in Durham, “so we certainly stand out.” Prior to their relocation, they explored the Triangle area and saw that it was more suitable to what they were looking for. It was close to beaches and mountains, as well as being the right fit. “Durham called to us, it’s our kind of town,” Amador added.

By profession, Amador is a certified life coach specializing in holistic parenting and teaches advance life skills. His husband, Batten, is a hairdresser with Rock paper scissors. The couple have been together since 2007 and they privately adopted their son Ben in 2011. DadSquared began after his birth.

“So my family is here, DADsquared is here and we could not be any happier!” he exclaimed.

DadSquared is a global community designed by and for gay fathers. Its mission is to provide resources, guidance and direction to gay fathers raising children and to those still searching for the possibility. The organization is expecting to release its “Squared Dad in a Round World” in the fall of 2014.

And, Amador said that even with the challenges with regard to the state’s LGBT rights that he feels that change “comes from the inside, whether it be inside a home, inside a heart or inside a state.”

Amador is a member of the Triangle Families Yahoo group and has become quite close to many of its members. He and Batten hope that their work will benefit all families in the area.

“I am also happy to be working with The Family Equality Council where I will hopefully soon be a part of it’s Southern Advisory Committee. My function with FEC revolves around community building, adding more faces, numbers and visibility for LGBTQ families,” Amador shared.

He is also a blogger for Ergobaby, It’s Conceivable Now, Gay Parenting Magazine, Natural Child World and others.

info: dadsquared.org.

Youth org slates fundraiser

DURHAM, N.C. — On May 10, 9 p.m., iNSIDEoUT will hold an adult fundraiser to benefit LGBT youth at The Bar, 711 Rigsbee Ave.

Enjoy dancing, a raffle, drinks, good times and camaraderie during the evening’s event. A DJ will provide music.

Monies raised will go toward expansion of the organization’s efforts to provide a safe space for all youth to form life-long friendships, create and take on worthwhile projects and develop leadership skills. It also benefits gay-straight alliances at local schools.

Contributions will enable programs like the Queer Prom and Backwords, iNSIDEoUT’s literary zine, as well as summer camping retreats and more to flourish.

Attendees must be over 18 years of age and 21 to consume alcohol.

Cover is $5 and no one will be turned away.

Backwords consists of poetry, artwork, stories and essays by and for youth and their adult allies.

Amy Glaser, co-founder and executive director, said, “In order to cover the costs of printing and distributing the zine and to expand our efforts to connect, organize and mobilize queer youth in the Triangle and beyond, we are seeking sponsors for this year’s issue. We invite you to show hundreds of people who pick up a free copy of Backwords each year, that your organization or business supports LGBTQ/queer/allied youth. The zine is also being archived by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill libraries, so your support will be recorded in history!”

Sponsorships range from $25-$150 based on a sliding scale. PayPal payments are also acceptable through the organization’s website. Deadline is May 9.

Each participant will be listed via image or logo. Images must be in black and white and sized to 3” x 2.5”. Email them to insideoutamy@gmail.com.

Online forms are available at docs.google.com/forms/d/1BfY55lnOHbnyE-Z_vEF6Xm-wKDAPlMRtAsc4dZN0cko/viewform.

In other news, iNSIDEoUT will hold its prom on May 16 and its banquet and gaiety on June 1, 12-3 p.m. The location will be announced at a later time.

At press time, no other information was available about the prom.

The eighth annual iNSIDEoUT/Upsidedown Banquet and Gaiety allows the organization to present awards to local youth, adults and organizations who have benefitted LGBT youth in the area. The event is open to the public.

In 2013, iNSIDEoUT gave out 80 awards.

The banquet is sponsored by contributions. Currently, they are searching for an organization or business banquet sponsor who is willing to match contributions from individual donors.

iNSIDEoUT’s awards program is now accepting nominations for worthy youth. Visit the website to learn more and to make a nomination.

info: insideout180.org.

Elders slate dance

RALEIGH, N.C. — SAGE Raleigh will host a spring dance, “Spring Blossom Blowout,” at the LGBT Center of Raleigh, 324 S. Harrington St., on May 17.

The event is targeted for those over 50. Dance the night away while enjoying music from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Light refreshments will be service and wine and beer will be available for a small donation.

Suggested contribution is $5 at the door.

info: lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.


Duke says no to hate speech

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University has launched a campaign, “You Don’t Say?”, against hate speech.

Two university student organizations, Think Before You Talk and Blue Devils United, joined to bring about awareness regarding insensitive language. “The campaign seeks to raise awareness around the misuse of language that relates to the LGBTQ community and gender issues. These words dehumanize and marginalize many within the Duke community and beyond and it is important to understand why,” the groups said via Facebook.

Campaign posters regale using words and phrases like “tranny,” “fag” and “man up,” among others. The posters can be viewed online.

The goal of the initiative is to foster dialogue on the intersection of language and gender and sexual identities.

info: facebook.com/youdontsaycampaign.

Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes: editor@goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com.

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 specialassignments@goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com. 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.