Attorney Deb Butler has now joined the North Carolina General Assembly as the second out member of the House.

Lawyer becomes latest gay lawmaker

RALEIGH, N.C. — Deb Butler from Wilmington, N.C., has become the second LGBTQ lawmaker in the North Carolina General Assembly, WFAE has reported.

The Democrat was selected by a a panel of activists from Hanover and Brunswick Counties. She was in a pool of 10 candidates that were vying for the seat vacated by Rep. Susi Hamilton when she was chosen by Gov. Roy Cooper to serve on his cabinet as secretary of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Butler is the second openly gay member of the legislature and was backed by Equality North Carolina.


CMF goes ‘Grammy’

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Crape Myrtle Festival is hosting its Grammy Awards Drag Show & Viewing Party on Feb. 12, 8 p.m., at View Bar & Gameroom at Legends, 119 S. Harrington St.

On hand for the evening will be Miss Gay North Carolina America Chloe Cassidy, along with Jayden Starr and Kristiana Elite who will perform at 6:30 p.m.

Beverages are available from the cash-only bar all evening.

Admission is $10.


Trainings slated across state

RALEIGH, N.C. — The NC AIDS Action Network has announced that it will hold HIV advocacy training sessions across the state in advance of its annual HIV/AIDS Advocacy Day on April 19.

Attendees will learn about the current legislative session and the organization’s legislative priorities for the year, including defending the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and expanding Hepatitis C testing and prevention programs in North Carolina.

Training will enable advocates to have the tools and skills needed to speak confidentially with legislators about issues most important to the HIV/AIDS community and make their voices heard.

Sessions will be held in Asheville, N.C. on Feb. 23, 3-5 p.m., United Way, 50 S. French Broad Ave. (, Charlotte, N.C. on March 22, 5:30-8 p.m., RAIN, 601 E. 5th St. ( and Winston-Salem, N.C. on March 23, 5:30-8 p.m., North Star LGBT Community Center, 930 Burke St.  ( The events are free, however a $10 contribution is appreciated. Dinner will be provided in Charlotte and Winston-Salem, sponsored by Gilead, and snacks will be provided in Asheville.

Other trainings are being planned for Fayetteville, N.C. and the Triangle area. More information will be provided as the dates are released.


Youth to hold fest

DURHAM, N.C. — iNSIDEoUT will hold its annual Fabufest from Feb. 24-25, beginning at 9 a.m. each day and continues to 4 p.m.

The youth-run, overnight retreat is designed for LGBTQ youth and allies. Activities include movies, workshops on intersectionality, keeping up energy in today’s political climate, a tree of oppression and self care, as well as the opportunity to meet and make friends with other young people. It is open to to those who are 13-19.

Younger youth are invited to join in on Saturday afternoon for lunch and an activity from 12-4 p.m.

The event is free, but requires registration and parental permission.

Plans are being made to create a crowdfunding campaign to help support the event and the activism that emerges from it.

Deadline for registration is Feb. 19. Location details will be emailed to registered participants.

In other news, the organization began its hangouts program in January. It meets every other Sunday from 4-6 p.m. And, it has scheduled its Queer Prom on May 20 and its Youth Awards Banquet and Gaiety on May 27. More details will be provided in a future qnotes issue.


Team dresses in supportive attire

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — On Jan. 20, the University of North Carolina’s women’s gymnastics team recently made a statement by wearing T-shirts promoting LGBTQ equality in sports, Outsports/SB Nation reported.

The team chose to wear Nike-manufactured campaign black shirts that said #BETRUE fielded on a rainbow band. In fact, the university’s gymnastics attendance-setting record of over 4,000 attendees was more than anyone had anticipated.

Tar Heels tossed shirts into the crowd. And, some attendees wore rainbow North Carolina buttons, the publication added. It was remarkable that all of this happened in a state that has anti-discriminatory HB2 on its books.

Nike’s #BETRUE apparel line celebrates and is used to raise funds for LGBTQ sports participants.


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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.