Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts will speak to the NC Policy Watch luncheon about the non-discrimination ordinance and recent legislation.

Mayoral, NDO luncheon approaches

[Ed. Note: Since the General Assembly voted to repeal the non-discrimination ordinance across the state in a sweeping measure, the focus of the luncheon may change its focus.]

RALEIGH, N.C. — Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts will be the key speaker at a NC Policy Watch sponsored boxed luncheon to be held on March 29, 12 p.m., at the North Carolina Association of Educators Building, 700 S. Salisbury St.

The topic of discussion for the “crucial conversation” event will be Roberts’ plea to the General Assembly to not repeal the city’s non-discrimination ordinance (NDO).

NC Policy Watch noted that multiple news outlets have reported that anti-ordinance groups have used prominent tactics to assert that a provision in the ordinance that allows transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity is somehow a threat to children and will open the door to sexual predators.

The luncheon will serve as an opportunity to hear from Roberts and to learn more about the impact that a repeal would have on the state’s largest city.

Cost to attend is $10 which includes a boxed lunch and pre-registration is required and is available online.


Drag benefit slated

RALEIGH, N.C. — Drag Me to Lunch XI, presented by Pardon Moi French, will be held on April 2, 11 a.m., at the Downtown Raleigh Sheraton, Oak Forest Ballroom, 421 S. Salisbury St., to benefit The LGBT Center of Raleigh.

Hostess Candis Cox and Brian French will be on hand for a diva-studded afternoon of drag starring Bob The Drag Queen from the current season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and former “Race” judge Lady Bunny. Featured performances will be presented by Lindsay Starr, Chloe Cassidy, Alexandra Vittz, Jada J Wess and Ivory Winters. DJ Jermainia will provide musical entertainment.

Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

Tickets are $30-$750 and are available online.


Storytelling time approaches

DURHAM, N.C. — Rainbow Family Story Time will take place at the LGBTQ Center of Durham, 114 Hunt St., on April 3, 2 p.m.

The family-friendly event will be led by Rachel Galanter from the Exchange Family Center.

Children will be able to see LGBT families in a supportive environment, as well as being able to hear from authors whose books focus on LGBT themes. Target age group is three- to five-year-olds and, of course, their caregivers. All families are welcome.

Some of the selections to be read come from “And Tango Makes Three,” “Belinda’s Bouquet” and others. Participants will be able to enjoy the stories, as well as songs and movement to make the afternoon lively and engaging.


Family day, picnic slated

MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Family Equality Council, DADSquared and Triangle Families have announced that they are sponsoring an International Family Equality Day picnic on May 1, 11 a.m., at the Lake Crabtree County Park, Dogwood Shelter, 1400 Aviation Pkwy.

Community members and those with families are welcome to attend the potluck. Organizers will provide beverages.

For those who wish, swimming will be available in the lake, so bring swimwear. Additionally, a playground is nearby for volleyball, horse shoes and more.

An RSVP is required.

The event is part of a worldwide celebration of LGBT parenting, family and friends. Last year the Triangle group partnered with groups from 32 countries and 67 cities to celebrate the day.

Organizers shared: “All over the world, more and more children are growing up in families where one or both of their parents identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. Yet, each of these ‘rainbow families’ have very different ‘lived equality’ experiences, often depending not only on what country they live in, but what street they live on. In some countries, our families enjoy equal rights and social recognition, but in far too many others, both parents and their children face overt discrimination and have to live under a constant threat of violence. By celebrating International Family Equality Day, we raise awareness among politicians and the general public about the need for equal treatment and recognition for all families, regardless of the sexual orientation or gender identity of their family’s members.”


Christian group seeks community help

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Gay Christian Network (GCN) is seeking resources in order to expand its programs, especially those that are targeted at supporting LGBT youth.

They shared statistics that say that LGB youth are four times more likely than straight youth to attempt suicide, and transgender youth are nine times more likely to do so. LGBT youth who grow up in non-affirming Christian homes are even more likely than other LGBT youth to consider or attempt suicide — a pattern that persists even if the young person leaves the church.

GCN has been a respite for 15 years for LGBT individuals and their families and friends, where they have been able to find connections with others who have experienced similar situations to theirs.

Each week they hear from people who affirm that GCN is saving lives. Now, GCN is asking for monetary support to take their work to the next level. The organization needs to raise $50,000 by May 31 to enable it to “grow into a healthy future.”

Contributions are welcome at any level and can be made online. However, a $250 gift will help GCN facilitate a meeting with an influential pastor or church leader; a $150 gift will enable it to increase the effectiveness of its online outreach to LGBT youth who are in emotional pain; and a $100 gift will allow GCN to spend time creating new resources for support and affirmation.


Network expands staff

RALEIGH, N.C. — The NC AIDS Action Network has announced that it has added Christina Adeleke to its staff as its communications and development coordinator.

A graduate of Lee University and Charlotte School of Law, she has previously worked with Equality North Carolina and the Freedom Center for Social Justice.

Adeleke’s office will be based in Charlotte, N.C., where she will work out of the Carolinas CARE Partnership facility.

Additionally, the network has partnered with Mark Benton and John Thompson with The Paratum Group to lead the network’s lobby efforts at the North Carolina General Assembly this year. The two will be on hand at the upcoming HIV/AIDS Advocacy Day at the capital on June 7 where interested parties can speak with them about concerns. Information and registration details will be made available in the near future.


Mural calls for acceptance

DURHAM, N.C. — A LGBT mural was unveiled on March 3 at North Carolina Central University’s Alfonso Elder Student Center, a first for the Triangle school.

The mural was a class project which was gifted to the university’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Alliances Center, as well as the LGBT Center of Durham, the Campus Echo reported.

The work, entitled “Shoulder2Shoulder,” was the creation of JahMarie Jean as a “community-based learning project” for his Mass Communications major’s Mass Media and Popular Culture class. It was done to inspire the community to become unified.

Half of the piece will remain on campus, while the rest will be housed at the Durham center at 114 Hunt St.


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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.