Org reaches milestone

HICKORY, N.C. — OUTright Youth has announced that it is celebrating its fifth anniversary serving LGBT youth and their allies in the Catawba Valley.

Over the years, it has held weekly meetings and social activities to support those it serves, while assisting in leadership development, along with confidence building. It now even welcomes those from Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Lincoln Counties.

From its ranks, young people have been able to foster friendships, taking all the skills learned on to their collegiate careers. They have actively participated in ASPYRE Leadership camps, ALFA Hike for Hope and Youth Lobby Day in the state’s capital. Fun was had as well, such as at alternative proms and road trip adventures.

OUTright Youth has given back to the community by presenting diversity training at schools in the area, providing assistance to those who wish to set up GSAs, hosting bullying prevention events.


High Country gets ‘invaded’

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Invasive project will becoming to the mountain town to engage the community in “amassing southern LGBTQ stories” on July 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Asheville Art Museum, East Wing Studio Classrooms, 2 S. Pack Square.

Invasive is an art project that reclaims kudzu, an invasive plant species, as a symbol for Southern queer visibility and tenacity in the face of stereotypes that obscure our rich histories. Started by artist Aaron McIntosh, Invasive is traveling across the southern states to gather stories of LGBTQ people through community workshops and from special archives, turning these stories into a mass of quilted kudzu leaves to exhibit around the country.

Participants are encouraged to bring stories that encompass simply writing their name, a coming-out story, a major life event, a romantic encounter or any queer story. Bring photos, love letters, marriage licenses, pins, protest fliers and memorabilia. Allies are also welcome to contribute support stories.

Workshop leaders will give each participant cloth kudzu leaves and fabric markers to record their story. For participants who want to add photographs, memorabilia or typed stories to their leaf, there will be a printer set-up to scan and print these on cloth. All materials and tools will be provided for making the kudzu stories, including fabrics, quilting and sewing supplies. When finished, participants can have their photograph taken with their kudzu leaf and these will be posted to the Invasive website to showcase all the contributors.

McIntosh is a fourth generation quilter who focuses on textiles within cross-disciplinary art forms. He is on the faculty of Maryland Institute College of Art.

“Invasive is an art project that reclaims kudzu, an invasive plant species, as a symbol for southern queer visibility and tenacity in the face of stereotypes that obscure our rich histories,” he said.

This free event is held in partnership with The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design and Asheville Art Museum. It is supported by a Windgate Fellowship Award administered by The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design. Participants will be able to receive reduced museum admission.


Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes:

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.