The Hickory Daily Record published a story this morning on “Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America.”

A panel discussion on the book will be held Thursday evening, Dec. 18, at Hickory’s Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse Gallery, 29 2nd Street NW in Downtown Hickory, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Writer Ragan Robinson did a great job:

Book born of ‘a sense of urgency’
Discussion aims to put a human face on the issue of homosexuality, bigotry

by Ragan Robinson . Dec. 16

HICKORY – Not long ago, Mitchell Gold got a note from an 80-year-old woman in Winston-Salem. She wrote that she’d never thought about homosexuality except to be judgmental.

The book Gold edited and paid to publish changed that.

“Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America” features pieces contributed by names readers will recognize, such as Barney Frank and Martina Navratilova.

“A lot of them I knew already,” Gold said. “As soon as I told them what I was doing, they said, ‘That’s exactly what America needs to heal.'”

Far more common are stories from everyday people including writers, editors, ministers, students, doctors and others. Most suffered a crisis, a “black cloud,” Gold calls it in his own story, not because they were homosexual, but because of the fear their world — families, friends, the people they loved — would reject them because of it.

Read the rest…

Various events this weekend:

Unity Conference, UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C.
April 4-6
The University of North Carolina’s GLBTSA student organization presents the  2008 Southeastern Regional Unity Conference: “Are you being served? LGBTIQ representation in the media.” Join over 400 LGBT and straight ally students and youth from 10 different states for a weekend of fun, education and growth. Special appearances and workshops by Kate Bornstein, D’Lo, Mandy Carter, Magdalen Hsu Lin, Ignacio Rivera, Pam Spaulding and Craig Stephens. Registration is required, and it is not too late! Register at www.unc.edu/glbtsa/unity/ (Please note: Conference hosted housing is now closed.)

Atlanta: Soulforce “American Family Outing” meeting
April 5
From Southern Voice: “Soulforce will hold a meeting in Atlanta this Saturday, April 5, for people interested in participating in the organization’s “American Family Outing,” set to take place between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Soulforce (www.soulforce.org) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating anti-gay rhetoric in religious institutions.

“The information and outreach session is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Common Ground, 139 Ralph McGill, Suite 103, inside the Positive Impact building. Those interested in attending should contact Rev. Troy Sanders at troy@radicallyinclusive.com or 404-993-2318, according to a Soulforce press release.

“Local participants hope to meet with Bishop Eddie Long and congregants May 30-June 1 at Long’s mega-church in Lithonia, a suburb of Atlanta.”

Alliance for Full Acceptance Oyster Roast
April 6
Join AFFA on Sunday, April 6, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. for their Oyster Roast at Bowen’s Island. 1870 Bowens Island Road. Charleston, S.C. 29412. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at www.affa-sc.org/affa/OysterRoast.htm or by calling 883.0343. ($30 at the door).

Soulforce Q, in partnership with SoulforceNYC, PlanetOut/Gay.com and Young People For, presents an exclusive benefit concert for the 2008 Equality Ride, which will take 20-some young adults to Southern Christian colleges and universities that discriminate against LGBT students and faculty.

Award-winning recording artist Ari Gold will perform with special guests including Anthony Rapp from the original Broadway cast and the motion picture Rent, fashion designer Jack Mackenroth from the Bravo series Project Runway, and Emmy award-winning comedienne Judy Gold, creator of 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at www.soulforce.org/concert.

arigoldconcert

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Weekend to do: Gay author tours Carolinas

richmerrittGay author Rich Merritt (“Code of Conduct”, “Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star”) will take a “homecoming” tour through North and South Carolina this weekend.

His visit kicks off near Greenville, S.C. – his hometown – with a private noon luncheon function with members of Clemson’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

Rich Merritt in the Carolinas, March 28-30:
Friday, March 28, 6 p.m.
The Open Book
www.theopenbookonline.com
110 South Pleasantburg Drive
Greenville, SC 29607
864-235-9651

Saturday, March 29, 3 p.m.
White Rabbit Bookstore
www.WhiteRabbitBooks.com
309 West Martin Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
919-856-1429

Sunday, March 30, 3 p.m.
White Rabbit Bookstore
www.WhiteRabbitBooks.com
920 Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28204
704-377-4067

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This Weekend: Salisbury PFLAG Autumn Soirée

Here’s your one chance to make a difference in rural Rowan-no “sex-based clubs” County. Mark your calendars for PFLAG Salisbury’s Autumn Soirée this Saturday, Nov. 17.

It all starts at 6 p.m. at the Waterworks Visual Arts Center on 123 E. Liberty Street, Salisbury, N.C.

The event is a fundraiser for the group’s new Salisbury/ Rowan PFLAG Scholarships Foundation. They’ll start giving out youth scholarships in 2008-2009. The evening will include a silent auction, raffle, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and doorprizes.

Recording artist Rodie Ray will be entertaining.

I’ll be there… you be there, too.

More info: www.salisbury-pflag.org

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Is honesty too much to ask for?

I’m not even going to offer commentary on this one because my heart can only stand so much blatant deception.

Read this blog post about the daughter of anti-gay MassResistance activist and her role in a production of The Laramie Project.

Read this newspaper article which addresses the story which was apparently broken by the above referenced blog.

Read this scathing response by MassResistance.

Compare.

I’m not sure how recognizing the bravery of a local student to stand up to intolerance or how showcasing a local theater production is inappropriate. And with that, I’m going to stop typing.

ENCconferenceEqualityNC, a state-wide LGBT lobbying, advocacy & education organization, has released the schedule for its first-ever state-wide conference on LGBT equality and activism.

The schedule includes an evening gala, keynote speakers and various break out sessions, all of which will be attended by widely respected and well-known LGBT leaders and figures from around the State of North Carolina and nation.

Some of the highlights of the EqualityNC Conference & Gala – which recently opened up online registration – include the various break out sessions. LGBT leaders slated to moderate some of the sessions include President of the Log Cabin Republicans Patrick Sammon, Executive Director of Faith in America Jimmy Creech, local Greensboro advocate Gary Palmer, the Reverend Reggie Longcrier (the Pastor of Exodus Missionary Outreach Church in Hickory, NC, and of CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate fame), Owner of PamsHouseBlend.com Pam Spaulding, and many more.

Other featured guests include North Carolina Representative Rick Glazier, GLAAD Executive Director Neil Giuliano and Alabama Representative Patricia Todd.

The theme for the conference is “Our State, Our Rights.”

Get more info on the conference at www.equalitync.org/conference

P.S. – Yours truly will be moderating the session for college students: “Campus Catalysts for Change: Strengthening College Organizing in North Carolina”

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Many regular readers and new comers to InterstateQ.com have kept up with the growing discussion on the issue of the trans woman removed from a Duke University dormitory after complaints from a parent.

One thread has – as of 11:45pm on Sunday, September 9th – almost 50 comments.

The discussion on this particular issue of the dorm at Duke and of a variety of issues affecting trans people are of great importance and something in which the entire community should have a chance to discuss openly.

At the same time I know that even I am not as knowledgeable on trans issues or about other factors that influence the lives of trans people. Despite having close friends that are trans and despite having spent two months on the Equality Ride living intimately with trans people, I can still admit that I am not as exposed to trans people or the issues important to the trans community as I need to be.

At the same time, I’ve been made aware that I have some sort of reputation in my hometown area for being transphobic.

So, for myself and for the community, I want to provide a place and time where folks of all stripes can come together to share stories, experiences and their knowledge about trans issues.

On Sunday, September 16, 2007, meet me at Tate Street Coffeehouse, Greensboro, NC, at 6:00pm to discuss trans issues. Bring your life experiences, stories, wisdom and knowledge. If you are trans, bring a written story (or you can email it to me at matt ‘at’ interstateq ‘dot’ com) to be featured on InterstateQ.com; tell of your coming out experience, what your daily life is like, what makes your life harder and how your life could be made easier and how people can be good allies to the trans community.

Tate Street Coffeehouse is located at 334 Tate Street, Greensboro, NC, near the campus of UNCG. Google Maps here.

I want to learn and grow in my knowledge. I want to know how I can be a trans ally and how I can correct any wrongs I may have done in the past. I’m human… I’m not perfect, but I can learn and grow in being an ally and friend. The same goes for all sorts of people in the community.

So… I’ll be at Tate Street Coffee on Sunday the 16th at 6:00pm. I hope you’ll be there, too.

Past (related) Posts:

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Catching up…

It has been a while since I’ve heard of any news from PFLAG Winston-Salem or since I’ve posted on their exciting happenings.

The folks at PFLAG W-S hold a very special place in my heart; many of them were the community members and friends who were first there for me when I began coming out and to terms with who I am. They were there for me when I made the decision to dive head-first into the world of LGBT activism and politics. Honestly, if it weren’t for their support, I wouldn’t have done all that I have done, and I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Kaleidoscope Awards Banquet
PFLAG Winston-Salem is once again presenting is annual Kaleidoscope Awards Banquet. This time around it will be at Augsburg Luthern Church in Downtown Winston-Salem, with very special musical guests Jason & DeMarco! (oh, they are so! hot, lol). The keynote speaker will be Shannon Gilreath, a professor at the Wake Forest University School of Law, member of the EqualityNC Board of Directors and of the City of Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission. Gilreath is also the author of Sexual Politics: The Gay Person in America Today.Tickets are $50.00 for adults and $35 for students & seniors. 100 tickets have already been sold, so you better get your’s fast! More info on the Banquet & tickets here. Also, nominations for the Awards end on September 15th! If you have a nomination get in fast!

YouthFLAG makes a come-back!
YouthFLAG, the LGBT/straight ally social & support group run by PFLAG W-S and the one group I first turned to when I first started coming out and getting involved int he LGBT community and politics, is making a come-back after a few years of absence. According to the PFLAG W-S website:

PFLAG Winston Salem is proud to be Introducing Y-FLAG ( Youth Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays )
This is a both a social and support group for teens ages 15-19 who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning their sexual identity and the allies (straight friends that support them ). Our first meeting is Monday Sept 10th at 7pm at the downtown Public Library in room 120. All meetings are confidential and are led by both male and female facilitators who are licensed or certified counselors. We also hold special social events throughout the year such as the Alternative Prom and Cookouts. Come see some old friends and make some new ones.

You always have a friend at Y-FLAG. For more information please call 336-765-2886.

YouthFLAG’s first meeting is September 10, 2007!

Okay… I have to run now… but be sure to remember to get your tickets for the Awards Banquet. It is going to be a blast!

Equality North Carolina has announced that Neil Giuliano of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation will be the keynote speaker at is state-wide EqualityNC Conference and Gala at Duke University School of Law in November.

According to a news post from EqualityNC:

Equality NC Foundation is pleased to announce that Neil Giuliano will deliver the afternoon keynote at its new statewide Equality Conference and Gala on November 3 in Durham. Giuliano is the president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and former mayor of Tempe, Arizona.

GLAAD is a national organization dedicated to ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of LGBT people and events in the media.

“Neil is a remarkable leader in our movement and we’re excited to have him join us for our first conference,” said Ian Palmquist, Equality NC’s executive director. “His perspective as a national leader, a media advocate, and a former elected official will be a great addition to the incredible schedule that’s developing for the conference and gala.”

How awesomely exciting. I love living in this state, lol 🙂

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