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Coming Soon: Q-vote 2006

Q-vote 2006With the primaries on Tuesday, May 2nd and the campaign season for November’s General Election fast-approaching, I announce the soon-to-come Q-vote 2006 awareness and education campaign for MattHillNC.com | The Q-triad Blog.

Q-vote 2006, which will have its own page here on the site, will promote LGBT inclusive, positive and supportive candidates and politicians. The purpose of Q-vote 2006 will be to raise the awareness and promote those candidates and politicians who have proven to be LGBT inclusive and supportive in their work and platforms. The focus of Q-vote 2006 will be on the Piedmont-Triad area and will cover races such as the 13th Congressional Disctrict, the 31st NC Senate District, 5th Congressional District, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education and more.

Visit www.matthillnc.com/qvote/ to see more on Q-vote 2006!!!

Want to help Q-vote 2006? If you are interested in helping compile information for Q-vote 2006, email me at matt@matthillnc.com or call me at 336.391.9528. Assistance will be needed in the following areas: Research (web searches, study of past voting records, etc.) and interviews (phone calls, emails). If you think you might be interested in helping, hit me up!

In the last week two campuses in the UNC System made news for the events they held for LGBTQ and straight allied students. The Day of Silence at UNC-Charlotte on April 26 and the Lavender Graduation at UNC-Chapel Hill on April 28 wrapped up a school year full of activism, awareness and education on LGBTQA issues on UNC System campuses.

With the UNC System still hanging in the shadow of an overwhelming defeat of LGBT inclusive legislation in the UNC Association of Student Governments in mid-April, the more bright side isn’t far away.

The 2006-2007 academic year was one full of gains and successes for LGBTQA students and student groups across the UNC System.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Straight Alliance (GLBTSA) made gains like never before. Their Unity Conference (which I attended) attracted more than 300 students from across North Carolina and the entire Southeast. The group’s annual drag show, also in April, attracted more than 900 students and the group held numerous educational and awareness weeks throughout the year. In Boone, Appalachian State University’s BGLAAD also held a well-attended drag show.

In Greensboro, UNCG PRIDE! made gains in public recognition of its group and LGBTQA issues. Although the group continues to struggle with problems of low membership, publicity and image, it is clear that the group did much better in gaining members and participation from last school year. The group’s PRIDE! week was at least twice as big as the 2005 PRIDE! Week and the executive board for the 2006-2007 academic year is comprised of some of the most active, dedicated and motivated students on the UNCG campus.

In February, Pride at UNC-Charlotte held an LGBTQA film festival. Showing everything from full feature films to shorts, the event was one which I’m sure many LGBTQA student groups across the state would like to emulate.

While UNC-Asheville students struggled on issues of diversity of race and ethnicity, the LGBTQA student group, Alliance, has been able to show strength by banding together and working on the issues. In an early April news article, the president of the UNCA Student Diversity Alliance, Sarah Young, was quoted as saying: “”This school is very progressive on sexual identity on campus, because that community is assertive and is seen as a very big part of campus. A lot of students associate with those issues; not a lot of students associate with race.”

In the Triad area, LGBTQ and straight allied student leaders from the various Triad-area LGBTQA college student groups started to ban together and jointly coordinate QCYNT (pronounced “q-cent”), the Queer College Youth Network of the Triad. For now, at least, I am heading up the organization. As more students get involved and as the Advisory Board grows, however, other students will begin to step up and take more organizational and administrative roles. The group, as of right now, is planning on organizing a leaders summit for Triad-area LGBTQ and straight allied college students.

Overall, despite the usual, normal and expected setback, LGBTQA student organizing was a success this year. Next year things should only get better.

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Update

The new blog design and implementation is all done. I’ve yet to decide, however, between all of the color options. I’m stuck between the current color of the darker blue/bue-grey that you see now and the purple or light blue.

Post number 872, “PRIDE! and Paranoia” has been made private and can no longer be accessed. The issue is over and done with and those involved have moved on with their lives… or at least I hope they have. I do not have the time or energy to continue trying to defend my opinions on the issue. I need no extra “drama” in my life. In reference to what some of you had read in that post, I repeat the disclaimer that is at the bottom of every page on my website: The opinions expressed by me within the Q-Triad Blog (www.matthillnc.com) are mine alone and do not represent the official views, opinions, stances or positions of any group or organization with which I am affiliated and/or involved.

Yes, folks… Vernon Robinson has finally hit it: The Inner-Most Circle of Hell.

If you think the negative, bigoted campaigning of Vernon Robinson, candidate in the race for the 13th Congressional District, was already bad enough… you might just want to hold your breath: Robinson is getting worse.

According to DailyKos, In a mailing sent out to his supporters, Robinson does his best to insinuate that Congressman Brad Miller is gay by saying that Miller is “in the bed” with “militant homosexual rights advocate,” San Franciscan Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, who just happens to be married and a father.

From DailyKos:

The multi-page mailing begins by describing Vernon as the new darling of the Republican party and displays pictures of him with Jesse Helms and graduating from the Air Force Academy. Also featured are glowing quotes from Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin praising Vernon Robinson as the great black hope for the Republican party.

Then follows a hilarious recap of Brad Miller’s (D) life as a hippie radical.

Brad Miller is a childless, middle-aged, trial lawyer whose ideological worldview was formulated when he joined the ranks of the hippie peaceniks and volunteered on Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 presidential campaign. 206,000 North Carolina boys served their country in uniform during Vietnam and 1,609 of those brave souls came back in flag-draped coffins. During the Vietnam conflict, Brad did not answer his country’s call to serve in the military, but sought sanctuary on a college campus.When Brad left the country to attend the socialist schools of Europe, he was further indoctrinated against Judeo-Christian values, the necessity for a strong military, the wisdom of limited government, and the principles of free market competition. After taking a master’s degree in political science, Brad came back to the states as an overgrown flower child, went to law school in New York City, and finally returned to North Carolina to make his fortune by chasing ambulances. He’s been a radical, left-wing activist ever since.

Blah, blah, blah.

Then I flip it over and smiling at me is one Markos Moulitsas Zuniga who, according to quotes attributed to Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) “has become a magnet for the most hateful, vitriolic and extremist left-wing activists” (Way to go, Kossacks!)

Vernon Robinson Mailing on Miller Click to enlarge

The adage that a man is known by the company he keeps is particularly true in the case of your Congressman. Brad Miller has gotten into bed with Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, a 35-year old musician who was raised in El Salvador before moving to San Francisco. On December 8, 2005, Brad publicly stated that he wants Markos to “move to North Carolina nd run for the Senate in 2008”. Brad’s effort to recruit a militant homosexual rights advocate from San Francisco to move to North Carolina to run against Elizabeth Dole confirms that Brad doesn’t understand the difference between San Francisco values and North Carolina values. Senator Dole distributed a letter saying that she found the idea of a Congressman having even a “casual association” with Markos to be “extremely disturbing” and a close relationship to be “utterly reprehensible.

Seeing as Vernon’s mailing goes into a great bit of detail about Markos but never mentions that he’s married and a father, I wonder (oh cynical me) if Vernon Robinson is trying to imply to North Carolinians that Markos is gay and that he and the “unmarried, childless” Miller are an item.

BTW – you can read Vernon Robinson at 919.341.1537 or 336.499.4370

The only thing “extremely disturning” and “utterly reprehensible” is the level to which Vernon Robinson is willing to stoop in order to try to get elected. Come on folks… anybody should be able to see through this bull: Robinson is either extremely insane or extremely, internally homophobic and scared of himself.

PFLAG WS Youth Prom FlyerPFLAG Winston-Salem hosted the fourth annual Alternative Prom for LGBTQ and straight allied high school students in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System last night.

The event was a blast with almost 200 students attending. Some students even travelled from surrounding counties and school systems to join in on the festivities.

With DJ OutStreet playing the hottest hits like Cascada’s “Every Time We Touch” and Madonna’s “Hung Up,” students danced and chatted in an atmosphere of acceptance, diversity and celebration.

I was there, along with three or four fellow students, back in April 2003 when we planned our first Alternative Prom in Winston-Salem. We spent months planning that thing and we had 25 people show up. I was a junior at Reynolds High School then and those 25 people seemed like a huge success for us. Last year the Alternative Prom had over 200 students and this year, with only two weeks of planning, they reached almost that number.

I don’t think that my fellow students and I would have ever thought the Alternative Prom would ever be as big as it was last night. I am so happy that I got to go back and see all the hardwork being done by those students who are now in high school.

I even had the chance to meet a student who goes to Reynolds. He is a freshman now and will be, of course, a sophomore next year. He wants to get the Gay-Straight Alliance back up and running. I can’t help but see a small part of how I was as a freshman in this guy. I know he will end up making a difference at Reynolds and I am glad that I was able to lay out the ground work (along with our Co-President from 2002-2004, Garrett Tallent) for students just like this guy and his friends. Here’s a message for all the teachers and mentors who supported me: Reach out to this guy, too… He’ll need it.

I’ve said it many times… LGBTQ and straight allied youth are definitely leading the movement toward equality. Their strength, courage, conviction and pride is overwhelming. I saw it all last night and I was proud to be able to go back and see the successes they are having. Good luck to all the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County youth. While you all are doing all the hardwork with your fellow students, maybe us adults can get you a better Board of Education in the upcoming elections.

Well… that is what at least one person thinks of me.

Conservative columnist David Yeagley, a self-described conservative “American Indian Patriot,” posted a writing on the Collin Finnerty and Duke Lacrosse situation on his website yesterday.

In it he states:

Homosexualty (sic) promoter and general sexual deviance advocate Matt Hill Comer nevertheless posted a “hate crime” accusation (or two) against Finnerty, accusing Finnerty of that which clearly wasn’t considered part of the actual legal case–namely the “gay” issue. His evidence? A news article by a local foreigner, who apparentlly had a little help from a “Washington” correspondent Barbara Barrett and news researcher Brooke Cain. Sound a little feminist as well?)

I’m glad he thinks I am a promoter and advocate of sexual deviance… God knows that isn’t true. Heck… even ask some of my friends. They’d be the first to tell you I am not one for advocating for sexual deviance. I even go as far as to stand against publicly discussing sexual behaviors better left for discussion in couples’ private bedrooms. For example… When some people were talking about adding the letters T, B, B, S and M (for “top,” “bottom,” “bear,” and “sado-masochistic”) to UNCG PRIDE!’s LGBTQA “alphabet soup” I stood firmly against it.

I’d also like to just point out that I never use the term “hate crime” anywhere in my posts on Collin Finnerty. I just think the various connections of different forms of prejudice are interesting and very clearly observable in this case… so I pointed them out. If I did use the term “hate crime” somewhere… someone please feel free to correct me on this.

But yeah… David Yeagley thinks I’m a pervert and a promoter of deviance. You think that is funny? Don’t laugh yet… go read his whole writing first.

SafeSchoolsNC logo copyright SafeSchoolsNCSafeSchoolsNC, a statewide advocacy, research, training and student support organization working on LGBTQ youth issues, released on Wednesday, the results to their recent study on homophobic language and verbal harassment in North Carolina schools.

The group surveyed 904 students in six high schools in Durham, Orange and Wake Counties, North Carolina.

Important results from the study include:

  • 68.9% of students report hearing the phrases “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay” frequently or often in school
  • 64.2% of students report hearing homophobic remarks such as “faggot,” “dyke,” or “queer” frequently or often in school
  • Students reported that when homophobic remarks were made in school teachers rarely or never intervened almost half (47%) of the time.

In December 2005, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released its study of anti-LGBT harassment in North Carolina schools and found that “A majority (78%) of North Carolina students reported hearing homophobic remarks such as, “that is so gay” to indicate bad or worthless; and derogatory terms like “faggot” were heard by 84% of students.” (see past post).

The SafeSchoolsNC study can be found online at http://www.safeschoolsnc.com/Research.asp

Last November (see past posts here and here) the North Carolina State Board of Education voted to take from guidelines for the hiring of school counselors specific categories regarding LGBT students and sexual orientation. In the past, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has also ignored anti-LGBT harassment by choosing to adopt a blanket non-discrimination statement instead of listing specific categories inclusive of sexual orientation and gender-identity.

Maybe it is time for the State Board of Education, along with the Department of Public Instruction, to take another look at the issue, especially in light of the results from GLSEN’s study in December 2005 and the recently released results of the SafeSchoolsNC study this week. North Carolina must ensure that our schools are the safest place possible for our students.

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Illegal Alien?

I found this wonderful post by Jeff Thigpen today (emphasis added):

I was listening to Talk Radio this morning and heard a blatantly negative, misleading, disrespectful and distasteful radio ad by Vernon Robinson, candidate for Congress in the 13th District.

Aliens, flag burning, gay marriage and homosexuals, (oh yeah-even foreign homosexuals), ultra liberal, amnesty, free give aways to Aliens, blah, blah, blah. You’d think I’d see all this coming out of the Bestway on the corner. He’s already playing to fear, anger, and the dark side of the 13th District.

Traditional American Values….I think not. You’d expect more from a graduate of the Air Force Academy. An ALIEN to the 13th, Mr. Robinson will soon learn.

The citizens of the 13th Congressional District are salt of the earth, hard working, God fearing, responsible, and the fabric of the heartland in North Carolina. We are urban and rural, young and elderly, and will do the right thing. And I’m talking about both Democrats and Republicans. Good people. These folks are more hopeful than negative and they want a better lives for their children and communities. We want and need representation in Congress that doesn’t embarrass, but truly serves our needs.

Vernon Robinson is out of touch, and soon, he will lose another campaign.

Thigpin makes a good point. How can Robinson continue to spout of this “illegal alien” rhetoric when he is running in a district in which he does not even live himself? The only alen is you, Vernon.

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Howard Dean in North Carolina

According to the Charlotte Observer, Howard Dean will be in Charlotte, NC, today and tomorrow in order kick off the Democrats’ national canvassing campaign:

Howard Dean to speak at park tonight

Jim Morril, April 28, 2006
Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean will help kick off a national canvassing campaign Saturday by knocking on doors in east Charlotte.

His door-to-door walk through a neighborhood off Central Avenue is part of a 50-state effort where volunteers hope to knock on 1 million doors. Like other volunteers, Dean will leave brochures touting Democratic positions on everything from ethics to jobs to health care.

“We’re going to talk about the Democratic message and why we think we ought to be allowed to run the country again,” Dean said Thursday.

The former Vermont governor will speak tonight at a 7:30 p.m. rally and fundraiser for Mecklenburg County Democrats at the Renaissance Park pavilion on Tyvola Road.

Republicans aren’t impressed.

“Howard Dean can drop all the literature he wants, but it cannot make up for the fact that his leftist Democrat beliefs in gay marriage, abortion and taxes don’t sit well with North Carolina voters,” said Kevin Howell, a spokesman for the N.C. Republican Party.

Read full article

The Soulforce Equality Ride made its last stop in its nation-wide tour of religious and military colleges and universities yesterday. The group stopped at West Point where, according to an article on 365gay.com News, the United States Military detained 21 participants after they entered the grounds of the military school.

The Equality Ride was at West Point in order to protest the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. A bill to repeal that policy is currently working its way through the legislative process in Washington, DC. HR 1059 even has a sponsor from North Carolina: Congressman Brad Miller of the 13th District.

The Equality Ride started in March at Liberty University, a school founded and headed up by the Reverend Jerry Falwell. Twenty-four participants were arrested at Liberty, including me and another Greensboro citizen.

According to a press release from the Equality Ride:

Military police arrested fifteen Equality Riders and 6 community members as they attempted to step onto the United States Military Academy at West Point to speak as citizens and taxpayers opposed to the military’s ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy. The policy prevents openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from serving in the military or attending West Point.

“We are here as LGBT people to pose one important question to the future military leaders that attend West Point,” said Haven Herrin, Equality Ride co-director. “The question is, ‘Would you serve with me?’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ then we need to tell Congress that military members are open to LGBT people serving with them. If the answer is ‘no,’ then we need to sit down and have a conversation with cadets that is 13 years overdue.”

As they have at military campuses around the country, Equality Riders wore t-shirts with the question, “Would you serve with me?” printed on them. At the front gate of the Academy, Riders and community members stepped up to a line of Military Police who informed them that if they trespassed onto campus, they would be charged with a federal offense. The Riders and community members stepped past the MP’s one-by-one and were escorted back to the front of the gate. Undeterred, they returned and stepped past the MP’s again and were arrested and escorted onto the campus for processing. All those arrested were given a summons and immediately released.

The Equality Ride participants will return to Washington, DC, for a period of discussion and planning for the future.

For more information on the Equality Ride and for past posts on the issue see http://www.onlinegreensboro.com/~matthillnc/?page_id=748

OR http://www.equalityride.com