On November 5, friends of mine in the Charlotte Business Guild invited me to come to their special monthly social, “Wine and Poetry: In honor of the ‘It Gets Better’ project.” I was able to read an excerpt from my chapter in “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Religious and Social Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America,” edited by Mitchell Gold. Other community members also spoke, reading excerpts from other writings and poems. View other videos here.

P.S. — I have an absolute disdain microphones (excluding the handheld types). I never, ever, ever realize the microphone stand is too short for me, and I end up bent and slumped over like Quasimodo. Oh well, lol

crisisbookOn Feb. 25, I was honored to participate in a forum with North Carolina businessman and Faith in America founder Mitchell Gold and Faith in America executive director Brent Childers at a small gay bar/lounge here in Charlotte. Usually, politics and religion don’t go well with bars, but it was a great and attentive crowd — we couldn’t have asked for better. We were able discuss issues addressed in Gold’s book, “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America,” to which both Brent and I also contributed.

Before that later evening event, Mitchell Gold was a special guest of Campus Pride and local LGBT youth support group Time Out Youth at Myers Park Baptist Church. There, a little more than 100 folks turned out to hear Gold speak about his book, his experience growing up as a gay youth and issues of anti-LGBT, religion-based bigotry and prejudice.

A day before the event, I spoke to Campus Pride executive director Shane Windmeyer and asked if it would be appropriate to invite to the Myers Park lecture the editor of Voice of Revolution, a Charlotte-area online magazine run by anti-LGBT theologian and activist Dr. Michael Brown. (You can read my previous, in-depth Special Report on Brown here.)

Continue reading this post…

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Campus Pride, 704-277-6710
Time Out Youth, 704-344-8335

This Thursday Feb 25 Nationally Acclaimed Author Mitchell Gold speaks about his book CRISIS at LGBT Youth Fundraiser in Charlotte
Accompanying Gold are two of his CRISIS contributors Rev. Reggie Longcrier of Hickory, NC and Matt Comer of Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, NC, Feb 23, 2010 — The national, Charlotte-based Campus Pride (www.campuspride.org) and local Time Out Youth (www.timeoutyouth.org) have partnered for a joint fundraising event on Thursday, Feb 25 to bring attention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and ally youth in the Charlotte area. The fundraiser will take place at 6 p.m. at Myers Park Baptist Church (1900 Queens Road) and then continue at 8 p.m. at Petra’s Piano Bar (1919 Commonwealth Avenue). No tickets are necessary; however, donations are encouraged. Everyone is welcome.

Titled “Believe In Youth,” the event will feature civil rights leader and author Mitchell Gold and his book “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America.” A resident of Hickory, NC, Gold is a nationally recognized leader in the furniture industry as well as the founder of Faith In America, a national nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of the harm caused to LGBT Americans by religion-based bigotry and prejudice.

In addition to Gold speaking at Myers Park Baptist Church at 6 p.m., the event continues at Petras Piano Bar at 8 p.m. featuring Gold and two contributors to his book Rev. Reggie Longcrier of Hickory, N.C. and Matt Comer of Charlotte, NC. Continue reading this post…


Mitchell Gold in Hickory

Last Thursday I had the chance to travel up to Hickory, N.C., for Mitchell Gold’s appearance at Lenior-Rhyne University’s Visiting Writers Series. Gold, editor of “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America,” to which I contributed a chapter, was interviewed on stage by CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien. I’ve got more reflections on the event coming out in my Editor’s Note column with QNotes‘ Feb. 6 print edition.

Until then… here are a few photos from the event, after the jump…

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Report from Hickory: CRISIS panel

Last night I had the pleasure of taking the hour and fifteen minute drive up to Hickory. It’s a beautiful little town tucked right into the foothills of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains.

About 100 people showed up at downtown’s Taste Full Beans coffeehouse and gallery to learn more about LGBT people, religion-based prejudice, anti-gay discrimination and growing up gay in the U.S. The topic of discussion: Mitchell Gold’s “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America.”

Gold moderated a panel of three of the book’s contributors, including me, Faith in America Executive Director Brent Childers and Hickory resident Jeff Austin.

Despite the heavy fog returning home — boy, did that make driving difficult for me — the night was a blast. For such a small and humble town, 100 people showing up to a gay-positive event is fabulous. Hickory’s got a lot of good things going for it. I’m glad I could be even a small part of it.

Thanks to the staff of Taste Full Beans for making the night an overwhelming success!

Past post: “Sense of urgency – ‘Crisis’ book panel Thursday”

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…