An aerial photograph showing the construction of the new I-85 bridge over the Yadkin River at the Davidson County and Rowan County lines. Credit: N.C. DOT, via Flickr.

The Charlotte Observer published a short piece on Gov. Bev Perdue’s and state transportation official’s press conference yesterday on recently-begun highway construction projects in and around the Charlotte-metro area. In particular, the governor focused on the widening of I-85 through Cabarrus County, the construction of northern junction of I-85 and I-485 and the completion of the final 5.7-mile leg of I-485 in northeast Charlotte.

The Charlotte-metro aren’t the only current interstate projects that will benefit the growing Queen City. A bit farther up I-85 and north of the already-widened portion in Rowan County, work crews are busy building a new bridge and roadway to both replace the decrepit Yadkin River bridge and widen the interstate.  Continue reading this post…

2

A note on transitions and new opportunities

By now, many of you might have heard through QNotes, Facebook, Twitter, or Creative Loafing fine editor, Mark Kemp, that I will be stepping down from my position at QNotes on Jan. 20. It’s been a fantastic experience and one for which I’m truly grateful. Below is the letter I sent to many personal friends, acquaintances and colleagues after my resignation was announced by the paper.

Dear friends and colleagues,

It is with humility and gratitude that I write tonight to let you know that I will be stepping down from my role as editor of QNotes, the Charlotte-based LGBT newspaper and North Carolina’s premier source of news, opinion and arts and entertainment coverage. My last day with the paper will be Jan. 20, 2012, as announced by the paper on Tuesday evening (http://goqnotes.com/14053/).

On Jan. 23, I will begin work as the new communications and programs manager for Campus Pride, a Charlotte-based, national non-profit group that works to create safer environments for LGBT students on college and university campuses across the United States. An official announcement from the organization should be soon forthcoming.

As I prepare to take on new challenges, I find it necessary to pause and thank each and every one of you for your support of me and of this newspaper. Each of you has contributed in myriad ways to the success of this community, of Charlotte, of North Carolina and of this organization. Personally, each of you has made my life richer and fuller.

But, don’t think for a minute that this is a goodbye. You don’t get away from me that easily, haha.

Though I am leaving QNotes, I will remain an avid and vocal supporter for our community and for independent, progressive and LGBT-inclusive news-media. As always, I’ll continue to advocate for fair and equitable coverage from mainstream news-media organizations and will remain a committed advocate for progress and change. I hope new opportunities allow me to be more involved in our community in new and exciting ways, especially as the May 8, 2012, vote on North Carolina’s anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment draws near.

Again, thank you for all you have done to support me both personally and professionally. Thank you once more for the support you have given and will continue to give to QNotes and my yet-to-be-announced successor.

I humbly welcome your continued support, friendship and kindness, and hope you will continue to follow me in my new endeavors at Campus Pride. I’m excited about the opportunity to help Campus Pride grow and further fulfill its mission in supporting the future leaders of our community and nation.

Additionally, I hope you’ll stop by from time-to-time here at my blog, InterstateQ.com, where I will resume more regular posting. There, I will continue to provide the same objective, fair and progressive-minded coverage of the ongoing anti-LGBT amendment campaign you’ve come to expect from my work at QNotes and where I will continue providing commentary on local, state and national LGBT and progressive political affairs.

With love and wishes for a happy New Year,

Matt Comer
336-391-9528
matt@mattcomer.net
twitter.com/interstateq
facebook.com/matthew.mh.comer

Statesville attorney and Democratic National Committee member David Parker was elected Saturday the new chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Parker takes the helm after abysmal performance by his predecessor David Young, especially on LGBT issues. In contrast, Young’s predecessor, Jerry Meek, often reached out, spoke with and worked together with LGBT constituents.

If Parker’s live-blog with Durham-based blogger Pam Spaulding is any indication, North Carolina Democrats have elected a fine leader who truly values the participation and contributions of LGBT party members:

Pam Spaulding:
Since PHB is a blog focusing on LGBT issues, there are huge ramifications for LGBT North Carolinians because of the outcome of the midterms in our Gen Assembly. A question from reader HunterC:What I’m most interested in is for political operators to recognize that in 2011 in North Carolina, embracing LGBT issues is not toxic. What will you do to get through to candidates and the political machinery that NC in 2011 has moved past LGBT items as wedge issues? Even US Senator Richard Burr — A NORTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN — acknowledged the “generational change” after he voted to repeal DADT.

David Parker:
We are already seeing LGBT issues being used as a wedge: I got a mailing yesterday addressed to 5 million Senior Christians saying that Obama’s signing the Hate Crimes Bill was tantamount to criminalizing Christianity becuase the Bible speaks against homosexuality and is therefore outlawed.

This approach is just to arouse anti-gay passion and we have got to stand firmly against it and stand firmly for individual dignity also … it is my belief that sexual orientation is a gift from God. I will support the issues of personal dignity and the adoption of the Dallas Principles as well. They make sense across the board. LGBT issues are universal issues and should be treated as such.

Read Pam’s full interview with Parker…

qnoteshomepageIt has been a year, this month, since my day job, Q-Notes newspaper, upgraded its website from a mis-matched collection of simple, static HTML pages to a fully automated content management system (CMS). In the year since, I’ve learned a lot about new media and how it complements and improves traditional news-media, including the gay news publishing business.

In Q-Notes‘ case, we chose to use WordPress as a CMS. Really, the “software” is a blogging platform. Its uses, though, are almost limitless. Tweak your site design/template and the way in which you post your information and it makes a great CMS for a small newspaper or magazine; student newspapers across the country, I hear, are using WordPress and other similar blogging platforms as CMS solutions.

The choice was easy for us. WordPress is an open source project. It is free to use and the worldwide community it has spawned provides plenty of technical support and information. It’s amazing, really, that so many people around the world would seem to have a vested interest in something like a blogging platform.

Our online news publishing process before our CMS was cumbersome, slow and horribly out-of-date and behind the times. Prior to our use of a CMS we’d have to wait two weeks before the website was updated. In the most urgent of cases, we’d call up our out-of-office web designer and have him add a small notation regarding a breaking event or news on the front page. WordPress immediately changed the way Q-Notes utilized online mechanisms to publish news. Updating breaking news stories or publishing recent headlines on a daily basis became a reality, improving our connection to readers and keeping our content fresh, exciting and new.

Continue reading this post…

2

Trans Issues Q&A; Insight from a Duke student

I had the chance to ask a few questions of an InterstateQ.com reader and Duke University student, after the debates and discussions over the removal of a transgender woman from a dormitory at Duke (past posts).

On Sunday, September 16th, I’ll be at Tate Street Coffee to meet with other InterstateQ.com readers and community members to discuss the issues in a laid-back, informal public forum. More info on that here.

Here, now, the Q&A with Raspberry (name changed in interest of privacy & anonymity):

Matt: What does it mean to to be transgender?

Raspberry: Well, there are many different kinds of transgendered people. I can’t really speak for anyone who identifies as a cross-dresser or genderqueer. I can’t even really give a universal meaning to transsexual because it is different for everyone who identifies as transsexual. Let me start off by giving you a snippet from the letter I gave to my friends and extended family when I came out to them:

You’ve probably heard the transsexual cliché, “I’m a woman stuck in a man’s body.” While that does explain the condition somewhat, it is a massive oversimplification. The medical diagnosis of transsexuality is Gender Identity Disorder (GID), and the very name explains the condition much better than the cliché. The key word in there is Identity. My self-image is that of a woman, but my body and people’s treatment of me does not reflect that. Due to societal pressures, I haven’t been able to express or even to explore my own identity, which is a distressing situation. I also want to emphasize that transsexuality has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Transsexuals are homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual in roughly the same proportions as the rest of society. In fact, my motivation is not based on sexuality at all, but rather on that key word in the disorder’s name: Identity.

For me, transsexuality is the knowledge that for some reason, my mind is that of a fairly normal, intelligent and even slightly nerdy girl with odd tastes in music and a love for video gaming…but my body is that of a guy instead. It is constantly being aware of the fact that I am different from other girls due to some cosmic mistake somewhere. Often it means feeling isolated and unable to really fit in anywhere. Before starting my transition, I had almost no social life because it was unpleasant…almost painful for me to constantly be viewed as and treated as a guy. Since transitioning, I have definitely been more social, but my confidence in myself, as well as my self-esteem at times, are still pretty low. I don’t want to draw attention to the masculine features–broader shoulders, a slightly deeper voice than most girls, the few resilient chest hairs that avoided hormones, waxing, shaving, and plucking– that have remained after 5 and a half months of hormone replacement therapy. With time I am sure those will fade away and my self-confidence will improve.

However, I don’t really identify myself as transsexual (unless in the context of some sort of online discussion where it is relevant). I’m just another girl and view myself as such. I want to reiterate that the most important goal for me is discovering my identity and living it, even if society as a whole disapproves.

Matt: How did you come to realize you are transgender?

Raspberry: I had some hints from my very early childhood. A liking for stuffed animals and even some dolls (I particularly liked my sister’s doll that would get sick with a fever or other things that you had to take care of). I even dressed up in some leftover rags from one of my sister’s Halloween costumes (she was a Dalmatian that year) and was a “lady” while wearing those rags. I also remember a strong memory of wanting to wear one of her dresses…white with blue polka dots and green and blue frills.

But for me, I really started feeling something wrong, just wrong, around 6th grade. In retrospect, I understand that was the start of puberty, but I didn’t know that at the time. For a couple years, the feeling of wrongness increased to the point I couldn’t just ignore it. I started feeling strongly that my body should have been a girl’s body instead. Up to that point, I hadn’t been particularly feminine. I played football at recess, little league baseball, other “boy” games, but I wouldn’t have been the only girl doing so if I had realized then I was one. Two other tomboys played football just as often as I did. Many girls play little league softball or baseball. After some internet research, I made a tentative self-diagnosis of transsexuality. I had no idea of its medical classification as GID at that time. I kept that knowledge a very closely guarded secret, even as I researched it more online and even tried on some of my mom’s old dresses. However, I wasn’t ready to come out just yet.

Matt: Briefly, what is your coming out story?

Raspberry: During the summer before my senior year of high school, I finally told a few friends I had made playing World of Warcraft the truth about me. I had played WoW as a girl and identified myself as such to my friends. However, the particularly close ones I felt deserved the full truth. I told 4 or 5 people, which was 2 more than I had intended. I still wasn’t ready to tell anyone I knew in the real world though.

That August I made a discovery that very likely changed my life. During a random internet search (I might have been looking for transsexual webcomics, but I don’t remember for sure), I found the comic Venus Envy ( http://venusenvy.comicgenesis.com/). The story of Zoe touched me so deeply, I almost felt as if parts of it had been written for me. I identified with many of her characteristics and personality quirks. She almost became real to me. I read through the entire collection of comics in 3 days (I would have done it in a single sitting, but I had other obligations at the time). After finishing it, I emailed the author, who uses the pseudonym Erin Lindsey, thanking her for the wonderful story and I guess asking for advice. She recommended strongly that I talk to my parents about seeing a psychologist, even if I didn’t tell them why I wanted to see one. I wasn’t ready to talk to my parents yet, but I did ask them to set up an appointment with a psychologist my family had a relationship with from a previous incident (which didn’t directly involve me). At the end of our first session, after we had gotten to know each other some, I told her the real reason I was seeing her. Over the next few months we worked out some of my issues, and I finally told my parents in like the first week of last December, and my sister on January 3rd (at 3AM…long story behind that which I won’t go into).

That’s probably a little more than “brief” but I couldn’t really shorten it any. If anyone is interested in a nonstereotypical look at the life of a young transsexual, I HIGHLY recommend reading Venus Envy. It really shows that transsexuality is not the central guiding factor of a transsexual’s life. It is present in all things, but is not necessarily the most important factor anywhere.

Matt: What are some of the most difficult things you face in your life as a transgender person?

Raspberry: One of the most difficult things for me was just the slew of legal processes I had to go through this summer (in South Carolina…it’s different everywhere). Getting an official name change requires a criminal background check ($25), a DSS letter stating that you aren’t skipping out on alimony payment ($8), reading a packet of legalese and filling out several forms. And it costs $150 to file once you’ve done all that. The family court took a full month to process it, leaving me about 2 weeks to change my social security card, birth certificate, and driver’s license before school started.

I also had to build a whole new wardrobe over the summer, which was not cheap, although I didn’t make all the cost-cutting efforts I could have.

Maybe the most difficult thing was overcoming my lack of confidence and actually going out into public as a woman for the first time. That has gotten easier over time, but is still not easy.

Matt: What are some ways (maybe like 2-3 examples) that people may act or react around you or trans issues and how do they affect you and what would you tell that person in order for them to learn or understand better?

Raspberry: This question is really complex. Thankfully, I have not run into anyone in person who either recognized me as trans or made a big deal about it. From various online discussions about transsexuality, I’ve found that it is best to emphasize that transsexuality is not a choice. It is a biological issue of some sort, the mechanism of which is not yet known. I personally don’t ask for acceptance from everyone. I know that is more than some are capable of. I do generally ask for tolerance though. I know some do not like that word because it implies mercy being given by those in power, but to me, tolerance is just following a live and let live mentality. I don’t discriminate against anyone and hope that they will treat me with the same respect due a fellow human. For those who object on religious grounds, I just ask how they know transsexuality is immoral. There is nothing in the Bible about it. Let God sort out whether or not transsexuals are going to hell. Humans don’t need to worry about that.

Matt: What are some ways people can be allies to a trans person and the trans community?

Raspberry: The biggest way to be an ally is to become educated on GID and the basics of transgender issues. I don’t mean you have to spend hours poring over websites and textbooks, but learning the very basics really helps clarify that transsexuality is not as perverse or freakish as a lot of people think. In regards to treatment of trans people, I personally would just like to be treated like any other college age girl. I’ve never asked for special treatment and I don’t want it. I think that’s a nearly universal trait among transsexuals. We just want to fit into society, not stick out like a sore thumb.

Matt: What are some ways that people can learn more about trans issues and people and the trans community?

Raspberry: There are many websites available for education. Lynn Conway has a wonderful site. tsroadmap.org is another. The books Trueselves (nonfiction) and She’s Not There (semi-fictional autobiography) both give wonderful insight into a lot of what transsexuals deal with internally and externally on a day-to-day basis. I generally wouldn’t recommend any TV specials because I honestly have not seen a good one yet. They aren’t horrible, but they don’t present a very good overview of transsexuals or other transgendered people. They provide a very specific look into one aspect of the transgender spectrum, which can cause misconceptions among people who lack the knowledge of the whole spectrum.

Matt: Free form… say whatever you like…

Raspberry: I’m not really sure what to put here, so I’ll just repeat the main thing I want anyone who doesn’t know much about transsexuals to take away from these long responses:

Transsexuals and other transgendered folks are people too. We have dreams and aspirations, faults and flaws. We come from the same places you do. We don’t want special treatment, just the respect you should have for all humans. Being transgendered is not a choice; there is no moral component to it. It just is. If you cannot accept that, then just move on. The transgendered person is not going to try to seduce you into their “immorality” if you continue on your merry way. Just let us live in peace, without discrimination.

_________________________

Don’t Forget… about the Trans Issues coffee talk, laid-back and informal discussion on Sunday, September 16th, 2007, 6:00pm at Tate Street Coffee. More details available here.

38

Montel & Trans issues; Duke father appears

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join Matt, InterstateQ.com readers and other community members for a community discussion, forum and general time of learning on trans issues at Tate Street Coffeehouse in Greensboro, NC, 6:00pm, September 16, 2007. More info here.

Lee Chauncey, the Duke University father who caused quite a bit of a stir in the transgender community after he voiced concerns about the housing arrangements of a transgender student in the dorm of his daughter, appeared on the Montel Williams show yesterday in New York City.

Lee has commented much here at InterstateQ.com and clarified his concerns, offering what I think are some valid points of view. Not everyone agrees with him but he far from being the so-called bigot that many have painted him out to be.

I’m sure the Montel show will give us some great insights to the issue.

Lee tells us in a comment on the past Duke-trans issue post:

I just returned from New York. I was a guest on the Montel Williams show. Montel did a very good job of exploring this very issue. The show title is “TRANSGENDERED – TRAPPED IN THE WRONG BODY.” It explored some of the challenges faced by transgendered people. Montel was very sympathetic and pretty thorough.

I know some are going to criticize me for the appearance, even before the show airs. I encourage everyone who visits this site to watch the show. I went on the show with the experience of the beating I have taken on various websites and in the media. I was certain I was brought in to be the boogeyman. Many people told me that I would be subjected to attack. I thought it was an important topic and that I should appear. I put aside personal considerations and went. There was actually no hostility on the program for anyone there, including me. It was a calm discussion, devoid of the shrill name-calling, which is ubiquitous on the internet. I believe the show will provide a small advance in understanding for this very complicated issue. The air date has not been announced. I will post again when I know the air date.

I talked to Lee on the phone today. He is a nice guy and I’m glad he got the opportunity to discuss his concerns on Montel. I’ll be sure to post again when I hear of the air date.

Also, Lee and I – and possibly a few other folks – are goign to meet up for dinner sometime in October. I’m sure it will be a wonderful evening of civil and intelligent discussion and some friend and ally making.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join Matt, InterstateQ.com readers and other community members for a community discussion, forum and general time of learning on trans issues at Tate Street Coffeehouse in Greensboro, NC, 6:00pm, September 16, 2007. More info here.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join Matt, InterstateQ.com readers and other community members for a community discussion, forum and general time of learning on trans issues at Tate Street Coffeehouse in Greensboro, NC, 6:00pm, September 16, 2007. More info here.

According to ABC 11 (Raleigh-Durham, NC), Duke University has moved a male-to-female, pre-operation transgender student out of a dormitory for women after “outraged” parents contacted school officials:

Some students at Duke University and their parents say they were shocked by a decision to let a male student who plans to become a woman live in female dorm.

The University changed its plans, but not before one outraged parent in Fayetteville talked exclusively with Eyewitness News reporter Gilbert Baez.

Lee Chauncey lives in Fayetteville, but his daughter is a senior at Duke University in Durham. He was shocked last week after moving her into Craven Hall B to find out what he calls disturbing news.

[…]

Students were told a male student, who was going to have sexual reassignment surgery in coming months would be living as a female in the dorm. Chauncey immediately called Duke leaders. “I told him that if I was coming across as concerned I wasn’t communicating properly… I was outraged,” the concerned father said.

Chauncey says he doesn’t have a problem with transgenders. He just doesn’t think it’s appropriate for an individual who right now is still a man  to live in a dorm like a woman. “And would be using the facilities for the women,” Chauncey questioned. “Shower and bathroom facilities and the individual would have a key.”

“No problem with transgenders” ? Huh. I’m sorry, but “no problem” means “no problem” and if he had “no problem” then he wouldn’t have seen the student living in the dorm as a “problem.”

I’d love to get the parents’ opinion on the situation after the student has had her operation. I can guarantee you that many of the parents will feel the same way as they do now.

Although… If Duke had gender-blind housing options, this never would have been a problem for other students, parents or the transgender student.

UPDATE, 8/31/2007 12:10am EST USA: Lee Chauncey, the parent quoted by the news source above, commented here on this post clarifying his words and explaining his position. I thank him for it. Check out what he has to say… it is good.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join Matt, InterstateQ.com readers and other community members for a community discussion, forum and general time of learning on trans issues at Tate Street Coffeehouse in Greensboro, NC, 6:00pm, September 16, 2007. More info here.

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There was a great article in the UNC-Chapel Hill Daily Tar Heel yesterday, covering the organizing efforts of LGBT students on the campuses of North Carolina’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Winston-Salem State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Central University and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University are among many of North Carolina’s HBCUs.

At NC A&T, LGBT students attempted organizing an LGBT student organization in recent years, but much of the organizing has died down due to the campus climate. It is good to see that many students in other areas are starting to organize:

Gay students want help at historically black schools
Groups fighting culture, religious ties

By: Liz Gilliam, Staff Writer
Issue date: 4/10/07 Section: State & National

Anti-gay sentiments and homophobia long have plagued the gay and lesbian community, but students and activists say that it’s a different ball game among historically black colleges and universities.

Cultural traditions, religious ties and previous racial oppression are among numerous factors cited for a large discrepancy between treatment of homosexuals at HBCUs and predominately white institutions.

N.C. Central University has an active lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization on campus that has been gaining steam for the last three years.

“When I got to Central my freshman year of ’04, students were a little bit more non-responsive to anything dealing with LGBT students,” said Brandon Sims, president of N.C. Central’s Colors of NCCU. “It was one of those things where the staff and faculty were sweeping it under the rug until I became president in ’05 and I said, ‘No. NCCU needs an open and active organization.'”

Sims said that the organization includes 46 students of the school’s approximate 8,000.

He said that N.C. Central is one of the most accepting schools in the HBCU community but that the group had to turn to the Human Rights Coalition of North Carolina for funding. The school was willing to charter the group but not willing to fund it, Sims said.

Roger Hayes, a pastor at the Church of the Holy Spirit Fellowship in Winston-Salem, said a number of gay students from area HBCUs have come to his church because it’s accepting.

Hayes said that from his experience, few gay students at Winston-Salem State University are open about their sexuality.

Read the full article

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1

Pam Spaulding is going to jail!

No… NOT really… but anti-gay, religious right leader Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth has been in contact with the FBI and the Attorney General of the State of North Carolina seeking to start a criminal investigation into comments made by a user on Pam’s website back in mid-January 2007.

Pam (pictured right at the NCDP Progressive Bloggers Conference on Jan. 27, 2007) posted a little on the situation today, notifying readers that the comments in question had been deleted and that the community standards for her web community had certainly been broken:

A CWA piece up today alerted me to the fact that there was a string of comments in a subthread of a particular post from a while back, that not only published private information about Peter LaBarbera, but contained threats. Whether they were real or not is irrelevant; it’s reprehensible — and it’s not what this community is about.

Given the amount of traffic and limited time I have, I don’t get to comment on or read every exchange in every post; there are community standards that were clearly violated by the exchanges, and I have rightfully deleted the comments.

I have never advocated threatening physical harm toward anyone, as I have been on the receiving end of the same treatment — and it doesn’t feel good, let me tell you.

The Concerned Women for America newspiece Pam speaks of cites the threats to LaBarbera (emphasis mine):

Lesbian activist Pam Spaulding’s popular weblog Pam’s House Blend is known for its outrageous and controversial content. In addition to promoting anti-Christian bigotry, the North Carolina-based Web activist’s favorite pastime appears to be smearing pro-family leader and Americans for Truth president Peter LaBarbera with bizarre and hateful accusations and insults. However, House Blend’s typically intolerant and obscene content may have recently shifted from the absurd to the criminally violent.

In what was, at the very least, an apparent attempt to intimidate and frighten LaBarbera, who is married with children, “House Blend” published his home address in a January 13, 2007, thread titled, “Saturday this and that.” Shortly thereafter, someone identified as “Barry G. Wick” posted the following comments: “It’s across from a park in an area with cul de sacs. I’d bet it’s a residence … and across from a park. Snipers take note.” (emphasis ours)

“Wick” later seemed to suggest that shooting LaBarbera would amount to an act of self-defense: “Self-defense for gay folks isn’t PC, is it? No, we have to be sure that we’re victims all the time. … When we start standing up for ourselves, we lose all the status of an under class. I refuse to be part of an underclass. I’m equal. And I’m gonna use any language, even outrageous language, to get my point across. … I’m a citizen … equal, proud, and willing to defend my way of life with my life. …”

Later in the same thread “Wick” made his true intent clear: “If I were Azerbaijani and living in Russia right now, I’d want to advocate violence against skinheads … [LaBarbera] and others like him ought to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what future awaits them from a cadre of selected defenders willing to give up everything in order to protect the lives of gay and lesbian citizens. The greatest thing ever to happen to the [Martin Luther King] movement was the Black Panthers. Americans were shocked by an open display of firearms and Black Pride … Pushing back verbally … or with selected action isn’t dishonorable, it’s necessary.”

LaBarbera indicated that he has been in touch with both the FBI and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office. He’s anticipating a full criminal investigation. “I’m a big boy. It’s not so much that I’m worried about myself,” said LaBarbera, “but the effect this could have on my wife and children … that has me extremely upset.”

I, for one, will definitely be keeping up with the situation if anything new pops up.

UPDATE 1: Here is the Peter LaBarbera’s posting on the Americans for Truth site. In the posting, LaBarbera states, “Please pray for Spaulding, “Barry Wick,” and all those whose embrace of homosexuality has led them to be consumed by hatred toward Christians and others who defend natural sexuality and marriage.”

UPDATE 2: Here is LaBarbera’s posting regarding Pam’s removal of the threatening comments.

UPDATE 3: Here is Gay.As.You’s posting on the subject.

As a sidenote: I do full-heartedly believe that the vast, vast majority of all activists on every side of the debate over LGBT issues do not in any manner promote violence or threatening behavior toward any other person. Here at InterstateQ.com, we take seriously the principle of non-violence. Like Pam, LaBarbera and others, we do not advocate the use of violence as a means to achieve any end.

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The final results of the 2006 Weblog Awards have been released and our very own NC-based Pam’s House Blend is again the winner of the Best LGBT Blog Award. Pam won the title in 2005 and was able to keep it again this year.

With almost 41% of the vote and 2227 actual votes, Pam was able to beat out second place GayPatriot, which received almost 23% of the vote with 1246 actual votes. Other finalists seeking the Best LGBT Blog Award included Towleroad, Dorothy Surrenders, The Republic of T., Transcending Gender, Box Turtle Bulletin, Ohlala Blog, Queerty and Keith Boykin.

Check it out at the Weblogs Award site for Best LGBT Blog and be sure to check out Pam’s post detailing the results of just a few other races.

Although I was originally nominated (thanks Roch!), I didn’t make it as a finalist this year. Here’s hoping for the best, next time around. Congratulations Pam!

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