If you don’t live in Charlotte, Cleveland, Minneapolis or St. Louis, or if you aren’t a politics/news junky, or if you aren’t in someway involved in Democratic politics, you’ve likely not heard that Charlotte is in the running to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
But, if you do already know that have you yet heard all the discussion surrounding Charlotte’s current treatment of LGBT people and issues? Fear not, and find a comprehensive round-up of all the discussions below…
How do potential DNC 2012 host cities compare on LGBT equality?
July 13. InterstateQ.com
see also: Pam’s House Blend, DemConWatch
A reality check for my own enthusiasm for Charlotte Hosting the DNC2012.
July 13. Mark Wisniewski
Open letter to the DNC: LGBT Charlotteans need the 2012 Democratic Convention.
July 27. InterstateQ.com
see also: Pam’s House Blend, DemConWatch
DNC 2012 as Therapy for Local Gays.
July 27. Meck Deck
Interesting Open Letter* by Matt Comer.
July 27. Mark Wisniewski
City failing on DNC platform issue: treatment of gays, lesbians.
Aug. 15. Charlotte Observer
see also: Mark Wisniewski’s longer, original commentary
Wisniewski on the Keith Larson Show.
Aug. 17. QNotes
A re-cap of the last week at InterstateQ.com and around the blogosphere.
And the winner is…
On Tuesday, I urged you to vote your conscience for Best LGBT Blog in this year’s Weblog Awards. While I contribute to both Bilerico.com and PamsHouseBlend.com, and rooted for them the whole time, Towleroad shone through as the winner. Congrats!
A Campus Crusade group wants to work with a campus LGBT group on HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. I still can’t figure out how that’s going to work out.
Exodus International’s Randy Thomas continues the legacy of the group’s long-standing disingenuousness, claiming no one is ever forced into “ex-gay” therapies. The stories from the long list of gay youth victimized by such therapies call such claims into question.
A model for the nation
Florida LGBT groups are teaming up in a united coalition to fight regional and statewide threats to equality. On Wednesday, I said such a coalition could serve as a model for countless regions around the nation, as well as our national LGBT community.
Secretary of the Gay
A Boston, Mass.-based grassroots group wants a “Secretary of GLBT Affairs.” The U.S. Department of Queerdom will have fabulous office furniture and impeccable interior design for sure.
A Charlotte talk show host took shots at several North Carolina and Charlotte LGBT organizations in his Jan. 15 broadcast. Audio included.
In his “Lavender Folder” segment, conservative Charlotte talk radio host Keith Larson took several shots at local LGBT organizations on Thursday, Jan. 15. His targets were the N.C. Pride Band and Lesbian & Gay Band Association, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte, the Charlotte Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Queen City Gay Speed-dating, the Lesbian & Gay Community Center and local community leader, and drag performer, Roxy C. Moorecox.
Larson also spoke on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” asking what it meant to “serve openly.” He said gays wanted a lavender armband or ribbon to signify their sexual orientation. He also poked fun at the praise heaped on Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) by LGBT employees at the U.S. State Department after her testimony at her Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of State. (Audio included after the jump.)
After all the controversy surrounding the cancellation of Charlotte’s LGBT pride festival, the harsh, religiously-motivated prejudice and spiritual violence spouted off from Operation Save America and the eventual announcement that Charlotte would, after all, have a LGBT pride festival, things have finally started to cool off.
I haven’t heard much from Operation Save America (take a look at their most recent, sickening expliots along with the PDF poster) regarding Pride Charlotte here lately, but their claims to have pushed homosexuals “back into the closet and the grave” have been severely proven false.
I found this article via the Pride Charlotte website. It was published five days ago in the Charlotte Observer and is an op-ed from the executive director of the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Community Center.
Enjoy. (original source: The Charlotte Observer)
Why Pride Charlotte endures
by Laura Witkowski
May 25, 2006
For the Record, The Charlotte Observer
From Laura Witkowski, executive director of Charlotte’s Lesbian & Gay Community Center:
A few weeks ago, I was a guest on Keith Larson’s radio show on WBT after The Lesbian & Gay Community Center announced that we would be having a Pride celebration in Charlotte after all. I say after all, because shortly before our announcement, Operation Save America had held a press conference saying Pride had been “pushed into the closet” and claimed “victory” over the festival.
That is not the case. Pride Charlotte, a task force under the umbrella of The Lesbian & Gay Community Center, is excitedly and feverishly working on the festival, which will take place at Gateway Village on Saturday, Aug. 26.
The main question Mr. Larson asked me in one form or another was, “Why Pride?” From his perspective, it looks like one big party — a chance for the LGBT community to have a great time together based strictly on sexual orientation. What, essentially, is the point?
Although sexual orientation is what brings us together, Pride is a chance to find a sense of unity and acceptance in a society where LGBT individuals still do not have access to the same rights as heterosexuals. Pride is a chance for LGBT people and allies to come together and celebrate the diversity of our community.
For many, Pride is one of the few times a year they feel safe and comfortable — one of their only chances to truly be themselves. It is important to remember that regardless of the popularity of “Brokeback Mountain,” “Will & Grace” and “The Ellen Show,” LGBT individuals still run the risk of getting fired on the basis of our sexuality, are denied health care benefits for our partners because we cannot legally marry, and get no support from a Social Security system that we pay into should our life partner (who we cannot legally marry) pass away.
Despite opposition to the festival in the past, Pride Charlotte is too important and valuable to the community to just cave into the pressure and hassle of those who vocally oppose equal rights and acceptance for all Americans.
Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in this part of the country, and that growth means many younger professional people who are looking for a place they see as inclusive and accepting of all its community members. Richard Florida, author of “Rise Of The Creative Class,” points out that people in this younger, hipper, professional group actively look at how LGBT folks are treated in cities they are considering relocating to and businesses they are looking at working for — even if they’re not gay themselves.
Charlotte is a business-driven city with an enormous potential for economic growth. Shutting out events like Pride and perpetuating spiritual violence on Charlotte’s LGBT community isn’t just mean-spirited and wrong; it’s bad for the city.
I am proud to be a Charlotte transplant — and I hope that in its own way, Pride Charlotte can bring that kind of pride into the lives of those who attend the festival to celebrate the best kind of freedom of all: freedom to live as you are.
For The Record offers commentaries from various sources. The views are the writer’s, and not necessarily those of the Observer editorial board. For information about Pride Charlotte or the center, go to www.PrideCharlotte.com or www.GayCharlotte.com.
Pride Charlotte will be held August 26, 2006 at Gateway Village in Charlotte.