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


Is gay print media in its last throes?

Gay journo Michael Lavers, national news editor for Edge Media Network, took to discussing the state of LGBT print media in the Village Voice‘s annual “Queer Issue” this week.

His piece, titled “Gay Print Media on the Wane,” rehashes the demise of Window Media — once the nation’s largest LGBT newspaper company — and delves into the possible future of gay journalism.

In the story, Lavers writes that the rise of digital media has given traditional print media a run for its money. No doubt there. He also details some specific challenges to gay media and proclaims some new “kings of the forest” (he calls them the “new gay press establishment”) in the process.

Continue reading this post…

“Neither shalt thou steal.”

Obviously, the good pastor heading up Raleigh’s Christian Action League forgot that morsel of divine revelation when he disregarded my publisher’s copyright notice on the bottom of our website and in the pub box of our print edition and copied and pasted my Feb. 20 Editor’s Note from QNotes into his March 9 “Urgent Action Alert.”

For the record, QNotes‘ website states: “Copyright 1986-2010 Pride Publishing & Typesetting, Inc., Charlotte, N.C.”

Our print edition states: “Material in QNotes is copyrighted by Pride Publishing & Typesetting © 2010 and may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent of the editor.”

Poor Creech. His organization is going so broke so quickly he’s resorting to even more picking and choosing from the Bible. It’s a shame really. I never pictured teetotaler Creech as the “Cafeteria Christian” type on matters so simple as theft. Usually, anti-gay fundamentalists reserve their picky eating habits for their gay hating tastes.

Read what Creech has to say below the fold… Continue reading this post…


2009: The year that was (or wasn’t)

Another year has come and gone. Since I began blogging, first on Blogger, then my own hosted blog and then here at InterstateQ.com, I’ve always done a year-end recap of my biggest stories of the year.

This year’s rewind is kind of sad, to be honest with you. As the economy continued to falter and challenges mounted up for print media across the nation, we felt our own sting at my day job. My friends and fellow staff at QNotes managed to hold our own, but responsibilities there led to a decline in my frequency of writing here.

Regardless, I managed to pull off some good stories here although many weren’t the “breaking news” I used to publish before I made the leap from blogger to “traditional media” gig.

So, in a way it was the “year that wasn’t” here at InterstateQ.com. Regardless, catch my Best of 2009 after the jump…

(P.S. — Be sure to check out my “The defining decade of my youth” at Bilerico Project.)

Continue reading this post…

owensutkowskiOwen Sutkowski will officially kick off his campaign for Charlotte City Council on May 28. He might just be Charlotte’s first openly gay man on a ballot for city election.

But a couple Q-Notes readers say a man named Robert Sheets ran as an openly gay man on the ballot in 1989. In the 1990s, an open lesbian ran as a write-in candidate.

FOX Charlotte reports that the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections doesn’t keep records as far back as 1989, so they weren’t able to confirm. My job today: a search through the newspaper’s archives. It is a painstaking task; something I’m not looking forward to. But duty calls.

What is truly amazing, though, is that Sutkowski is also the youngest candidate for city election ever. At only 26, he’s embarking on a run to defeat a Democratic incumbent and win a seat on council for the largest city in the Carolinas.

Continue reading this post…

The March 21 print issue of Q-Notes‘ feature piece is “Stamp of Approval.” A researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is calling into question the perfect 100 rating of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American, Inc. (corporate parent of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company) in the Human Right’s Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

The researcher says the company’s direct marketing to LGBT consumers has helped to create a “health inequality” and shows poor corporate responsibility to LGBT consumers and the LGBT community.

Q-Notes has an in-depth story. Be sure to check it out: www.q-notes.com/2009/03/21/stamp-of-approval/

This was a fabulously fun piece for me to write, being a native of Winston-Salem (a graduate of the R.J. Reynolds High School even). I wrote an “inside look” of the article at the Q-Notes blog.

Our QPoll this time around: Should companies promoting addictive and unhealthy products (cigarettes, alcohol, etc.) be included in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index?

Read more at Q-Notes Online


Gay prisoner

For the past few issues, my day job publication has been publishing a series of writings from a gay prisoner. The “Lockdown” column by Joseph Urbaniak details his experiences and life as a gay man in prison. Back in 2007, Urbaniak filed a lawsuit against the N.C. Department of Corrections, seeking the right of LGBT prisoners to receive non-sexual, LGBT-themed publications such as The Advocate and OUT and newspapers like the old Front Page and Q-Notes; much in the same way that straight prisoners can receive mainstream, non-sexual news and entertainment magazines and newspapers.

But, as with all things, this hasn’t come without its own share of controversy.

In the Jan. 10 issue, we’ve published a guest commentary from a Charlotte community member who feels we should stop publishing the column. An opposing opinion column by me was also published, and we’ve got this issue’s QPoll dedicated to the question of whether we should keep the prisoner’s column or junk it.

I invite my readers at InterstateQ.com to head over to Q-Notes‘ website and read both the columns.

Editor’s Note (Matt Comer): Prisoner is just the messenger, try to see the message instead

Guest Commentary (Kevin Scott): Stop publishing writings from prisoner