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voyager12

Charlotte Pride

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Seriously, though, there is nothing at all unique about my lifestyle.

You said it! My lifestyle is as dull and normal as another married couple with the single exception of us both being male. Well, maybe our home is a bit better decorated than if we were straight... :wub:

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You said it! My lifestyle is as dull and normal as another married couple with the single exception of us both being male. Well, maybe our home is a bit better decorated than if we were straight... :wub:

Hi, I'm new here although I've been "lurking" awhile. I live in San Francisco but am a Charlotte native and plan to return soon.

It seems to me that McCrory avoids us gayfolk to play to his base. I've always wondered what he would really say/do if he didn't have to worry about running for Sue Myrick's seat one day. He's been progressive enough to champion LRT and has been a great cheerleader for Charlotte. Just that on gay issues he's, well, not with us at all.

It also seems that gay life in Charlotte is getting incrementally better, although at a glacial speed. Would you agree or disagree?

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It also seems that gay life in Charlotte is getting incrementally better, although at a glacial speed. Would you agree or disagree?

I'd have to agree -- happening, not fast, but happening. As far as nightlife I'm not overly qualified to say much, i don't go out and when I do it is with mixed crowds, but i've heard all is well. There is also a very good possibility if a particular deal works out there will be a gay bar in center city within a block of the Square soon. Not a definite, but details being worked out.

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I'd have to agree -- happening, not fast, but happening. As far as nightlife I'm not overly qualified to say much, i don't go out and when I do it is with mixed crowds, but i've heard all is well. There is also a very good possibility if a particular deal works out there will be a gay bar in center city within a block of the Square soon. Not a definite, but details being worked out.

Oh thanks, but I'm getting a little long in the tooth for nightlife ;) . More specifically thinking of workplace acceptance and maybe gay things to do not at bars. Since I'm a Charlotte native and grew up there, I know about church...what else would you point to?

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Oh thanks, but I'm getting a little long in the tooth for nightlife ;) . More specifically thinking of workplace acceptance and maybe gay things to do not at bars. Since I'm a Charlotte native and grew up there, I know about church...what else would you point to?

My view is that workplace acceptance and overall exceptance is just fine where I interact (one of the reasons that Mayor Pat's stance seems out of touch with Charlotte overall to me). I'm quite out and open and involved in the business community and have never experienced a push-back from anyone. I can't say I've really experienced much negative here in Charlotte almost to the point of ambivilence from the overall community (which is how I would prefer it - to be accepted is to be accepted without it being a big deal to me). I don't see where many see gay or not gay as a big deal other than from the fringe which will always be out there. All they do (the fringe) is protest every once in a while at things like the HRC Dinner event (with a whole 5 or 6 protestors) or our small Pride festival where I was told the protestors didn't number more than a couple dozen.

Personally I feel like one of the community with being gay just part of who I am and nothing noticed very much by the community as a whole. My mix of friends and co-workers are straight, gay, black, white and that is the mix I spend my time with. Other than specific bars or restaurants geared towards niche crowds most places I go and see are fairly stirred up. Others might have a different perspective or experiences, but that is mine.

Edited by Charlotte_native

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I actually would agree with the above. At my workplace, most people are OK with it. I'm not open and out at work myself, mostly because I'm an introvert and don't like talking about anything personal, but that's just me. However, the woman that I share an office with is a lesbian and she and her partner have had a wedding ceremony and are now expecting a child (due in December, if I recall correctly). Most of the people here are excited and seem genuinely happy for them. There are a couple of people that are religious fundamentalists and have made their views known, but most just ignore them. I imagine you'd find people like that anywhere though, but perhaps it's more common in the South.

I'm sure there are a lot of workplaces that are less accepting, but I guess I've been pretty lucky. In all my adult years in Charlotte, I've never run into any blatant in-your-face homophobia. I'd say it's mostly a laid back "you don't bother me and I won't bother you" kind of thing. Not exactly embracing diversity, but tolerant, for the most part, nonetheless.

And I don't know about gay things to do in Charlotte. I'm not really even sure what that means, to be honest. There's a bar you can drop in and have a drink or two, called Liaisons. You can get food there as well, though I've never eaten there so can't say if it's any good. There's a community center, and a gay men's chorus as well, but again, I know nothing about them. :(

There is a gay paper, call Q Notes as well. I've read it maybe once or twice years ago.

Now that I think about it, I'm not very gay at all, lol. When I really want to get my "gay" on, my partner and I go for a trip to Chicago, DC or NY. Or even a weekend drive down to Atlanta, which is only a 4 hour drive. Here in town, it's just work, gym, home, clean, mow and laundry, hehe.

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I would characterize most of Charlotte's attitude towards gay people as ambivalent or ignorant but slowly and I emphasize slowly moving in a more accepting direction. You should not have issues living in the city and most of the suburbs are relatively tolerant. Like most places the farther out you get the more conservative the mindset becomes. I can't say that Charlotte is a gay friendly city. If homosexuality was still not a taboo we would have openly gay elected officials and city ordinances covering sexual orientation in employment and housing. These laws are in place in other NC cities and it's inexcusable for the largest city in the state to be so far behind on these issues. My car is a one man rolling gay pride parade of stickers and watching people's reactions is a wonderful social experiment. From some of the looks I get people assume I would have two heads or something :rolleyes: I am happy to say the majority of reactions are smiles or thumbs up and compliments in parking lots. I have always believed that we are only going to change minds by being proud of who we are and showing people that we are no different from them . And we won't hide in the closet because love is all the same and should be celebrated gay or straight. I don't pass judgment on how other gay people act. Being out does not mean having to be a rainbow sticker queen. I spent a lot of time in Chapel Hill a few years back and that helped to solidify my bumper sticker addiction. I would love to have more company on the road. Sometimes I think I would fit in better in Asheville or Chapel Hill. But it's equally if not more important to be out and proud in more conservative cities because we have so much more work to do here. ( Sheesh am I the only gay charlotte urban planeteer without a boyfriend :wub::(:lol: )

If you are working in the corporate sector I don't forsee any difficulities. Major corporations are light years ahead of the government in regards to equal treatment and non-discrimination.

As far as non-partying gay activities go I wish there were more as well. If you like to run or walk the Frontrunners go every weekend from Caribou Coffee on East at 9 and from the Dowd Y at 6:30 on Monday's and then we have breakfast and dinner afterward respectively. There is also a gay tennis team and The Charlotte Business Guild for networking opportunities.

Edited by voyager12

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Metro..M, I apologize. My statements were general. I have no insight into the history of the mayor. I meant nothing derogatory or insulting to anyone. And yes, all citizens should be represented. Good luck in your pursuits.

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Also consider our two largest and most visible corporate citizens, Bank of America and Wachovia, offer same-sex partner benefits and openly sponsor events like the HRC Dinner, Pride, etc. Other corps do as well. Ken Thompson, main guy for Wachovia, was even at the HRC dinner.

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Also consider our two largest and most visible corporate citizens, Bank of America and Wachovia, offer same-sex partner benefits and openly sponsor events like the HRC Dinner, Pride, etc. Other corps do as well. Ken Thompson, main guy for Wachovia, was even at the HRC dinner.

Ken Thompson at the HRC dinner? I'm impressed.

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The Advocate's special issue this month featured several Mayors stating why young gay people should move to their cities. Portland, Ore, Kansas City and Milwaukee were among the those listed. Since our Mayor and Chamber will never do gay outreach I was thinking of reasons why young professionals who happen to be gay should move here. We have an active but not an overwhelmingly party dominated gay scene which works for boring people like me :) Our major employers provide domestic partner benefits. There are several relatively gay friendly city neighborhoods. We are close to Asheville. I am sure I could think of more but I am not totally awake yet. Since I spend a great deal of time moaning and groaning about Charlotte's glacial progress toward gay acceptance I wanted to put something upbeat out there.

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I would add Charlotte's low cost of living (so gay folks can buy a home and accumulate some wealth,) international airport (so gay folks can travel easily and quickly, you know how we love to travel ;) ) plentiful jobs (so we can be employed, make money and buy nice things,) and beautiful springs and autumns (don't mention the trying summers!)

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I was driving down East today and saw a lesbian couple holding hands walking down the sidewalk. Good for them I thought. Now and then I see others. Most instances have occurred in more gay friendly areas of town like Dilworth, PlazaMidwood, and NoDa. I have held my boyfriend's hand in those areas ( ex now but this is back then :lol: ) and no one batted an eye. Ideally this would be widespread throughout Charlotte but at least we have beachheads. Although in general I am not into PDA and many straight couples are not either. The difference there being heteros don't have to worry about getting verbally attacked or worse for expressing affection toward their partner. Anyhow, have you seen gay couples holding hands in Charlotte and do you have PDA regardless of sexual orientation?

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PDA among the gay community of Charlotte seems exceptionally rare, not that I can blame anyone for not wanting to be verbally abused. In fact most gay people down here seem to have made a habit of using colloquial terms to describe their relationships (ie partner,roomate,significant other) even in the presence of freinds. In DC, where I spend a lot of time, huge chunks of the city are mapped out as predominantly gay areas, and almost everywhere is gay freindly. To me, as a straight person, it is almost shocking how fear seems to underpin even everyday conversation here. It's a shame too; as a native I feel it's long past time for Charlotte to shed its biggoted past and start accepting diversity.

PS. About your second question, I like that Charlotte doesn't have a lot of agressive PDA. There's nothing worse than sitting next to a couple making out on the subway, regardless of that couples orientation. (Of course I realize we don't have a subway, but you get the hint.)

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DC has several large Gayborhoods and PDA by Gays & Lesbians take place because Gays belong to that culture. Charlotte really doesn't have any similar type of neighborhood here so you don't see the same situation taking place. Instead, I think, because it is a matter of fitting into society here, which, still isn't that used to seeing it, Gays and Lesbians choose not to do it. For most, it's not a matter of being afraid but a matter of making other people uncomfortable (whether it's right or not). Note this isn't any different than suburban DC.

My guess is it's gonna be another couple of generations before it won't be an issue anymore. There is still a fairly large segment of American society that deamonizes Gays and Lesbians in an attempt to validate their own situations. It has come a long way from a couple of generations back when two men could be arrested just for dancing with each other in a private club.

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DC has several large Gayborhoods and PDA by Gays & Lesbians take place because Gays belong to that culture.

IM currently living in DC and though there is a large GLBT community there, its very hard to "get in " the circle. I find Charlotte much more welcoming and shall I say "fresh". Regarding the gayborhoods in DC, many arent as strong as in the past. As usual we go into struggling neighborhoods fix them up and many times we get priced out of the very neighborhoods we fixed up. NoDA comes to mind in Charlotte.

Edited by Skyybutter

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^It's due to extreme gentrification. Many of the traditional Gay neighborhoods, especially the ones with their roots in the late 60s and early 70s are just getting so expensive price wise that people are selling out, and young Gays and Lesbians can't afford to move in. Ironically everyone wants to live in these places when originally Gays went to these places because nobody did and they could be left alone.

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On the broader subject of homosexuality in America I would agree that though great progress has been made it will take a few more generations for it to be as nonissue as interracial dating has become as one example. I would add on an extra generation for the South in particular. The Advocate listed NoDa as an upcoming gayborhood this year and Wikipedia lists PlazaMidwood as having a large gay population. I would personally not consider either one a gay neighborhood. They are generally more funky and liberal and so logically gay friendlier that Charlotte at large and some gay people are attracted there. Maybe it's their small size relative to the much larger and conservative atmosphere here but I don't get the warm accepting vibe there that permeates other gay friendly enclaves in this state.

In other news...rumor has it that the longtime lesbian owners of Liasons bar in Dilworth have sold it to......a straight couple :huh: Go figure. No word on future plans but the website lists events ongoing. So perhaps they are just gay friendly or looking at as an investment. I don't like bars much and Liasons has always seemed snobby to me but closing it would make the gay community here even more invisible. Although it would probably make some nearby residents happy.

Edited by voyager12

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Liasons has always seemed snobby to me but closing it would make the gay community here even more invisible.

Really? I always just thought it to be overly cruisy. Of course I haven't been in a couple of years so what do I know!

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Yeah, that's what I have thought during the times I have gone there. It just seemed too cliqueish to me. Although I am always too shy to strike up conversation with anyone I don't know so I probably look pretty non-social to others as well. On the other hand The Eagle which is even less my scene is so much friendlier and down to earth it seems to me. People make eye contact and actually smile as opposed to the usual smirks or eye rolling at Liasons. Also,Tutto Mondo seems to have stolen a lot of Liasons crowd these days and has become a de facto gay bar on the weekends.

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While I will not disagree with the atmosphere descriptions of Liaisons, I can attest that when not overly crowded, this is one of my favorite hang outs. I love to go right after work when there is literally no one there yet. Its a very nice environment to sit and have a drink with a few people. I would hate to see this place go. I know Barb has been a little upset at the rising rents of the area. I thought they would at least endure until a lot of this new development comes to the area and increases the number of gay/gay friendly people that hang out in bars. I get very tired of the uppity dance club scene and Tutto Mondo is only fun if you enjoy being packed into a sweaty club and having drinks sloshed on your nice shoes all night while listening to mediocre music. I would like to see more gay places like Liaisons that are more chill, IMO.

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I would like to see more gay places like Liaisons that are more chill, IMO.

Try downtown bars and restaurants. Since we moved there we've gotten to know the bartenders next door at Ruth's Chris, and regular diners and drinkers at Arpa, Sonoma, Picasso's, Alley Cat. We are quite openly gay and go out as a couple, no one ever seems to care a bit and we are most often not the only gay folks wherever we are. I don't care for big club scenes, so these little places are fun for me. Supposedly Therapy downtown has a fairly large gay following, but I've only been once or twice last year -- their staff was too slow so we haven't been back.

Like you I like Tutto Mundo, but the crowd is too crowded for my tastes...I don't like not being able to move around a place.

As for Liaisons, I'd hate to see it disappear -- I have memories of that place from WAY back and we don't have enough true gay bars in this town to afford to lose another one.

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^ Downtown or Uptown restaurants"? Keep it straight...I mean gay :rofl: I would be quite remiss if I did not report about Petra's. The new gay piano bar in Plaza Midwood along Commonwealth near the Animal Hospital. I have only been in briefly but it's quite lowkey and relaxed in that cheesy but fun piano bar way...and not uptight.

Edited by voyager12

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..... I would hate to see this place go. I know Barb has been a little upset at the rising rents of the area. I thought they would at least endure until a lot of this new development comes to the area and increases the number of gay/gay friendly people that hang out in bars. ....

Some interesting (or maybe not so interesting) history on the place. They were not the people who first put a Gay bar on that property. It's first incarnation was as Stephens, which downstairs restaurant, and an upstairs bar pretty much as it is today. The downstairs did not require a membership and was a 300 East type restaurant opened to he public but catered to the Gays & Lesbians. The owner of this place originally ran a restaurant there called Amada Rose (or something like that) and made the decision to open Charlotte's first Gay restaurant. I don't remember the exactly what happened but I believe there were some issues with drugs and he ended up having to sell out. That is when it was reopened as Liasons and the restaurant theme went away. It was rumored that one of the investors of the place was this lesbian who was one of the original bartenders of Scorpios.

They have been there a long time as I remember this happening around 1990 or so. Of course Scorpio is the long time long laster here. It opened on S. Blvd in 1975 and has been operating continuously in its present location since around 1977. It did burn to the ground twice. Once in 1980, and the other in the mid 80s. The 2nd burning was found to have been caused by the owners of a competing Gay bar down the street at the intersection of Walnut, Freedom and Morehead.

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Wow, impressive memory metro. I had totally forgotten about Stephens. I can't remember if I ever ate there or not (I think not) but did go to the bar upstairs a few times. And Scorpio was the first gay bar I ever went to waaaay back when I was still in high school. Can't remember if I only went in my senior year or if I started going in 11th grade. I graduated in 1981, so I was going to Scorpio in it's current location at least in 1980 and possibly in 1979. They were very lax about checking IDs back then, though the drinking age at the time was only 18. I do think that I used to go even when I was only 17 and never had a problem getting in, lol.

There was another gay bar on Central at the time as well. Not a dance club. All I can remember is that it was a lounge kind of place with only a few customers, most of whom were regulars. I don't think it lasted long. I used to go there because it was the only place I knew that I could sit and talk without shouting to be heard over blaring music (not that there's anything wrong with blaring music :) ).

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