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04/19/2007


School Principals Make Epic 'Snow Day' Announcement: VIDEO

Snowday

"Durham Academy Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner and Assistant Head of School/Upper School Director Lee Hark announce that school will be closed Feb. 13, 2014."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "School Principals Make Epic 'Snow Day' Announcement: VIDEO" »


Thousands March in Raleigh, NC for Equality, Push Back Against Republican Legislature: VIDEO

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Citing the “immoral” legislation enacted by Republican lawmakers in the state, thousands of dissatisfied North Carolina voters and activists rallied at the capitol in Raleigh over the weekend pushing for social justice. WUNC reports:

BarberOn Saturday morning, tens of thousands chanting and holding banners filled downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street from side to side for five blocks. They were there to hear The Rev. William Barber of the state NAACP. At the end of the street in front of an American flag that snapped over the old State Capitol building, Barber preached, his voice thundering through speakers.

“We are people, we are natives and immigrants, we are business leaders and workers and unemployed, we are doctors and the uninsured, we are gay, we are straight, we are student, we are parents, we are retirees,” Barber said. “We are North Carolina. We are America. And we are here, and we ain’t going nowhere.”

The “Mass Moral March” was organized to push against much of last year’s Republican-led legislation in the state, including new abortion restrictions, voter identification requirements, and cuts to unemployment benefits.

Check out footage of the rally, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Newsobserver reports than there were few counter-protesters at the march itself, but conservative organizations and leaders in the state later criticized the rally for its “divisive rhetoric” and “far-left agenda.”

“The so-called Moral March on Raleigh is anything but moral,” Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the NC Values Coalition, said in a news release. “It is spearheaded by groups that support abortion and homosexual marriage."

Continue reading "Thousands March in Raleigh, NC for Equality, Push Back Against Republican Legislature: VIDEO " »


Charlotte, NC Student Becomes School's First Transgender Homecoming King: VIDEO

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Last week we reported that Blake Brockington, a 17-year-old transgender student at Charlotte, North Carolina's East Mecklenburg High School was nominated for homecoming king. Brockington, who had a difficult childhood and coming out experience, hoped to win in order to set an example for other transgender youth.

BrockingtonHe will be able to do just that, for on Friday night he won, WCNC reports:

"Throughout my life I haven't always been treated equally as a male, so I've always wanted this and everybody has told me I couldn't do it. ‘You are a girl,' even though I've always identified myself as a male," said Brockington.

There were 13 seniors vying for the coveted title as king.  Brockington won, collecting the most money for the school's chosen charity, Mothering Across Continents. It's a non-profit organization that funds the building of schools in the Sudan.

Brockington is no stranger to adversity.  He says he is living with foster parents because his father is unable to accept his gender identity.

Watch WCNC's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Charlotte, NC Student Becomes School's First Transgender Homecoming King: VIDEO" »


Marcus Brandon May Be the First Out Gay Black Congressman, from NC

Clay Aiken is not the only gay man running for Congress from North Carolina, the Washington Blade reports:

BrandonIf he wins his bid to represent North Carolina’s 12th congressional district in the U.S. House, he could become the first openly gay black person elected to Congress.

Brandon, 39, says that distinction would be “really significant” because black people within the LGBT community tend to suffer most in terms of discrimination, but he asks potential supporters to look at his full body of work as the reason to back his candidacy.

“I tell people don’t vote for me because I’m gay, [but] because I passed more bills than anybody in the race,” Brandon said. “And so, we’re about effectiveness. So, for people to see my work, it really makes it a much more powerful conversation to say, ‘You know what, we really don’t care about his sexuality; we’re just glad he put 10 new schools in our district.’”

Find Brandon's campaign website HERE.


Transgender Student From Charlotte, NC Nominated For Homecoming King

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Blake Brockington, a 17-year-old transgender student at Charlotte, North Carolina's East Mecklenburg High School has been nominated for homecoming king. Brockington, who had a difficult childhood and coming out experience, hopes to win in order to set an example for other transgender youth. His nomination comes after a tumultuous fall in which Cassidy Campbell won homecoming queen at her California school (only to find herself intensely bullied) and Casey Karon was denied the option at his Pennsylvania school.

Be that as it may, Brockington has a chance to make a huge difference in the lives of others.

QNotes reports:

“I honestly feel like this is something I have to do,” says Brockington, noting few other transgender male students have had the opportunity...

Brockington says winning will mean the most for several younger transgender students he mentors, including a nine-year-old boy.

“He really looks up to me. That’s my heart,” Brockington says of his mentee. “He has support now and he will be able to avoid just about everything I’m going through and I don’t want him to ever have to be scared. I feel like if I do this, that’s one red flag for everybody to say, ‘Nobody should be scared to be themselves and everybody should have an equal opportunity to have an enjoyable high school experience.’”

Brockington faced a great deal of difficulty when he came out as transgender during his sophomore year at East Mecklenburg. His step-mother supported him, while his dad did not, and various peers, teachers, and guidance counselors were none-too-helpful either. After having good experiences coming out to several friends and attending a local Queer Youth Prom at the Time Out Youth Center, though, Brockington gained confidence.

“After that, I was like, ‘I don’t have to do this anymore — I don’t have to hide anymore or not be myself,’” he says. “I came to school my junior year and said, ‘Hey, I’m Blake.’”

He now lives in foster care, a more supportive environment, and will head off to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte to study math, music, and education in the fall. And though his positive intentions are reason enough to encourage Brockington's homecoming win, the crown will eventually go to the student who raises the most money for Mothering Across Continents, a non-profit building schools in South Sudan. 

...even if he doesn’t win, he’ll still be among a dozen guys on the school’s homecoming court, though Brockington is aiming for top spot.

“We’re hoping for king,” he says.

Head over to QNotes for more information about the fundraising effort and donations. We'll be rooting for you at Towleroad, Blake! 

Photo via Qnotes.


Clay Aiken's Would-Be GOP Opponent Renee Ellmers Already Using Homophobic Rhetoric Against Him

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Clay Aiken, who officially announed his intention to run for Congress and challenge Rep. Renee Ellmers in North Carolina, is already being attacked by Ellmers with familiar homophobic rhetoric, Think Progress reports.

EllmersEllmers released a statement linking Aiken to San Francisco (you know, where the radical gays hang out):

“It speaks volumes to the state of the N.C. Democratic Party that the primary is shaping up to be a choice between the failed Perdue Administration’s Keith Crisco, a lawyer who doesn’t even live in the district, an activist who’s (sic) own party rejected her in the last democrat primary – and Aiken, a performer whose political views more closely resemble those of San Francisco than Sanford,” Ellmers spokeswoman Jessica Wood wrote in an email. “Renee best represents the values of the voters in the 2nd District and remains focused on fighting for their families.”

The remarks were immediately denounced by the former executive director of the NC Republican party, who called them "offensive and childish".

Zack Ford notes that Ellmers has a consistently anti-gay record:

She opposed North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage because it also banned civil unions, but she still opposes same-sex marriage. She has supported bills to limit the religious freedom of military chaplains to officiate same-sex marriages and endorsed efforts to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.


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