The WNC Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Initiative presented Jan. 19, Homelessness & Queer Youth in WNC, a free panel discussion at First Congregational United Church of Christ.

Panel participants, from left to right, Zeke Christopolous, executive director, Tranzmission, Peggy Weil, advocacy coordinator, Western North Carolina AIDS Project, Joey Lopez, Haywood Street Congregation and Campaign for Southern Equality, Jon Cox, case manager for Trinity Place Youth Shelter, and Allister Stryan of Help Out Youth.

Joshua Bledsoe from Blue Ridge Community College, far right, served as a panel moderator.

Asheville’s a welcoming place for LGBTQ youth, but homeless quandary persists

The scarcity of jobs in Asheville, an already difficult job horizon for LGBTQ people, as well as difficult, intolerant home situations often mean unstable housing for these WNC youths. As Asheville becomes more and more an attractive and welcoming place for LGBTQ teens and young adults in the area as well as the country, the influx compounds the homeless situation.

Around 100 supporters and activists gather at Vance Monument Nov. 20 to remember transgender people murdered in the last year due to discrimination.

Activists say transgende­r people still face uphill battle in Asheville

Activists who gathered Thursday night, Nov. 20, during the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TdoR) say there is ongoing danger toward transgender people living in Asheville, and it may not be an issue that is on people’s radar. “There is danger for transgender people living in Asheville. I know of transgender women who have faced danger […]

BIG TIME: Washington, D.C.-based M.H. & His Orchestra perform at the Blue Ridge Pride Festival on Saturday. This year's event also focuses on organizations oriented to the Pride community. Photo by Heaton Johnson

Blue Ridge Pride Festival focuses on marriage, family and fun

Blue Ridge Pride’s Yvonne Cook-Riley estimates that 35-40 percent of attendees at Pack Square Park for the organization’s festival on Saturday, Oct. 4, will be straight allies. That is, people who identify as heterosexual but back their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning friends and family. What accounts for such strong support of […]

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Claim your rights

The DOMA decision creates opportunities for LGBTQ individuals. Pictured: Participants in the Campaign for Southern Equality’s “We Do” action, in which LGBTQ couples request marriage licenses from registry offices throughout the the South. Photo by Max Cooper

It’s time for the silent majority to be silent no more

In light of the misrepresentations and downright untruths that are being spread about the events of Nov. 15 in downtown Bakersville, I thought I would share some “truths” about the event. The truth: The N.C. legislature recently voted to allow the voters of the state to amend the state constitution to include a legal definition […]

The Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance is about community, not conversion

On Nov. 15, the Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance held its first meeting at the Bakersville Library. On the street outside, dozens of people came to demonstrate. Some people said they were concerned we are promoting homosexual clubs in the schools. One person asked if gay people are trying to force their lifestyle on others. […]

Let’s be allies

I was saddened to see Chuck Shepherd's glib treatment of transgender children [“News of the Weird: Faimly Values,” Nov. 22 Xpress). Let's not perpetuate the ignorance and lack of acceptance that has marked too many young people's lives with cruelty and alienation. The experience of gender fluidity can start as early as 3 or 4 […]

Asheville observes Transgender Day of Remembrance with candles, reading of names-attachment0

Asheville observes Transgende­r Day of Remembranc­e with candles, reading of names

As the sun started to set on Sunday Nov. 20, about 50 people gathered outside of the Asheville Civic Center for the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Holding white candles and paper banners, they marched in silence and reverence to the Vance Monument as part of this worldwide event that memorializes those who have been killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event was co-sponsored by two local groups, Just Us For All and UNC Asheville Alliance. Photos by Megan Dombroski

WE DO supporters rally, couple arrested in civil disobedience act-attachment0

WE DO supporters rally, couple arrested in civil disobedien­ce act

Today, about 150 supporters of the WE DO campaign rallied in front of City Hall before marching down to the Buncombe County Register of Deeds, where 12 same-sex couples requested — and were denied — marriage licenses. In an act of civil disobedience, Kathryn Cartledge and her partner Elizabeth Eve, partners for 30 years, sat down and began reading rights given to heterosexual married couples until arrested and removed by Sheriff’s deputies. This post contains Twitter coverage from multiple sources from the rally and what followed.