A young Latina, perched on sturdy shoulders, waved her rainbow flag amid a massive show of support sent from Asheville to Orlando with love. Photo by Able Allen

Solidarity in grief and love: Ashevillea­ns stand in vigil for the victims of mass shooting at Pulse Bar in Orlando

To honor the victims of the deadliest mass shooting carried out by an individual in our nation’s history, Asheville people gathered for words of encouragement, an urging toward actions of love, a friendly embrace and a moment of silence. On Monday evening, streams of people filed in on foot, on bikes, and in cars to […]

MEET AND GREET: Governor Pat McCrory at the Western Residence hosting constituents during the Spring Open House. Photo by Able Allen

INTERVIEW: Gov. McCrory offers his views, amid protests at the Western Residence

Spring is a beautiful time to visit the Governor’s Western Residence on Town Mountain. Governors and their spouses have traditionally opened the residence to the public twice a year — once in the spring when the rhododendrons are in full bloom, and once during the winter holidays. Last December’s gathering saw record attendance, according to a tour guide […]

Two groups of demonstrators face off across the street from one another. Photo by John Penley

In photos: A rally in support of HB 2 and protesters against it share Pack Square

On Saturday, April 2, supporters and opponents of the recently-passed North Carolina legislation House Bill 2 demonstrated in Asheville’s Pack Square. The new law overturns a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity rather than the sex that matches their birth certificate. It also prevents other municipalities from passing similar ordinances to Charlotte’s, and it limits legal recourse for those who believe they have experienced discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or disability.

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 […]

Claim your rights-attachment0

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 […]