For more than a decade, Jeanne Sommer of Hidden River Events has been hosting and presiding over same-sex partnership ceremonies on her farm in Swannanoa. “It doesn’t matter if it’s heterosexual or same-sex,” she says. “The ethics of good loving are what matters.” Since 2014, when a federal court ruling overturned Amendment 1 in North […]
“Mind if I suggest this special interest group’s reputation is wrapped in a rainbow — not reality?”
Extraordinary entertainment aside, “It’s the sense of camaraderie and inclusion that truly sets this pageant apart,” says last year’s winner, Dorae Saunders.
A City Council candidate forum called into question how progressive Asheville really is when it comes to rights and protections for those in the LGBTQ community. All six candidates said they are in favor of the city of Asheville implementing a nondiscrimination ordinance, which is specifically disallowed under House Bill 142.
Author, transgender activist and newcomer to Asheville Tina Madison White reflects on the state of the Pride movement in 2016. White is the director of operations for Blue Ridge Pride Center, which will host its eighth annual Pride Festival Saturday, Oct. 1 in Pack Square Park in Asheville.
“Educating in a nonthreatening way is what will help people understand each other better. I am proud of Asheville’s openness, support and stand on these important issues.”
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 […]
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 […]
At its regular meeting on April 12, Asheville City Council passed a strongly-worded resolution calling for the repeal of House Bill 2. Citizens and Council members reflected on the impact of the law on many aspects of life in North Carolina, striking a chord of near-unanimity in wholehearted dissent.
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 young people I am fortunate to know through volunteering at YouthOutright, an organization serving LGBTQ youth in Western North Carolina, may have the most intimate understanding of homophobia’s systemic influence in our culture.”
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.
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 […]
If someone was making a movie of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard’s life, Jared Leto would fall all over himself to land the lead role: An Asheville-born artist and writer (Dillard grew up on Sunset Mountain) leaves North Carolina for the bright lights of 1970s Los Angeles. He immerses himself in the excitement and excess of that […]
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 […]
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