LGBTQ

Bull statue Durham
Shawn Blanchard via Flickr

The Durham City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday that aims to protect workers from discrimination against hairstyles such as braids, dreadlocks or afros.

It also passed an ordinance that broadly protect members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination.

Anita says all the time "what's personal is political." So, she's interested to see how a new presidential administration will affect the ability of transgender Americans to serve in the U.S. military, which has long suffered from barriers to equity for troops and veterans from marginalized communities.


The old Orange County courthouse in Hillsborough.
Joseph A. / Flickr

Updated: Jan. 14, 2021. 12:10 p.m.

Hillsborough is the first North Carolina municipality to pass an ordinance to protect its LGBTQ residents from discrimination since a three-and-a-half-year statewide pause on enacting such rules expired in December.

A 3 1/2-year ban on local ordinances aimed at protecting LGBT rights in North Carolina expired Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, prompting gay rights groups to urge the passage of such measures.
Gerry Broome / AP

Three North Carolina municipalities plan this week to discuss ordinances to expand more anti-discrimination protections to LGBT citizens.


Anita knows how frustrating it can be to find the right doctor and get good healthcare. Transgender people have to navigate all those challenges and take extra measures to advocate for their wellbeing with medical providers who are too often untrained to treat them.

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The recent Supreme Court decision on LGBTQ job discrimination doesn't directly affect the military's transgender service ban, but people opposed to the ban say it may help their own court fight.

Protestors march for DACA.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The LGBTQ community and DACA recipients are celebrating last week's Supreme Court decisions. In a surprise 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court ruled the Trump Administration could not immediately end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program⁠. 

Retired couple Pat McAulay (left) and Margaret Roesch on their front porch.
Kate Medley / For WUNC

Before the shelter in place rules came into effect and businesses shut down, retired couple Pat McAuley and Margaret Roesch were forging ahead with a bold idea, to build a community where LGBTQ seniors feel at home.   

The album cover featuers a hand gripping a chin and neck.
Courtesy of Loamlands

Durham-based, local legend Kym Register, who performs as Loamlands, returns this summer with their sophomore album “Lez Dance.”

Image of 2019 WUNC Youth Reporting Institute students and leadership.
William Cumbo / WUNC

WUNC’s Youth Reporting Institute wraps up its summer program this week and the offerings from this year’s cohort reflect many of the complex problems our nation has been grappling with — immigration, LGBTQ rights and mass shootings.

The Greensboro Bound Literary Festival has come a long way in just three years. The event was the brainchild of book lover Steve Colyer who thought that with the Triad’s rich literary scene, Greensboro needed its own book festival.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

Harsh criminal and anti-LGBT laws went into effect on Wednesday in Brunei amid outcry from human rights groups and celebrities.

Brunei's interpretation of Islamic law now imposes death by stoning as a punishment for sex between men and adultery, as well as amputation of limbs for theft. Lesbian sex can carry a penalty of up to 10 years in jail, the BBC reports.

NC General Assembly; State Legislature.
Dave Crosby / Flickr Share-Alike

North Carolina Democrats have found strength in numbers, and they are using if to push for an ambitious – if lofty – agenda.

photo of Jacob Tobia
© Oriana Koren

Jacob Tobia grew up a gender non-conforming child in the Triangle. And while many narratives of LGBTQ life in the South are saddled with stories of bullying and strife, Tobia had a different experience.

Group photo from The Campaign for Southern Equality.
Courtesy of The Campaign for Southern Equality

More than 500,000 transgender people live in the South, according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. National data show that nearly a quarter of trans people do not get any kind of healthcare because of a fear of discrimination. A new report from the Campaign for Southern Equality and Western NC Community Health Services examines the specific barriers faced by transgender people who live in the South. 

Amanda Magnus / WUNC

When Triad-based artist Molly McGinn agreed to organize a new weekly music night at a local venue, she wanted it to look and sound a little different. 

Jayden Starr performs at the 2018 Salisbury Pride.
Brennan Lewis / For WUNC

It’s was a humid, overcast afternoon on the day of Salisbury Pride. Thousands of excited visitors crowded the city’s historic downtown. This summer marked Salisbury’s eighth annual LGBTQ pride festival. That’s unprecedented for a city of 34,000 in North Carolina.

photo of Candis Cox speaking at a podium with signs for the human rights campaign and equality NC
Courtesy of Candis Cox

Candis Cox was working as a representative with American Airlines at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport when she was thrust into the role of political activist. Cox is a transgender woman, and after the passage of North Carolina House Bill 2, she was told she could no longer use the bathroom that aligned with her gender identity.

still from the movie, both men lounging near a pool in the desert
Courtesy of Tim Kirkiman

Twenty years ago openly-gay North Carolina filmmaker Tim Kirkman produced a narrative documentary in the style of an open-letter to former Sen. Jesse Helms. The Emmy-nominated “Dear Jesse,” featured a wide range of interviews, serving to bring humanity to gay voices in the state. Kirkman returns to the North Carolina to screen his latest work “Lazy Eye,” a movie reuniting two long-lost lovers for a weekend at Joshua Tree. It explores the angst of mid-life through the drama of a tangled relationship.

photo of duke chapel
Wikimedia Commons

In 2014, the LGBTQ community rallied around students at Duke Divinity School after former Dean Richard Hays warned incoming students that under the rules of the United Methodist Church openly gay individuals would not be ordained and gay marriage is not accepted. Though Dean Hays is long gone, some students continue to voice discontent. During the state-of-the-school speech last month, Dean Elaine Heath was interrupted by LGBTQ students carrying bullhorns and chanting “I am somebody, and I won’t be stopped by nobody.”

Cover of Issue 3 of 'I Don't Do Boxes'
Courtesy of 'I Don't Do Boxes' / Tumblr

The Greensboro-based magazine “I Don’t Do Boxes” features the narratives of LGBTQ youth living in the American South and beyond. 

John Carroll Whitener
Courtesy of John Carroll Whitener

 John Carroll Whitener could have easily avoided being drafted into the Vietnam War. He could have truthfully checked the box marked “yes” on the military form that asked new recruits if they had homosexual tendencies. But doing so would have meant admitting a truth he was not ready to accept and facing the consequences of a future that did not include his family and church.

Unaffiliated incumbent Nancy McFarlane has won a fourth term as mayor of North Carolina's capital city.
raleighnc.gov

LGBTQ advocates are still celebrating Tuesday's election results.

Matt Hirschey of Equality NC says 70 percent of the candidates his organization endorsed were elected to municipal office.

Photo of Reverend Mykal Slack
Courtesy Mykal Slack

Mykal Slack grew up in rural Georgia in an enormous extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. He was raised as a girl — the sex on his birth certificate — but from a young age he remembers crafting imaginary worlds in which he had a boy’s name.

Image of Lisa Hightown-Weidman and her family
Courtesy of Lisa Hightow-Weidman

Lisa Hightow-Weidman grew up with her nose always in a book. She majored in English in college and had aspirations of becoming a writer.

Courtesy of Karen Ziegler

LGBTQ individuals have long been pushed out of religious and spiritual communities, but that has not made all of them lose their faith. In fact, many LGBTQ folks have taken on leadership roles to advocate for and heal their communities. 

Pauli Murray, National Historic Landmark, Civil Rights, Women's Rights
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The childhood home of Pauli Murray in Durham is now a National Historic Landmark. Relatives, community leaders and the Pauli Murray Project celebrated with a homecoming.

Image of Ivey Ghee and her mother, participants in the podcast 'Out In The South'
Jeff Sykes

The series "Out In The South" features the narratives of five generations of LGBTQ Southerners. It showcases residents' experiences navigating their identity in a cultural environment that can be supportive at times, and polarizing at others. The series includes a podcast and a written component published by Greensboro-based publication YES!Weekly

Courtesy of Zanele Muholi

In 2006, South Africa became the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. While social justice activists around the world saw this event as a tremendous victory, the country was still in a lot of turmoil. Homophobic hate crimes and violence were on the rise, and many individuals reported being subject to “curative rape,” a hate crime in which someone is raped to “cure” them of their sexual identity.

Photo of Rome's Gay Pride parade
Fabio Frustaci / AP Photo

LGBT issues continue to make headlines across the country, whether it's in regards to North Carolina's controversial HB2 or how the presidential candidates plan to address LGBT rights.

But how does the U.S. compare to other countries in terms of cultural support and government policies for its LGBT community?

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