The House Is On Fire!: Emergency LGBTQIA+ Community Town Hall ~ 4/22/2023: RF20XX’s A Glance At Time


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Nearly two weeks ago, former Democratic State Representative Tricia Cotham made the decision to switch to the Republican party, giving that party within North Carolina a veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the state’s legislature. Securing her seat for another term just this past November, Ms. Cotham ran on a platform of raising minimum wage, protecting voting rights, and bolstering LBGTQIA+ rights.

Despite her former leanings, a picture of what is to come is shown in the Republican party’s rush to pass many of their priority bills, including the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act Ms. Cotham voted in favor of, an anti-trans bill intended to prevent transgender female athletes from playing on women’s sports teams. In no uncertain terms, potential laws like this stigmatizes trans youth, depriving them of opportunity and labeling them as outsiders in a nation that is increasingly demonizing those in the LGBTQIA+ community. As reported in a Charlotte Observer article this past Wednesday (4/19/2023), close to twenty other states have bills like this one ready to go, including Tennessee and Florida.

Cameron Pruette, director of faith organizing at The Freedom Center for Social Justice and president of the LGBTQ Democrats of Mecklenburg County, working with Democratic state leaders and Charlotte’s own LGBTQIA+ organizations, has been in action even before the party change. However, amidst the multiple issues circling, not everyone knows what to do or how to help, and even more pressing, due to the precedent set by Ms. Cotham and others like her, if they can even trust who has said they’d stand up to Anti-issues in our government, like a bizarre real-world invasion of the body-snatchers. So, with 72 hours to organize an event, Mr. Pruette made an announcement of an emergency town hall to be held at Charlotte’s Carolina E-Sports Hub, located in a business plaza off of Clanton Road.

And the house was packed.

Even with the limited ability to work with so many people in and around our Queen City community, there was many recognizable faces within the crowd, including drag performers Karen Affection, Onya Nerves, and one of Charlotte’s newest drag kings, Jaysin Waterfalls, along with notable community advocate Jersey Omari Lavish. Who I got to know though may be more important, because even as a part of the community, it is a folly that I’m woefully unaware of who the exact people are that fight for the rights of me and my friends. I’m sure Mr. Pruette may be aware of this as well, that there is a good number who don’t have that knowledge, and through his tireless work, he did what he knows how to do; he organized.

Get to know these names:
– Representative John Autry (District 100)
– Representative Mary Belk (NC District 88)
– Representative Terry Brown, Jr. (NC District 92)
– Senator Rachel Hunt (NC District 42)
– Rhys Chambers (Senior Regional Organizer at Human Right Campaign)
… among others that spoke from various Charlotte organizations at Saturday’s event.

If you missed the event, check out the above video RF20XX recorded from start to finish at the town hall, and stay on after the video ends for QR Codes, leading to info of Charlotte and the larger North Carolina’s organizations, as well as tips on how you can make an impact for the betterment of our state’s LGBTQIA+ citizenship.

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