Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Charlotte Pride weeks starts Friday

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 11:22 AM

It's that time of the year, time for Charlotte Pride.


Here are the details from the Pride Charlotte press release:

Highlighting the social, cultural, ethnic and artistic diversity of the metro Charlotte area’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte will kick-off their 10-day Pride Charlotte Week slate of activities on Aug. 19. The diverse series of events run through Aug. 28, with its premier event, the annual Pride Charlotte Festival, taking over S. Tryon St. and Uptown’s Levine Center for the Arts on Saturday, Aug. 27, Noon-8 p.m. A full list of Pride Charlotte events and activities can be found at PrideCharlotte.com/events/.

For the first time, organizers have moved their annual festival to S. Tryon St., home to many of the city’s other high-profile festivals and street fairs. The event, featuring dozens of vendors and multiple stages of entertainment, will include featured national and local entertainers like Charlotte hip-hop band Eyes of the Elders, drag performer Jessica Wild from Logo’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” teenaged transgender singer-songwriter Ryan Cassata, recording artist Adam Tyler, indie rocker Richard Cortez and many others.

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners Chairman Jennifer Roberts are scheduled to speak at the Pride Charlotte Festival on Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. on the festival’s Stonewall Stage. For more on this year’s festival, a festival map and entertainment line-up, visit PrideCharlotte.com/events/festival/.

Pride Charlotte Week will run Aug. 19-28. The week-long series of events includes an art exhibit, an interfaith Pride worship service, diverse nightlife events, a family-friendly picnic and more. In addition, “The Sounds of Pride,” a joint concert in celebration of Pride Charlotte will be presented by the Charlotte Pride Band, Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte and One Voice Chorus at the Mint Museum Uptown on Thursday, Aug. 25. For more information on Sounds of Pride and for tickets, visit PrideCharlotte.com/SoundsofPride/.

Pride Charlotte, a project of The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, is the largest event across the Carolinas celebrating the lives and culture of the LGBT community. A portion of proceeds from the event benefit The Center.

For more detailed information about Pride Charlotte, visit PrideCharlotte.com.

It is great that local politicians aren't hiding from Pride Charlotte and are recognizing that a community that accepts all of its residents is the only way Charlotte will ever be a world class city.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Impress your guests with X-Rated Drinks

Posted By on Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 4:07 PM


You're having a party and your guests are tired of piña coladas, daiquiris and the like; why not give them some Hot Pussy or a BJ Shooter? Or, you could wow your guests with a Sperm Bank drink as well. And if you want to really show them something, give them all a Royal Screw.

In the new book X-Rated Drinks: More Than 250 of the Hottest Drinks Ever Made, you'll learn how to make the above drinks and so much more. Like, for example, my favorite: Horny Bull:

1 1/2 oz. tequila

3 oz. orange juice

1 oz. prepared lemonade

1/2 or grenadine

Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice and blend until firm. Garnish with an orange wedge and a cherry. Don't let these catch up with you.

For more, buy the book.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Under-reported rapes lead to fleeing criminals

Posted By on Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Editor's Note: As of December 2016, all of Dr. Hart's charges related to the accusations below have been dismissed and expunged from his record by the state of South Carolina.

The case of Rock Hill doctor Darlington Hart is disturbing on so many levels.

Here's some background on the accusations the dentist faces:

Darlington Hart, 42, has a practice in Rock Hill on Constitution Boulevard, and another in Charlotte on England Street. Both offices are called Cornerstone Medical.Last week, Rock Hill police charged Hart with criminal sexual conduct. Police said at his Rock Hill office, Hart grabbed one of his employees by the arm, pulled her into a room, turned up the radio and raped her. He then told her not to tell anyone about it, police said.She reported it to police after two co-workers urged her to, investigators said.

This wasn't the first time that the doctor had been accused of sexual assault, according to WSOC:

In one case, a 38-year-old woman claimed Hart raped her in July 2008 after giving her medicine to help her relax. She said it happened while she was under the influence of the medicine. That victim delayed reporting the incident for more than a year, and later decided not to press charges.Then, in March 2010, a 31-year-old woman told police that she went to Hart to get refills on pain medication. She claimed Hart grabbed her and said he'd give her more pain medicine if she'd have sex with him. She told police she delayed reporting the incident because Hart threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

It wasn't until a third rape allegation surfaced and Hart fled the country that police gave the two previous cases a second look. Really? Have we gotten to a point in this country that you have to rape (allegedly) three women before any reported rape is taken seriously? Even after being charged, somehow Hart was able to flee the country.

Police said Hart fled the country after he was accused most recently. A national crime database found him briefly in London after he took a flight there from Charlotte. Now, police think he's in Nigeria, where he's from.That nation does not commonly extradite criminal suspects to the United States. It's unlikely Hart will be arrested unless he returns to the U.S.

Hart, according to the Rock Hill Herald, was "convinced" to return to the states. Umm, he should've never had the opportunity to leave in the first place; with three allegations of rape, he should've been monitored by someone.

Hart was wanted for charges of criminal sexual conduct, third degree.

But we worry about putting marijuana smokers in jail on less-serious charges?

Rape is one of the most under-reported crimes in the nation, and cases like Hart's pretty much show why.

According to RAINN, the Rape Abuse Incest National Network, 15 out 16 rapist will never spend a day in jail.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

June is the 30th anniversary of the discovery of HIV/AIDS

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Thirty years ago, a mysterious sickness began killing people slowly. The first reported case of what is now known as HIV/AIDS, is hard to pinpoint, according to Fiercebiotechresearch.com.

Breakthroughs in genetics, drug delivery, vaccines, computer modeling and other disparate disciplines are all converging onto their target. Even recent vaccine failures have opened up new avenues of inquiry."This is a pivotal moment in HIV vaccine research," Alan Bernstein, executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, recently told Reuters. "The last five years have been the richest period in HIV vaccine research since the epidemic began. The question...now is how do we build on these scientific advances?" He added that cross-border and cross-discipline collaboration among scientists was crucial.

Much work still needs to be done to rid the world of this modern-day plague that has cost so many lives, but it seems to be with renewed focus, AIDS research is moving forward. With antiretroviral combination drugs as treatment and possibly prevention, and a reinvigorated vaccine search, it is possible that HIV/AIDS could eventually go the way of smallpox into the dustbin of history.

While medical advances have been made over the last three decades, the social stigmas still exist. According to The Body.com, an AIDS/HIV resource website, in the 1980s, the CDC identified the "4H" groups — people most likely to contract HIV and AIDS.

"I don't know if you remember that the CDC had identified people at risk as the 'four Hs,' " says Jean Claude Compas, M.D., a Haitian family-practice physician in Brooklyn, N.Y. "It stood for "Haitians, hemophiliacs, homosexuals and heroin addicts."

When, in 1983, the CDC recommended banning the "4H" groups from donating blood, it cast a social stigma over the Haitian community.

"Scientifically, it didn't make any sense," Dr. Compas says of the ban. Despite New York City health officials lifting Haitians from its own 4H high-risk group in 1983, federal agencies continued to bar them from blood drives for eight more years.

On April 20, 1990, when the U.S. ban was up for review, about 70,000 Haitian New Yorkers marched across the Brooklyn Bridge into lower Manhattan to protest what Dr. Compas calls the "terrible stigma" that was demonizing Haitian blood.

"The protest was very important for us," says Dr. Compas, who was a key organizer of the march. Today, he finds, "the stigma of AIDS is less, but still there," so the task of educating his community about prevention and treatment remains urgent.

Here in Mecklenburg County, County Commissioner Bill James makes no attempts to show tolerance for people with HIV or who have lost a loved one to the disease. Nearly two years ago, he angered the community and fellow commissioner Vilma Leake by calling her son a "homo" and then released a statement to the media that furthered his disdain of same-sex benefits.

"In justifying her position last night in public she used her son's 'lifestyle' and his death from HIV-AIDS to justify voting for benefits to allow individuals to use tax dollars to engage in the same behavior that resulted in her son's death."

"It is akin to someone whose son is an alcoholic and died from the disease, using his death from drinking as justification to have the taxpayers pay for more booze."

"Her position was that her 'faith' demanded that she do this to support her son and his 'lifestyle' which she acknowledges killed him."

"In doing so, it is legitimate to ask her what 'lifestyle' and in particular whether her son was a homosexual.

Charlotte lost the Metrolina AIDS Project in 2009, an organization that provided free testing and other services. The local LGBT newspaper Q-Notes provided a timeline of the group's demise.

MAP has served thousands of Charlotte-area patients with HIV. Despite their legacy of good work, the organization also has a history riddled with internal struggles, financial difficulties and an uneasiness with public LGBT-affirmation.

Fall 1985 — During the height of the AIDS crisis, six gay men make the decision to form an AIDS service organization to meet the needs of Charlotte area individuals contracting HIV.

July 16, 1986 — MAP’s articles of incorporation are filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State.

Aug. 1990 — Chaired by MAP board president Sister Mary Thomas Burke, the organization’s “Program Review Panel” rejects a gay-themed HIV prevention and condom-use advertisement. Depicting two young men draped in an American flag, a federal judge involved in a lawsuit over other local “Program Review Panels” said it was “difficult to explain” why MAP rejected the seemingly innocent ad.

July 8, 1991 — MAP’s board of directors votes no confidence in openly gay executive director John Conley and asks him to resign after he publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation at an AIDS Quilt exhibit in Charlotte. In a later interview with Q-Notes, Conley claims he was told not to use the word “gay” in a MAP newsletter. Following Conley’s ouster, three MAP staffers and four volunteers also leave the organization.

1993 — A routine United Way review and audit reveal serious internal problems and financial difficulties for MAP, including deficiencies in policy and procedure, inadequate documentation and record-keeping of Ryan White CARE Act-funded programs and services and inappropriate coordinate of care. At the time, funding from the Regional HIV/AIDS Consortium is put on hold.

Dec. 1993 — MAP treasurer Stephen O’Shields is arrested and charged with embezzling nearly $118,000 from the organization.

Sept. 1994 — Stephen O’Shields is sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to repay the money he embezzled from MAP.

Oct. 1996 — Infighting and disagreements among staff result in the resignation of MAP Executive director Barbara Rein and the termination or resignation of a half-dozen other employees including three department directors.

Feb. 2008 — Carolina Celebration, a primarily gay men’s philanthropic organization, announces it will quit contributing to MAP amidst concerns the AIDS organization is mismanaging funds and moving away from serving the gay community. Carolina Celebration had contributed tens of thousands of dollars to MAP each year.

Jan. 2009 — MAP comes close to closure when it is revealed the organization’s Ryan White CARE Act funding is put on hold pending “a routine review.” MAP officials say the funding hold stemmed partly from organizational problems surrounding the opening of MAP’s Metrolina Care Network Clinic and a failure to get approval for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

August 2009 — MAP announces that Dr. Jose Diaz will become executive director and that the Health Resources and Services Administration has approved a recovery plan for the organization, which will aim to restructure the group’s service delivery toward a clinical care approach.

Fall 2009 — Disagreements among staff and financial problems lead to staff resignations, lay offs and the decision to shutter MAP’s doors.

According to the 2010 Mecklenburg County Health Department Community Report, the county has a 16.6-percent HIV rate, nearly 7 percent higher than the statewide rate of 10.1 percent.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Ohmibod, come with your iPod

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I bet Steve Jobs never thought of this use of the iPod.

The web site for Ohmibod immediately tells you:

OhMiBod® is not endorsed by Apple, Inc.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Power, sex and bad choices ...

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM

John Edwards fell for it. Now two more powerful men are being watched as their lives are ruined by outside booty and sexual assault allegations.

Time magazine asked: "What makes powerful men do bad things." Well, apparently, it starts with a "P" and ends with a "Y."

When her husband Dominique Strauss-Kahn was preparing to run for President of France five years ago, Anne Sinclair told a Paris newspaper that she was "rather proud" of his reputation as a ladies' man, a chaud lapin (hot rabbit) nicknamed the Great Seducer.

"It's important," she said, "for a man in politics to be able to seduce."

Maybe it was pride that inspired French politicians and International Monetary Fund officials to look the other way as the rumors about "DSK" piled up, from the young journalist who says Strauss-Kahn tried to rip off her clothes when she went to interview him, to the female lawmaker who describes being groped and pawed and vowed never to be in a room alone with him again, to the economist who argued in a letter to IMF investigators that "I fear that this man has a problem that, perhaps, made him unfit to lead an institution where women work under his command." Maybe it was the moral laziness and social coziness that impel elites to protect their own. Maybe it was a belief that he alone could save the global economy. Maybe nothing short of jail is disqualifying for certain men in certain circles. 

But in any event, the arrest of Strauss-Kahn in New York City for allegedly trying to rape a hotel maid has ignited a fierce debate over sex, law, power and privilege. And it is only just beginning. The night of Strauss-Kahn's arraignment, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted that the reason his wife Maria Shriver walked out earlier this year was the discovery that he had fathered a child more than a decade ago with a former member of the household staff. The two cases are far apart: only one man was hauled off to jail. But both suggest an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust. And both involve men whose long-standing reputations for behaving badly toward women did not derail their rise to power. Which raises the question: How can it be, in this ostensibly enlightened age, when men and women live and work as peers and are schooled regularly in what conduct is acceptable and what is actionable, that anyone with so little judgment, so little honor, could rise to such heights?

Power is a huge turn-on to many women, and a lot of men know that when they're, say, president of the United States (Bill Clinton) it's easy to talk any woman into giving head. Power not only corrupts, but it makes these men sloppy.

In the era of HIV/AIDS, you really went bareback Arnold? And rape isn't about conquering sexually ... it's a crime, Dom!

"When men have more opportunity, they tend to act on that opportunity," says psychologist Mark Held, a private practitioner in the Denver area who specializes in male sexuality and the problems of overachievers. "The challenge becomes developing ways to control the impulses so you don't get yourself into self-defeating situations."

These men and many others allowed the thought that they were super powers go to their heads, but when the dirt comes to light, it doesn't take long for them to be reminded that this behavior only goes unpunished in comic books.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

How to tell someone you have a STD ... or do you?

Posted By on Fri, May 6, 2011 at 2:37 PM

In a world of HIV/AIDS and a resurgence of syphilis, you'd think people would know how to share their status with a potential lover. Sadly, we don't. It's hard to tell someone that you have a STD, especially if you're really into the other person. But it is irresponsible not to do so.

An article from Your Tango, addresses this heart-wrenching decision:

Perhaps the most difficult part about living with an STI like herpes or genital warts is that no matter how safe your sexual activity, there will always remain a risk of transmission. As such, YourTango Expert and relationship counselor Dr. Erica Goodstone urges that, "your only ethical and fair choice is to be open and honest with a partner with whom you want to share sexual intimacy."

Disclosing early is important. "Just don't make it one of the first conversations you have," Veronica Monet cautions. "You don't want to communicate that your STI status is the single most important thing there is to learn about you, because it is not. If you think it is, then you need to readjust your attitude."

There is support locally for individuals with certain STDs; for example, the Charlotte H Club is a group of people who support each other and help raise awareness about herpes.

When a person has a sexually transmitted disease, people don’t rally around them like they do cancer patients. Many people feel guilty and isolated. Pam knows that feeling and she didn’t want others in Charlotte to feel that way. That’s why she started the Charlotte H Club in 2005.

“The group is basically a social and support group for anybody that has been diagnosed with Herpes and HPV,” she said. “About 1 in 4 adults have genital herpes and one in two adults have some strain of the HPV virus.”

Joining the club is private and Pam said the website is password protected. “There is such a social stigma against the viruses.”

When Pam moved to Charlotte from Florida, she created the group because she didn’t know anyone in the area and there was an active group in her hometown.

By word of mouth and Google searches, the group has about 1,000 members. Monthly, Pam said, the members get together for dinner and socials. Of course, all 1,000 members don’t show up.

The Charlotte H club allows people to talk about handling their disease and it gives the members a chance to date. Pam said some members have become more than friends as a result of the group. And members who date someone that doesn’t have herpes or HPV, they get to talk about their fears of telling their potential partner that they have the STD.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's former madam Sallie Saxon doing now? Protesting abortion and praising Jesus ...

Posted By on Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 1:45 PM

In 2007, Sallie Saxon was dubbed the "South Park Madam" when her multimillion dollar prostitution ring came crashing down. Saxton spent two years in prison, but she's back — this time, however, she's not selling flesh, she's all about Jesus. On her website www.salliesaxon.com, she says:

While in prison the Lord created an amazing opportunity to mentor inmates.  I would go to the chapel daily and waited for the Lord to send those in need of prayer.  Before long there was a waiting list of hurt women seeking prayer.  I talked with each individually about their life, mistakes, families, future plans and especially where they were spiritually.  All of these women had one thing in common; abortion and the inability to forgive themselves.  Not until they accepted the Lord Jesus Christ experiencing forgiveness could they forgive themselves.  How blessed I have been to see many hardened women become Christians and baptized in prison.  I continue to share passionately the unconditional love, forgiveness and hope only the Lord Jesus Christ can give all of us.

Kudos to Saxon for finding her salvation, but why has she decided to use her second chance to pester other women?

Saxon was featured in The Charlotte Observer protesting outside of an abortion clinic.

"It is very unsettling out here," Saxon conceded.

Yes, she said, some of her prostitutes had abortions.

No, she didn't help them.

Yes, she condoned it.

"I felt," she said, "like it was a woman's choice."

She said God changed her mind.

God or a prison sentence. It's great to see a madam given a second chance, but it's kind of hypocritical for her to jump in the way of a woman's right to choose. Most of these protesters are lining up to adopt the babies they "save" from abortion.

Abortion is a decision best made between a woman and her doctor, her family and her faith, said Melissa Reed of Planned Parenthood Health Systems, which runs a health center in Charlotte where a woman can get an abortion.

"It's unconscionable," Reed said about the protests by anti-abortionists. "They don't know the reason a woman took that step. They don't know if that woman was raped, or if she had wanted a pregnancy that went wrong. Women should be able to access those services without fear, intimidation and harassment."

And speaking of fear, many in this city are still afraid that Saxon will reveal the contents of her little black book. Rumors have run rampant for years about the names of the men who used the service.

But Saxon isn't talking about that, according to The Observer. But, things could always change. We'll wait.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Winter saps the love out of your life

Posted By on Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 4:42 PM


If you live in Charlotte, count yourself lucky for a mild winter. I'm sure you're yelling at the screen reminding me how cold it's been, and that we even had some snow. But you're forgetting that we don't live in the Northeast. Sadly, winter in all it's grayness and icy coldness isn't going away anytime soon, despite what that groundhog may say. Thursday, the forecast calls for snow in the late evening.

That snow, although we aren't expecting more than a light dusting in the Q.C., is the reason why your wintertime love life is a big blah!

Just 8 percent of Americans reported that winter weather left them feeling sexy.

But some people who took part in the Associated Press poll feel another way about winter loving.

Given the choice between grabbing an extra blanket or cozying up with someone special when it's cold, most people choose snuggling over a Snuggie.

And some folks take things a whole lot further: 15 percent of Americans who were cooped up by the weather reported having more sex than usual. (Two-thirds reported no romantic uptick while trapped inside, and 15 percent reported having less sex than usual.)

The poll found that spring gets the most frequent nod from those polled as the best time to fall in love, begin dating someone, meet someone new or get married.

And two-thirds of people find shorts and bathing suits are easier on the eyes than sweaters, scarves and boots.

But it turns out that winter's getting a bad rap as a bad time for romance: Among those in serious, committed relationships but not married, 29 percent said they began dating in winter, 26 percent in spring, 26 percent in fall and 19 percent in the summer.

So, spring, we're waiting!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Celebrate Valentine's Day at Leather and Lace ... with your ex

Posted By on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 4:55 PM


It's almost that time of the year again — time for Valentine's Day. Red hearts and roses are lining the aisles of your favorite stores. Even some adult shops have gotten in the V-Day mood putting out the best and tastiest lubes.

But if you're single or just recently dumped (or got dumped) you probably don't give a damn about the lovey-dovey side of St. Valentine's Day. Obviously the good people at Leather and Lace Southend feel your pain. So, if you want to spend Feb. 12 (the Saturday before Valentine's Day, which falls on a Monday this year) doing something other than burning your ex's picture, you should take one of those pictures and head to the South Boulevard strip club.

If you're wondering, "Sally, why would I take a picture of my ex to the strip club?" You should know that on Feb. 12, Leather and Lace is hosting a "Love on The Rocks" party. And your entry is free if you show up with a picture of you and that ex. There will be food and drink specials as well as prizes.

How do you keep from turning to a box of overpriced chocolate when you're heart broken on Valentine's Day?

Plotting revenge is fun.

Ordering take out and watching movies like Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct have their place, especially if you think about your ex being Michael Douglas.

Or, you could get together with some of your single friends and have the best time of your life. No need to keep crying over bitter chocolate.

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