Audio clip about the consequences of a lesbian relationship in the 1960s
Cathy Chandler grew up in North Carolina in the 1950s and early 1960s. In high school, she fell in love with a girl, and they were turned in for being lesbians. In this clip, Cathy tells of her subsequent experience with psychoanalysts.
Transcript My pediatrician recommended my parents send me to a psychoanalyst. The psychoanalyst asked me, “If your husband was in politics, would you help him with his campaign?” I said yes; it seemed like the right answer. Actually not. Both driving and politics were male, and from a psychiatric perspective, a woman who showed any interest in politics was, by definition, a lesbian. (Applause and laughter) At the time, I had no interest in politics, and was ambivalent about husbands. (Laughter)
I had dressed up for this man: wrap-around skirt, villager blouse, Weejuns, and a charm bracelet. Still, he told my parents I needed to see him three times a week for two years. That was about like a death sentence to me. I felt branded as sick. Under the law, he could have suggested institutionalization, shock therapy, aversion therapy, or lobotomy. …
I fought back. We [she and the other girl] both remained true to our feelings and concerns for how each other was doing, but we had to face our own individual futures. I fought to maintain my own sense of self, that sense of who I’d been and the values I had. Religion, the law, and psychiatry were my adversaries, but after holding my own for years with my mother, I felt I was equal to the fight. Even though it was the weakest of the three, psychiatry—by branding us, branding me, as sick—was the worst, the one I’ve railed against the most.
Audio clip about coming out in the 1970s
Connie Leeper speaks to growing up poor, black, female, and same-gender-loving in rural North Carolina in the 1970s, and the ways in which people with multiple marginalized identities face intersecting oppressions.
Transcript So, being out, for me, is the last frontier of oppressions that I have internalized, first beginning with my own race and ethnicity, and trying to overcome and shed some of the negative narratives that I was inculcated with and made me feel less than, and always made me feel like the other. And then the other one had to do with my gender, internalizing, in my community that was a very religious community, patriarchy, and men being more valuable than women, boys being more valuable than girls. And then, the third frontier for me was my social class, having grown up poor. And when I say poor, I mean rural community, mill town, Kannapolis, North Carolina, dirt road, outhouse. That’s meaning, the bathroom is outside the house, poor. And being very clear that to overcome the shame around that was a part of my journey to wholeness. And so the last frontier of those intersections of oppression that I had internalized was my own same-gender-loving, my own queerness. And so being out, to me, means that I’m always one step closer to that whole person, to that authentic person that I want to be. And it has been the hardest place to stay out in… . But for me, being able to overcome the internalized negative messages about being same-gender-loving, being out, for me, is an act of courage in the face of all those negative messages.
Audio clip about going to women’s dances at the YWCA
In this selection from a 2012 oral history, Lucy Harris remembers going to the women’s dances held at the YWCA.
Transcript Before that time, when we would have women’s dances, women would come from all over the state, because this was the only place in the state that had anything other than bars. And so, we had a lot of the dances at the YW[CA], which is now Camelot Academy. Do you know Camelot Academy on Vickers? It’s not very big. And, but, it had a porch all the way around, and the place would be just, like, overflowing with women who literally came from all over the state. A lot of women from Fort Bragg, from military bases would come. It would be the only time they could be out in the world.
Not many straight people went to those dances. (laughs) It was very funny, this friend of mine picked me up to go to a dance, and I said, “It’s so nice that I’m not the only straight woman that goes to the dances.” And I assumed she was straight, and she wasn’t! (laughs) She got a big kick out of that. But, yeah, there were some straight and bi women who would come to the dances. And my son came to just about every dance. He was kind of the little mascot. He loved it.
Bars in the 1970s and early 80s
Bars played an important role in the lives of many lesbians and gay men. They saw them as a refuge from homophobia, a place where they could be themselves and show intimacy in a way that they couldn’t in the outside world. LGBTQ+ folks could dance, hold hands, and kiss in these safe spaces. In the 1970s some members-only bars openly discriminated against people of color, and African Americans would sometimes ask whites to invite them as a guest in order to gain entrance. Older lesbians have shared fond memories of dancing the night away at these bars.
In this clip, Larry Wright speaks about the gender segregation that he saw when he went to local gay bars in the 1970s, before Pride marches started in North Carolina.
Transcript One thing that it does strike me is that there was a a lesbian bar, but the two didn’t mix like they do now. You know, when you’d have—we’d certainly have drag queens, you know, and there’d be … (trails off). And it seems to be that the drag queens attract, the drag shows attract women. But it just didn’t seem like they came into the men’s bars, and the men didn’t go into the women’s. There just wasn’t—And I think a lot [of what changed] had to do with the Pride [marches] and the things where people came together and registered as a common body their willingness to show pride in who they were. And I think that a lot of that brought people together.
Audio clip from oral history with Mignon Hooper, who speaks about going to the bar called 42nd Street, which later became the Power Company, and how welcoming it was to people from all walks of life.
Transcript But you’ll hear older gay and lesbians throughout the state who used to go say, “Girl, do you remember The Power Company? Ooh, do you remember how we danced in there?” And it was like people would dance as if there were no tomorrow, and they would dance until three or four o’clock in the morning. But it became a place where, because of the openness for people who were in whatever place on the spectrum of queer, it became a place where those who were not welcome in other venues were allowed to be there. So you had mixed-race couples who came there because they didn’t have to deal with the sneers and vicious attacks from folks who didn’t approve of mixed-race relationships, particularly black/white relationships. And you had folks who were immigrants who would come, because no one cared if you were an immigrant, and you had older folks who heard about it and came. So I had professors from the Economics department [at North Carolina Central University]–I remember a professor and he and his wife were there. And he saw me and he goes, ‘Hi! Isn’t this place great? My wife and I, we really love it!’ I was like, “Perpetrator! [laughter] We can’t have anything! You know, what’s ours is yours, what’s yours is yours. Come on, man, is nothing sacred?”
But everyone was welcome there, and you would see some of everyone there. People would come in after their wedding reception was over and people still wanted to party, and the bride and groom and whole wedding party would come in there and dance. But it was a very welcoming place in that way. And that was a big part of my orientation to Durham, and I met so many people there from so many different walks of life. So many different professions and aspiring professions. So there were professional contacts, social contacts, romantic contacts, and it just became a major hub for the city of Durham.
Audio clip about assembling The Newsletter
Lacking a local newsletter after 1976, a group of women started The Newsletter in 1981, which lasted as a monthly newsletter with an updated mid-month calendar, “Around Our Triangle,” until at least 2001. In this selection from a 2012 oral history, Lucy Harris remembers volunteering with The Newsletter and the privacy recipients needed.
Transcript And The Newsletter was always wrapped. I mean there were like fifty staples around. I mean it was so, so, so, so important for people to not have to worry about the mail carrier or anybody else knowing. There were a lot of very closeted people who got The Newsletter all over the state. Some people also had it delivered in an envelope. They paid extra to have it delivered in an envelope. But for most, for many people, the highlight of the newsletter was the calendar and the inserts. Oh, you know, it probably wasn’t that many pages. You could only have so many inserts to be able to staple it closed. And everybody wanted to have an insert if you were having any event. If you wanted anybody to come, it had to be in The Newsletter or forget it; no one was going to know about it because this is, you know, no computers. And so, if you had—were going to do an event and wanted it to be announced in the newsletter, it could be listed in the calendar. But then if you wanted an insert you had to bring 500 or 1,000 copies and you had to be there at collating to help insert your insert. So sometimes we would have like 20 people at collating. It was actually really fun.
Out Today, Out to Stay, First Annual Pride March, June 28, 1986
A group that would become the Triangle Lesbian and Gay Alliance coordinated the first annual Pride march, 1986’s “Out Today, Out to Stay.” Between 600 and 1000 marchers went from Ninth Street to the Durham reservoir on Hillandale and Hillsborough Roads. With many straight allies joining in, this march solidified the links between Durham’s LGBTQ and progressive communities.
June 1986—“Pride Month,” began with an LGBTQ-related literature display at the Durham County Library, which sparked considerable controversy. Mayor Wib Gulley signed a proclamation declaring the week of Pride “anti-discrimination week,” leading to a recall effort spearheaded by members of conservative churches, who formed an organization known as Durham Citizens for Responsible Leadership. Others collected signatures in support of the mayor, and the recall petition failed.
“Ballad of Wib Gulley,” sung to the tune of “The Ballad of Jed Clampett”
NC Lesbian and Gay Health Project and HIV/AIDS, 1982
In 1982, a group of four Durham-based activists founded the North Carolina Lesbian and Gay Health Project (LGHP) in response to widespread stories of homophobic treatment by health care providers. The project was notable in being a collaboration between lesbians and gay men at at time when the two groups often maintained separate activities and organizations, and in being a project focused on gay health issues before the arrival of the AIDS crisis.
In its early days LGHP created a telephone referral network and and presented “Homo 101” workshops to health care providers. With the onset of AIDS, much of their work began to focus on its impacts. LGHP supported the start-up of a number of other organizations focused on HIV, including the Piedmont HIV Health Care Consortium, the AIDS Community Residence Association, and ACT-UP/Triangle.
Some local gay and lesbian activists held protests at the offices of the drug company Burroughs Wellcome in Research Triangle Park, NC. The corporation had developed AZT, an antiretroviral drug used against HIV/AIDS, and the activists charged that the prices were set too high to be accessible to many people who needed the medication to survive. For more information, see the NCLGHP papers at Duke University’s Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
In this audio clip from oral history with Mignon Hooper, she speaks about how her time working at the National AIDS Hotline, then based in RTP, allowed her to develop relationships with people living with HIV.
Transcript It was a way for me to connect with other people who were out and proud. I was out but not quite as proud because I was still fearful of all the vulnerabilities. But it was really great to be immersed in a group of folks who were proud of who they were, who were fighting this battle against HIV and AIDS together, and who were supporting each other in it. It was also a privilege to work with people who were living with HIV who helped me understand what it means to be a friend, a real friend, in those situations. And I became very good friends with a man by the name of Jim Cole, James [??] Cole, a man of Norwegian heritage. He and I became good friends; we were very, very close, and we were bosom buddies. At one point he said, “You know, if things were different, you and I probably would have been married.” And I said, “You’re probably right. Even though you’re a little bit of a wimp, you know. [laughter] You’d have to man up a little bit. But you’re probably right.” Because he was just such a love.
And I met him as a co-worker, and in the end I was changing his diapers. Right down off of 15-501 in his cute little house. Friends and I were taking turns caring for him. He wanted to be in his home and not in a hospital or hospice center. And we cared for him, we took turns, we tag-teamed. And so we took turns, I would find someone to babysit my dog so I could go stay at his house. I would pay someone to babysit my dog, go stay at his house, and we bought baby monitors so we had baby monitors in each room. And so when I heard him getting up–even though I told him, “Do not try to get up without assistance.” Because he’d lost so much weight, even though he was like 6’3’’, he was too frail to try to walk. So I would walk him into the bathroom and let him stand there and I would step outside and tell him to call me when he was ready, and I’d walk him back to the bed.
But it was an opportunity for me to understand the epidemic in a much more intimate way. And also to understand what it means not to be a queer separatist, a lesbian-feminist separatist. I was able to, first of all, befriend this man, and then absolutely love him, and then be there for him when his own family rejected him. The rejection for being queer didn’t come anywhere near the rejection for being infected with HIV, and told not to come home for future Christmases, because, “We have to think about the grandbabies, after all.”
Lesbian Thespians, 1990-1992
Dale Wolf, a producer for Lesbian Thespians, also wrote In the Outfield, which is about growing up as a butch lesbian, in 1992. It was first performed at Manbites Dog Theater with Touch Mime. Wolf did later performances solo and in 2004 wrote and produced 50! Evolution of a Butch Lesbian.
In this audio clip, Dale talks about the performance and how it was inspired by the homophobia and marginalization of lesbians that Dale witnessed during the 1990 political race between Jesse Helms and Harvey Gantt.
Transcript “In the Outfield” was a response to Jesse Helms’s re-election in 1990. There was a huge effort to get him out of office, and a huge effort in the queer community here, specifically in Durham, led by Mandy Carter and the organization that she formed called Senate Vote ’90. She [is] a fabulous organizer, she’s an African-American lesbian person who’s been here for many years and has done some amazing work on the national level. And in 1990 when Harvey Gantt was running against Helms, we really came very close to defeating Jesse Helms. And his advertising had a lot of homophobic stuff in it, and he always went on about the gay community, the gay this, gay that. And I just, once again, the lesbian face wasn’t visible, and I took real offence at that.
I wanted to just put a face on a lesbian human being in the world and tell my coming out story, and that my story is as valid a story as anybody else’s. And that the stuff I went through as an adolescent is as valid and should be as affirming as anybody else’s experience, going through what you go through to become a decent person in the world. I thought that if I could find bits and pieces of universal thematic stuff that people could connect to–everybody knows what it’s like to be left out. “In the Outfield” means you’re out there in the outfield, you’re not playing in the infield, you’re sort of left out there, when you’re sitting out there alone counting clover or something. You know what it’s like to feel left out, you know what it’s like to have a crush on another person when you’re in junior high or middle school, whatever. You know what that’s like. People understand that, it’s unfortunate that they just get so bent out of shape when it happens to be two people of the same sex or same gender or whatever.
So what was my inspiration for that was that election, because I worked hard, too, along with a lot of other people, on that campaign. So this was sort of the response to that. And it was a very affirming show for me personally, but also I could tell from the handwritten letters I received over the time I did the show that it really, really meant something to others as well. So in that regard it was a rather successful piece.
And you know, you get negative stuff. I had the occasion to perform in Johnson City, Tennessee, and the theater received bomb threats as a result of my going there to perform. We had sold out houses and a very good response from our audiences, but there were individuals who felt like I shouldn’t be speaking on these issues. And I didn’t listen. [laughs] I didn’t listen and I think we’re better off for it, frankly, and even they are better off for it, though they may not agree with me and they may not feel like they are. But I think, community-wise, we’re better off knowing who we are. We’re better off knowing each other; we’re better off getting to know each other, understanding each other.
A group of African-American men and women, including Pat Harris and Carlton Rutherford, formed a social group called Umoja in the early 1990s. In this audio clip, Pat Harris tells about her experience with the group.
Transcript In the early ‘90s–I think it was ‘91 or ‘92, it was shortly after I arrived [in Durham]–a group of us gathered and decided that we needed to form a supportive community group for lesbians and gay men of color. And we called it Umoja. We had a man and woman, male and female, co-chairs of the group because it was a mixed group. And I was the female co-chair, and my friend Carlton [Rutherford] was the male co-chair, and we were the co-chairs for about five years of that group. We provided not only a safe place for people to gather, but a fun place. You know, we held monthly potlucks and people would come and meet new people. It was definitely an alternative to the bars, because at that point in time that was all there were, were the bars. So we attracted not only the people who were still continuing to go to the bars, but a whole other slice of the community who wouldn’t be caught dead in bars. You know, people who held positions of responsibility in the community but still wanted to have a place to socialize and not feel that–if they wanted to stay in the closet, they could stay in the closet. If they wanted to be out, they could be out. So Umoja was, I think, a very important community reosurce in the early to mid-‘90s.
Cedar Chest and the Center for Non-White Lesbians, Early 1990s
In 1994, Janice Vaughn founded Cedar Chest, a social and educational group for lesbians of African descent. Later Vaughn also founded the Center for Non-White Lesbians. Both groups remained active until the end of the decade. In this audio clip, Jaye Vaughn speaks about how the intersection of homophobia and racism made it more difficult for black women to be publicly out as lesbians and how that affected her outreach for Cedar Chest.
Transcript Inside the black community was some really hard homophobia crossover with church and religion. In the white community, people have always wanted you to be what they wanted you to be. What they wanted that black woman to be, you needed to be that. And I’m one of those ones that went to UNC and it was one percent black when I went there. So I was used to it, but in the hiring process, you had to have very few strikes going in, so that was one of the strikes, so nobody was going to show that, because if you were trying to go up the corporate ladder the last thing you were going to be was a lesbian. And they would let a white lesbian move up but that’s not what they wanted you to be, black woman. I don’t want you to be that, so we didn't take that chance. People didn’t take that chance.
I wasn’t out at my job. I was just out in the community. If my job happened to see me, then so be it. But most of the time, nobody paid any attention to what I was doing, because I wasn’t the CEO. So, um, I had a little card and I got eye contact and I had a pretty good gaydar. (laughs) If I got eye contact, grocery store, anywhere, I gave the woman the card. I had my phone available, a phone line in my house available for women to call. The card said who I was, women of color group, so if they dropped in they’d be ok with that and they had good gaydar, too. (laughs) and so that’s what I would do besides people who came and told their friends. And then after that I did a mailing in a secured envelope and I told them, “It won’t have a return address on there, it’s going to have your address up in the return address and it’s going to do that.” And I would send things out to people. And people showed up from all over the state, outside of the state actually.
View All of Us North Carolina: The Queer of Color Fight Against Amendment One. The film is a documentary by Sowjanya Kudva about an organization founded in Durham to defeat Amendment One and connect North Carolinians across a wide range of issues.
In May 2012, North Carolina voters approved Amendment One, an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution stating that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” While state law already banned same-sex marriage, the amendment went one step further, denying recognition of any civil union, regardless of gender of the parties involved. However, 70% of Durham voters opposed the amendment, and Durham activists founded “All of Us NC” to oppose the amendment and work in the campaign against it.
In July 2014, the Fourth Circuit US Court of Appeals struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban, setting a precedent for every state in the district, including North Carolina. In October 2014, the US District Court in Asheville declared Amendment One unconstitutional, allowing North Carolina same-sex couples to be legally married for the first time.
Durhamites Chantelle and Marcie Fisher-Borne were the lead plaintiffs in another lawsuit against Amendment One, this one filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina to request the court’s recognition of same-sex couples’ rights to second-parent adoptions.
Despite the often-publicized image of religion being incompatible with homosexuality, religious congregations such as Durham Friends Meeting, Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and Pilgrim United Church of Christ were important early supporters of the gay and lesbian community in Durham, and LGBT events were often held in their facilities. The late 1990s and early 2000s saw a rapid expansion of LGBTQ-affirming congregations, including the creation in 1997 of Imani Metropolitan Community Church, led by Rev. Wanda Floyd. That same year, controversy erupted at Calvary United Methodist Church after news coverage of a meeting held there by the Reconciling United Methodists of North Carolina. Some congregants and community members were upset that they had allowed a sermon by Jimmy Creech, a Methodist pastor who had come under fire for performing a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple. By 2012, there were at least eight LGBT-affirming congregations in Durham, and as progressive religious voices increased statewide, the faith community became an important component of the campaign against Amendment One. The case that eventually overturned the amendment in North Carolina, General Synod of the UCC v. Reisinger, was the first instance of a national Christian denomination challenging a state’s marriage statutes.
In this audio clip, Cris Rivera and Beth Stringfield remember their decision to attend First Presbyterian Church in 2004, before the church officially welcomed gay and lesbian members.
Transcript Cris Rivera But I just didn’t want to necessarily go to a church where people were not going to accept me the way I was, or accept us, and I didn’t want to make waves. So we actually went to a Sunday school. I think that’s how we got to that church, is because we went to that Sunday school. Because First Pres[byterian Church] has a Sunday school class on Sundays that’s called Faith and Community, where they have different speakers come in, either people that go to the church or other outside speakers that work in different civic organizations. And the one that we went to just so happened to be one where they were discussing–what was the specific topic? It wasn’t HIV, it was …
Beth Stringfield No, they were talking about homosexuality in the church. And it turned out that someone who I worked with was a member of the church and was speaking, her and her partner were. And they had this discussion, and it was all kind of nice and friendly. [To Cris:] I’m taking over.
Cris Rivera Go ahead.
Beth Stringfield And an old woman raised her hand and started talking. And she said, “Well, I don’t see what the big issue is. We just need to …” The gist of it was, I don’t understand what the issue is. We just need to all get along, and of course we need to have gay and lesbian folks in our church. And the woman was Ella Fountain Pratt, who we did not know. She was a pillar of the Durham community, amazing, and did wonderful things in her life around arts in Durham, and she was also a pillar of the church. And so Ella Fountain spoke and in some ways that was the end of the discussion.
Cris Rivera Yeah, I think for me, when a 90-year-old lady gets up and says, “This is ridiculous. Move on,” then you’re like, “Okay, I’ll come back next week.” [laughter]
Beth Stringfield But at that time, First Presbyterian did not have a welcoming statement. It wasn’t until about three years later that the Session passed a welcoming statement that is now printed in all of our bulletins and it covers sexual orientation, economic status, nation of origin—it covers a number of things. And so they did that on their own, and actually our church also ordained gay and lesbian folks to be on the Session and the Diaconate before it was approved by PC-USA.
I’m sure there were people that were unhappy. Was there any public thing that I heard? No, no one ever said anything to us. When there was the article in the newspaper and someone—and I don’t even remember the statement that was said, but something was said about the tension about accepting gays and lesbians, at that time we stopped going. And after, I don’t know, four weeks or so, we got a call from [Pastor] Joe [Harvard]. And he said, “Can I come over?” And I can’t remember if this was the time, but Lord help me, Joe was known for this. I can’t remember if we said, “No, now’s not a good time,” and he still showed up, but he did that one time. He showed up that night, and we hadn’t said anything about why—he had no idea. Though clearly he did know. Because he came and he said, “Y’all haven’t been to church. We know that there was this article. And I want to show you the statement that’s going to be approved by the Session.” And that was the new inclusion statement. And that’s when we started going again.
El Centro Hispano’s LGBTQ+ groups
El Centro Hispano, a community center for Latino immigrants, became a pioneer in the South when it started its LGBT programming in the early 2000s. It started with one general LGBT group and within 10 years was home to four groups—men who have sex with men, transgender women, lesbians, and LGBT. As the number of local Latino LGBTQ folks grew, they also found a home at the bar El Chino Latino, which hosted regular shows featuring travesti performers (similar in style to drag queen shows).
In this audio clip, Alex Cordova talks about the way that he sees El Centro Hispano’s different LGBTQ groups come together and grow over time.
Transcript Lo que a mi me ha hecho muy feliz es que todo los grupos al final son una familia. Eso es bien importante. Una se enferma, ya nos ha tocado ir al hospital ha estar días enteros con una de las chicas que está enferma. Nos ha tocado ir a ver a la mamá de una de ellas que está enferma. Como nos ha tocado que tienen su nueva pareja y van a comprar casa o se van a mover de casa. O su hermana va a celebrar su quinceañera o su cumple, o sea esa necesidad de pertenecer, familiar, eso si me gusta. Y ellas–lo les llamo y les digo ‘Oiga, que fulana va cumplir años.’ ‘Ok’ dicen. Y estamos diez, treinta, cuarenta personas juntas haciendo esa comunidad. Y eso verdad es parte de todos los grupos. Si viene cierto, algunos vienen a los grupos y no quieren ser vistos, no quieren ser fotografiados. Pero en un proceso pasan los años y ellos son los mismos que toman las fotos para los demás grupos. Y es un proceso muy lindo. Es como tener una organización que tenga kindergarden y de repente los gradúes.
What has made me really happy is that at the end of the day, all the groups are one family. That is very important. We’ve spent entire days at the hospital with one of the girls who’s sick. We’ve gone to see the mom of one of them who was sick. And when one of them has a new partner and they’re going to buy a house, or move houses, or their sister is going to celebrate her quinceanera or birthday. That need to belong to a family–that, I like. And I’ll call them and tell them, “Hey, so-and-so is going to have a birthday.” And they say, “Okay.” And we’re 10, 30, 40 people together creating that community. And that’s really part of all the groups. Some people come to the groups and don’t want to be seen, they don’t want to be photographed. But a few years will pass and they’ll be the ones taking the photos for the other groups. And it’s a beautiful process. It’s like having an organization that has kindergarten and suddenly they graduate.
The Butchies and Other Local Music Groups
Check out The Butchies and many other local queer bands from the early 2000s in the film “Whistlin’ Dixie: Queer Sounds, New South.”
Continuing its legacy as home to a groundbreaking music scene, Durham spawned The Butchies, a nationally known queercore band. (“Queercore” is a type of aggressive rock music derived from hardcore punk music, with lyrics focusing on LGBTQ themes and issues.) They formed as part of the Riot Grrrl movement in the late 1990s and toured until 2005. (Riot Grrrl is an international underground feminist movement that emerged from West Coast American alternative and punk music scenes of the 1990s.)
QORDS (Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer)
Check out this short film about QORDS from the “Keepin’ It Queer” series by Rick Dillwood and Carrie Hart.
In 2012, QORDS, a queer-oriented summer camp, was founded in Durham to empower Southern queer and transgender youth and create community. They joined with InsideOut and the Raleigh-based Youth Organizing Institute to form the NC Youth Power Coalition.