A roll of I Voted stickers on a desk with other election-related paperwork.

Rainbow Rundown: Early Voting, the Latinx vote, Charlotte Pride TV

We’re back with another weekly issue of the Rainbow Rundown, your end-of-week recap of all the important and notable LGBTQ news, arts, entertainment, upcoming events, and more that you need to know!

In this issue of the Rainbow Rundown:

  • Massive turnout for first day of N.C. early voting
  • Elections a ‘matter of survival’ for queer Latinx people
  • Charlotte Pride TV premiere
  • News from around the country and world
  • Local and regional news spotlight
  • Upcoming events

Massive turnout for first day of early voting in North Carolina

A roll of I Voted stickers on a desk with other election-related paperwork.

As Election Day draws ever nearer, North Carolinians got their first chance at in-person voting this week when one-stop early voting locations opened up across the state. In Mecklenburg County alone, voters can choose from 33 different early voting sites, where you can also register to vote for the first time or update your registration before casting a ballot.

Turnout on Thursday, Oct. 14, the first day of early voting, may have broken a record. The North Carolina State Board of Elections says more than 333,000 North Carolinians cast an early ballot — more than the previous record of 304,000 set on Nov. 4, 2016. Counting early votes and mail-in absentee ballots, nearly 900,000 people have already voted. Elections board executive director Karen Brinson Bell estimates that as many as 80% of North Carolina voters may cast their ballots prior to Election Day.

The record numbers of early and mail-in ballots simply dwarfs the last presidential election in 2016.

Michael Bitzer, Chair of Political Science and Professor of Politics and History at Catawba College, reports on some fo the data. He notes that mail-in ballots are currently nine times greater than in 2020 and in-person early voting two times greater.

Voters have until Saturday, Oct. 31 to cast an early ballot, after which the only remaining option to cast an in-person ballot is on Election Day, Nov. 3. If you miss out on early voting, you won’t be able to register to vote or update your registration on Election Day itself.

For local LGBTQ youth, Time Out Youth is offering transportation assistance for those who would like to cast an early ballot. Youth who would like to vote together can do so on Oct. 16, 3:30-7 p.m. and on Oct. 30, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Youth should contact Time Out Youth for more information.

Election a ‘matter of survival’ for queer Latinx voters

A screenshot of a Zoom panel discussion

A roundtable of LGBTQ Latinx leaders discussed this year’s election in an online forum this week.

Among the panelists was Charlotte Pride board president Daniel Valdez, who also works as the Hispanic Federation’s director of North Carolina and Mid-South Operations. Other panelists, among other special guests and speakers, included Maria Roman-Taylorson, Vice President & Chief Operation Officer, TransLatin@ Coalition; Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, Deputy Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality; Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity; and Louie Ortiz Fonseca, Founder, The Gran Varones Project.

Here some key takeaways and quotes from the event, as reported by The Los Angeles Blade:

“As a trans person, these elections are critical for our survival. It’s not only the presidency, but our health is on the ballot. us living authentically is on the ballot.” — Maria Roman-Taylorson, TransLatin@ Coalition

“The election in November will be the most important election of our lifetime, in the history of our nation. Either we can live with this authoritarian leadership of this president or we can raise our voice and objections to his bigotry, racism and defeat this dance with fascism that we are experiencing today.” — Richard Zaldivar, The Wall Las Memorias Project

“The queer and trans Latinx vote is the most important thing as Latinx people that we could be talking about right now. We are at a moment where our lives absolutely depend on this coming election.” — Tony Lima, Arianna’s Center

“We have seen our Latinx and immigrant communities vilified, our trans and queer communities used as scapegoats to win elections. We have the opportunity to change that in this upcoming election to let them know that kind of divisiveness is not going to work. We also need to send a clear message to our elected officials that our country cannot roll back civil right protections to our queer community, to our immigrant communities. That message starts on Nov. 3.” — Daniel Valdez, Hispanic Federation

The event was co-sponsored and presented by the Latino Institute, the Latino Equality Alliance, the Hispanic Federation, the Los Angeles Blade and Washington Blade.

You can watch a replay of the online forum on Facebook via the Washington Blade.

Charlotte Pride TV makes its premiere

This week, Charlotte Pride staff, community members, and volunteers were excited to debut the premiere episode of Charlotte Pride TV, a new monthly webshow that promises to highlight and uplift the people, places, and things that make LGBTQ Charlotte so special.

We wrote about the goals of Charlotte Pride TV earlier this week. Check out that post here.

Each episode of Charlotte Pride TV will air on Facebook and YouTube at 6 p.m. each second Wednesday of the month. Replays of the premiere episode are available on Facebook and YouTube, or watch above!

Many thanks to those who participated in making this premiere episode so special, including James Rice III, Angel Truesdale, Kendra Jonson, Artie Hartsell, Tiffany Crooks, Jenny-Jaymes Gunn, Lupe Silva, and Ms. Charlotte Pride 2019 DeVida.

News from around the country and world

Local and regional news spotlight

Upcoming Events


Director of “Mucho Mucho Amor”
Wednesday, October 21, 7pm


Kareem Tabsch is a documentary filmmaker whose storytelling focuses on documenting that which exists on the fringes of mainstream society. His feature films include Mucho Mucho Amor (2020) and The Last Resort (2018). Tabsch work has been included at prestigious festivals like Sundance, SXSW HotDocs, and been featured in outlets like The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and NPR among others. He is a recipient of the 2020 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship, was named a ’40 under 40′ Documentary filmmaker by DocNYC, America’s largest documentary film festival and was the recipient of the Knight Arts Champion award for his contribution to South Florida’s film culture. Tabsch is a first-generation American of Latino and Middle Eastern descent. He lives and works in Miami, FL.

Reel Out Charlotte – Virtual Film Festival

October 23-November 1
Hosted online! 
On-demand, virtual access to 11 feature films and 10 short films for this year’s 12th annual Reel Out Charlotte, the Queen City’s LGBTQ Film Festival. More details are being released later today! Stay tuned! 


We always welcome your contributions and additions — particularly on upcoming local and regional events, as well as news tips. As we continue building our online and virtual programming, our goal is to drastically increase the ways and frequency with which we are sharing local experiences and stories. With that in mind, we’ve created opportunities for you to either contribute your own written pieces/essays/artwork/etc. or to easily and quickly provide us information on upcoming events or news tips.