Aerial photo of pumpkins arranged to read Get Out and Vote 2020

Rainbow Rundown: Election draws near, Dan Kirsch memorial planned, upcoming November events

Happy Halloween Eve Eve! It’s another Friday, so you know what that means: It’s time for the Rainbow Rundown, your weekly recap of important and notable LGBTQ news and more!

With each passing week, we’ve drawn nearer and nearer to Election Day. In just four days from now, polls will close on the evening of Tuesday, November 3, and we’ll be seeing election returns come in. Certainly, we know this is a stressful time. Here at Charlotte Pride, we’re feeling it too. And we know just how important self-care is going to be over the next few days, on Election Day itself, and the days that follow. Stay tuned for a special blog post detailing some quick and easy self-care tips to see you through the next week. We’ll have that posted for you on Monday!

In this issue of the Rainbow Rundown:

  • Election 2020: Barrett, Election Night guide, Georgia, and more
  • Dan Kirsch memorial planned for Nov. 1
  • Alleged Charleston hate crime shows need for statewide hate crimes law, activists say
  • News from around the nation and world
  • Local and regional news spotlight
  • Upcoming events

Election 2020: Barrett, Election Night guide, Georgia, and more

Aerial photo of pumpkins arranged to read Get Out and Vote 2020

Photo by Anthony Quintano, via Flickr, Licensed Creative Commons.

The number of people heading out to cast early voting ballots has continued to surge across the country and in North Carolina. As of Friday morning, over 4 million people — more than 50% of all registered voters — have already cast their ballots early or by mail in North Carolina. Nearly 84 million did so nationally, growing by 30 million in just one week!

YOU CAN STILL VOTE EARLY: If you’re in North Carolina, one-stop early voting is still open. But you’re running out of time! Early voting ends on Saturday, Oct. 31. If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you need to head to an early voting location on Friday or Saturday, where you can register and vote on the same day! You cannot register to vote on Election Day! Click here for more election tips and resources.

Just like last week, we want to provide you a quick overview of some of the top queer election-related news this week:

  • What to watch for on election night (South Florida Gay News/Keen News Service): Longtime LGBTQ political reporter Lisa Keen gives us a an hour-by-hour national overview of some of the important things to pay attention to on Election night. North Carolina and our hotly contested U.S. Senate race makes Keen’s list, clocking in at 7:30 p.m., when polls here in the Tar Heel State close and we’ll get our initial election results.
  • Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to Supreme Court: By far, one of the biggest news stories of the week was the Senate confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court (Washington Blade). Confirmed on Monday evening, with a swift swearing-in that same night, the news brought swift reaction from LGBTQ activists (NewNowNext), who had long been airing warnings about the new justice. The nomination and confirmation of Barrett, who replaces the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has become a hot-button issue in the presidential election. Many progressives have called on Democratic candidate Joe Biden to “pack” the Supreme Court with additional justices should he win the general election. Harper’s Bazaar published a primer on “court packing” this week.
  • Georgia Senate candidate writes to The Advocate: North Carolina isn’t the only southern state with a closely-watched and tight U.S. Senate race. Georgia, too, has picked up attention. The Democratic candidate in that race, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, wrote a commentary this week in The Advocate. Warnock has served since 2005 as senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached.
  • Biden makes Equality Act a top priority: Joe Biden said late this week that he would make the federal Equality Act a “top priority,” insisting he’d get the landmark LGBTQ civil rights bill passed and signed into law during his first 100 days in office. Read more from NBC News.

Dan Kirsch memorial planned for Nov. 1

A virtual memorial and remembrance event will be held for the late Dan Kirsch, this Sunday, Nov. 1, 4 p.m., via Zoom.

Kirsch was a longtime LGBTQ leader in Charlotte and elsewhere. He was the founder of One Voice Chorus, which began in 1989, and worked alongside activist Sue Henry to host the statewide NC Pride March in Charlotte in 1994. Kirsch also served as the first executive director of the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Community Center. Kirsch was also an instrumental voice in the foundation of the Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Fund and OutCharlotte, an annual LGBTQ arts and culture festival in the city in the late 1990s.

In recent years, Kirsch worked with Time Out Youth to support their capital fundraising campaign and with the Charlotte LGBTQ Elders.

Kirsch passed at the age of 66 in February.

The memorial service is planned for Nov. 1, 2020, 4 p.m. You can click here to join the Zoom meeting (Meeting ID: 954 3761 0590)

“We want to honor Dan’s love of theater, music and new works through the creation of The Dan Kirsch Theater Arts Fund,” memorial service organizers said in an event announcement on Facebook. “A memorial gift to this fund will provide support to playwrights, composers, production and more through grants from your donations.”

For online gifts, visit and click on the Tribute Gift in memory of Dan Kirsch.

For checks: please send to:
The Dan Kirsch Theater Arts Fund
c/o The Foundation for the Carolinas
Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Grantmaking Fund
220 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC, 28202
(write In Memory of Dan Kirsch on the memo line)

Activists say alleged Charleston hate crime shows need for statewide law

Picture of a Pride Parade, showing people from the rear, with one wearing a rainbow balloon decoration and another carrying a rainbow flag.

2016 Charleston Pride Parade. Photo by Donald West, via Flickr, Licensed Creative Commons.

An alleged anti-LGBTQ hate crime in Charleston, S.C., was reported on Oct. 25. According to a report from ABC News 4, a victim was subjected to an anti-gay slur as he stood by his car, with the slur-thrower also brandishing a firearm and throwing a cell phone charger at the victim. No arrest has been made.

Activists told Charleston City Paper that the incident shows a clear need for a statewide hate crimes law. South Carolina is just one of a handful of states that does not have any kind of statewide hate crime law at all. North Carolina, in contrast, has a hate crimes law, but does not include sexual orientation or gender identity.

As for the city of Charleston itself, its unique local hate crimes law allows for a stronger sentence — a $500 fine or 30 days in jail — and does include LGBTQ protections.

Activists in South Carolina have pushed for a statewide hate crimes law for years.

Read more from Charleston City Paper.

News from around the country and the world

Local and regional news spotlight

Upcoming Events

Reel Out Charlotte

Continues through Nov. 1
All-Access Pass sales end Friday, Oct. 30, 11:59pm
Individual film ticket sales end Saturday, Oct. 31, 11:59pm

Charlotte’s annual LGBTQ film festival goes virtual this year! Watch 11 feature-length films and 10 shorts!

Get more information and purchase tickets at

Building Power Across the Spectrum: NC Advocacy Conference 2020

November 13-14

Building Power Across the Spectrum: NC Advocacy Conference 2020 will include plenty of breakout sessions for experienced and beginning advocates. Join us on Friday, November 13th – Saturday, November 14th, 2020 to learn how to improve lives and fight for the rights of people living with HIV and hepatitis, people who use drugs and affected communities from grassroots leaders and respected experts. During this FREE and ENTIRELY VIRTUAL event, you will also get a chance to (virtually) connect with advocates from your region and around the state. Click here to learn more and to register.

The Virtual Gaymes of Gay Bingo

November 14, 7pm

Same date, same hot mess – just virtual! The Virtual Gaymes of Gay Bingo is hitting your screen on Saturday, November 14 and will be all about entertaining you (no bingo cards will be harmed in the making of this live stream). Gay Bingo Charlotte is one of the most unconventional fundraising events in Charlotte and Miss Rona won’t stop us. Join us for a night of laughs, outrageous costumes, wacky games and unpredictable entertainment. All funds raised from this event stay in Charlotte and go to support HIV care. Click here for more information and to get tickets.

Charlotte Trans Day of Remembrance 2020

November 20

On November 20, 2020, join together as a community-wide family as we mark this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance. Mark your calendars now for this virtual event. More details, including livestream details and support services, to be announced soon.

You can click here RSVP on Facebook to get reminders and updates about the event.

COLLABORATIVE ORGANIZERS INCLUDE: Charlotte Black Pride, Charlotte LGBTQ Elders, Charlotte Pride, Charlotte Transgender Healthcare Group, Gender Education Network, Time Out Youth, and Transcend Charlotte.