Rainbow Rundown: Queer Charlotteans sweep QC Nerve’s ‘Best in the Nest’ contests

Welcome to your weekly edition of the Rainbow Rundown, your end-of-week recap of all the important LGBTQ news, arts, culture, and upcoming events you need! In this week’s issue — like last week’s — you’ll notice that news is a little thin. As is always the case with every December, the news cycle just slows. And, our staff is continuing to work hard on the annual Charlotte Pride Magazine, due to go to print very early next week and out on the streets before Christmas. But, slim does not mean non-existent! There’s still plenty of awesome things to learn, to catch up on or to revisit! Read on, dear friends!

In this issue of the Rainbow Rundown:

  • Queer Charlotteans sweep “Best in the Nest”
  • News from around the nation and world
  • Local and regional news spotlight
  • Upcoming events

Queer Charlotteans sweep ‘Best in the Nest’

Queen City Nerve’s annual “Best in the Nest,” a reader- and critic-driven “best of” contest ranking local arts groups, entertainers, retail outlets, nightlife, community leaders and more was released early in December. With it, a bevy of LGBTQ Charlotteans of all varieties saw their names lit up in lights — receiving positive and encouraging kudos for their good work in an otherwise dreary year.

Charlotte Pride first wants to thank the entire Charlotte community, readers of Queen City Nerve, and their staff and critics for such a phenomenal “Best in the Nest” this year! It was a perfect happy ending to 2020!

We also want to thank Queen City Nerve readers who voted Charlotte Pride “Best Local Festival” and “Best Nonprofit.” Thank you! Over several years, we’ve won variations of “best festival” or “best annual party,” but this is the first year we’ve been recognized as “Best Nonprofit.” We’re grateful for your support and recognition as we continue our years-long strategic goal for Charlotte Pride to be “more than just a festival.” Over the past several years, we’ve increased our community programming and outreach in strategic, intentional, and intersectional ways. We are, indeed, more than just a party. We’re looking forward to a great 2021 — and an opportunity to roll out all the awesome in-person programming we had originally envisioned for 2020.

Among the other well-deserved recognitions and honors for a variety of LGBTQ people in this year’s “Best in the Nest”:

  • RAIN’s Bingo was named “Best Event for a Good Cause”
  • Time Out Youth was named “Best Place to Volunteer” and “Best Support Group”
  • Onya Nerves won “Best Personal Instagram Account”
  • Jail Support, led largely by Black and trans queer folk, won “Best Activist/Advocate Organization”
  • Dr. Rhett Brown, a recipient of Charlotte Pride’s Champion of Pride Legacy Award, won “Best Doctor”
  • Petra’s won “Best LGBTQ-friendly bar”
  • Critics gave NoDa Company Store the honor of “Best Rebuild,” for their 2020 pandemic-related renovations
  • Critics also gave a “Best Comeback” to Hattie’s Tap & Tavern, for their reopening efforts
  • White Rabbit won “Best Adult Store”
  • Feed The Movement CLT (co-founded by Charlotte Pride Programs Manager Nada Merghani and Women’s Pride Coordinator Tatiana Marquez) was named by critics as “Best Food for a Cause”

And, finally, a shoutout to our friends and allies at Camp North End, which has hosted and supported a variety of local LGBTQ events, organizations, and others, including each year’s Reel Out Charlotte. The team at Camp North End won “Best Collaborative Space.”

You’ll also want to check out Queen City Nerve’s “Obituaries,” profiling the restaurants, bars, and other community spaces we lost this year, as well as editor Ryan Pitkin’s Editor’s Note, where he explains why — in all the negativity of this year — it was important to do this year’s “Best in the Nest.”

Check out the full “Best in the Nest” results here.

(And, if we missed anyone or group in the list above, apologies!)

News from around the nation and world

Local and regional news spotlight

Upcoming Events


Friday, Dec. 11-Saturday, Dec. 12th

Twirl to the World returns with its annual holiday party and fundraiser, this time going virtual! A kickoff party will be held on Friday, Dec. 11 and the full “Haus Party” on Saturday, Dec. 12. Beneficiaries this year are LGBTQ Charlotteans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with funds from the Twirl Assistance Program distributed through Winter Awakening, Transcend Charlotte, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Smart Start, and RAIN.

Click here to learn more.

Time Out Youth Winter Wonderland

Saturday, Dec. 12, 12pm-4pm

A holiday event — with COVID precautions, social distancing and mask wearing requiring — for youth ages 11-20.

See Time Out Youth’s Facebook page for more information

“Live Versus the Paperback Romance”

Thursday, Dec. 17, 6 p.m.

Charlotte LGBTQ Elders and Project Enough present a live, virtual reading of the 199 play by Samantha Gellar, “Life Versus the Paperback Romance.” Directed by Shannon Bauerle and readings by Julianna Peres and Quin Williams. The short play — banned in Charlotte in 1999 — includes a lesbian love story between characters Julie and Sarah.

Click here to learn more