When same-sex marriage was legalized South Carolina on November 20, 2014, the seemingly impossible became real. Beaming at the photos of Charleston couples celebrating with their marriage certificates at the courthouse doors, I thought this huge win for the LGBT community would usher in a new era for civil rights in this state. If that sounds naive, it was.
This year, no sooner had the N.C. Senate passed House Bill 2 — a batshit crazy law that ensures no one can use a potty if the sign on the restroom door doesn’t correspond to the sex on their birth certificate, a.k.a. all transgender people — than S.C. Sen. Lee Bright proposed his own copycat bathroom bill. The news reports on Bright and his discriminatory legislation read like clippings from The Onion.
Surely, I thought, this absurd level of prejudice wasn’t still kicking in our state? Oh, but it was, dear reader. Which is all the more reason why this year’s Charleston Pride Festival is just as important, maybe more so, than years past. While progress continues to be made in accepting members of the LGBT community in this state, attacks on equal rights continue. Fortunately, as staff writer Dustin Waters learned, the LGBT members we interviewed for this issue are made of stronger stuff. —Kinsey Gidick
Carnecia and Tyeka Gillard sit across from one another, feeding the twins, while Gabe watches cartoons, his attention split between a coloring book and what's on TV. — Dustin Waters
With E. Patrick Johnson's one-man show Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales, the scholar and performer shares the personal stories of men all over the region, touching on religion, sex, transgenderism, and the human commonalities that we all share. — Dustin Waters
The battle over LGBT rights moved into schools this past year as South Carolina lawmakers launched efforts to restrict transgender students' access to shared bathrooms. — Dustin Waters
The first weekly GLBT radio program in S.C., Rainbow Radio can be found online, discussing topics like clean elections, preserving gay and lesbian history, and religion.
The mission of Sean's Last Wish is to empower the community through educational diversity programs, nonviolent conflict resolution, and community involvement.
National nonprofit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and over 500 affiliates in the U.S. Meets first Monday monthly from 6:30-8 p.m. Circular Congregational Church Annex, 150 Calhoun St.
Supports the needs of South Carolina's gay- and lesbian-owned and -friendly businesses.
We Are Family, in partnership with the Department of Pediatric Endocrinology at the Medical University of South Carolina, has launched the SafeSpace support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, questioning, asexual, intersex, and straight ally youth between the ages of 11 and 15. The group meets every second Friday night to hang out, have pizza, and talk about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness at 29 Leinbach Drive.
AFFA is committed to the full social justice and civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans. They offer two programs that meet regularly: a parenting group and ADORASO, an outreach program to the religious community. They also offer workshops on topics like spirituality, sexual and gender orientation, and coming out. Meets second Thursday of every month.
A gay and bisexual men's social group working toward connection, support, inspiration, and love that hosts potlucks, yoga classes, and more weekly and monthly events.
The goal of the organization is to unite the younger GLBTQ community of Charleston and straight allies by facilitating informal social gatherings.
The Charleston Social Club is a nonprofit activities organization for lesbians and all women who are accepting of lesbians. We welcome women of all races, ages, ethnic heritage, religious and spiritual beliefs, and physical abilities.
Citadel Gay and Lesbian Alliance's mission is to open up a line of communication and support for the GLBT Citadel community. Members include Citadel grads, cadets, faculty, staff, and straight allies.