LMF/Carolinas LGBTQ Journalism Fund

Support LGBTQ voices in local media in North and South Carolina

$6,120

19 Supporters

20% of $30,000 goal

Story

It started as a monthly newsletter, named Queen City Notes, printed on 8.5 x 11” paper and distributed by the Queen City Quordinators, a local non-profit community organization. The newsletter was published for two years and grew to 12 pages an issue with paid advertising, but was reliant on volunteers to produce. In 1986, QNotes was reborn as a monthly, print newspaper. The first issue was distributed in June 1986 to coincide with National LGBT Pride Month.

In 2021, we launched QnotesCarolinas.com, a new online platform sharing the unique and diverse stories of LGBTQ Carolinians. The website provides a community-sourced and hyper-local news outlet, that amplifies the underrepresented voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people from diverse background across the Carolinas.

Our roadmap

Many LGBTQ publications have disappeared in the last 20 years because of increasing overhead and decreasing advertising. Few online initiatives have focused on the true interests and voices of local communities. Our communities need a place to talk about experiences that cross the lines of sex, race, gender, nationality and economic identities. Like early queer publications, which reflected the diversity and urgent needs of marginalized communities, QnotesCarolinas.com provides an online-first publication and hub that is focused on local needs, local voices and local community.

QnotesCarolinas is:

  • A local community news organization.
  • A project to support and amplify the work of LGBTQ journalists in North and South Carolina.
  • A place that highlights the voices of BIPOC journalists and the stories of rural families.
  • Focused on reaching people where they are – despite socio-economic barriers that prevent them from getting the news that matters.
  • A community forum that furthers dialogue among our readers and with local journalists to root out the stories that aren’t being told in mainstream press.
  • A recorded history of LGBTQ people living in the South.

Phase 1 included the design and engineering of a new website with two primary geographic areas in North Carolina – the greater Charlotte region and the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill) while providing national and regional LGBTQ news. It is first-of-its-kind online publication that is solely based on the LGBTQ community experience that is hyper-local by design.

The website includes a news platform that is fed by current freelance reporters, staff of QNotes, and shared content from media partners. It will start with localized “boards” and create opportunities for interactive feedback from readers.

The project regularly seeks to engage the community to share their viewpoints through town halls, online forums and community reporting workshops with the goal of building a team of writers and volunteer editorial committees to help guide decisions on topics and identify underserved reporting needs in the community. Content might include coming out stories, social justice guest editorials, arts and culture, and nonprofit highlights.

Phase 2 included fine-tuning the website and further engaging communities to build a group of followers, supporters and content contributors. We continue to engage with local LGBTQ nonprofit organizations like Campaign for Southern Equality, Equality NC, Time Out Youth, Charlotte Black Pride, Charlotte Pride, Charlotte LGBTQ Elders, Charlotte LGBTQ chamber of Commerce, LGBT Center of Raleigh, SAGE Central Carolina, PFLAG and more to create a platform for community news, events and information. We define journalism as a space similar to a community center.

Phase 3 includes the creation of a replicable model that can be expanded to other areas including Western North Carolina, the Triad (Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point), Coastal Carolinas, Upstate South Carolina (Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson), and Columbia, S.C., and creating mechanisms to archive LGBTQ stories for generations to come.

These milestones will help us monitor the progress of our project and focus on impact points that will help ensure our success.

Your tax-deductible donation to the Carolinas LGBTQ Journalism Fund Program, via Local Media Foundation, helps further develop this platform and provide opportunities for more quality LGBTQ journalism.


The Local Media Foundation/Carolinas LGBTQ Journalism Fund Program provides support for the work of QnotesCarolinas.com to educate and inform the public in communities in the Carolinas about LGBTQ issues and cultures. Donations to LMF for this program are tax deductible to the extent of the law. Please consult a tax advisor for details. The program is administered by Local Media Foundation, tax ID #364427750, a Section 501(c)(3) charitable trust affiliated with Local Media Association.

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$6,120

19 Supporters

20% of $30,000 goal

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