Roy Carter said he is very proud of his openly gay son and has always had a progressive mind, despite living in North Carolina's rural and mostly conservative High Country all his life. After 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. in June, he noticed that many government buildings in his local Ashe County were not complying with President Obama's directive to lower American flags to half-staff in honor of the victims. Carter took it upon himself to drive from a fire station to a post office and even private businesses lowering flags as he went.
Wendy Ella May, a disabled veteran, has been a fire fighter, EMT, paramedic and farmer and is currently running for county commissioner in Johnston County, N.C. She is the first openly transgender woman to run for public office there and campaigns from town to town facing a mix of opposition and openness.
Bob Page, CEO of Replacements Ltd., a nationally-known company which transgender employees consider a safe haven. Page is outspoken in support of LGBT rights. Protesters have boycotted his company, blocked the entrance, left homophobic slurs on the property.
Johnny Dean McCurry said he knew he was gay when he was five years old and was bullied throughout his childhood. After leaving the mountains of North Carolina in his 20s, he has returned and is now healing his childhood wounds through art, yoga and introspection in the wood cabin that has been passed down through his family for generations.
Rev. Jay Kennett of Hillsborough United Church of Christ in Orange County, N.C. put up two rainbow flags after HB2 was passed to show support for the LGBTQ community. After vandals burned them down, he replaced them only to find the new flags stolen and pulled down several times in the following weeks.
Kelly Toney had been married to wife Lori Toney for more than a year when she received a letter from her childhood church telling her she was committing a sin by being married to a woman. It threatened "action" if she did not divorce her wife. Even more hurtful, she said, her father had been consulted about the letter and had approved it being sent.
North Carolina’s legislature recently passed a law that prevents transgender people from using government-run bathrooms corresponding to the gender with which they identify. The law — House Bill 2 (HB2) — has incited a state-wide civil liberties battle. Here is the timeline of the so-called "bathroom bill."
The disappearance of Pulaski remains one of the nation’s most dramatic and deadly maritime disasters, partly because half on board died, but also because its passengers included some of the most prominent families in the southeast. Among those lost was New York Congressman William B. Rochester and six members of the Lamar family, then among the richest families in the southeast. The luxury steamship that went to the bottom of the Atlantic in 1838 with half its affluent passengers may have been found 40 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Blue Water Ventures International explains what they've found so far.
Jordan Rinaldi, a graduate of Butler High and UNC Charlotte, is featured on the card for UFC Fight Night Charlotte, taking place Jan. 27 at Spectrum Center. In the biggest match of his career, he faces the undefeated Gregor Gillespie in a lightweight bout that’s part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s big “Fight Night” event.