Gay Travel: Sweet and Sassy Charlotte

Charlotte is the second-largest financial center in the US, second only to New York City. It is an adolescent city—a mixed bag of Old South and burgeoning culture, food and fashion—not always quite sure of what it means to be when it grows up, but with genuine heart and hospitality. Today, all eyes are on Charlotte as the site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Strong campaigning from Mayor Anthony Foxx and support from Duke Energy’s Chief Executive Officer Jim Rogers helped secure the state’s first-ever convention. With more than a year of preparation and planning under its belt, the city expects an economic impact upwards of $200 million.

North Carolina has also been an LGBT hot button since the spring, when the state passed Amendment 1 banning same-sex marriage. While the amendment passed with a margin of more than 20 percent, Mecklenburg County (in which Charlotte resides) was one of eight counties (out of a hundred) that voted against the amendment. Lawana Mayfield, Charlotte’s first openly gay city council member was elected this past fall. “I’m hoping that I’ve opened a door for others,” she said upon her victory. “Show up in [the] community and doors will be open to you just for being who you are.

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