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Matt Comer hails from Winston-Salem, N.C., and currently lives in Charlotte where he works as editor of QNotes, the Charlotte-based LGBT community newspaper of North Carolina. Matt has been active in local, state and national LGBT and progressive educational work, journalism and advocacy since his teens. Matt graduated from R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 2004 and attended The University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 2004-2007. He is currently enrolled at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he is continuing his studies in American history and politics.
Writing and more…
In addition to his work with QNotes, Matt occasionally blogs at his personal website and has contributed to a variety of news and opinion publications. He first started blogging and opinion writing in 2005. His first weekly column, “Don’t Ask (I’m Telling),” was published in The Carolinian, UNCG’s campus newspaper, while he was a student there. He has since contributed to several other publications, including The Bilerico Project, Pam’s House Blend, Campus Progress/Generation Progress, LGBTQ Nation, The Advocate, CNN Headline News, The Raw Story and others. He has also contributed as a freelancer to Out Q News on Sirius/XM Radio and currently contributes to Charlotte’s Creative Loafing.
Matt has been interviewed by and his reporting work and thoughts on LGBT advocacy have been cited or profiled extensively by local, statewide and national news-media, including The New York Times, Dallas Morning News, The Associated Press, The Seattle Times, BBC World Service, CNN Headline News, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Post, The Huffington Post and CBS Radio News.
He has appeared as a special guest on WAMU’s “The Kojo Nnamdi Show,” WFAE’s “Charlotte Talks,” WUNC’s “State of Things,” WBT’s “Keith Larson Show” and others.
Published in September 2008, Matt penned an essay in “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America,” edited by Mitchell Gold. The book was republished as “Youth in Crisis” in 2011. Matt’s essay tells his story of growing up and coming out in a conservative, independent southern Baptist church and family.
Additionally, Matt’s activism and his news and opinion writing have been cited by non-fiction authors from a variety of viewpoints, including: Michael L. Brown’s “Can You Be Gay and Christian?: Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality” (Charisma Media, May 6, 2014), Shannon Gilreath’s “The End of Straight Supremacy: Realizing Gay Liberation” (Cambridge University Press, Sept. 19, 2011), Michael L. Brown’s “A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been” (Equal Time Books, 2011), Tracy Baim’s “Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage” (2010), Hans Zeiger’s “Get Off My Honor!: The Assault on the Boy Scouts of America” (B&H Books, July 15, 2005).
Matt’s work and reporting have also been cited in several academic journals, including University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice, UCLA Law Review and Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality: A Review of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Law.
Involved in the community…
Matt has been active in LGBT community organizing, advocacy and activism since his teens. His first foray into LGBT activism came at the age of 14, when he started a gay-straight alliance at his high school. Since then, Matt has supported, worked and volunteered with a number of local, regional and national organizations, including GLSEN Winston-Salem, Scouting for All, the Women’s Health Center of Excellence of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Alternative Resources of the Triad, Triad Equality Alliance, the Human Rights Campaign, the Triad Business & Professional Guild, EqualityNC, the Guilford Green Foundation, Soulforce, Charlotte Pride, Inclusive Scouting Network, Scouts for Equality, Campus Pride and others.
In March and April 2007, he joined 50 other youth activists in the Soulforce Equality Ride. Other Soulforce initiatives in which Matt has been involved include the 2006 Right to Serve Campaign on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the 2007 Right to Marry Campaign in New York state.
Matt is currently most involved as a volunteer with Charlotte Pride, his local LGBT Pride festival and parade. He’s served on or worked with the local Pride committee since 2008.