Get in touch…
Hi! My name is Matt. I hail from Winston-Salem, N.C., and currently live in Charlotte where I work as the Communications Director of Charlotte Pride and with several other media, marketing and communications clients. I also recently worked as editor of QNotes, the Charlotte-based LGBTQ community newspaper of North Carolina.
I have been active in local, state and national LGBTQ and progressive educational work, journalism and advocacy since my teens. I 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. I’m taking a non-traditional academic route, and I’ve continued my on-again, off-again studies in American history and politics at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Read more about my background and experience below…
Writing and more…
In addition to my recent work with QNotes, where I worked from October 2007 to August 2015, I occasionally blog at my personal website and contribute to a variety of news and opinion publications. I first started blogging and doing opinion writing in 2005, and my first weekly column, “Don’t Ask (I’m Telling),” was published in The Carolinian, UNCG’s campus newspaper, while I was a student there. I have since contributed to several other publications, including as a regular columnist for Creative Loafing Charlotte, and occasional past contributions to The Bilerico Project, Pam’s House Blend, Campus Progress/Generation Progress, LGBTQ Nation, The Advocate, CNN Headline News, The Raw Story and others. I also contributed as a freelancer to Out Q News on Sirius/XM Radio, working as a regular stringer and as an on-the-ground reporter at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
I have been interviewed by and my reporting work and thoughts on LGBTQ 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.
I have also 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, I 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. My essay tells my experience of growing up and coming out in a conservative, independent southern Baptist church and family.
Additionally, my activism, 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), and Hans Zeiger’s “Get Off My Honor!: The Assault on the Boy Scouts of America” (B&H Books, July 15, 2005).
I feel honored that some of my work and reporting has also been cited by several writers for academic journals and other publications, including University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice, UCLA Law Review, Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality: A Review of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Law, the Touro Law Center’s Journal of Race, Gender and Ethnicity, The University of Minnesota Law School’s Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice and N.Y.U. Journal of Legislation and Public Policy.
Involved in the community…
I have been active in LGBTQ community organizing, advocacy and activism since my teens. My first foray into LGBTQ activism came at the age of 14, when I started a gay-straight alliance at my high school. Since then, I have 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, I joined 50 other youth activists in the Soulforce Equality Ride. I also worked as an organizer for the 2006 Right to Serve Campaign on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the 2007 Right to Marry Campaign in New York state.
Currently, I work as the communications director for Charlotte Pride, a local LGBTQ non-profit community organization, which presents Charlotte’s annual LGBTQ Pride festival and parade, as well as several other events, activities and programs throughout the year. I had previously served as a volunteer and board member with Charlotte Pride since 2008. I transitioned from my board role to a part-time staff role in November 2017.
Beginning in February 2017, the Charlotte City Council appointed me to serve on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee; I served there for one year.
Currently, I am the chair of MeckPAC, the Mecklenburg County LGBTQ Political Action Committee, Charlotte’s local LGBTQ advocacy organization.
Outside of work and other community involvement, I am an active member of my faith community, St. John’s Baptist Church.