by Alley Hector
Pride. It’s one of the seven deadly sins and yet a term that has become a positive symbol of self-empowerment, a lifeblood of American culture. But as troubling as this might sound, our diverse LGBTQ community is uniquely able to embrace such a dichotomy. Three years ago the Pride Guide cover declared “Divided We Stand.” We continue to be divided on so many issues, and yet, we’re still standing.
Just Out, too, has undergone many changes over its nearly 30 years in print, and yet with new publishers and a whole new staff, we, too, intend to remain standing. And though I am merely one (gender) queer person in this alphabet soup, I intend to do my best to reflect the many voices of Oregon’s queer communities, whether I personally agree or not. As much as we may feel our differences we also have so much in common, so many issues to work on together, rights to fight for, victories to celebrate.
That is what Pride month is about.
What began in the early 1970s as a commemoration of an important day in which gender non-conforming people fought back against New York City police has turned into a global discussion, a huge party, and a visual show of resistance against homophobic institutions.
When I first attended Portland Pride in the 1990s as a high school Freshman I may not have known the history but I was certainly aware of its power. It, in turn, empowered me to come out in the pages of my local paper The Columbian and join a queer youth group that put out a zine of art and writing called Personal Deity Proxy.
As one of the biggest and most interesting Pride celebrations in the world it was also part of the reason I returned to Portland and why I want to write for and about the queers of this city. As a Producer at OregonLive.com I saw that many fascinating stories were not being told, and so I started qPDX to have a place where those not being covered by mainstream or even gay mainstream media could be heard.
Now, I’ve come full circle, my alternative voice becoming part of an ever-widening media landscape. Through it all there has been really only one thing I have valued, written about, fought for, and it is what Just Out continues to be about: people. That is what holds our community together and what will hold together the Just Out vision, the proud queers of Portland and all of Oregon sharing our stories, showcasing our talents, and engaging in dialogues that are thought-provoking, controversial, varied, hard.
I am proud to be a Q, a PDXer and your new Editor for Just Out. And I’m excited to share it all with you under the banner of Portland Pride 2012.
About Alley Hector
Alley Hector is proud to be a Q, a PDXer and Just Out's Editor-in-Chief.