Pride is the time of year when our community celebrates. We certainly did plenty of that this year, in addition to nearly running out of our first issue during Sunday’s event. But it is also important to remember what started the first Pride celebrations in the early 1970s. Educating ourselves about the Stonewall riots in New York City in June 1969 is just the beginning. There were uprisings in California lead by people of color. There were societies who dressed conservatively and peacefully protested. Liberation tactics differed as much then as they do today. And, of course, there were disagreements.
But despite our many differences, we still manage to come together once a year and have a conversation, put on parties, and have a parade filled with rainbows and personality.
One highlight of 2012 was seeing both our mayoral candidates, back-to-back, wearing crazy clothes and doing cartwheels. In our town it’s jester hat vs Diva necklace for mayor.
It’s not always smooth sailing. I ran into no less than four contingents of ladies who missed this year’s Dyke March by mere moments,
due to changes in the route and start time. “What time is the Dyke March?” became a weekend joke in some circles. And yet, there are independently organized events that just keep getting bigger and better each year like the T*Party Picnic celebrating trans inclusivity in the relaxed atmosphere of Overlook Park.
No matter how many Gay Pride events I have attended I am still impressed when I see how big and broad our community really is. There are so many young people and I cannot wait to see how they contribute to the community in the coming years. I am thankful that we live in a place where we can have simultaneous conversation and celebration, where we can take over the city for a weekend and bring our wide range of life experiences to a welcoming atmosphere for everyone.
Pride is a reminder of where we’ve come from and where we can go. It is a chance to see our community come together in spite of, and because of, our differences in hopes that we can create change throughout the year. We may have disparate perspectives, but Portland continues to grow stronger and more proud with each year.
About Alley Hector
Alley Hector is proud to be a Q, a PDXer and Just Out's Editor-in-Chief.