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From the Editor
Content warning: death, hate crimes, racism.
Pride was established to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a spontaneous act of resistance led by the most vulnerable members of the queer community. In this 2017 Pride Edition, we celebrate love and we honor those who have fought for it. We remember Orlando (page 18), as well as the 23 trans women that have been taken from us since last Pride (page 8); we celebrate the safe space that OQYS provides here in Portland for queer youth (page 4); we remind our community, as many of us attend parties and other events this month, to respect the labor of sex workers (page 6); and we appreciate the transformative potential of Pride for all of us (page 7).
This will be the second year in a row that we enter Pride month with hearts heavy from recent tragedies. Last Pride, our queer community—and in particular the queer Latinx community—was reeling from the massacre in Orlando. This year, Portland has suffered its own recent tragedies: the loss of Jacob Pedro Shroyer, also known as Jakob Jay, a local DJ, hairstylist, and dearly loved member of the LGBTQ+ community, who was killed in a “random” act of violence; and the deaths of Rick Best and Taliesen Myrddin Namkai-Meche, who—along with Micah David-Cole Fletcher, who is still hospitalized—were stabbed with a knife on the MAX during an attempt to intervene in the anti-Muslim hate speech their killer was directing at two teenage women of color, one of whom was wearing a hijab.
Last year, our June celebrations were brave and defiant, and they will be this year as well. We will be visible, so we will be vulnerable. For those who choose to stay home out of fear for their safety: we support you. The risk of existing in public spaces is greater for some of us than for others. For those who choose to go out: we support you. We will do our best to keep each other safe, and the celebration of our love and our joy will make us stronger. Those that suffer learn quickly that love is one of the most potent salves to heal our wounds. So here’s to another Pride with our wonderful community—still vibrant and thriving in spite of everything—and from the bottom of our hearts at Proud Queer: we love you.
Editor, Brilliant Media