By Kim Hoffman, PQ Monthly
We’d be remiss not to mention the passing of our dearly loved Robin Williams (“ours” because, hello—no one was more queer than the one and only, Mrs. Doubtfire.) While it’s shocking and sudden, his death has reopened very necessary conversations across the U.S. about depression and suicide—topics that should never be shamed. Media outlets fear that “glorifying” any person’s suicide, especially a Hollywood actor, encourages “copycat behavior,” like discussed in this Guardian article about what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tweeted in response to Williams’ death. If you or someone you know is in need of help, we encourage you to reach out to the Trevor Project, a national 24-hour organization that is ready to listen and offer their support. 1-866-488-7386.
On July 8, Portland resident Adam Catanzarite, an HIV prevention specialist at Cascade AIDS Project, walked into an Apple store at Pioneer Place to purchase earpods and was surprised to find a homophobic slur typed onto his receipt: email@example.com, in the place where employees typically mark down the customer’s email, though Catanzarite had refused his. (For us Apple users, we know exactly how this procedure goes.) Catanzarite gave his only substantive interview so far to none other than PQ Monthly, so go check out his conversation with us and come to your own conclusions as to what may have occurred.
Mark your calendars! September 14 is the Q Center’s Gay Fair on the Square, and you can expect to see all your queer entertaining favorites out and about: The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, Neko & Kahlo, Blind Lovejoy, Without Apology, Portland Lesbian Choir, David Johnson, the Portland Gay Symphonic Band, and Portland GSA Youth Chorus. Since 2009, the Gay Fair has been host to various non-profit LGBTQ-friendly organizations. Basically, whether you’re new to town, newly single or still believe in the power of squeezing out the last remains of summer in September, it’s a perfect little Sunday.
International Gay Games 9, one of the world’s largest sports and cultural events, began this past weekend in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio and will run through August 16. It seems a location like “Northeast Ohio” is making some people nervous, as the other competitors for this year’s city host were places with higher regard as being gay-friendly, like Boston and Washington, D.C. Hey, let’s chill and send off our positive witchy juju—haven’t we dealt with enough negative darkness in the news as of late? Here, see that? This year’s Gay Games includes a gay rodeo! Let’s set out wild minds on that imagery.
It’s a good sign when the White House’s blog is a buzz with LGBTQ news. Director of the Office of Personnel Management, Katherine Archuleta recently wrote about some ch-ch-ch-changes seen and felt in the workplace as of late, thanks to President (Renegade—that’s his code name) Obama’srecent executive order on the LGBTQ discrimination bill: “These new rules make it crystal clear that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is a form of sex discrimination and is against the law,” when she mentioned that this past week, there were significant updates made to Title V’s discrimination regulations. It truly is a joyous time for our community when you think about all of the solid lines being drawn to secure our equality. Roger that, Archuleta.