“We want to pave the way to unity and respect and mutual harmony. … El Hispanic is being born to unite and to serve, or better stated: to serve while uniting.”
–El Hispanic News founder Juan Prats in the first issue in 1981
Staying true to that mission and welcoming the many changes the media industry had faced, 31 years later under new ownership, in 2012 Brilliant Media LLC launched Proud Queer—known as PQ Monthly. In honor of Juan Prats and his mission, we created PQ to have “every letter and every color represented.” I am proud of our Brilliant Media team as they have kept this mission at the forefront of every story pitched, every interview done, every event we’ve thrown, and every image that has graced our pages and web presence.
It is now, in 2015, that we celebrate growth not only in communal respect, harmony and united communities, but also our growth as a business. Dedicating my adulthood to this industry and the communities I love, I have seen silos that once kept us from each other crumble to the ground and become the roads for us to travel toward each other. Many of us walk these roads, some run, and a few of us ride them! As many of you know, being a biker has taught me many things, and in many ways it’s an equalizer. When you ride a bike, your age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, economic background, or creed no longer matters. I am not discriminated against because I proudly wear a Dykes on Bikes® Portland, Oregon Chapter vest, nor am I discriminated against because of my gender, or because I am Latina.
When you are a biker, you are a biker—period. It’s about where you have been and where you are going, and it is in honor of that biker tradition that we embark on our new publishing venture, Tankside. I am officially announcing that we, the Brilliant Media familia, will launch a mainstream motorcycle publication May 1, 2015. This publication will represent the diversity in motorcycle riders and the diversity of their bikes.
So as you turn the pages of our anniversary editions of Proud Queer (PQ Monthly), now 3, and El Hispanic News, now 34, let’s recognize and embrace the amazing intersection we are at and travel the road together! Congratulations to us all.
Editor’s Note: Our New Bi Governor
It is with heavy hearts we say goodbye to our longtime friend and ally, John Kitzhaber, who served his last full day as governor the day before we printed this issue. It is our hope that our community remembers his tenure for what it was—a lifetime of service—and we encourage everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts have come to light and all the dust has settled, and those tasked with conducting this investigation have finished their important work. Kitzhaber’s service has earned him that much. Governor Kitzhaber, our community won’t soon forget all you’ve done for the LGBTQ community—having an ally and supporter in the state’s highest office has been so important to us over the years. A heartfelt thank you from everyone at PQ Monthly and Brilliant Media.
That said, we know our state is in very good hands. Kate Brown—the nation’s first LGBT governor—was sworn in on Wednesday, February 18, and will serve as governor until a special election next year, an election that will determine who will serve the remainder of Kitzhaber’s term. (Because our state does not have a lieutenant governor, Brown is next in line.) Brown, who is openly bisexual, has been something of a rock star in our community, and has been our Secretary of State since 2008. Prior to that role, Brown served in the Oregon State Senate, representing Oregon’s 12th Senate District, which includes portions of NE and SE Portland and Milwaukie. She will be our state’s second female governor.
Before working in politics, Brown earned a BA in Environmental Conservation with a certificate in Women’s Studies from CU Boulder, followed by an environmental law degree from Lewis and Clark College. Her first job at the Capitol was as an advocate for the Women’s Rights Council. When Brown was profiled for outhistory.org, a photoseries on LGBTQ politicians, she described the challenges of being bisexual: Her parents told her it would be easier if she came out as a lesbian, her queer friends called her “half-queer,” her straight friends called her indecisive. As Brown smashes glass ceilings, she can add battling biphobia to that list—having her as governor is a huge win for the queer community, and the future of queer politics everywhere.
It is in that spirit we present our first “double cover”—as a prelude of what’s to come (interviews with and stories on Brown), we honor her with our back cover. Congratulations, Governor!