By George T. Nicola, GLAPN
Portland Latino Gay Pride (PLGP) is a volunteer run organization founded ten years ago, with the mission to recognize and celebrate the Latino/a LGBTQ experience. The current PLGP Board is chaired by Liz Rodriguez, a 2015 Mariposa Award recipient, and made up of members from “various organizations that serve the Portland area LGBTQ and Latino community as a whole.”
One of PLGP’s central goals is to broaden the Pride experience in Oregon by bringing the community together. Fotos y Recuerdos (Pictures and Memories) is the theme for the group’s tenth annual celebration.
The major event so far this year has been Voz Alta, Spanish for “Out Loud.” Voz Alta was held on June 23, with a repeat on June 24. Voz Alta is an evening of music and poetry that celebrates the Latino American experience through poetic narratives that feature the lives of Portland’s Latino and Latino LGBTQ communities, performed by actors and orchestrated live with Latin American folk songs. This year’s theme was “status” and featured “four distinct Latinos and their experience of a change in status in their life: socioeconomic, gender, HIV and path to citizenship.” Participating were Carmen Rubio, Executive Director of Latino Network; Gisella Contreras, transgender Zumba instructor; Maricela Beruman, HIV/AIDS activist; and Argentinian born U.S. resident Christian Baeff. Food was provided by La Bonita, a family owned restaurant that serves traditional Mexican food.
PLGP presents the annual Mariposa Awards to recognize organizations and individuals making a difference in our community. In addition to Liz Rodriguez, this year’s Mariposa Award recipients included immigration rights couple Jensi Albright and Carmen Gutiérrez; and HIV/AIDS care facility Our House of Portland. PLGP’s annual scholarship was given to Gonzalo Garcia, a recent graduate of Centennial High School in Gresham.
PLGP invites us all to join their annual festival celebration block party on Sunday, August 23rd 5 p.m. to midnight. It will take place at, and outside of, Crush Bar, 1400 SE Morrison. For additional details, please see the Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/846780965376014/.