By Pride NW President Debra Porta, PQ Monthly
In 1969, Craig Rodwell, proposed what he called “the Annual Reminder, in order to be more relevant, reach a greater number of people, and encompass the ideas and ideals of the larger struggle in which we are engaged-that of our fundamental human rights-be moved both in time and location” as a means to commemorate and remember the Stonewall Riots. Christopher Street Liberation Day, the first Pride march in the U.S., was held on June 28, 1970 in New York City. Portland, too, has commemorated Stonewall since 1970.
Since its beginning, Pride has grown to mean many things to many people. For some, it is a commemoration, a celebration, a family reunion. For others, Pride is a reminder of who may be getting left behind in the struggle for those “fundamental human rights.” For Pride Northwest, it is all of those things. We see Pride as an indication of how much progress has been had, and of how much more is to come.
Whatever piece of Pride may resonate most with you, the one thing that cannot be argued is that the scale and scope of Pride activities across the country have grown exponentially since 1970. Planning for the Portland Pride Waterfront Festival and Parade is a year-round endeavor now. Thousands of people come from all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond, to be a part of Portland’s celebration. Almost daily now, someone emails to ask when Pride is happening (June 15 and 16, by the way!) because they need to book rooms or plane tickets. Other Pride celebrations plan their schedules based, in large part, on Portland. (Speaking of which — registration is open now!)
Can’t wait till June? San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine will perform a benefit show for Pride NW on Feb. 23 at Metropolitan Community Church. Learn more here.
Pride Northwest, Inc. is the 501c3 nonprofit organization that is most well-known for putting on the annual Portland Pride Festival and Parade. Our mission is to encourage and celebrate the positive diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans communities, and to assist in the education of all people through the development of activities that showcase the history, accomplishments, and talents of these communities. We are community-run and community-led.
Thank you to PQ Monthly, our LGBTQ media partner, for creating this space for Pride. We look forward to engaging our community on many topics in the coming months, all through the lens of Pride!
President of Pride NW, Debra is a Master’s student in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management at Portland State University. Active in local politics, Debra serves on the United Way’s Diversity Advisory Committee, as well as assisting start up and emerging nonprofit organizations. She and her partner are getting married in August. You can reach Debra at firstname.lastname@example.org.