By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly
Since the Pride Guide came out last week, the community has been talking about the piece that accompanied it, the “story” about Terry Bean’s recent breakup. (We’ll address this in depth in our next print issue, which comes out this week.) Late last night, Pride NW announced, via press release, that going forward they’ll no longer use local publications to distribute the Pride Guide. Instead, they will publish it themselves. A bit of the statement:
“One of our priorities as an organization (as it would be for any organization), is to ensure the credibility and proper representation of Pride Northwest. As a highly visible organization and event, we understand the importance of that to our community. In working with outside publishers to produce the Guide, we have been inadvertently impacted by issues external to Pride Northwest. While we have no desire to attempt to influence or undermine the freedom of the press–to restrict that in any way–we are obligated to act in the best interests of Pride Northwest. We have long been aware of the conflict between producing a Guide that best reflects us and the LGBT community, while working within the confines of external publishers, who have needs and priorities which may not align with ours. This has been a consistent issue. Recent events have served to reinforce our resolve to ensure that the Official Pride Guide is created in a way that best honors our community and best represents Pride Northwest, and that we can do so free of the influences of external pressures. In order to achieve that, we feel that it is our best interests to bring the Pride Guide back into the organization.
As of 2015, the Official Portland Pride Guide will be designed and produced directly by Pride Northwest.”
From publisher Melanie Davis: “Point of clarification: El Hispanic News, owned by Brilliant Media llc., had the opportunity to produce and publish Pride NW’s “Pride Guide” in 2009 and 2010 and successfully did so. We used that opportunity to showcase the LGBTQ community and communicate with audiences it had not yet reached. In fact, we used our own budget to insert the “Pride Guide” into The Asian Reporter, El Hispanic News, The Portland Observer, and Just Out (2009 only—the publisher then refused to have it inserted in 2010). We published 80,000 copies that were inserted into these publications for 2 years and there was also additional distribution throughout Portland Metro and SW Washington. We won two Gold Medals from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (2009 and 2010), a traditionally conservative organization and industry.
We took great risk those two years and had communicated with advertisers that we were expanding the audience to include these diverse populations which they wholeheartedly supported. Thankfully we grew the Pride Guide into a political success and venture. However, nearing the end of 2010 we exercised our first right of refusal to produce it again for 2011 however, we were then told that we would not be allowed to exercise this right (even though it was spelled out in our contract), as they had since decided to grant WW publication rights of the Pride Guide. We formally bid on it again in 2012, however, but were given wrong information for bidding. We were told to bid on a 3”x8” high-gloss brochure type of publication. So we did and included advertising in the minority publications (including Just Out) to help rebuild those relationships. We lost the bid. However, we did not lose the bid to a publishing house that was going to produce what we were told to bid on. We lost the bid to what was going to be the same tabloid-style publication and that was never suggested in the RFP. In 2013, we were asked to bid on it again and politely declined. Since 2012, PQ Monthly has produced the ‘Official Pride Guide Statewide’ and has partnered with Pride events around the state of Oregon and SW Washington.
I just wanted to clarify the history here because the way it has been written and talked about it makes it seem like WW has had the ‘Pride Guide for the last 7 years.’ In fact, the two years prior to El Hispanic News having it – The Portland Mercury had it and did similar things that WW did that were embarrassing and/or damaging to the LGBTQ community. We at Brilliant Media llc., dba. El Hispanic News, PQ Monthly, & Su Público were proud to have the opportunity to produce what we viewed as a communication tool to strengthen relationships within the growing diversities of our NW communities and did so by putting our best foot forward locally and nationally. We have since maintained a positive and productive working relationship with Pride NW and serve as the region’s official LGBTQ publication.”