Queer Heroes NW: Renee LaChance, Jay Brown, and Marty Davis

 

By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly

 

Today, June 20, Queer Heroes NW honors the pivotal publishers of Just Out — the LGBTQ newspaper that served Oregon and SW Washington’s LGBTQ community from 1983 to 2011 — co-founders Renee LaChance and Jay Brown as well as longtime publisher Marty Davis. The Queer Heroes NW project, which honors a new hero every day in June, is a collaboration between Q Center and the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific NW (GLAPN).

Check out what the committee has to say about Renee, Jay, and Marty:

When Renee LaChance and Jay Brown founded Just Out in 1983, they wanted to create a newspaper that covered all aspects of the queer community with integrity and good writing.

Renee and Jay broke new ground when they looked for advertisers outside of the gay community – something previous gay newspapers had not done. But it worked, and Just Out proved to its advertisers that readers did indeed support the business that advertized with the paper.

Jay Brown died in 1990. In 1998, Renee knew it was time to move on and sold the paper to Marty Davis. By then, other local gay newspapers had long since faded away. Just Out became a main source of information about the queer community. It was especially important to people who were new to Oregon or who had recently discovered they were gay.

Marty guided the paper into the digital and internet age. She continued the tradition of integrity and good writing. The paper weathered several economic downturns, but by the December of 2011, the economic depression had taken its toll, and Marty closed the paper.

Jonathan Kip recently purchased Just Out and it will resume publication in June, 2012.

Every day in June, the Queer Heroes NW project will reveal another hero. We’ll be posting them daily here. Information on each of the honorees is also featured on the walls of the Aaron Hall Gallery at Q Center through the end of June.