By: Christina Bein
“There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it’s now okay to express ourselves publicly. We make that day by doing things publicly until it’s simply the way things are.” – Tammy Baldwin (Senator).
Pride Month celebrates LGBTQQIP2SAA which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit (2S), androgynous, and asexual. Portland has been organizing Pride Month events since the early 1970s. Now it amasses attendants from all over the Pacific Northwest region for the Pride Parade to celebrate the freedom of self-expression and love.
LGBTQ+ has been a part of the human experience for centuries. It can even be traced back to ancient written text and artistic depictions from the time of Alexander the Great. It is well known that history has been recorded, destroyed, and reshaped by the perspectives of powerful male figures throughout time. Whether these figures were in support of or in restriction of the LGBTQ+ community, it remains the same that this way of identity and love has transcended time and will continue to do so.
In today’s documenting of the times, states like Florida and Texas have legislators restricting education and medical treatment for LGBTQ+ related topics. These bills marginalize this community, out individuals before they may be ready, punish them for it, and penalize professionals that try to help. This takes away protection from these individuals and perpetuates discrimination that do not allow people to be their whole selves. These bills take away basic rights and isolate people from support, help, or compassion.
Pride is also about persevering. On a local level, Basic Rights Oregon is an organization that was formed in 1996 to fight against anti-gay ballot measures. It works to reform policies to create a safer environment for the LGBTQ+ community, which has contributed to Oregon being ranked as one of the top LGBTQ+ friendly states in the U.S. To echo Tammy Baldwin’s sentiments, it is important to normalize the expressions of LGBTQ+ so that people can safely show up as their whole selves.
Check out these links to learn more about Oregon’s history and continued efforts in supporting the LGBTQ+ community.