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Finding Something to be Proud of at Pride

It's easy to look at queer Pride festivals and see the commodification. Every other booth is trying to sell you a rainbow. Smirnoff, Starbucks and Safeway are all over the place along with many many more businesses. However there are lots of other groups involved with Pride. They just don't have as big of logos as the businesses do.

I was walking around the Pride NW festival today at the waterfront park, not really paying attention to the businesses because I didn't have a dollar to give them anyway. However, I did notice the social service and community organizations that were there.
Pride NW 2008
Pride NW 2008
Once you block out the vendors, you can find Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Columbia NW, Elder Resource Center, Mult Co Health Service (free testing), ACLU, Lambada Legal, Domestic & Sexual Violence Queer Caucus, Rainbow Al-Anon, Planned Parenthood, Cascade AIDS Project, YWCA and of course the Q-Center.

And then there was also the queer rugby team, PDX Pink Pistols (the gun group), the Adventure Group, The Ruby Red Flippers (the diving group), Oregon Bears (grrr), Pawsitively Pitbulls and many others that were just there to promote more community than commodity.

It takes some searching but there is heart down there. I would urge people to check it out. I've had my issue with Pride before but I can see its benefits. Also, the Pride Parade tomorrow (June 15th) starts at 11am downtown.

Armed Self Defense is a Human Right! 15.Jun.2008 21:46


It was great to see our local Pink Pistols folks out & proud - Show them some love!  http://www.pinkpistols.org/local/portland/index.html

Community organizations... 19.Jun.2008 14:19


Unlike other large Pride festivals, community organizations and local businesses make up an average of 75-90% of vendor and parade participants in Portland's Pride celebration. We make the conscious effort to ensure that this continues and feel really lucky to have the community support that we have.

Debra Porta
Pride Northwest, Inc.