Portland Latino Gay Pride: Life is a ¡Carnaval!
By Julie Cortez, El Hispanic News
Portland, OR — The theme of this year’s Portland Latino Gay Pride (PLGP) is ¡Carnaval!, but take a close look at the graphic livening up the celebration’s posters and advertisements and you might notice that under the carnaval headdress hides an enduring symbol of PLGP: a masked luchador.
The theme changes a bit from year to year, but “la lucha” — the struggle — endures as a central, unifying message for the Latino LGBTQ community and its allies, according to David Martínez, PLGP co-founder and chair.
“We all share struggles,” he says. “We all have common things that we go through.”
Should some of those struggles be financial, PLGP’s events— taking place July 19-22 — have you covered. While donations are suggested and appreciated, no one will be denied entry to any event due to lack of funds.
“Our commitment has been to the community and making sure anyone who wants to celebrate Latino Gay Pride can,” Martínez says.
PLGP 2012 opens with Noche Bohemia on July 19 at 7 p.m. at Q Center (4115 N. Mississippi Ave.). In addition to featuring music and poetry, the all-ages opening reception will honor this year’s Mariposa Award winners as well as the Equity Foundation’s Portland Latino Gay Pride scholarship recipient and PLGP volunteers and sponsors.
The festivities continue with a dance party on July 20 at Boxxes (1035 SW Stark St.), before moving on to the main event — the Portland Latino Gay Pride Festival — on July 21, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Pure Space (1315 NW Overton St.). Both the dance party and the festival are limited to attendees 21 and over.
Martínez says that while last year’s location, the Eastbank Esplanade, was beautiful, the festivities were a bit — pardon the pun — dampened by falling on the “wettest day in July.” So the PLGP board sought out a space that offers an outdoor feel and protection from the elements. Pure Space, with its 20-foot windows and open floor plan, fit the bill. The cultural celebration will include live performances, a non-stop D.J., exhibitors, and Latin food and drinks.
In the interest of keeping the event financially accessible — and funding PLGP’s Equity Foundation and Hispanic Chamber scholarships — this year the festival offers a VIP experience for $20. The suggested donation for general admission is $5. For more information and to order VIP tickets, visit latinogaypridepdx.com/events/.
The 2012 PLGP closes with the Nuestras Latinas y sus Amigos brunch, July 22 at 11 a.m. at Dingo’s (4612 SE Hawthorne Blvd.). This all-ages brunch is $10, but, again, no one will be turned away due to inability to pay.
Martínez says there was some early skepticism about the festival and “whether we were real and sustainable,” but since its inception in 2006, Portland Latino Gay Pride — which is still planned and executed by unpaid board members and other volunteers — has continued to grow and evolve, while staying true to its grassy roots. Extending beyond the one long summer weekend, this year PLGP drew its largest contingent ever to the Portland Pride Parade, brought author Charles Rice González to town in the spring, and founded the first Equity Foundation scholarship for the Latino community.
“We’re all volunteers,” Martínez says. “We do what we do from the heart. … We’re the community.”
Latino or not, LGBTQ or not, he adds, if you come to a PLGP event, “Be ready to be a part of our community, which is what we’re all about.”
Este artículo también está disponible en / This post is also available in: Spanish
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