Gay men of color, and specifically gay black men, in Portland, Oregon are celebrating two different Prides this weekend.
As a part of the Sankofa Collective Northwest, which was formerly called the PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, LGBTQ people of color are celebrating Portland Black Pride this week.
As explained on the Facebook page, the event “began as a result of the gay Black minority community in the United States feeling marginalized and less a part of the whole gay community in participation, organization and administration, as well as the cultural differences that prevented the community to fully participate in the gay movement.”
All throughout the following week, Black people and other people of color will be celebrating the intersection of being of color and being queer.
There will be several events happening like a Saturday social, several dance parties, a family fun event at the Oaks Amusement Park, and more.
In addition, there are even more events planned throughout the summer in the months of July and August.
Portland, Oregon isn’t the only city celebrating such activities. Last month, we shared with you that Philadelphia held its first Black Pride March around its City Hall.
At a time where LGBTQ people of color feel a need to focus on inclusivity in the gay community, to the point that two different variations of the Rainbow flag have immerged, Black Pride events are a welcome tradition.
“Black Prides allow people of color the chance to celebrate our culture and orientation without explanation,” said LaToya Hankins, of North Carolina’s Shades of Pride, to the Advocate. “We can feel free to attend an hour workshop, take in a drag gospel show, or hang out in the park basking in the company of our fellow black gay/queer/same-gender-loving folks without having to shape our existence to fit someone else’s comfort level.”
“There is no question that everyone within the LGBT movement deserves to celebrate and gather for Pride festivities,” added Gabby Santos, who coordinates Albany’s Black and Latino Gay Pride. “But as LGBT people of color, we face some particularly difficult issues that require tailored Black Pride activities.”
She then continued: “Black Prides strengthen our collective power by providing a culturally specific celebration for communities that live at the intersections of racism, homophobia, transphobia, and/or sexism.”
It was Los Angeles that held the first Black Pride event back in 1988. Since then, similar events have popped up all over the country in places like New York City, Washington, D.C., and Portland.
Happy Black Pride to the good people of Portland, Oregon. You are seen, you are loved, and you are celebrated.