As always, June has been a busy month for Basic Rights Oregon. We’ve been on our Pride celebration grind—it’s the first in-person Pride season since 2019!—and that means dusting off our old rainbow prize wheel and getting to work:
In addition to marches, festivals, and benefit events, Pride month also brings an opportunity for us to send our message of equality for all LGBTQ2SIA+ Oregonians far and wide. Local media outlets are celebrating queer and trans joy and highlighting the struggles we’re facing, and BRO is providing important context to the stories.
Here’s a roundup of local media we’ve participated in this Pride month:
- In July, we’ll celebrate the graduation for the third cohort of Catalyst, our transgender leadership training program. Both Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Portland Mercury spotlighted Catalyst during Pride, highlighting how important finding trans community is for cohort members. “I thought leadership meant you had to be at a podium,” Stina Wood told the Mercury. “Catalyst has turned my way of thinking around. Now I think, what can I do next? How can I better serve others next?”
- Seth Johnstone and Jo Doyle, workplace equity trainers with BRO’s Education Center, penned an op-ed for the Portland Business Journal about how workplaces can affirm their LGBTQ2SIA+ employees. “LGBTQ2SIA+ affirmation goes beyond waving a sign or putting a rainbow on your business logo,” they wrote. “If you want your workplace to be an affirming space all 12 months of the year, you’ll need to put in the work.”
- Seth, who manages our Transgender Justice program, also spoke with both the Mercury and KGW’s Straight Talk about the attacks we’re seeing on trans people in our schools and in statewide politics. Here’s the KGW segment:
- Executive Director Nancy Haque appeared at a press conference with Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden to push for expanded federal protections for LGBTQ2SIA+ people. Anti-trans comments from Oregon politicians, Nancy said, lead to “an atmosphere for many trans people where they feel more unsafe now than ever before… But we’ve shown how you can fight back and protect the communities that need it most.”
- Finally, Eugene NPR affiliate KLCC covered the work Basic Rights Oregon does to protect LGBTQ2SIA+ rights, including our Protect Trans Kids rally held last month in Salem. “Attacks are happening on our youth, here in Oregon and in local districts,” said BRO’s Margot Martin. “And we’re seeing the fight at the school board level. And now it’s made it to the governor’s race.”
It wasn’t so long ago that the news media wouldn’t cover LGBTQ2SIA+ issues at all, or only cover them in a negative light. We’re grateful to have the opportunity to spread our message to more Oregonians, and to be able to live as our authentic selves this Pride month.