Portland Latino Gay Pride Holds Tenth Anniversary Celebration
By George T. Nicola, GLAPN Portland Latino Gay Pride (PLGP) is a volunteer run organization founded ten years ago, with the mission to recognize and celebrate the Latino/a LGBTQ experience. The current PLGP Board is chaired by Liz Rodriguez, a 2015 Mariposa Award recipient, and made up of members from â€œvarious organizations that serve the Portland area LGBTQ and Latino community as a whole.â€ One of PLGPâ€™s central goals is to broaden the Pride experience in Oregon by bringing the community together. Fotos y Recuerdos (Pictures and Memories) is the theme for the groupâ€™s tenth annual celebration. The major event so far this year has been Voz Alta, Spanish for â€œOut Loud.â€ Voz Alta was held on June 23, with a repeat on June 24. Voz Alta is an evening of music and poetry that celebrates the Latino American experience through poetic narratives that feature the lives of Portlandâ€™s Latino and Latino LGBTQ communities, performed by actors and orchestrated live with Latin American folk songs. This yearâ€™s theme was â€œstatusâ€ and featured â€œfour distinct Latinos and their experience of a change in status in their life: socioeconomic, gender, HIV and path to citizenship.â€ Participating were Carmen Rubio, Executive Director of Latino Network; Gisella Contreras, transgender Zumba instructor; Maricela Beruman, HIV/AIDS activist; and Argentinian born U.S. resident Christian Baeff. Food was provided by La Bonita, a family owned restaurant that serves traditional Mexican food. PLGP presents the annual Mariposa Awards to recognize organizations and individuals making a difference in our community. In addition to Liz Rodriguez, this yearâ€™s Mariposa Award recipients included immigration rights couple Jensi Albright and Carmen GutiÃ©rrez; and HIV/AIDS care facility Our House of Portland. PLGPâ€™s annual scholarship was given to Gonzalo Garcia, a recent graduate of Centennial High School in Gresham. PLGP invites us all to join their annual festival celebration block party on Sunday, August 23rd 5 p.m. to midnight. It will take place at, and outside of, Crush Bar, 1400 SE Morrison. For additional details, please see the Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/846780965376014/.