Honoring Pride Month by remembering its roots

Port of Portland celebrates Pride

By Dan Blaufus

For anyone who traveled to and from PDX this month, you probably noticed our Port of Portland logo on display with a rainbow background in honor of Pride Month.

June serves as a month to celebrate the LGBTQIA2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit) community. And even if we’re doing so virtually right now, it still very much can and should be a celebration.

In fact, together we celebrated the Supreme Court ruling this month that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination “because of sex,” protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

At the same time, as I shared with our LGBTQx and Friends Employee Resource Group at the start of this month, reminders are all around us that civil rights are still not applied equally. As many around the world are speaking out against racial injustice, it’s more important than ever to remember that Pride didn’t start as a parade or celebration. It began with people standing up to demand justice.

To remind us of Pride Month’s origins, Port of Portland employees are hosting two documentary screenings for their colleagues. This week, employees watched and discussed Stonewall Uprising, which tells the story of the people behind the Stonewall riots in the summer of 1969 that ignited the gay rights movement in the United States.

Have you heard the term 2-Spirit? This is an indigenous term that refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and feminine spirit. Port staff will close out the month by watching and discussing A Place In The Middle, a short film about the preservation of Hawaiian cultural traditions told from the perspective of Ho’onani, a 2-spirit youth.

I am so grateful to the Port’s LGBTQx and Friends Employee Resource Group for courageously leading these discussions and lifting up the voices of those who fought so hard for equality.

Dan Blaufus is General Counsel and Interim Chief Financial Officer at the Port of Portland. He also is an Executive Sponsor of the Port’s LGBTQx and Friends Employee Resource Group.