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Biggest local news of 2010

E Room/Weird Bar owner Kim Davis. Photo by Jamie Francis / The Oregonian

Portland is a very homo-aware town but we are still small, and news travels fast. Here’s some of the things that caused the most uproar.

5 – Duende censorship, and the Pride parade route change

It was much more upsetting to witness the Rose Festival quash a chaste kiss in the Circus Project’s Duende, nearly forcing the performance to be canceled. There was nearly as much kerfuffle internally in the community when the Pride parade route was taken off the traditionally Stark Street triangle (aka Vaseline Alley). Sometimes the struggle comes from without, but the struggle within is just as powerful.

4 – Bad cop, bad cop (lawyer, whatever)

The Portland Police Bureau seems to have plenty of trouble in the straight world and they certainly haven’t endeared themselves to the queer community in 2010. In March they were sued by ambiguously gendered PCC student Delease Carter claimed officers touched breasts and genitals, slammed her head into the pavement and insulted her. They were sued again in November when transgender motorist Chloe Lucero, also alleged that an officer grabbed her breasts and genitalia during a search instead of waiting for a female cop.

But perhaps the most heartwrenching story is that of  Antjuanece Brown‘s battle against felony charges of sex abuse, creating child pornography and luring a minor. The 19-year-old exercised some bad judgement in exchanging lurid texts with her 16-year-old girlfriend but, despite that face that there existed no evidence of any actual sex, the Washington County decided to press charges with the they labeled “sex offender.”

3 – Seth Stambaugh is “fired” from student teaching position

When it came to light that Beaverton student teacher Seth Stambaugh was asked to leave his position at without due process it was pretty clear it was motivated by his open homosexuality. There was a considerable amount of zhe said/zhe said on the part of Sexton Elementary where he taught and Lewis and Clark where he was obtaining his degree, but in the end Stambaugh was reinstated and the Beaverton School District looked pretty bad.

2 – The E Room closes and reopens as the ‘Weird Bar’

The E-Room has always been a point of both pride and contention in this blog and in the city as a whole but tensions really erupted when the former lesbian announced its strategy for rebranding, calling their newly hetero and normal-friendly joint the Weird Bar. Really really bad name aside, the local lesbian community expressed a great sense of betrayal that was hardly assuaged by owner Kim Davis’s letter to the community.

1 – Hate crimes and the creation of Q Patrol

We tend to think of Portland as a safe queer haven but the image is being continually shattered by yet another year of harassment, attacks and police indifference, if not brutality. This year there were a series of incidents of harassment surrounding the Rose Festival and all kinds of rumors that Neo-Nazis were in town that were likely prompted by painful memories of the incidents surround pride last year. There was lots of community dialogue both in person and on public and semi-public internet arenas such as this blog and so was born the queer safety initiative Q Patrol. The real news story, however, will be seeing the long term effects of our efforts. It’s discouraging when there was a brutal beating only 2 months ago.

Honorable mention: The opening of H&M may not have much to do with our safety or our rights but people still braved the cold overnight just to be the first to buy cheap designer knockoffs from Europe that every other American city has had for a decade. And I missed probably the most fun shopping experience I ever had by being too sick and confused to make it to the VIP release party. Goddammit there was eating and shopping at the same time!

2 comments to Biggest local news of 2010

  • Butchor

    I found it funny this year that portland mission refused to work with a queer coat charity drive.

  • Butchor

    I found it funny this year that portland mission refused to work with a queer coat charity drive…. We need more queer friendly charitable groups in pdx