Que Viva La Lucha!

Lo Nuestro, Ballet Floklorico

Lo Nuestro, Ballet Folklorico from Forest Grove performing at Sunday's La Lucha Festival, photo by Marty Davis

Portland Latino Gay Pride 2010: La Lucha wrapped up its fifth consecutive year this past Sunday with an exuberant festival hosted by the Jupiter Hotel. The celebration was preceded by several well-attended events including an evening of poetry, music, and dance at the Miracle Theatre as well as a literary event drawing on the talents of special guests from NYC: Charles Rice-González and Charlie Vázquez at Aura Nightclub.

Since its conception in 2006, the PDX Latino Gay Pride Celebration consistently out-does itself in scale, offerings, and attendance. I spoke with David Martinez at the festival on Sunday who was absolutely thrilled and personally touched by the growth, support, and participation this year. As the chair of this year’s planning committee he worked tirelessly alongside other committee volunteers to make the celebration possible.

2010 Mariposa Award Winners

2010 Mariposa Award Winners, photo by Marty Davis

This year’s theme, “La Lucha” or “the struggle” was carried over from last year with the colorful wrestler. Sadly, there were no wrestling matches this year but the image of the masked figure carries powerful symbolism. While I was purchasing a La Lucha t-shirt at the festival I talked to committee member Ofilia Zamora-Ward who commented: “There is a mask that [we] have to wear, to a greater or lesser extent, in our daily lives.” The theme was chosen in response to feedback from within the community and is something that all people of color, particularly those in a sexual minority, can identify with.

Several officials spoke at Sunday’s event including Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen, and State of Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler. Following former Mayor Tom Potter’s example in 2006, Mayor Adams presented a City of Portland Mayoral Proclamation acknowledging June 2nd through June 6th, 2010 as “Portland Latino Gay Pride Week” – which he read aloud.

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