By Jamie Jones, Director of Operations, Disability Rights Oregon
A friend who works at an organization in Portland told me about how meaningful it was for his team to participate in last year’s Portland Pride Parade.
I knew DRO needed to show up to Pride this year – for solidarity and intersectionality.
In my personal life, I have been working to understand my privilege, unpack my own implicit biases, and practice feminism that is intersectional.
Feminism that is intersectional recognizes that there are additional identities — like ability, sexuality, race, class, immigration status — that shape women’s (and everyone’s) experiences. Initially, most of that work concentrated on my white and middle class privilege.
Since I started working at Disability Rights Oregon, ableism has taken a front seat in that work. Ableism is the discrimination and devaluaing of people with disabilities.
This discrimination takes place at all levels – in our own minds, in between people, in the physical architecture of our buildings, and in the practices and policies of our schools, our work places, our governments … really everywhere. I decidedly brought that intersectional lens to my work life.
DRO is participating in the Pride Parade to support both our LGBTQ staff (including me!) and our LGBTQ clients.
For communities whose rights have been trampled in the past, it matters that those rights are restored and protected.
It is important for us, as disability rights advocates, to acknowledge and honor that Oregonians experiencing disability have multiple identities and belong to more than just the disability community.
In showing up for Pride, we are showing up to celebrate LGBTQ Oregonians who may also experience disability.
If managing big crowds is accessible to you, we hope you will come out and join us in showing support for the LGBTQ community. We would love to see you along the parade route!
Portland Pride Parade
Sunday, June 18, 11am-1pm
If you can’t make it out that day, we encourage you to experience Pride on social media by tagging and following #equalityforall.
About the Author: Jamie has served as Disability Rights Oregon’s Director of Operations since November 2015. She moved to Portland by way of Florida and Alaska in 2006. Jamie received her Master of Public Health from Portland State University in in 2011.