Last month I headed east to the northeast part of Oregon for a four-day trip spanning three counties, where I was welcomed with open arms and hearts.
I started out in Pendleton, where I met with a local community organization that provides physical space and services for LGBTQ people in the area. I then headed to La Grande and Baker City where I had lunch with one of our 2019 scholarship recipients. I spent time in La Grande meeting with community members who are excited about starting a Pride event or social meet ups, folks who facilitate an informal support group for trans and queer people, and local allies at the High School GSA.
Finally, I headed up to Wallowa county for the 3rd Annual NE Oregon Pride Celebration at Wallowa Lake State Park. Families and community members from the surrounding area stopped by for a day of celebration. I spent time with some of our volunteers, and members of the local LGBTQ advisory council—and also connected with youth from the Queer Youth Space at Safe Harbors.
As always, I returned home excited and hopeful for continued partnerships and opportunities to bring folks together again in Northeast Oregon—and felt inspired by the many different ways that our communities are able to show up for one another in every corner of our region.
Kim Sogge is Pride Foundation’s Regional Philanthropy Officer in Oregon.