With both Pride Month and Pedalpalooza vibes very strong in Portland right now, we expected Saturday’s Rainbow Ride to draw a big crowd — and we were not disappointed!
We heard from ride co-organizer Sumi Malik (above, lower left) and attendee/photographer Amy Danger (@adangerpdx) that it was indeed a very special evening. In the words of Amy, it was a, “Hair-raisingly beautiful show of positivity, solidarity and the importance of continued engagement as we push for equity in our region and nationwide.”
Sumi reported that about 300 people showed up, many of whom were gifted a custom spokecard (right) created by Jesse Simpson (@noiserover on IG) as a memento of the event. Sumi, a transportation planner by day, says she got involved with this ride to support a community that’s near and dear to her heart. In 1990s she was an “AIDS Buddy” to a gay man living with HIV-AIDS and as a self-described “staunch feminist” she has always admired and worked with lesbian women leaders. Ride co-organizer Joshua Fackrel is an environmental science graduate student at Portland State University, who, according to Sumi, thinks of the experience of cycling with the LGBTQ+ community as, “A great way to marry inclusion and compassion between ourselves and the planet.”
We asked Sumi to share more about the event:
“The inaugural Rainbow Ride was loud and proud, full of heart, inclusion, and joyous. A few hundred people joined to roll through the city, including kids, people of all abilities, and some who were on borrowed bikes who hadn’t been on one in years. Passers by honked horns in support, some on bikes joined, and as we rolled through the newly created Pride Plaza on Harvey Milk Street, patrons cheered us on. The ride kicked off with a speech raising awareness of the need to secure LGBTQ+ civil rights, including the Stonewall Inn Riots and Marsha P. Johnson, the event and the Black transwoman who launched the gay rights movement. Today, the average life expectancy of a Black transwoman is only 35 years old. The speech included reference to the Equality Act that sits in the Senate and protects LGBTQ+ civil rights in every corner of life from employment, education, housing, and public accommodations. The organizers thanked Black folk who chose to be on the ride this Juneteenth.
At one of our stops on the Eastbank Esplanade, people formed a spontaneous trust circle and danced with such joy! So many she’s, they’s and gays, plus allies on bikes! The energy that it brought to everyone is something that ride organizers intend to recreate next year. Thanks to all of the rainbow riders who came out!”
Thanks for sharing and leading the ride Sumi. And thanks to Amy Danger for these photos. Check out more of them below…
If you missed this ride, check out the Stonewall Pride Ride coming up on June 28th. The ride will mark the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion and will have several stops to learn about Queer history. “Dress Up and learn where we we are and how far we have come while riding with Pride,” says ride leader Terry D-M, a lifelong advocate for sexual minority rights.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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