"Ultimately, it takes so much more than reading articles online of folks with stories adjacent to mine. If you aren’t appalled and in the streets walking with me/us every time we lose a black and/or transgendered person at the hands of a police officer or white terrorist, you aren’t for me or my community. If you are happily sitting in your high-rise office with extra money and not giving back to impoverished folks in this city, you are complacent in gentrification and upholding systematic racism, classism, sexism, and injustice. I would prefer Portland to put its money where its mouth is -- support the weirdness you beg to keep in the city and understand that people of color are people too," says Carrissa Paige, poet and sex worker. Paige is chronically ill and makes extra income by as a webcam performer.
“Twice in the last year I have been followed while a complete stranger shouted unsolicited hate speech at me and no one did anything about it in broad daylight. I just had to do my best to make sure they could not get close enough [...] This seems to be a theme in Portland: a lot of people here have good intentions and proudly proclaim their support for the queer and trans community but are more often than not very bad at actually supporting those people," says guitarist and producer Erin Ramona Martinez, a latinx trans woman.
“I would say the most inspiration I get from Portland is finding self empowerment by believing I deserve to succeed in a creative field, to carve a space for myself as a WOC and others like me, and to set an example for other WOC, because there are so far and few within my industry," says Saria Anafel Dy, a florist and sculptor. Dy often works in industry settings where she is the only person of color present.