In The Trenches: Community Work 2012

(Originally Published in Just Out Magazine, January 2013 Issue)

I’m overcome with a newfound hope from the monumental strides we experienced as a people during 2012. With marriage equality passing in four states by popular vote, our sitting President and First Lady offering public support for our community during a critical election cycle (and then winning the election), and the surge of positive gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender main characters in movies and on TV, it seems to me that we have, in fact, arrived. The past year has left me with a bright, shiny feeling about the future of this community that I care so deeply about, and I’m guessing since the world didn’t end in December as predicted, we might actually get there.

In addition to the national and international strides made in our favor, there have been countless local and regional pieces to the ongoing equality puzzle, which were filled in during 2012. I believe activism comes in many forms, and that to truly be effective in our efforts, we must come at these issues from a variety of angles. There is still much work to be done before freedom is ours, and the more people we have involved in making change, the faster change will come. I hope you will all throw yourselves into some brand of community work this coming year, and that you might use some of the highlights below as your inspiration. There is a queer activist living inside each and every one of you, just waiting to be released into the world!

Local LGBTQ Nonprofit Fundraisers
Between Q Center’s Winter Gala, Basic Rights Oregon’s Dinner, Cascade AIDS Project’s AIDS Walk, Our House’s Auction, Quest Center for Integrative Health’s WonderQuest, Portland’s Red Dress Party, TransActive’s Superheroes for Superkids, Equity Foundation’s Bent and a handful of other major fundraising events which support LGBTQ programs and services in the area, we had plenty of chances over the course of the year to bust out our fancy gowns and tuxedos and raise money for a good cause. These big events help make the work of the organizations you support possible, so buy your tickets and tables and write a check while you’re there! There is no such thing as money better spent. Additionally, if fancy parties aren’t your thing but you are still able to give financially, please do. In these difficult economic times, nonprofits of all sizes are struggling, and every little bit counts.

Queer Volunteerism
Not everyone can afford to attend an expensive party or write a check, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t able to make just as much of a difference in the community as those who can. For folks interested in changing the lives of LGBTQ youth and young adults, programs like Q Center’s Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC), PFLAG Black Chapter, Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition, and TransActive are always looking for help in their quest to make the world a safer, better place for the youngest members of our acronym. If you are drawn to working with the other end of the age spectrum, Friendly House’s Gay and Grey, Q Center’s *eRa*: encouraging Respect for aging, and the Elders in Action programs are great outlets to serve the people who paved the way for our movement today. If you’re interested in community health and wellness, Cascade AIDS Project, Bradley Angle House, Outside In, and Quest Center for Integrative Health are always looking for dedicated volunteers to further their missions. As the old saying goes, many hands make for light work!

Adventures in Advocacy
The art of influencing the political, economic, and social landscape for our cause is ever evolving and 2012 was no exception. Q Patrol’s community-driven safety efforts, Basic Rights Oregon’s Trans Justice work, Q Center’s Inter-Community Dialogues, HRC Oregon & Southwest Washington’s election efforts, the Community of Welcoming Congregations working to create allies in faith communities, and PFLAG changing hearts and minds of families and friends all kept the queer fires burning all year long. Large-scale celebrations like Pride NW, Portland Latino Gay Pride, the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus Gay Fair On The Square event, and GLAPN’s Measure 9 Victory Anniversary Celebration helped to keep our local visibility front and center in the media as well as over dinner tables and by water coolers across the region.

Just Do You
While supporting and getting involved in organized activism efforts is key to the process of our becoming truly equal citizens, some of the most important work we can do as LGBTQ people is just to be ourselves wherever we go. Being out about who we are and our experience in the world as regular people is an essential piece of the freedom pie, and just being open with everyone you know about what it really means to be queer can create a wave of awareness no financial gift could ever purchase. Ultimately, you are the most powerful vessel of change. There is strength in numbers, so: come out, come out, wherever you are.

Logan Lynn: The Curse of Being Old-Fashioned

Note: My monthly column for Just Out Magazine “In The Trenches” was published today in the October issue. The piece is called “The Curse of Being Old Fashioned” and is about accepting all types of relationships. Unfortunately, the last 2 (very important) paragraphs were accidentally left out of the print version (something that has been making me CRAZY for days, and I’m sure will continue to all month) but the online version is complete. You can check out the original by clicking the cover image below, or just keep reading below.

In The Trenches: “The Curse of Being Old-Fashioned”

Let me start by saying I believe everyone should have the right to love whoever they please, however they please. My choice to love monogamously, and my sharing my thoughts around said loving with you all, is not meant to diminish your thoughts and choices, but rather to offer up yet another queer voice on the matter. I am not making a case for monogamy with this article, but rather a case for acceptance.

In recent days I’ve been reading a lot of articles about love, commitment, and the “M” word, followed by discussions with my fellow queers about said articles, and it’s left me feeling frustrated. I can’t help but wonder, at what point in our queer cultural development did it become acceptable to imply (or say outright) that a person or couple who chooses to be in a monogamous relationship is somehow less evolved than those who do not? I have encountered this view before in my previous dating misadventures, friendships, and relationships … as though my wanting to be with only one man for the rest of my life is buying into a “heteronormative” idea about love and, in so doing, is somehow oppressing you in yours.

It has been my experience that being what some would consider “old fashioned” feels, at times, a bit like a curse for an out, gay man. I have never had anonymous sex. I have never hooked up with anyone off of Craigslist. I have an iPhone but I am not on Grindr or Scruff or Manhunt or whatever other sites people use these days to populate their casual sex lives. In fact, I have never had a very casual sex life. It has always been tied to relationship or a longing for deep connection. My being this way has made it difficult for me to relate to the experience of many of my queer peers, and almost impossible for them to relate to me.

I don’t believe being monogamously in love is the Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: The Party’s Over. Now What?

Originally Published in the September 2012 Issue of Just Out Magazine, on stands now. Click this month’s cover below for the original post.

In The Trenches: “The Party’s Over. Now What?”

It’s no secret that I struggled with an addiction to cocaine and alcohol for many years – Sixteen of them, to be exact. A quick Google search of my name uncovers that though, so this isn’t breaking news. I was always very openly strung out and continued to be open throughout the process of cleaning up, nearly 5 years ago at this point. By the time my active using had come to a close, I had wrecked my life many times over, hurt everyone around me, and squandered professional opportunities the likes of which I will never see again. It has been a long road to put things back to how they are today, and there are still times where that messy person appears, ready as ever to destroy all over again.

It seems you can take the drugs away from the insecure screw-up, but the feelings which led to the drugs in the first place remain. Sometimes they are small and manageable, other times they are too large to hold. Even now, all these years later, not a day goes by where I do not think about giving up. It usually happens when I get my feelings hurt or if I feel overwhelmed by the extreme realness of the universe, which tends to hit me in unexpected waves at the most inopportune times. In these moments I would love nothing more than to ease my aching shame with a drink or hide myself from you, the world, in some kind of thick, white, transformative smoke. There are times where I would literally give everything just to feel nothing.

The trouble with me feeling nothing is that it comes at great cost. I know how that story ends. I lose my work, then my friends and family, then my belongings, then my life. Boom. It’s over. Logan Lynn, dead at 32. No more love, no more music, no more words. I tell myself this story constantly so I Read the rest of this entry »





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