LOGAN LYNN // NEW MONEY \\ OUT NOW!

  

A Decade Ago…

I want to take a moment to publicly thank Kendall Clawson, Sam Adams, Bob Speltz, Judge Kemp, Robert Goman, LeAnn Locher, Anne Viola-Krause, Tim Healea, Paul Fukui, Glenn Goodfellow, Neola Young, Nash Jones, Karen Petersen, Stacey Rice, Susan Kocen, Noah Wood, Dede Willis, Heather Nichelle, Ali Williams, Mary Emily O’Hara, Brian Charles Johnson, and all the other countless, caring, compassionate people who have bravely stepped up over the years to found, fund, build, sustain and, several times, fight to save the vital community resource that Q Center was designed to be.

Despite smoke and mirrors from my record label at the time, when I came to Q Center in 2010 I had nothing. Less than nothing, actually. I was traumatized by violence, was recently in recovery from a 16 year addiction to crack and alcohol which had left me ravaged physically and emotionally, had been freshly divorced while simultaneously being chewed up and spit out by the music industry, and I was living in a stranger’s converted garage. I was completely broke, starving, freezing at night, and, frankly, wanted to die.

One afternoon I found myself at Q Center and for the first time (maybe ever), I felt safe. I belonged. No one cared that I was broken. No one was scared of my need. In fact, they didn’t even see me as those things. They only cared that I was alive and that I was there — because that’s what family does.

Kendall invited me to come back the next day, so I did. When I got there, I told her I wanted to cancel my tour midway through, fire my team, turn my album into a fundraiser for the center, and keep showing up as long as I could be of use — and that’s what happened. I felt useful for the first time in years, and I stayed for the next 5 years.

While many of us have gone on to become successful after our time at Q Center, the truth is that none of us had much of anything back then — but we always had each other; And the people who did have resources gave everything they had to build a home for our community.

We fought for each other. We loved each other. We protected each other. And, most importantly, we created the first safe space many of us had ever experienced. We did all of this together, brick by brick, dollar by dollar, as a community, using our blood, sweat, intentions, and tears as the mortar.

When I literally had no food in my fridge and was too “famous” and ashamed to ask for help, Kendall fed me. I know she also had very little back then, but her care and concern for me and for all of our communities was always front and center. There were many days where the only food I ate was what was leftover at the end of the night after Q Center events, and I know I was not the only queer or trans person having their basic needs met within those walls, because I was often the one wrapping up to-go meals for other hungry queer and trans people.

Q Center saved my life, and it has saved countless others. This Portland Pride weekend, I’m using several copies of The Oregonian as a potty pad for my dog, and I’m celebrating Kendall and all of the people who made this big, gay, community magic possible to begin with — from founding board members and donors, to volunteers and program participants, to staff and community partners along the way.

I SEE YOU.
🌈❤️

Happy Pride 2015 from Logan Lynn and The Portland Mercury

Portland Mercury Queer Issue 2015 - Logan Lynn
Read the rest of this entry »

Hold My Hand, Sing “Kumbaya”

Recently I have witnessed a great deal of conflict within Portland’s local queer community online, in the press, and in real life. Much of this seems to come about as a result of heated debates around social issues, sex, politics, art, and the complicated inner-workings of the LGBT community in PDX (and everywhere). I believe there is much to be learned from conflict, but the way some of this has been playing out lately in the public sphere has felt mean spirited and has been difficult to watch at times.

It is my belief that we were all born inherently kind and connected to one another. Each of us was handed our own set of circumstances at birth, which are sometimes pre-destined long before birth, but most babies are not born angry. As kind queer babies are growing up, we sometimes find ourselves mistreated, abandoned, and ridiculed for being different. We are held down by layer upon layer of systemic oppression buried centuries deep in a culture that has its head shoved so far up its own ass it cannot see the part it plays in the cycle of abuse. This is painful and infuriating.

So what do we do with the fury we carry from having this history? How do we reconcile these justified feelings of outrage? Many of us might not feel powerful enough to take on our families, bosses or governments at the root of our feeling oppressed, so we aim lower and end up putting our pain on one another. Instead of queer people banding together to fight external oppression, we end up oppressing ourselves through infighting. It’s a tale as old as time, but all that cutting our friends amounts to in the end is a divided community, and a divided community is not a strong one.

We are still in the midst of a culture war, friends. While many changes have been made in our favor, we cannot forget that we still live in a country that treats queer people like second-class citizens, and in a state that actively perpetuates this discrimination. I fear sometimes Read the rest of this entry »

Monsoon Season – An Interview with RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 Contestant Jinkx Monsoon

(Originally Published on QBlog and SMYRC on 12/5/2012)

The contestants for Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race have been announced and our very own Jinkx Monsoon is one of them! Jinkx’s drag roots started at SMYRC, one of Q Center‘s LGBTQ Youth & Young Adult programs and drop-in center, and I had the chance to chat with her this week about her experience as a former SMYRC youth-turned-TV-star! Find our interview just below the videos…

Watch Jinkx Monsoon’s “Meet The Queens” video for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 here:

 

Logan Lynn: Hey Jinkx! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today! First off, Condragulations on your casting for Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Was this the first time you had tried out for the show?

Jinkx Monsoon: This was the first time I tried out. I had been considering auditioning since season 2, but it just never felt right. When I watched Season 4 however, I became really inspired. Not only was I inspired by the intensely unique Sharon Needles, but also by Chad Michaels who competed the entire time with class and compassion. The season 4 cast contained so much variety and individuality, that I finally said to myself “why not go for it?” I woke up one morning and it just felt like it was what I had to do. From that moment on, I went full force with my audition material and I was determined to do my damnedest to get on that show.

LL: Ah, yes. Determination strikes again! In recent years you have made quite a name for yourself in the Seattle drag scene. Would you say that your drag career began at SMYRC’s drag night?

JM: My Drag career most definitely began at SMYRC. Ages ago, when I was a SMYRC youth, I liked to get involved with organizing some the community events. One year for our Queer Winter Formal, the theme was “Fairy Tale” or something of the like. I had put together a small drag show to happen in the middle of the dance and I decided that I would dress up as the Queen of Hearts (one of my first times in true drag) for the event. The response was quite positive and I felt empowered to see where this could go. I started doing drag more and more at SMYRC for open mic. nights and other events and soon I was a full fledged baby drag queen. I had to have a name, so I used my SMYRC nickname: Jinkx. And it just seemed to work. Soon I was performing at SMYRC, The Escape (The all ages gay night club) and at little events here and there. But SMYRC was my home. It gave me a place to experiment with drag in a loving, supportive, judgement free zone.

LL: That is such a special experience! What brought you to SMYRC initially?

JM: I came out at a very early age. I was about 14 in middle school when I came out and I had Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn Interviewed by The Advocate Magazine This Week!

I was interviewed by The Advocate Magazine‘s Brett Edward Stout last week and it was just published today. We chatted for a while over the phone about love, life, sex, drugs, and (of course) rock and roll. Check out the original post by clicking HERE or on the magazine cover below, or you can read the transcript from our interview just below.

From The Advocate Magazine (8/24/2012):

Logan Lynn: From Fundamentalism to Raunchy Rock Star – The musician opens up about his eviction from fundamentalist church life, the drug abuse that nearly killed him, and how music saved him.

Indie rocker Logan Lynn’s life story is indeed a wild one. Somehow, a kid who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian church where even musical instruments were too secular to have around has developed into an innovative adult musician with a dirty-honest edge. “Turn Me Out,” the debut track off his upcoming fifth studio album, Tramp Stamps and Birthmarks, is blunt, raunchy, and fun. And people are turning in; the track quickly became a top 30 hit on iTunes, and audiences are eagerly awaiting the next single, “Do You Want Me Or Not,” scheduled to be released in September. Lynn chats with The Advocate about his eviction from fundamentalist church life, the drug use that almost killed him, and how music saved him.

The Advocate: What were you like as a kid?
Logan Lynn: I think I was pretty similar. I’m still pretty focused on love, family, and music. I’ve somehow managed to hold on to that in my adulthood.

What was your coming out experience like?
It was terrible. I’d been very depressed in high school. This religious upbringing had told me I was going to hell and was going to keep my eternal family from being together. I’d told one of my counselors about my early boyfriend I’d had and this particular counselor told my parents that I was gay and that I’d have to be removed from the church and sent to a boarding school in Tennessee the very next day. It was instant removal from my life. I fell full force into drug addiction for the next 15 years. I got clean in 2007 and have been clean ever since.

How did you survive?
At first it was just me. I went out on my own. I had to start over and rewire my brain that had been fully brainwashed and figure out who I was. I wanted a relationship with my family, but they were still involved with the church for another 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: Forgiveness Is A Huge Pain In The Ass

(This month marks the relaunch of Just Out, Oregon’s only LGBT glossy news magazine. I have a monthly column in the publication called “In The Trenches” which is on stands now or you can click HERE to read the online version. I have posted the original version of the piece, titled “Forgiveness Is A Huge Pain In The Ass”, here as well. Be sure and pick up your copy of Just Out all over Oregon or click on the cover below to download the PDF. I happened to write this month’s cover story too, which you can check out HERE if ya wanna.)

From Just Out, June 2012 Issue:

Forgiveness is a Huge Pain in the Ass.

by Logan Lynn.

There. I said it. My hurt is my hurt. As so many of us do, I carry it on my back, bring it with me to bed, and keep it fed and alive so it can grow alongside me as I make my way through the years. I notice more and more that there is deep sense of my identity found in and around my own history of suffering and that I still sometimes guard those old feelings with my life even now, years after the initial infliction occurred. Much of the connection I feel to my humanity seems to have been formed during sad times, more than once having had the experience of stepping closer to my true self in moments when all had otherwise been lost.

Recently, after I reviewed Lee Hirsch’s documentary “Bully” for another gig and recounted my own horror story of being tortured by my peers as a young man for being ginger, queer and different, I received a message on Facebook from a name I had not seen for nearly twenty years but instantly recognized. In a flash I was transported back in time and broke into an all-too-familiar sweat, my hands cold and clammy with panic. The message was from one of the ringleaders of this group of mean kids I had grown up with and I have always counted him as one of my primary tormenters from back then. Suddenly I was 14 again and all alone in the world, just me and my teenage fear.

As I had done many times before in locker rooms, classrooms and hallways when I spotted this particular bully, I puffed myself up and prepared for the worst. Once I had worked through the acute PTSD around even seeing his name in my inbox, I opened the message and, to my surprise, took in the following words: “Hey Logan, I read several of your stories on The Huffington Post. In short, I just wanted to say that I’m very sorry for any bullying that I did when we were younger. I know that’s not much (if any comfort), but I wanted to say it. I sincerely hope my own kids are more tolerant. Congrats on your sobriety and best of luck with your community work.”

It was strangely comforting. I burst into tears. This jerk had made me cry before, no doubt – but this was different. Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn Joins Just Out Magazine This June!

I took a job this week as a columnist for Just Out Magazine! Look for my monthly column when they relaunch in June. Fun, right?

From Just Out: (4/10/2012)

“Just Out is pleased to announce that openly gay writer, musician, and LGBT activist Logan Lynn has joined our ever-growing team of columnists! Logan’s articles range from celebrity interviews to mindful living to local, national, and international queer issues. In addition to writing for Just Out, The Huffington Post, Q Blog, and various mainstream and queer media outlets, Lynn has released five studio albums, six EPs and two singles since 1999 (with a new single on the way in June). He has worked closely with The Dandy Warhols and Styrofoam throughout his career and his music videos have appeared on MTV, Logo, Spike TV and VH1. He has also hosted shows and appeared in commercial spots for Logo and MTV on several occasions since 2007. Logan devotes much of his energy these days to working closely with Q Center, Oregon’s LGBTQ community center. He currently lives in Portland, and enjoys spending time with his partner Aleksandr, his teacup Pomeranian Dutch, and his beloved television.”

ha ha ha

I love that last line.

😉

Logan Lynn: Crabs in the Barrel – The Problem with the Gay Press

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 2/22/2012)

As individuals in a marginalized group, we are often all placed together into a single pot by society. In this case, I am referring to the queer pot (but this happens around race, gender, age, religion, class — you name it). All of us, as members of the LGBT community, with all our differences, have this one thing in common: we are the minority. There is something about all of us that is unlike much of the rest of the world, and much of the rest of the world’s reaction to that difference can be painful, isolating, and dangerous.

Frequently, members of the greater community become fixated on our sexuality or gender expression, and they try to lump us together, assign us roles within our designated letter of the acronym, and dehumanize us in the process. One would hope this outer pressure would be enough to bring us together as LGBT people, that we would unite and become stronger in numbers and build a community so organized and powerful that our being a minority no longer mattered. Sadly, this has not been my experience as a man-loving man, nor in my work with gay organizations, nor as an out artist in the entertainment industry.

Being a public figure in the queer community is tough. You have to have pretty thick skin to tolerate the external homophobia that comes at you as a result of increased visibility, but I think I was raised to expect this, so it’s never a big shock when it happens. I know the world wants to see me dead on some level, or at least see me stop being such a “goddamn fag,” so it doesn’t surprise me when that pressure arrives. I recognize it coming a mile away and have learned methods of processing the external hate in such a way that it no longer hurts me. I have not, however, found or been able to develop a way of moving through the crab mentality of my own community without injury.

For those of you who have not heard this saying before, “crab mentality” (also known as “crabs in the barrel,” or “crabs in the bucket”) refers to the metaphor of a pot of live crabs about to be killed. Individually, the crabs could escape from the pot without any trouble, but when they are all in the pot together, they grab at each other in a pointless domination game that prevents any of them from escaping, thus ensuring their collective demise. When related to human behavior in social movements, the term is most commonly used in association with a short-sighted, non-constructive approach instead of a unified, long-term, productive mentality. As an openly gay musician, I have experienced this problem mostly via the gay press. Certainly, I’ve received my fair share of nasty emails and messages from people online and in person over the 10-plus years I’ve been doing this, as well, but there’s a distinctive sting that comes from someone in the queer media pulling me and my people back into the pot, and I believe that action trickles down into our culture and leaks out into our community consciousness from there. Read the rest of this entry »

QDOC FILM FESTIVAL HAPPENING IN PORTLAND JUNE 2ND-5TH! GET TICKETS AND PASSES HERE NOW!

OMG. The 5th annual Queer Documentary Film Festival (sponsored in part by Q Center) is happening June 2nd through June 5th at The Clinton Street Theater in Portland. “The Advocate for Fagdom” (the doc about our dear Bruce LaBruce) is showing at this year’s QDoc alongside a bunch of others. You can check out the full list of films playing at the 2011 festival HERE.

For tickets & passes CLICK HERE.

Now…watch the official QDoc trailer:

LOGAN LYNN’S PROMO FOR Q CENTER’S WEB SERIES “WE ARE Q CENTER” PREMIERED TODAY!

As most of you probably already know, I spend most of my time working for LGBT rights at Portland’s Q Center. If you have ever wondered why, you can watch the video below. To get involved in Portland, CLICK HERE. For everyone else, to find the LGBT center closest to you CLICK HERE.

To watch the rest of the videos in the “We Are Q Center” web series, CLICK HERE.

SPECIAL THANKS TO RED CAP GARAGE FOR DONATING ALL THE PROCEEDS FROM THEIR DOOR LAST NIGHT TO THE Q CENTER!

Last night everyone who came through the door at Red Cap Garage did their part to help keep the doors to the Portland Q Center open while they had their drinks and danced the night away. The lovely folks at Red Cap do a recurring event called “Red Cap Cares” where a charity of their choice gets 100% of the proceeds from the door. Last night the charity was my fundraiser for the Q Center and I honestly couldn’t feel more appreciative if I tried. It’s so nice to know that “Red Cap Cares” isn’t just a slogan to get people in the door. They actually really DO care.

Thanks so much, guys! I’ve said it elsewhere and I’ll say it again here: What you do for the community is really something. I’m really touched and Love Love LOVE Red Cap Garage.

So: Everybody go there, eat a burger, have some drinks…and know that you’re supporting a business that, in turn, is actually working to make a difference for good in the city around you.

THE ONLY WAY TO GET LOGAN LYNN’S NEW RECORD IS TO DONATE TO PORTLAND’S Q CENTER NOW. SCOOP HERE!

SHORT VERSION:

Give to Q Center, Get a record. Click the banner image below, write the word “Logan” in the DONATION DEDICATION section, then donate whatever amount you can. Everyone who does this before August 30th will receive my new record, “I Killed Tomorrow Yesterday” on Tuesday, August 31st via the email address you provide on the Q Center donation form.

LONG VERSION:

Hi again, everybody! It’s been a little over a week since I announced my plans to step away from the stage for the time being and the reaction from all of you has been really incredible. Thanks so much for all the emails and messages in the days since. It’s been reassuring to be able to so clearly see that I have not been wrong about all of you this whole time…that you totally ARE as wonderful as I like to think about you all being…that sometimes strangers care about you more than people you’ve known for years. Thank you for hearing where I’m at enough to wish me well on my journey. I’ve collected so much love from you through the past decade of my being in your ears. I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve it but I feel so lucky to be connected with this sea of like-minded, sensitive, caring individuals all scattered across the globe…

So WHAT’S NEXT??? I think I may have figured that part out. You know how I was saying I needed to do something that matters for a little while and use my powers for good instead of just to be a famous singing douchebag who complains about how horrible his life is or whatever? Well, I actually meant it and have been exploring what that looks like in the immediate future. I’ve recently been involved with Portland’s Q Center (Oregon’s ONLY LGBTQ Community Center) and have been feeling personally drawn to that place for months. Ever since I stepped foot in the door and met Kendall Clawson (the center’s Executive Director) it’s been clear that she is on a mission to make something really big happen for not just the various queer communities in Oregon but the nation as well. Big things are happening out of that place and I want to be on the frontline of the change. I honestly don’t give a shit about pop music at the moment but I do care passionately about human rights and making things safe for the gay community at large, the community I Read the rest of this entry »


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