We at WF are proud of each and every person in our fam. You guys get up every day and kill it by just being unabashedly YOU. Our pride for the LGBTQIA community (and each other) doesn’t end just because June is over– it’s a 24/7 kinda thing, 365 damn days a year. For this month’s installment of Free Speech, we lifted up the voices of some kickass ladies. Tune in as they share their stories inspired by PRIDE.
Without further ado, I give you Jen, Guyanna, Khanh, Molly, Melissa, and Tara:
1. JEN BARAJAS: “SORRY FOR LEAVING YOU BUT I HAD TO”
Jen is the former owner of Mint & Mirth Bartending, a craft cocktail catering company based out of Portland. She is mostly passionate about forgetting that this past winter was especially rainy and dark and is looking toward the future. She shares a story about first love, and walking away.
2. GUYANNA BEDINGTON: “JUST BE”
Guyanna is passionate about advocacy, women’s rights, the arts, and travel. She shares about her amazing personal journey to coming out and simply being.
3. KHANH VU: “A MARGARET CHO STORY”
Khanh, a Certified Public Accountant, is a Tax Manager at NIKE, Inc. Vu graduated from Pennsylvania State University, where she also played rugby. In addition, she is also active in the LGBTQ community in which she sits on the board of GLSEN Oregon and co-coordinates the NIKE LGBTQ Youth Summit. She talks about gaining familial acceptance and how it does get better.
4. MOLLY WILLIS: “BUSINESS PARTNERS”
Molly moved to Portland a year and a half ago from Florida in search of rainy, cool weather and to escape the conservative thinking of Florida. She plans conferences across Oregon for OHSU and is also a yoga instructor, working specifically with the elderly population (her oldest student is 89!) She shares the incredible story of her great-uncle and his husband.
5. MELISSA PALAVECINO: “PHILANDO”
Melissa (meh-lee-sa) is a queer, fat, femme who is proud of her Latinx roots. She has a passion for environmental and social justice. She hates lemons and limes- but loves clowns. Mel has an honest moment about a life violently ripped away. She speaks about the need to support the local organizations that aide and protect black, brown, and trans lives which are threatened day after day.
6. TARA DUBLIN: “PROUD TO BE A FEMINIST BLOCKED BY TR*MP”
Tara is a (very single) Single Mom, a yet-to-be-published writer, a woefully underemployed voiceover actor, and a proud wild feminist. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram @taradublinrocks.