“Blooming with Pride” is the theme for this year's week of Rogue Valley Pride events, including Saturday's parade starting at 11 a.m. in downtown Ashland. During the week, Lotus Rising Project works with LGBTQ individuals and their allies to empower, educate and celebrate a diverse community.
This year's Grand Marshal is Gina DuQuenne who was born in Los Angeles and lived there until she was introduced to Southern Oregon by her then-partner and now-wife Josh Willow. In 2008, DuQuenne thought, "where is our pride parade?" and the concept was born. In October 2010, the community celebrated its first SOPride (Southern Oregon Pride) Festival. Gina has fought for the end of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and for marriage equality, and continues to be a champion for transgender rights. Her focus is now on the SOPride scholarship fund that is awarded each year to a student at Southern Oregon University.
Main Street through downtown will be closed to traffic from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with two-way traffic allowed on Lithia Way.
Following the parade there will be an open-air market in Lithia Park, plus a program beginning at noon at Butler Bandshell. Lithia Park events are set to wrap up at 5 p.m.
An event for LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Allies) people will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Ashland Branch Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd.
A panel discussion will be led by local psychologist and author Karen McClintock discussing the coming-out process for families. McClintock is a psychologist specializing in family secrets and shame recovery. Her most recent book, "My Father’s Closet," is a memoir about her father’s life as a closeted gay man. Thirty years after her father’s death, Karen McClintock sets out to find the gay father she never really knew.
For more information on the panel discussion, call the Ashland Branch Library at 541-774-6996 or visit jcls.org.
A film screening of "Breaking the Silence" is set for 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., in Stevenson Union Room No. 314 (Dankook Room), Ashland.