New mural from Pride Northwest dedicated to queer heroes

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"There is no other mural like it dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community in Portland."

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A first-of-its-kind, colorful new mural is coming to Northwest Portland and it hopes to spark a dialogue.

Pride Northwest’s bold new project is titled “Never Look Away.” It will be the first mural in Portland dedicated to queer heroes.

Organizers hope it will be a beautiful reminder of the progress made — and the struggle to get here.

“There is no other mural like it dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community in Portland, and as far as we know in all of Oregon. So, it’s a first,” Executive Director of Pride Northwest Debra Porta said.

Rising more than 50 feet into the air, this wash of color near Northwest Broadway and Northwest Couch Street will signify waves of progress.

“We chose this location because there’s there’s a lot of foot traffic in the area. It’s close to public transit, which is something that we want,” the mural’s producer, Rubin Lawrence explained. “We want to be in an area where there is a lot of foot traffic and where people will see it.”

The piece — a community collaboration — will feature a diverse group of local mentors, activists, leaders and educators alongside folks known for breaking barriers and making history on a national scale.

“We want to show people and inspire people that you don’t have to be a mythical hero to be able to make real lasting and important change in society,” Lawrence said.

The mural is made up of colorful abstracts representing the struggle, growth and progress in a city known for its progressive policy, while acknowledging the work still to be done.

“The LGBTQ+ plus community, as far as we’ve come in the last number of decades, is still targeted. There are plenty of people in this community and the larger region who would love for us to be quiet, to be not visible, to be gone and not exist — and that’s just not going to happen.” Porta said. “We are a significant part of this community and visibility is a huge part of that. This level of visibility reminds us that we’re here and that we’re not alone.”

It’s a message soon to be seen in vivid color.

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