2019 GRAND MARSHALS

 
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Dykes on Bikes

Dykes on Bikes began in San Francisco in 1976 when a small group of 20 - 25 women motorcyclists gathered at the head of the Pride Parade and, unbeknownst to them, a tradition began. For the next several years, riders just showed up and rode—no formal organization or registration. Portland’s history is much the same. In the early ‘90’s the parade was small in size but not spirit, and a rider asked a friend to join her. They showed up and our tradition began here in Portland. Anne, Lisa, Tara, Lena and Jackie have been riding since the 90’s, some years opening the parade solo or with only one other rider. Today 25 or more bikes could pull up in Monument Square. We never know who or how many riders but all are welcomed and the energy is exhilarating. This year the Dykes on Bikes will be honoring Stonewall veteran Storme DeLarverie. Storme was a butch lesbian who was struck by an officer while he was trying to force her into a cruiser the night of the raid and she punched him back. With that, the crowd sprung into action and the rebellion began. Dykes on Bikes capture Storme’s strong spirit and the resistance and rebellion that has been integral in our history.

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Lala

Lala was nominated for being an incredibly committed activist and artist and for being someone who embodies the values and history of Stonewall. LaLa is a local writer, poet, activist, and organizer. Their experience spans many identities, walking through life as a Black, queer, transracial adoptee. Living, creating, and loving in Maine has given them a unique appreciation of power and community. LaLa works to infuse their activism into every moment of every day. Believing taking a breath, pushing back on a person's ignorance, kissing a friend's cheek, are all acts of rebellion. Creator of BloodLetting: a poetry night for queer and femme people of color; co-leader of PoC Meditation: Feeling the Body/Healing the Heart;former blogger with Black Girl in Maine; columnist with Portland Phoenix where they penned Unpacking the New Normal; MC for L/A Arts' Youth & Community Open Mic; organizer with The For Us, By Us Fund-- creating capacity for PoC in Maine; and brand new babe for Restorative and Transformative Justice with the Restorative Justice institute of Maine. LaLa has had their work published in several publications including, Sisu Magazine, Incomer Magazine, Maine Sunday Telegram's Deep Water, and Poliquads Magazine. 

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Ian-Meredythe Lindsey

Ian-Meredythe Lindsey was nominated for their involvement with getting non-binary added to Maine licenses. Ian-Meredythe is a non-binary trans individual originally from Oregon, arriving in Maine via Colorado.  After attending the University of Maryland, College Park for three years, they moved back to Maine to finish their degree in History, with a Minor in Women and Gender Studies, at the University of Southern Maine.  They have been living in the Greater Portland area for 13 years. Ian-Meredythe currently serves on the Board of Directors, and as a member of the strategic planning committee, of The Hour Exchange Portland, a non-profit time-banking organization.  They also serve on the organizing committee of Creative Portland’s 2 Degrees Portland, a program that serves as a welcome wagon and network for creatives in the Greater Portland area. In addition to their professional life, Ian-Meredythe is also a film and theater actor, director, and stage manager.  They are extremely grateful for their fiancé, Kylie Groat, for her unending support and love, and for their two dogs and three cats for always making life entertaining. 

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Wendy Chapkis

Wendy Chapkis was nominated because she has been a "kick ass professor and activist in the community forever." Wendy has taught sociology and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine for almost 25 years. She is the Faculty Scholar for the Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine; in that capacity, she created the Querying the Past: Maine LGBTQ Oral History Project, gathering life history interviews with dozens of queer Mainers. She produced a one-hour documentary “Bar Stories” featuring interviews on the role of gay bars in creating and sustaining community. She is also the author of several books: Beauty Secrets: Women and the Politics of Appearance; Live Sex Acts: Women Performing Erotic Labor; and Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine.

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Shaunna Rai

Shaunna Rai was nominated for being "an amazing drag queen, mentor for other performers, and is beautiful AF". Shaunna Rai has been playing with the art of female illusion for more than two decades, and has seen, done and learned many things on her journey. Shaunna Rai has won a few titles over the years, including: Miss AIDS Awareness 2011-2014. Increasing AIDS Awareness is her passion, and she works with the Frannie Peabody Center.  Shaunna has worked with many RuPaul’s Drag Race girls.  She is Part of the Drag Diva Brunch Maine Branch Organized by Mimi Imfurst. She attended the Austin Drag Festival in 2017 as one of many drag performers from all over the world. Shaunna Rai has merchandise available on www.dragqueenmerch.com. Become a Rai of Light, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.