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Two Intriguing Events in Oregon Coast's Lincoln / City, Including Dia de Muertos

Published 09/28/2019 at 5:23 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Two Intriguing Events in Oregon Coast's Lincoln City, Including Dia de Muertos

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(Lincoln City, Oregon) – One event is serious and the other serious fun. Lincoln City’s Driftwood Public Library brings two diverse happenings to the central Oregon coast with a special presentation on the LGBTQ experience and a bit of a multicultural Halloween with the Day of the Dead.

October is LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) History Month and for the second year Driftwood Public Library will be presenting a lecture on an aspect of the LGBTQ experience.

On Saturday, October 12, at 3 p.m., guest speaker Dr. Bethany Howe will give a presentation titled Turning Back the TIDE: How to be a Better Ally to Transgender People, based on her doctoral research among transgender communities throughout the United States.

Among members of the transgender community and their allies, it's understood that living with a transgender identity in the 21st century, even though things have gotten better, remains difficult. Those who deny transgender identity, particularly those we see in media, can be particularly damaging to the mental health of transgender people. What may surprise transgender allies, however, is the damage they may be doing to their friends in the community without even knowing it. Dr. Howe, a former Lincoln City teacher and journalist, knows, both first-hand and as a researcher at the University of Oregon, the damage being done to the transgender community - even by those who think they are helping.

The presentation is free.

For the 4th year, Driftwood Public Library will be hosting a celebration of the Mexican holiday honoring the memory of the dead, Dia de Muertos. Library staff invite all members of the community to join them from 6 - 8 p.m. on Friday, November 1st for a party celebrating the memories of loved ones who have passed.

The Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico developed from ancient traditions among its pre-Columbian cultures. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors had been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 3,000 years. The festival that developed into the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar and was celebrated for an entire month. The festivities were dedicated to the goddess known as the "Lady of the Dead", corresponding to the modern La Calavera Catrina.

During the multi-day holiday communities gather together to honor friends and family members who have passed on, and help keep their memories alive. To be clear, Day of the Dead is not a Mexican version of Halloween. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration. Day of the Dead festivities unfold in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy. While the theme is death, the point is to demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members. It has become a national symbol of Mexico.

Driftwood’s celebration will consist of music, dancing, face-painting, and an altar to which anyone can add a remembrance of loved ones they wish to honor. It will also be a community-style potluck, in which those attending may bring a favorite dish to share.

This event is free to the public and made possible by The Friends of Driftwood Library. Questions about the event may be directed to Teena Nelson at 541-996-1258 or tnelson@lincolncity.org, or to Star Khan at 541-996-1255 or skhan@lincolncity.org. Driftwood Public Library is located at 801 SW HWY 101 in Lincoln City on the 2nd floor of the City Hall building, across the street from Burger King and adjacent to McKay’s Market.

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