Browncoat (Broun*cot) – a term applied to fans of the short-lived television series Firefly. The name is based on a nickname for the Independent Faction from the series. In the series, Browncoats were named after the simple, brown dusters they wore as uniforms. The simplicity of their gear was greatly due to the fact that technology and resources were scarce on the Outer Planets. Conversely, the Alliance’s soldiers were called “Purple bellies,” because of the purple-tinted body armor they wore on their chests.
The original incarnation of the PDX Browncoats (which encompases fans in and around the Portland of Oregon and the Vancouver of Washington) first met in July 2004, and lasted until early 2005. Shortly thereafter, some of the original members — and a good number of new ones — met during the advance screenings of Serenity held in May and June of that year.
This movie, and the show that preceded it, made a large, odd family out of a group of folks that under other circumstances would never have met. The group began meeting regularly in anticipation of the film’s release in 2005, and continued afterward as fans, friends, and beginning in 2006, fundraisers for Equality Now. Our monthly Shindigs take us to a variety of restaurants, bars, backyards, and once a year to a bowling alley.
Our annual Can’t Stop the Serenity event, born here in Portland, has become a global phenomenon with events in Europe and Australia as well as all over North America. The event raises money for Equality Now and has raised more than $400,000 over the past four years. For more information about this year’s Portland event, check out our CSTS page.
Mission Statement: PDX Browncoats provides volunteer assistance and financial contributions to nonprofits that promote equality for men and women, local action, and other ideals espoused in the works of Joss Whedon. We provide social outlets for fans of Whedon’s works because we have learned that socializing is an important step toward activism.
Values: PDX Browncoats have integrated our shared appreciation for the stories of Joss Whedon into our social lives as well as our activism.
“She’s not to be bought. Nor bartered, nor borrowed or lent. She’s a human woman…”
1) We believe that misogyny and inequality have no place in our world.
“…a man learns all the details of a situation like ours, well then he has a choice.”
2) We believe that socialization can and should lead to activism.
“If you can’t do somethin’ smart, do somethin’ right.”
3) We believe that having the courage to do what is needed is more important than the certainty of success.
“When you can’t run, you crawl, and when you can’t crawl – when you can’t do that… You find someone to carry you.”
4) We believe that asking for help is an act of bravery and not a reason for shame.
“You take care of me. You’ve always taken care of me. My turn.”
5) We cultivate both an appreciation of our own place in the world and the desire to improve other’s place in the world.
“Now they see the sky and they remember what they are.”
6) We encourage each other to move outside of our previous comfort zones when action is needed.