The Briefest of Histories: The Sunday T-Dance

bridge CBy Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly

From the first moment I stepped onto that patio at Produce Row, I was in love with Bridge Club. It had been a long time since there was a sustained queer social held on a Sunday afternoon that held my interest—think way back to Poison Waters’ Church of the Poison Mind. (Shhh, I am very young.) For me and quite a few others, the (new) Sunday t-dance is a reinvention of our forgotten history—a nod to times when we couldn’t dance together in public, let alone, say, kiss. It’s a nod to the queers who partied in discreet speakeasies; women who danced with women and men who danced with men—and those who quickly changed partners when the police raids came.

Sunday socials are about community (and perhaps a Bloody Mary or three). They’re a place where queers come together to talk art, politics, fashion, and all manner of gossip—where deejays experiment with music and share their passion with you, where artists make their art. It isn’t just about partying—it’s more celebration; a celebration of our diverse, immensely talented collective. And we don’t judge you if you stay home and watch “60 Minutes”—just don’t judge us for wanting to revel in near-divine glory.

It’s my absolute pleasure to introduce Bridge Club—I’m thrilled to feature them on our cover and I hope you get out of the house and find out what they’re all about.

Though not a member of Bridge Club, Chelsea Starr has been guest enough times to deserve an honorable mention. (And aren’t all guests part of the extended family?) Starr is a DJ and clothing designer living in Portland. She moved here (kind of recently) from San Francisco, where she promoted parties and deejayed all over town for 12 years. She’s traveled quite a bit as a deejay, and continues to do so. You can find her on Feb. 28 opening for House legend Jeno at Analog Café. Reach her at www.chelseastarr.com or chelseastarr@yahoo.com.

Mikiel Deguara is the co-creator and booker/CEO of Bridge Club. When not at Bridge Club, he can be found around town deejaying under the moniker HOLD MY HAND—he’s played pretty much everywhere. Every third Thursday he is at POLARI, a Bridge Club one-off at Vault Martini. By the time this issue prints, you’ll have seen him on Valentine’s Day at Love Ball (Embers); he remains a member of the Love Ball team. Please send all booking inquiries to mikieldeguara@gmail.com.

Little Bear (Christopher Bayerle) helped create and deejay a whirlwind of Portland parties including Bridge Club and Polari (third Thursdays at Vault.)  He maintains a blog, littlechristophersays.blogspot.com, wishes he were Joan Didion, and spends much of his time reading or drinking with Ryan Kost at the Red Fox. He can be contacted at cbayerle@gmail.com or during his regular office hours at Red Fox. (Editor’s note: regarding the Didion—don’t we all, queen.)

Ryan Kost’s first real turn at deejaying came when Bayerle and Deguara invited him to play an early set at Bridge Club nearly two years ago. Since then, he’s become a regular of the daytime party, launched Laid Out (Holocene, every last Thursday) with Misti Miller and is a frequent guest DJ around town. (He’s also played parties up north in Seattle and took a turn in NYC.) Much as he loves throwing a party, Kost says it’s really just an excuse to DJ. He frequently releases mixtapes and makes them available to stream and download at soundcloud.com/gossipcat. As for what’s next, he says he’s cooking up something special with DJ Bruce LaBruiser (Jenny Bruso) set for the end of April. If you’re interested in booking him, email ryan.kost@gmail.com.

And from the foxy Brendan Scott (Pocket Rock-It): I am a 28-year-old house/disco/funk DJ and musician born & raised in Portland. In my seven years as a DJ, I have played all over the city, mostly as a guest to various queer parties. Currently, I am involved in three monthly parties, play bass in local group “Magic Mouth,” and also create visual art. In the future, I hope to create my own T-shirt line and build a graphic design business. You can find me Feb. 22 at Lumbertwink, Feb. 27 at Laid Out, March 2 at Bridge Club, and March 8 at Magic Mouth’s in-studio performance at KEXP Seattle. Then Magic Mouth goes to SXSW! People can contact me at bscott@pnca.edu, or hit me up on my beeper.

The stunning Rob Loucks is part of the creative team behind Queerlandia and an original member of Bridge Club. Originally from the east coast, he’s had the pleasure of playing all around town and Seattle as Orographic. Rumor has it he’s working on some new projects, so be on the look out. You can stream and download his live sets and mixtapes from https://soundcloud.com/orographic. He can be reached at Booking info is rob.loucks@gmail.com–or hit him up when you see his sweet face at the hot clubs.

Obviously no mention of Bridge Club would be complete without John Camacho (Huf ‘N Stuf), who’s been involved with everything from Queerlandia to Bridge Club from the outset. Although he kindly declined to be part of this photo shoot, we still love him—and you can find him on Vendetta’s sunny patio on BC Sundays, plotting world domination. (Or city domination.)

Editor’s note: Your fearless editor had a stress moment and accidentally omitted Rob Loucks’ bio from the print story. I’ll be issuing a printed correction–along with an update to this story–as soon as humanly possible. Loucks is the architect behind many a party we love and he’s an integral part of the Bridge Club family.

Editor’s note addendum: And we’re very sorry you couldn’t make the shoot, Shawn Ormsby–artist and deejay extraordinaire. 

And read this: http://www.back2stonewall.com/2013/11/gay-history-lost-tradition-sunday-tea-dance.html

 

–Daniel Borgen