So Many Parties, So Little Time: A Pride Preview

By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly

(Editor’s note: Please note the word “preview.” We’ll have more events in our June edition–this is a more cultivated, “editor’s picks” version of Pride weekend. It also includes those who got press releases in on time.)

There’s nothing I love more than Pride. OK, that’s a bit of a mistruth — I really love San Francisco and laying on the beaches of Waikiki and going to Neko Case shows, but Portland Pride is right up there with them. Easily among my top 10 things that happen every year. (Or at least every summer.) (Definitely Father’s Day weekend.) OK, I jest. I love Pride, I do — and I love all the parties and nightlife it cultivates.

Let’s face facts — everyone’s complaining because Pride is splintered and all over the city. It’s true, it is. But it’s not like traipsing from the west side to the east side (and vice versa) is so hard, kids. Put on your walking shoes and make it happen, lest you miss out on something really special. Our city’s landscape is changed — and there’s no “one place” you can count on to see everyone. (I count that as a blessing.) So save your laundry quarters, set aside some cab fare, and explore scenes you might not otherwise venture into — you might be pleasantly surprised. Below you’ll find a handful we can vouch for:

(Sidebar: It costs money to throw parties. Cheerfully pay your covers — your cash supports art.)

Thursday, June 12

Queerlandia: Dubbed Carla Rossi’s “Gays of Future Past” (see what she did there?), this is the kind of social you can really get behind. There’s mixing, there’s mingling, there’s dancing, there’s drag — party architects manage to cram everything you love about queer Portland and put it under one roof. It is, as they say, “a mind-bending overload of your favorite performers, deejays, artists, and friends, complete with twisted visuals and sickening décor.” (And proceeds benefit Bradley Angle House!) Aside from the Rossi, here’s what — and who — you can expect: Shitney Houston, Liza with a J, Melody Awesomazing, Seattle’s Riff-Raff, Sappho, Serendipity Jones, an arts and crafts market, Hold My Hand, Orographic, Huf ‘N Stuf, and all the queers you’ve been dying to make out with. Do not miss it. Catch Carla while she’s fresh, because this queen is working all weekend long. 9pm, Embers, 110 NW Broadway. Cover TBA.

Friday, June 13

This is where things begin to get real. You’ll need to peruse your options and make some tough choices. But with knowledge comes power, so here goes. (Keep in mind this is just our first guide — it is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of all events happening Pride weekend. That comes in June.)

Queer Lit Happy Hour: Now this is new and exciting.  Join some of the Northwest’s top LGBTQ writers and publishers for this one-of-a-kind happy hour. Featuring Tom Spanbauer, author, “I Loved You More” and founder of Dangerous Writers, Lidia Yuknavitch, author, “The Chronology of Water,” Carter Sickels, author, “The Evening Hour,” A.m. O’Malley, Independent Publishing Resource Center, Cathy Camper, author, “Low Riders in Space,” reviewer Lambda Literary, Chloe Eudaly, owner, Reading Frenzy bookstore, Michael Sage Ricci, teacher, Dangerous Writers, publicist, Hawthorne Books. Come early to mix and mingle with hosted appetizers and free beer to the first 100 people in the door (there will also be a full bar available). Door prizes from Reading Frenzy, Tom Spanbauer, Sage-Ink Custom Tattoo and more TBA. 5pm, Free, Bridgeport Brewing Company’s Heritage Room, 1318 NW Northrup.

Poison Waters and Friends Happy Hour Show: Poison Waters & Friends are back in Al’s Den for one of their notorious Happy Hour shows. Come cheer on guests Kourtni Capree Duv, Ambrosia Schock, and Eugene’s Diva-Simone Slaughter. The theme is Pride, clearly. Bring your friends and get ready for a fast and friendly, fun, and funny Happy Hour experience. No cover, as per usual. 5:30pm, Al’s Den, 303 SW Twelfth.

Taking Pride on Stark (through Sunday).  The last of the Pink Triangle stands proud and tall, and aims to entertain you all weekend long. Caravan of Glam, Deejay Robb, Miss Mylar, Pindar 3, Saturday Night Orphans, and much more. (Stay tuned.) Cover is typically $5 before 7pm, and $10 after —  so swing by early and get your bracelet, kids. Proceeds benefit Cascade AIDS Project and Peacock Productions (Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund). Scandals, 1125 SW Stark.

Second Annual “Extravaganza” Vogue Ball, brought to you by Alexis Campbell Starr and Shiny Presents. Children of Portland, assemble your houses. Strike a pose and bring back your girls. It’s time for a traditional vogue ball. Celebrity judges: Heklina Heklina, Poison Waters, Madame DuMoore. Performances by Ms. Starr, Ms. DuMoore, and many more to be announced. A portion of ticket sales go to Cascade AIDS project. Doors 9pm, performances 10pm, category call time 11:30pm. Categories TBA: find the event on Facebook. Rotture, 315 SE Third. $10 advance, $15 at the door.

Last but certainly not least: Laid Out and Gaycation have a Gayby. #NSFW is gonna be a wild night of dancing and general debauchery open to all of Portland’s beautiful queer people. To make sure everybody feels welcome, the promoters are keeping the cover to a low $5. This isn’t a party for a select few — they want to see everybody celebrating the beauty of collective pride.The night features a line-up of some of the city’s most prolific DJs — and a guest from up north. Deep breath: Georgia Ray Babycakes, Gossip Cat, Mr. Charming, Misti Miller, Bruce LaBruiser, and Pony’s KKost (Seattle). 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $5.

Saturday, June 14

Gayme of Thrones. Pique your interest — this hunt/race will be fun. Prove you’re the champion! It has been whispered across the seven kingdoms that a noble house of rainbows and unicorns will one day arise and take its rightful place on the iron throne. That day will be marked not by bloodshed, but fabulousness, vodka, and tank-tops. In the Gayme of Thrones, you either win, or you sashay away. In the 3rd installment of the annual Pride Photo Scavenger Hunt, you and your noble (or trashy) house of 4-5 people will band together as you race across our great city completing tasks, challenges, and feats of bravery (all to be captured on your cellular device) in an al- out war (of fabulousness) as you compete for the crown and everlasting glory. This year a percentage of proceeds will benefit local LGBT programming through Equity Foundation. (Teams do not need to be organized ahead of time, and you don’t actually have to know two shits about Game of Thrones to play and win.) 1pm, Royale, 317 NW Broadway.

Blow Pony’sSeventh Annual Queer Mutiny. This marks the Pony’s seventh Pride — it started off as Gay Bash back in 2007. Expect lots of queer diversity, dancing, bonding, history, and unity on the dance floors. Deviants, bents, pervs, and more with an agenda to dance, celebrate, be sexual, love, and enjoy the homosexual lifestyle. SSION, Double Duchess, Glitterbang — for starters. Jens Irish, Airick X, Stormy Roxx, Kasio Smashio keep you moving. 9pm, Rotture, 315 SE Third. $8 before 10pm, $10 after.

Control Top, Pride Edition: Control Top is a queer experience, a destination. The newest among the trusted staples, this quarterly dance party blends skillful music, stunning visuals, and photography with lots of hot queers you’re dying to hook up with. Event architect Katey Pants (Roy G Biv) has long provided sweaty bodies, rad outfits, and nasty fun. Wanna be the talk of the town? Take your shirt off here. Hosted by Chanticleer Tru, featuring Rye Rye (Baltimore) and Bomb Ass Pussy, and music made for the dancing by Ms. Biv, Nark (Seattle), Mr. Sister, and Gossip Cat. Disco nap, please. 9pm, White Owl Social Club, 1308 SE Eighth. $12 advance, $15 door. Stranger Tickets.

Gaylabration: Going into its fourth year, Gaylabration just gets bigger and better! DJ Tristan Jaxx and Lasers by Laseronics! See ad page 6.

Sunday June 15 (after the Parade) (Disco Naps)

I am very sorry if you didn’t get your shit together and buy tickets to A Big Gay Boat Ride. Because I can say with all the certainty: you are missing out. Bianca Del Rio! Bianca! Stand at the waterfront and watch for me, I’ll be holding her in my arms and waving at you. Look for the Portland Spirit. Very Best, Daniel

#Grannytrigger featuring Bianca Del Rio. Due to scheduling changes, Sam Sparro will no longer be headlining. But never fear! Bianca is taking over. Think Tabatha Takes Over, but better. Plus the beautiful Madame DuMoore hosts. Don’t ask questions, it’s Pride. Just do it. Two floors, hot deejays, go-go dancers, drag queens, and dancing. Deejays Jakob Jay, Monika MHz, Pavone (Seattle, Bottom 40), Art of Hot. Jackie Daniels Interior Delusions VIP lounge. 8pm, Branx, 320 SE Second. $15 GA, $40 VIP (includes meet and greet), Stranger Tickets.

Dickslap! Featuring Adore Delano. A let loose scenario for boys and girls and more boys — a wonderland full of free beard rubs, slick hands and magical dancing gogo men, where the whiskey shots go down easy and the sounds of the discotheque parade around and intoxicate you until you finally wake up from the dream, potentially next to someone you don’t remember. Got it? Carla Rossi, Shitney Houston, Roy G Biv, Nark, Jens Irish, etc. etc. And Adore! The queen of cute. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $12. Stranger Tickets.