Portland State Pride Week Explores Fashion, Sex, and Identity


By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly

The early birds over at Portland State University are kick-starting Pride month a week early with four days of events open to the public.

Check out the scheduled events:

WED., MAY 29

11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Health Fair, on the Park Blocks

5-8 p.m.
Dapper Dayz, in Smith Memorial Student Union Rm. 296

“Are you looking for ways to freshen up your look for summer? Trying to construct a cute outfit for Portland Pride? Have a fashion skill to share? Come to DAPPER DAYS, a workshop on how to look even more dapper than you already do.

What does DAPPER mean?
Someone who is dapper can be of any gender identity, any gender presentation and simply is someone who looks freaking great.”

6:30 p.m.
Film: “black/womyn,” in the Montgomery Lounge

“black./womyn.:conversations… features interviews with close to 50 out, Black lesbians including Poet/Author Cheryl Clarke, Filmmaker/Activist Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Poet/Author Staceyann Chin, Filmmaker Michelle Parkerson, Artist Hanifah Walidah, Hip-Hop Duo KIN, and Author Fiona Zedde. This film encourages progressive dialogue about images of Black lesbians and the stereotypes resulting from their portrayal in media and society at large. The director goal was to create conversation among Black lesbians of differing ages, backgrounds about the lack of communication among these groups and how this affects the overall unity of Black lesbians as a group.


THU., MAY 30

1:30-3:30 p.m.
Kink and Safer Sex Workshop, in SMSU Rm. 333

4-7 p.m. Clothing Swap, in SMSU Rm. 329

“Clothes can be stressful if you’re queer, amiright? So can dressing yourself in accordance with your gender presentation and/or switching out potentially an entire wardrobe of clothing you used to wear! Let’s get together as a community and send our old beloved (or hated) clothes to a new home and make sure that we all are able to dress as dapper as we wanna! Consider attending our Dapper Days workshop on Wednesday at 5pm for tips on how to dress!”

6:30 p.m.
Film: “Saving Face,” in the Montgomery Lounge

“A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations.” via IMDB


FRI., MAY 31

11 a.m.-5 p.m. Carnival, on the Park Blocks

Noon-1 p.m. PRIDE Pizza Party, on the Park Blocks

6:30 p.m.
Film: “Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen,” in the Montgomery Student Lounge

STILL BLACK: A Portrait of Black Transmen is brought to life by the stories of six thoughtful, eloquent and diverse transmen. Preachers, teachers, students and activists educate us simply by making their presence known. Each man brings a colorful and complex richness as he describes his relationship to himself, as well as others in his life — the cadence of his voice keeping in rhythm with how the speaker displays himself to the camera. 

Director Kortney Ryan Ziegler, lets the subjects’ words and personalities dictate the images and film effects, and the black images on the white background play on the fact that issues concerning gender, race and sexuality are not and cannot be discussed in black and white terms. Clear voices speak on love, family, passing and sex. 

The viewer is welcomed with vivid discussions of the connections they have to their bodies, social status and the consequences of being black, transgender and men. With fresh images of rarely seen black transmen, one is left with the recognition of their determination to live an honest and full life and the resilience to live visible lives. STILL BLACK: A Portrait of Black Transmenmore than entertains, it gives the LGBT community an opportunity to learn about itself.” 

Also coming up at PSU is the annual Lavender Graduation (June 6) and the Women of Color Zine Symposium (June 8).