Portland Scene: Pride Weekend Recap

Welp, I survived my third Portland Pride! Or, actually, it may have been my fourth but I can’t be expected to remember all of them. Whatever the case, in Portland, every day is it’s own pride parade so I guess that just means I managed to keep on keeping on through an exceptionally social and debaucherous weekend. Oddly enough, the World Naked Bike Ride fell on the same weekend as pride, as did the hottest temperatures we’ve seen thus far in 2012, so obviously there was some sort of greater force ensuring that we had one of the stickiest skin-bearing prides on record.

This year I decided to take the low-key track and spent my weekend focused on the most important parts of pride: music and creeping on the womens. Sure, the weekend featured some of Portland’s veteran dance parties like Gaycation and Blowpony, and some new favorites like Bmp/Grnd, but I was more interested in the things that allowed me to still make it in bed before midnight. Slow and steady wins the hangover race.

Not so officially pride related, I kicked off my celebrating on Wednesday with some sweet ladyish loving jams, thanks to one Sarah Jaffe. Nothing like getting the party started with songs that remind you that it’s best to go forth into the weekend and avoid one-night anythings with everyone. Mostly because there’s a good chance they’re going to write a song about it. It’s on par with wearing one of those pregnancy bellies ala 10 Things I Hate About You.


Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

I’m sure this goes without saying, but as a first time Sarah Jaffe show attendee, let me tell you that she is one to see live. If you can believe it, she’s even better in person and, well, seriously gorge.

Queerlandia returned this year to celebrate it’s 1st anniversary on Thursday, and kicked off the weekend with a post-apocalyptic fervor. Not sure what you’re into, but this one was definitely set the precedence for a weekend of people watching.

Friday was a tough call, because Gaycation went head to head with some ’90s style bumping, grinding and licking, AKA, BMP/GRND with Seattle’s monthly party LICK!. I’ve went on to rave about both parties, but it was hard to choose between tried and true Portland DJs Snowtiger and Chelsea Starr and a custom airbrush booth with a crimping styling station. Oddly enough, I chose option C and went to Kaia Wilson’s CD release for her new album, Two Adult Women in Love. Her door prize included the Lovers as the headliner. Sold.

Kaia’s new material was right in line with my lady jams pride theme and the Lovers were, of course, gaymazing. New music, attractive ladies and more new material for mixes pretty much sums up my own personal pride Babylon.

Saturday was the big day. I had every intention to dance, sweat and stay out past midnight. Most likely, all at the same time. This was also the day when I found it best to just go ahead and decide on an outfit for the rest of the weekend as there really was no stopping till waking up Monday, most likely next to someone unfamiliar wearing pasties.

Here’s how god intended any proud queer Portlander to rock the remainder of the weekend.

The Dyke March stepped off in the late afternoon followed conveniently by the World Naked Bike Ride, which started at 10pm the Saturday of pride weekend. Really let that sink in. I mean, could a bunch of naked folks wearing costumes while still managing to be nude fit anymore appropriately into one’s pride itinerary being after the Dyke March, before the Pride Parade? All one really needed to do is powder their bits and slap on some more glitter and they were good to go forth and rage.

And rage they did, at Hey Girl Hey. Take a moment to yo’self before I tell you about the gayest wonderment I have ever experienced. Awe was struck in all of the ways. First off, the line up of queer talent was extraordinarily diverse, including Vockah Redu and Beyondadoubt’s bounce, LA Kendall’s Seattle classics and Freddie Says Relax and Mr. Charming’s Portland favorites. The venue, Plan B, once again delivered as the perfect outdoor accoutrement to any event. Imagine if you will, every one of your friends, exes, one-night stands and the like dancing amongst a packed outdoor courtyard of attractive new folks. It’s the stuff that people watching induced ADD more intense than that of one of the voyeurs at the naked bike ride is made of. And, of course, all of those folks were in attendance as well.


Photo by Bloodhound Photography

Unfortunately, I don’t think Plan B was ready for this Portland pride jelly as it was rumored that they ran out of ice, cups and vodka. Never fear, nothing was going to put a stop to this party as Hey Girl Hey was a community pride celebration defined. Photographic evidence thanks to Bloodhound Photography.

As with most pride celebrations, Sunday was the amalgamation of all the folks who were still standing and able to drag themselves to the parade route for one last hurrah. I chose brunching over glitter bombing which I’m pretty sure is equally as gay as seeing Sharon Needles perform. Maybe not, but I’m a big fan of food. I was able to check out the actual Pride Fest which, most importantly, featured Nina Sky.

It’s not unusual to see naked unicyclists, random trails of glitter or people dressed as bears walking their dogs down MLK on a daily basis in good ol’ PDX, so it’s difficult to say, but I’m pretty sure the city has already recovered from Pride weekend. Just in the knick of time too seeing most Portlanders need to start to making their ways to Seattle, San Fran and Chicago to continue the celebrating. And for those who are choosing to stay home, never fear, seems there’s already a new dance party called Hey Queen! waiting in the wings for next weekend. Get ready.

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