Portland Scene: October is for dress-up and dancing


Welp, the clocks are turned back and we’re officially on the fast track to the shortest days of the year. Which means it’s now perfectly acceptable to happy hour before five seeing that it’s dark and we need to be home in time for our prime time stories i.e. The New Normal and The Voice. It’s also around the time we start exhausting ourselves from complaining about the dreary weather and upping our vitamin D intake. But, hey, Obama kept his job and the awe-inspiring, glorious colors of autumn in Portland are still in full effect. Whether you’re aware of it or not, this is what nirvana looks like. Sure, we have an impending nine months of rain to look forward to, but we also have a slew of up-coming festive events to keep us rubbing on and with all of the beautiful queer people of Portland. Here’s a little taste at what ushered us into and what we have to look forward to for the holigays.

Kicking off the beginning of the end, Gayborday weekend started with what can only be described as the most picturesque party that we wish happened on the regular. Fierce by Day: A Hotel Rooftop Party featured an electric solo performance by ex-Dirty Mitten, Chelsea Morrissey and was put on by the same folks who bring us all the hits, namely Gaycation and Bent.

Even with it being a rooftop party, the luscious scenery was most definitely the sea of fiercely dressed homos. Don’t get me wrong, the view from the roof was also amazing and like any good lez I tried to make it to see the sunset but, alas, failed. Mostly because I don’t have that natural sense of how nature works, and I probably took too long to get ready. Whichever the case, the party started with the fall of the sun and raged on under the flattering lighting of an actual blue moon. Who knew nature could be so fancy? Probably DJs Mr. Charming and ROY G BIV who not only throw their own monthly parties, but also add their own dynamism to HomoDeluxe, and this month’s upcoming Hey Queen on November 24.

One thing Portland is never short on is new, seemingly ingenious, dance parties so when Twerk popped up in our invites, having a queer/hip-hop/dance night looked to be a fabulous idea. That turned out to be an immense understatement. If the inaugural night was any indication of longevity, Twerk is projected to be one of the best and most successful community based queer events in Portland. Presented by the illustrious DJ Slutshine of Rebel Grrrl fame and DJ II Trill, the promise of strictly old school hip-hop and R&B was kept. The energy at the Local Lounge was indescribably high, and the dance floor was a nearly impenetrable collective of werkin’ booty bouncing queers. And while I have been unsuccessfully practicing my own low dropping skills, you think I kid, I was just happy to finally have platform to embrace my inner fly girl and get down to the likes of Salt ‘N Pepa and Trina. Crowd-wise it was bar none the most packed first party of anything, ever. The party now has a permanent date, being held every fourth Friday, and will host a guest DJs every month, this coming November 30 edition featuring DJ Chelsea Starr.

Portlanders’ mad costuming skills coupled with queer cover bands could never be anything short of awesome. Toss in my personal favorite outdoor venue, Plan B, and you have this year’s third annual, aptly titled Wicked Awesome Big Homo Halloween + Queer Cover Bands Show. Unlike most parties, this spectacle amps up the electricity with live music and promoter DJ Freddie Says Relax definitely set a high bar with past performances including Fleetwood Mac, Heart and Metallica. I can tell you that I was unsure how this year would stack up to last year’s all-girl George Michael cover band, Georgina Michelle. What I found is that the third installment spoke to whole other parts of my soul, the R&B/rap and vintage rock loving parts to be exact. Zombie Aaliyah, Judas H. Priest, rap cover band Bomb Ass Pussy and the B-52s cover group Planet Clare brought the noise and the crowd brought the insane energy.

There was also no shortage of creativity on the dance floor and not a hair was out of place despite the rain. Personally, I ran out of costume ideas when I was nine so I spent most of the night creeping just a little too long on everyone’s outfits, often times not even recognizing who or what I was looking at. So you better believe the costume contest was sensory overload at it’s finest. I was the one, front row, ogling the likes of Baberham Lincoln, a venus fly-trap and the Coppertone baby. My choice for costume of the year would have gone to Annie Lennox circa Sweet Dreams and my personal highlight was when Mulder and Skully attempted to cart E.T. off the stage during judge deliberations. Only in Portland folks.

Photos courtesy Bloodhound Photography

This fantastical evening was produced by BentPDX and hosted by self-proclaimed glam daddy, Max Voltage of Pants-Off Productions. Luckily, Alison Picard of Bloodhound Photography was there to capture all the costumes for next-years inspiration.

Now that Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, it’s about time to start readying your calendars for an onslaught of holiday parties to start popping up for December and NYE. One thing to note is that BentPDX is hosting it’s last party on December 14 so make sure to support this soon to be missed party and look forward to all of the ugly sweaters, glitz and glam in your immediate future.

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