Portland Scene: A lesbian choir, breakdancing for the HRC and more!


I’m only slightly ashamed to admit that Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. That being said, I spend most of February cruising the Valentine-themed aisles of most retail establishments, and once February 14 passes, it is on faster than you can say clearance rack at Target. Now that that is all out in the open, I can also admit that I am not so secretly on the quest to find myself a Valentine. Don’t tell my dog.

To get this Valentine hunt a’ rolling, I started with some of my favorite love jams by one Ingrid Michaelson. Just recently, I happened upon a chance to catch an Ingrid in-studio radio performance with a meet-n-greet included. Who knew those still existed? Not since days of ‘N Sync have I spent that kind of intimate time with a musician at a radio station, but none the less, it happened and I have photographic evidence to prove it. Now I realize Ingrid doesn’t exactly fall into the lady lovin’ category, but anyone who’s written lines like “we may not have any money but we’ve got our love to pay the bills” and “…but baby how we spoon like no one else” understands the depth of processing better than most lesbians that I know.

Needless to say, the only thing that I did walk away with was a wicked new crush on Ingrid herself. And I a signed poster of course.

Next up, Her HRC’s Bollywood/Hip-Hop extravaganza! I was lucky enough to be invited to one of the many Her HRC events going on throughout the country and I challenge anyone to try and pass up an event that promises a breakdancing competition.

The Portland event featured our own DJ Anjali spinning and teaching Bhangra, and as you can imagine, the room was chock-full of rhythm none of which was possessed by me. Added to the list of things I didn’t take home, namely a date, I also missed out on some epic silent auction items including pole dancing lessons, a personalized pet portrait and a set tour and autographed photo from the cast of Grimm. I also failed to capitalize on an opportunity to win roller derby skating lessons as I could once and for all have realized my dream of being a derby girl. Or, at least, dating one. All was not lost as HRC was able to raise $4,500.

Also in places where I shoulda coulda picked myself up a Valentine and, well, didn’t: Deep Cuts. Now it may be hard to keep them straight, considering just how many parties I was able to attend in a two week period (answer: seven), but Deep Cuts is easily distinguished from the lot because it offers, well, deep cuts. Aside from hearing a Robyn number, the appropriately named party featured some of the best and most obscure music heard at a queer dance party in a while. Please don’t mistake that for my hating on top 40s or electro homo jams as my rhythmically challenged dancing is equal opportunity, I assure you.

What really distinguishes Deep Cuts amongst it’s monthly queer dance party peers is that it was created for the music enthusiasts. Aside from an occasional mainstream jam, DJs Bruce LaBruiser, Kasio Smashio and Chelsea Starr played many a new number including a “Somebody That I Use To Know” remix that nearly had me tripping over myself in excitement. It doesn’t take much folks.

Finally, my attempts at finding that special someone for the big V-Day wound down at Portland Lesbian Choir’s Valentine’s show, Seasons Of Love. Yes, that’s a real thing here. Not only is it a real thing, this is their 25th year.

OK, first off, just reading the show’s description was possibly the gayest moment of my life, second only to the moment immediately after when I realized I was piddle-my-pants excited to see a bunch of lesbos covering Lady Gaga, Madonna and Broadway show tunes. Seasons of Love was an exploration of the phases of love, from bad dates to break-ups and, of course, online dating and happily ever after. Who knew there could be a live, gayer hybrid of American Idol and Glee?

Never in my 12 years as a Catholic schoolgirl could I have imagined the opportunity to cruise a packed room of gay ladies in a church, but I did and it was awesome. As for the choir, as expected, Brittana they weren’t, but they did pack some punches with “Habanera” from Carmen, “Kiss the Girl” and, wait for it, Indigo Girls. Also, they had me at the South Pacific number, as I doubt anyone involved with the original could have imagined this particular cover of “Nothing Like a Dame.” Overall, they had snacks and attractive ladies, and who doesn’t like free snacks?

Lucky for me, at this writing there are still a few solid days till that fated day, and probably at least 30 more queer events to attend in Portland. There’s still hope and if all else fails, my dog will be acting as my service dog for a matinee of The Vow.

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