In Portland, our Pride offerings run so deep that cheering for floats and glitter-streaked dance parties are just the beginning of our month-plus-long celebration. This year offers a bumper crop of particularly artsy opportunities. Here are six Pride events that everyone from Broadway buffs to party animals will appreciate.
7 p.m. Thu, June 14, Pairings Portland, 455 NE 24th Ave, $20
Ever wonder which wine would best embody the gentle, earthy spirit of Tara Maclay from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the aggressive yet adventurous nature of Captain Jack from Doctor Who and Torchwood? Don’t worry if you haven’t spent much time on this televisual/oenological puzzler—the geniuses from PDX Guild of Geeks and Pairings Portland wine shop have done the work for you. They’re collaborating on an otherworldly wine tasting that pairs five fave LGBTQIA+ sci-fi and fantasy characters with five fine wines. Plus, funds raised from the event will support the Racial Justice Program at Basic Rights Oregon.
7 p.m. Thu, June 14, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave, $13–15
At this 100 percent queer-organized story event, hosted by the hilarious Sister Britt, hear short yet compelling seven-minute tales from five LGBTQ raconteurs, including Ebo Barton, a three-time Individual World Poetry Slam competitor.
7 p.m. Sat, June 16, No Vacancy Lounge, 235 SW 1st Ave, $10–15
Looking for queer nightlife action with a creative twist? Check out the first Pride party hosted by No Vacancy, the newish art-deco cocktail bar/dance club making waves in Old Town (it just nabbed Bar of the Year honors from WW). This multimedia, “genre-nonspecific” event promises visual art, fashion, and music from local and national artists like contemporary Seattle-based drag performer Amoania and New York-based DJ/model/artist Gia Garison.
7 p.m. Sat, June 16, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, $20–52
Get quasi-patriotic this Pride by joining the venerable Portland Gay Men’s Chorus for a special performance titled “United States of Broadway.” Let 150 harmonized voices carry you across the nation with tunes from hit Broadway shows like Chicago, Oklahoma, and Avenue Q. $5 from each ticket sold is earmarked for Pride Northwest.
4 p.m. Sun, June 24, Cerimon House, 5131 NE 23rd Ave, $15–30
Performed by members of local vocal ensemble Resonance, this official Portland Pride concert highlights pieces by prolific LGBTQIA composers and writers. Featured works include selections from Craig Hella Johnson’s oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard (an ode to the 20th anniversary of the killing of Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student), plus a choral a capella work by Dominick DiOrio about marriage equality. Special guests include Maryland Symphony executive director (and former Portland vocalist/bon vivant) Stephen Marc Beaudoin, Portland writer/poet S. Renee Mitchell, and Liberace impersonator David Saffert.
6:30 p.m. Fri, July 6 and Aug 3, Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave, $10–30
Learn about Portland’s LGBTQ roots at this mile-long historical walking tour hosted by comedian/activist Belinda Carroll (also director of July's Portland Queer Comedy Festival) and historian Melissa Lang. The pair will cover more than a century’s worth of trials and triumphs, plus dish on noteworthy scandals from days of yore. Tour discussion topics include: 19th-century cross-dressing, the fight against the proposed anti-gay legislation Measure 9, and Darcelle XV (who holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest performing drag queen, and is the closest thing Portland’s got to a Queen Mum).