Your Guide to Gay Pride

Awesome activities abound at this year's Gay Pride, including dancing, drag superstars, and Divine (on film).

By John Chandler June 11, 2013

It's musical theater-meets-Mardi Gras this week for Portlanders flying their LGBT colors. As always, there's the annual Pride Northwest Festival happening Sat–Sun at Tom McCall Waterfront Park—highlighted by a performance from Andy Bell, the singer for influential Brit synth-pop band Erasure, on Sunday—not to mention the Pride Parade on Sunday, which kicks off at 11 a.m. at the North Park Blocks. But that's just the tip of a colossal, multi-hued iceberg; there's also a nonstop week of performances, parties, and other events to help you celebrate while you wait for the Supreme Court to finally decide gay folks have the right to marry the person they love (fingers crossed).

I Am Divine
Tue at 8; Mission Theatre
Though Divine is remembered as a gay icon and legend, he began life as Harris Glenn Milstead, a much-bullied underdog who transformed himself in a tremendous way. I Am Divine paints a portrait of the legendary drag queen, the star of John Waters’s early movies—Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, etc.—and one of the most fabulously transgressive performers to ever almost achieve mainstream acclaim. Portland's own drag royalty Poison Waters will be on hand as hostess for the evening.

Pride Comedy Showcase: Homo Ha! An Evening with ANT
Thu at 7; Curious Comedy Theater 
The irreverent comedian ANT, who appeared on Last Comic Standing and hosted Celebrity Fit Club, headlines this fourth annual Pride show. Hosted by Manuel Hall, the show also features Portland’s Belinda Carroll. She's a nationally touring comedian, but you may recognize her as the lady holding the fruitcake in Oregon Lottery’s Scratch-It commercial.

Thu at 9; Embers
The unofficial Pride weekend kickoff extravaganza will be on full boil from 9–2 at Embers, featuring gorgeous go-go dancers, a half-dozen DJs, drag queen caricaturist Tuna Noodle, and a veritable bizarre bazaar of queer crafts and goods especially designed for impulse purchase. Drag diva Serendipity Jones will serve as hostess for this incendiary event.

Sordid Lives
Fri at 7:30; Theater Theatre
This story rose to cult status with the release of the 2000 movie version of the original play script about a group of Texans trying as hard as they can to hold it together for Peggy’s funeral. If you are unfamiliar with this classic, let us introduce you to an unforgettable heart-rending comedy that proves that LGBTQ theatre is alive, well, and thriving better than ever. This is a staged reading performed as part of The OUTwright Festival.          

LumberTwink PDX Pride
Fri at 9; Funhouse Lounge
Flyers of the flannel will be out in force at this evening dedicated to bearded boys and axe-swingers (and perhaps our favorite new pet name for a distinct Portland type). It's a dance party till the wee hours with DJs Pocket Rock-It and Gossip Cat where plaid participation is a must. Fall by the photo booth for a cherished memento.

Dyke March
Sat at 6; Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Join the throngs of lesbians and their allies for a mellow yet jubilant march from Waterfront Park through Old Town and Chinatown. Your most outlandish outfit is encouraged. 

Hot Flash Inferno
Sat at 6; Crystal Ballroom
Normally a ladies-only event, this Pride edition of Hot Flash Inferno is open to the entire LGBT community. The party will feature burlesque, go-go dancers, drag kings and queens, and DJ Wildfire supplying the Top-40 dance beats. The entrance fee includes admission to Gaylabration, which immediately follows. 

Bill Dickey's Big Broadway Bash
Sat at 7; Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Get ready for your curtain call! Musical mavens can add their voices to those of the Portland Gay Men's Chorus for a salute to show tunes representing the best of Broadway, including numbers from Rent, Showboat, Oklahoma, and Wicked.

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde
Sat at 7:30; Theater Theatre
Irish playwright, author, and aesthete Oscar Wilde is often credited for having "invented" homosexuality, or at least popularized its prosecution. Created by the Tectonic Theatre Project, the theatre-journalists who brought us The Laramie Project, this innovative historical account follows the three separate trials Wilde and his lover endured before ultimately being found guilty of “Gross Indecency.” This is a staged reading performed as part of The OUTwright Festival.          

Blowpony! A Family Affair
Sat at 9; Rotture
Join a luminous lineup of local artists including Boy Funk, Rap Girl, and dark dance darlings We Are Like the Spider for six solid hours of beats and brave new sounds. It doesn't matter what you wear—as long as you are there!

Control Top: A Queer Experience
Sat at 9; White Owl Social Club
With inside bands (Double Duchess, Ononos, Glitterband, and a band who's name we can't write) and outside DJs, Control Top promises stunning visuals, sweaty dancing, and "lots of cute people that you wanna make out with."

Sat at 10; Crystal Ballroom
Hey, these festivals don't fund themselves! A portion of the proceeds raised at this mega-dance mothership will go in support of Pride NW to ensure that the party goes on into infinity. DJ Grind will supply the soundtrack for the movers and shakers in attendance.

Gula's External Delusional Lounge
Sun at 2; The Eagle
If you want to avoid the Waterfront throngs, this party starts early at 2, with outdoor performances by Cakes Da Killa, Gula Delgatto, Kitty Von Glitterbox, and more from 4–7. DJ Moisti and DJ Danimal will be spinning jams sure to keep the party moving. If you're coming from another Pride party, show your ticket or wristband to get $2 off the entrance fee.   

A Big Gay Boat Ride
Sun at 2:30; Portland Spirit at Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Naughty nautical types can take a river cruise with one of the biggest drag stars in the universe, the majestic Latrice Royale, a class contestant from Season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race. A pack of plucky performers will be testing their sea legs, with music from Bridge Club and Snap! Don't forget to buy a raffle ticket to benefit the Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. This one looks like a sell-out, so you might have to pipe yourself aboard as a stowaway or patiently await the return of the fleet.

The Gospel According to Alaska Thunderf**k
Sun at 7; Branx
The pageantry continues Sunday with another alum from RuPaul's Drag Race holding court, this season's finalist Alaska Thunderf**k! Celebrity appearances by Kaj-Anne Pepper and Carla Rossi along with inspirational music from the Bottom 40 DJs are also part of the festivities.

Get out there, kiddos. And don't forget to drink lots of water and apply sunblock liberally (or ask the nearest cutie to)!






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