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Perrywinkle’s Plethoric Pride Pantheon – a review

SuperGay stampedes for Rainbow Truth

SuperGay stampedes for Rainbow Truth

Wow, thats all I can say. Wow 1: I can still come up with a meaningful alliteration after this weekend, and wow 2: Portland Queer Pride 2009 was AMAZING.

A year of firsts: The first time QPDX.com has had their own parade “float”, the first year there has been 110+ groups in the parade, the first time SuperGay had a proper outfit, the first time I decided to go for FIVE straight days of Pride partying.

Five days.  Five outfits. A kajillion drinks, a million miles on my bicycle, a shit ton of parties, SuperGay jumps, fake beards, hair dying extravaganzas, automation-style condom gluing, flyering, banner making, gender bendering, raindbow deco-ing stampede of gayness. But sadly, on the edge of all the celebrations: tinges of violences, aggression, and disrespect by the police. I’m still waiting for the dust to settle.

I kicked it off at Gay Pizza AKA Fame, held at the Portsmouth Pub Wednesday nights. Gay Pizza has definitely upgraded from a slice to a family pie, last week it was packed. We had Seth Gottesdiener AKA DJ Girlfriends in the audience supporting his sister, Sarah, play some songs with her band, the Gay Decievers. We had spoken word, we had beer, we had dancing, we had Mystic Pizza Crust readings. It was the biggest and best Gay Pizza I’ve seen so far – Kudos for a small time pizza joint in far flung nopo with a “family dining” sign to keep a successful and popular queer night up and running. I decided to go for a street urchin/schoolboy/ generic english person look and it were well received.

After a late night on Wed came another, guess what, late night on Thurs, with the Gender Bender show kicking some heteronormative butt at the E Room. The wide variety of acts was great – and people were dancing long after the last act left the stage. Some trouble in the parking lot aside, it was a good night, and I loved the fact that I got asked a few times if I was in the show – mustve been the bowtie, pinstripes and big ass moustache!

DJ Girlfriends at work

DJ Girlfriends at work

Friday was the first night of chaotic messyness that gives pride that extra boost of gay fruit flavour. Next to it being a Gaycation, Portland is Burning, Rumpspankers and Pink Party night, it was also the graduation night for PCC. I already reviewed Friday in this post, so give it a whirl. This was my casual night – I wore a tshirt and jeans, but still keeping the colour coord theme!

Saturday was the big one and you know it. Contenders were: The E Room Pride Party, Out like that, Pride is a Verb @ Zaytoons, Blow Pony Cruise & party afterwards, afterparty at ascension. I made it to four of the above, but first we marched the streets of Portland in the 2009 DykeMarch, which gets bigger and better every year! Shame a warmup stage with music and the like didn’t happen, and I always bemoan the lack of chants and noisemaking (dear organizers! How about you get someone to donate a shit ton of whistles and rattles!) but it was a great march and, as Alley likes to put it, indeed  a veritable parade of people I’ve slept with. Luckily, I speak to them all, (and they all speak to me) except for one, so thats all right. Not bad going! After the DykeMarch hit the waterfront, I took my tired little ass home for a nap, a shower, a protein bar, an injection of New Deal and got dressed to go to Pride is  a Verb, which was, in my opinion, a HUGE success. Zaytoons was packed, including a crew of people in fur suits who kicked off the dancing at 9pm on the dot. My ice cream van driving electronical engineer friend Roger, AKA DJ Grandpotamus, spun some choice 80’s house cuts, and by the time 11pm rolled around it was so packed you could hardly move. The drinks were strong, there were cute boys in gold tights and nothing else, and everyone was having a good time. Verb is a fundraiser for In Other Words books, and we hope they made a lot of money! Blow Pony and Verb both made it to the final round, but Verbs surprise success made it the winner by TKO.

After Verb, I took my turquoise and pink clad body with my turquoise and pink clad head to Out Like That, the biggest of Saturday’s Pride events. The venue was pretty full, however, with both rooms at the Mt Tabor featuring different music. But despite the fact that a lot of people were there, the atmosphere was vaguely oppressive and dull, and most people seemed too drunk or too bored to dance. The crowd was also strangely unknown to me – I only saw 4 people in the whole joint I knew, which tells me that a lot of out-of-towners picked Out Like That as their venue of choice. It seems that the party may have left one of the components of it’s success behind when it moved from the outdoor Jupiter Hotel to the cavernous and stuffy Mt. Tabor.

The one, the only.

The one, the only.

Blow Pony was the next stop on my Pride cruise – i had to help a certain sailor complete a mission, and I knew this was where all my friends would be, including my favourite wingnut, Alley. But by the time I got to Caseys/EagleUnderground, there was a huge group of people on the pavement, lining up to get in – and I quickly found out the situation was a little more intense than -I will chronicle the entire situation in a seperate post because I think it ties in with other issues that the Queer community in Portland is currently facing.

After Blow Pony neighed it’s last whinny, i bicycled back across town, only to be informed by my friend Andy that the afterparty was still kicking-so I headed over to the venue and danced and drank until the sun came up! DJ Girlfriends on the decks, new friends on the smoking balcony, and Paris is Burning on the projector-a fine way to finish up a long and intense night.

I had to go see a man about a dog on Sunday, but I heard that SuperGay was in full supergay effect at the parade. SuperGay told me that they ran and jumped the entire parade, powered by donuts and redbull and early morning vodka, matched with 3 hrs of sleep. The parade was a fantastic success, despite the fact that our parade float ended up in a big gap between the other floats! At least that gave our scooter ridin’ heroes, Squid and Diana (and Robert) a chance to zoom up and down the route! After the parade was over, we had a fine time enjoying the main stage, booths and overall gayness, although again, there was tension and a fight nearly broke out among waterfront patrons. We decided to head to Invasion and enjoyed $1 mimosas instead… I would have loved to make it to PopTart on Sunday, but this little superhero was simply too exhausted.

Good vs. Evil!

Good vs. Evil!

In retrospect, I have to say that this Pride was bigger and badder than any of the Portland Prides I have seen in the almost 4 years I have been living here. It was huge, it was intense, it marked a turning point from medium sized cowtown to Big Gay City, and we will have to see how both our communities, the authorities, and the straight world at large deal with these changes. Challenges still abound, and it is now up to us to harness the power of our masses to build bridges, create allies, keep living out loud, and keep having fun, without neglecting to notice that we still have a long way to go.

5 comments to Perrywinkle’s Plethoric Pride Pantheon – a review

  • Maj

    This was a grand recap! Kudos Supergay!

  • FuR

    "and I always bemoan the lack of chants and noisemaking (dear organizers! How about you get someone to donate a shit ton of whistles and rattles!)"

    this is why i actually didn't do dyke march this year… last year being my first pdx dyke march i was sad to see no one holding signs, cheering, jeering, chants etc. i didn't do the dyke walk this year because i didn't want to get mad about it not being more than it is. noisemakers and sign making materials would be a welcome addition.

  • steem

    If you want noise makers and signs, then why don't you buy some or make some? Why should the organizers shell out the money for you to show your pride?

    • hi steem –
      I don't think organizers should have to shell out money for anything. However, a non-profit or volunteer organization such as the dykemarch organizers or such as QPDX (considering we cover and promote their event for free and also provide you with recaps and information for free because we are entirely volunteer based) can usually acquire items such as rattles and noisemakers as donations from companies for free quite easily if they just ask, and so therefore no one would have to "pay to show pride".

      I was covering the event (as you can see) so I wasn't able to rattle, whistle or otherwise make noise apart from shouting and laughing loudly , but I did hear a great deal of comments from people who were marching about the fact that it's a pretty "uneventful" and quiet march, and ostensibly, if rattles and noisemakers were provided (pride parades in europe often provide whistles, just to show you where i'm coming from) then people would use them, and it would make the dykemarch bigger, better and louder. It was just a well-intended suggestion, anyhow…

  • FuR

    i'm pretty sure neither of us said that the organizers should shell out cash for the items… perrywinkle suggested someone could donate them and i mentioned it would be a welcome addition.

    of course, i didn't bring a sign or sign making items last year, but i was also volunteering and supposed to be keeping people in line.