The ghost of Portland Pride’s past

Everyone but me, Mr. Blue, in our 2007 rainbow TeamAwesome parade contingent with teenager girl roller skating banner bearers

I was looking for some pictures of Portland Pride of yesteryear and realized that I haven’t been doing this for 4 years but 6! And I’m talking about covering Pride, not just attending it. That’s been an even longer road…shoot…17 years. Sweet Jesus. It must be the nostalgic Cancer in me but in the spirit of more psyching up for this weekend I thought it might be fun to revisit some qPDX recaps while you’re still stuck at your weekday desk. (Or I could just be indulging my own vanity…whatever).

So follow me back in time….


Re-Pride – This was the first year of qPDX as well as my first year at OregonLive. I was fresh-faced and unsullied by cynicism. I’d only started qPDX a month or so before and I was just excited to have a venue. I also remember by boss trying to be fatherly but really just being condescending by making sure I felt safe enough to start a blog about queer topics and use my real name. Weird.

So I tried to “march” in the parade, on a bike, while taking pictures. I am a multi-tasker of my Pepsi generation…I think I also busted in with the unregistered Dyke March/Queer Rebellion upstarts. You can even still see the pictures in OregonLive’s super old. photo format. My favorite party that year was Pride Rebellion featuring the Sissyboys, DJ Puppet and Kelly Moe and I was also excited that our gay County Commissioner, Sam Adams, had a blog.

This was also the first year the parade route left Stark Street and DKPDX and Johnny Mozzerella were the reigning drag kings.


This year’s Pride recap seemed a little lackluster and I don’t really remember anything terribly amazing about the year either. Sophomore slump? But we did get a great amount of user submitted pics. I think that was the year I had a nasty 3-11pm work schedule on Sat/Sun but I was excited about Total Drag 2006 and Wildcard‘s Let’s Get Physical at Acme. I think D won a gigantic bottle of lube there.


Rainbow clown Pride 2009

This was the first year O-Live let me really get into it. We had a big half page ad in the Pride Guide and me and 5 of my closest buddies each dressed as a color of the rainbow while we biked behind teenager girls on roller skates holding our qPDX banner (I was blue). We each had some weird superhero name and a random guest commentary. We called ourselves Team Awesome! Grundleforce, and I’m, sadly, no longer friends with any of those people…


This was a really great year. We did a funny little Pride on the street video (below). We had a booth hung with vinyl banners with popular posts, rainbow feather boas that were a wildly popular giveaway and ran in in about 2 seconds, and a place for people to write comments that ended up being hilarious with one of my favorites being “Sam Adams has a great butt (and a sexy head of hair!)” I still have those bits of butcher paper. (Ah, the memories). It was also the year I met Perry, who has since become an invaluable qPDX contributor I could never have survived without.

This was also the first year I really started doing Pride weekend event listings in earnest, which I separated out by the girls, boys, and mixed. I think, at the time, I was excited about the first Out Like That outside at the Jupiter Hotel (and it was fun) but the best party was one of my first Blow Ponys ever and I didn’t even write about it. I probably wanted to keep the secret for myself. Well, surprise, cat’s outta the bag…


This was a big year, our first after being laid off from O-Live and taking the site independent. There was huge drama surrounding violence and gay bashing at Blow Pony but much fun and merriment to be had as well. I went to 2 parties where Leisha Hailey had been spotted and missed her both times, but was consoled by having my drunk ass taken care of by Beth Ditto and Freddie Fagula. We had a ton of coverage but little to no organization. Old habits die hard…


I think Pride 2010 was when we really started hitting our groove, so this year’s coverage is going to look pretty similar. It’s also a little fresh to be terribly nostalgic but damn it was a lot of fun.

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