Conversations from the Gayborhood: Coyote Grace’s Ingrid Elizabeth

Ingrid Elizabeth of Coyote Grace will be performing solo this weekend in Seattle.

The first time I ever heard Coyote Grace, I asked them if they would play at my wedding. A friend took a group of us to see the show at a downtown pub when I was living in Flagstaff, AZ. It was one of those experiences that takes you by surprise: I wasn’t expecting to discover an extraordinary “acoustic downhome due” on such a mediocre downhome Sunday afternoon. I wasn’t expecting to get tipsy either, but what else can you do on a warm weekend day when surprised with the kind of music that shifts your entire perspective?

Before Coyote Grace kicks off their 2010 Southwest tour, Ingrid Elizabeth—the soulful, sultry bassist of the duo—will be featured in an event a little closer to home, in Portland’s neighboring town, Seattle. XOXO: Love Notes From the Margins (or, A Queerly Crumbled Valentine’s Evening) is the third show produced by TumbleMe Productions. After its initial two sold out shows, “TumbleMe is proud to bring the perfect date night or anti-date night for Valentine’s lovers and haters alike, in one of Seattle’s most intimate venues.”

On an unseasonably warm Portland afternoon, I caught up with Elizabeth on a lawn in Northeast Portland to talk about her solo performance, the up-coming Coyote Grace tour, and what music she’s been delighting in lately.

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Conversations from the Gayborhood: Kendall Clawson Interview Part II

Q Center located at 4115 N Mississippi Ave. Photo by Ashley Bedford

In last week’s Conversations form the Gayborhood, we chatted with the executive director of the Q Center, Kendall Clawson, about the Winter Gala (which was a huge, glittery success!). This week, we switch gears from the details of the annual party to the details of the daily grind at the Q, as well as Clawson’s experience meeting President Obama.

Show of hands: How many of you have actually been to the Q Center? And walking by it on Mississippi in route to the bar does not count. I’m talking about been inside—checked out books from the library, or attended bingo, cabaret or one of their multiple discussion groups. In the twenty-something generation that I am proud to be a member of, the general reaction seems to be: Wait, what? They have bingo nights?! (Yes, and better yet, it’s drag bingo!)

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Photos and recap from the Winter Gala

Photo by Ashley Bedford

After interviewing Kendall Clawson about the details of the 2nd annual Q Center Winter Gala, I just had to go check out the event myself. My girlfriend and I scrounged our closet and multiple thrifts stores in efforts to find outfits suitable to wear to a black tie affair. It was a daunting task considering my part of the closet consists mostly of converse and tattered t-shirts, but it all worked out nicely in the end and we enjoyed an exceptional night out on the town. Take a peak into the event with our Winter Gala photo gallery. (All photos taken by Ashley Bedford).

Was it all it was cracked up to be? Basically! Everything was gorgeous, and yes, extremely glittery. The 6th floor of the Nines hotel was packed with fabulous looking, borderline-celebrity queers and political figures, all who had jazzy cocktails in hand. The VIP room (which I tried to sneak into but was reminded by my virtuous girlfriend that that wasn’t the best idea) looked abuzz and downright fun.

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Conversations from the Gayborhood

Photo by Ashley Bedford

Kendall Clawson, executive director of the Q center, has been referred to as Gay-prah—aka the gay Oprah—by Portland gossip extraordinaire Byron Beck. After meeting her myself in her cozy corner office at the Q, I am compelled to second that notion….to an extent.

Without a doubt, she radiates an Oprah-esque charisma, resolve and allure. But the conceitedness and ostentation? It just doesn’t exist in Clawson, whose primary concern is the LGBT community, not her own self-interest. The minute I met her, I suspected I would spend the next hour of my time doing two things: laughing and learning. And I wasn’t let down.

My chat with Clawson was so rich with info that I’ve divided the interview into two parts. This week, Clawson talks with me about the Winter Gala (pronounced GAY-la for this occasion), her favorite Portland personalities, and which character she would date from the L word.

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