How does one town get so gay? While it's impossible to try to capture all the highlights from this year's amazing Pride Week, I'm sharing some of the queerest "moments" from a week where everything was gay, gay, gay.
5 pm Sunday, June 8: Homo-land security kicks into high queer at Pride Week's first real shebang—Latino Pride—after someone notices a "homeless" man "sneaking" into the Jupiter Hotel fiesta and scarfing down the salsa. Before he was ejected I politely whispered to a staffer: "Psst…you can't throw him out. He's Walt Curtis!" Instead of giving him the boot, emcee Meesha Peru (above left) gave Oregon's critically lauded queer poet and author of Mala Noche (which just so happens to be all about gays and Latinos) a shout-out from the stage. Muchas gracias, Meesha!
10:30 pm Friday, June 13: On a tour of downtown's nightlife district with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, a few things caught my eye: the length minors go to get into bars, including a girly-girl who had handed over a guy's ID and tried to get in McFadden's by passing herself off as "transgendered." And I doubt I'll ever forget seeing leather lovers beat the crap out of a beach ball in the BDSM basement of the Eagle PDX. They stopped flogging it once they heard the OLCC was on the premises. I have no idea why. Are there any laws against beach ball abuse?
7:05 pm Saturday, June 14: Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Jeana Frazzini misses the Dyke March by minutes. Rather than drag her crew to catch up, Frazzini sits this year's march out. "When has the Dyke March ever started on time?" says Frazzini.
12:15 am Sunday, June 15: I tried to explain Portland's gay and not-so-gay culture to three straight journalists from Mexico—Adalberto Ríos (Reforma), Carolina Enríquez (Milenio) and Icela Lagunas (El Universal)—who'd come to P-town to cover Pride. Although they were amazed by how open, accepting and progressive everyone was in Portland regarding queer culture, frankly they were much more interested to find out why they kept running into so many pirates and naked people on bikes.
10:25 am Sunday: State Senator Ben Westlund tells me he regrets he didn't wear his "Jizz Pimp for State Treasurer" tee.
10:30 am Sunday: "I hate sitting down in parades," says Sam Adams. Hoping to find an alternative to riding the Wells Fargo wagon, Mayor-elect Adams considers cleaning up after the horses that pulled his coach. When current Mayor Tom Potter asked him if he was really going to "scoop the poop," Adams' reply is: "I was strongly advised against it."
11:20 am Sunday: "Kate Brown, you are going to burn in hell!" scream hellfire-spouting homophobes from the corner of Southwest Alder Street. Rather than scream back, secretary of state candidate Brown leans out of her car and starts blowing air kisses to her attackers, all the while cooing, "I love you, and Jesus loves you too!"
Noon Sunday: When I asked Mayor Potter how he felt now that he had just walked in his last Pride Parade as mayor, he said to me: "I've had my last parade as chief of police. And I've had my last parade as mayor. But it's not my last parade—it's just going to be a lot more as Tom Potter."
more Pride photos, see