It's officially Monsoon season.
Starting this week, Portland visitors can book vacations in drag superstar Jinkx Monsoon's home. Monsoon, best known as RuPaul's Drag Race's season five winner, opened her North Portland home, Monsoon Manor, for a public reception on Wednesday.
The home has three rentable rooms, one on the ground floor and two on the second floor. Once listed on Airbnb, the rooms' rates will be slightly under the vacation rental website's Portland average.
Monsoon—who got their local start performing at places like Portland State University and the defunct Escape nightclub —won't always be at Monsoon Manor. She'll be called away to one of her RPDR or Peaches Christ tours, staging another critically acclaimed play or recording another star-studded album.
But at Wednesday's reception, Monsoon was in town serving hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and tours of the deliciously eclectic, nearly century-old house to at least five dozen visitors. The home—which boasts a burgeoning vegetable garden, a fire pit and lawn chairs—is worth renting if only for its art collection.
Like any grand celebutante, Monsoon has artwork of herself hung around the house, ranging from a tapestry in the second floor bathroom— which has an Instagram-ready clawfoot tub —to a fan art wall in the parlor. The parlor is also decorated with Monsoon's TV and stage costumes, and kitschy memorabilia ranging from Broadway vinyls and an Elvira photo to a collectable RuPaul doll and a library with Michelle Visage's new book.
With the rental still in developmental stages, Monsoon is researching how to partner with community organizations, including the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center and the Q Center, to provide transitory housing for LGBTQ+ youth. Monsoon Manor is a safe, relaxing, cannabis-friendly space for LGBTQ+ visitors and their allies, and both Monsoon and Manor manager Helena Stitzel are doing what they can to keep it that way.
Stitzel, niece of Reo's Ribs co-owner Myra Girod, also works year-round on renovation projects with Monsoon's vision. She performed much of the Manor's restorative maintenance and design work.
Monsoon, who Wednesday introduced herself by the name she gave herself, uses she and they pronouns, and identifies as non-binary (this reporter prefers he and they pronouns, identifies as cisgender and thinks normalizing how we talk about pronouns is awesome).
Monsoon acknowledges how some people have taken advantage of how Airbnb and Portland operate together, but vows they and Stitzel will give back to Portland's LGBTQ+ community.
SEE IT: For Monsoon Manor updates, including the official site launch, visit their official Instagram page.