Be Out! These Portlanders Keep the Pride Spirit Alive Year-Round

Pride 2024 cover artist Karma Rivera. (JP Bogan)

The road to the next four years is a marathon course. We need to get our stretches in now.

A pattern has emerged in my eight years of sharing LGBTQ+ Pride Month stories in various Portland publications.

Like the scene in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) where Kirstie Alley’s character recounts each year’s near-identical pageant themes of patriotism, I’ve noticed how often my Pride guides carry themes of resilience, persistence and struggles to survive increasingly hostile environments.

The climate isn’t exactly as rabidly transphobic as it was a year ago, but things aren’t peachy keen either. It seems as if LGBTQ+ hatred has moved near the back burner this election year—behind issues like the Israel-Hamas War and the Biden-Trump Geezer Grudge Match—but is ready to flare back up when politically convenient.

The road to the next four years is a marathon course. We need to get our stretches in now.

Rather than stress about what will be, for this year’s Pride celebration, we want to focus on the people who are living out loud with their minds and bodies, setting examples whether they’re on the dance floor or in the halls of power.

Karma Rivera, a Portland rapper in the pantheon of WW’s Best New Bands, tells us how embracing her sexuality has changed her music. Rafael and John Hart explain how their all-queer bookstore, Always Here, builds a safe third space for the LGBTQ+ community. Portland’s favorite horse girl, Katya Butler, clip-clops through the Oregon State Capitol as the freshly elected chair of the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs. Our events calendar gives you one fun thing a day to do as we count down to the LGBTQ+ Pride Weekend blowout. And finally, in keeping with the self-care vibes we’re radiating, we asked Portland’s LGBTQ+ luminaries about their must-have Pride Essentials.

As WW’s new assistant Arts & Culture editor, my goal is to bring you crucial stories about the LGBTQ+ community for the next 365 days until next year’s Pride celebration. No matter what happens in November, you’ll still see what we’re capable of, even when the rainbow merch floods liquidation outlets. Pride really is year-round. —Andrew Jankowski, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

Pride 2024

Karma Rivera Shows Who She Really Is With Proudly Sapphic PNW Pop Songs

The LGBTQ+-Focused Always Here Bookstore Aims to Create a Third Space for All Ages to Connect

Katya Butler Is Stepping Into Their Power in Royal-Blue Heels

Pride 2024 Events Guide

Pride Essentials: Hear What Five Portlanders Consider Their Must-Haves for the Monthlong Celebration