When mononymous LGBTQ+ event producer Katya was a child, none of her classmates would attend her birthday parties. That childhood trauma now informs her drive to facilitate queer connections in Portland.
“I never wanted anyone to feel like that,” she says. “I never want anyone to feel left out, so if I can be part of that process, let’s do it.”
Initially throwing parties at night spots like Whiskey Bar, Holocene and Barbarella, Katya invariably shifted her focus during quarantine. Her company, Klip Klop Productions, now offers services meant exclusively for the local queer community, including personal fitness training, video production and sobriety-focused events.
But she never took her eye off the club scene. During the pandemic, Katya also launched two online talk shows: From the Horse’s Mouth on Instagram and Herd and Heard on Apple Podcasts. Inspired by RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Trixie Mattel and namesake Katya Zamolodchikova’s unapologetically queer, anything-goes approach, she interviewed her favorite queer, trans and nonbinary nightlife personalities about everything from therapy to queer media to nude beach etiquette.
In addition, Katya also helped wrangle dozens of illusionists for Portland Drag Excellence, a video directed by her colleague Breydon Little, aka Silhouette. The video showcases over 60 Portland queer performers, including Darcelle, Jinkx Monsoon and James Majesty. Even with a few noteworthy absences, it feels like a warm reintroduction to the city’s irrepressibly DIY drag community, and a testament to the resiliency of Portland’s queer culture.
“A lot of us survived the pandemic, and that’s nothing to shake a stick at,” Katya says. “A lot of people took advantage of the time to do something. I’m even impressed with the gays who bought houses.”