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PQMONTHLY.COM Vol. 2 No. 8 Aug.-Sept. 2013










2 • August-September 2013

PQ TEAM Melanie Davis


Gabriela Kandziora

Principal & Business Development

julie cortez


chris alvarez

Art Director

editorial TEAM daniel borgen

Staff Writer/Calendar Editor

nick mattos

Staff Writer

erin rook

Web Editor/Writer

SALES TEAM larry lewis

Sales Representative

lynda Wilkinson Sales Representative

Jonathan Reitan

Sales Representative

photographers jules garza

Staff Photographer

izzy ventura

Photo by Byron Beck

A candlelight vigil Aug. 8 in downtown Portland served as a celebration of the life of HIV/AIDS activist Sean Sasser.


Perhaps we’re in a perpetual state of denial, but it’s hard to believe two full decades stand between us and the early 1990s. A quick glance at Wikipedia’s “Timeline of LGBT history” is a jolting reminder, however, that we’ve circled our sun 20-plus times since the red ribbon was first adopted as a symbol of HIV/AIDS awareness in 1991, since Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was enacted and Brandon Teena was murdered in 1993, since the American Medical Association declared in 1994 that homosexuality was not, in fact, an illness. This was the time and the world with which Pedro Zamora and Sean Sasser so bravely — and so gently — shared their love and their HIV-positive status when they appeared on MTV’s “The Real World: San Francisco” in 1994. Pedro would succumb to the disease that same year, but Sean quietly lived on, eventually landing in Portland where he continued his HIV/AIDS activism while also becoming a pastry chef, a foster dad, and a husband. Sean and Pedro could not find safety and comfort in numbers when they entered the limelight, but their time there allowed the nation to get to know and care for an HIV-positive same-sex couple, and helped inspire an out and proud generation. As Daniel Borgen writes on page 10 of this issue, “Sean was gay, black, out, and HIV-positive. He was a game changer. A life changer.” Sean’s sudden death of an AIDS-related cancer this month at age 44 demands a hard look at how complacent we’ve become about the battle to cure and eradicate a disease that continues to devastate our community. But it also reminds us of the power of a few brave individuals, and of our responsibility to honor and build upon their legacy. They were two. We are many. And we are powerful. -The PQ Monthly Team



Lesbian couple allegedly kicked out of cab faces media onslaught.......... page 6 ‘Tranny Thursdays’ debate exposes culture divide......................................... page 9

Staff Photographer

Why we walk, redux: Stories on and about AIDS Walk.................................... page 10

media Sammi Rivera

Softball World Series brings sport, activism, and parties to town................... page 14

Director of Video Productions


PTFC and LGBTQ: Portland’s queer-friendly soccer family.............................. page 18

Vicky Vox: ‘I know what I want’ (Portland!)....................................................... page 23

The many faces of Melody Awesomazing....................................................... page 21

Portland Fashion Week celebrates the city’s style........................................... page 26 Author Julia Serano on those who are still ‘Excluded’ .................................... page 28

The National Advertising Representative of PQ Monthly IS Rivendell Media, Inc. Brilliant Media LLC, DBA El Hispanic NEws & PQ Monthly.

“People come to me and say, ‘I wish I could be a standup comedian, I wish I could do makeup, I wish I could wear that, I wish I could do what I want to do.’ You really can!” Read more words of wisdom from the multitalented Melody Awesomazing on page 21. Photo by Eric Sellers, PQ Monthly

TBA:13 showcases creativity, ruin, and post-realness...................................... page 31

Columns: The Home Front; Ponderlust; Everything is Connected; The Lady Chronicles; Cultivating Life; and Eat, Drink, and Be Mary. Plus Astroscopes, Queer Aperture… and more!

August-September 2013 • 3

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4 • August-September 2013


Oregon United for Marriage’s largely volunteer-led signature gathering campaign is making quick progress toward its goal (photo by Julie Cortez, PQ Monthly). AIDS activist Sean Sasser (left), seen here with former Portland Mayor Sam Adam and Sasser’s partner Michael Kaplan at AIDS Walk 2012, died Aug. 7 (photo by Byron Beck). August 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the history March on Washington for civil rights (photo by Rowland Scherman for USIA). Commemorative events will take place in Portland and across the nation.

To the Editor: As somebody who actively supported the first U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, “Baker et al. v. Nelson,” Oct. 10, 1972, I’ve heard for decades all of the political arguments about how fighting for marriage equality distracts from gaining equality, which were made by Renee LaChance in the PQ July/Aug perspective, “We’ve come a long way — or have we?” In my experience, multiple political approaches, including both conservative and liberal ones, are required. However, progress is too often undermined by activists wasting time arguing about political strategy instead of making positive changes. For example, in the 1970s I painfully recall the future founder of the Human rights Campaign, Steve Endean, then employed as a closeted “coat and hat check boy” at a gay bar in Minneapolis, viciously criticizing the “gay marriage activism” of the University of Minnesota law student Jack Baker, whose marriage had been featured in two national mass-circulation newsmagazines, which were commonly read and used for school assignments by children. I was too young to appreciate it back then that I was witnessing a cat fight between two gay activists whose radically opposed political strategies would both turn out to be acts of genius. Steve Endean was a genius to see the importance of starting the pro-gay HRC lobbying effort in Washington, D.C., where he helped Oregonians, including Terry Bean and others, to elect gay-friendly senators and congressmen from Oregon. Similarly, Jack Baker was a genius to recognize the importance of marriage equality in an era when both women liberationists and gay liberationists viewed marriage as an obsolete institution set up by men only to oppress women. Steve Endean represented the majority who wanted to focus on repealing anti-sex sodomy laws and fight for sexual freedom. Ironically, Stonewall-era gay liberation activists, who were represented by Endean, actively rejected the earlier and more conservative political strategies of a homophile movement founder, the former Oregon State University Professor W. Dorr Legg, who later also founded the present-day Log Cabin Republicans Club. Tragically, in the 1980s all political resources were diverted to fight for the rights of AIDS victims, including Steve Endean. Today, Jack Baker and his husband Michael McConnell are now retired and still happily married. No court, including the Supreme Court, has ordered their legally performed marriage annulled because Minnesota law did not specify gender at the time. For more on Baker and Legg’s Oregon State connection, see the history I wrote for the OSU library and available for free at link. -Thomas Kraemer Founder of the Oregon State University Magnus Hirschfeld Fund for research concerning humans or animals with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity

LOCAL Sean Sasser, an AIDS activist and one-time Portlander who appeared on “Real World: San Francisco,” is dead at 44. The HIV-positive pastry chef died Aug. 7 after a brief but difficult battle with mesothelioma, according to his partner Michael Kaplan, executive director of D.C.-based AIDS United and former head of Portland’s Cascade AIDS Project. Sasser is more widely remembered as the one-time partner of Pedro Zamora, the “Real World: San Francisco” (1994) participant who, with Sasser, gave groundbreaking media visibility to gay men of color living with HIV. A remembrance of life was held Aug. 8 at Terry Schrunk Plaza. A flier recently found in a number of Portland neighborhoods appears to target people with disabilities. The message from a “neighbor” identified only as “Artemis of the wild” claims that some registered voters in the community are receiving Social Security income by pretending to have disabilities and accuses them of standing in the way of democracy (ostensibly because their votes have been bought with disability payments). The note’s author says they will post the names of everyone in the neighborhood receiving Social Security so taxpayers can decide for themselves who is “truly” disabled. According to the Portland Commission of Disabilities, the flier has been in the following neighborhoods: Irvington, Arbor Lodge, SW Hills, Laurelhurst, and Eliot. The commission is asking anyone with more information or who sees the fliers, to report it to Tobin Britton, president of Blackout Leather Productions and Boys/Boiys In Leather Service – Rose City, has received the Pantheon of Leather 2013 Northwest Regional Award. Britton is active in the local queer and leather communities and is a former Ms. Oregon State Leather (2001) and American Leatherwoman (2002). The international award went to the president of South African Leather Eastern Cape, David Hessey, who is also president of the Eastern Cape Gay and Lesbian Association, PEBears, and WithOUT Prejudice and the co-founder of the Hessey-Muller Foundation for battered men, women, and children. For the full list of awardees, visit Aug. 24 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for civil rights. Local social justice organizations are honoring the spirit of that historic march by taking to the streets to raise awareness about the unresolved issues the 1963 demonstration raised, including jobs, police brutality, housing, health care, and equality. The Portland rally and march are sponsored by the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice & Police Reform, Urban League of Portland, NAACP of Portland, ACLU of Portland, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and several labor and other community-based organizations. The rally (including speakers and music) begins in South Waterfront Park at 1 p.m. Commemorative events and demonstrations are scheduled to take place across the country, including in Washington, D.C., where President Barack Obama plans to deliver a speech.

Despite attempts by the opposition to hold up approval of the amendment language, the campaign by Oregon United for Marriage to put marriage equality on the Oregon 2014 ballot is building momentum. The campaign, which must collect 116,284 signatures from registered voters by next July to qualify the ballot, had gathered more than 42,000 by Aug. 6, surpassing early goals to collect 10,000 in the first 10 days. Oregon United for Marriage will host a Portland Area Garden Party on Aug. 25 in Sherwood, featuring Secretary of State Kate Brown and Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Jeana Frazzini, focused on sharing information about campaigns for trans-inclusive health care, racial justice, and expanding support for the freedom to marry. The garden parties are a statewide effort. To learn more about the campaign and events outside of Portland, visit and follow PQ’s continuing coverage The Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition hosts a Welcoming Schools Workshop Aug. 26 at Portland State University’s Graduate School of Education. The workshop will offer a comprehensive approach to embracing diversity, avoiding stereotyping, and stopping bullying, and is targeted toward educators and agencies working with preschool- and elementary-age children. For more information or to register, visit SAGE Metro Portland (formerly Gay & Grey) will host a daylong Summit on Aging for the LGBT Community Sept. 13 at Friendly House addressing many of the complex challenges faced by LGBTQ older adults, such as limited access to safe and supportive housing, isolation, unequal partner benefits, decreased family support, and barriers to accessing services. The summit will include workshops on physical and mental health and the particular health and legal challenges facing transgender elders, among other topics, as well as a panel and evening social. The summit seeks to spark discussions between service providers and community members to share best practices and come up with new ideas. For more information or to register, contact sage@

NATIONAL/WORLD The potential impact of Russia’s law banning “gay propaganda” on the 2013 Winter Olympics in Sochi is still unclear as activist, athletic, and governmental organizations take divergent approaches to addressing the situation. One faction is calling for a boycott of Russian vodka, while others argue that such a boycott (especially if focused on Latvian-produced Stoli) is misguided. Some groups are pushing for the Olympics to be moved to Vancouver, while others suggest ways to take advantage of the spotlight the games will bring to Russia and its anti-LGBTQ laws. Yet others are calling for boycotts of other businesses who deal with Russia, including Coca-Cola and Boeing. How are you responding? Share your thoughts at pqmonthly. com or send a letter to August-September 2013 • 5


Portland couple allegedly kicked out of cab for being gay faceS media onslaught their own subjective prejudices.… I firmly believe that once their full story is released soon after the city’s investigation is released that the public will see that they are anything but the villains in this unfortunate story of discrimination.” Some media outlets reported that Neal and Devoll were intoxicated during the time of the incident, at times inferring that they behaved belligerently towards the driver. In response to these allegations, Devoll posted a refutation to her personal Facebook page. “Neither of us were drunk or disorderly as some have accused,” she asserted. “We interacted at length with a Portland Police officer who would Photo by Sarah Curtis-Schaeffer have shared that concern were “Going through this together has certainly brought us closer...,” says Kate Neal (right), “and will hopefully raise awareness of this the case. Instead, he gave discrimination and act as a catalyst for conversations and policy changes that need to happen.” us a safe ride home after calling the cab company to tell them we were NOT to pay the fare because of how we were treated. By Nick Mattos Again, this outcome isn’t warranted by ANY behavior, but it’s PQ Monthly important to us that our family and friends know the truth.” A local lesbian couple alleges that they were kicked out of Members of the community have already started crea cab onto the highway after the driver took issue with their ative endeavors to support both the couple and the queer being affectionate with one another. The two went public community at large in response to the incident. Local bagwith their story, and the subsequent media attention has maker Olive Chaos created a line of bags emblazoned with resulted in both a dramatic response from the community the slogan “There’s Nothing Wrong With Two Girls Kissing,” and personal troubles for the couple. and 15 percent of the proceeds from the bags will go to PortIn an online interview conducted with PQ Monthly land’s Q Center, Devoll’s charity of choice. Neal and Devoll the day after the incident, local musician Kate Neal (who were also contacted by organizations including Basic Rights recently performed at Portland Pride as part of her band Oregon to show their support. Dirty Looks) alleged that she, her partner Shanako Devoll, Soon after the event, numerous local and national news and an unnamed friend from out of town were picked up outlets began reporting on the situation. “When Shanako from a location in NW Portland late on the night of July 25 and I each posted a little blurb about our experience with by a Broadway Cab driver (later identified as Ahmed Egal Broadway Cab that night, we did not expect to wake up the by Maxine Bernstein of the Oregonian). next morning to our story going viral on the internet,” Neal While sitting in the back of the cab, Neal said that the told PQ. “Both local and national news media were texting, couple held hands and “showed affection for each other,” calling, and even showing up at our home, and countless noting that they were “actually pretty conservative in terms people were speaking out [on social media] against the of PDA.” According to Neal, the driver started yelling at the homophobia and endangerment we faced. I actually only couple to stop because “it wasn’t okay,” then pulled over gave interviews to three local news channels but before we on the freeway twice, demanding that the couple get out. knew it, our story had been picked up in several states, by A second Broadway Cab appeared to take the women at a few prominent national media outlets, and even went the first stop, but ultimately refused to pick them up. Egal to Canada! It was overwhelming to say the least. We felt then called 911; a recording of the call released to the media strongly that the story of what we experienced that night demonstrates Egal being unhelpful and belligerent with the needed to be made public, especially after garnering so 911 operator, calling Neal and Devoll “stupid girls.” much media attention, so that other people might not have “Concerned for our safety (ironically!), the second time to endure similar encounters.” [that the driver stopped] we did get out on the freeway,” Neal In response, Ray Miles, president of Broadway Cab, explained. The trio then climbed over a fence to get onto NE posted a statement on the Broadway Cab Facebook page 102nd Ave., where they flagged down a police officer. stating that his company was “aware of” and “investigating” “That cop was actually looking for us because the cabbie the incident, noting, “The city of Portland has also opened had called him, saying that we had skipped out on the fare,” their own independent investigation and Broadway Cab Neal recalled. Upon hearing the story, the officer told the is cooperating fully with them.” Miles also noted that “the group not to be concerned about the fare, and took them involved driver’s authority to operate has been suspended home. pending the outcome of the investigation.” Neal and Devoll quickly enlisted the services of Nicholas Miles emphasized Broadway Cab’s commitment to “the A. Yanchar, a local attorney serving the LGBTQ community. concept and practice of non-discrimination, equal oppor“I decided to take Shanako and Kate’s case because of the tunity, and diversity.” principle,” Yanchar said in a statement to PQ. “No one should “We take allegations of discrimination very seriously,” be left on the side of the highway by a person because of he wrote, going on to note that “discrimination should not, 6 • August-September 2013

cannot, and will not be tolerated.” He closed his statement with thanks to the LGBTQ community for their support of his business. However, some local members of the queer community took to social media to share that this was not an isolated incident. PQ reader Mike Clemenhagen alleged that one year ago, a very similar situation unfolded for him. “A Broadway Cab driver did this to me last year,” he said, “only we refused to get out of the car, as dropping us off on the side of I-5 is illegal and it is also illegal for pedestrians to be on I-5 within city limits. The cab driver then proceeded to drop us off just off of the off-ramp and then called the police, claiming we refused to pay. I refuse to call Broadway Cab for a ride simply because of the sheer amount of incidents like this I have seen and experienced with its drivers.” As the media onslaught continued, Neal and Devoll were stunned to find that the coverage began to go from supportive to critical. “At no point did either of us guess that shortly after telling our story, the media would shift scrutiny and attention to us as not the victims of this situation, but the criminals.… [Local news] channels made a decision independently to spin us as liars and, ultimately, people who deserved to be dropped off on the side of the freeway,” Neal said. “The rampant victim-blaming we’ve experienced and the amount of people who think that certain scenarios would make dropping anyone off on the side of the freeway ok has been very disheartening.” The women have experienced significant professional problems as a result of the attention waged upon them by the media. “I have been very lucky to work for an amazing company who has given me support at all levels,” Neal noted. “Shanako, however, hasn’t been as lucky. As a social worker who has worked in this community for several years, this level of media attention has impacted her greatly. Shanako typically works with a population of clients who are severely and persistently mentally ill. It’s extremely important for these relationships to remain one-sided and, with no media regard for our personal lives, that has been made impossible for her to maintain at this time.” The social cost has also been great for the two. “Until our names have been cleared, we are virtually prisoners in our own home,” Neal said. “We have been hounded by the media and were appalled that many had the gall to come to our home. That, coupled with our less than ideal public image at this time, has made us feel anxious and paranoid about even running to the store or going to the gym. Needless to say, we are getting quite a bit of home improvement projects completed!” However, the experience of being besieged has strengthened their relationship and their connections with true friends and family, and they remain hopeful that their suffering will ensure that others do not go through similar trials. “Going through this together has certainly brought us closer together (who would have thought that possible?!),” Neal noted in a statement to PQ. “It’s strengthened our relationships with our close circle of family and friends, and, in the end, will hopefully raise awareness of discrimination and act as a catalyst for conversations and policy changes that need to happen. We hope that our experience and the subsequent attention it’s gotten will be another notch in the belt of equality for all. We are also actively advocating for more diversity training for cab companies and their drivers so that all cabs may be a safe place for all people.” PQ will continue to report on this story as it unfolds; for ongoing coverage, visit

August-September 2013 • 7


8 • August-September 2013


‘Tranny Thursdays’ debate exposes culture divide

A new play party is facing criticism for its characterization of trans women, but host Sasha Scarlett describes the response as positive. By Erin Rook PQ Monthly

Criticism of a new Portland play (read: sex) party called “Tranny Thursdays” is exposing tensions in the trans community over language, identity, and public image. Promotional materials for the monthly event promising “private, intimate, discrete time with Trannys” have sparked confusion regarding the intended audience, objections to the use of a word considered a slur by many, and concern with the “Ladies Night Out” take on gender dynamics. “Tranny Thursdays” was scheduled to launch on the

Aug. 15 — this issue’s publication date — at the Velvet Rope (formerly Angel’s Social Club), a Southeast Portland club equipped with hot tubs, a “gang bang area,” a dungeon, and private rooms, as well as a social space with pool tables and food. Admission is free for “gurls” and $35 per event for non-trans attendees (or $100 for an annual membership). “[N]o more grubby bookstores or seedy adult theaters!” writes promoter and host Sasha Scarlett (aka Joshua Ryan, who identifies as a drag queen/gender illusionist). Scarlett, who also produces the Portland Erotic Ball and runs a media company, says she launched the play party after some of the “‘straight’ men” she’s dated asked her to do more “trans/gender-flexible events.” “I have been exploring my sexuality and have met other trans-identifying gurls and their admirers,” Scarlett tells PQ. The party is “intended to allow people interested in talking, mingling, becoming acquainted, and — yes — fucking to have a safe, clean, pleasant place to do so.” Some critics expressed confusion over the target audience — the announcement mentioned “trannys [sic],” “gurls,” and “non-trans” paying members — and speculated it was for occasional cross-dressers, drag queens, effeminate men, or trans women who don’t identify as queer. “This sounds like a buffet that is being offered to men,” Antoinette Sparkles, a Portland trans woman, says. “This may be the most objectifying piece of garbage I have read in a long time.” While some have argued that objectification is inherent, and even desired, in the play party scene, others have expressed concern that the event seems to exploit women for men’s benefit. “The dehumanizing way that trans … presumably women are being talked about here is fucking disgusting,” Sparkles says. She objects to the implication that trans women could previously only be found in a “seedy or repulsive place,” the idea that “women are primarily sex objects,” and “the way that trans women are totally stripped of any personal respect for identity.” Scarlett says the party is for everyone — including trans men and drag queens – and that “several” trans women are “attending and participating.” She declined to connect PQ with any of them until after the first event. “The response has been great — you are the second

person asking about the use of the word tranny and some say it is ‘offensive,’” Scarlett says. “From those of us that cross dress and practice a TS/TV [transsexual/ transvestite] and CD [cross dresser] lifestyle, I have had no complaints. If people are offended — they should not attend.” This more specific language seems to be clarifying for some of those concerned. “This party doesn’t seem to be coming from, or aimed at, the trans communities I know and love,” Em Jameson Douglas, who identifies as trans and queer, tells PQ in response to coverage of the event. “I think Sasha Scarlett solved the problem for herself.… Describe the party using TS/TV and CD. That seems like a more accurate description, and those terms seem to stem from self-identification rather than derogatory name-calling.” Douglas isn’t the only trans-identified Portlander trying to pushing back against the event’s word choice. “The key word here is transvestite. A transvestite is a person who dresses as the other gender for the pure joy of a sexual experience,” says “proud transsexual woman” Sarah Minifire, who blames the confusion on the co-mingling of identities under the trans umbrella. “Why should people who wake up every day and live their life in accordance with their own sense of identity and are making every possible physical and psychological change that they can afford to make, just to be more congruent in life, be grouped with the same group of people who play dress up for sex? Or a show?” While Minifrie also described play party participants as “perverts,” most of the critics say they are sex-positive, and are primarily concerned with the way they party is being set up and promoted. “I think Ms. Scarlett could have used ‘Trans’ vs. ‘Tranny,’” Kimberley McNelis says. “The fact that ‘gurls’ are free smacks of sexism; it implies men are the pursuers of gurls as objects, and must pay for that privilege. I have no problem with consenting adult play, and I feel that this party could be advertised in a less exploitative and offensive way.” Scarlett says she “hope[s] to create an event people connect with and embrace” and is open to input if the event she’s created doesn’t resonate. She can be reached at

Kelly Stafford


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August-September 2013 • 9


Why we walk, redux: Stories on and about AIDS Walk

Photo by Jules Garza, PQ Monthly

Each year, more than 10,000 people converge in downtown Portland to support Cascade AIDS Project and its varied efforts surrounding HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and related services.

better. As an adult, I learned quickly that there is nothing to fear. We should not abandon people because they have a disease they did not ask to get. We should not stigmatize people who need our support and love. We should be the best that Sometimes the best laid plans can go awry. Circumhumanity allows when it comes to HIV/AIDS care and supstances change, things happen, and your world and conport. I support AIDS Walk because there needs to be a consciousness are upended. I had originally intended this artistant, visual, loving support of people living with HIV/AIDS. cle to be a profile of just two people living with HIV, but the There is not yet a cure; we need to remind people that more I talked to the community, the more I realized this anyone can contract this disease, so we must push hard story should always be made up of all the voices who make on education in our communities. When we walk, we show AIDS Walk happen year after year. So, I adjusted. we are not living in fear. We show our support for those Then, on Wednesday, Aug. 7, I heard the tragic news: Sean Sasser, former Portlander and husband of Cascade living with HIV/AIDS and we give all our love.” AIDS Project’s former executive director, Michael Kaplan, –Karol Collymore, Equity Foundation passed away after a brief, furi“Scared. Ashamed. Angry. ous battle with mesotheliFrustrated. Shocked. These oma, a rare cancer linked to were just some of the emotions weakened immune systems I felt in March 2004 as I opened in some people with HIV/ the letter from my doctor at the AIDS. For many of us ‘90s kids, time, the letter letting me know Sean was one of the first gay I had tested positive for HIV. I faces we saw on our television had been on a self-destructive screens when he appeared with path in my life and it had caught then-boyfriend Pedro Zamora up with me. Luckily, I had heard on MTV’s “The Real World: San about CAP and knew about Francisco.” Sean was gay, black, the services they provided and Photo by Jules Garza, PQ Monthly out, and HIV-positive. He was a I booked my intake appointSean Sasser, former CAP ED Michael Kaplan, and Nike’s Robert Goman at least year’s walk. game changer. A life changer. ment the same week. While I I talked to Michael Kaplan (now at AIDS United) a lot was there I learned about AIDS Walk, and how its purpose about the fight against HIV during his tenure at CAP. He’s was, among other things, to help raise money for programs relentless in this battle — passionate, eloquent, talented. and services for those living with HIV/AIDS. It was also a A few months ago, Kaplan wrote these words: time to come together with other people living with the “Our community has decided to live with this, not talk disease. It was the first step out of darkness, and into what about it, but live with it. Heads held high as we fight for gay now is my passion: helping educate people about HIV/ marriage, employment nondiscrimination, and so much AIDS and helping those living with the disease as associmore, but please, just please don’t talk about sex, let alone ate director of development at Our House. AIDS! The thing is that we don’t have to live with HIV. I This is my ninth year participating in AIDS Walk and mean some of us do — I do — but as a community, we can living with HIV. It’s my ninth year to celebrate the new life end this. We can all know our HIV status tomorrow, we can I have thanks to the people at CAP, as well as my family get into treatment, and we can be the ones who write the and friends. Some anniversaries are worth remembering last chapter of this epidemic, the ones who finally stop the and being thankful for; each year I get to add another and band from playing on and on.” celebrate with thousands of people at Pioneer Square.” And that, readers, is why we walk. –James Linquist, Our House “I remember the first time I learned about AIDS. I was “I walked in my first AIDS Walk in about 1995. I was fairly a young kid watching some disastrous TV movie about it, new to Portland and had lost friends to the disease starting I’m sure meant to instill fear in those who didn’t know any at the young age of 19. CAP was new to me, but I was on By Daniel Borgen PQ Monthly

10 • August-September 2013

board as soon as I learned a bit more about their services. I referred a few friends there for testing, formed a team to walk, and just kept learning more. We now support CAP in many ways — through our business — but AIDS Walk is still one of the events that makes me feel most connected to what CAP is all about. I still walk in honor of all those friends lost, but I am so happy to now walk to honor all of my friends affected by HIV/AIDS who live amazing lives.” –Lisa Watson, Cupcake Jones “I was first diagnosed with HIV in June of 2008 at the age of 24. At that pivotal point in my life, I was immediately able to use the resources available to me through CAP. After personally benefitting from their programs and services, I found myself wanting to give back by helping minimize the number of people who were diagnosed with HIV, as well as work to empower people like me who may also be struggling with an HIV diagnosis. I support CAP’s mission to prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma. That’s why I walk in AIDS Walk.” –Eric Garcia, Camp KC “On Sept. 22, over 12,000 people throughout the Northwest will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square for AIDS Walk. To me, it’s an event encompassing sorrow and radiating hope. The walk is a remembrance of friends and families lost. The walk is hope in the vision of “ushering in an AIDS-free generation” made reality. Having participated in many AIDS Walks, I find myself continually inspired witnessing the number of people who descend upon the square in support of the cause. To me, the scene on the square is emblematic of the strength of our community when we pull together impassioned by a shared belief. It is a reminder of the importance of everyone knowing their HIV status through testing and, if positive, receiving high-quality care. It is our collective embrace of diversity as our response to discrimination and stigma. It is our community’s belief that love is far more powerful than any epidemic. This is what I see when I look upon the faces gathered in the square and, in a month’s time, I look forward to walking side by side with you as, together, we walk our community toward a path that ends AIDS.” –Benjamin Gerritz, CAP “With HIV infections on the rise again among young men who have sex with men, every opportunity we have to collectively raise awareness and bring visibility to issues of health and wellness for our community is an opportunity we need to take. The fact is AIDS is not over. We owe it to those who came before us, who have given their lives to the cause, to continue to educate the greater community to reduce stigma, to continue to change and update our messaging as new technologies like Grindr develop, to continue to draw lines that connect the dots for people between risky behaviors and very real consequences, and continue to embrace the community currently living with the virus. We’re all in this together and, while marriage equality is absolutely essential and important to our movement, we cannot forget about our many responsibilities elsewhere. These battles must be fought congruently, arm in arm. We cannot lose one battle to win another or we will be right back where we started 30-plus years ago. AIDS Walk is one of the many opportunities for us to engage with allies around these issues, and serves as an annual reminder for all of us that we still have a lot of work to do.” –Logan Lynn, Q Center AIDS Walk is Sunday, Sept. 22. Last year, CAP raised over $560,000, ranking Portland in the top 10 AIDS Walk fundraisers nationally, right alongside New York City and San Francisco. Over 10,000 walkers are expected this year — and the goal is $450,000. AIDS Walk raises critical funds to support those living with the virus and those at risk of infection. Visit for more information and to register.


August-September 2013 • 11

12 • August-September 2013



Maybe it’s because the campaign for “Hillary 2016” already seems to be full swing that the title of her 1996 book came to mind. But it does tie in nicely to the theme for this month’s article. Over the course of the our queer civil rights movement, our tent has continued to enlarge (and get more fabulous); in my lifetime I’ve seen the evolution from “Gay & Lesbian,” to LGB, to LGBT to LGBTQ — and the initialism continues to grow. On the home front, our needs and wants continue to evolve, too. No longer marginalized to specific neighborhoods, our housing choices tend to mirror the public at-large. Some of us want to walk/bike/bus to work, some want that extra space and privacy in the suburbs, while others seek a little place in the country — “Brokeback Mountain”-style. And more commonly, our households have become more multi-generational; we’re having or adopting children, or moving in parents during their final years. And in higher cost-of-living places like Portland, countless of us have housemates to share expenses. Portland is city of in-migration. How often do we find ourselves simply asking, “Where are you from originally?” It’s almost presumptive that that person came from elsewhere. “I’m a Portlandia interloper, so you must be too!” Many of us have biological families far outside of Portland, which we visit as often as we can. But on a day-today basis, it’s our chosen family that we see, rely on, and love as our own. We form these chosen families through joining groups or getting involved in community organizations. In my case, one of those is Portland Frontrunners. Most of the group has moved to Portland from elsewhere, so newbies are warmly welcomed. The same can be said for groups like the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, the Amazon Dragons, OutKayaking, our synagogue, and so on. We also embrace the concept of intentional living. Intentional living is the desire to live in a manner that is consistent with our core beliefs and values. Whether it be an ecological consciousness, concern for fair trade, or social equality, Oregonians see the global big picture in how we live locally. Basically, we want to walk the talk. In the world of real estate, nowhere are the ideas of “chosen family” and “intentional living” better manifested than in cohousing. Cohousing is not a hippie commune. With cohousing, people buy and sell their

homes just as any other condominium. But there are inherent features that set it apart from most condos; for many this is exactly what they are looking for in their community. Recently, my running buddy turned client, Bill Cunnighame, bought a unit at Daybreak Cohousing. He offered to share his reason for buying and his experience thus far. Steve: Why compelled you to buy? Bill: I knew I wanted to downsize so I went to an open house. It was conducted by both the homeowner community and the realtors. The room was packed with interested parties. Steve: What caught your attention about cohousing vs. a regular condo? Bill: The intentional way of living in the community. You have to buy in to the concept. You’re not just sharing common walls — but share maintenance, landscaping, garden spaces, group dinners. Everyone knows the children. Steve: What do you like most about the community? Bill: The pleasant surprises — it’s truly multi-generational. I work from home during the day and I crank open my windows just to hear the kids playing. In some ways it’s an extension of my First Unitarian Church community — inclusiveness, concern for sustainable environments, or shared spaces like the woodworking room, which minimize excessive possessions. Steve: What appeal do you see for the LGBTQ community? Bill: It’s very diverse — straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual. A single lesbian just had a baby and the community offered to chip in with babysitting. I wanted it to be a mixed environment with all ages and types of people, with lots to learn from each other. Steve: Any advice or things you would’ve done differently? Bill: Just be very thorough. Attend group dinners before buying; ask tons of questions. Meet everyone. As Bill summed up, cohousing is not for everyone. You interact much more with neighbors than a conventional condominium, and there is an expectation that everyone is engaged in operations to the best of their ability. But it fills an important niche for the homebuying segment who seeks something just a little bit different and a little bit more. How Portland indeed!

Steve Strode is Portland-area realtor with Meadows Group Inc., Realtors. He is also co-founder of a newly forming non-profit organization called rEqual, a nationwide LGBT real estate coalition.

August-September 2013 • 13


Softball World Series brings sport, activism, and plenty of parties to town

Portland team TNT will be among the competitors at this year’s ASANA Softball World Series, Aug. 19-24 in Portland.

Photo by Pam Golden

By Shaley Howard PQ Monthly

If you thought there were a ton of women at the LCP softball tournament, get ready Portland because the ASANA Softball World Series is coming our way Aug. 19-24. At least 44 teams of women from all over the country will be making Portland their home for a week of what’s widely regarded as the biggest softball tournament for queers. “It brings the LGBT community together with a common interest,” says Paulie Morgan, former Rose City Softball Association (RCSA) assistant commissioner. “Not to mention, who doesn’t like seeing women that are good with their hands and aren’t afraid to get down and dirty?” But before we dive right into the ladies, softball, and partying — a brief history. The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) was formed in 1977 and is a non-profit international organization made up of men and women dedicated to promoting amateur sports competition, particularly softball, for all persons regardless of age, sexual orientation, or preference. In 2007 NAGAAA formed a separate organization, the Amateur Sports Alliance of North America (ASANA), a women’s division dedicated to promoting amateur athletics for the gay and lesbian community. There are 26 member cities across the United States that are current members and each year a different member city is host to the ASANA Softball

14 • August-September 2013

World Series. Portland won the honor this year. “The idea of the World Series is to bring people together from all over the U.S. for a common goal of playing softball and bringing community together — and that’s exactly what happens,” says Angela Smith, current ASANA assistant commissioner and lifelong softball player. “I’ve met people from all over the U.S. with friendships that have latest for years. I’m also able to be openly gay, be comfortable with who I am, and still play ball.” The series, taking place at Delta Park’s Owens Sports Complex, gets started with round robin or pool play Tuesday and Wednesday, with each team getting four games. Then the tournament begins on Thursday with double elimination bracketing. The final championship games will be held on Saturday, Aug. 24. Each participating team usually receives a bag of goodies along with a trophy, but the big prize is bragging rights. Last year’s victors were Blue Crush of Fort Lauderdale in Division B, Silent Assassins of New York division C, and the Ninjas from Philadelphia in Division C. Portland has at least eight teams participating in this year’s tournament, so hopefully there’ll be braggin’ and swaggin’ about town. This tournament, however, is more than just softball and bragging rights. It’s also about promoting the positive aspects of community and celebrating women who bring about positive change on and off the softball field. One such recognition that’s a special part of the World Series is the Sue Marohn Spirit of ASANA Award. Sue Marohn passed in 2005, and is remembered for her kindness, her spirit, and her dedication to the sport of softball. The award is given to an individual who embodies volunteerism, sportsmanship, friendship, and courage each year. Local player Stacy Burdick-Denham is adding another special addition to the series this year by honoring her friend Sara Jones, a fire fighter, entrepreneur, basketball player, and active participant in the ASANA World Series who, after 12 years battling breast cancer, passed away in February 2013. Donations will be solicited in Jones’s honor at the WNBA viewing party at the Blitz Ladd on Aug. 20 and donated to Beyond Boobs, an organization with which Jones was heavily involved with and that helped establish a foundation in her name. “The purpose of this fundraiser is to not only raise money to start a foundation for this amazing person, but also to provide awareness that breast cancer is a disease that does not discriminate,” Burdick-Denham says. “Whether you knew Sara for a week or years it didn’t matter as she captured your heart and left you with the immense desire to continue her fight to beat this awful disease.” In addition to the fundraiser, there will be a mobile mammogram unit from Trinity Health out at Delta Park Aug. 23 to help educate and raise awareness about breast cancer, and to offer mammograms to women with health insurance. In addition to the softball, community, fundraising, and honoring exceptional women, every single night a party will be held at various venues around town so visitors can enjoy all that Portland has to offer. From the opening ceremonies to a WNBA viewing party to the ASANA Hot Flash dance — there will be something for every lesbian and their friends out there. Still not convinced? Three words: wet, t-shirt, contest. See you there. For more information about ASANA World Series teams, schedules and events visit www.


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As we turn into the parking lot, big fluffs of cottonwood fall from the sky like heavy clusters of snowflakes. They’ve even dusted the branches of the trees with a thick layer of frost-like fuzz. Closer to the lake, the air is clear and we can see a group erecting tents on the shore and a sort of altar in the water. This must be the revival we saw signs for, I think. I didn’t know people still did that, at least not in the Northwest. “It looks like you guys came prepared to get wet,” Patrick says, looking at our quickdry shirts. He’s teaching the stand up paddle boarding yoga class we signed up for on a whim. (It seemed like a perfect kick-off to our pending move to Bend — land of the fit and adventurous.) As I step into the cool lake, shoes already filled with sand, I wonder if I’ve made a terrible mistake. On shore, a bag full of life jackets sits untouched. I should have grabbed one, I think as the water begins to lap against my knees. It’s too late now. I hemmed and hawed on shore, ignored my partner’s better judgment, and caved to a silent peer pressure. No one else was wearing one. I know how to swim. Technically. But somewhere between childhood lessons at the local aquatic center and swimsuit-avoidant adulthood I’d developed a fear of being submerged. I tell myself the water won’t be that deep. We aren’t going out that far, and the lake is shallow this time of year. “When you get to your spot, stick your paddle in the water to see how deep it is,” the instructor says. Proper paddle boarding form dictates that the paddle should be tall enough to reach from the ground to your upstretched hand. I tell myself I won’t fall in. I’m notoriously good at flailing without falling – on land, on ice, and, surely, on water. Fear doesn’t set in until I’m kneeling on the board, attempting (and failing) to navigate to the anchor line. Every move I make seems to send me into the center of the lake, toward deeper waters, further from the fiancé I quietly assumed would rescue me if I went overboard. Eventually, I make my way back to the group and hook onto the line meant to keep us from drifting off. I stick my paddle in the water to test the depth. I meet resistance about a fist in. I tell myself that I have excellent balance. That I am cautious and careful. I try not to think about the fact that there is a “technique” to falling that I neither understand nor am likely to remember.

Soon, the gentle lilting of the board on the water, the intention of my breath, and the awe-inspiring (if upside down) view in downward facing dog begin to soothe my nerves. When the entire group makes it through a series of sun salutations without so much as a splash, I start to think: I can do this. Down shore, a large group has gathered by the revival tents. A preacher delivers his sermon in Polish over a microphone and a long line of believers dressed in white approaches the water. Our yoga teacher apologizes for the smooth jazz emanating from the religious gathering and I wonder if the Saturday morning revivalists think we’re heathens. Yet, we’re engaged in an almost Biblical act of faith — separated by only a few inches of fiberglass and plastic from walking on water. Continuing to place faith over fear, we move on to tree pose. On land, I’d be standing on one foot with the other tucked above my knee and arms stretched toward the sky in no time. Grounded and expansive all at once, I’d be, perhaps, a little too proud of myself, too. Balancing on one foot is tricky enough on solid ground. Add the unpredictable bumps caused by wind or wake, and it’s a completely different task. On land, balance is about stillness, focus, control. On water, it’s all about the counter balance, the ability to respond to change with even-tempered grace, to anticipate and even acquiesce to each ripple as it approaches. Carefully and calculatedly, I wriggle my left foot in toward the center of the board — heel, toe, heel, toe — while letting my right foot slowly graze toward it. Such a narrow stance is precarious enough, but I am determined. I gingerly lift my right heel, and then my toes, letting my foot hover just above the board for a moment before placing it down again. Breathe in; repeat. My focus is so intense I don’t realize I’m falling until I’m underwater — and panicking. Frantically clawing for the surface, I manage pull my head above water and reach for the board. I’m in shock, but I tell the instructor I’m fine between coughing up lake water and struggling to remember how to right myself. Soaked but alive (dramatic, I know, but the fear is real), I am suddenly filled with an indescribable vitality. Before long, the sounds of my classmates’ subsequent (and repeated) baptisms are punctuated by joyful laughter. Like we’ve all been let in on the joke — it’s not about controlling our bodies or conquering our fears, it’s about letting go and giving in.

Now that Erin is slightly less tightly wound, send your tips for further unraveling to 16 • August-September 2013


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August-September 2013 • 17


PTFC and LGBTQ: Portland’s queer-friendly soccer family

Photos by Craig Mitchelldyer, Portland Timbers

(Left) The Timbers Army made a colorful statement in May to mark the International Day Against Homophobia. (Right) Sunday White, a “capo” for the Rose City Riveters and the Timbers Army, says her fellow fans are her “friends and family and they speak up against hate and inequality.” By Shaley Howard PQ Monthly

Of all the sports I’ve watched throughout my years growing up in Portland, soccer has become one of my favorites — and I’m not alone. Since the arrival of the Portland Timbers Football Club in 2007 and the Portland Thorns Football Club this year, it seems like our city has gone soccer crazy. (Try meandering through Northwest Portland on a game night.) What’s interesting, however, is how overtly friendly and welcoming the soccer scene is to the LGBTQ community compared to other sports in Portland. Wanting to figure out why, I started talking to fans. Dwight Adkins wasn’t much of a soccer fanatic before the Timbers came to town, but he decided to buy season tickets anyway — he thought it would be a great way to socialize. He soon realized the Timbers have an amazing fan base that’s extremely community-oriented and welcoming of queers. He suggested that perhaps part of the reason homophobia isn’t as prevalent might be, in part, due to Major League Soccer’s “no tolerance” stance and “Don’t Cross the Line” campaign — featuring a video of MLS players promoting unity, respect, fair play, equality, and acceptance. The campaign states clearly that discrimination and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. “As an openly gay man, to see a professional sports organization embrace all fans and celebrate an atmosphere of inclusiveness made me feel welcome,” Adkins said. “I don’t have to hide who I am.” Long-time supporter and fan Megan Banasek shared, “Anyone who goes to a Timbers or Thorns match knows that the queer population is 100 percent accepted, from the front office down to the supporters. It makes for a very safe space to be a sports fan. I haven’t felt that same safety at the other major league sports franchise in Portland; it’s nice to be in a group of supporters and sports fans who love me and my family for who we are, and [we] don’t ever 18 • August-September 2013

give any kind of odd looks. I can kiss my fiancé as part of a goal celebration without fear.” Perhaps another reason queer fans feel comfortable has to do with the number of professional players who are either out or straight allies — including Megan Rapinoe, Sarah Huffman, Abby Wambach, Keelin Winters, Marian Dougherty, and the first player to enter the MLS as an openly gay man, Robbie Rogers. On the website for Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization dedicated to combatting homophobia and transphobia in sports, Western New York Flash player Sarah Huffman explains why she is a “pro ambassador” for the organization:“I am proud to be an athlete ally because I dream of a world full of equal opportunities and treatment. I believe that sports are a place where everybody belongs. Discrimination based upon sexual orientation, race, gender have no place in the world — nevertheless sports. I am excited to be an ally and stand up for people like me in the LGBT community.” Fan Sarah Gilleland thinks credit for the tolerant atmosphere needs to start at the top. “If you have an organization that from the top down clearly is stating homophobia will not be tolerated, followed by players who are supportive, it does seem that it’s bound to trickle down to a crowd that’s more welcoming and diverse,” said Gilleland, who moved to Portland in 2008. “The soccer scene here in general has a completely different vibe than other sports where homophobic attitudes and stigmas are still alive and well.” Timbers fan and soccer mom Brenda Dixon-Smith offered this perspective: “It’s a younger generation that’s active in the Portland soccer scene. They’re more gayfriendly and it’s just cool. There’s huge crowd participation, rainbow flags along with soccer ones waving. No one seems to care who your ‘family’ is; gay or lesbian, all are welcome. It’s almost as if you’re part of the soccer family”. Speaking of the soccer family, let’s not forget the influence of the Timbers Army (TA) and Rose City Riveters (RCR). These fan groups seem to be the pulse of Portland’s profes-

sional soccer scene. The Timbers Army, for example, consists roughly 5,000 fans who never sit down and continually cheer throughout games. True to form with the MLS’s stance of no discrimination, the ever-on-their-feet Timbers Army lets the world know where they stand. On May 12, 2013, the TA used 4,500 colored flags to create an enormous rainbow with a sign in the middle stating: “Pride, Not Prejudice” to show its solidarity with the LGBT community for the upcoming International Day Against Homophobia. “The TA has had a ‘zero-tolerance for intolerance’ policy since its inception in 2001,” Timbers Army 107 Independent Supporters Trust Board Member Abram Goldman-Armstrong told “Our display in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia demonstrates our commitment to making certain all people are welcome.” So perhaps what’s created this queer-friendly soccer scene is the combination of top-down MLS “No tolerance for intolerance” management, a younger more gay-friendly generation, MLS players who openly support the LGBTQ community, and rowdy and vocal fan groups that have no room for discrimination. Sunday White, a “capo” for the TA and RCR — which, roughly speaking, is Italian for “leader,” not to be confused with cheerleader — summed her experience with the Portland soccer scene thusly: “I am honored that as an out, proud lesbian my sexual orientation is not an issue. I am seen as just another person, doing what I can do to support these teams and my community. My hair stands on end when the entire stadium joins in and raises their voices in a powerful [PTFC clapping cheer]. That’s my favorite part. The fans are not just random people; they are my friends and family and they speak up against hate and inequality. I feel it makes for a great environment that draws focus to the game, not to our differences. In reality, it is all our differences that make this such an amazing city, so they happily support and celebrate them.”



Thursday, August 15 Totes Hilars, a comedy variety show featuring queers and allies. There’s music, drag, stand up, and burlesque. (That’s a lot of entertainment.) Carla Rossi, Melody Awesomazing, Manuel Hall, and more! 7pm, Floyd’s, 118 NW Couch. $5. Saturday, August 17 Fire on the Columbia has arrived. The much-anticipated, end-of-summer circuit party on the beach boasts “world-famous” deejay Joe Gauthreaux. Jakob Jay opens. In the heart of the city, there’ll be shuttles to and from the shindig (they start at 6pm). Ticket prices include adult beverages and food. Riot Grrrl Karaoke! Live bands playing your favorite songs, and you’re the singer. Babes in Toyland, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsy. Can I sing all of them, please? Be the Carrie and Janet to my Corin. Proceeds benefit the Not Enough Festival. 7pm, Slabtown, 1033 NW 16. $7. AIDS Walk Burlesque Fundraiser featuring Eddie Van Glam: Zora Phoenix, the architect behind all that is good and burlesque-y in our fair city, welcomes a truckload of special guests, including the headliner. 9pm, Crush, 1412 SE Morrison. $10 suggested donation. Monday, August 19 Not that you could ever forget Gay Skate. But yeah, don’t. This semi-legendary throwback night of dreams is brought it you by PQ, Sock Dreams, and the Rose City Rollers. Get some exercise and maybe couples skate with that homo staring at you from across the rink. Bring food for the drive benefitting Take Action, Inc.: a program that puts food in the backpacks of low-income children so they have something to eat over the weekend. $6, Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. 7pm-9pm. Wednesday, August 21 Comedy at Crush, hosted by Belinda Carroll. An easy breezy midweek chuckle-fest. Shane Torres (recently called “best comedy newcomer by GQ”) (not PQ), Veronica Heath, Adam Saturdayzer Pasi, Christen Manville, and Jeremy Eli are all slated to perform. Best part? No, it isn’t Belinda. There’s no cover, just a pay what you will tip jar. (But put something in it, for the love of all that’s holy. These queens need to eat.) 9pm, Crush, 1412 SE Morrison. Free. Thursday, August 22 Monsteroki! Gula Delgatto puts a very special spin on karaoke magic. 9pm, Crush, 1412 SE Morrison. $3. Friday, August 23 Zora Phoenix’s Boylescapade: A boylesque (burlesque) extravaganza featuring local gentleman performers (Burlesquire), special guests, and an international star hailing from up north. (Canada.) The Phoenix’s productions are always a dream, and never to be missed. 8pm, Crush, 1412 Morrison. Temple gets another shout out here because it turns one today. (Our girl’s all grown up.) And because resident deejay Kasio Smashio welcomes one of our very favorites, Roy G Biv. It’s her triumphant return to the west side. Let’s make it special. 10pm, Matador, 1967 W Burnside. Free.


Want more? We’ll give you everything. Head over to and check out our online calendar of events, submit your own events, and peruse photos from your reporters-about-town. Also, remember to carefully examine our weekly weekend forecast — with the latest and greatest events — each Wednesday (sometimes Thursday), online only.

Wednesday, August 28 Work In Progress: Readings by Portland Queer Writers. An evening of Portlanders reading excerpts from their works-in-progress. The event celebrates Carter Sickels’ new novel-in-progress, which is supported by a project grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council. Carter Sickels, Cooper Lee Bombardier, A.M. O’Malley, Tammy Lynne Stoner, and Daniel Borgen will all read. 7:30pm, Floyd’s, 118 NW Couch. Free. Friday, September 6 Poison Waters & Friends Happy Hour Show in Al’s Den: The last time the old gang got together was Pride month, and the result was absolute magic. (And not just because the McMenamin family sat stage-side and got lovingly heckled by Poison throughout.) Poison gathers all the queens, you just sit back and watch in the basement of the now-legendary Crystal Hotel. This edition: Celebrating “Old School.” Uh oh. 5:30pm, Al’s Den, 303 SW 12. Free. First Friday Fetish Party at Hawks. A new series of demos every month by Masters in the field—where you can learn, volunteer, or just enjoy the other hot men attending the event. Hunt down Hawks on Facebook (or online) for more info. Have fun, boys! 8pm, Hawk’s PDX, 234 SE Grand. Saturday, September 7 An evening with Lily Tomlin. Does this one even really need an explanation? I’d hope not. All of the proceeds from this event go to support Our House, supporting people living with HIV/AIDS. One more time: Lily Tomlin. 7:30pm, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Sunday, September 8 Peacock After Dark’s final event: you read that right, this will be the end of an era. Though the organization’s dedication to service and community (and scholarships) won’t change, this will be the last Peacock After Dark. Maria Peters Lake and Poison Waters host, and welcome many special guests. $15,000 in scholarships will be awarded to some very deserving students. 7pm, Newmark Theater, 1111 SW Broadway. $30. Thursday, September 12 Front and Center: Racial Justice and Trans Justice Showcase: Join Basic Rights Oregon’s Racial Justice and Transgender Justice programs for a night of performances featuring singer Kokumo, poet Kit Kan, and local performers from our shared communities. All proceeds go to BRO’s racial/trans justice programs. 6pm, SMYRC, 2406 NE Sandy #100. $10-20, sliding scale, but no one turned away for lack of funds. More info: Friday, September 13 Summit on Aging for the LGBTQ community. SAGE Metro Portland (formerly Gay & Grey) presents this groundbreaking educational opportunity. LGBTQ older adults face many complex challenges as they age, including: limited access to safe and supportive housing, isolation, unequal partner benefits, decreased familial support, and barriers to access services. The event will facilitate the discussion on how we as a community can work together to ensure our older LGBTQ people are treated with dignity and safety. 9:30am4pm, Friendly House, 1737 NW 26 Ave. For more info:

Sunday, August 18 Dickslap (Seattle) welcomes Willam Belli, Detox Icunt, and Vicky Vox for a special Portland engagement, redefining “one night only.” Dickslap is a let loose scenario for boys and girls and more boys — a wonderland full of free beard rubs, slick hands, and magical, dancing go-go men, where the sounds of the discotheque parade around and intoxicate you; you finally wake up from the dream, potentially next to a stranger. Maybe Detox? Willam, Detox, and Vicky will be performing their hits. Nark, Futurewife, and Roy G Biv spin. 8pm, Branx, 320 SE 2. $13.




First Sundays Bridge Club. A slew of stellar deejays play music on one of the city’s most treasured patios. Old Boys Club regularly welcomes special guests. Brunch, mingle, get down. 3pm, Produce Row Café, 204 SE Oak. Free. (Not: on hiatus until they secure a new venue.) Every Sunday. Superstar Divas. Bolivia Carmichaels, Honey Bea Hart, Ginger Lee, and guest stars perform your favorite pop, Broadway, and country hits. Dance floor opens after the show. 8pm, CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis. Free! First Thursdays Dirt Bag. Keyword: Bruce LaBruiser. She’ll make all your musical dreams come true. Indie, pop, electro, all of it. Dance to the gayest jams. 10pm, The Know, 2026 NE Alberta. Free. Hip Hop Heaven. Bolivia Carmichaels hosts this hiphop-heavy soiree night every Thursday night at CCs. Midnight guest performers. 9pm, CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis. Free. First Saturdays Sugar Town. DJ Action Slacks. Keywords: Soul, polyester. 9pm, The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42. $5. Maricón! DJs Moisti and Ill Camino reinvent Crush with their beloved once-monthly dance party. For homos and their homeys. 10pm, Crush,1400 SE Morrison. $3. Second Thursdays I’ve Got a Hole in My Soul. Three keywords, the most important being: DJ Beyondadoubt. Others: soul, shimmy. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $5. Second Fridays BMP/GRND. Portland’s only queer dance night devoted entirely to that tragic(ally wonderful) decade. DJs Kasio Smashio and Rhienna. Wear ‘90s gear, get in on the cheap. 9pm, The Foggy Notion, 3416 N. Lombard. Free before 10pm, $5 after, $3 w/ themed attire. Second Saturdays Rotate. Bridge Club’s Hold My Hand brings his unique musical stylings — and a slew of special guests — to Crush. Dance it out. 9pm, Crush, 1412 SE Morrison. $3. Mrs.: The queen of theme. (This month: Brokeback!) And dynamic DJ duo: Beyondadoubt and Ill Camino. Costumes, photo booths, all the hits. 10pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi. $5. Third Thursdays Polari. Troll in for buvare. Back-in-the-day language, music, and elegance. An ease-you-into-the-weekend mixer. Bridge Club boys make the music. Bridge and

Thursday, August 22 Shorty Shorts 2.5! What the hell is Shorty Shorts 2.5, you query? Shorts architect Gula Delgatto will hand select some of her favorite queer short films from the first two seasons in an attempt to inspire and inform you about this autumn’s Shorty Shorts 3. (There will also be a sneak peek.) (It’s a surprise.) Raffles, prizes, drink specials — and best of all, revisit all your favorites. Immediately followed by Monsteroki. (See Dance it Out.) 8pm, Crush, 1412 SE Morrison. $5.

tunnel patrons have no idea what to do with us when we pour in. 10pm, Vault, 226 NW 12. Free. Third Fridays Ruthless! Eastside deluxe. DJs Ill Camino, Rhienna. Come welcome new resident deejay Rhienna and listen to the fiercest jams all night long. Keyword: cha cha heels. 10pm, Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK. $3. Third Saturdays Gaycation all you ever wanted. DJs Charming and Snow Tiger. Be early so you can actually get a drink. Sweaty deliciousness, hottest babes. THE party. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $3. Fourth Thursdays Monsteroki. You read it right. Gula Delgatto hosts an evening involving her own special brand of karaoke. Sometimes she decides the song, sometimes you do. (She sings! She dances!) 9pm, Crush, 1412 SE Morrison. $3. Fourth Sundays Gender Abundant Square Dance. All-ages goodness. No experience necessary! 7pm, The Village Ballroom, 700 NE Dekum. All ages! $7. Fourth Fridays Twerk. DJs Slutshine and II Trill. Keywords: old school. Established fun, all night long. So much dancing. 9pm, Local Lounge, 3536 NE MLK. Free! (This month marks Twerk’s first anniversary!) Fourth Saturdays Inferno! DJs Wildfire and D-Zel. Ladies, ladies, ladies. Rotating venue—check online for the latest! Blow Pony. Two giant floors. Wide variety of music, plenty of room for dancing. Rowdy, crowdy, sweaty betty. 9pm, Rotture/Branx, 315 SE 3. $5. Filth: (Formerly Hey Queen!) For the party girls. The more intimate, shoulder-to-shoulder Saturday night choice. Bruce LaBruiser and special guests. 9pm, Beulahland, 118 NE 28. Free. Last Thursdays Laid Out, Bridgetown’s newest gay dance party. Seriously, the posters read: “gay dance party.” Deejays Gossip Cat and Pocket Rock-It, with photos by Eric Sellers. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $3 after 10pm. (This month, guest Chelsea Starr!) Last Fridays Temple! A West Side Social. Keeping the west side afloat. Downtown dancing goodness at everyone’s favorite dive bar. Resident Kasio Smashio, plus guest. 10pm, The Matador, 1967 W Burnside. Free is a very good price.(This month only, Temple moves to fourth Friday, Aug 23.) Sunday, September 15 The joining of forces you’ve all been waiting for. Control Top and Bridge Club show us what happens when two become one, this month only. Control Club? Bridge Top? Only Jesus knows. This lineup is, you know, everything: Control Top’s Roy G Biv and Nathan Detroit plus Bridge Club’s Hold My Hand and Pocket Rock-It. Oh, I wasn’t finished: Bottom Forty’s Nark is here from Seattle and Alinka & Shaun J Wright join us from Chicago. The word epic should never have been used until this moment. 3pm until late, White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8. $5.


August-September 2013 • 19


20 • August-September 2013


The Many Faces of Melody Awesomazing Melody the Accidental Performer “I initially started out as a backup dancer for Light Asylum at the Time-Based Art Festival. The third time I was on stage,

Melody the Stand-Up Comedian

Melody the Makeup Queen “All art and creativity flows from having a channel open. It may not make sense to everyone, but for as long as I remember I’ve been creative in many different ways. In my teens, I did a lot of visual art, but I eventually stopped because I felt like I wasn’t reaching people. Once I started doing makeup, though, people started validating it — it was like, ‘Wow, why didn’t I just put art on my face in the first place?’ I really got into makeup when I started performing, because it was just such a different way of approaching

Melody the Wrestling Foil “Recently, I got a gig working for Portland Wrestling Uncut [a reboot of a long-defunct professional wrestling show on TV station Fox 12]. I got the gig through another comedian, Belinda Carroll — they liked my look, and were looking for a ‘dyke character.’ This is how I became Shirley Van Dyke. Rowdy Roddy Piper [a veteran WWF Hall of Fame and director of PNU] signed me; I met with him and a few other folks who’d be working on it, and in this brainstorming session I just made everyone laugh so much that they had to sign me.


Mon t

I was a dancing vagina at Miss Thing — so, yeah, that escalated quickly. Then, I branched out and did things with other performers like ChiChi and Chonga, the Tampon Troupe, and all the queens in Miss Thing. Miss Thing blew my mind and made me want to perform, because everyone was just so different and creative. I was lucky to come into the scene through that, because it was really performance art more than traditional drag, in which a lot of it was parody or comedy.”

“One of my jokes is that I knew I’d be a good stand-up comedian because I’ve been writing notes as long as I’ve been getting stoned. I’ve been really lucky to get so much support, because stand-up comedy is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s completely terrifying. It’s totally audience-based in that people laugh or they don’t. It’s not like performance art, when you can just say, ‘Oh, you just didn’t get it, but it’s art! Whatever.’ This is not — either you hit it, or you don’t. I think I’m only ready to do comedy at this point because I feel like I’m strong enough that I can be humili a t e d , because that’s what it feels like. You’re just encouraging people to laugh at you! You have to be at a certain level of self-confidence in order to do that. The comedy scene is in many ways difficult, and I do feel like I’m kind of on the edges of the scene. A lot of the times I go to the clubs, and it’s mostly dudes who are dressed fairly normally; I’m the only f laming, f lamboyant person in the room who gets up on stage in a crazy outfit. Some people start out really humble, saying that nothing they have is good enough yet; however, I come from a DIY art scene that makes me say, ‘W hatever! Just poop it out, and move on to the next bit. It wasn’t perfect? Oh well.’” ler s, P Q

Melody the Queer Outsider “I grew up in Salinas, Calif., and in the beginning of high school moved to Yuma, Ariz. I know this just sounds so shocking, but I really did not like going to high school in Yuma — it was pretty hideous. I just got through it by reminding myself every day that when I was 18, I could get out. Something happened with me in high school in which I just gave up trying to fit in, because I knew it just wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t have the money or resources to do so, so I just started doing my own thing and purposefully doing what w a s w e i rd a n d exciting to me. When I was young, I had lots of interactions with girls that seemed kind of crush-like, which led to a lot of fooling around. When I was 16, I had a girlfriend, but she and I were both on the down-low for three years until we were outed. When that happened, we were left with no community — I lost all of my friends, because they were just conservative Mormons who couldn’t deal with it. We left town and went to Phoenix, where we found some community and some rough times for a while. Since then, I’ve kept in contact with a small handful of people, and I’ve had a few people from Yuma come out of the woodwork to tell me that I was really inspiring to them. Back then, though, when things crumbled, I just had this feeling that nobody supported me.”

Professional wrestling is kind of like acting, but with no script — the producers just tell you, ‘This guy’s going to fall down, then you get up and slap this guy.’ It’s theatre. I’m not a huge wrestling fan, honestly, but I’m very into the crazy antics, so I was psyched to do such a fun gig — I mean, who do I get to slap!? Who do I get to punch in the balls!? However, the day I was supposed to start filming, the ring was broken — so, I still haven’t had my television wrestling debut. As I see it, I was paid $50 to go down to the studio, wear makeup, take photos with Rowdy Roddy Piper, and keep hope that I’ll be brought back on again when the new season starts in September.”


Even if you don’t know Melody Awesomazing, you probably recognize her. Whether she’s working the stage as a drag performer or stand-up comedian, working ringside as a character in Portland Wrestling Uncut, crafting a compelling online persona through social media, or simply going to the grocery store in full drag makeup, Awesomazing consistently emanates the sort of charismatic star quality that commands attention and awe. Here, PQ presents Awesomazing in her own words — revealing her past as a smalltown girl ostracized for her sexuality and style, the surprising ways she ascended to the stage, and the ethos that has led her to try every interest that has captured her attention.

things than day-to-day makeup. But, here’s the thing: I just like wearing more makeup than everyone else for a ‘casual look.’ I’ll think, ‘I’ll just do something really simple!’ And then suddenly I realize I’m in full drag makeup to go to the store. It’s like any other skill — I’ve been at it long enough that I can do a full face in 15 minutes. If I have 15 minutes to kill, I’m going to look great afterward.”


PQ Monthly

Pho tos by

By Nick Mattos

Melody the Popular Kid “I’ve never been called a socialite, but recently someone brought to my attention that I was ‘one of the popular kids.’ This is really weird in that I’ve never felt that way until now, never felt like I’ve fit in, and still don’t feel like I fit in. I think that I’ve built up my persona in the queer community long enough that people get who I am, and it’s really odd, actually. It feel like it’s a responsibility, and it’s sometimes overwhelming — I feel like people are watching what I’m saying or doing. The most anxiety that I have about performance is that I’ll do something inappropriate and get called out. I feel bad when people say ‘you’re one of the cool gays,’ because in a way I just don’t melody page 23

August-September 2013 • 21


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Vicky Vox: ‘I know what I want’ (Portland!)

(Left to right) Willam Belli, Detox Icunt, and Vicky Vox will perform at Branx on Aug. 18 as part of Nark’s “Dickslap” tour. By Daniel Borgen PQ Monthly

If there’s some small possibility you haven’t seen the YouTube sensations “Chow Down at Chick-Fil-A,” “That Boy is a Bottom,” or “Silicone,” I’m officially revoking your queer card, right here, right now. Since Willam Belli made his big “Drag Race” splash and Detox Icunt showed the world she’s far more than a contender, they, along with comedienne and singer extraordinaire, Vicky Vox, have been on a big gay tear, making viral videos, touring clubs, performing in the four corners of the world. There’s more than just a little bit of magic when the three of them get together — like a very gay Wilson Phillips or Destiny’s Child, only they’re much prettier. (Sorry, B.) They descend upon our fair city Aug. 18 for Dickslap, a party at Branx thrown by Seattle’s exquisite deejay Nark, who’s making the music alongside our hometown jewel Roy G Biv and Seattle’s Futurewife. (We’ve got all the details in our calendar.) I had the chance to chat with Vicky on the eve of her Portland premiere. (The interview was edited for space and clarity.) PQ Monthly: I saw that “Subculture” video you did with Raja. I needed some tissues.

melody  Continued from page 21

get it — I don’t feel that way. I mean, I spend most of my time at home on the internet, and don’t go out to many fancy places. It’s just weird to be a kid who was bullied, lost all their friends, moved around a lot, and always got made fun of for doing weird things to realize that, well, now my big butt’s in.”

What’s your drag inspiration? Like, what drew you to the craft in the first place — and what inspires your looks from day to day? Vicky Vox: I was drawn to the “craft” because it was a paid gig. I’ve been a singer all my life — and my looks are inspired by whatever is the brightest clothing in the store that fits (in my purse) and/or whatever is at the top of the pile on my floor. PQ: While your videos are clear cult sensations, you haven’t yet had the national spotlight the same way Detox and Willam have. Are you going to push for a spot on “Drag Race?” If you got on, what would set you apart from the others? What do you think the viewing audience would see? VV: I dream of the success of queens like Jackie Beat, RuPaul, and Lady Bunny. They march to the beat of a different drum. But I don’t know what the real question is here? They won’t let me on their game show for shenaniganery reasons. I have a daily competition between delivery or making my roommate run to pick food up — and the bitter rivalry between my laziness and my bank account. PQ: Do you think a big girl will ever win “Drag Race?” VV: What’s dick size got to do with it? And another thing: This question implies a preconceived prejudice where size is concerned instead of focusing on whether or not someone with an individual talent and skill set should win. It also implies I give a damn. I have had it. Photo by PQ: How did your trio come to be? Did you grow up in the L.A. club scene together? VV: Grow up? Have you seen us? Crazy finds crazy, boo. When it’s right, it’s right. We’re working queens that just keep working on random projects together because Willam keeps banging down my door and making me do stuff. We fart and magic happens. PQ: The last time I was in L.A., we happened upon Mary’s and saw you and Detox. Your performances are downright joyful. Aside from L.A., which cities have been standouts for you? VV: It’s hard to pick any one city. I am blown away by the overwhelmingly positive response we get wherever we go. Sometimes I forget the words because the crowds are singing along so loudly. PQ: Ever been to Portland? What do you expect to find up here? VV: One of my good friends and favorite human beings is from Portland. She is a free spirit with a strong will and creative heart. That’s how I see Portland in my head. I can’t wait to take it all in. PQ: Any beaus? How’s the love life of a queen-on-the-go in L.A.? VV: Ain’t nobody got time for that. (Call me.) Interviews with Willam and Detox were not complete by press time. Stay with us at; we’ll have the complete interviews online before the show.

Melody Who Tries and Tries Again “The best advice I’ve ever been given was from Sister Britt — ‘Just get up there and try it.’ People come to me and say, ‘I wish I could be a standup comedian, I wish I could do makeup, I wish I could wear that, I wish I could do what I want to do.’ You really can! You just have to get up there and try it. If you fail, get up and do it again. People need to stop worrying about failing and what other people think, and just get up there to present themselves. I never

thought I could be this person and be celebrated, but here I am — the weirdest person, doing whatever I want, having success doing all these different things. Whatever it is you want to do, get out there and try it. Keep it cute, and keep trying.” Melody Awesomazing and her extensive calendar of performances, makeup design engagements, Portland Wrestling Uncut appearances, and other events can be found online at

August-September 2013 • 23


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PQ Monthly is proud to partner with Take Action Inc for their “Backpack program.” This program fills backpacks, utilizing YOUR Gay Skate food donations, for Oregon kids pre-kindergarten to 8th grade, so they do not go hungry over the weekends. Thank you for donating to this most worthy program. Please visit partnerships and click on “Take Action Inc” to view their list of preferred foods. 24 • August-September 2013


SEVEN DEVILS By Nick Mattos PQ Monthly

1) Sometimes, in the cold silence of the morning, it’d be the first thing to hit me as I woke up. Before I’d open my eyes, I’d realize I was awake because the listlessness had started, a numbness asking to be filled in my chest. Sometimes, I would wish that I wouldn’t have to open my eyes, that the world would stay outside while I stayed cocooned numbly within my skin, that the two wouldn’t have to meet or mingle that day. I would lie in the silence, eyes closed, with no comfort in my bed. 2) Most people are familiar with the Seven Dead ly Sins. However, t here’s another historical deadly sin that did not enter the popular canon: “acedia,” the neglect to take care of or enjoy something that one should. I’ll put it this way: when it comes to my apartment, even in my jolliest of mindframes I am a messy dude. However, when depression sets in, the impulse to straighten up dissipates completely: clothing spends most of its time on the floor, junk mail builds up in piles, unwashed dishes grow ecosystems in the sink. Behold, acedia. 3) Biblically speaking, we only know two things about the past of the woman known as Mary Magdalene: she was from the town of Magdala (hence her name) and that Jesus had cast seven devils out of her. Many scholars also believe that the “seven devils” manifested in her as mental illness, indicating that she had been healed into a state of sanity by her divine encounter. When I first learned this, I wondered: before this healing, was acedia one of her sins? Did God save Mary Magdalene from her joylessness? Could I be saved of it? 4) Once, in a fit of hopeless depression, I decided to become a dedicated practitioner of a rather obscure, strict form of Japanese Buddhism. I spent hours each day chanting sutras in an archaic form of Chinese with the primary intent of overcoming my depressive tendency. Once, at a meeting of fellow practitioners, I stepped outside for a smoke. I stood beneath the awning to avoid the rain; the huge old pine tree above me snapped in the wind. I was told that the people within the temple room saw me through the window, jumping about like a monkey in lively terror, then heard a great crash as the tree went through the roof.

At the time, I took my safety and its accompanying adrenaline as a miracle, a benefit of my practice, a sign that my depression was vanquished. Was it? 5) My friend Doug tells an anecdote about what he terms “shamanic societies.” As he tells it, in such societies people who present themselves to the local medicine person complaining of depression would be asked four questions. “When did you stop dancing?” the medicine person would query. “When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories?” and finally, “When did you stop finding comfort in the territory of silence?” The questions all seem to illust rate somet h i ng f u nda menta l about acedia. I’d ask myself when it was that I abandoned celebration, where I went when I absented myself from enchantment. Where were the answers? 6) All other theological points and considerations aside, I must state this plainly: Buddhism did not save me from my personal devils. Folk wisdom from so-called “shamanic cultures” about singing and dancing did not cure my depression. Frankly, most of the things I tried failed. However — this is the wonderful part, and the miracle — right now, my dishes are all stored away clean in their cupboards, both literally and symbolically. Right now, the dev ils are gone. W hat changed in my heart to make me repent of acedia? What has given me reason to dance, to sing, to care? W here did my seven devils go? Most importantly, what will I do without them? 7) When night falls and the day ends, when I find myself back in my bed, I know it has been a good day if the world has given me more questions than I possessed in the morning. What happened? Have I seen any miracles? Who am I now? Questions are the way we reach forth into the world and that the world enters forth into us, and what is love but reaching and being open to another’s reach? Just as much as being overwhelmed with greed, wrath, or lust damages us, it is profoundly harmful for our souls if we do not actively and ardently turn away from our tendency towards joylessness, away from the impulse to stop caring and reaching out in wonder. I turn away daily, because if I do not, I cannot accrue any more questions to mull as sleep comes. I have to repent of acedia, and keep repenting, because the world is worth caring for, the dishes worth washing, songs worth singing, and, even when the reasons why would escape me, the cold silent morning worth opening my eyes to.

Nick Mattos can be reached at

August-September 2013 • 25


Portland Fashion Week CELEBRATES the city’s style By Nick Mattos

lenging the fashion establishment. Her blog “Life & Style of Jessica,” celebrating body acceptance and cutting-edge sartorial Fashionistas, take note: Portland Fashion sensibilities, reaches over 200,000 readers Week is celebrating its 10th anniversary with monthly; she also founded the award-wina makeover that elevates the world-class ning SKORCH Magazine and the viral senevent to new levels of social engagement, sation known as the Full Body Photo Projecological awareness, and sartorial savvy. ect. Now, at the helm of Portland Fashion Born in 2002 out of a local fashion indus- Week, Kane intends to craft an event as try incubator, Portland Fashion Week is the bold, inclusive, and innovative as she is. third longest-running fashion week in the This year’s take on Fashion Week cennation behind New York and Los Angeles. ters upon an ethos of community engageRecently named the #1 Major City Fash- ment. Five community charities will be ion Week to attend, PFW brings together highlighted throughout the course of the a high-fashion production that uniquely event, receiving a portion of the week’s proceeds along with public donations to their cause. To encourage engagement, PFW includes satellite events through the city, allowing a diverse display of the numerous facets of Portland’s clothing culture. Furthermore, unlike most fashion weeks, retailers as well as designers have been invited to apply to participate; as a result, some of the city’s finest boutiques will show alongside international-caliber designers on the runway. While Portland Fashion Week has received high praise in the past for their environmental consciousness, this year’s event will incorporate even more sustainable aspects to their production. Measures taken by Kane’s team include a brand-new sustainable bamboo runway, offsetting their carbon footprint with the world’s only fashion week carbon mitigation replanting project, low-consumptive LED lighting, an on-site recycling program, and a commitment to serving local and seasonal foods Photo courtesy of the Portland Fashion Council in their gourmet catering. From their innovative sensiPortland Fashion Week brings together designers, industry insiders, and fashionistas bility for participation to their to celebrate the Rose City’s sartorial verve. commitment to holding the fashencapsulates Portland’s appreciation for the ion industry to a high ethical standard, Portcreative, the sustainable, the socially just, land Fashion Week has garnered an interand the sartorially bold. The event, which national reputation. runs Sept. 12-21, showcases numerous “In the world of fashion weeks, Portland notable designers with world-class runway plays a very important role in the showshows and innovative parties at locations casing of emerging designers and sustainthroughout the city, centering on a three- able manufacturing,” Kane says. “Our enviday kickoff affair of runway shows in the ronmentally-conscious event is unlike the Oregon Convention Center. major fashion weeks where only industry “My vision for Portland Fashion Week is to people are invited. Our fashion week is an shine a light on the heartbeat of Northwest experience that can be enjoyed by both designers on an international stage,” says fashion industry [professionals] and conJessica Kane, executive director of the Port- noisseurs.” land Fashion Council, which presents the event. “Portland Fashion Week is a platform Portland Fashion Week begins Sept. 12-14 built to encourage commerce, tourism, and at the Oregon Convention Center and conthe celebration of our thriving and vibrant tinues Sept. 15-21 in a variety of locations design and manufacturing communities.” throughout Portland. For a comprehensive Kane, who took over as executive direc- listing of locations, events, prices, and infortor this year, comes at the event with a mation relating to the event, visit Portlandproven track record of elevating and chal- PQ Monthly

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August-September 2013 • 27


Author Julia Serano on those who are still ‘excluded’ “There are no words in your second-wave feminist lexicon to adequately describe the way that we, young trans girls forced against our will into boyhood, have been raped by male culture. Every trans woman is a survivor, and we have triggers too. And my trigger is pseudo-feminists who hide their prejudices behind ‘womyn-born-womyn-only’ euphemisms.” Serano spoke with PQ about her new book, her activism, and her views on the state of trans women in our culture today. We began by discussing how she thought media representations of trans women had changed since the release In her new book, author, activist, spoken word artist, and biologist Julia Serano pushes the feminist and queer movements to strive for of her first book. greater inclusivity. “In the years leading up to me writing ‘Whipping Girl’ By Leela Ginelle most of the media representations of trans women came in PQ Monthly the form of characters in movies, TV, and other media, which Julia Serano occupies a rarified place in the world of almost always fit into one of a few stereotypes,” she said. trans woman authors. Her first book, “Whipping Girl: “There were very few trans women speaking in their own a Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoat- voices in the media, with the occasional exception of sensaing of Femininity,” laid bare the bigotry and misogyny tionalistic talk shows like ‘Jerry Springer,’ which used to feabehind the marginalization of transgender women in ture trans women coming out to their unaware boyfriends. “Nowadays, the biggest, and most positive, change our culture. seems to be that actual trans people are appearing in the Released in 2007, and written in language both academic and fiery, the book felt foundational on arrival and has only media, often speaking in our own voices about issues that grown in stature. I’m not alone among trans women I know concern us. I think this has led more and more people to recognize that trans people are a fairly heterogeneous popin feeling it changed how I view my identity. Serano, who is an activist, spoken word artist, and biol- ulation.” We spoke about Coy Mathis, the 6-year-old transgenogist — she’s a researcher at UC Berkeley —returns with a der girl who’d been denied access to the girl’s bathroom new book, “Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive” on Oct. 1. The book looks at the in her school in Colorado, and the “bathroom bill” in Ariways sexism and hierarchies function within the very orga- zona, designed to deny transgender people access to public nizations that seek to combat them, and suggests possi- restrooms in the state. (Both cases, which have resolved favorably for trans people, were still unsettled when the ble remedies. While broader in scope than “Whipping Girl,” which interview took place). “I think that rather than picking on a trans child, dealt solely with trans-feminism, Serano’s gifts for expressthe administrators at the Colorado school should read ing the trans woman experience are still on generous disGLSEN’s 2009 report called ‘Harsh Realities’ that showed play in “Excluded,” as in this passage in which she imagines responding to a feminist who argues her presence, as a trans- that almost all transgender students are verbally harassed gender woman, would be triggering to sexual assault survi- and more than half experience physical harassment in vors in attendance at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, school settings,” she said. “And the Arizona lawmakers who passed that bill should provide credible evidence which excludes trans women:

Always have supported LGBT rights, Always will.

that trans women pose some kind of actual threat in restrooms. In San Francisco, which has a rather high population of trans women per capita, there has never been a single police report describing such harassment. Ever. Yet I know lots of trans women who have been harassed by cisgender women in women’s restrooms. “These laws are classic examples of the dominant group mischaracterizing the minority group as constituting a ‘threat,’ when in fact it is really the other way around: We’re the ones who are constantly threatened in public settings.” W hile Serano writes about her activism around the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in “Excluded,” she says it’s not a n issue she still devotes time to. “I was involved in Camp Trans and fighting against trans woman-exclusion at Michfest around the time of 2003-2004. While I am still passionate about the issue of trans woman-inclusion, I stopped focusing on Michfest because it seemed like a lost cause at the time. And I was mostly right: It’s 10 years later and the policy is still in effect. And while some cisgender female acts boycott the event, as some did a decade ago, many still play Michfest with little to no ramifications on their careers or status in women’s, queer, and progressive circles. To clarify, when I say that Michfest is a ‘lost cause,’ I am not saying that everyone should give up on it. I am glad some activists are still working on that issue. I’m just saying that I personally experienced activist-burn-out regarding the whole Michfest issue.” With the release of “Excluded,” Serano and her ideas will be back in the public eye. When asked whether her role as a public intellectual on trans matters was a burden or a reward, she was unequivocal. “I find it very rewarding!” she said. “I have been a performer most of my life and have always liked getting up in front of people and sharing my thoughts and ideas with them. So I really enjoy getting the chance to give talks and presentations about trans, queer, and feminist issues.” “Excluded” by Julia Serano will be available on Seal Press on Oct. 1.

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30 • August-September 2013



TBA:13 showcases creativity, ruin, and post-realness art-pop drag ball Critical Mascara and the free opening-night concert of the Julie Ruin. “Critical Mascara is an experiment in creating community and culture through competition,” explains Kaj-Anne Pepper, who crafted the avant-garde take on a traditional drag ball with co-conspirator Chanticleer Tru. “It is a furthering of the cultural impact made by queers who threw balls, galas, protests, and riots before my generation. Our freedom to further our aesthetic identities is rooted in the courage and sacrifice of the amazing artists and individuals who pranced, danced, and werked their way before us.” To celebrate these ancestors while furthering their work, Pepper and Tru — both highly accomplished Portland performers, Pepper with his innovative take on genderfuck drag and Tru as the frontperson for dance-punk band Magic Mouth — draw liberally from tradition while creating a new paradigm in performance. Contestants for the ball are encouraged Photo by Eric Sellers to band together two to five of their friends Kaj-Anne Pepper (left) and Chanticleer Tru will present Critical Mascara, a drag ball event, at TBA:13. to create a “House,” a collaborative group of performers who will assist one another By Nick Mattos PQ Monthly in the formation of looks, walks, and style, but compete as individuals. Each performer then chooses from a single What are you doing Sept. 12-22? Whatever you were category to perform within: Diva Practice (“Art Queen first going to say, if it doesn’t have to do with the Time-Based Art time at the ball,” as Pepper puts it), Glamour Gore (“for the Festival, scratch it. This 10-day international art and perfor- bloody, dark, and fertile hearts”), Vogue (“for the dancer, mance festival has put Portland on the map as an art and the prancer, the gymnast, and the twirler”), and Hair (“I’m culture destination — and this year’s offerings may be the talkin’ head to toe — we want to choke on your weave for days.”) queerest ever in the festival’s decade-long run. “In each category you are expected to serve a look, An annual presentation of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, TBA brings together artists, thinkers, and a moment, and be prepared to be interviewed and suraudiences for installations and live performances in the- prised!” Pepper says. At the event on Sept. 14, all the houses will converge at aters, temporary galleries, and unexpected public spaces throughout Portland, activating the city with art and energy. the Con-Way for their members to showcase and compete TBA:13 will be centered in the Con-Way building — a against other performers in each of the categories. “The winners of each category will then compete in vast NW Portland warehouse which will be completely transformed into an incubator, classroom, performance a high stakes performance/lipsynch/dance challenge,” Pepper explains, for a chance to win a $666 cash prize and space, and nexus of celebration. This year’s festival has a great deal to offer of queer inter- the title of the fiercest in the land.” While it’s all certainly fun and games, this mash-up of est, from from the Blow performing an art-house take on a pop concert Sept. 15-16, to the live animation performance critical glamour and high-drama art also serves a purpose of Daniel Barrow on Sept. 20, to a free showing of “Paris of inspiring and challenging the community at large to new is Burning” on Sept. 14, virtually every day of the festival frontiers of fabulosity. “Critical Mascara exists because we are experiencing a offers a showcase of the finest queer artists in the worlds of visual art, music, dance, and performance. However, if drag renaissance of sorts,” Pepper says, “and the children you could only attend two TBA offerings (and you should are hungry for glamour, lineage, courage, and drama. Critdefinitely attend more), PQ most solidly recommends the ical Mascara, ‘The Post-Realness Drag Ball,’ is the dance

party, ball, and competition that I hope will inspire anyone who attends and competes to ask themselves, ‘How can being fabulous and creatively engaged change my consciousness and the world?’” Another deeply thrilling offering for this year’s TimeBased Art Festival is the free opening night performance of the Julie Ruin. Frontwoman Kathleen Hanna was one of the major progenitors of the Riot Grrrl movement of the 1990s. Through her band Bikini Kill and prolific work as a zinester, she helped define a movement of art, music, writing, and style that left behind the separatism and asceticism of second-wave feminism. Instead, Hanna — along with Evergreen State College classmates like Carrie Brownstein, Kathi Wilcox, and Lois Maffeo, as well as a wide array of women internationally — articulated a third wave of feminism which embraced all people as embodied, empowered, and creative. After Bikini Kill disbanded in 1998, Hanna, Johanna Fateman, and JD Samson formed Le Tigre, a hugely influential dance-punk group that merged a distinctly queer feminist sensibility with lo-fi beats and electronic samples. The band had dramatic underground popularity, helping to define the sound and aesthetic of modern queer hipsterdom. With her new band the Julie Ruin, Hanna leaves the synths behind and returns to her roots with the help of former Bikini Kill bandmate Kathi Wilcox, Kenni Mellman (of Kiki & Herb), Carmine Covelli, and Sara Landeau. Their TBA performance will be one of the first after the release of their album “Run Fast” on Sept. 3; the album’s brash lyrics, jangly guitars, and signature screaming vocals indicate that Hanna is still every bit the punk rock icon that she’s been for the last two decades, and is certain to electrify the festival right from the start. All in all, TBA:13 demonstrates the very best things about the Rose City: our passion for the creative, our gleeful embrace of the bizarre, and the international stature we enjoy as aesthetic innovators. All in all, it is an absolutely wonderful thing — so clear your schedule, slip on your runway shoes, and strut your way out to the summer’s last fling. Performers interested in competing as part of Critical Mascara should email before Sept. 7 with their name, house (if any), and up to two categories in which they’d like to compete. The “post-realness drag ball” will take place at 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 at the Con-Way Building (2170 NW Raleigh, Portland). Tickets are $8 for PICA Members, $10 for general admission, and $5 for pre-registered competitors; this event is 21+. The Julie Ruin will perform at 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 12, also at the ConWay building. Admission is free and open to all ages. TBA events occur in a wide variety of locations throughout the city. For schedules, artist biographies, locations, and ticket information, visit

August-September 2013 • 31


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 ��� 32 • August-September 2013

I’ll likely be pelted with eggs and all manner of rotting produce for saying so, but I am pretty delighted we’re fast-approaching the waning days of this epic Northwest summer. There’s been plenty of heat and sunshine and no one has any sort of license to whine when things cool down. (I can’t wait until my boob sweat is a fading memory.) And these past few months, as has been customary summertime behavior of late, I’ve defined the season by the books I read. Sunshine demands slow, deliberate slogs, where I take every word and sentence as some sort of divine message crafted just for me. I’ve been engrossed in the new Augusten Burroughs, “This is How,” gobbling it up, rereading chapters, and mining it carefully. I have some close friends who also love the Burroughs — and they’re not on board with this one and they don’t understand my obsession. But I’m fascinated by the idea of someone curating a few hundred pages and summarizing all their life lessons, tying them up with tidy, red ribbons. Especially the last few weeks, his words gave me the impetus for a look back at a few of the things I’ve learned this summer, a retrospective of sorts: • When you offer absolutely no interest in something, said something is sometimes hurled at you in spades. Like when eager suburban ladies who frequent my workplace decide to fix my many romantic woes. I’m gay, clearly, and they each know that one very special gay friend who would be “just perfect” for me — and I get to have long, detached conversations about all sorts of hypothetical men. “Yeah, he just broke up with his boyfriend because he was cheating, but you’d be perfect together.” “He mostly likes staying at home with his dogs, but maybe you can find the party animal in him.” Lesson: You’re unlikely to find love in a hopeless place. • I blame my friend — we’ll call her “Jane” — for recent bouts with baby fever. A couple of weekends ago, Jane invited me to her son’s first birthday. (This kid could be a Gerber baby; he’s that adorable.) And yes, a 1 year old’s birthday party is a far cry from a night out at Maricón — there are infants galore, always underfoot, and lots of bright colors, toys, car seats, and various sundry child-toting devices. Jane, though, is the personification of grace, beauty, and wise choices. We met each other when we were basically children, folding sweaters at the Gap, and those early days of retail bonding forged a lifelong friendship. (I officiated her wedding.) Her life — and marriage, career, house — could serve as its own “How To” book, and her son’s party doubled, for me, as a musical montage in some romantic

comedy. Lesson: Real friendships weather all sorts of dramatic changes, and come out the better for it. • Drag church is the best thing to happen to our city in one hundred years. Several months ago, Jason Myers — of Floyd’s fame — cooked up this evening called “Dark Night of the Soul.” One Thursday evening in late autumn, a gaggle of queers gathered to share their deepest, darkest, most traumatic (and tragically humorous) stories. Imagine airing your secret shame to a roomful of people. Well, it was pure magic, it continued, and soon evolved into a summertime drag extravaganza — a similarly formatted gem called “Testify,” where our community’s most intimate tales are interspersed with exquisite drag moments. (Hi, Marge.) Aside from teaching me the liberation involved with full disclosure, I’ve been shocked to find out how many of us grew up in oppressively stifling religious circumstances — not just “Christian” churches, but suffocating, pray-the-gay-away Bible-thumping circuses. “Testify” helps me rediscover my sonder — to be at peace being the sum of my parts. Lesson: “Don’t wish away your cracked past.” • This month marks the return of an old friend, who three years ago left for some do-gooding adventures overseas in exotic locales like Senegal and Syria. After all these years away, he’s finally visiting all the people he abandoned. For a very long time, he, another friend, and I were inseparable; we were the sisterhood of the traveling gays, and those two oversaw the collapse of my pseudo-marriage. Well, now he’s dedicated his life to living on other continents, the other is up in the west hills starring in his very own (made-up) “Housewives” series, and I’m the semi-swinging, aging bachelor. But, for at least one more brief run, the old gang is back together again. Lesson: Enjoy every moment, because it’s all so damn fleeting. There’s this bit in the Burroughs book where he talks about people who look at life as a prearranged social function, complete with an itinerary, a soul mate, and a money back guarantee. Then he discusses how belief in soul mates means some automatic mantra that basically says you’ll meet “the one” when you’re supposed to, which implies there’s some “paid employee overseeing these details in your life.” I suppose an argument could be made that he’s wrong, but I tend to agree. Our only promise is change, the relentless, unending, rapid march of time, and the (occasional) discomfort that comes with it.



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34 • August-September 2013


Need some wabi-sabi in your life? The Portland Japanese Garden (611 SW Kingston Avenue, Portland) makes it accessible with their annual Arts and Crafts Show and Sale, running Aug. 1- Sept. 8. More than 35 artists will present ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, jewelry, and textiles for sale in the Garden Pavilion; in addition, on most Saturday and Sunday mornings during the sale, a wide array of artisans will host live demonstrations of their handiwork. The garden is open Mondays, noon-7 p.m., and Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; admission is $9.50 for adults, with discounted admission for seniors, college students, and youth. For more information, visit Guaranteed Pet Cremations • 24 Hour Emergency Services Extensive Urn & Memorial Catalogue 8976 SW Tualatin Sherwood Rd. • Tualatin, OR 97062


PQ’s own Belinda Carroll is a semifinalist to be the nation’s Next Great Queer ComeFuse Theatre Ensemble presents “A Midsummer Night’s Sonambulism,” a camp-out production of the Bard’s work dian in a competition sponsored by Advocate. that gets wild in the wild. com, OUTLAUGH, and Zanie’s Chicago. If Belinda makes it to the finals, she’ll I get to go Lady Gaga drops “Applause,” the first official single off the to sexy, sexy Chicago and compete in a line-up with eight forthcoming album “Artpop,” on Aug. 19. While we must of the hottest queer comedians today for a chance to win give Mother Monster props for her recent work with Marina the title, $2,000, and a full-page article in the Advocate in Abramovic, if Gaga’s leaked demo track “Burqua/Aura” is which she will definitely talk about how rad PQ readers any indication, “Applause” will be at least a little bit offensive are and what handsome beasts the PQ staff writers are. (again, folks, she’s singing about burquas) and we’ll shortly go So, help a sister out: go to, click on back to pretending that she was dead. Part two: Katy Perry “WATCH AND VOTE: Who Is The Next Great Queer Come- released “Roar,” a track from the soon-to-be-released ‘Prism,’ dian?” and select our lady Belinda. You can only vote until on Aug. 12. While the pre-release promotional clips clearly Aug. 20, but you can vote every day until then — so vote conveyed Perry’s subliminal cry “marrying Russell Brand and early and vote often! practicing Transcendental Meditation left me utterly demonBoylescapade! The name alone deserves to be followed by that “woo woo” live studio audience noise that always happens when people kiss on sitcoms. This boylesque extravaganza will demand many such “woo woos,” with such local gentlemen as Esequiel Cortez, Isaiah Tillman, and Tod Alan gracing the stage along with international guest James AndTheGiant Pasty and lovely host Zora Phoenix. Everything goes down Aug. 23 at Crush (1400 SE Morrison, Portland), with doors at 8 p.m. for advance ticketholders (available at and general admission doors at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission, $15 VIP, and — for the fanciest amongst us — $50 for an entire VIP table. Trust us: go for the table. Are you ready to FOLK ROCK!? Well, mark your calendar for Aug. 24, when queer folk troubadours Tom Goss and Jeremiah Clark play at the Metropolitan Community Church (2400 NE Broadway, Portland). The church’s beautiful sanctuary has some of the best acoustics in the city, as well as a marvelous concert grand piano — so you definitely do not want to miss these two filling the beautiful space with their beautiful sounds. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.; tickets are $10, available at

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Get wild at “A Midsummer Night’s Somnambulism,” Fuse Theatre Ensemble’s presentation of Shakespeare’s classic play told during an overnight camping adventure at Bagby Hot Springs. This real-time, site-specific, fully experiential rendition casts Lysander and Hermio as men, while Demetria and Helena are women — setting the stage for “Midsummer” to be queerer than ever. The camp-out begins Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. and lasts until Aug. 25 — so clear your calendar, because it’s one night only. Tickets are $35, including campsite and hot tub fees. Upon purchasing a ticket, attendees will receive their “wedding invitation” from Philostrate, Master of Revels, including a camping checklist and other critical logistical details. It may sound a bit complex overall — but man, will it be worth it in the end. For more information, go to Diva watch: two major pop queens are releasing singles from their highly-anticipated new albums. Part one:

ized and thus I went kind of goth,” we’re just pleased that Perry burned her blue wig. You know what? Whatever — call us hipsters, but we’re really most excited about Neko Case releasing her new album “The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You” on Sept. 3. Have you heard the singles “Man” or “Night Still Comes” yet? If not, get on it. You’ll thank us shortly. The consistently bold and brilliant defunkt theatre presents their season launch party and silent auction fundraiser on Sept. 4. Mingle with your favorite defunktionals and their marvelous guest artists and bid on a plethora of sexy trips, services, artwork, products and other fabulousness to support experimental theatre in the Rose City. DJ Tammy Whynot’s delightful Tender Mom Jams may make you want to break out your rollerskates, so be sure to keep your kneepads in your car. Enjoy the fun from 6 p.m. onwards on Sept. 4 at Crush (1412 SE Morrison); for more info, visit The sixth annual — yet sadly final — Peacock After Dark, hosted by Portland’s crown jewels Maria Peters Lake and Poison Waters, assembles some of the city’s finest entertainment as they present over $15,000 in scholarships to some wonderfully deserving students. Sometimes campy, sometimes cutting edge, but always entertaining, Peacock After Dark is a top-notch, family-friendly way for the community to come together. The celebration occurs Sept. 8 at the Newmark Theater (1111 SW Broadway, Portland). Tickets are $35 — available from, the PCPA Box Office, or from any Peacock Productions, Inc. / Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund board member. (If you’re out and about in town, you probably know at least one.) Join Basic Rights Oregons’s Racial Justice and Transgender Justice programs for Front and Center: Racial Justice and Trans Justice Showcase. Featuring singer Kokumo, poet Kit Yan, and local performers from our shared communities, proceeds from the show support BRO’s Racial Justice and Transgender Justice programs. The all-ages event occurs at 6 p.m. on Sept. 12 at SMYRC (2406 NE Sandy #101, Portland); tickets are $10 online, $15-20 sliding scale at the door, with no one turned away for lack of funds. August-September 2013 • 35


Cultivating Life MUSIC


By LeAnn Locher PQ Monthly

If you had told me a year ago that I would be on a competitive sports team, I would have laughed at you. I’ve never been great at sports. Yeah, I played soccer and softball growing up, but I was never a star player. I showed up, I tried hard, I generally had a good time, but it was never my strength. Plus, music was my thing as a kid. As an adult, my focus has been my career, along with gardening and cooking; throw in a healthy dose of volunteerism and my life is packed. So how did I end up training three times a week with 25 other women to compete in one weekend of races? Oh, dragonboating. That’s how. Last January I walked into a room packed

with women all joining together to kick off the dragonboat season. They called themselves the Miss Fit Dragons, and I was joining them. I knew only one other person there, and the room buzzed with conversation and laughter. This was the team. And every Tuesday and Thursday during those cold dark months of winter, we worked out together in a boot camp, transitioning in March to evenings spent paddling on the water, along with Saturday mornings. If you’ve ever seen the crazy people in the dark of winter evenings or early mornings paddling on the Willamette River in downtown Portland, in the rain, that’s probably a dragonboat team. The first night of practice it was pitch dark. And raining. I climbed into the boat and steadied myself, scooting to the side and balancing my paddle in hand. It was so dark I couldn’t even see my paddle in the water, but I knew I was pulling something with it. I followed the rhythm of the woman in front of me, sometimes going as fast I could while our coach had us call out the tempo with numbers. It was hard. It felt a little crazy. But I figured I was in a boat with 25 other crazy people here in the middle of winter in the dark and the rain, so what the heck.

After a few sessions, I came to realize some things. This wasn’t like other cardio exercise I did: I couldn’t zone out or check out while I pushed my body forward. I was part of a team, and to stay in synch I needed to stay present. This “staying present” aspect was true for the breaks we took on the water as well. Looking up at the skyline, or out across the water, the days grew a little longer and soon enough we were paddling in daylight and I discovered views of the city I had never seen before. Floating, gliding, and just being on the water brought me a solace that I craved in my stressful days, and being among a group of women during these times meant I wasn’t alone. We each were taking in these moments of physical exertion, and through it, the clarity of mental peace came to each of us. The thing about dragonboating is that there’s never a singular moment of stress or focus where all eyes are on you. “Dragonboating is community based and competitive,” says Miss Fit Dragon Coach Nikki Becker-Ettner, who has been coaching the team for 11 years. “It’s really healing and makes us as individuals know who we are, where we want to go and what we want to do.” She likens the team to a strong family. “You have a strong community of people; competitiveness is important but the unity, the family of the team, is most important. When you have that you can really compete, do well, and feel good whether you win or lose.” For this team, being in synch was the key to doing well; it wasn’t about being a star player. We worked hard to stay together, to stay in the game, to stay focused. And for the team’s first time in history, we made it to the “A Division” — the top division — in the Rose Festival Dragonboat races, placing 11th among over 75 teams. The team — made up of women whose ages range from their 20s to their 60s, gay and straight — worked hard to stay together, not to outshine or outrun each other. Who knew a community could be made in a boat? “It’s a great art, is rowing. It’s the finest art there is,” George Yeoman Pocock is quoted as saying in “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold.” “It’s a symphony of motion. And when you’re rowing well, why it’s nearing perfection. And when you near perfection, you’re touching the Divine. It touches the you of yous. Which is your soul.”

LeAnn Locher loves to connect with readers at 36 • August-September 2013

EAT, DRINK, AND, BE MARY IT’S NOT JUST FAST FOOD, IT’S GOURMET MOBILE are as infatuated with dipping sauces as I am, the Vada Holes are a must. Hot, puffy, PQ Monthly and perfectly savory — Vada Holes resemble a pop-in-your-mouth-size donut-holeWalking around downtown Portland on type treat sprinkled with coconut/chili fleur a gray summer morning, that blurred time de sel, and served with sambar — a delicious between breakfast and lunch hits and we lentil soup. The holes are a great foundation begin to smell the wonders the city has to and edible transport mechanism for dipping offer. Garlic and sautéed exotic spices waft sauces, too. I love sauce! toward us as if we are in an open-air foreign A Sicilian grandmother and hearty slowmarket, and my mouth waters in anticipa- cooked meals are the inspiration for Bones tion of the goodies in which we are about to & Bits, which is firmly planted in the Pearl. indulge. As fast as the sun melts the clouds Lifelong friends Paul and Michael know and makes the city sparkle, rows of street what it means to put together tasty comcarts seem to appear out binations. Slow-cooked of nowhere. lamb shoulder sits proudly Food carts date back atop a polenta cake with to Greek and Roman civsteamed spinach, tomato ilizations, but the use gravy, and creamy ricotta of modern food carts and fresh herbs. Cooked exploded with the expanfor hours, the tender meat, sion and popularity of the polenta, and gravy melt in American railway system. your mouth as visions of As locomotives needed the southern Italian landto stop regularly to take scape come into focus. on coal and water, pasSlow-cooked caramelized sengers had time to use onions fall apart in your the restrooms and grab a mouth in the Spicy Pork bite to eat and drink. Early Sausage Sandwich with on very few of the trains parmesan ricotta spread, contained any form of organic arugula, carameldining car, so these small ized onions, and roasted TIFFIN ASHA Photo courtesy of carts were much-needed red peppers. Creamy, requirements for traveling patrons. Relo- fresh, and definitely Italian — this lunch cating out of the train stations and onto our mainstay is on my “must-have” list. Provcity streets, food carts are as much gour- ing food cart food has evolved into gourmet met establishments as they are cultural masterpieces, Paul and Mark will maintain necessities. With an estimated 671 carts their popularity at Bones & Bits. citywide housing clusters of street cart and Portland, as the nation’s leader in mobile food truck neighborhoods, Portland sets dining, promises an array of flavor opportuthe standard of mobile dining. nities. In any neighborhood, and any area of Located at 1313 NE Alberta St., Tiffin the city, really good food is available withAsha tempts passersby with tender hot out the need for waiters, dining rooms, and dosas and amazing Indian street food. After extravagant kitchens. Cop a squat on a street cooking in some of the best restaurants in curb, grab your boxed gourmet food, close the Pacific Northwest, chef/owner Eliza- your eyes, and get transported to a country beth Golay learned the traditional recipes far, far away. Trust me, the food is enough! and techniques of her partner’s family from Tiffin Asha the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Rooted Location: 1313 NE Alberta St. in the style and flavor of Southern India, Hours: Tues.–Thurs., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Tiffin Asha boasts creative fusion using Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. local ingredients. Phone: 503-936-7663 The famous dosa, a crepe-like round; that crispy along the edges and tender nasha yet chewy is rolled artfully with local compoTwitter: @TiffinAshaPDX nents. Make sure you also try cleverly-infused inventions like the Hot Chick: pakora-fried Bones & Bits chicken drizzled with black cardamom-inLocation: NW 19th and Quimby, Q19 fused honey, pickled greens, and creamy Hours: Weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. yogurt cheese; and the Smokey Shroom: fried Phone: 503-847-9492 egg, local mushrooms, caramelized onions, and Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue. If you By Brock Daniels

For a listing of amazing food trucks in your neighborhood, visit


QUEER APERTURE Through his Queer Aperture project, photographer Jeffrey Horvitz has spent years documenting the LGBTQ communities of Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C. He’s well aware that a picture paints a whole mess of words, but here he offers a few actual words to better acquaint us with his dynamic subjects. What is your name? Karol Collymore How long have you lived in Portland? 10 years When was the first time you noticed that gayness existed? High school volleyball — my coach’s sister was a lesbian, as was a teammate. What would you consider a guilty pleasure? I feel moderately guilty when I have champagne with Cupcake Jones cupcakes, specifically carrot cake and limoncello. The big ones.

Photo by Jeffrey Horvitz

Your having a dinner party of six; whom would you invite? I’d invite Michelle and Barack

Obama, Stevie Wonder, and then two really good friends so we could have great conversation and even better music. What would you consider a perfect meal? A perfect meal is anything that involves the friends I love, delicious pork tacos (pork anything, really), and a bag Juanita’s with guacamole. Or, any holiday meal made by my mother. What would be a perfect day off? Waking up knowing I had six more days off after that one. Favorite book? “The Corrections,” Jonathan Franzen Favorite movie? “The Color Purple”

Favorite word? Heart Least favorite word? No Favorite swear word? I don’t swear; I’m a lady. What is your profession? E x e c u t i v e D i r e c t o r, E q u i t y Foundation I f yo u c o u l d c h a n g e yo u r profession with a snap of a finger, what would you like to do? Interior design Whom would you like to meet, dead or alive? Michelle Obama

For more Queer Aperture visit,

ASTROSCOPES WITH MISS RENEE Miss Renee aka Tarot Chick is an empath, tarot card reader, and spiritual astrologer of 20 years based out of N. Portland’s Kenton neighborhood. She loves love notes so feel free to holla or schedule a tarot/astrology chart session: well, on time, and as inexpensively as possible. A revamp of your initial blueprint/ timeline may be in order and could be a good thing in the end. An unexpected/unlikely friendship blooming surprises you. #Saywhaat? Cancer: “Home is where the heart is” holds doubly true for you now, specifically when it comes to entertaining, decorating, and all things ‘home-ecky’. Your mind, however, with a grouping of planets in the Aries: 3rd house (communication/processing) is in data Hopefully that yummy new moon in Leo Aug. 6 lifted organizing overload. Make your world a blend of your mood and left you feeling more loving,creative spreadsheets/sticky notes, midday namaste, and and expressive. Venus entering your house of relabedding shopping. tionships offers a soothing balm to flagging relationships — making it a great time to mend fences, Leo: as well as opening floodgates to party invites. Shift Early August gave Tribe Leo insights and a silver in health regimens likely. tongue making articulation of ideas/dreams/plans

Miss Renee aka Tarot Chick. Email her to make an apointment

Taurus: Bulls aren’t just turning heads lately, their breakin’ necks! Planetary grouping in your 5th house of fun/ romance/creativity + the second full moon in 30 days in your 10th house (Career/Reputation) puts all eyes on you. Use this moment, quiet child of Venus, to SHINE! The good vibes spill over onto co-workers, too. #supahstah!

come more easily, a theme which luckily continues through September as charming Venus transits your house of communication. Mid-August-September puts focus on finances, pricing your work/ knowing your worth, and building the confidence to follow through.

Virgo: A grouping of planets in your 1st house (Identity) asks you to contemplate the face you’re showing Gemini: the world and if that persona/image fits/serves Full tilt inspirations from late July shift your view you any longer. A blue moon in your 6th house to a more practical lens, i.e.; getting things done

(Work/Health/Habits) provides the fuel for heart- as the Universe will be speaking to you through felt changes in health via alternative medicines/ others. #nowbounce methods, and restructuring/ reevaluating your job. Capricorn: #Dressforthejobyouwant “Mixing work with play?!” gasps Capricorn, but you Libra: could do that quite well now. Venus dances her way It’s gettin’ real Meta, Tribe Libra. Specifically through your house of Career, giving you a glowing regarding the ones that “got away.” Planetary appeal, and maybe even an admirer. Great time to cocktail mixing in your 12th house (Subconcious/ schmooze and ask for a raise/favors as this corHidden), 1st house (Identity,) 5th house responds with full blue moon in your finance/self(Romance/Self Expression/Fun), and 7th house worth sector. (Relationships) asks not only who do you love but more importantly; why? Silver lining: Meditation Aquarius: boosts creativity, solutions, attracts unique new Irony: Aquarius’ key phrase is “I Know” and the lesson for Aquarius this month is that the more friends. you learn the more you realize you know nothing. Scorpio: Intense planetary action in the 1st house (IdenYour hustle’s in full effect around finding balance tity), 3rd house (Mental processing), and 8th house between work and home/family as your values start (Depth psychology/Death-Rebirth) have you quesshifting focus from one to the other. Find changes tioning/redefining what you thought you knew. you can make in daily living to ease the transition. #puffpuffpass Spending time with friends currently living their dreams lifts you up. Secret crushes and/or hidden Pisces: Balancing private down time and the influx of talents likely revealed. Hayyyy! people in your world isn’t always easy. But it will Sagittarius: be necessary this month with a powerful full blue Over the next month your life, much like success- moon in your 12th house (Hidden/Subconscious). ful twerking, requires you to keep it loose and flex- This is a great time to get your “Ohm” on and get ible. Mid-month planetary action may trigger unex- in touch with/unearth what’s been brewing beneath pected plan shifts, so try not to get too attached to the surface. any one route/idea. Keep your eyes and ears open August-September 2013 • 37


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40 • August-September 2013