Okay, so here you are getting ready for Pride. You've pulled out the rainbow tie-dyed shirt, your leather ass-less chaps (aren't all chaps ass-less?) or maybe that gay little frock you only wear once a year—and then it's downtown to the Pride Parade. Oh! Yes! This year we will see it all: from bare-breasted lesbians to men without their trousers. With so many choices, I—the reigning Miss Portland Gay Pride—must share my advice on how to get your Pride freak on this weekend.
Best Bet #1: Okay, I love lesbians and they love me. No, really, it's a law. This Pride has more for the women than ever before. You get two chances to check out God-Des & She. This is a sexy, all-female hiphop duo based in New York City, who appeared in last year's finale of The L Word. They're cool, hip, profane, totally hot, and they appear on the Pride Main Stage Saturday afternoon—and again, later that night, at the Wonder Ballroom.
Best Bet #2: For lots of my male friends, Pride is about the dick. Nothing beats a bunch of hot, shirtless men worshipping at my feet. Under U 4 Men, the awesome men's underwear store on Broadway downtown, is importing the Ginch Gonch Boys (from NYC) to appear at Pride, and a special invite-only event at Boxxes on Stark. These boys will get your knickers in a twist. They are hot, cool, and remember—in the underwear world, less is more.
Best Bet #3: Cascade AIDS Men's Wellness Center celebrates their anniversary on Thursday, June 14. It is a great organization that has helped hundreds of gay men get back on their feet and regain their health. Support them. Love them.
Best Bet #4: Check out Lawanda Jackson and Christopher Peterson. Jackson is the world's best Tina Turner impersonator, period. She is in the Divas in the Park show Sunday on the Mainstage following the Parade, and at Embers on Saturday night. The bitch kicks ass. And Peterson is a rarity of drag queens—she sings live, and I mean SINGS. She sings as Julie Andrews (the whole, "Do-Re-Mi" song) and does this incredible stage bit where she starts out as Judy Garland (again, LIVE) and ends up as Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli—all on stage right before your eyes. Talent like this has nothing to do with drag, it has to do with being an exceptional talent. Peterson's at Darcelle's during Pride week.
Best Bet #5: Dan Savage hosts Pride this Sunday. Okay, I know you love Dan, famed for his Savage Love column right here in the Portland Mercury. This is your chance to see Dan all blisteringly funny and on stage. Savage is always cool, and always funny. Check this man out.
Those are my best bets. I've tried to find something for everyone: lesbians, gay men, community activists, cross-dressing drag queens and their friends, and even you straight folks out there. Come on down to the Waterfront, enjoy the weather, listen to the hot music, and have some Thai BBQ! I will be the hot drag queen schlepping on the Mainstage—stop by, say hello, and feel free to rub my feet.