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THE MERCURY'S TOP 10 PRIDE PICKS!!

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1. PORTLAND DRAG RACE—Who says drag queens aren't physically fit? How do you think they balance those heavy wigs, and walk in those high heels? Finally everyone will be able to witness the most physically demanding spectacle of the season: the Portland Drag Race. Watch in awe (or participate yourself) as throngs of gorgeous queens put on their most stylish gowns and rhinestone Nikes, and dash a grueling mile-long course. WHO is Portland's fastest drag racer? See for yourself! (Note to fans of conventional drag racing: It isn't what you think.) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

North Park Blocks, NW Davis & Broadway, Sun June 14, registration at 9:45 am, race at 11:15 am, register at terrapinevents.com

2. GLORY HOLE-LLELUJAH!—Disco fabulosity! Head-bobbing BJs! Enormous fake dicks! And that's only in the first five minutes. This brilliantly titled new solo performance ceremoniously sends up and celebrates every messy, jizz-stained part of being a single, love-seeking gay dude in the age of Craigslist. STEPHEN MARC BEAUDOIN

Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, Fri June 12 & Sat June 13, 10:30 pm, $5-8

3. BLOCK PARTY—Sunday is for relaxing and taking it easy... Stark Street style, with mad dancing, entertaining, and fun galore. The fifth annual Pride block party is a benefit for the Q-Center, with performances by burlesque troupes Rose City Sirens and Burlesquire, fat beats from Automaton and Harmonix, and other lovely Pride goodness from Poison Waters and Lady Bunny. So it's pretty much the best Sunday of the year. COURTNEY FERGUSON

w/Lonnie Gordon, Jacinta, Filthy Rich, FSO DJ; Boxxes, 1025 SW Stark, Sun June 14, 1 pm

4. PORTLAND PRIDE WATERFRONT FESTIVAL—Two full days of back-to-back entertainment on three stages, the action on the Waterfront is the belly of the beast for all things Pride. 2009's theme is "United We Stand," in reference to both the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and a year that's tested the queer community and its supporters on both the national (gay marriage legislation), and local (Hi, Sam. Hi, Beau.) stages. Two points of particular intrigue on the schedule: co-headlining up-and-coming African American lesbian rapper Melange Lavonne, and lady electro-poppers with the PJ Harvey, inspired name of Uh Huh Her. MARJORIE SKINNER

Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 SW Naito, Sat-Sun, June 13-14, FREE

5. BALLET—The Oregon Ballet Theatre's Rush/Robbins may not be an official Pride-sanctioned event, but that's no reason not to spotlight the hardworking homos involved in this program, from hot young choreographer Christopher Wheeldon to the late, legendary bi director/choreographer Jerome Robbins. Here the OBT company—which, under the artistic direction of Chris Stowell, might boast a queer or two itself—reprises Wheeldon's Rush, as well as tackling three Robbins-choreographed dances, including Debussy's Afternoon of a Faun and Chopin's The Concert. ALISON HALLETT

Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay, Fri June 5 at 7:30 pm, Sat June 6 at 2 & 7:30 pm, Sun June 7 at 2 pm, $15-122

6. PORTLAND IS BURNING—Throw off the layers of plaid and get hot to trot over to the New York-style dance party that, true to its name, lights some fires. But unlike in NYC, everyone—queer and straight—keeps their sense of humor at this packed DJ night. It's the kind of friendly party where you're encouraged to play with matches until you find a buddy with whom you can stop, drop, and roll. SARAH MIRK

Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th, Fri June 12, 9 pm, $3

7. MARS ON BROADWAY—Cabaret star and five-time Drammy winner Susannah Mars performs Broadway favorites from musicals like Rent, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, and My Fair Lady along with the Portland Gay Men's Chorus, whose artistic director has described the event as "the frosting on our 29th season." Now, how could you turn down frosting, eh? Certainly not when the Portland Gay Men's Chorus wants you to lick its bowl. MATT DAVIS

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Sat June 13, 7:30 pm, $21-33

8. LATINO GAY PRIDE FESTIVAL—Portland Latino Gay Pride has designs to attack the struggle of equality with the force and cunning of a Mexican wrestler. A sexy Mexican wrestler. Their theme for this year's Latino Gay Pride festival at the Jupiter Hotel is La Lucha ("The Struggle"), and is sure to be chockfull of hot wrestling action. PATRICK ALAN COLEMAN

Jupiter Hotel, 800 E Burnside, Sun June 7, 4-8 pm

9. GAY DECEIVERS—On their debut, Let it Come True, Portland's Gay Deceivers have created a surprising amalgam of familiar sounds. Rumbling, mossy, riot grrrl riffs sit on top of jerky, mechanical beats, and the off-kilter songwriting ranges from mundane subjects like playing videogames to more expansive issues like global politics and gender issues, but even the weightier topics are given a quirky, dance-pop buoyancy. Tonight celebrates the album's release on Sarah Dougher's Cherchez la Femme label as part of the FAME queer dance night. NED LANNAMANN

Portsmouth Club, 5262 N Lombard, Wed June 10, 10 pm, FREE

10. PORTLAND QUEER READING—Lit Star Press has released a très gay anthology of personal narratives from some of the Rose City's most celebrated queer lit stars (Tom Spanbauer, Ariel Gore, Marc Acito), as well as some noteworthy up and comers (Jacob Anderson-Minshall, Donal Mosher, Colleen Siviter). Spanbauer and Siviter are joined by contributors Michael Sage Ricci and Dexter Flowers for a "coming out" reading and party that celebrates the anthology's release. STEPHEN MARC BEAUDOIN

Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, Mon June 8, 7 pm, FREE

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