Burnside Triangle

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Rainbow flag displayed in the Burnside Triangle, near the intersection of West Burnside Street, Southwest 13th Avenue, and Southwest Stark Street

The Burnside Triangle, also known as Pink Triangle,[1] was a triangular district in Portland, Oregon, United States, known for its relatively higher density of LGBT and gay-friendly businesses.[2]

Description and history[edit]

The Burnside Triangle was centered on Southwest Stark Street and comprises a triangular set of city blocks that anchors the north end and acts as a welcoming space to the district drawing visitors throughout the region to many different meeting spots, including bars and nightclubs.[3]

The gay liberation, lesbian feminism, and the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s helped bring attention to the problems faced by the people in the LGBT community. Before this period, they had no civil rights or protections in employment, housing, or public accommodations. In addition, gay, bisexual, and transgender people did not have advocacy programs in their community; therefore, they constituted a largely invisible population. However, Burnside Triangle helped those in the LGBT community feel as though they were not invisible by providing bars and clubs as social gatherings.[3]

The Burnside Triangle housed a combination of gay-friendly businesses such as independent shops, restaurants, housing, and social services.[4] According to Go Gay Today, some of the businesses in this area that should be visited included, “The Egyptian Room, gay-popular Palio Café, the McMenamins Bagdad Pub and adjacent McMenamins Bagdad Theater, Bread and Ink Cafe, the Cup & Saucer Café and Vincente’s Pizza.” The Burnside Triangle is also known for their gay bars, including the infamous Three Sisters, Silverado, Scandals, and Boxxes. In 2007, in an article about Portland's appeal to "queer travelers" (particularly lesbians), The Advocate noted that men dominate the bars and nightclubs along Stark Street and the Burnside Triangle.[5] In 2008, Willamette Week said the Downtown Portland district "underwent a complete renaissance and is now thoroughly established as a LGBT enclave stretching over several energetic city blocks. The influence of Burnside spreads into nearby neighborhoods including the Pearl District (a former industrial section of old Portland that now booms with art and commerce) and the rather upscale and upbeat Northwest neighborhood."[6]

Gay Friendly[edit]

According to Go Gay Today, Portland, Oregon is one of the gay-friendliest cities in America. It is known for being very warm and very welcoming to everyone. There is no specific gay ghetto; therefore, the gay and gay-friendly establishments are everywhere.[4] It is commonly compared to the city of San Francisco because of their high percentage of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Go Gay Today website says, "while San Francisco is ranked first, Portland Metro region has the second highest percent of LBGT residents of any metropolitan area in the nation. About 5.5 percent of adults in the Portland area identify as LGBT".[7] This is a large jump from 1990, when Portland was ranked 11th in the nation. Portland is made up of many gay-friendly neighborhoods, including the Burnside Triangle.


  1. ^ "ON THE ROCKS OR BLENDED: THE FUTURE OF THE GAY BAR". PQ Monthly. May 16, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  2. ^ Notman, Alex (February 14, 2013). "Gay Friendly?". Eugene Weekly. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Portland: District retail strategies phase I report". 
  4. ^ a b "Gay Portland". GoGayToday. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  5. ^ Mulholland, Aefa (July 13, 2007). "Portland is for (lesbian) lovers". The Advocate. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ Beck, Byron (July 3, 2008). "In The Gay-tto: Portland Queer Hood Comes In at #". Willamette Week. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Portland has second highest percent of LGBT residents for metro regions". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°31′18″N 122°40′55″W / 45.5218°N 122.6819°W / 45.5218; -122.6819