LGBT culture in Portland, Oregon

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Rainbow flag displayed in the Burnside Triangle, 2006

LGBT culture in Portland, Oregon is an important part of Pacific Northwest culture.


Portland's annual pride parade is primarily organized by Pride Northwest. Peacock in the Park is another annual event, running from 1987 to 2005, and, again, from 2014 to the present. The La Femme Magnifique International Pageant is an annual drag pageant.

In 2011, Hands Across Hawthorne was organized in response to an attack on two men who were holding hands on the Hawthorne Bridge, with over 4,000 attendees.[1]

Gay bathhouses[edit]

Gay bathhouses operating in Portland include Hawks PDX (2012–present) and Steam Portland (since 2003). Club Portland closed in 2007.


  • Portland vice scandal
  • Burnside Triangle
  • Jeannace June Freeman's murder of lesbian partner at Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint (1961)
  • "Lesbian Roommate" obscenity trial[2][3]
  • Resolution Number 31510
  • WomanShare and other lesbian land movements[4]
  • Ballot Measure 8 (1988), ruled unconstitutional in 1993
  • 1989 Hate Crimes Law
  • Tanner vs OHSU domestic partner lawsuit, 1991
  • 1992 Springfield anti-equal-rights ballot measure passes
  • 1992 statewide anti-gay Measure 9 rejected
  • 1994 statewide anti-gay Measure 13 rejected
  • 2000 statewide anti-gay Measure 9 rejected
  • 2004 gay marriages briefly take place in Multnomah County, ruled illegal 2005
  • 2004 statewide constitutional Measure 36 gay marriage ban
  • 2007 statewide anti-discrimination bill
  • 2018 The City of Portland renames a 13-block stretch of Southwest Stark Street to commemorate Harvey Milk


Sam Adams, 2012

Notable LGBT individuals include:


1125 Southwest Stark Street in 2015; formerly occupied by Three Sisters Tavern, the space now houses Scandals, a gay bar.

Currently operating LGBT drinking establishments and nightclubs include:CC Slaughters, Crush Bar, Eagle Portland, Hobo's, Scandals (1979–present), Silverado, and Stag PDX (2015–present)[5] (formerly known as Joq's Tavern,[6][7] or simply Joq's). Silverado and Stag are also strip clubs.

Monthly Blow Pony dances were established in Portland by Airick Redwolf in 2007. Inferno monthly dance parties hosted by Hot Flash Productions owner/operators DJ Wildfire (Jenn Davis) and Armida Hanlon that first began in Portland in 2004 and are now held regularly in Portland and Seattle.[8][9]

Defunct establishments include Egyptian Club (1995–2010), Gail's Dirty Duck Tavern,[10] Red Cap Garage (1987–2012), Starky's, and Three Sisters Tavern (1964–2004), which also operated as a strip club. Embers Avenue, established during the 1970s,[11] and Escape Nightclub both closed in 2017.[12]


Queer Horror is an ongoing bi-monthly film festival that is shown at the Hollywood Theatre.[13] The Portland Queer Film Festival, formerly known as the Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, has been running for more than twenty years and takes place at Cinema 21.[14] The Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival screens LGBTQ documentaries.[15]


Oregon Bears representation at the Portland pride parade, 2015
Exterior of the Q Center, 2014
Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence outside popular gay bar, Starky's, in 2009.

LGBT rights organization Basic Rights Oregon is based in Portland. Local LGBT-oriented organizations include Cascade AIDS Project, Q Center, and Bradley Angle which offers LGBTQ domestic violence services. Others include:


LGBT publications have included Cascade Voice, Just Out, PQ Monthly, and The Eagle.[20]


  1. ^ "Portlanders Line Bridge to Protest Violence". The Advocate. Here Media. June 1, 2011. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  2. ^ Whitney Strub. "Lavender, Menaced Lesbianism, Obscenity Law, and the Feminist Antipornography Movement" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  3. ^ "431 F.2d 272". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  4. ^ Heather Jo Burmeister. "Rural Revolution: Documenting the Lesbian Land Communities of Southern Oregon". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  5. ^ "Portland's Best Gay Bars and Hangouts". Eater Portland. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  6. ^ Beck, Byron (2014-10-02). "The Top 12 Gay Clubs in Portland". GoLocalPDX. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  7. ^ Beyer, Whitney (2014-02-03). "If you're queer, go here!". Daily Vanguard. Portland State University. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  8. ^ "Hot Flash kicks off 10th year with a nod to the next generation". Your #ProudQueer News Source CA+OR+WA. Retrieved 2017-06-28.
  9. ^ "Inferno". Hot Flash Productions. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  10. ^ Segall, Eli (2009-12-21). "Trouble ahead for the Dirty Duck – Daily Journal of Commerce". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  11. ^ "Thursday is the final night to dance at Embers, one of Portland's last gay dance clubs". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  12. ^ June, Sophia (February 1, 2017). "Portland's Long-Running Underage Gay Night Club The Escape Has Closed, And Can't Find a New Space". Willamette Week. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  13. ^ "Queer Horror for the Holidays Delivers Nightmares Before Christmas". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2017-06-28.
  14. ^ "Portland Queer Film Festival - Portland Movie Times". Portland Mercury. Retrieved 2017-06-28.
  15. ^ "Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2017-06-28.
  16. ^ "Lesbian dragon boat team Amazons still paddling after 20 years in water". Retrieved 2017-06-28.
  17. ^ "PORTLAND DYKES ON BIKES". Dykes On Bikes PDX. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  18. ^ Beck, Byron. "Bear Trap". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  19. ^ James, Evan. "The Masculine Mystique". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  20. ^ Nicola, George T. (December 2, 2014). "Periodical Print Mass Media in the Oregon LGBTQ Movement". GLAPN Northwest LGBTQ History. Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest. Retrieved May 8, 2019.

External links[edit]