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June 16th, 2004 Aaron Scott | Special Section Stories
 

It's a Pride Thing

A guide to Pride for straight people.

     
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PRIDE PARADE
IMAGE: ANNE REESER
At Willamette Week, we know gay events can be a bit mysterious to the average straight Joe and Jane. In our effort to help you decide what to attend, we've picked our favorites and rated them according to the "Ewww" Factor, so you know just how comfortable with alternative lifestyles you need to be to enjoy them.

PORTLAND PRIDE FESTIVAL AT THE WATERFRONT

The gay Rose Fest. They've got booths: clothing booths, food booths, political booths, and tons of booths where actual kids can play games. They've got speakers: a stage with national speakers, local speakers, and award-winning comedians. They've got throngs of people of all sexual persuasions mingling and enjoying the sunshine. And there's a beer garden--it wouldn't be Portland without it. Come for the sun, stay for the good-natured diversity.

EWWW FACTOR: 3 You might have to explain some of the clothing (or non-clothing) choices and bumper stickers to the kids, but otherwise it's people having fun in the sun like any other waterfront fest.

Tom McCall Waterfront Park, www.pridenw.org. Noon-11 pm Saturday, noon-6 pm Sunday, June 19-20. $5 suggested donation. All ages.

DYKE MARCH

Imagine hundreds of dykes, bisexual women, trannies, feminists, and their supporters with loudspeakers and motorcycles, whipped to a political fervor and marching against sexism, homophobia and The Man. If that image scares you, then steer clear of the Dyke March. But if it gets your political juices flowing, then stake out your sidewalk spot for what is often the most energetic and political of Pride events. It's a particularly good opportunity for straight women to get a charge of feminism, and for straight men to support their queer, straight and otherwise sisters.

EWWW FACTOR: 8 Not for the light of queer hearted. Strong women will fit in fine. Supportive boys are accepted, but don't you boys go ogling at the shirtless dykes or you'll face the fate of Orpheus.

North Park Blocks, Northwest Park Avenue and Davis Street, 460-3473. Gather at 6:30 pm, march at 7 pm Saturday, June 19. (donations appreciated). All ages.

PRIDE PARADE

Bring the kids for the third-largest and, ahem, most colorful parade of the year. Chances are almost inescapable that you have a GLBT family member, boss, neighbor or lover, and this is your chance to show your support. The Lofton-Croteau family (who are fighting Florida's discriminatory adoption laws) will preside as grand marshals.

EWWW FACTOR: 1 The most offensive things you'll see are a few protesters and a few outfits best suited for late-night cable television.

Starting at Northwest Glisan and 15th Avenue and winding through downtown to Tom McCall Waterfront Park, www.pridenw.org. Starts 11:15 am Sunday, June 20. All ages.

PEACOCK IN THE PARK

Gays, lesbians and everyone in between gather at the Washington Park Amphitheater to watch Poison, Maria and every other drag queen in town celebrate the gentle spirit of Lady Elaine Peacock. This is the last one ever, so it's sure to go out with a bang.

EWWW FACTOR: 5 Chances are if you're cute, you're going to get hit on, or at least looked at. Be flattered.

Washington Park Amphitheater, www.peacockinthepark.com. 2:30-6 pm Sunday, June 27. All ages.


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