back in august, a friend of mine in new york left me a message on my facebook wall: “Am i missing out on queer greatness by not being in PDX?”
and i’d like to believe we’re building something amazing in portland.
two years ago mikiel and i played together under the name djs ride or die. in the window of bar bar we djed at the beginning of a february queerlandia.
one of the best things about portland is its long history. mikiel and i started playing music at our friend john’s party. john has been throwing parties and djing for a while. through him i know a history of queer parties and events and communities back through booty and the original eagle and blow pony, through zebra and sissyboy, through gay culture on stark street. back through decades, back through a time many of us cannot know or remember.
at rooster rock two summers back mikiel and i started to think about throwing our own event, what that would look like, what we would want it to sound like, for whom we would be hosting this event. hot summer days and it was easy to daydream. but it was also at rooster rock that we ran into our friend kevin who put us in touch with alan, the owner of produce row, and our summer daydreams started to concretize.
a tea party: a queer afternoon day-drinking social event on the patio of produce row cafe. six hours, six djs.
january one year ago saw the first bridge club.
the crew that throws bridge club with us has become so invaluable. bridge club could never have worked out, never become established without all the djs and artists who invest so much into the event: rob (orographic) and brendan (pocket rock-it) and ryan (gossip cat) and john (huf n’ stuf). shawn brought an incredible look, flawless design. terrance brought his passion for early americana, for 78s and jazz and american music. each dj, each artist has brought with him a unique style, unique influences, and flawless art. together these men created an atmosphere, an environment, a beauty.
and this group of artists make and produce and dj and create art and music with so many others here in portland, at other events, for other communities. bridge club is a node in the dialogue with other parties and other parts of the queer community, with other aspects of portland life. it’s not just the amazing guest djs that have graced bridge club with their talent: mercedes and l-train and rafael from the miracles club and bruce la bruiser and dundiggy and eric hansen and nark (our guest today). i’m talking about the entire community. i’m talking about all the other parties and party people in portland. bridge club is in dialogue, creating something larger, putting together a larger community with other events: gaycation and bent (though ended) and hey, queen and twerk and queerlandia. we’re talking about a larger community; we’re building history on a long trajectory.
i love the people that throw these parties. and i love the people that attend these parties. and i love that in portland we come out and dance and we come out and talk and we come out and argue and flirt and kiss and create and invest. we’re all fully formed, free agents. we’re not just queer. we are djs and designers and artists and musicians. we’re psychologists and journalists and financiers and professors and politicians. we queer and so much more. we interact on so many levels. we come from so many different places, from so many different backgrounds, invested in so many different disciplines.