PORTLAND BEING ONLY the second city on the globe to host an all-queer documentary film festival doesn't so much inspire surprise as it represents honor and badassery. Keeping itself queered comes naturally to our city—especially throughout June, our gubernatorially proclaimed LGBT Pride Month. Leading up to Portland Pride (this year, our notorious three-day waterfront celebration runs from June 17-19) is another event promising good times and community strengthening: QDoc!
Also known as the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival, the five-year-old QDoc focuses on connecting documentarians with their audiences, and great effort is put into instilling awareness in attendees both queer and hetero. Naturally, an indefinable sense of "fabulousness" is a proper way to kick off any queer affair, which explains the opening night selection, Arias with a Twist (Thurs June 2). The intertwining artistic paths of Joey Arias and Basil Twist gifted New York (and the world) with an unmatched fusion of performance artistry, puppetry, and wicked amounts of moxie. Director Bobby Sheehan's film tells the story of how the duo focused their strengths into a stage extravaganza fit for both glitter aficionados and artists. Arias will be in attendance for the screening.
A few days later, Becoming Chaz (Sun June 5) closes out QDoc, with directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato following tabloid target (and son of Sonny and Cher) Chaz Bono, focusing on his gender reassignment process. Also touching on his ventures into trans youth advocacy and his early life as the daughter of one of the world's most famous couples, Becoming Chaz is intimate and emotional, thanks to Bono's raw forthrightness.
Other screenings include Hit So Hard: The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel (Fri June 3), about Hole's former drummer; On These Shoulders We Stand (Sat June 4), a look at gay life in Los Angeles from the '50s through the '70s; and Inspired: The Voices Against Prop 8 (Sun June 5), which examines the grassroots movement that sprung up in response to California's controversial proposition banning same-sex marriage.