Queer Guide 2024

The Mercury's 2024 Queer Guide: Endless Queer Summer

Rainbow signs in windows are legion, and Portland's queer summer is endless.

All Pride All the Time

There’s something happening every weekend, as we count down to Portland Pride!

Kathleen Hanna Is Making a Documentary About Darcelle XV

Fun fact: The riot grrrl punk singer is Walter Cole's second cousin.

Q Marks the Spot

For two decades, the Q Center has been a safe haven for the LGBTQ2SIA+ community—and they have even bigger dreams for the future.

Find Queer Comedy Tonight!

Our roundup of the best queer (and queer adjacent) comedy shows in Portland.

We Are in Cinema's Golden Age of the Lesbian Dirtbag

Celebrate Pride with lesbian cinema! Without crying, for once!

EverOut's 2024 Pride Event Calendar

Don't miss a minute of fun during this year's Queer Summer!


You don't have to be queer to figure out these puzzles... but it helps!

This Portland Gay Bar Is Opening a Family-Friendly LGBTQIA+ Lounge

Since spring, we've wondered about "Scandals East." Here's the plan.


Target Is Canonically Gay! Did the Founding Fathers Kiss Dudes?

A Portland Drag Clown in Residence at the Venice Biennale

Artist Jeffery Gibson invited Carla Rossi to climb his installation on the US pavilion.

Queer Bars in Portland, a History

Silverado was once Flossie's; Lowensdale Park was once a place to cruise—take a brief dive into a history of our city's queer spaces.

Mona Chrome Is—Ironically Enough—a "Walking Crayon Box"

Gary Barnes sees drag as a way to combine their passions for painting, costume design, and dance—all at once!


Northeast Portland neighborhood wine bar Bonne Chance built a queer clientele on allyship and Malört.

Queer Guide Comic: COVID-Safer Pride Guide

Protect your ability to party—and protest—this Pride!

Queer Eye for the Pedalpalooza Ride

Portland leads the way in welcoming riders of all genders and sexualities.

The Long Road to Justice

As the American legal landscape for LGBTQ+ residents 
grows hostile, Oregon works to enshrine rights for all.

Where to Find a Queer-Owned Bar or Restaurant Near You

Fourteen spots to try during Portland Pride Summer—and beyond!

The Future of HIV Treatment Is Injectable

Promising prugs could expand treatment–if we get out of our own way.

[Find the Mercury's Queer Guide in print—available in more than 500 spots citywide!—eds.]

Portland’s comedy scene is, hands down, one of the best in the nation, and that includes a tsunami of LGBTQ+ comedians and queer based (and adjacent) comedy shows. Seriously... there are so many! Here’s a roundup of some of the best—and most inventive—queer comedy nights in the Portland area, for whenever you need a laugh!

Be Gay, Do Crime

One of the funniest (and most educational!) comedy shows in town, Be Gay, Do Crime features a storytelling format in which comedians share stories about their fave queer “rebel” icons throughout history. Host Jenna Britann says the show grew out of “a desire to connect to our trailblazing LGBTQ+ ancestors that came before us—many of whom are neglected or straight-washed in our history books.” Co-hosted by Joe John Sanchez III, Be Gay, Do Crime is instructional, goofy, and thoughtful, with an extra dash of fun provided by audience members who share their own past “crimes” for the riffing pleasure of guest comedians (who have included Mx. Dahlia Belle and Armaaan Singh)—and yep, there are prizes to be had as well!
Schilling Cider House, 930 SE 10th, fourth Sunday of the month, 7 pm, $5

The Bechdel Set

Here’s one of those delightful “queer adjacent” shows that’s both hilarious and unapologetically feminist. It takes its name from the Bechdel Test, a litmus test to measure the representation of women in film, fiction, and in this case? Comedy. Local powerhouse performers such as Arlo Weierhauser, Adam Pasi, Kirsten Kuppenbender, Julia Corral, and Neeraj Srinivasan perform sets that are judged by the audience for their ability to pass the Bechdel Test—so in short, a lot of laughs, and occasionally squirmy fun, hosted by the very funny Jenna Britann and Quinne Salameh.

Haymaker, 1233 N Killingsworth, second Tuesday of the month, 8 pm, $5-10 suggested donation or GAYAF (Give As You’re Able, Friend!)

Defiant Joy

Hosted by the very busy Joe John Sanchez III, Defiant Joy is billed as an “anything-goes comedy showcase that includes storytelling, characters, clowning, live music, and surprise guests” with an all-queer lineup (such as Riley McCarthy, Kirsten Kuppenbender, and Lee H Tillman) as well as the occasional “designated ally.” It’s a great introduction to the local queer comedy scene!

McMenamins Al’s Den, 303 SW 12th, third Sunday of the month, 7 pm, $10-15

Exquisite Nonsense

If you like a lot of queer variety in your life, then you’ll almost certainly enjoy the exquisite nonsense of the newest comedy show on the scene, Exquisite Nonsense. Launched in February 2024, host Joe John Sanchez III brings you this hilarious queer adjacent variety show, where you might see anything and everything, including drag performers, storytellers, stand-up, clowns, improvisers, and any of the various weirdos who populate the wonderful world of Portland comedy. Sanchez says that audience members can always expect the show to be “kind of gay and very weird.” Sounds exquisite enough to us!

Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th, first Sunday of the month, 7 pm, $10 or GAYAF (Give As You’re Able, Friend!)

Fluid Comedy

Hosted by queer powerhouse duo Joe John Sanchez III and Jenna Britann, Fluid Comedy is a welcoming, safe pocket of hilarity for queers and audiences who love to laugh. But don’t arrive with any expectations, because this show features varying themes and formats every month (which threaten to launch into totally different directions at any moment—such as “Who Died and Made You King?” in which comics perform as their drag king alter-egos). According to co-host Britann, you can look forward to “creative, thematic hooks, experimental comedy formats, and a commitment to sharing diverse and alternative
voices in the comedy and drag scenes.”

Underbar, 1701 1/2 Broadway, Vancouver, WA, third Sunday of the month, 6 pm, $5-20 suggested or GAYAF (Give As You’re Able, Friend!)

Joe John Sanchez III and Jenna Britann at Fluid Comedy. Courtesy fluid comedy

Hear You Loud & Queer

Throwing the spotlight on your fave LGBTQIA+ comedians of the Pacific Northwest, hosts Mack and Ally J Ward welcome you to Hear You Loud & Queer (HYL&Q) which, according to Ward, is an “energetic show that celebrates authentic queer experiences with curated playlists, great fashion, and audience participation.” Featuring banger lineups that have in the past included Mx. Dahlia Belle, Andy Iwancio. Ronnie Macaroni, Joe John Sanchez III, Bailey Pope, Carlos Kareem Windham, Arlo Weierhauser, Imani, Moises Da Silva, Riley McCarthy, and lots more, HYL&Q is a hilarious way for those wanting to experience pure queer joy in person. (And if you want to see up ‘n’ coming talent—or try getting up on stage yourself—check out the HYL&Q monthly open mic.)

Portland Pickles Public House, 3932 N Mississippi, second Wednesday of the month, 7 pm, $0-$10; Schilling Cider House, 930 SE 10th, third Thursday of the month, 7 pm, free; Open Mics (sign up on Instagram @hearyouloudandqueer), Schilling Cider House, 930 SE 10th, first Thursday of the month, 7 pm, free; Mutantis Cult Brewery, 6719 NE 18th, third Sunday of the month, 5 pm, free

Lez Stand Up

Considered one of the first (and still best) Portland queer comedy shows, Lez Stand Up kicked off in 2011, and has been entertaining the city with their lez-tastic joy ever since. After taking a pandemic break, Lez Stand Up (along with hosts Kirsten Kuppenbender and Arlo Weierhauser) came roaring back, now regularly selling out shows at the Siren Theater and providing a safe place for audiences who have historically been the butt of cis jokes. While you’ll always see the top level of Portland talent here, don’t be surprised to also catch national comedians (such as Irene Tu, Brittani Nichols, Fortune Feimster, and more) dropping by as well.

Siren Theater, 3913 N Mississippi, every six to eight weeks, 8 pm, $15

Magic Tea Party

This monthly queer-based Dungeons & Dragons comedy show (!) is produced by Dungeon Master Juliet Mylan, and has a truckload of funny regulars, including Jenna Britann, Riley McCarthy, Cosmo Reynolds, and Quinne Salameh, playing oddball D&D characters. Magic Tea Party promises nerd-a-licious theater games, improv, lots of comedy, and a litany of the bad decisions that are consistently derived from playing (you guessed it) D&D.

Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, third Sunday of the month, 7:30 pm, GAYAF (Give As You’re Able, Friend!)

Rachael Ivy in the Not That Late Show. jesse newell

Not That Late Show

Rachael Young, Lizzy Rees, and Victoria Spelman—who span the queer spectrum—are your hosts for a madcap, sometimes charmingly crude evening of talk show fun, titled Not That Late Show (NTLS). Like its late night predecessors, NTLS specializes in funny monologues, comedians (as well as improvised guests), live music, pre-taped commercial sketches, and lots of surprises. As host Young puts it, “It’s a flirty, weird, fun time. We also have chili dogs!” Umm... where do we sign up?

New Well Studio, 6501 N Interstate, last Friday of the month, 9 pm, $12-$20

ROY G. BIV’s Queer Comedy Show

Coming up on its second anniversary, ROY G. BIV’s Queer Comedy Show has established itself as one of the wildest, most raucous laugh-fests on the scene. Hosts Delaney Malone and Kale Loughlin welcome comedians spanning the LGBTQ+ community as well as special guest performers seen on Comedy Central, Disney+, Netflix, and more for both stand-up and sketch comedy. Word to the wise: Snap up those tix, because this standing room-only show sells out on the regular!

Crush Bar, 1400 SE Morrison, fourth Saturday of the month, 8 pm, $15

The cast of This Ends Tonight. jason lee

This Ends Tonight

If you’re of the opinion that this world needs more gay talk shows, you’re in luck! This Ends Tonight (TET) is the late night talk show of your queer dreams, hosted by former Mercury Genius of Comedy Riley McCarthy along with sidekick Clancy Kramer, backed by house band Body Academics, and directed by Violet Eileen. While definitely a classic-style chat fest, TET is also a meta, semi-scripted backstage comedy about producing a live talk show... or as host McCarthy puts it, “Imagine a mashup of The Larry Sanders Show, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and Monday Night Raw, with a dash of Gregg Araki and Stephen Sondheim for
taste.” Plus local and national guest stars, along with comedy and drag? Yes, yes, a thousand times, YES.

Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, first Saturday of the month, GAYAF (Give As You’re Able, Friend!)

You Oughta Know

While not billed as an exclusively queer show, host Aimee Sinclair is queer, the guests are primarily queer, and so is the audience... soooo... that’s queer enough for us! You Oughta Know features comedians going off about things they love, and trying to convince the audience they should love it, too. An accompanying panel of laff-makers regularly chime in with their own comments, questions, and quips, resulting in a freewheeling show filled with surprises, while giving off—as a recent guest put it—“horny lecture hall vibes.” Check out their new digs at Kickstand Comedy, and don’t miss their upcoming special Pride performance on July 19 with special guests Carlos Kareem Windham, Mack, Jenna Britann, and Juno Men!

Kickstand Comedy, 1006 SE Hawthorne, @knowshowpdx on Instagram for show dates, $5-$10


Closet Cases

A queer storytelling showcase hosted by Juliet Mylan, featuring lots of sweet, heartwarming, and hilariously personal stories from your pals in the LGBTQ+ community.

Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, first Sunday of the month, 7:30 pm, GAYAF (Give As You’re Able, Friend!)

LGBTQIA+ Improv Jam!

A monthly get-together for the LGBTQIA+ community only (but they love their allies) to play, perform improv, and socialize.

Curious Comedy Theater Annex, 5225 NE MLK Jr., second Sunday of the month, 3 pm, free, all ages

Nu-Glitter Comedy Open Mic

Hosted by Joyce Nance, this sparkly open mic welcomes everyone to perform their best material on stage, but queer, women, and bipoc folk are especially encouraged. Plus, each show features at least one established guest comedian. Sign up at 6 pm to reserve your spot.

Crush Bar, 1400 SE Morrison, second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, 6:30 pm, free

Queer A.F. Comedy

Hosted by Aleaah Liebenau and Mack Magee, Queer A.F. Comedy brings Portland’s finest queer comedic and musical talent together on one stage every month with a rotating theme, which in the past has included such topics as “the ’90s,” “kinks,” and “clowns.”

Covert Cafe, 803 SE 82nd, first Saturday of the month, 8:30 pm, free