June is Pride Month, and Central Oregon has a jam-packed month in store. From drag shows to writing workshops to dance parties, this list of events offers people a variety of ways to celebrate queer joy and support the LGBTQ+ community. We talked with John Kish — owner of Somewhere That's Green and The Greenhouse Cabaret and local drag legend — about Pride Month events and the excitement for June.
"It's a great way for everyone to celebrate and see each other again," Kish told the Source Weekly. "To check in with the community and remind people that we're still here, and that we haven't changed. If anything, we've gotten stronger, and we're just normal people. I think the country is scary right now. But instead of focusing on that, we've got to keep doing what we do — which is love, be kind and accept others for differences that are different from us."
"[During Summer Pride] you just get to be summery, fun and colorful," Kish said. "It's exciting. It's our own hangout. It's great to get to celebrate the community, especially with times being so weirdly dark. Let's uplift trans voices. Let's uplift people who are feeling down or hurt or depressed. We need to make people feel like they're part of this community because they are. Because it can seem very isolating at times. It's nice to see people smile and laugh together."
Bend Summer Pride 2023 is June 24 in Drake Park and will be organized by the Queer Creator's Collective. Following the huge event, there are many options to keep the party going (see list of events with this story), including the Queer Maker's Market at The Greenhouse Cabaret. Kish chimes in on how to keep the celebration going from the start of the day to the early hours of the next and how event organizers are working together.
"Go home [after Bend Summer Pride], quick change, refresh, come hit up the market and then go to the dance party or something," Kish said. "Instead of stacking events, we're trying to hold hands and build the map of things to do."
Pride Month Events in Bend and Beyond
Friday, June 2: First Friday Pride Celebration
Saturday, June 3: Fun Home "Identity & Belonging" Community Workshop
"Project Pride" is a multi-faceted program intended to "promote community understanding and connection amongst LGBTQ2IA+ individuals, families, and communities," according to the event page. The workshop will take attendees through the themes of Ellipse Theatre Community's production of the musical, "Fun Home." Through writing, performance and discussion, the event will encourage participants to think deeply and express personal truths. 2-3:30pm. Brooks Room Downtown Deschutes Public Library. Free.
Sunday, June 4 & 11: Queer Writers Workshop
Local educator, songwriter and performer, Matti Joy, takes attendees through writing exercises to get the creative thoughts flowing. 10-11:30am. Spork. Free-$20.
Sunday, June 4: Drag Brunch
Sip on cocktails, eat brunch and enjoy drag. Caressa Banana will host the show. Drag performers include Aubrey Beaut, Danny O Fanny, Fertile Liza and Rosetta Vantoinette. Beats behind the show will come from MANA (Van Antonio Morrison). 11am. Deschutes Brewery Bend Public House. $25.
Wednesday, June 7: Queer/Ally Makers Market
Featuring 10+ local queer/ally vendors. Proceeds from this event will raise money for Bend Summer Pride 2023. A drag queen, community and bingo. 5-8:30pm. Cascade Lakes Brewpub. Free.
Friday, June 9: Pride Performances & "Reflection of Self" screening
Watch the World Muse Production, "Reflection of Self," sharing the voices and stories of LGBTQIA+ community members, with hope to spark conversation about what it means to be free. Pride performances will also be featured. 6:30-9pm. Tin Pan Theater. Price varies.
Wednesday, June 14: YOUNI Drag Show
Dress up and show up for a night full of high energy drag. Sipping on cider and celebrating queer expression, attendees are encouraged to dance, sing and be who they are. 6-9pm. AVID Cider Co. Taproom. $30-$40.
Wednesday - Friday, June 14-23: "Fun Home" the Musical
In this musical, the main character, Alison, sets out to "unravel the many mysteries of her childhood through a series of memories and conversations – from her coming out to her moving journey to acceptance," according to Ellipses Theatre's event page. "Fun Home" is the centerpiece of "Project Pride" programming. Times vary. Open Space Event Studios. $20-$30.
Saturday, June 17: Mapping the Themes of Fun Home: Embracing the Authentic Self and Family Dynamics
Hear from mental health professionals, educators and LGBTQ2IA+ community members at this panel discussion sharing the importance of finding your truth and the themes from "Fun Home" the musical. 4-5pm. Open Space Event Studios. Free.
Sunday, June 18: Deschutes County Health Services Free STI Testing
A mobile testing van for rapid HIV and syphilis testing. Pretty Pussycat invites Central Oregon to get checked for Pride Month. With proof of a test, people receive 10% off in-store shopping. 1-3pm. The Pretty Pussycat. Free.
Sunday, June 18: Queer Poetry Slam
Get in on this queer poetry slam at Spork, hosted by Matti Joy and Invisible Thread Events! Attendees are invited to share writing and humor in a comfortable environment. 10-11:30am. Spork. Free-$20.
Wednesday, June 21: Fun Home Teen Open Mic "This Is Me"
Young adults and teens are invited to the stage at The Greenhouse Cabaret to perform, whether it's dance, song, comedy or readings. It's a safe space for all. 6-8pm. The Greenhouse Cabaret. Free.
Thursday, June 23: Cliché DJ Dance Party
Dance the night away with Cliché. Head to @clichepnw on Instagram for updates and details. Doors open at 8pm. Volcanic Theatre Pub. $10.
Saturday, June 24: Bend Summer Pride 2023
With a vendor market, drag queens, a lineup of musicians and creative events, Queer Creator's Collective will organize Bend's Summer Pride celebration. The day is dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and celebrating queer joy. Rising queer and BIPOC artist, Morgan Clae, will headline. 10am-5pm. Drake Park. Free.
Saturday, June 24: Big. Queer. Party.
This party is going to be big. After Bend Summer Pride in Drake Park, get changed and get down to dance. Drinks, dancing, performers, queer joy and energy will fill Open Space for a night of celebration. 9-11:59pm. Open Space Event Studios. $20.
Saturday, June 24: Queer Maker's Market
With 25 vendors and seven performers throughout the market, this event has it all — music, entertainment, shopping and queer creators. 4-9pm. The Greenhouse Cabaret. Free.
Saturday, June 24: Diva Drag Brunch
Sip on cocktails, eat brunch and enjoy drag before heading to the Bend Summer Pride celebration in Drake Park. Noon. Campfire Hotel. $25.
Sunday, June 25: Stranded: A Queer Art & Fashion Show
Queer Creators Collective & The Greenhouse Cabaret teamed up to co-produce this fashion show and art exhibit. The theme is "stranded." The island runway categories include "Salvaged Swimwear," "Singed Corporate" and "Regal Reef." Before the show, attendees can peruse an art exhibit. 6-9:30pm. Midtown Ballroom. $25.
Friday, June 30: Late Night Plant Shopping & Drag Show
Greenhouse Cabaret and Somewhere That's Green host a themed drag show, and after, attendees can shop around for new plants. 7-10pm. The Greenhouse Cabaret. $20.
Know of a Pride event that isn't on the list? Submit the event details to the Source Weekly online calendar, and it'll appear in print the week of the event.