Portland Gay City Guide: A Place to be an Individual

Spend a day perusing Portland Market. Eat a Voodoo donut on the shore. Watch a ballet at Keller Auditorium. Take a selfie at the International Rose Garden. Portland has so much to offer any LGBTQ transplant. It’s known for an artsy and folky vibe with upscale housing.


The City of 8 Monikers

Portland goes by many nicknames, “City of Roses,” “Rip City,” “Stumptown,” etc. Portland started through the Oregon Trail. Large numbers of pioneer settlers began arriving in Willamette Valley in the 1830s. It’s evolved quite a bit since then!

Portland soon developed the reputation of a gritty port town and many referred to it as the “scion of New England.” Today, it’s a fun city full of energetic and “weird” people.


Quick Portland Stats

  • The Portland Airport is rated the best in the world for domestic flights.
  • Portland has the largest number of vegetarian and vegan options in the country.
  • The city gets a lot of rain. 42 inches per year to be exact.
  • Weird Portland has the smallest park in the world. Just two feet across.
  • Portland is the 16th greenest city in the country.

Here are some more fun facts about Portland.


The LGBTQ Portland Community

Basic Rights Oregon

Located in Portland, Basic Rights Oregon ensures everyone in the community experiences equality by helping to build a broad movement. The center is there to ensure all LGBTQ Oregonians live free from discrimination.

Q Center

Q Center is the largest LGBTQ community center in the Pacific Northwest. They serve LGBTQ2SIA+ communities of Portland Metro and Southwest Washington. They are also a hub for parents, friends, co-workers, and any other ally.


Cool, Calm, and Collected

The climate in Portland is oceanic and temperate. Summers are warm and dry while winters are mildly cold and wet. The low altitude location and proximity to the ocean mainly dictate the weather in the city. The average temperature in the summer is 81 degrees and in the winter it’s 35 degrees. Big difference so be prepared!


Key LGBTQ Events in the City

Red Dress Party – May

As you may have guessed, a red dress is required for this epic party that started in a basement in 2001. Anyone is invited as long as they have a dress on! Attended by more than 2,000 people, the event raises upwards of $30,000 for the local LGBTQ community.

QDoc – May

Portland’s queer documentary film festival was co-founded by David Weissman (“We Were Here”). Screened at the Hollywood Theatre, the festival attracts LGBTQ filmmakers from across the country.

Portland Pride Waterfront Festival and Parade – June

Held in the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the Portland Pride Festival starts with a drag brunch and ends with a parade and pride march (anyone can join). Celebrating pride since the 70s, it’s a day of food, fun, and festivity.


The Best Portland Neighborhoods Money Can Buy

Portland home styles are eclectic. Depending on where you are in the city, you can find any of the following:

  • Craftsman and Bungalows
  • Ranch/Mid Century Modern
  • Old Portland/FourSquare
  • Cape Cod
  • Tudor


Downtown Portland

This neighborhood has recently gone through a complete renaissance and has been established as an LGBTQ enclave in the city. Downtown is a buzzing and vibrant area with indie shops selling local brands, creative dining, and eclectic food trucks.

The Tom McCall Waterfront Park is right nearby, and the Portland Saturday Market is in the neighborhood too. The area is also home to the Portland Art Museum and the Keller Auditorium.

The median home value in Downtown Portland is $409,955. The median price per square foot is $421.

Pearl District

This is a former industrial section of Portland that now booms with commerce and art. This district is often called “fashionable” and “lively” and is the prime shopping destination in the city. From hip brands to indie boutiques and warehouse spaces, it’s the cool neighborhood to live in.

The median home value in Pearl District is $541,016. The median price per square foot is $516.

Southwest Hills

One of the most upscale neighborhoods in Portland, this area is upbeat and known for the attractions offered in one space. You can find the Oregon Zoo, Portland Japanese Garden, Marquam Nature Park, and much more.

Hilltop Council Crest offers excellent panoramic views of the city. There is also a variety of dining options in the area from pubs to American eateries.

The median home value in Southwest Hills is $909,977. The median price per square foot is $333.

Ready to look at some "for sale" homes in Portland? Connect with a top Portland Gay Realtor today!


Arts and Entertainment

The Portland Art Museum

Founded in 1892, the Portland Art Museum is the oldest museum on the west coast and 7th oldest in the country. Their mission is to engage and enrich diverse communities through art. The museum features eclectic collections like Japanese Print and Portraiture.

Portland Japanese Garden

Many styles of Japanese gardening are showcased in this gorgeous and calming 5.5. acre garden. It includes a teahouse, waterfall, sand garden, and amazing views.


Parks and Recreation

Laurelhurst Park

Dog-friendly with a duck pond, this is the place to go in Portland for the pooches. Whether you have your own or enjoy seeing them romp, it’s a chill park. The 26-acre park was actually a gift from the mayor in 1909.

The International Rose Test Garden

Located in Washington Park, this is one of the most amazing displays of roses one can witness. There are over 10,000 bushes of 650 varieties. The roses bloom from April until October with a peak in June.


Check out This Nightlife

CC Slaughters

A downtown dance spot that has an epic Saturday-night drag show.


Crush does everything, from fashion shows to gay brunch. The laid-back lounge has a little something for all.

Darcelle XV Showplace

Darcelle XV and her group of talented female impersonators have been entertaining Portlanders for decades.

Portland is an interesting and vibrant city infused with art, culture, shopping, and the best food. A new LGBTQ resident will have no trouble finding their dream neighborhood and settling right in!

Connect with a Portland Gay Realtor for a no obligation conversation today! 

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