LGBTQ+ Community in Oregon

Modern-day Oregon is a top destination for travelers from all walks of life.

Oregon is a refuge for all, and Portland is a hub for queer life on the West Coast, second only to San Francisco for the percentage of LGBTQ+ residents. Since the 1970s, it has been a safe place that’s anchored the LGBTQ+ community beyond the reach of any LGBTQ+ bar.

Darcelle XV in downtown Portland is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its role in gaining acceptance for drag and gay rights. After Walter Cole (aka Darcelle, the nation’s most famous drag queen) died in 2023, a small park and fountain in Portland is now known as Darcelle XV Plaza.

Oregon’s reputation as a diverse and queer-friendly state extends to many communities, like Bend and Eugene, and is reflected in many firsts.

McMinnville hosts an annual Wine Country Pride event, hosted by the town mayor, winemaker Remy Drabkin, who is queer. Other elected leaders from the LGBTQ+ community include Gov. Tina Kotek; former Gov. Kate Brown; former Portland Mayor Sam Adams, the first openly gay mayor of a large U.S. city; and former Silverton Mayor Stu Rasmussen, the nation’s first openly transgender mayor.

In the world of athletics, the Portland Thorns, Timbers, and Trail Blazers made history by becoming the first major pro sports teams to endorse the freedom to marry. In entertainment, Bend is home to national celebrity drag queen and environmental activist Pattie Gonia, and you can find drag shows and events at queer-owned bars and restaurants all year-round.

You can find Pride-Certified hotels, queer-owned tour companies and organizations that seek to celebrate pride, inclusivity and a love of the outdoors with various year-round events, including Hood River Winter Pride in February and Winter PrideFest in Bend in March.