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Old 01-18-2009, 12:23 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,099 times
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I am a 47 yr old recently widowed GWM. I am planning on moving soon and am torn between Portland and San Francisco. I know all the obvious, San Francisco has better weather but is three times pricier. What I really want to know is which city has a friendlier gay community. Does Portland have the same gay clubs as SF? (ie Different Spokes, FrontRunners etc).
Also, I am curious as to why Portland has no Gay Chamber of Commerce?Even my current small town of Tucson has that. I find Portland more appealing than San Francisco aesthetically and I think I could deal with the rain. But I just don't know about being gay in Portland vs SF. Thanks guys and ladies.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:05 AM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
252 posts, read 921,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isputnik View Post
I am a 47 yr old recently widowed GWM. I am planning on moving soon and am torn between Portland and San Francisco. I know all the obvious, San Francisco has better weather but is three times pricier. What I really want to know is which city has a friendlier gay community. Does Portland have the same gay clubs as SF? (ie Different Spokes, FrontRunners etc).
Also, I am curious as to why Portland has no Gay Chamber of Commerce?Even my current small town of Tucson has that. I find Portland more appealing than San Francisco aesthetically and I think I could deal with the rain. But I just don't know about being gay in Portland vs SF. Thanks guys and ladies.
Overall, Portland is a very liberal, gay-friendly city. Portland's population is about 9% LGBT, while S.F.'s is more like 15% LGBT. I would say that Portland's gay scene is more low key and spread out than S.F. There is no gay neighborhood in Portland (akin to a Castro, West Hollywood, or Capitol Hill), though some areas are gayer than others (NW, Pearl, Downtown, close in east side). Portland probably is a bit more lesbian oriented than S.F. As far as gay clubs go, Portland definitely has fewer, and they're a bit run down, though Silverado is a uniquely sleazy Portland gay strip club experience. The mayor is gay too, if that sways you. Overall, Portland is very gay-friendly and has a lot of gay social options going, but it's much smaller than S.F. Portland is not the capitol of gay America in the way that S.F. is, and it also has more of a small town feel (albeit a left wing, pro-gay kind of small town). If you come visit, rent a room at the Ace Hotel, which is near a lot of the gay clubs (and if you want an excellent cocktail in a mixed gay-straight enviornment, go to the bar at Clyde Common).
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:27 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,099 times
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Hey Todd.LA,
Thanks for the information. I am looking up the Ace Hotel on line as I am planning on visiting again, soon. Sputnik
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Old 09-17-2016, 05:36 PM
 
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I was so glad to see your question about the difference of gay SF vs gay Portland. It is something that I have been recently trying to figure out for my self. I am a single 49 gay man and have lived in SF now for 20 years, but recently have been thinking about relocating to Portland OR. I have been comparing the two cities also. I don't know much yet about Portland, but I can give you my spec on SF and why I have thought about moving from here after 20 years. First thing you must know is that SF is a very different city today then it was 20 yrs ago or even say 10 or 5 yrs ago. The change is great and is very noticeable. Yes SF is a great city and yes it is very gay, BUT. It may not be for every one. First lets talk of the price, it is not very affordable for must people. I have seen the prices of rent more then triple if not more then that in the past 20 years. Must of the long term renters in the city have rent control ( like myself} and are living in fear that we don't get Ellis Act out of our homes, and asked to leave. Which is happening in great numbers through out the city when landlords what to sell off their property to cash in on the extremely high real estate market. Most of the people moving to SF today are young straight highly paid TEC workers. The blue collar and middle income class has been pushed out of SF because it is to expensive to live here. Gay people are also no longer moving here, like they once did ( again to expensive ) most of the middle income and middle aged people have left the city. Most of the gay people that are living here are young students or older, much older-than my self. Also SF is not a easy city to date in, if you were looking to settle down with someone and have that one on one relationship with. I have found that most of the older gay men that are in relationships here have open-relationships and are living together in order to save money on living expenses. O ya it is very easy to have lots of sex here, but try to find a gay men to go on a date with that is not already coupled up it is very difficult. Trust me it is a life style that gets old very fast. There is also a large population of gay men that are single and have been almost all of their lives because they just don't know how to commit to someone in a relationship. IF you are looking to find someone to settle down with, I would say that it is much easier to find that in a smaller city. Also you have to know that most of the big gay events that happen in the city the people that you see during those events don't live here, they come in from other cities. All you have to do is start asking people at the big fairs and you will learn that about 75% of them are from out of town. I hope that my info was helpful to you, but at the end you have to way out what you want out of life and what is important to you before moving to a certain place.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:22 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
30,288 posts, read 41,432,613 times
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There is no comparison between the two cities. If you want gay clubs, gay areas, organized gay activities, then you want San Francisco.

In Portland nobody cares if you are gay and the gay community simply fits themselves in so they are, for the most part, just regular residents. They don't segregate themselves in to their own area, they don't have very many special clubs just for them, and the special organized activities are for anyone who wants to participate, not just the gay community.

San Francisco has the drunken tricycle race for the gays (which sounds like it is fun). Portland has the naked bicycle ride that is for everyone who wants to participate. Maybe gays are heavily represented in the naked bike ride, maybe they aren't. Nobody knows and nobody cares.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:26 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
30,288 posts, read 41,432,613 times
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By the way, if you are a bit odd in Portland, nobody cares about that, either. If you want to dress up like a wizard and ride a unicycle around while playing the bagpipes, nobody gets flapped about it (and yes, someone does that, you can see videos of him on You Tube)

I suspect that you could get away with that behavior in San Francisco, also, just pointing out that Portland is tolerant of those who are not mainstream.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Florida
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I found gay life in Portland didn't feel right for older gay men. For one thing much of the gay population are gay woman. That's fine but the more mature gay man, may feel out of place. I definitely experienced prejudice mainly from older Oregonians. I lived in an apt bldg right outside the city limits. The gay center asked me to put up a flyer, that would reach out to older gay people. It was a flyer that was offering asocial group at the center. Within 1 day of putting it up, it was taken down. I asked about it in the office, and was told they had complaints. So It was taken down. I also heard older co workers making many anti gay comments. This was after the anti gay amendments that were on the ballots. I can only imagine how miserable it must have been, working in Portland during that period. I was surprised I was being exposed, to this type of behavior in Portland.. I eventually moved right into the city, and even there noticed some smug ignorance but less. Again this ignorant behavior was coming from older people. Not younger. Though truthfully its in all age groups wherever you go.



So my advice is make your visits to Portland. Find a peer group, and see how things feel. There are many things I liked about the area. It really is a beautiful part of the country. When I retired I had to leave, as I saw the COL was showing signs of escalating rapidly. Evidently it did. Good luck to you. I hope moving to Portland will be, an enjoyable chapter in your life.
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,859 posts, read 11,264,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isputnik View Post
Also, I am curious as to why Portland has no Gay Chamber of Commerce?Even my current small town of Tucson has that.
Why should any city have a Gay Chamber of Commerce? If THE Chamber of Commerce is doing its job it should be a resource for all the citizens and/or visitors that utilize its resources. Where should it stop with the ongoing fractionation of American society? Some of the posts in this thread are jaw droppingly TMI. I really don't need to know much of what I have been exposed to in this thread. And you would feel exactly the same way if straight people weren't as buttoned up as they are about matters of sex, attraction and dating and commitment. Why isn't it enough that there is S.F. and NYC? Does PDX have to become one of them? Why?
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Gladstone, Oregon
102 posts, read 82,441 times
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I've lived here for three years, seems to be the gay community here is a big hit or miss. Trying to make friends is a huge let down, Oregonians if it be straight or gay can be quite flaky. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to make friends and hang out and they either never show up or make excuses as to why. Most gay clubs seem to be only in the downtown area.

I've felt very unwelcome at Pride events, it's just overall not a very accepting city to be gay in. I would suggest San Francisco over Portland to be honest. Yeah it's going to be pricey to live there but Portland's rent costs are sky rocketing too.
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Old 09-19-2016, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,949 posts, read 19,354,593 times
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Join the Gay Men's Chorus? I know a couple members.
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