Michael, in his own words “The gay community in Portland is very unique compared to other gay communities I’ve experienced. The standards for attractiveness is greatly altered. Being comfortable with who you are is important here and people are walking billboards for how comfortable they are in their own skin. Almost all are accepted here, especially if you are ‘alternative’ to main stream ideas. Name brands and expensive clothing will get you nowhere here, however chubby, hairy, pierced and tattooed guys are more than welcome. You are practically a virgin without a tattoo here.
The challenges I’ve faced as a gay man have been a little complicated. Trying to maintain my small town humble side while evolving with the alternative and progressive gay community is always a delicate balance. I enjoy going out and being social with the diverse gay population of Portland, though it can be difficult to connect with gay men on a personal level. Though they’re open minded here, they still care a lot about what people think of them and maintaining a certain status. I suppose we all fall for that from time to time however it exhausts me and I try to stay away from that mentality as much as I can. “