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Pride Month Begins

Central Oregon rolls out a full month of LGBTQ+ friendly events

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Winter PrideFest in Central Oregon was a raucous time filled with dance parties, drag brunches and more. As winter (kind of) gives way to summer, OUT Central Oregon is back with a full month of events for Pride Month. Events are continually being added to OUT Central Oregon's Pride web page at outcentraloregon.com/pride, but some on the horizon this week include an LGBTQ Salsa class on June 2, First Thursday meet and greets with Come OUT Bend at Canteen, a drag variety show from Cult of Tuck on June 4, and a Roller Pride Dance & Skate Party at The Pavilion on June 10. And of course, the big event, including a parade, happens June 25.

Charlie Sprinkman (top left) with 10 Barrel's Tonya Cornett (top right) brewing up a batch of Out Loud Beer in honor of Pride Month. - REILLY GOLDBERG
  • Reilly Goldberg
  • Charlie Sprinkman (top left) with 10 Barrel's Tonya Cornett (top right) brewing up a batch of Out Loud Beer in honor of Pride Month.

Also happening later this month: a business showcase featuring LGBTQ+-owned businesses in Bend, hosted by Everywhere is Queer—a website listing queer-owned businesses around the world, started by Bendite Charlie Sprinkman. Sprinkman (he/they), who moved to Bend in 2021, started Everywhere is Queer after spending time in a job that required lots of travel around the country. I chatted with Sprinkman about the project and the plans for the queer-owned business market, happening June 22 at 10 Barrel West.

Source Weekly: Tell me about the genesis of Everywhere is Queer.

Charlie Sprinkman: I grew up 30 miles east of Milwaukee, Wisconsin—a small little rural town, super Catholic, super conservative. I really struggled to come to terms with my sexuality and stuff. I went off to college in Colorado, studied Entrepreneurship, minor in Global Environmental Sustainability. And then post-college I hit the road and worked for an organic beverage company where I traveled to 42 of the 50 states, and this is where it all subconsciously started. Going throughout my travels, [I'd find] like queer hangouts here or queer spots there; sometimes I couldn't really find anything. Everywhere is Queer had not come to mind quite yet. But I think this was like the first layer. And then July of 2021—so last summer, I volunteered at Brave Trails, which is a queer youth leadership camp outside of L.A.—Big Bear. And after that week—I was a cabin counselor, I led the outdoor adventure program and led a workshop on environmentalism—and just coming off of that really euphoric experience of being with 100 queer people, I was like, how can I create something like this feeling for more people across our country, because that was, like, the best week of my life. It was so amazing. And so I was driving back to Colorado where I lived at the time and literally, the words Everywhere is Queer came to mind and I like thought of, a worldwide map of queer-owned businesses.

I was living in Bend when it launched in January of 2022. I moved here in September of 2021. So I had been briefly working on it before, but it did launch in Bend, Oregon.

SW: What brought you to the city?

CS: I have college friends that moved here post-college in 2019—just very good friends of mine. I'm actually living with them, and they were, like, we love it here, you should come check it out. So I came in, checked it out—but I will plug that, seeing and having been friends with Wyn [Wiley]—Pattie Gonia—moving to Bend was just like, really promoting the amazing community that existed here. It was definitely a layer of, like, OK, I'll move there if there's a strong queer community and that is absolutely my experience.

SW: You said now, you have 28 businesses on the map for Bend. So, do you think is that a high number compared to other towns of this size?

CS: I don't know the exact numbers—I'd have to look, but I honestly want to say that number, 28, is probably close to any other major city. I think that that's more than Portland, Oregon. I think it's probably close to New York and L.A. of what we currently have on the map.

In a partnership with Everywhere is Queer, 10 Barrel in Bend and Gold Spot Brewing in Denver, along with other breweries, will brew a special beer titled "Out Loud Beer" in honor of Pride Month. In Bend, the beer will be on offer during the queer-owned business market June 22. A portion of the sales of the beer will go to a nonprofit of each brewery's choosing. As of this writing, 16 queer-owned businesses will take part in the business market.

Find all the events listed for Central Oregon Pride at outcentraloregon.com/pride.

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)

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