So, life happens and one has to be ready to adapt, and Portland is Slow Knight’s new home.
Why did we come to Portland? Portland is the second gayest city in the United States according to census data and so in theory offers a supportive environment for a company such as ours. I can already tell this was a great decision.
A few things that I have found here with my boots on the ground:
1. Portland’s gay scene is highly dispersed. Several bars, clubs, and gay nude beaches serve the gay community, but there is no historical gay district per se. In other American cities, gaybourhoods (or in another light: gay ghettos) are traditionally the places where gay community and other non-hetero/gender conforming safe spaces are located. This self-seclusion is indeed a hallmark of gay communities everywhere. Portland’s lack of a gaybourhood, however, has the contrary result of making the entire city feel like a safe space.
2. Portland is weird: Portland prides itself on being DIFFERENT. From the nude bike ride and the two Portlanders in Darth Vader costumes regularly doing crazy shit, to the llamas on the train the fabulous parades for no apparent reason. Portland seems to gather together, join hands, and celebrate differences and weirdness. What better community to open up a kinkwear apparel company?
3. Portland’s gay scene is undergoing great changes: Everyday, more minority communities are self-identifying and are being celebrated in Portland. This larger community recognition is spectacular, but some still face great obstacles. I have found almost universally that gay Cis males are the gatekeepers of inclusion in the non-hetero/CIS conforming crowd, and this phenomenon is present here in Portland as well. Gay Cis males, for many reasons including The Patriarchy, have built and maintained safe spaces for themselves that are now being called upon to welcome their non-conforming brothers and sisters. This is creating tension in the Cis male gay community between those who desire full inclusion and those who desire the maintenance of some spaces for Cis male gays.
4. Portland is beautiful. Sure Portland is a wetter environment than I prefer. BUT! Winter is over and summer is just starting. And its absolutely gorgeous here at the moment.
So here we are – starting the next chapter of our journey to change the world - one kinkster at a time.
I’d like to take this moment to introduce our new Sales Director, Billy Wheeler, of Portland. Billy comes with over 10 years retail experience and is very excited to join the team. You’ll be hearing Billy’s thoughts in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, peruse our underwear selection and take a look at our new harnesses.