Michael Wheeler is a mustached 29-year-old self-described “Single Dad with no kids” living in Portland, Oregon. The avid swimmer and Instagram sensation signed up to compete in the 2018 Gay Games in Paris in August.
He took time out of his brutal training regimen to serve as a GayCities Pride Guru and give us the scoop on all things Pride Portland…
Why are you a local Pride expert?
I don’t know if I am an expert, but I love my community and I love being involved.
Best cocktail for Pride?
I am a very simple man. I get a shot of whiskey and chase it with a cheap beer.
What makes Portland Pride special?
Portland feels like a small town where everyone knows everyone. Pride brings the whole community together in such a fun and positive way.
Which Pride party is a must?
Gaycation, an annual dance party that happens over Pride weekend. The music goes all night long.
Favorite spot to watch the Parade?
The park blocks in downtown have the best viewing spots for the parade. But bring an umbrella, you never know what weather you are going to get in June.
Recommendations for finding the different crowds? (bears, daddies, leather, hipsters, etc)
My insider tip to meeting people is to get around the city and explore. Each neighborhood has something fun and unique to offer.
Favorite gay bars/clubs/lounges?
Favorite “hidden gem” LGBTQ-friendly hangout?
The Commissary is a coffee shop in NW and I probably go there two to three times a week. A clean and beautiful space with killer breakfast burritos.
Best cruising spots?
Rooster Rock, weather depending. It is about a 45-minute drive into the Gorge and it is worth it. Beautiful river beaches where clothing is optional.
Miss Delta on Mississippi Ave is an underrated brunch spot. Their chicken and waffles rival anything you will find in the south. Plus, they have my favorite Bloody Mary.
A place to see-and-be-seen?
The Stark Street Block Party. It’s an all-day extravaganza, so come ready to party.
Best places to eat?
Portland is all about eating from food carts. Try a spam musubi at Island Grill on 10th and Alder. Koi Fusion on Skidmore and Mississippi in North Portland blends Mexican with Korean foods. And I am here for it. And QuickFish Poke Bowl downtown is delicious. I recommend the Island Bowl to get that avocado.
Hotels you recommend for Pride visitors?
Gay Cities you wanna visit:
Sao Paulo seems like such a fun, vibrant city that has adventure waiting.
Follow Michael on Instagram!