“Queer” makes everything better. So last Sunday I attended a queer picnic in the park. The best part of meeting friends in the park is having no idea where to find them. I was given the helpful suggestion to look for “the queers on a blanket,” which I half-wished were a picnic dish. This being Portland, I had to navigate my way through a park full of queers and blankets, but ultimately arrived at my desired destination. I’d venture to say our party comprised the best of both queers and blankets, as well as hors d’oeuvres.

The spread consisted of brie, gouda, aged cheddar, apple slices, salami, and baguette. Obviously, this wasn’t a comedian party, but it also wasn’t as snooty an occasion as it may seem. The presenters of this gourmet spread were not only medical professionals, but queer medical professionals—and as I’ve already stated, “queer” makes everything better.

My favorite of all the attendees was Mop, a jovial pup whose appearance fit their name all too well. Mop was clearly enthralled by my existence, which filled me with a glee I’d hardly known since childhood. Mop’s human companion was, of course, also delightful, but nowhere near as fluffy. She was skillfully avoiding one of the most awkward scenarios I have ever heard described. Her live-in ex had family in town who were staying with them. Ever the helpful community, we all spit-balled alternatives to going home.

“Queer yoga.”

“Queer skating.”

“Queer soccer.”

“Queer dancing.”

“Queer queering.”

As stated, queers improve all things.

We sat, chatted, and stuffed ourselves for as long as we could, before admitting that springtime in Portland is a matter of mindset rather than climate. Once the placebo warmth of good company had lost its effect, we voted to relocate the festivities to our hosts’ warm and lovely apartment.

The address was easy enough to find, but they left out one key detail: their unit number. Never one to miss out on a comedic moment, I strolled right into their neighbor’s unlocked apartment. Luckily, Portland is just as friendly (or passive) as advertised, because though I recognized no one in the main room, I simply assumed they were all roommates and the people I knew must be elsewhere. After scanning one or two more rooms, I concluded I had been mistaken and casually excused myself, luckily stumbling across the intended abode. It was a small but lovely home, tastefully decorated with just the right amount of wall hangings and liquor—decanted and labeled with flattened pennies.

One of our hosts immediately offered me a mixed alcoholic beverage, clearly knowing how to keep an “artist” satisfied, before closing out the evening with board games and a lively discussion on the art of pegging.

As my loyal readers must know by now, cheese, liquor, board games, and butt stuff easily earned this party 10 points out of 10.