Here at the Portland Mercury we are proud all year long: of being queer, of being allies, of covering issues important to the city's queer community. So our long-held tradition of a June Queer Guide, that drops the week of the Pride Parade, is a chance to draw from stories we've covered for years as well as dig deep on projects we think warrant a little extra time and bandwidth.

For instance, we celebrated House of Ada's appearance on HBO's Legendary as it happened, but Andrew Jankowski has four other local icons you should know about—all of whom strutted onto the TV screen this year and showed the world Portland's best side: their best side.

Portland's Pride Parade falls on Juneteenth this year, which might strike some as peculiar, inconvenient, inappropriate, and perhaps even offensive. Mx. Dahlia Belle spoke with two local icons—Kimber K. Shade and Isaiah Esquire—about how to celebrate the intersection of Black and queer identity.

Our city is home to unique talents like Logan Lynn—a Kill Rock Stars songwriter—who embraces luxury because he's in recovery and wears gold chains as a sign of health and wellness. Portlander turned New Yorker, Hazel Newlevant, is passionate about autobiographical indie comics and they have six recommendations of trans memoir graphic novels that you must read immediately.

Portland-based nonprofit Basic Rights Oregon is showing its state-wide influence. Now in the third year of its Catalyst program—which facilitates leadership sessions for transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming Oregonians—its graduates are taking actions on their own behalf and on behalf of others.

We also can't look away from the violence visited upon queer community members like Vancouver teen Nikki Kuhnhausen, who was murdered in 2019 for being transgender. Alex Zielinski spoke to KGW news anchor Ashley Korslien about the ways she worked to retell Kuhnhausen’s story with investigative vigor and compassion, while avoiding harmful LGBTQ+ tropes, on her new podcast Should Be Alive.

We can't quite say that 2022 is the year where we burst out of our coronavirus closets and back onto the club floor (and the apps!), because some of us are already there and others cannot risk it. But no matter the venue—the remote call, the ballroom floor, the crisp page—Portland's queer community is as indomitable as ever, riding high and making waves.