You know what sucks? The past two weeks. Well, the past month or two. Actually: the entirety of 2017.
At a time when I – Personally. – feel like I am hashtag thriving in so many ways, there is an inescapable toxic fog closing in on us. It might not be real, sure, but it certainly is there. It’s seemingly made of Cheetos and is constantly producing a stinging golden shower of acid rain: it is absolutely not fun. Paired with a seeming rise in hate groups, from “casual” white supremacists to outright born again Nazis, these times fucking suck. Also! The environment is declining, tiptoeing faster and faster toward collapse.
Unfortunately, none of this is new. Perhaps growing pains in passing a turd of humanity or simply awful “business as usual,” this is not a recent phenomena. Hate has always percolated beneath the surface and there are only now a better means to see them, given technology’s outing of ideologies. So how did people deal with these problems in the past? Cooking or at least using recipes as a means to conjuring coping mechanisms.
I’ve been working on a story for a few months about gay food, one that is very much in the research phase but is hopefully building into something semi-substantial in terms of writing. I spent much of my apoplectic Tuesday with my nose in books at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, digging through queer cookbooks of the past half-century.
While many recipes and culinary surveys stood out, the most special was a book called Doomed Rabbit, a cookbook created for and a celebration of the Pacific Northwest leather community. The recipes are all quite fun and often strange, employing bear meat and advising on marijuana foods and even offering a literal recipe for lube. It’s awesome. The most profound moment in the book – and there were many in this homespun effort – was something called “Recipe For Surviving The Bigots,” in the books odds-and-ends sections of non-food recipes.
The entry came from K.T. Chase, a person who was noted to be “Ms. National Leather Association International 1993.” Chase prefaced the recipe by sharing, “Cooking is not my particular avocation. So here’s my recipe – the super low-cal version, if you please.” The instructions went as follows.
Take time to eat, sleep, get some R&R, and above all, Love. Don’t get so caught up in the infighting and status-climbing which typically accompany this kind of campaign that you lose focus of your primary purpose: to defeat bigotry at the polls. Come out of a campaign like this alive and emotionally intact, and you’ve won half the battle! And above all, remember to Give ‘Em Hell, Baby, ’cause Heaven’s too good for the likes of them!
How fabulous is that?
The passage jumped out to me as good self-care in these shitty times and a bandage for all those metaphorically or physically ailing in these days. From bygone queers to today’s resisters, remember that we will all survive this shit and outshine bigotry. If you need a reminder of how to cope, just follow the recipe.
You can see it in all its glory (And a Yuletide Potpourri recipe!) below.