For about a year, I’ve been working on a huge story for Eater about queer food. What is it? Is it a thing? What would it be, if it was a thing?
The idea came from my trying to find if there was one dish that we could pin as “queer comfort food,” our version of fried chicken or matzo ball soup, but that was impossible to find given the queer experience’s varied nature, that we cross so many racial, geographic, class, etc. borders. But, in searching, I did find something in this search: there definitely is definitely a queer approach to food versus there being a specific queer food like the LGBTQ Sandwich – and it all has to do with how queer people make food.
After many, many a months of research and interviews, behold: Queer Food Is Hiding In Plain Sight, a lovely long read that I’ve been hard at work at for some time. It explores not just what queer food “is” in the New York Times-esque trend hunting sense but seeks to get under the skin, to define what our ways and means of approaching food is all about, if that is even possible. What I found is that queer food has to do with being political, it has to do with creating family, it has to do with being a bit fun with our food, all in a magical way that non-queers just don’t do in the same way. It’s super thorough, digging through personal stories and history to look for examples and answers, ultimately hoping to suggest what makes queer food queer food.
It’s a fun, long read that has been a dang labor of love, a manifestation of my writing or journalistic hopes: seeing how left-of-center communities – specifically queer communities – manifest openly without most noticing. Queer food is exactly that. As Pride 2018 rolls to a close, settle on in this weekend with my scrumptious, rainbow long read.
(And special shoutout to my editor and friend Meghan McCarron for helping guide this story from a sprawling idea to the story that it has become.)