My latest research is an exploration of the salience of queer commensality and a greedy attempt at claiming an existence for queer food. Queer food growth, gathering, and consumption ways can offer generative alternatives to the devastating global food system we live in today and point to future commensal apparatuses that center nourishment (mental, physical, and spiritual). Through interdisciplinary methods such as gardening, quilting, woodworking, interviews, painting, parenting, video, bringing-together, and cooking, I identify patterns that allow me to weave together the disparate threads between place, food, queerness, family, etc.
Guiding this research are two fundamental questions: What can queer relations teach us about queering our relationship to the dirt, the earth, the animals we love, raise, eat, and bury? What can queer sensibilities show us about hunger, consumption, and finding joy/desire/deliciousness in inappropriate places?
Using mustard as a solar idea and pal, I spin a memoiristic fable about this miraculous plant’s journey to me from pallet to palate to palette. Mustard has found me via channels of unsanctioned lesbian matrimony, immigration, military stationing, and centuries old spice trades. This plant’s reemergence in many cuisines, its semi-illegal status in White American nutrition ethics, the multiple transformations it undertakes, the hard work it does as a hyperaccumulator and healer for the soil, and its erotic piquancy make this plant a ripe example of queer relations. I mobilize with this plant on disregarded urban land to practice how healing the dirt and cast-away creatures can be an expression of self-love, how “self” extends well beyond my skin suit.
My multimedia work reflects on the crisscrossing corridors of time and space that my moms, aunties, and grandmas had to traverse to find each other, make a family, and feed me and my sister. Raised in a multi-generational lineage of lesbians, I was blessed by house parties featuring Filipino, Polish, British, Tlingit, and many other cuisines shared in a family made from many histories. These histories mingle with imagined stories, possible futures, and my current experiences mothering with my girlfriend to illustrate many moments of sapphic delight that, when strung together, can envision an expanding hereafter.