A handful of brave queer folk take to the mic to re-tell tales from their formative years in the name of nostalgia, solidarity, celebration. They seek to provide safe spaces and champion empowerment, acceptance and a place where you are Free2B!
We can't promise to reunite you with your first crush, but we do aim to reignite that rush of adrenaline you queer diary when they first noticed you existed. us in a cosy teenage dreamworld, where adult troubles melt like lemon-drops as we focus on what was obsessing us all those years or even decades ago. In here the goths, the punks, the emos, the nerds, the glee-clubbers, and a few ly-closeted populars come together as grown-ups, to escape cis-het-normativity by sharing our younger selves' innermost secrets, and possibly the odd bit of cringey poetry. Queer Diary is hosted by Beth Watson, who will also be taking song requests of your favourite teenage nostalgia tracks to play between readings. Tickets to this event are free, with an option to donate. If you want to find out more, or take part in Queer Diary by reading your teenage diaries or poetry, or fanfic etc in the future, please fill out this form.
When I was a baby, my mom tried to feed me a banana. I turned my head. She tried mashed banana, a stinking paste that made me gag; she tried cutting it into chunks; she tried those oily banana chips you get in bulk from the grocery store, but I pushed it away.
Scrunched my nose and stuck out my tongue. I spat. In high school, we moved to Maine, where I lived until I was in my late twenties.
Maine has the highest per capita banana consumption of any state. Cheryl had a sturdy torso and muscled arms; long, frizzy gray hair; a cramped office in a turret with a round window that looked over the ocean. She had a passion for compost, for Norway, for nitrogen-fixing nodules and for sweet peas, for soil mycology and rain. She had a house in town where she lived with her partner, Carolyn.
The banana fact surprised me, and disgusted me.
What queer diary you doing, Maine? You have some of the oldest apple varieties around. You have strange little kiwis and the only lowbush blueberries in the contiguous United States. Why do you want bananas? Sickly sweet and poison.
Before Cheryl was my teacher and before I even knew about the kiwis, I was crying on a beach in winter, my bare fingers gripping ice-slick rocks, my thin-boned body shaking. I had just returned from a UN climate change conference in Nairobi, after a semester studying global environmental politics during which every silver vein of hope snaking my body was drawn dry by the leech of despair. I started college believing that politics could solve climate change. I thought that negotiation between international delegates in crisp suits could produce concerted action.
A group of us who called ourselves activists went to the UN climate change conference in Nairobi in There, the delegates from wealthy nations were elaborate in their dodges. In their greedy fingers, language became nonbinding.
Emptied of meaning by the brackets around it. I decided I was wrong, about politics and hope. Plants are better than people, I thought.
Cheryl was the reason I thought plants were cool, and she was the reason I learned how queer diary grow them. Pulling sugar snap peas from their hollow tendrils, talking softly through the trellis netting to my friend Lily on the other side of the bed who is telling me about kissing a girl. Our knees wet from the oat grass that serves as a living mulch in the pathways, our caps pulled low to block the sun, that pastel-yellow light of 6 a.
I queer diary I would use this earth to bury, but she nudges me to grow from it instead. But never will you see me touch a banana. Cheryl did eat bananas; she accepted some things. Carolyn did too, of course. The garden they shared was overgrown with blackberry canes and Concord grape vines, sour fruits that could be sweet, if picked in that moment between and p. Could be made into jam or wine, could be made into love or wives. I watched the two of them together, my eyes drawn to them like birds to a pome fruit. There was something impossibly sweet about the way they sometimes linked arms, or one of them tucked hair behind the ear of the other.
Carolyn worked as a park ranger at Acadia National Park and looked the other way when we rode in on our bikes without paying the fee.
She loved riding her bike too, and she and Cheryl went on long rides together. One morning in early spring she rode the park loop road with me, in that window of time after the snow melted and before it opened to cars.
I was a senior and had spent the last four years growing more endemic to that rocky northern coast. That spring day with Carolyn, I watched her hair. She turned her face into the wind and breathed deeply. The sun lit every surface of rock and pine and calm ripple of water. I had to squint. A nontraditional student, like you. But older than you. Could she see I had sprouted only from a withered rhizome? I did have a crush on her though.
Queer diary online may edition
It felt private. I was cycling around mountains but I was also lying still under carefully laid topsoil—doing my best not to disrupt. For my edible botany class, I wrote a long, embellished paper about the imperial history of vanilla and the improbable alchemy of its mass production.
Vanilla is finicky, even more so than temperature-precise tomatoes or delicate, disease-prone herbs like basil, or soft berries that ripen at one specific moment in July and will be either too sour or too mealy if harvested one or two minutes on either side of that moment. They do not adapt; they demand. Vanilla is a hermaphroditic plant, but a membrane separating the anther and stigma prevents self-pollination. Bees do that job, but they need to be special bees, queer diary vanilla has standards. The seeds of a vanilla orchid also need special mycorrhizal fungi in order to germinate.
Bananas, on the other hand, reproduce asexually, which is something they have going for them. Only crabapples are actually native to Turtle Island also known as North Americabut the range of cultivars or varieties and the fact that they are suited to a temperate climate are two reasons why I like apples better than bananas. The matter of them queer diary better goes without saying. But commercial banana production, like so much commodity farming, relies on a single cultivar—Cavendish.
It is no surprise that the colonial history, and present, of banana production is particularly egregious. Exploitation and massacre of both people and land is a hallmark of all large-scale agriculture, and bananas carry an ugly part of that reality in their pale yellow bodies.
Queer diaries are celebrations of a secret history
Apples are somewhere between vanilla and bananas. They put colonial roots in this soil, and they are prone to lots of diseases and pests, leading many orchardists to apply large amounts of toxic pesticides and fungicides to their trees. But apples can also take some shit.
They can reproduce sexually, but apple seeds are extreme heterozygotes, which is also my gender. This means that an apple grown from seed can be so different from its parent fruit that you have no idea how it will look, smell, taste, or grow. I like to think that kind of possibility exists in my own body, that it exists in all of us.
To defy predictability. Not to fall far from the tree, necessarily, but to be our own tree. Every apple is a unicorn with thick skin and sweet insides, but not too sweet. This kind of diversity is the enemy of commercial agriculture and white-supremacist cis-hetero ableist patriarchy. Grafting eliminates the guesswork; the branch already has the kind of apple they want. Stick it queer diary a trunk, and it will tap into the xylem and phloem.
Because apples do adapt. They will grow there. They come from scarred heartwood; they will do what it takes. I went to graduate school for agriculture in Denmark is one of my homelands, the only one I can rightfully claim, to the extent land can be claimed.
My entire maternal family lives there, except my mom. She lives in queer diary house on an island in Maine, with two untamed crabapple trees in the yard. The Danes love a sleek line.
This is also true when it comes to nature. Trees in parks are made into boxy topiaries. They were planted in neat rows, their growth trained in a certain direction, their trunks at nearly ninety-degree angles, branches pruned, tied to their trellis.