December Holigay Issue of Cocoa Communique
 White Chocolate Peppermint Truffle

White Chocolate Peppermint Truffle

Celebrate the Holigays!!

December is a magical time of the year. Yes, yes, it's also my birth month, and Morganmas is quite the reason to celebrate, but there are so many wonderful things happening within and outside of Queer Chocolatier that makes this month so very special!

Check out the December Events Page for more details.


Winter seasonal truffle and december's flavor of the month

 Milk Chocolate Gingerbread Truffle

Milk Chocolate Gingerbread Truffle

Queer Chocolatier is proud to present White Chocolate Peppermint Truffles for the upcoming winter months! In addition, Milk Chocolate Gingerbread will be the December Flavor of the Month! There, your stocking stuffer idea is covered!

This is my gift to those who love white chocolate and love milk chocolate. Personally, I overwhelmingly prefer dark chocolate to either of the other versions, but I confess that the milk and white chocolates made by Chocolates El Rey are *so good* that they nearly give me pause to consider preferences. Nearly.

Both flavors will be available in dark chocolate as well. Dark Chocolate Peppermint and Dark Chocolate Gingerbread will have Vegan options, too!


clothing swap sponsored by queer chocolatier

In the last issue of the Cocoa Communiqué, I posted a link to an article describing a queer/trans* clothing swap and became inspired since reading that story. A bedrock principle of Queer Chocolatier is to stand in solidarity with our queer and/or trans* folx and engaging the community in a positive and impactful way. To that end, Queer Chocolatier is looking to sponsor the a semi-annual (summer/winter) clothing drive and swap for the queer and/or trans* community in Muncie and surrounding East Central Indiana. 

But we need your help!

We need suggestions for a physical space to hold the clothing swap.

It will need to fit as many of these criteria is possible:

  • It must be a safe space for LGBTQIA2+ individuals. Non-negotiable.
  • It should be accessible, in terms of age-appropriateness, physical access to entry, and preferably on a bus line.
  • It should be of a decent size and ideally come with tables to use for displaying clothing items.
  • It should have a space to use as a changing room, or have an area where a changing room can be designed.

Please contact me if you have any ideas for locations or, even better, if you have a space that you are willing to offer for this event.

We also need clothing donations!

Queer and/or trans* folx are often in a situation where disposable income is lacking. It can be challenging to locate and afford gender-affirming clothing for those who are transitioning or who are also gaining/losing weight.

What one person may want to remove from their closet could be the very thing that another person might treasure in theirs!

The best thing? Allies, you are absolutely an active part in this clothing journey!

You can show your solidarity in a meaningful way by donating your clothing that others can potentially select from and incorporate into their new wardrobe!

Donated clothing MUST be free of any stains, rips, tears, holes, or other damage.

Last, but not least, we need super volunteers!

Clothing swaps involve lots of organization, friendly faces, and dapper dressers! If you are interested in being a part of this event, including planning meetings leading up to the swap, please contact me and and we will begin coordination in the new year!

 

Let's all do our very best to make 2018 a year of love and community. We all need more of both, each and every day!


I'm so glad it's you!

 Our beautiful queer wedding announcement in 2015

Our beautiful queer wedding announcement in 2015

On December 22, Cheri and I celebrate our two years of wedded bliss. I couldn't be happier, luckier, and more perfectly partnered than I am. Cheri is my very favorite person.

We've known each other for a little over seven years, having met in grad school. But we graduated, went on our own adventures without knowing what lay in store for us. We initially clicked, as grad students are wont to do in the mires of stress, but we did not remain friends throughout the program. Our personalities butted heads. We weren't aware at that time that the qualities we loathed about the other was a core component of our own personalities. Cheri thought I was pretentious. If you haven't met Cheri, I'll gladly let you know she's the pretentious one. I thought she was loud and opinionated... moving on.

When we met again a couple of years ago, we were both at our own new crossroads. She was about to launch on an adventure. I was about to settle down, but ending a relationship in that process.

In a flurry of days and weeks, we fell in love. Then we married. We moved. We moved again. We traveled for a month across the country before moving once more, this time to Muncie, IN.

The whole while, we would look at each other as if we were almost waiting for the other shoe to drop. Why was our marriage so easy? What made us click so perfectly? Didn't I used to hate everything about you??

One day, early on, Cheri and I said to each other, "I'm so glad it's you." We have those quirks that we hate about the other, because we have those quirks ourselves. But we both have so much in common and, finally, we have the wife who is as bright and courageous and bold and loving as the other.

It isn't easy all the time. And it can be messy. But I'm so glad it's her. And I'm madly in love.


News Bites:

Cocoa/Queer/Trans*

Tidbits of news, books, blogs, and podcasts featuring current trends, deeper knowledge, and new-to-you conversations!

News Bites: December

 Right: The QKB's Ashleigh Eubanks packs a peck of pickled peppers. (From VillageVoice.com)

Right: The QKB's Ashleigh Eubanks packs a peck of pickled peppers. (From VillageVoice.com)

Queers in the Kitchen:
Read about a bunch of kick-ass queers doing great kitchen work to help those living in Puerto Rico. This is an inspiring article that shows it just takes a small, motivated, passionate group of people coming together to make significant impact on lives near and far!

From the article:
"At the heart of the Queer Kitchen Brigade’s mission, beyond its immediate impact on hungry communities in Puerto Rico, is a vision for a better agricultural system on the island supported by food and farming education. 'The current Puerto Rican agriculture is very small-scale, very monocrop-y, and completely capitalistic,' said Lebron, 'dominated by the colonial power of the U.S.' Following Maria, there’s now a brigade ready to fight back."


Chocolate:

The world of labeling and certifications for foodstuffs is a complex labyrinth for consumers to navigate. However, the underpinnings of such labels and certificates is important to learn because, with this knowledge, consumers can actually begin to shape how food is produced and brought to market. Consumers can shop their values. 

Simran Sethi's piece in Forbes.com highlights some of the crucial points in the knowledge chain of food labeling, especially regarding chocolate and the Fair Trade label. She references a preliminary study by authors from the University of Kentucky who analyzed prices for chocolates with and without the Fair Trade labeling: Chocolate labeled as Fair Trade yielded lower prices than chocolate without the label.

This is troubling as it is a missed opportunity to shift more of the dollars spent on chocolate toward the growers and producers. More needs to be done to capture the imagination of consumers and allow for greater transparency chocolate production and in the supply chain.


Trans*:

Check out the list of Top Ten U.S. Colleges and Universities that are considered the most trans* supportive according to their gender-identity score on Campus Pride Index.

Why is this important?

From the article:

"For example, the federal government is no longer enforcing Title IX to prevent discrimination against trans students, and more than a dozen states are seeking to enact laws that would ban trans people from using the restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. But a bright spot comes in the form of college campuses, many of which are seeking to become more trans-inclusive, despite and sometimes because of the increasingly hostile climate for trans people nationwide."

If you are a college student, or an alum, or are considering college, contact your school (or potential school) to learn about their policies regarding gender identity and associated protections for trans* and genderqueer folx. Let them know of your support for policies that are just, inclusive, and welcoming and that you will stand strongly against any action that is systemically discriminatory.