Queer Chocolatier centers on the the tangible product of quality chocolate truffles but it also rests on the foundation of an identity that claims space. In some ways, this is nerve-wracking. But it also is refreshing and rewarding!
I am a queer, married ciswoman and I'm going to make you delicious chocolates.
And I am equally proud of my cocoa alchemy as I am of my queer identity.
However, I am acutely aware that not everyone will share my pride. We live and move in an increasingly balkanized society that pushes people to choose sides. By and large I support choosing sides. Furthermore, I believe in the idea of claiming your space first; if I am anchored and grounded in where I stand, others can use me as a landmark and decide whether to stand alongside me or not.
This past weekend of vending at two local farmers' markets was my first time staking my claim in a physical space, outside of the internet, and putting myself out there as the Queer Chocolatier.
And Muncie warmly welcomed me!
It was just one weekend, but I have the sense that Queer Chocolatier taking space meant something to folx. In some cases, people simply wanted good chocolate and I'm not mad! I love talking to people about my chocolate, how I make it, where I buy my source chocolate, how I've come up with some flavors (including flavors inspired by my wife).
In other cases, folx came to my booth to talk about identity and business and community. Some came under my canopy to say "Thank you!" or "This is such a cool concept!"
It matters because queer lives matter. Trans* lives matter. Solidarity matters.
Know that if you are queer, trans*, gender non-conforming, genderqueer or genderfluid, of if you fall anywhere in the spectrum of marginalized sexual and/or gender identity, I stand in solidarity with you. If you're in East Central Indiana, come visit me at Minnetrista's Farmers' Market or at the Muncie Makers' Market and indulge in truffles!
And be unapologetic about taking up the space that you do!