Come to think of it, it is rather shocking that we have not done this before: given a call for an issue of SCRIPTS on food! After all food
is part of every thing in our queer lives. Some might go so far as to say that some food is queer itself (much has been written about the
queer appeal of Twinkies and perhaps much more can be said about the queerness of jalebis closer to home), while many will argue that like we queer everything else we queer food too (there was much talk of queering development a few years ago ;p), or that queer being the flavour of the day can be applied to food as well (case in point, a small deli in Bombay which began selling an LGBT sandwich some time soon after the Delhi High Court judgement). Wherever we may stand on that, food is essential to our lives, our loves, our dramas, our anxieties, our social and personal interactions and our political and communal selves.
No meeting, formal or informal, is complete without some food and there is always that one person whose snacks we look forward to with a special excitement and that one place we want to go with our friends to talk over food and drink.
We plan our love lives and we plan the food that will be part of our encounters, where we will meet and what choice morsel one will plop
(we always hope) with our dextrous fingers into a waiting luscious mouth. We plan these things as meticulously as our shoes and clothes. And we play with food in delicious ways.
Food is comfort we turn to when we are sad, with or without friends, and we all have friends who will hug us and feed us (and of course
water us equally well) when we are going through that inevitable heartbreak which they told us would come our way. Then some of us are known to cook our sorrows away and rely on friends to come clean up and eat and get us to listen to some less depressing music.
Food is where we bond with our friends and queer families. Along with our lists of favourite watering holes (for all occasions) in our
cities and towns, we also have places where we can go eat, maybe even get a little tipsy, perhaps even sing a bit, or at the very least ask
our favourite waiters to change the channel to the songs we want to sing along to, where we can be our queer selves a little more easily
than in others. And there are the places, which in our travels or in chance encounters, leave pleasurable traces of smells, tastes and
touch in our memories. Then there are trips we take just for the food.
In our queer lives and selves, food, the cooking of it, the planning around it, the eating of it, slashes the well set lines of gender and
norms without the slightest pause or compunction. In our kitchens the butchest of us are drama queens and rule with our spatulas arranged just so. And heaven help those who move our spices.
Our childhood reminiscences are drenched in foods we ate, our hungers and of those who fed us or of days we were not. We learn the divides along food and taboos around it as we learn about other lines that divide, demarcate and oppress. Sometimes these rear their head in our adult lives as well, when we are searching for housing, when we share spaces with people with vastly different food habits, and when we learn to respect the finicky eating habits of our not human familiars as well.
Our relationship to our queer bodies is testimony to how people have viewed us and warped our sense of ourselves more often than not. Our relationship with food is as uneasy as it is with our bodies and we put ourselves through the worst agonies around it. Some of us work through the politics of what our bodies have endured and still struggle to find that place of peace and acceptance. And the focus on youth and beauty in popular queer culture and social spaces, the premium on a universally monolithic aesthetic, leaves many of us with more anxieties. Food is as painful a subject as it is pleasurable.
There is so much to our relationship to food, to queerness, to queer experience and lives. We invite you to step in and share with us and
all our readers your experiences of hunger, pain, pleasure, companionship, romance, lust, love, fun, fantasy around food. Send in your stories, ditties, recipes, memories, flights of fantasy (or reality), those odd moments and those elaborately planned ones, anecdotes and analyses around food. Send us what you will – essays, poems, stories, anecdotes, cartoons, graphic tales, rants, reviews of queer friendly hangouts, sharp political analyses, whatever you have and what we may not even be able to imagine.
Come join us in this feast! We are here, we are queer, and its all about food!
This issue is open to all queer persons, of desi origin or living in the South Asian region. Deadline for submissions: 30th September, 2011
Please mail your submissions to email@example.com
We are now also on the net, so please check out “SCRIPTS” on facebook
or check out our website at www.labiacollective.org
Guidelines for Submissions
For Literary submissions: Poetry, prose, essays, letters, scribbles, fiction – all are welcome. Submissions must be sent by email as text,
or as word document attachments. We are especially seeking contributions in Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Urdu, Tamil, Malayalam, or any other regional languages. Please send us word documents along with the fonts used, and an English translation/transcript as well, especially if you would like it printed along withthe original language piece.
Anonymity: If you do not feel comfortable or safe publishing under your name, we are happy to publish your work under a pseudonym of your choice. If there are any other precautions that you would like us to take, kindly alert us to the same.
For Visual Arts submissions: Photographs, sketches, drawings, paintings, cartoons, doodles – are all welcome. Kindly send us your work scanned as TIFF files in high resolution. Again, please specify under what name the artworks should be printed.
What other info do we need from you?
Send in your submissions with the name (or pseudonym) of the writer/artist. We also encourage you to send a brief write-up along
with the work, if you would like to give it some background. Do send us a very brief note about yourself (2 or 3 lines) which we can publish along with your submission. Again, if for reasons of anonymity and safety you choose not to do this, we will understand. A postal address to which we can mail your copy of the printed zine.
What can we do in return for your precious contributions (besides sending you a copy and ensuring as wide a distribution as possible)?
Copyright for all accepted contributions will remain with the authors. We do not reserve any right to place any of the accepted material for any other publication without the prior written permission of the authors/artists.
Do write in to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.