Queering Everything

Here’s what Hannah said at Decorah Pride 2019!

We’re all here today because we’re ready to celebrate what queer people bring—diversity in gender and sexual expression, creativity, color, the delight and joy of being our true selves.

And I’m here today representing Humble Hands Harvest, the queerest farm around! And I want you to understand what that means. Yes, one of our farmers is queer, and we host the Queer Farmer Convergence annually. But being the queerest farm around means more than that.

Queer is sometimes used as a verb. If you ask me, to queer something is to take it away from the dominant culture, from the capitalist, colonialist, white supremacist, ecocidal heteropatriarchy, and to give it, instead, to the realm of beauty, creativity, life, diversity and relationship.

Goodness knows we need a lot more queering.

One thing I think about, more often than is comfortable, is climate change and the way it threatens every single thing that I care about. And I notice that even though this problem that might destroy us is manifesting in chemical, biological, and physical ways, its cause is SOCIAL. Climate change is caused by the way humans relate to each other and to the world. We can’t solve climate change until we completely re-imagine our economic, social, and ecological values and boldly transform our ways of being.

That’s why we need to queer everything.

Humble Hands Harvest is starting by queering the way we own land—two young women forming a worker-owned co-operative farm is not normative; if we believed the dominant narrative, we wouldn’t be able to exist. We’re also queering the way we think of ourselves as farmers. Instead of the capitalist colonialist ecocidal mindset that says farmers need to produce as much as possible through an extractive system, we at Humble Hands Harvest think that our job is to BUILD the soil, to REGENERATE the ecosystems that interact with our crops, to live simply and gratefully, and to CONNECT people to the land through food. The dollars that we earn growing food for this community are re-invested in the soil, the future of this place.

So today for Pride, I invite you to think about queering more parts of your life. What can you snatch back from the dominant culture and give to pleasure, to uniqueness, to relationship? I’d love to hear what you come up with—stop by Humble Hands Harvest’s stand at farmers market and tell me! We’re the queerest farm around because it’s time to queer everything.


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