Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Meet Oliver Flowers- farm manager. A queer and trans tomatopicker extraordinare with amazing farm fashion! Can you say boots and short shorts?
We joined them for their early morning CSA harvest and had the chance to talk with them about their experiences living and farming as queer people in the buckle of the bible belt. We wanted to know if they were out- they said they weren’t necessarily hiding it but weren’t broadcasting their queerness either. Suze talked to us about how people show they are heterosexual through their behavior, the same way some people show queerness through behavior. All 3 farmers we talked to said that they have been welcomed into Falkville with open arms(they are all not from Alabama), despite being viewed as a little wierd. People tend to see their farm as different than others in the area mainly because of their small scale, because they are farming organically and will spend hours going row by row to look for pests and kill them by hand instead of simply spraying chemicals, and because none of them are from the area.
Queerness seemed to be largely irrelevant to the farms relationship to the larger community- as Suze told us it would be inappropriate to talk about it with a farmer friend who comes over to help about sexual preference and identity. Its just not something that comes up in conversation, rather, they connect deeply with farmers and neighbors over farming techniques and advice. Though their farm is viewed as different, and they are certainly viewed as different both because they are outsiders and due to how they present (Suze mentioned she is often read as male and Oliver talked with us about being an effeminate transgender man- AND they are partners often read as a straight couple or as a gay man and dyke in a relationship...) the bottom line seemed to be that people in the community who have gotten to know them respect them because they are hard workers and good farmers and haven't seemed to care about them being queer or not.