An Exploration of the Intersection of Identity for Those Who Are Queer, Vegan, and Melanated

By: Lani Tolon (Sol)  

This research proposes that there is a unique experience among those whose identify exists within the intersection of being queer, vegan, and melanated (a person of color). Often "safe" spaces that have been created to " welcome all" neglect to consider components of this identity For example, a queer person may go to a LGBTQ event such as a local pride festival and feel affirmed regarding their sexuality, but forgotten as it relates to vegan food options. Correspondingly, a melananted queer person can go to a queer affirming vegan event and be the only person of color which can result in them feeling alone as a function of the connection between food and culture. Lastly, there are spaces for manlanated vegans; also known as "conscious communities" who sometimes can see queerness as unnatural and unacceptable. So where do we go from here? Where can we feel comfortable expressing all of who we are? Lani Sol decided to bridge this gap for her community by creating an intentional gathering called Queer, Vegan, and Melanated (QVM). The first one occurred in Washington DC where people within this intersection connected, enjoyed vegan food, and exchanged their stories. The conversation inspired the current research exploration of a variety of topics that include "cultural impacts on queer eating habits," food politics that limited access to plant based food options within communities of color, and the experience coming out as a vegan to family and friends who perhaps already struggled to accept the notion of queerness.

Taboos Alternative Food
Food, Politics, and Cultures
Poster/Exhibit Session

Lani Tolon (Sol)