The LGBTQ Food and Farming Community

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The LGBTQ food and farming community consists of the farmers themselves, along with government ministers, advocates, food critics and commentators. It is an important and common segment to all countries and has deep historical roots. Yet it is also a segment that is often neglected in today's urban society. The Williams Institute reports that 10% of all same sex couples live in rural areas, and they tend to have lower incomes than straight rural couples.

According to a study on queer farmers (see Wiley link below), queer people are largely ignored as potential farmers by the agriculture and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer movements, and the profession has embedded discrimination in terms of farmer recruitment, retention, and land acquisition. However, those who are in the field state that they face less discrimination once in the profession than they anticipated, though there remains issues of isolation and loneliness for many LGBTQ farmers.

The Queer Farmer Film Project in the United States looks at the experiences of queer farmers across the country and asks – what does it mean to be a queer farmer, is agriculture a safe space for queer people, and what are the relationships between food production and queerness? They produced the 2013 documentary film 'Out Here' featuring their answers. Similarly, a segment on the BBC show Countryfile investigated the high suicide rates among gay farmers in that country – and the stigma that is still rife in rural communities.

Agrespect, a UK-based resource for the country's LGBTQ farming community, was created directly as a result of the Countryfile findings. Gay Farmer Helpline in the U.K. has also been created to offer help and advice to farmers. In the United States, the Cultivating Change Foundation has been established to advocate, work on education, and support the LGBTQ farming community - they have a regular conference that attracts hundreds of participants.

Several LGBTQ individuals have played prominent roles in their country's agricultural industry as government ministers. Some are responsible for considerable media production on issues important to the profession, such as the Food Network in the United States. Others are well know food and wine critics, including Craig Claiborne of the New York Times and Yotam Ottolenghi of The Guardian.

We have identified the following individuals who have a high profile in the food and agricultural sector. Simply click on their names to reveal their fascinating biographies.

Australia

Canada

Great Britain

Italy

The Netherlands

  • Gerda Verberg, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Minister of Agriculture

United States

See Also

Further Reading/Research


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