What Is "Food 4 Thot," in Their Own Words?
"We're a new round-table podcast about sex, relationships, race, identity, and literature. We cover everything at the intersection of queerness and brownness, combining the best of literary intellect and absolute trash. Like NPR, on poppers."
'We loved talking about queer theory, identity politics, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, but also Mariah Carey's Vine account, nail polish, and our absolutely filthiest hook-up stories.'
"We started the podcast because of a discussion a year ago about how literary and intellectual spaces rarely allowed for conversations about things typically considered, well, not so intellectual. We loved talking about queer theory, identity politics, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, but also Mariah Carey's Vine account, nail polish, and our absolutely filthiest hook-up stories. In a world where those conversations were so often separated, where could one get both? Thus, Food 4 Thot was born, a delectable meal of brain food and junk food, giving thots like us a seat at the scholarly table."
*Who* Is "Food 4 Thot"?
Tommy Pico: Indigenous American poet, editor, and shameful fan of the Fast & Furious franchise.
Fran Tirado: Writer, editor of Hello Mr., homosexual tycoon.
Dennis Norris II: Reader, writer, shopper, drinker, ex-figure skater, and aggressive Lemonade pusher.
Joe Osmundson: Scientist, non-fiction writer, militant vers, and the opposite of whatever a "social media influencer" is.
How can access to queer media influence a young queer person's coming of age and identity?
"Sometimes seeing the possibility of queer survival, queer life, queer ascension can literally keep you alive. Seeing thriving queers, and thriving queers of color in particular (rare as our depictions sometimes are) serve as reminders that we are part of all things and deserve space and glory and carefree joy."
'Each of us come from a templated story that ends in tragedy—queer in a bigoted logging town, femme and light-skinned in the machismo of South Side Chicago.'
"We are each so vastly different from our respective generations' pasts. Each of us come from a templated story that ends in tragedy—queer in a bigoted logging town, femme and light-skinned in the machismo of South Side Chicago. So many stories like this are defined by hardship, misunderstanding, oppression. To us, the most radical thing in the world is queer joy—that we can dance and thrive in different ways and not be defined by these templates. That, we think, is the impact of any kind of queer representation." —The Thots
What are your favorite LGBTQ+ films and characters?
"The Business of Fancydancing follows a reservation-born queer American Indian poet who returns to the rez following the death of a cousin. Dunno why this sticks out to me at all tbqh." —Tommy Pico
"Moonlight was simply the first time I encountered a story about queer black men in film that was entirely unconcerned with whiteness and the white gaze, and that was taken seriously enough to be executed, and so clearly thought of, as high art with the intention and beauty that comes with that vision. [I love] Chiron because of that scene with the chair—if you've seen it you know what I'm referencing—because I think it speaks to an interesting conversation among the gay men of color in my life about an obsession with safety and feeling protected, and the choice to protect, and avenge, oneself. Months later, I'm still reeling from it." —Dean Norris II
"Disney's Hercules is not even an explicitly gay movie, but it is the first time I ever saw myself reflected in anything at all. There is something so inherently queer about that narrative—a femme orphan born into a family and a society he can't help but feel apart from. The ways he comes of age knowing implicitly that he has to find his real destiny, that he was born great and no one really understands that. That movie helped me make sense of what it means to not fit in, and that there's another side, one that's glittering and beautiful." —Fran Tirado
"Portrait of Jason is a bizarre and weird and enthralling interview between the filmmaker Shirley Clarke and black gay performer Jason Holliday. Jason is at turns funny, amused, drunk, angry. Toward the end of the film, Clarke—who is asking questions from off camera—turns cruel, provoking Jason, openly mocking him. The movie is a stunning example of artistic and white cruelty and the ways in which queerness and blackness are performed on camera while the 'true' artist, ever white, hides." —Joe Osmundson
What are some crucial LGBTQ+ books that changed your perspective on queer identity?
"This might be controversial but the Garfield comic strip because, come on, Garfield is one shady, Monday-hating ass feline 'mo. He proves you can be both catty (ayyyyyy) and charming. Total queer icon. No comment on his relationship with Jon though." —Pico
"The story collection Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin is enormously important to me as a queer book, in part because of its many thematic intersections: religion and faith, fathers and sons, white supremacy, fluid sexuality, drug addiction and criminal justice. And though people often don't refer to this book in this way, once again we're looking at the vulnerabilities of black male bodies, which in many ways are very much related to risk, otherness, and inherently, queerness. This book will add nuance and complication to any person's thinking when it comes to how sexuality and intimacy interact with other facets of identity." —Norris
"Totally cliché but Perks of Being a Wallflower was one of the most formative pieces of writing I can think of. It is obviously very juvenile and flippant when we go back to it after a decade more of queer books, but to me it was the very first narrative in which the gay character was introduced and the narrative didn't have to come to a screeching halt. The book plainly stated who kissed who, and moved on. That 'okayness' was revolutionary for me. So many queer kids to come are going to feel hope because of that one passage." —Tirado
"You know, I'm going to go with poetry on this one. The Autobiography of Red changed me as a reader and a writer. It's an odd, long book by Anne Carson based on fragments of Greek poetry. Geryon is a quiet, internal, deeply feeling child who falls in love with your classic jock, Herakles, who outs him and who kills him. The end is stunning, perplexing, and makes you want to immediately begin the book again. Geryon was a child much like me, and losing love—and the part that no one wants to talk about, losing the physical pleasure of connecting to a beloved—is on my mind these days. I mean, breakup sex, you guys: 'When they made love / Geryon liked to touch in slow succession each of the bones of Herakles' back / as it arched away from him into / who knows what dark dream of its own, running both hands all the way down / from the base of the neck / to the end of the spine which he can cause to shiver like a root in the rain.'" —Osmundson
What are the most important LGBTQ+ digital resources for you?
"Netflix has played an instrumental role in both hookup culture and meme culture, two cornerstones of modern queer life. Well, all modern life, I suppose, but we really kill it in both aspects, don't we?" —Pico
"I'm a bit of a troglodyte, so this was a hard one for me, but Buzzfeed LGBT is a daily source of inspiration, knowledge, and levity for me. From think pieces to listicles celebrating queer Twitter memes, I always feel like it keeps me in the loop and pushes my thinking." —Norris
"@LGBT_History on Instagram. Matt and Leighton, who are the incredible curators behind the account, are working through the 10,000 images they have in their archives documenting queer history that they've gathered up on their own time. As a complete passion project, they're crediting and telling the stories behind all these images, telling our rich history far, far, far beyond Stonewall." —Tirado
"My Instagram DMs?" —Osmundson
What parting message would you like to send to our readers?
"We're all single and actively mingling." —All the Thots
And now, a Pride playlist curated by the hosts of Food 4 Thot. You can find us on Spotify @wearesweet!