The Fed Up cast of Queer Cafeteria wants you to sit with them at the Queer kids table.
It’s like the cafeteria scenes in Mean Girls. All the straight cis white punks are Regina George and we’re all Gretchen Weiner yelling, “You can’t sit with us!”
Fed Up Fest is Chicago’s queer and trans punk music festival. It’s an annual summer event dedicated to elevating queer, trans, gender non-conforming, and intersex visibility within the radical punk scene. Along with several music acts, the festival hosts workshops to confront and challenge the perpetuation of oppression and abuse. This summer will mark the Fest's fourth year.
Queer Cafeteria is both the pre-party warm-up and the after-party tribute to Fed Up Fest. It’s a podcast produced by the organizers of the Fest, with monthly episodes talking up queer issues in all their personal complexity. The collective recently published its fourth episode under the theme of Queer Liberation and Queer Separatism, wherein they interview writer and activist, Yasmin Nair of GenderJust and Against Equality.
The Cafeteria crew members Masha, Ash, TK, and E held space and time amid their busy schedules to chat with me a bit about their collective work on the podcast.
What made you all want to start a podcast? Was there something that prompted you to begin?
QC: Every year Fed Up Fest receives so much feedback and we are constantly processing that feedback as a collective. Queer Cafeteria is a way for us to make those conversations more public and gives us the space to do things that we can’t do over the course of one weekend in July. As people who listen to a lot of podcasts, we can confidently say that Queer Cafeteria is filling a gap that we’ve needed in our podcast feeds.
What’s in a name like Queer Cafeteria?
QC: The segments in our show parody stuff from high school, like “Homo Ec.” We’re mimicking this deeply confusing and mostly shitty time in our lives that hopefully a lot of folks can relate to. It’s the feeling when all the “cool” kids won’t let you sit with them at lunch and you’re feeling bummed out, so you sit by yourself with all the other weird kids. Then, you realize you’re all queer and radical, and you realize you’re way cooler than everyone else, so you make it a table for all the other weird queer kids at lunch. It’s like the cafeteria scenes in Mean Girls. All the straight cis white punks are Regina George and we’re all Gretchen Weiner yelling at her, “You can’t sit with us!”