PHOTO GALLERY: Queer in the Kitchen

Welcome to Queer IRL, a monthly Autostraddle community photo series that gathers little clips of lesbian, bisexual, queer and otherwise-identified women, trans and non-binary folks, just living our lives in 2017.

This very first gallery is Queer in the Kitchen. Nearly 200 of you sent in photos and boy are my arms tired! If I’ve learned anything, it’s that we are an incredibly attractive group of people with lots of cabinets and pets. Oh and that I’ve never loved you more.

I hope you scroll through these many, many pictures (all nine pages!) and feel like FUCK YES, WE ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE AND WE WILL NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT. And I hope you submit photos for the next gallery! (More on February’s theme and deadline soon.) Thank you so so much for making this a thing, you wild and wonderful weirdos.


Rachel A. L. / 22 / Ithaca, NY / Psychology Lab Manager


“I really love my cow mat. I live alone, so I named her Genevieve.”


Nani / 25 / Minneapolis, MN / Graphic Designer at Children’s Theatre Company; Art Director at Backroom Caracas

“The kitchen is also my library.”


Casey / 28 / Vallejo, CA /  Music director, vocal teacher, registered yoga teacher, performer

“The best things to prepare in my kitchen are witchy salves and oils with my roommate, lots of tea concoctions, coffee so much coffee, and homemade vegan queso. Also it smells like so much cinnamon in there because of ants and because of never wanting to use chemicals! Winter time in the Bay Area!”


Marie / 27 / Collingswood, NJ / Customer Service and Inside Sales Partner in Specialty Foods Distribution

“While I’m definitely super excited about those Compost Cookies I’m holding, my favorite dish to prepare has to be Eggplant Rollatini. I always feel like my Nanny and parents are right there with me as I put it all together.”


Liz / 20 / Wellesley MA / Student

“I live in a coop on my campus with 13 other people, and I love making food to share with others. I just moved in here this year and was excited to host my annual Friendsgayving in a kitchen that felt like home.”


Alysia Angel / 43 / Sacramento, CA / Director of Consumer Support at HealthSherpa


“I am a huge rage baker, when the systems and constructs of the world matched with the intense vibration of community woes press down on me. As of late I made cookies for the revolution, bourbon banana bread for hope, fruit pies to fuel upstarts to continue to rise up, and had a cookie decorating party for nothing other than because community and chosen family matters. I also cook savory meals in my kitchen, but baking is my passion, and it truly is one of my favorite ways to practice self care.”


Megan / 30 / Minneapolis, MN / Raging Queer Feminist Homemaker

“My kitchen is the most inconvenient, undersized, poorly put-together and annoying room in my tiny home…and I love it. I’ve found joy in covering up its damaged walls and cupboards with wild colors, starting a spaghetti noodle collection on the chipped ceiling (you can see one or two in the photo, if you look close), and sitting down at our polka-dot covered table for crowded family meals saturated in love, laughter, fart noises, and political/social/feminist rants.”


Dani Rose / 25 / Sunnyside, Queens / Assistant in the Entertainment Industry and Independent Filmmaker, Photographer, Burlesque Dancer on the side

“When I first saw a picture of my kitchen in a Naked Apartments listing, I immediately texted my boyfriend (I’m bi but in a relationship with a man) a picture of the wallpaper saying: “IT’S SO TACKY…. I NEED IT!” It was the first apartment we saw, and we moved in a few days later. We threw an ugly sweater party this past year and I have to say I think my wallpaper won the award for ‘ugliest.'”


Jen / 27 / Hamilton, Ontario / Finally Not a Cashier


“I couldn’t boil a potato before my wife got her hands on me. I tell people my brain is like a well-stocked kitchen, where all the cabinets are open.”


Megan and Alyssa Hillier-Geisler (That’s us in the picture in a popsicle frame on top of the fridge!) / 31 and 29 / Salt Lake City, UT / Innovation Manager and Communication Specialist (both at large non profits)

“Alyssa is an amazing chef with a stack of cookbooks a mile high and would be happy if she never ate the same thing twice. I basically make soup and horribly unhealthy things (all the salt, cheese, and spicy you can put together) that we call “bachelor food.” After 5 years of marriage and 4 years in SLC, we just bought our first house a few months ago. The house is microscopic so the kitchen and living room are one big room. We love that the two rooms we use the most are now together (meaning we can watch the Cubs play while we cook).”


Sandra Londino / 41 / Ithaca, NY / Certified Nurse Midwife

“I really like cooking dishes with lots of ingredients. The more small bowls filled with chopped veggies and spices all around me, the happier I am.”


Kait (human), Hercules (dog) / 27 (human years), 7 (dog years) / Indianapolis / Social Worker by day, Improviser by night.

“My favorite thing to do in the kitchen is to sautée EVERY DAMN THING.”


Emma Grinde / 26 / Viroqua, WI / Food Scientist


“What this photo doesn’t capture is the smell of a hair tie burning on the bottom of my oven (how did a hair tie make it into my oven?!) and the sound of the fan trying blow away the burning hair tie smell.

PS – Like the anonymous question-asker in Some Answers to Some Things You’ve Been Asking Us #10, I didn’t know where to put my A+ sticker. I took Yvonne’s suggestion and went with the toaster.”


Kayde Mae / 40 / İstanbul, Turkey / Artist


“Most prized kitchen item is the spice rack.”


Amelia / 23 / Leeds, UK / Working in customer service and volunteering at a rape crisis centre


“I love cooking for family and friends — especially things they’ve never had before, so I can surprise them and let them in on something great that I’ve discovered.”


An Sasala / 24 / Lawrence, KS / Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies PhD Student

“I fell in love with someone in this kitchen. Now, I’m learning how to be alone again.”


Leslie Robertson / 29 / Chicago, IL / Digital Marketing Associate

“This kitchen is the main reason we got the place. I’m a pretty casual person and not confident as a cook, so I’ll usually make some kind of chicken and rice (if it’s not a frozen Trader Joe’s dinner). My most prized kitchen item(s) are the dishes I inherited from my 98 year old grandmother.”


Amanda and Rachel Walwood + cameo from dog Willa / Amanda is 28 and Rachel is 29 (Willa is 1.5) / Amanda works in donor relations for Macalester College. Rachel is a software product manager and aspiring web developer

“Winter weekends usually mean braised meats and some combination of butter + flour + cinnamon. You can just see the top of it in the bottom right here, but our portable dishwasher is probably our most prized kitchen possession — we call it our robot butler.”


Kylie / 27 / Lincoln, NE / Mental health therapist


“I love my kitchen especially in the late afternoon when the sun is just beginning to mellow. Beer tastes better and chocolate chip cookies smell sweeter here. It’s the cat hair.”


Wiley Reading / 28 / Burlington, VT / City Kids (after school elementary) Lead Teacher, Personal Care Attendant


“My favorite thing to prepare is something that shows off my skills making something fancy out of super “humble” ingredients, like dumpster-dived kale or chicken organ meat. Examples: latte with foam and cinnamon dust WITHOUT espresso maker OR frother, or kheema paratha with only stuff I get from the discount veggie bin at the co-op and some pantry basics.

I didn’t take out the trash or recycling for this photo, and those pretty curtains in the window are actually in the window of our across-the-alleyway neighbors (also a queer household) #radicaltransparency”


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Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and she thinks you're fucking rad. She's 36, has two kids, two dogs, one Megan, some personal essays and a lot of emails in her inbox. More at LaneiaJones.com.

Laneia has written 647 articles for us.

132 Comments

  1. 1

    This is just the best thing ever.

    I whooped with laughter multiple times, alarming Gillian, who just happens to be in the kitchen baking.

    I feel like I have to look at these all over again and make proper notes about the ones I love which I think is all of them!

  2. 1

    This made me cry. All these beautiful, fantastic people looking so safe and comfy – I kept scrolling looking to see if I recognized any friends, but every one of these people could be mine. Community is a trip, y’all. I love it so much <3 <3 <3

    Also as someone with a really bad and stressful relationship to food, eating, and bodies who has never been able to cook for anyone or if someone is watching, I drew a lot of peace and inspiration from the messages about the kitchen being a welcoming place and a place that doesn't judge mistakes. I'm going to try harder!

  3. 1

    THIS IS SUCH A LOVELY IDEA WITH SUCH LOVELY PEOPLE IN IT. I’m just gonna compile my comments on pictures IN a word doc for this comment so this is probably gonna get long and I apologize. Really I want to comment on everyone’s picture but uuuh, that’s nine pages worth of pics so probs not a good idea.
    Alysia Angel: YOUR KITCHEN IS AMAZING. It’s vintage and perfect and those pastels are killing me aaaaaa
    Megan: you really made the best out of a small space and I really dig the red and black and sun + moon theme you’ve got up. It just looks really witchy and cool.
    Dani Rose: you made that “ugly” wallpaper WORK. I also dig the red and black color scheme you got (am I biased??? maybe)
    Reneice Charles: that picture + quote is perfection. That is all.
    Cole Lu: your mug collection is perfection and so is your shirt.
    Char: I too love your collection of dried bouquets from past dates and actually I like everything going on in this picture, A+ aesthetic
    Katie: those pastel pink accents aaaaaa. Your kitchen is super cute so far, you should totally share pictures if you ever hit your Barbie dreamhouse kitchen dreams.
    Kelsea + Hebe: I ALSO KNOW A BIG ORANGE CAT NAMED SADCAT WITH PERMANENT SADFACE?? But I live in Texas while y’all live in the UK, so not the same cat unfortunately.
    Geneva: UM THIS IS AMAZING? Please come decorate my house
    Sarah and Sheldon: WHAT A HANDSOME COUPLE. Such majestic floof + cat decorations.
    Kristin and Zowie X: alright so everything about these pictures are on point but also IS THAT A REAL CHAMELEON??
    Tldr: everyone is amazing and perfect that is all

  4. 0

    Wow! Three things. A) this is awesome! Kitchens and Queers… Two of my most favorite things. B) how the heck did I miss the call for this??? 3) suddenly feeling like I’m one of the few single people on autostraddle! Lookin good y’all!

  5. 1

    Oh! This is lovely. Look at everybody’s faces!! It’s one thing seeing a bunch of happy queers in the A-Camp photos, but it feels so different seeing everyone hanging out in their natural environments, and in the hearts of their homes no less. It’s really, really nice to see the huge spectrum of people all across the lands who gravitate here, and with this kind of intimacy, I guess (even before the partial nudity). The same goes for the ones without a human in them – it’s just a really nice (and kind of anthropologically fascinating) snapshot of people’s lives. Anyway, this has made my day. Thanks to all who submitted for inviting us all in out of the cold, bitter Trumpian winter for an evening. What an awesome idea for a series.

  6. 0

    Oh wow. So many emotions while scrolling through these. Heart-warming, content, warm-fuzzy, feeling like I belong on this earth and aching tear-jerking were probably the two predominant emotions there.

    And so many thoughts. But I’m just gonna ask – what is that appliance I kept seeing in the pictures that looks like it’s either a front-loading washing machine or a dishwasher with a circular window? Is it a washing machine in the kitchen or a dishwasher like I’ve never seen before? Oh, and also say that I had so much fun google-mapping where you all are from.

  7. 1

    all of your kitchens are so cute! all of your dogs and cats are so good! (phryne fisher! that is the best name for a cat ever.) all of you are so wonderful!
    i love kitchens. a lot.
    as someone who’s struggled lately with not feeling like i belong in the LGBT community– like everyone else is cooler and gayer and has already established cliques/squads/friend groups that don’t have room for a newly-out-ish baby dyke who looks like a straight girl– it feels warm and fuzzy and validating to have my picture smack-dab in the middle of the rest of you queers like it’s the most natural thing in the world.

  8. 1

    1) I love you all.

    2) Emily in Philadelphia, PA: your kitchen with its newly installed teal backsplash in my kitchen of dreams

    3) Can someone remake The L Word and cast Britt Ransom and Melissa Tran / 29 and 27 / Long Beach, CA as the new Bette/Tina?? (You, your neon sign & jobs are awesome.)

    • 0

      Yeah, that’s where the University of Maine is so I wonder if that has something to do with it. College towns tend to be more liberal/gay-friendly. But it could also be completely unrelated.

  9. 1

    This was so interesting.I smiled a lot in recognition of what has been shared, and felt quite blessed to be part of this community being themselves as part of this project. This is one of the coolest things Autostraddle has done!!

    I loved the meal in progress shots, and how the kitchen makes people talk and listen to one another. Thank you everyone for sharing yourselves and where you feed and nourish yourselves.

  10. 0

    This is everything I thought it would be! Y’alls kitchens are amazing.
    Also, Autostraddlers have some seriously good hair.
    For the record, my cat Diana (named after the princess) is in my shot, standing on the washing machine and wondering why I’m posing for pictures instead of giving her treats.

  11. 1

    QUEER IRL this is my hearrrrt. i love every single picture and every single person so much. I want to hangout in all ur kitchens and drink tea and hear about your day and be your friend. I love this peek into your lives so much and my heart especially swelled up for all your queer families. It is so great to see some of the beauty in your lives.

  12. 0

    I loved this so much. Everything about it is perfect, and real.

    What a nice anecdote to the depressing state of American politics. Despite it all, real life goes on. Pancakes still taste great. Coffee is just as amazing as ever. Queer chicks are happy and cozy at home. So many feels….

    I love to cook and feel most complete behind the stove. So it was to see so many passionate cooks in the mix. And to see their kitchens as a reflection of who they are.

    I also have to say- wow, so many gorgeous women!

    What’s next for IRL?

  13. 1

    TWO MALAYSIANS :O

    And aww, my kitchen looks really boring compared to you lot. No fridge magnets, for one – I should really get some magnetic poetry. And I don’t get visitors often enough to do a group cook – I think that’s only happened once?? Which is to say, if you are in Melbourne, please hit me up because I would love to have you visit and we can make something together.

    I missed out on the submissions party, but wanna share, so here you go:

    It’s not actually bendy, I just suck at panorama pictures. And yes, those are potatoes in the butter cookie tin.

  14. 0

    amazing. beautiful, fascinating, perfect. this brings so much joy

    i’m also in love with all of those cats and dogs. wish i weren’t too shy n closeted to also send something in, but i’m so looking forward to the rest of this series

  15. 1

    You all look amazing, thank you for sharing! All these wonderful warm pictures left me feeling very warm and happy. And, seriously, your fashion game is A+ – loved to see all those wonderful shirts and flannels, dressing gowns and slippers, super cool boots and awesome hats and Beanies. There’s some real dedication right there – keep on rocking, keep on using melons for very good things and fondeling kale.

  16. 1

    Wooo it’s me!

    The sheer amount of cats in this gave me life. I literally went through this excitedly yelling CAT! every time a cat showed up. I especially loved the cat names Roofcat and Pesto. Those are amazing cat names.

    Some day, when I have my own cat, I want to name them VCR Player. or Episode Six. Or Croissant. I don’t know, I have a long list of absurd cat names saved up. I can’t wait.

  17. 0

    There is so much creativity here. I am in awe of everyone. Thank you and thanks Laneia for putting this together.

    Seeing how amazing some of these shots are I wish I put a bit more effort into mine, but then wrangling a dog and a baby is a feat in itself.

  18. 2

    1. I want to marry all of you.

    2. This should be a Taschen coffee table book already.

    3. I wish I had a time machine and could go back and give small-town baby dyke me a copy of this collection of images. It would have been so comforting. It still is; aside from direct action (which I know we are all participating in), the most radical act we can all engage in in the face of our current political reality is to live, work, love, and thrive in spite of those who hate us. These images are a rich and beautiful tableau of the act of resistance that is choosing to exist.

    As an aside: This is a powerful and important document, and a snapshot of a community and a moment in time that has historical value. As you continue this series, I hope you will consider ways in which in can be published or formally added to one of our LGBT archives to be a primary source for future generations.

  19. 0

    2 questions…. 1. Where did Casey get that double Venus sweatshirt, because I need it, and 2. How do I become Alysia’s best friend, because I HAVE TO COOK IN THAT KITCHEN!!!!!

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