Queer Apocalypse Solutions is the fruit of a romantic-academic-spiritual binational partnership between Lindsay Garcia and Helis Sikk. The seeds for this project were put in the soil a week after their wedding—4 days before Donald J. Trump became the 45th president-elect of the United States in November 2016. Although the immigration crisis was the starting point for this collaboration, the expansiveness of the violence inflicted on queer communities by the current administration highlighted the necessity for a wider breadth.
The need for our plan of queer survival became especially acute after we moved to some of the most conservative (read: homophobic) parts of the rural Midwest in August 2017.
I am a nomadic, socially engaged, feminist artist who works in performance, video, social practice, poetry, and scholarly intervention. I came out in my mid-twenties amidst a landscape of queer embrace in Portland, Maine—honestly, it was uneventful. Since that time, I have moved to progressively less progressive states, and my paranoia has increased. Living in a tiny rural yet industrial Indiana town which in the winter is grey amongst a political universe that threatens my relationship, my health, and my sanity has led me to this project. I have learned that being able to pass as hetero (if not a little bit weird), something I never thought much about, is for many in this community a safety mechanism of invisibility. My number one tool for survival is being able to ground myself in the moment I am in.
What is your individual version of apocalypse? As someone who is reliant on a medication for hourly survival (insulin), an apocalypse for me would be if the health system collapsed or if I was unable to acquire my own personal medication. If this was coupled with a shortage of food, I would be in real trouble.I am an addict whose disease brought me to near death many times. It was a period of daily survival mode. However, this has strengthened me over the last decade of sobriety.
I am able to talk pretty much anyone out of any form of anxiety attack.
I can run 10 miles easily (as long as I have the right food-medicine combination).
I know that my ideas, opinions, beliefs may not always be “right.”
I am a type 1 diabetic, meaning that I am dependent on insulin, blood glucose testing strips, and juice boxes for daily survival.
I am afraid of flying.
I am not good at cleaning.
My memory sucks.
Helis I’m an Estonian expat and queer theory enthusiast. I came to the United States ten years ago for grad school. I have lived in Wyoming, in the South, and last two years in the Midwest. Early on I realized that, for my survival as a queer person without any family in the United States, I needed to connect with people in my community and figure out who is a supporter and who is a not. I still believe one of the most important ways to prepare for any apocalypse is by talking to people in your community: at the grocery store line, at your workplace, the local coffee shop. You want to know where people stand (who is in your team and who is not) because you share a space with them.
What is your individual version of apocalypse? There are a number of versions. The federal immigration law stops covering family based immigrant visas. This means I would have to return to Estonia. Russia occupies my motherland and transports tens of thousands of people to Siberia where most of them die. The majority of people targeted are intellectuals, artists, and dissidents of all kinds (a large number of them are queer). The second part of this apocalypse (Russian occupation) is something that already happened in the 1940s and possibly can happen again. I lost several of my family members in that genocide.