We finally learned the origin of the "Lesbian Farmers" merch sensation and we can't stop laughing
"America needs lesbian farmers."
Three years ago, Nico was delighted to discover a striking, green sticker emblazoned with those very words in a gift shop in Des Moines, Iowa. She was in town for her brother's graduation and knew the souvenir would make my day when she returned to Salt Lake.
Back then, we were a couple of enterprising gardeners and makers with jobs at nonprofits, and we needed a reminder of what the future could hold.
The sticker's sentiment made perfect sense to Nico and me. Lesbian farmers were EXACTLY what America needed. Obviously. Glad others thought so too and were spreading the word.
It's kinda funny to look back at what our mindset must've been when we got the sticker. Clearly we viewed the push for more lesbians in agriculture as a universal truth that was finally getting the promotion it needed and deserved because, well ... we never thought to investigate where the idea actually came from or what it might be referencing.
And so the sticker enjoyed prominent placement in various locations. In my cubicle back when I worked in PR at University of Utah Health. On our fridge.
And then the other day we were chilling on our backyard porch and decided to take 11 seconds to look it up. The ensuing discovery had us laughing our asses off for several minutes to the point of diaphragm discomfort.
Yes, Rush freaking Limbaugh. According to the Des Moines Register, Rush said the following on August 18, 2016:
"Rural America happens to be largely conservative. Rural America is made up of self-reliant, rugged individualist types. They happen to be big believers in the Second Amendment. So here comes the Obama regime with a bunch of federal money, and they're waving it around, and all you gotta do to get it is be a lesbian and want to be a farmer, and they'll set you up. I'm like you; I never before in my life knew that lesbians wanted to be farmers."
Within weeks of Limbaugh uttering those words, the Des Moines Register published a story called "Look out, Limbaugh: A 'lesbian farmers' shirt now exists." Other merch followed.
So, now we know the truth, and we're nothing but amused and emboldened by Limbaugh's comments.
Nico and I live in one of the reddest states in the land, and we are queer as the day is long. And, yes, we are absolutely serious about making our burgeoning business a success.
At farmers' markets, we have people who glance at our display, see our rainbow pride candles or notice the two adorable lesbians running the operation, and they hustle on past our booth as fast as they can. We also have people who see us and beeline over, delighted as can be.
They're the ones who get us. They see what we are trying to do, what we're capable of. They appreciate the uniqueness and quality of our artisan products — our candles, soaps, seedlings, bouquets, and whatever else we've managed to produce that week on our 0.2-acre downtown farm. They recognize our creations as beautiful gifts and personal comfort items that can't be found anywhere else.
So while we're always tapping into our wells of inner strength, tenaciousness, and determination that we've developed over the years — it's these people who are infusing us with the confidence to continue building what we've started.
Because, Rush Limbaugh, no matter who the president is, we're lesbian farmers. And we're not going anywhere.