Ever since launching my own Kickstarter for my upcoming novel, Vuto, several months ago, I’ve kept my eye on the crowdfunding site in search of cool and interesting projects to back. One that recently jumped out as a rather innovative campaign is one by Heather Cox Carducci and Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa for Fire Dragon Love Sauce – proclaimed by the creators as “the official hot sauce for gay marriage.”
“Let’s spread love and spice to kitchen tables around the world.”
Fire Dragon Love Sauce originators Heather and Gigi named the sauce after their signs in Chinese astrology; the couple also tied the knot in San Francisco last year, which happened to be the year of the Water Dragon. Put it all together in a hot sauce and Fire Dragon Love Sauce was born.
When asked why they decided to equate their hot sauce with the fight for marriage equality, Heather and Gigi said,
“Gay marriage is a hot topic, so we’ve decided to launch a thematic product in the heat of this very historic moment. We’ve been inspired by chefs and artists who work at the intersection of food, art, and activism, and are excited to join this growing community of innovators. We think that an interdisciplinary approach to reaching marriage equality is important. Thus, we are doing our part to spice up the movement and the dialog about gay marriage.
“An integral part of our creative process is the cultivation of the sauce’s synesthetic qualities, such as its ability to stimulate the creative, sensual, and intellectual senses by way of the gastronomic ones. In other words, we want to reach the hearts and minds of people through their stomachs. There are a lot of people in the world who love their hot sauce, but do not love their gay neighbors, so we’d like to make them think twice about marriage equality through hot sauce!”
According to their Kickstarter bio, “Gigi and Heather share a deep love and passion for hot sauce and began experimenting with their own hot sauce over a year ago. They truly believe in the power of hot sauce to transform communities by helping people reconnect with their bodies. They have delighted friends, family, and co-workers with their sauce and are now ready to share the love with the rest of the world.”
The couple added, “We consider the hot sauce a smart product, in that we are creating something that exists beyond consumption – something that makes people think and that engages them politically. In this day and age, people are preoccupied with their devices and disconnected from their bodies. So we want to encourage them to put down their smart phone, and to pick up their smart hot sauce! It’s also very delicious and synthesizes unique ingredients such as such as ginger, cocoa powder, mezcal, and of course, Dragon Love!”
Their campaign page states, “Spice up your Pride with Fire Dragon Love Sauce, a gastro-galactic hot sauce that engages multiple senses & promotes love, spice, and equality for all people!”
Heather and Gigi are trying to raise at least $4,500 by July 5th; funding will go towards business registration licensing, nutrition labeling, insurance, legal fees, permits and all of the supplies needed to create Fire Dragon Love Sauce.
This venture is not without its risks. Heather and Gigi explained,
“Notwithstanding our success thus far, we have also encountered challenges and animosity toward the hot sauce, not only from heterosexual people who do not support marriage equality, but also from LGBT people who do not support marriage equality because they consider it assimilationist and mainstream. Some leftist artists and activists consider this project too capitalistic in nature, whereas those on the other side think the project is too gay, political, weird, and edgy. Nevertheless, our approach to and ideas about marriage, capitalism, and subversive art practices are based on transformation and a vision for social change. We think it’s crucial to participate in these structures and practices, in order to transform them, rather than be defeatist and not participate at all.”