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My original intent for this article was to write a thoughtful analysis of the craziness that was Chick-Fil-A appreciation day. But nope. You will get none of that from me. Because I am frustrated, very frustrated, with how this all went down.
[[MORE]]First of all, the media got it wrong. Nearly everyone got it wrong. On multiple counts. The narrative was framed as, Dan Cathy is asked how he feels about gay marriage and gives his honest response. When he expressed his opinion, gay rights activists got angry and decided to boycott his business.
This was picked up by liberal and conservative news outlets across the nation. From people as dim as Sarah Palin to people as bright as Jon Stewart - every single one of them got it abso-fucking-lutely incorrect. Trust me, I know. I wrote this article long before Dan Cathy ever made his feelings on gay marriage public.
It’s not about Dan Cathy’s opinion - which I do not give a flying fuck about - it’s about the fact that Chick-Fil-A donated over $5 million to anti-gay hate groups. Hate groups which have been listed next to the KKK, hate groups which try to cure gay people like it’s a disease, and hate groups that have disseminated information claiming that gay people are pedophiles.
So pardon me if I don’t want my money going there. But no, the national media went with the “freedom of speech vs. mean gay people trying to silence them” narrative because it was shiny and pretty. Which, aside from being factually inaccurate, unfortunately, was picked up by one Mike Huckabee who took it upon himself to plan the “National Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.”
And then, explosion. Facebook fights erupted all over the Internet. Friend unfriended friend and it was just a big old politically-charged mess.
And several kinds of people waded into that mess.
First, there were the gay people arguing that Chick-Fil-A was against their human rights and that they would not be participating. Then the gay people who decided they couldn’t care less. They were quickly followed by straight people who - enthused by the fact that people might actually give a shit what they did or did not eat for lunch that day - couldn’t care less.
And then, amongst the shit-tons of “they have the right to believe what they want just like you do” posts, there were the anti-gay bigots who, safely under the umbrella of “protecting freedom of speech,” hitched up the wagon and rode to the nearest Chick-Fil-A to patronize a “good, Christian business.” And then took pictures of themselves there and posted it on Facebook. And then professed to the world how much they loved Chick-Fil-A. You know, basically a “fuck you, gay people” sort of deal.
Because simply continuing to eat there is definitely not enough. No, you have to be a dick about it and wait in a 45-minute line to get your sandwich because you have a point to prove.
And that point was… what, again?
Freedom of speech? How? Who said Chick-Fil-A didn’t have the right to say what they think and donate to whom they choose? How is a boycott not an exercise of freedom of speech?
And you really want to make this about freedom? Really? When Chick-Fil-A has donated groups who are pretty damn anti-freedom?
Let me turn your logic around.
“Don’t tell me I can’t be anti-gay!”
Fine. Don’t tell me I can’t: get married, adopt, visit my significant other in the hospital, or receive the benefits of a civil union.
It’s that easy. You love freedom so fucking much? Give it to me, then. Oh, wait, I’m sorry, you don’t actually mean freedom. You mean “I should be able to be openly anti-gay and you saying anything bad about me because of it makes you the intolerant one!”
Then enter the people who suddenly care about starving African children when any kind of social issue is brought up on the Internet. You know the people… the ones who don’t give any semblance of a fuck about Africa on any other day of the calendar year except this one.
“Why are gay people so up in arms over Chick-Fil-A?” asks the Christian suburban straight person with a white savior complex. “Don’t you people know there are starving people in Africa right now?”
Okay, person who otherwise would be posting an Instagram picture of your tanned legs with the caption ‘laying out!<3’, you appear to want to go there. So let’s go there.
You have thousands of self-proclaimed Christians all across America lining up to buy chicken sandwiches to support a multi-million dollar corporation, and you’re going to tell me that I have my priorities fucked up?
When was the last time you got a shit ton of Christians across the country to feed the hungry here in the USA? When was the last time you got a shit ton of Christians to all decide hmm, you know what? Today I’m going to give up a great number of my worldly possessions and give them to the poor. But why have charity? Why have good will? Why would you ever actually, like, give a flying fuck about those things when you can just prove how much you love Jesus by purchasing a fucking chicken sandwich?!
You know what, I’ve never said this before, but maybe your god really is an awesome god. All I have to do to appease him is stuff my face. I can do that! That’s way easier than treating others the way I’d like to be treated and being kind and loving and gentle towards all of mankind. Fuck those things. Those things don’t give me an other to hate, to blame, and to step on. They don’t feed into my massive Christian persecution complex which is constantly whispering in my ear that the atheists and gays will soon have absolute power over this country and will oppress the poor religious people.
Oppress the religious people?! Christians in America wouldn’t know persecution if it took away their tax-exempt status, kept them from marrying each other, and made it legal to fire them from their jobs solely based on their religion.
And you know what? Even then! EVEN THEN! At least you would be persecuted for a belief you hold. Me? I’m persecuted because I was predisposed to fall in love with other men. But you? You’d be getting persecuted because you believe in talking snakes and angels and the Rapture and that the people who disagree with you will burn in a lake of eternal fire.
Never mind that Jesus was a Jew and wouldn’t eat at a place that served pork and bacon. Never mind that Jesus probably wouldn’t care too much to see his followers who are supposed to be meek and humble throwing money at a super rich corporation. Never mind that it is allegedly easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get in to heaven. No, because Jesus himself actually said that shit. You’d much rather choose to focus on shit he didn’t say - like how he supposedly felt about homosexuals.
Oh my, look how angry I sound. I must be one of those gay people who is full of hate and anger. That’s certainly what I was while I was arguing for my own civil rights against people trying to tell me that we can “agree to disagree on homosexuality.” Agree to disagree? When LGBT people are murdered at a higher rate, commit suicide at a higher rate, and are beaten and kicked and pushed down you want me to just “agree to disagree” with you now?
Let me tell you this. Agreeing to disagree is a luxury I can’t afford because that’s something you can only do with an equal. And, if you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of dealing with some major inequalities here. So when you tell me that I have to deal with the bullshit that society and religion sends my way on a daily basis, and that I have to do it with a smile on my face, then don’t be surprised when I tell you to kindly fuck off.
“But you’ll never get rights that way. You attract more flies with honey than-” oh shut the fuck up. Like you care about my rights. This debate has certainly brought out every concern troll on the Internet. You know, people who deep down don’t care one way or another if you ever get acceptance or civil rights but will gladly pretend that they are allies just trying to help you get your point across better.
Which brings us to the last kind of people who decided to wade into the Chick-Fil-A debate for no other reason than the fact that they own a computer and can read. The people who chose to pontificate to everyone else that America has “become so polarized and divisive that we have forgotten how to come together and focus on what’s really important.” That’s the pretty version of it, anyway. These are the righteous people who take it upon themselves to be the peacekeepers and try to reconcile what they see as simply two sides who can’t seem to come to an agreement.
And I’d like to thank them.
Thank you, straight person who is completely unaffected by anything Exodus International, Focus on the Family, or the National Organization for Marriage will ever do. Thank you for reminding me that gay rights and LGBT acceptance is, for most of America, just a “hot-button” issue that causes controversy and is better to be avoided all together. I don’t think that’s a privilege enjoyed solely by non-LGBT people at all!
Except that it is.
And the most frustrating thing of all is that no matter how many facts and personal experiences you share with people, they won’t get it. Because they don’t know what it’s like. Why should they? They have rights I don’t. They wouldn’t know what life is like without them. To them, this is just something to disagree over. Not an issue of humanity. There are no real people getting hurt in all this to them. The people who have been victimized by the hate groups Chick-Fil-A supported with their corporate change remain faceless and invisible.
Enjoy your chicken.
Graffiti from the inside (Taken with Instagram)

Graffiti from the inside (Taken with Instagram)

Ivy-covered twin Hunting Park, North Philly (Taken with Instagram)

Ivy-covered twin Hunting Park, North Philly (Taken with Instagram)