This summer, after the media firestorm surrounding the homophobic policies of Chick-fil-A, my fiance and I, like many in the gay community, made an informal commitment not to patronize their restaurants any longer. However, we are weak and have quite an affinity for fast food, particularly for breakfast at Chick-fil-A. It didn’t help that our favorite contestant from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Willam Belli had released a drag-tastic music video encouraging us to “Chow down at Chick-fil-A, even if you’re gay.”
Since the release of Chow Down, my fiance and I have been eating at Chick-fil-A more often. One day last week, we rolled into the parking lot with the windows down and Willam belting his love of waffle fries for all the God-fearing folks of Charlotte, North Carolina to hear. We walked into the restaurant hand-in-hand. However, as we approached the counter he let go of my hand. He never does that. I gave him a look as if to say, “Really? Not for some bullshit conservative company.” I quickly put my arm around his shoulder, and he pulled away again. I persisted and eventually won as we began to order nearly attached at the hip. I made conversation with the stocky, Latino guy behind the counter. After getting our food, we took our tray to a corner booth. As we sat there, we discussed for a moment what it must be like for closeted employees of a company like Chick-fil-A.
We enjoyed our meal with a side of delicious hate and as we exited the restaurant, I realized that I had forgotten my phone in the booth. I ran back in to get it and I saw the young cashier sitting a few tables behind where we had been, apparently on a break. I gave him a quick nod and a smile before leaving again to find my fiance waiting by the passenger door of my car. As I began to slowly drive away I saw the cashier coming out of the restaurant and toward our car. “Oh no,” I thought, “he is going to say something mean.” I supposed he might tell us what Jesus thought about our alternative lifestyle or to take our business to the queer-loving KFC down the road.
Curious, I stopped and rolled down the passenger window. He leaned in, closer to my fiance than I wanted him to be. He said, in a quiet voice, “Do you guys know where I can find a boyfriend? I just moved to Charlotte.”
“A boyfriend?” I replied as my heart went all aflutter at how cute and innocent his question seemed.
I thought for a moment. “Well, we met on Grindr,” I said. “Have you heard of Grindr?”
“No,” he replied.
“Do you have a smart phone?” my fiance asked.
The cashier took an iPhone from his pocket.
“Grindr is a gay dating app,” we explained. “Just be careful, most guys on there are only looking for sex. You should be selective about who you talk to and meet from there.”
Then the conversation turned and my image of a sweet and rather innocent employee was changed dramatically. “I just need to get some dick,” he said.
“Oh, well Grindr is certainly the right place for that,” we added in agreement. “You’ll fit right in.”
Feeling rather awkward at this unexpected exchange, I wished him luck and began to drive away once more. Again, he stopped us. He then topped the awkwardness of his previous comment by adding, “By the way, I’ll suck your guys’ dicks anytime.”
“Woah!” we exclaimed with a forced laugh. “No thanks.” We bid him farewell and finally drove away. In a state of shock, it took us about a half of a block before we began to laugh hysterically and yell with excitement.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for the ever-tormented queer employees of Chick-fil-A. From the bottom of my heart, I wish that employee the absolute best of luck in his search for some dick.
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image via Flickr user saechang