We always thought Portland, Oregon, was one of the most inclusive cities in America, but one pizza parlor really burned the local LGBT community with an insensitively named menu item.
Lonesome’s Pizza wanted to introduce its breadsticks, described as “pillowy strips of garlic seasoned focaccia, topped with oregano olive oil rub and fresh Parmigiana,” and served with a variety of dipping sauces.
Since Lonesome’s is known for its silly menu items, the owners thought it’d be funny to promote the item as “tranny stix,” complete with a photo of co-owner Nic Reddy in drag.
Not since the advent of Crystal Pepsi has there been such a misfire in the food-and-beverage business: Local trans advocates and allies took to the pizzeria’s Facebook page and voiced their agita.
Reddy and co-owner Noah Antieau soon removed the item from their menu and delivered an apology, via PQ, Portland’s local LGBT newspaper:
The absolute last thing we ever want to do is upset somebody who’s already got a rough road. The idea of doing that makes us all feel pretty horrible. So, if you’re transgender, we’re all apologies,” Reddy told “Christ, both me and Noah (I’m 3-foot-6 and he’s 7 feet tall) have been listening to shit our whole lives, and to think that we’re heaping it on to somebody who deals with exponentially more shit on a daily basis makes us both feel like dicks.
The chance that we might be hurting somebody’s feelings that surely doesn’t have it coming is a deal-breaker. If you’re an outlier, if you’re anywhere near feeling like you’re on the margins, we really want your business.
You’re why we dig – and identify with — this town.
What’s most important to get across is that we really are sorry to all the transgender community. We’re a little slow on the uptake, no question, but we’re learning.
The locals seem to have appreciated the effort: As one Facebook commentor wrote, “Hey Lonesome’s, thanks for stepping up, apologizing and making things right. You just gained a new customer.”