When 23-year-old New York bartender Josh Hune did the unthinkable and admitted to loving the food at Chick-fil-A, his friends didn’t take the news well. One friend in particular was very upset.
“He told me I was the worst gay in NYC,” Hune tells the New York Post. “But I personally don’t think my money or my going there is me saying I hate gays as well. I don’t think about it like that $7 is going to some foundation to stop gay marriage. For me, it’s just food.”
Hune is among a secret minority of gay New Yorkers who admit to being — get ready for it — excited that the Georgia-based fried chicken chain is opening more locations in their city.
Last month, the company announced it planned to open 108 new locations across the country in 2014, with “a good chuck of them” in New York City. Chick-fil-A, of course, has a history of donating to antigay causes, and CEO Dan Cathy has been a vocal opponent of equal rights for gay people for years.
Not all gay Chick-fil-A fans are quite so forthcoming about their affinities for the conservative chicken giant’s food. Many still keep their forbidden love a secret. William, who requested his last name not be used out of fear of backlash over his choice, is a 26-year-old digital strategist who tells the New York Post Chick-fil-A is simply too delicious to quit.
“I have a healthy fear of the gay mafia,” he says. “But the crispy chicken is orgasmic. This sounds terrible because it’s fast food, but it’s the most tender chicken I’ve ever had.”
William notes a hypocrisy within the gay community. Many people who oppose Chick-fil-A, he says, still frequent other companies that also have conservative execs in charge, including Urban Outfitters, Papa John’s Pizza, Exxon, the Salvation Army, Purina, and Cracker Barrel.
“It would shock you,” William says. “You wouldn’t be able to step out of your house if you boycotted them all.”
For Peppermint, a Harlem-based drag queen, the fact that Chick-fil-A’s CEO has a history of vocally opposing gay rights is a nonissue.
“He apologized for injecting that into the business,” she says. “I support that. I’m a firm believer that you should be able to believe what you want, as long as it doesn’t infringe on my quality of life or stop me from doing what I want to do or getting food from the Chick-fil-A.”
She adds: “I want to live in a place where people can think differently. That’s what humans do.”
26-year-old Robert Brigman, who works as a concierge, shares Peppermint’s sentiment. The “Republican-leaning” gay man grew up in Tennessee and doesn’t believe a business should be boycotted over one person’s opinions.
“I could care less about Chick-fil-A making a stance,” he the New York Post. “They are allowed to have that opinion, and I’m allowed to have mine.”
“For people on the wrong side of the issue, marriage equality is becoming a moot point,” Peppermint adds. “It’s inevitable. It’s happening. Whether you support it or not, everyone who’s married and gay is going to be coming into your restaurant, and you’re going to have to live with it.”
Photo credit: New York Post