Thursday, July 19, 2012

You Are What You Eat

This article hit home for me in multiple ways.

See, I grew up in The South. And in The South, we love our chicken sandwiches. I ate Chick-fil-A multiple times a week (there was even one in my high school). And in the South, we love "traditional" values and we love Jesus. As a result, I was raised in an environment full of homophobes and extremely religious Evangelists. I was taught that Jesus loves everyone- but the environment in which I lived told a much different story: Jesus loves you, but not if you're gay. And actions speak so much louder than words. I also dressed as the Chick-fil-A cow on a couple different occasions, and my Dad and I used to collect their cow kid's meal prizes.

I loved Chick-fil-A. I'm not gonna lie, just thinking about their waffle fries and bbq sauce is making my mouth water. My Mama warned me about the Devil's temptations! There were Sundays that I was bummed they were closed, but I understood. When you grow up in The Bible Belt, many businesses observed the "day of rest." As a youth, I had no idea that when I ate at Chick-fil-A I was swallowing hatred.

I've known for several years now that Chick-fil-A was "against civil rights for LGBT individuals and have even discouraged anti-bullying campaigns that seek to prevent LGBT teens from taking their own lives" and I have been vocal about why I don't eat there, before (I know I can't eat there now, anyway, but I wouldn't even if I could).

I'm glad this topic is coming up again and is becoming more well known, garnering widespread press when before there were only rumblings among the LGBTQ community. Do I think that by not eating there, I will change their stance? No. Do I think that writing this, sharing that article, or telling people that Chick-fil-A is homophobic will discourage others from eating there? Maybe. Do I think it's important to bring things like this up, so that people can be aware of what they're supporting? Yes.

I didn't choose to be Gay. I also didn't choose where I was born or how I was raised. But, I do have a choice in the kind of person I am and what I put my time and energy toward. In the last two years this has become more important to me than ever. It takes so much effort to hate others, and it poisons your own soul. Life is so, so short and I just don't have the time or energy to spend on hating anyone, especially for who they were born to be. I choose to love them, instead.

"Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us." -V For Vendetta

My integrity is worth more than a chicken sandwich. You are what you eat, afterall...