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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: The argument against Chick-fil-A

‘Not eating at Chick-fil-A is quite literally the least you can do to support the LGBTQ+ community, and yet it is the easiest choice – or lack thereof – to make.’
Wren Johnson

I don’t care what you do. I don’t care if you eat Chick-fil-A. I don’t care if you shop on Shein. I don’t care if you wear leather. I don’t care if you listen to Kanye. But I think that you should care about what you do and how your choices impact the world.

I’m not going to delude myself into thinking that everyone who eats Chick-fil-A is homophobic. However, if you eat Chick-fil-A while believing you’ve done all you can for the queer community, whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community or not, it’s very important to me that you know you’re wrong. 

Let me start this by saying, assuming you do care about advocating for marginalized communities, I hope you look at your purchases in a new light and are willing to accept the weight of your decisions. 

Chick-fil-A is good. Really good. I think we can all agree on that, so I’m not going to pretend that their chicken isn’t one of the greatest – if not the best – on the market. 

In the same way that their chicken sandwiches are really good, Shein clothing is really cheap. Kanye has released one (or two, max) really good songs. I wear leather boots (then again, I’m not vegan). 

But Shein is, all-around, terrible when it comes to clothing quality, working conditions and its overall impact on the environment. Kanye holds too many prejudices to list. And we all know where leather comes from (if you’re confused, just look at the Chick-fil-A mascot).

In the same way that wearing clothes from Shein while you listen to Kanye’s “Donda” isn’t the most mindful choice, eating at Chick-fil-A isn’t either. Chick-fil-A has been known to not only create an unsafe environment for queer workers but also has been financially supportive of homophobic charities.  

A lot of people probably haven’t worked in a place where you felt genuinely afraid of being outed as LGBTQ+. A lot of people probably haven’t met anyone that has been to conversion therapy (a harmful and pseudoscientific form of “counseling,” often religious in nature, that pressures individuals to change themselves to become straight or cis). 

A lot of people with no personal experience with these issues probably consider themselves allies to the LGBTQ+ communities and hold empathy for those that are impacted by these factors – and continue to eat at Chick-fil-A. 

If you do eat Chick-fil-A, even if you identify as LGBTQ+, have you been to conversion therapy? Do you financially support queer causes to curb your funding of Chick-fil-A?

Since the landmark ruling of Bostock v. Clayton Country in 2020, queer people living in states without explicit protection over sexual orientation can no longer be fired on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

According to the official case syllabus, “Clayton County, Georgia, fired Gerald Bostock for conduct ‘unbecoming’ a county employee shortly after he began participating in a gay recreational softball league.” 

Circumstances like this one are not far from “eating mor chikin.” Chick-fil-A is one of many businesses to reportedly have discriminated against workers on the basis of sexual orientation in the workplace. 

More than that, though, Chick-fil-A and its owner Dan Cathy have been unabashedly supportive of anti-gay causes in the past. While the corporation stopped endorsing and financially supporting these causes in 2019, Cathy still does

“To say that Cathy isn’t Chick-fil-a and that Chick-fil-a isn’t Cathy is asinine,” The Esquire’s Justin Kirkland said. 

But, chances are, you already know this. And chances are, you’ve still been eating their food, maybe even claiming that “the chicken is so good it’s worth it.” Maybe you think that, since you’re bisexual, it “cancels out” with supporting the company.

This is a horrible and selfish mindset. When you support Chick-fil-A, you support former CEO Dan Cathy and you support everything he stands for, even without his anti-gay beliefs. Not eating at Chick-fil-A is quite literally the least you can do to support the LGBTQ+ community, and yet it is the easiest choice – or lack thereof – to make.

Sure, Dan Cathy isn’t a complete supervillain (setting my personal opinion on him aside). And Chick-fil-A has, in fact, stopped donating directly to homophobic causes. But this is the bare minimum to repair the damage that has been done, and you need to consider where the profits from your chicken sandwich and waffle fries go.

Chances are, this writing isn’t going to change your mind. If you eat Chick-fil-A, you’re probably going to keep eating it. But all I’m asking is that you think about what you’re supporting, and whether you think having a good meal – a damn good meal – is worth the harm you’re causing others.

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About the Contributors
Sascha Harvey, Opinion Editor
Sascha Harvey is the opinon editor for The Sunflower. A junior majoring in graphic design, this is Harvey's third year on staff and second year as a section editor. He is originally from Arkansas but has no accent to speak of (unless you listen really hard). The graphic design major enjoys covering feature stories and local news. Harvey uses he/him pronouns.
Wren Johnson, Illustrator/Designer
Wren Johnson is an illustrator for The Sunflower. Johnson is a third-year Communications major that loves chickens. In her free time she likes to read, draw, and hang out with friends. Johnson uses she/her pronouns.

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