If you're like me, you're probably pretty mad at Chick-Fil-A for being a bunch of bigoted medieval anti-gay dickheads. And rightfully so. I mean, what geological epoch is this? What kind of a fucking petrified, exhumed garbage pharaoh do you have to be to maintain the drive and energy to hate gay people in 2012—let alone have the expansive, drooping ballsack to do it in public? Gay people are hella mainstream these days. Gay people are human beings and citizens and artists and doctors and parents and children and assholes and firemen and people just like the rest of us. Among forward-thinking, socially responsible folks, this is some antiquated, unacceptable shit. But you know what apparently isn't some antiquated, unacceptable shit? Sticking up for gay people by abusing fat people. Great job, guys.
This week I started to see this image floating around Facebook and Twitter. It's a photo of a fat woman, from behind, head cropped, ass crowding the frame, sitting on a tiny chair with the Chick-Fil-A logo stuck on the back. The caption reads:
Welcome to Chick-Fil-A, where obesity is "genetic" but being gay is a "lifestyle choice."
Har har, said good liberals all across the internet. Har har. Good one.
Yesterday I came across a Facebook post from someone I really respect—a writer, a smart, liberal woman. She shared that old photo of Mike Huckabee's family—you know, the one where they had the gall to let their fat bodies be photographed (Existing While Fat in the First Degree!)—and captioned it:
Mike Huckabee telling people to eat at Chick-Fil-A is just a way to support his family's unhealthy alternative lifestyle.
Yes. Because when it comes to unrepentant bigot Mike Huckabee—a man who believes that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest, who supports the death penalty and believes we should build more prisons, who opposes gun control and stem cell research, who thinks intelligent design should be taught in schools, who has called homosexuality "an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle" and a "dangerous public health risk," and who thinks that AIDS patients should be put in fucking internment camps—the most despicable thing about him is obviously his love of deep-fried sandwiches.
A quick search on Twitter revealed hundreds of tweets sidelining politics to decry Chick-Fil-A supporters for their gigantic asses.
To all the fat bigots who stood in line taking a stand for Chick-fil-A: I'm on to you. You were not enraged, you were just bored and hungry.— Paula Pell (@perlapell) August 2, 2012
Eating at Chick-Fil-A increases your Belly Fat, drops your IQ, shows your a bigot.— Politicolnews (@Politicolnews) August 2, 2012
I guess Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day had a much nicer ring to it than Fat Bigot Day.— Scott Huff (@nycHuff) August 2, 2012
Chubby Right Wingers gathered at Chick-fil-A today to eat fried fat and show support for the spread of diabetes. They called it “Wednesday".— Fisher97X (@TheFisherShow) August 1, 2012
I laugh at people who say "I'm not stopping Chick-fil-A; their chicken is soo good!" Well, then, you're a big fat stupid pig Oink-Oink-Oink!— Tom Kidd (@FabulousThomasJ) July 26, 2012
This whole Chick-Fil-A debacle, it seems, is all fat people's fault. This might be a great week to be a chicken, but it's the fucking worst week to be a fat gay guy.
In case it's not overwhelmingly apparent, FAT PEOPLE HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS. There are fat conservatives, yes. But there are also fat liberals. There are fat gay people. There are thin conservatives. There are thin fast food consumers. There are bigoted athletes. There are gay chickens. Whatever.
You guys. Just be mad at the thing you're mad at.
Maybe you're telling yourself, "Well, they're not being civil, so why should I be civil?" Is that a real question? Because that's a staggeringly effective way to get nothing done.
Or maybe you're telling yourself, "Well, I just believe in personal responsibility, and people make choices in their lives, and if they make the wrong choices—unhealthy choices—then they deserve to face the consequences in the court of public opinion. That's my argument." Except no, wait. It's not. That's THEIR argument. That's the conservative bigot's argument about gay people.
I hate to sound like a broken record here, but people. PEOPLE. It is possible to be outraged about something without taking your rage out on something else. It is possible to protest the victimization of one vulnerable group without victimizing another vulnerable group. It is possible to be kind to everyone. Or, at least, it is possible to try.
We live in a culture where bullying is both socially acceptable and state-sanctioned. And it's that fucked-up aspect of our culture that makes Chick-Fil-A's anti-gay bullying a legitimate political stance rather than just the ramblings of some wacko fringe pariah. Our permissiveness around bullying is what's fueling this entire "debate." So to fight those bullies with bullying of our own isn't just counterintuitive—it contributes directly to the climate that keeps bigots like Chick-Fil-A above water.
Fat activist Marilyn Wann wrote the following on Facebook about that "lifestyle choice" meme:
It photoshops the Chick-Fil-A logo onto a photo that's long been used for fat-hate purposes and then attempts to oppose gay bashing by fat bashing. Fancy. It also demonstrates some of the beliefs by which people justify their weight bigotry: being fat is a choice; being thin is a choice; anyone who chooses to be fat deserves to be reviled and punished; anyone who chooses to be thin deserves to be praised and privileged; only fat people eat fried food or fast food; eating the wrong foods causes people to be fat; only fat people are homophobes, racists; only fat people destroy the environment and only thin people care about the environment; only southerners are fat; weight prejudice is a good kind of prejudice and something to be proud of; finger pointing and yelling, "Fat!" is a good way to make a convincing argument on totally unrelated issues but especially issues of social justice or the environment.
And that's the crux of it: No matter what you do with your life, if you are fat, people will only see fat. No matter how generous, kind, and productive you are; no matter how much you contribute to society or take care of other people; you're just some fucking fatass whose physical laziness is only outstripped by your mental laziness. As if your butt size has some direct correlation with your moral fiber.
Really, socially responsible liberals? Is that really the message you want to align yourselves with in the name of equality?
The owners and supporters of Chick-Fil-A are people who want to strip your friends and family members of their humanity. These are proud adulterers, self-righteous divorcés, self-loathing closet-cases, and unrepentant hypocrites who want to tear families apart in the name of "preserving" families. They want to stop grieving partners from saying goodbye to their dying loved ones. They're contributing to and vehemently defending a culture in which gay children are dying. And they're proud of it.
And after all that, the most potent criticism you can come up with is that they're fat? Do they have cooties, too? Come on. Try harder. I thought you guys were in it to win it.