AfterEllen.com Huddle: Loving the brands and people who don’t love us back

 
 

Know your enemies, but don’t necessarily keep them close. That’s something the LGBT community has to keep in mind with homophobic companies, organizations and public figures when it comes to giving them our money, support or time. Which is why it can be so heartbreaking when you find out a brand you have an affinity contributes to anti-gay politicians or outwardly discriminates against its gay employees. It can even be a celebrity who makes hateful statements or hurtful jokes. It’s never fun to find out someone you support doesn’t feel the same way about you.

Writers, who do you hate to love because of their homophobia? Do you still give them your support?

The Linster: I was certainly surprised to learn that Dixie Carter’s personal beliefs were almost the polar opposite of her Designing Women character Julia Sugarbaker’s. Julia’s rants were some of the funniest — and most on-target — expressions of progressive politics that I’ve ever witnessed. Her outspoken commitment to feminism was something we didn’t get often from main characters on TV and I admit that I learned some of those Sugarbaker Speeches by heart.

Carter was a Republican who disagreed with the essence of many of Julia’s rants (although she was a strong advocate of gay rights). So she made a deal with Designing Women producers that every time she had to speechify on something she didn’t believe, she would have a scene in which she could sing. With that soaring voice she had, those scenes were as powerful as the speeches.

Finding out about Carter’s politics didn’t really change my opinion of her, as amazed as I was at the contrast between onscreen and off. In fact, I think I appreciate her all the more, knowing that she was smart enough to be able to turn a conflict into a win/win. Dixie Carter was as much of a class act as Julia Sugarbaker.

Drummerdeeds: I cried tears of purple rain when I read an interview in The New Yorker a few years ago in which Prince had some pretty anti-gay/anti-gay marriage sentiments to share. The Jehovah’s Witness follower claimed that he was misquoted and had only “tapped his Bible” to refer to the parts about “loving everyone and refraining from judgment,” not to say that gay marriage was wrong.

I can’t really be mad at Prince because it’s incredible that, in spite of these comments, he goes by “His Purpleness” and has built his whole career around androgyny and sexual fluidity. Plus “Call My Name” is one of the hottest jams in this world. I guess sometimes too much sexual fluidity can drive you to convert to Jehovah’s Witness and renounce all of your former ways; I’m waiting for the day when Shane McCutcheon follows suit.

Heather Hogan: A public figure? No. But something much, much more devastating.

That, my friends, is the Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich, the greatest thing to happen between two slices of bread since the invention of bread. I wasn’t surprised when I found out Chick-Fil-A had donated 1.1 million dollars to notorious anti-gay organizations Focus on the Family and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I mean, I grew up in Georgia, home of Chick-fil-A. When I was a child, the kid’s meals came with Bible stories on cassette tape. But I was sad when I read the news. Sad and mad. Their political affiliations robbed me of the greatest sandwich in my life. Yeah, I’m still a fan of that sandwich — a hungry fan., because I refuse to eat it.

Dorothy Snarker: I wouldn’t say I loved Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams’ work, but I would read him on the funny pages and chuckle. I even cut out one cartoon in particular shortly after graduating college and put it up in the cubicle at my first job. I know, I know putting a cartoon about cubicle life in your cubicle – so cliché. But that was before I learned that Adams was, in short, awful. Like, so awful.

His true awfulness was revealed in March when he put a blog post on his site where he compared women asking for equal pay to children unreasonably asking for candy and mentally handicapped people violently lashing out. After it caused an online firestorm, he originally deleted the post, then reposted it on his site. Since then we’ve learned that he labels all those who disagree with his views as people with LRC (low reading comprehension). And his views on gender, race, rape and the idea it’s not offensive to transpose a monkey’s face onto Obama’s face all make me want to find that old cartoon of his and burn it in a massive cleansing ritual.

Trish Bendix: I once yelled at my mom for giving her change to the Salvation Army bell ringer at Christmas time. I wish the organization would wise up and realize gay people need their help, too. What we don’t need, however, is their blatant homophobia. I will take my business to a less-hateful thrift store.

 

Emily Hartl: in most recent history, Blake Mycoskie of Tom’s shoes! WTH, dude? Every gay hipster I know owns a pair (or several, in my GF’s case), so its just a dirty shame. All his good work is cancelled out by that badness.

What say you, readers? Who has lost your love? Or who still has it but makes you feel guilty for working against yourself?

 
 

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