The AfterEllen.com Huddle: Boycotts

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The Dolce and Gabbana situation has us thinking about boycotts. Have you ever boycotted an organization, company or cause? Why?

Elaine Atwell: LIPS THAT TOUCH CHICK-FIL-A WILL NEVER TOUCH MINE. And whenever I see some queer chowing down on their products, I make sure to give them a good ribbing.

Grace Chu: The LGBT boycotts I know of involve products I wouldn’t buy anyway, so I kind of boycotted them out of default. Junk food is gross, so I wouldn’t be seen at a Chick Fil A. Besides, I haven’t seen any in New York City. Dolce and Gabbana? Can’t afford it, and even if I could afford it, I’d be hitting up a preppier line. Stoli? Whatever. I’m a whisky and wine drinker.

I’m just hoping Google stays on the side of the angels. I’d hate to have to turn in my Android and get an iPhone.
Valerie Anne: I stopped buying Barilla pasta after that whole scandal. I didn’t have a particular brand loyalty, it just usually happened to be the more prominent brand in my supermarket. But now I buy Ronzoni. I haven’t really had many opportunities to eat Chick-Fil-A since college (NYU has one in one of the dining halls we could use our meal plan at) but I wouldn’t eat it now, not even for their waffle fries. I have a friend who calls herself an ally who still eats there once in a while and every time she does I ask her why she hates me and tell her I hope she can taste the fact that she’s gnawing on my soul under all that Polynesian sauce.
Dana Piccoli: I’m with Val on the Barilla thing. Haven’t bought a box for two years. Apparently the boycott really worked because the company has been taking major steps to change its image.
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Dara Nai: I’m on board with all our boycotts, but I’m still waiting for one that targets a product I actually buy.
Chelsea Steiner: After reading about Uber’s sexist, creepy CEO, I have now elected to drink at home. NAILED it.
Miranda Meyer: BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is the main form of boycott I think about regularly. I avoid Sabra et. al. and have faithfully shamed my Sodastream-dependent friend. In general, those are the ones that come up, since I too just don’t really consume a lot of popularly boycotted things by sheer happy accident. (That sounds really smug, but only because I’m a lazy person and not because I’m being coyly self-righteous, I SWEAR.)

I don’t even know how many years ago now—at least five—I saw an ad for Dr. Pepper One that so infuriated me that I have not touched any form of Dr. Pepper since. At this remove I don’t know why that ad, of all the ads in the world, so set off my sexism and heteronormativity bells that I have found myself (an avid consumer of soda) actually unable to drink Dr. Pepper EVEN FOR FREE ever since, but there it is. My private boycott. My one woman campaign. My struggle.

Lucy Hallowell: When I was a kid, my parents owned a bookstore. My dad is a rep for a bunch of publishers and travels New England selling books to independent bookstores. So Amazon is a dirty word in our house. I never buy books from those assholes. Never.

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Ali Davis: It is such a letdown when your indignant boycott involves continuing to not buy the thing you were already not buying or couldn’t afford. Chick-fil-A being dipwads didn’t change the fact that anyone can put pickle slices on a chicken sandwich, so I didn’t really have anywhere to go with that one.

Dropping Uber like a hot, creepy rock was very satisfying, though. Boycotting shrimp has been trickier, but since we’re talking about actual slave labor, it’s not like they’re a joyous goes-down-easy treat anymore.
Wow, what a bummer note to end on. I’ll go completely off the rails and mention that, while I fully support boycotting the hell out of Chick-fil-A, my favorite protest was when people started giving them five-star Yelp ratings as great places to have gay sex in.
So many beautiful ways to be an agent of change.
Trish Bendix: I will never support the Salvation Army, even though it feels like I’m a total bitch when I’m passing by the volunteers ringing their bells with the red buckets in the freezing cold. The organization has been outwardly anti-LGBT while also suggesting they are “changing lives for the better.” All lives except ours.
Laura Zak: What I find most infuriating is when businesses that sell products that should seemingly cater to a queer-friendly community use their money to fund anti-gay measures. For example, I was thrilled that Lassen’s Natural Food Store moved in walking distance from me, until I learned they gave about 30 grand to support Prop 8. Heart breaker.
Have you ever boycotted an organization, business or product?

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