Thursday, August 2, 2012


2012-08-02_chickenman He's everywhere! He's everywhere!

This is my story about X, the fast food chain that sells chicken and whose owner has come out against same sex marriage.

Up front, you should know that I will not be boycotting X since it is highly unlikely I would ever patronize X because...

1) The closest X is over 70 miles away in New Jersey.

2) I seldom eat fast food. I think the last time I indulged was on my Dayton roadtrip in May.

If you have been reading this blog long enough, you will recall that three summers ago, I attended a four-day weekend creativity workshop in Manhattan. I spent over four days 24/7 en femme in The City and it was an epiphany for me. You can read about it here.

There were about 20 people attending the workshop. Most of the attendees were from the teaching, writing, and art fields, however, there were three guys who were ducks out of water: they were managers from the Atlanta home office of X.

Back then, I had never heard of X and I knew nothing of its owner's regard for the LGBT community. These three guys made it clear that they did not want to have anything to do with me. Whereas, the other attendees interacted with me throughout the workshop, these guys avoided me.

The only time any of the three interacted with me was when I was paired up with one of them during a workshop exercise. That one was polite, but all business. After the exercise, he would at least say “Hello,” but his two companions continued to avoid me.

That was my only contact with X, but it left an impression on me and the current brouhaha does not surprise me.


  1. I have nothing to add about the Product X controversy.

    However, today's post brings back fond memories of listening to Chickenman when the series was originally broadcast on WCFL in Chicago in the 1960s. I was about 12 or 13, the perfect age for Dick Orkin's brilliant, hilarious, ridiculous radio series.

  2. Chicken X has quite a few stores around me in Ohio.
    A couple of the local TV stations went out to cover the "controversy" during X's chicken day yesterday.
    Surprisingly the TV peeps could only find supporters of X (I'm sure they would have loved the controversy) but did say Friday would be protest day.
    The only positive was almost all of the "backers" of X were older than even my 62 years and represent a fading way of life I feel.
    I'm retired from the commercial food industry and have known for years X was a radical right outfit and ate my chicken elsewhere.

  3. I have to admit, as much as the founder's comment infuriate me, I'm of on the fence about the whole boycott controversy.

    I can't help but wonder at what level of authority/responsibility we stop when considering a boycott? Restaurant manager? Restaurant owner? Area manager? Franchise owner? I don't know.

    I mean, if your state Senator vocally opposes gay marriage, do you move to a new state? If the President does it, do you boycott your citizenship?

    On the other hand, at what level to you rescind your boycott? I saw an article yesterday about one restaurant in the X chain that has been very public about their support for the LGBT community. Do you go ahead and eat at that one particular restaurant, or do you uphold the boycott because of who owns the company?

    I really have no answer . . . just wondering . . . but given your personal exposure to managers from the home office, I'm leaning more towards boycott. :)

  4. Reading about your experience with the X manager and the avoidance from the other two, while it saddens me I am not convinced. They are, after all, humans and have feelings and notions of their own.

    I, like Sally Bibrary above, have no ready answer but I'm not about to boy-cot a whole chain simply because of one silly man's statement.

    Not everyone is an advocate! I'm not about to move out my state despite the fact my Senator and House reps don't approve!

    Live and let live, to each his (or her) own.

  5. I have never had Chicken X. I have seen plenty of their places and always thought that the name was odd.

    I had seen a number of blog posts from several news sources that had found several G&L employees of X. There were no claims that X practiced any form of discrimination against its G&L employees or patrons.

    The president of X, Dan Cathy (am I the only one to find "A Boy Named Sue' type of irony in his name) made a statement to the Baptist Press that he believed in marriage between a man and a woman. While I can have a different postion than Mr. Cathy I will not oppose his right to speak his mind to the press of his religion. I still believe that the 1st Amendment covers ~ speech, press and religion.

    Likewise I have no issue with politicians taking positions pro or con regarding marriage. Here again I find irony in Mayor Emanual talking about 'Chicago Values'. He is well known for his 'Chicago Politics', ~ ("If they bring a knife...we bring a gun"..."never let a good crisis go to waste"). Where I draw a line is the apparent willingness of certain politicians to use the power of the state to close a business or prevent one from opening. Men and women, gays and straights work for X. Would these politicians want these people to lose their jobs? X should comply with every rule and regulation that others must comply with. No special favors and no special punishment. This is still America. Politicians who will use state power to punish a person for his practice of his religion or his statements in support of his religion concern me.

    I oppose anti-LGBT bigotry. I also oppose the type of anti-religious bigotry of Mayor Emanual, Mayor Menino and Alderman Moreno, who have all treatened to us state power to silence speech.


    PS: While I have no plans to patronize X as my male self, if I find myself near one while presenting as Pat I think I may just stop in for a taste. Does anyone care to join me?

  6. Pat once again displays her usual uncommon common sense.

    Pat, although I've never been to Chicken X, there's an outlet just a mile or so from my workplace. If you're planning on visiting the Oak Brook, Illinois area, let me know and I'll treat you to Big Chick X or whatever the specialty of the coop is.

  7. I wonder he or they were oppose to adultery how many Christians would show support.

  8. I don't support the view of the owner of Chicken X but definitely support his right to say whatever he wants to and his right to express his views based on his religious beliefs. I just agree to disagree with whatever he said.

    Stana's personal experience was quite instructive but who knows, the employees from Chicken X were just playing their part- they might have opened up more in a different setting (that is what I hope ;) )

    What I fail to understand is, given his corporate mission based on his values, do they vet out each and every employee who works there to ensure whether they are straight or not straight? How would they know?! What about Chicken X's patrons? Do you have to wait longer in line because you don't lean the way of the restaurant?!

    To me, all this is quite silly and I think this whole controversy was stoked since we are in the election year and what better than a wedge issue to get people take sides? I say, smart move buddy, but you are alienating a whole bunch of customers. And like someone said in a comment above, Chicken X's supporters are in the latter years of their lives, their new customer base which is coming of age may not appreciate radical views such as these. Times are a'changing.

    Let's see- who else would not fit Dan Cathy's religious views? Divorced people, adulterers, people having affairs, those living in sin, those who have had kids out of wedlock, those who cheat on their taxes? It will be a pretty long list and soon there will be no customers in Chicken X if he really stuck to his views and followed them to the letter. It was a "foot in his mouth" moment and the Corporate HQ at Chicken X already distanced itself from this controversy because that is the smart thing to do. Business knows no religion and the only color it knows is green- sooner that dawns upon everyone, better it will be.

    Oh yeah, and don't hate someone just because they don't play and fit in the same box as you.. Isn't that what all the religious books teach us?! *Peace*

  9. I take great comfort in thinking that same-sex marriage will be around long after this particular purveyor of heart disease becomes an obscure entry in Wikipedia ;)

  10. Lets stick with femulating and not politics.

  11. after hearing of the x boycott. And being of the political and social ideology that I am. Have just want to impart a couple points.

    In the United States of America we still have a right to speak. Any government official that imposes regulation on a person or business because of that person or business's political/social pinon is causing grave harm to all of our freedoms.

    If anyone person or business has an issue with the opinion of another person or business they are free to do what ever they feel necessary to promote or protest that person or business.

    any government body or official has no right to use their authority to inhibit or prohibit a lawful business from operating.

    boycott away, people need to know their opinion is wrong and will do so by not spending moneys there.