Dearest Bailey Hanks,
Like you, I am a Broadway performer. I am also gay. While I very much support your right to free speech and free association, I would like to hold you accountable for your stance on the whole fried chicken thing. On Aug. 1, when you went to "feast" at Chick-fil-A, you did not merely sit quietly and enjoy your fried chicken sandwich; you decided to make it a political statement:
So here I am, as well, exercising my rights -- that is, until your deliciously bigoted poultry company pours more money into taking them away.
Truth be told, even though we are in the same field, I had never heard of you until I read Jamie McGonnigal's revealing article here on HuffPost. Coincidentally, that same night, I had dinner with a very close friend of mine who was on the creative teams of both the Broadway show of Legally Blonde and the reality show in which you appeared. I also received messages from friends of mine, cast members of yours who shared the stage with you eight times a week, people who thought you were their friend.
Just a reminder: You were plucked out of obscurity by a team of gay men, gay men who not only believed in you and gave you the chance of a lifetime but treated you with loving kindness and respect -- the same gay men you discriminated against by publicly supporting Chick-fil-A. You were chosen to star in the show Legally Blonde specifically by the director/choreographer, who is a gay man. The associate choreographer and vocal coach who helped you win the reality show you were on are two gay men. A few of the Broadway show's producers (the ones who paid you) are gay. Your costume designer is a gay man, as is the designer of the wigs and makeup you wore. You were taught the choreography and put into the Broadway show by a gay man, and you were supported and made to feel safe and part of the Broadway community by the many gay people in your cast. These people are not only my coworkers, Bailey, but, more importantly, they are my friends. After your time on Broadway (surrounded by gay people), you did not run screaming home, where the hills have eyes. You stayed here, in Sodom and Gomorrah. You auditioned and continued to make friends and work with -- guess what -- more gay people. We invited you into our homes and offered you a place at our table. You stayed for dinner, ate all the food, even stuck around for dessert, and now vomited it all up in our faces. Your website describes you as "sweet, kind, caring"; perhaps you should add "unless you're gay."
You say you are a "proud Christian." Bailey, I, too, am a proud Christian. Many LGBT people I know are people of faith. So what's your point? Is your point to hide your ignorance and bigotry behind Christ? That's not very "Christ-like." And while we are on that topic, let's not pick and choose what passages from the Bible we want to believe in because they suit our social and political gain. If we are going to hold on to Leviticus 18-20, then let us also hold on, with a white-knuckle grip, to Leviticus 15:19-30, which states that if a woman is on her period, she has to get out of the house for seven days, and if anyone -- God forbid (literally) -- touches her, that person is "unclean." Bailey, I know we are not close, but I venture to guess that you menstruate. I therefore assume that when your Aunt Flo comes to visit, you are living outside for those seven days. I also assume that when you are riding the "crimson canoe," you call out sick from your show, because, according to the Bible, all those fellow actors who might come into contact with you would be unclean and would have to bathe with water and wash their clothes (oh, how the wardrobe department would hate you!). Also, let's really try to do our best and pay special attention to 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Bailey, are you listening? It states here that women should be silent in church. Sorry, that means no talking and absolutely no singing (bummer, because I know how you love to sing!). Biblically speaking, because you are a woman (and I don't want you to feel the wrath of God), I should pray that you don't open your mouth. You might just shove your foot in it, the same way you did when you were stuffing it with a "#1 w/ a large sweet tea and a fudge brownie." Hating on gays while eating a "fudge brownie." Is that some sort of perverted sexual insult, Bailey? Well, I never!
Bailey, you used gay people for your personal gain to make your dreams come true and then sold them down the river with your message condoning a company that is publicly known to donate money to anti-gay groups. With your actions, you agreed to treat gay people like second-class citizens and, in doing so, disrespected my friends, my family, my marriage, and me -- all this in an Instagram photo of your hate-filled waffle fries. Stop hiding bigotry and hatred behind religion; let's call it exactly what it is. If we are going to live by any biblical rule, let it be the golden one.
Follow John Carroll on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MrJohnCarroll