For LGBT folks, a local protest like mine and global protests like those against Barilla and Russian vodka brands are not petty affairs. We want our dollars to go to companies that do good by us. For the LGBT community, the "loyalty economy" will always trump the "'thank you' economy."
Campus Pride executive director Shane Windmeyer has issued the all-clear on behalf of Chick-fil-A, writing that he has seen tax forms proving that Chick-fil-A is no longer giving to the "most divisive" anti-gay groups. Nevertheless, there are enormous questions that arise.
There is a new and incredibly encouraging trend sweeping across our current commercial landscape, as more and more companies are finding new and innovative ways to show their support for LGBT rights and marriage equality.
By remaining neutral in regards to Chick-Fil-A and refusing to issue a statement citing their corporate practices as part of the reason Chick-Fil-A was removed from campus, Duke has squandered a valuable opportunity to send a powerful message about equality.
So, into Chick-fil-A I walked, placing my order and diving into my nuggets and fries. Although I'd be lying if I said my lunch didn't taste delicious (seriously, how do they get that chicken so juicy?), the tinge of guilt I felt earlier grew with every chew.
Thankfully, I cannot imagine what it is like to witness a nationwide gathering to voice (or chew) their support for discriminating against me. But I would hope my political leaders would never give the thumbs up to a rather cruel public spectacle.
Chick-fil-A, even with its donations, is not the main problem. It is the culture of our citizens and our government, which would actively view a group of people as second-class because they are perceived as "different." That's what needs to change.