This LGBTQ Nonprofit Will Gladly Accept Your Chick-fil-A Reparations

For the cost of a Spicy Deluxe, you can support scholarships for queer youth through the Dru Project.

In a pickle over that Spicy Chicken Sandwich that you’re "definitely" never ordering again?

There’s a reparation for that.

The Florida-based Dru Project, founded in honor of Pulse Nightclub shooting victims, is taking guilt donations over your Chick-fil-A slip-ups. For the cost of a Spicy Deluxe, you can now support scholarships for queer youth. If you must have those waffle fries, at least give the kids some queer curriculum.

Chick-fil-A has been under renewed scrutiny this month after ThinkProgress revealed that the company had funneled $1.8 million dollars into the war chests of anti-gay groups, despite claims it would do away with such donations.

Since then, the chicken chain has been blocked from opening at two airports: Buffalo Niagara International Airport in New York and San Antonio International Airport in Texas.

Chick-fil-A’s allergy to LGBTQ rights is hardly new. Most LGBTQ people and their allies were pressured into forsaking the sandwiches back in 2012 after the company’s COO Dan Cathy said he was "guilty as charged" of opposing marriage equality. Even then, the company had reportedly vowed to give up anti-gay donations in a bid to secure a Chicago location.

But switching fast food joints has been a bit of problem for Lauren Nash, a self-described devoted LGBTQ ally who confesses that Chick-fil-A brings her back to her southern roots. Also, there just aren’t that many drive-thrus in Los Angeles where she lives, she argues.

“I feel bad every time,” Nash tells NewNowNext. “There isn’t one time I don’t acknowledge it's not a good idea.”

On Thursday, she ordered a market salad with fried chicken, french fries, and a diet lemonade. She sent $15 to The Dru Project.

David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

DEDHAM, MA - NOVEMBER 8: A chicken sandwich with waffle fries is pictured at the Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Dedham, MA on Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Nash is hardly a fairweather friend of the rainbow. The Florida-native’s friends were at Pulse the night of the shooting. She agonized to find out if her best friend Shawn Chaudhry, now founder of The Dru Project, was safe.

“I was in that wave of first calls, and we didn’t know if it was a hate crime or what,” Nash remembers.

Nash quit her acting job and went to med school because of Pulse. She wants to serve LGBTQ people as a psychiatrist. Her sister recently came out to her.

“This is my cause. ... I don’t want to be known as the Chick-fil-A eater in my classes,” says Nash. “In theory, I’m never going to go there ever again.”

The campaign is the brainchild of The Dru Project communications director Sara Grossman who says LGBTQ activists and allies have been quietly shame-eating anti-gay waffle fries for years, fessing up only to their closest friends and family.

Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic

HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 01: The Chick-fil-A at the 'Chick-Fil-A Is Anti-Gay!' PETA and LGBT community protest at Chick-fil-A on August 1, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic)

“The other day, the girl I’m dating said to me ‘I have something to tell you, and I feel really horrible about it,’” says Grossman. “Of course, I start internally freaking out, like, ‘Oh god, who did you make out with last night or what happened?’”

She ordered waffle fries at Chick-fil-A. “I feel absolutely horrible about it, and I would like to donate to your nonprofit to make up for it,” she told Grossman.

Maybe other people would like to, as well, Grossman thought.

Chick-fil-A’s long history of making its customers stomach a side of bigotry with its Chick-n-Minis has embroiled many in recent years. Even Mayor Pete Buttiegig has joined the fray (and he could probably use this campaign more than the rest of us).

The presidential hopeful said in an interview with The Breakfast Club, "I do not approve of their politics, but I kind of approve of their chicken.”

In a follow-up interview on Buzzfeed NewsAM to DM, Buttiegig added, “The reality is, we, I think, sometimes slip into a sort of virtue signaling in some cases where we’re not really being consistent. I mean, what about all the other places we get our chicken from?”

Whether it’s slipping into signaling or slipping a late night-eat that funds organizations that would deny your humanity, consider this campaign queer harm reduction.

“We’re trying to create a safe space for people to confess about this,” Grossman says, laughing. “Growing up in the south, Chick-fil-A was the shit.”

Nash wholeheartedly backs the campaign, and confesses that, as it went live, she was rolling up her french fry bag from Chick-fil-A.

So far, the group has raised just over $300. That’s no light haul for The Dru Project, explains Grossman, since the organization is relatively small.

And if this story makes your stomach grumble, the least you can do is chip in to fund a gay-straight alliance. Just don’t let your splurge be on the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap. No one needs to hit up a Chick-fil-A for that.

A spokesperson for Chick-fil-A did not respond to a request to comment.

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