Employees of Chick-Fil-A, regardless of their personal views, have been caught up in the controversy swirling around the restaurant in the weeks since the company’s Dan Cathy made remarks to a Baptist press outfit reaffirming his company’s stance on gay marriage and marriage in general.
Whether it’s dealing with massive crowds coming out to show support for Chick-Fil-A’s bold and divisive stance on August 1st, or dealing with protesters and naysayers who voice their annoyance to counter workers, Chick-Fil-A employees have shouldered a lot of the heat for Dan Cathy’s statements, and many are finding the situation stressful each day as they clock in.
And in fact, some of those Chick-Fil-A employees themselves happen to be gay. The Huffington Post spoke with one young gay man who has the unfortunate luck of being employed by the chain during the controversy, and he explains how each day, he is forced to wait on people who are patronizing the chain solely due to their feelings about gay rights:
“Andrew, a gay 24-year-old who has been working at the northern Alabama Chick-fil-A since January, sat in his car smoking a cigarette and watching the crowd during a break earlier Wednesday.
“‘I call it hater appreciation day,’ said Andrew, who asked that his last name be withheld out of fear he’d be fired. ‘It’s very, very depressing.’”
Another gay employee echoes the sentiment, in a way that is heartbreaking to read. Each and every day, he is exposed to people who feel free to opine on gay people to him, and being gay, he said it is wearing him down:
“Gabriel Aguiniga, a gay employee at a Chick-fil-A in Colorado, also said the hardest part hasn’t been hearing Cathy’s comments. Instead, ‘[it's] constantly having people come up to you and say, ‘I support your company, because your company hates the gays,” Aguiniga, 18, wrote in an email. ‘It really takes a toll on me.’”
What’s worse is that the employees are absorbing heat from both sides — the site goes on to say:
“On the one hand, there is the customer who came in and said he supported Dan Cathy and then ‘continues to say something truly homophobic, e.g. ‘I’m so glad you don’t support the queers, I can eat in peace,’ the employee, who is 23 and has worked for Chick-fil-A since he was 16, wrote in an email.”
Just because the CEO of Chick-fil-A is a bigot doesnt mean the managers/employees of your local restaurant are. They don’t deserve your hate
— Chris Roman (@chrisroman) August 2, 2012
“On the other hand, he continued, ‘I was yelled at for being a god-loving, conservative, homophobic Christian while walking some food out to a guest in a mall dining room.’”
Since the controversial remarks were made weeks ago, Dan Cathy has not addressed the Chick-Fil-A controversy further.
Look forward to Chick-fil-A introducing their Only Some People Are Allowed to Be Happy Meal.
— Josh Hara (@yoyoha) August 1, 2012