The Big Pink Conundrum

by Matt on November 22, 2006

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Ok, now I’ve done it. This Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year and now I’m a mess and I don’t know what to do. Someone remind me – am I eating locally or am I buying for equality? Do I support my local farmer who may not approve of my "lifestyle" or do I support big businesses that have a record of equality for my fellow gay/lesbian/transgendered/bisexual/questioning brothers and sisters?

The source of my confusion? This year the Human Rights Campaign, a bipartisan organization that works to advance equality for all based on sexual orientation and gender expression, has released a guide titled "Buying For Equality: A Guide To Companies And Products That Support Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual And Transgender Equality".
The guide attempts to rate a whole slew of companies based on their record of equality towards gays and lesbians. It’s a valuable resource and has let me know that I should buy my khakis at Banana Republic and not L.L. Bean, to fill my tank with fuel from Shell and not Exxon, and to reach for Tylenol and not Bayer when the statistics begin to give me a headache.

And lest you think this is silly, consider this: In 2005, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender market was estimated to yield $610 billion worth of buying power. I don’t know about you, but I’m PROUD to be part of a group with so much disposable income! White parties, circuit parties, dinner parties, cocktail parties, fancy electronics and wine tasting with friends in Napa are what we do best, and when a business doesn’t want us we’ll definitely make it known. It’s how we roll.

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Ok ok, so that’s all fine and dandy (dandy, get it?) but back to the food. Herein lies my dilemma: Do I support the food conglomerates that support me based on the HRC guide even though it goes against eating locally? Is it ok to forfeit fresh, locally grown peas in favor of frozen, political peas that support my rights? Or do I only eat foods grown within a 50-mile radius by farmers who maintain floats in our annual Pride Parades? And if so, are the farmers cute? I mean, like rugged, smooth chested growers in overalls from a Bruce Weber book or downhome, homely Jed Clampett types? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just, well, I don’t particularly need to see that dancing in white wings to a Deborah Cox remix. And is there a group or website out there for gay foodie bloggers who eat locally but also want to support their cause? And what if some are vegan womyn? Do we need another logo for that?

I’m throwing in the pink towel, grabbing a cocktail, cranking up some Jennifer Holliday and putting my pink dollars where they should be.

Just as soon as I figure out where.