By Frank Lowe
Originally published on Advocate.com July 03 2014 8:06 AM ET
So much of “gay news” centers on our community being wronged in some way or when a CEO comes forward and denounces homosexuality (read: Chick-fil-A). Rarely do we stop and celebrate when a company makes a bold move and decides to say “We support you 100 percent.”
In the world of fast food, it is especially rare because the object of the companies is to get as many people to eat their food as possible, and often that means staying quiet when it comes to political views. Chipotle (founded by a gay man) made a great example by giving its employees T-shirts with the words “¿Homo Estas?” leading up to Pride in 2013, and then having a float with a giant burrito with the phrase “So big you can ride it!” on the side. It was hilarious and a giant “fuck you” to all of the homophobic companies and organizations. Now Burger King has stepped forward with a Pride-related campaign called “Be Your Way.”
If you currently look at @BurgerKing on Twitter, you might be shocked. It is boldly promoting its “Proud Whopper” and is sending out tweet after tweet showing support for LGBT people, using the hashtag #BeYourWay. One might say it’s a marketing gimmick, but it still takes major, bull-size balls for a company like them to do so. Taco Bell has been flirting with social media for years, and it hasn’t even approached anything as overt as this. Mind you, the Proud Whopper is sold only in one location for one more day, and that location is in the heart of San Francisco’s gayest area, but still, Burger King isn’t trying to hide it, it’s just showing support in a clever, subtle way. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Proud Whopper is just a regular Whopper packaged in a rainbow wrapper. Burger King made a YouTube video showing patrons opening their sandwiches — check it out here:
My favorite part is the drunk guy in the beginning saying “So like it’s a gay burger, or what?” Priceless. From Burger King’s press release:
“The intent of the ‘BE YOUR WAY’ global attitude is not to tell anyone how they should live, but rather aims to elevate “HAVE IT YOUR WAY” to an even more meaningful place.”
The best part is that all Proud Whopper sandwich sales will be donated to the Burger King McLamore Foundation, for scholarships benefiting college-bound LGBT high school seniors graduating in spring 2015. What better way to show these kids that “it gets better” isn't bullshit?
It’s kind of profound coming from a place with a 99-cent value menu. Let’s hope this is the start of a trend and more companies follow suit. If you would like to show your support and have a great cheat day, visit the Burger King location at 1200 Market St. in San Francisco today. You might want to ask for a clean wrapper too, so you can show your friends a piece of history — a rainbow Whopper wrapper with the words “we are all the same inside” emblazoned across it. I have always preferred Burger King to the other places, but now I can go there with the knowledge that it shows support for the LGBT community. That’s having it my way.
FRANK LOWE is The Advocate’s parenting writer. Follow Frank on Twitter @GayAtHomeDad and on Instagram at gayathomedad.