Dearest Bailey Hanks,
My name is John Carroll. Like you, I am a Broadway performer. I am also gay. While I very much support your right to free speech and free association, I would like to hold you accountable for your stance on the whole fried chicken thing.
On August 1, when you went to “feast” at Chick-fil-A, you did not merely sit quietly and enjoy your fried chicken sandwich, you decided to make it a political statement.
So here I am as well, exercising my rights, that is until your deliciously bigoted poultry company pours more money into taking them away.
Truth be told, even though we are in the same field, I had never heard of you until I read Jamie McGonnigal’s revealing Huffington Post article. Coincidently, that same night, I had dinner with a very close friend of mine who was on the creative team of both the Broadway show of Legally Blonde and the reality show in which you appeared. I also received messages from friends of mine — cast members of yours who shared the stage with you eight times a week. People who thought you were their friend.
Just a reminder — you were plucked out of obscurity by a team of gay men, gay men who not only believed in you and gave you the chance of a lifetime, but who treated you with loving kindness and respect. These are the same gay men you discriminated against by publicly supporting Chick-fil-A.
You were chosen to star in the show Legally Blonde specifically by the director/choreographer, who is a gay man. The associate choreographer and vocal coach who helped you win the reality show you were on are both gay men. A few of the Broadway shows producers —the ones who paid you— are gay. Your costume designer is a gay man, as is the designer of the wigs and make-up you wore. You were taught the choreography and put into the Broadway show by a gay man and you were supported and made to feel safe and part of the Broadway community by the many gay people in your cast. These people are not only my coworkers, Bailey, but, more importantly, they are my friends.