Are avocados gay?

QuestionWhat do you get when you add guacamole to a BLT?  AnswerA gay sandwich.  Let’s set aside, for the moment, that I really dislike calling things “gay ____________,” like “gay bar,” or “gay restaurant,” as if somehow the alcohol is different in a gay bar as opposed to a heterosexual bar, or gay restaurants serve different food than straight ones do — it seems to me that the appellation “gay [something]” is a throwback to another era when it really was necessary to identify establishments as “gay” so that gay men like myself could feel safe from the appalling violence, verbal and all-too-often physical, visited on us for simply being true to our own natures and expressing that authentically.

For the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 2019, which are commemorated every June 28th as a unifying and galvanizing event in the LGBTQ world, and if you don’t know that by now thoughtful reader — well that’s just rude, British supermarket chain Marks and Spencer (M&S) launched an “LGBT” sandwich, filled with bacon, lettuce, tomato... and guacamole.  Or, Lettuce, Guacamole, Bacon, and Tomato!

LGBT Sandwich

It caused some controversy.  Some people taking themselves way too seriously objected to being equated to a sandwich, others complained about the price and the salt content, and Pink News noted at the time:

Other members of the LGBT+ community commented the sandwich could be more inclusive of vegetarians, suggesting alternatives.

“M&S throwing the entire lesbian community under the bus [with] the bacon,” one person wrote, while another said: “maybe you could try some alternatives for the bisexual, beetroot, bread, broccoli?”

That assumes all lesbians are vegetarians, or all vegetarians are lesbians?

When business tries these ploys, or just shows up at a Pride event slapping the rainbow on their logo or getting Annie from Accounting to dye her afro red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet and dance to Abba on a float in the parade — you are the dancing queen / young and sweet / only seventeen — it's important to look under the hood.  As I wrote in 2017 when it was discovered insurers like State Farm, Aetna, Metropolitan Life, John Hancock, Protective Life, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, and others were denying insurance coverage to gay men taking PrEP medication (used by men who have sex with men to prevent acquisition of the HIV virus):

State Farm, Aetna, John Hancock, and Mutual of Omaha all have a 100% approval rating from the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States.  I’ll be damned if I’m going to let them wave the rainbow flag in one hand and turn us away with the other because of our sex lives.

So my first reaction to these corporate outreaches is always one of caution.  But hey, it’s Pride!  As the Pet Shop Boys song goes — You gotta throw those skeletons out of your closet / And come outside.

AlvaroGayPride

Gay Pride drawing by Alvaro — Alvaro Limon Lopez, Diseñador Grafico De 25 Años (25 year-old graphic designer)
Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, @AlvaroArtz on Twitter

Why guacamole?  Time to turn to the trusty Urban Dictionary:

avacado:  A homosexual who is indiscernibly gay. Because avacados are fruits, but do not look or taste much like fruits, the term is applied to gay people who do not fit the “Will & Grace” stereotypes.

[Example:] A bad dresser and NFL fanatic, you would never guess that Jacob was an avacado.


(omouallem, January 16, 2007)

Hmm, okay.  Let me get this out of the way — it’s spelled a-v-O-c-a-d-o.  Now, I’m not one to go around waving my rainbow flag.  When I was working, I was “openly gay,” but here again that phrase insults me because gay wasn’t something I was being, it is something I am.  I’m proud to be gay, but I’m not entirely sure you’d know I am if we passed on the street.  And that’s as it should be.  There should be nothing remarkable about my sexuality, anymore so than the sexuality of my heterosexual co-worker and friend Paul.

That said, I guess I am an avocado.  And I’m okay with that.

guacamole

Though the prospect of being mashed up into a party dip and served with chips is not that appealing.

HAPPY PRIDE THOUGHTFUL READER.

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