In world news, there are the absolutely horrific actions of Brock Turner, the murder of Voice singer Christina Grimmie, and, most recently, the mass-shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida — the largest mass shooting in the United States since the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890.
According to an article by the DC Gazette, a Chick-fil-A in Orlando, located at University and Rouse Road, decided to do something in the wake of tragedy. For the first time ever, they opened on a Sunday to provide their delights to the One Blood donation center, where people were lined up to donate blood to victims of the shooting. Food was also supplied to law enforcement officers who were part of the response effort, AL.com reported.
Social media blew up, the general reaction being things along the lines of, “this is really awesome – isn’t Chick-fil-A usually known for being not-so-fond of the LGBTQ community, though?”
The employees at that Chik-fil-A in Orlando realized there was a bigger issue at hand. Whether they personally believe in the anti-LGBTQ sentiments that Chick-fil-A company president Daniel Truett Cathy has expressed in the past, they realized that blood had been shed. These workers realized that lives had been lost on that fateful night. They didn’t care if they were gay lives, straight lives, bisexual lives, or pansexual lives. They cared because they were people. And no matter how they identify sexually, they matter.
So what does this mean for Chick-fil-A moving forward? Many people — including myself — are wondering if this was a way for the company to start making amends with the LGBTQ community, and quite honestly, it could be. Is the company that has been giving millions of dollars to organizations fighting same-sex marriage going to try to build bridges instead of burn them? This could be a small step in the right direction.
I’m not saying that chicken sandwiches and sweet tea are going to heal all of our nation’s social problems. I wish it could, but it won’t. What I am saying is that we should all make an effort to be more kind and understanding. We should make efforts to build bridges. We don’t know whether or not the workers at the chain that decided to open on Sunday were supporters of the LGBTQ community – but what we do know is that they have compassion for human beings in a time of tragedy. That’s what’s important.