At first, I couldn’t believe it. But here’s what happened.
It was a glorious afternoon, and nearing the one-year anniversary of my coming out. My friend Beth and I wandered the aisles of Hobby Lobby.
Why? you ask.
In order to pass the time, while Natalie, a fabulous Hobby Lobby Frameist, put the finishing touches on a matte job for a gift I had purchased for my boyfriend.
This wasn’t just any boyfriend, mind you. This was my first gay boyfriend EVER. (I’m 47. I don’t wanna talk about it.)
As we pranced gaily from row to row, the sun shone through large, discount-stickered windows, which boasted 40% off coupons Hobby Lobby is known for—the ones we’ve all received in the mail one hundred and forty-three times.
AND THAT’S WHEN WE NOTICED IT!
Our Banner. Our Flag. Our Rainbow-Rally cry, beautifully on display as if this were a Gay Pride Parade. It was EVERYWHERE! At HOBBY LOBBY!
Fortunately, we had our phones.
Now, when a major company like Hobby Lobby rights a wrong of this magnitude—when they make a [subliminal] statement like, “WE LOVE THE GAYS! GAY RIGHTS, GAY MARRIAGE, GAY FRAMES AND GAY HOME DÉCOR FOR EVERYONE!!!!”—it must be shared with the world.
We scoured every aisle, beating the bushes, looking for more winks to our people. Some of their clues were pretty crafty, (I mean, it was Hobby Lobby afterall) like the folders, rainbowingly arrayed for the gay school-supply shopper, the ever-dutiful gay accountant.
They had even created gay riddles in the form of colorful word scrambles. And with barely any rearranging at all, we solved their little brain teasers and left them proudly on display for the next queer-loving, open-to-all, midwestern shopper. God bless us all. Everyone!
I mean seriously, they had gone completely out of their way…for US. There was even a gay theme song [subliminally] playing in the background. Well done, Hobby Lobby. (Insert slow clap here.)
“Judy, Liza, Barbra, Bette…
these are names I shan’t forget.”
-Will & Grace
Now, let’s get serious for a moment. I want to let you in on some insider info. However, before I say what I’m about to say, you should know that my Burger King Manager once recommended me for BKU (that’s Burger King University), so it’s likely I actually do know what I’m talking about.
There are times when companies like Hobby Lobby are expected to enforce hurtful prejudices by “the powers that be”. The hot shots at the top have decided, in their personal lives, to be anti-gay, and in so doing, have decided their places of business should also be anti-gay, anti-lesbian, anti-trans, anti-bisexual…you get the picture.
They fear that if they provide for some of our most common, basic needs such as sparkle-markers and glitter, we’ll show up at their school board meetings in booty shorts to picket and recruit their children as a part of our ever-scheming plan to turn the whole world gay…which isn’t even for sure yet. (We’re still waiting on specifics. And costumes.)
TASTE THE RAINBOW!
Or they worry we’ll collect pictures from their stores—banners or signs with positive, hopeful, universal messages like…
…and use their own words against them. Which frankly, is ridiculous. Because we’d NEVER do that.
The GOOD STUFF is this; that even with all of the prejudice at the executive level, it appears there’s a secret gay army of Hobby Lobby employees sneaking around, aisle to aisle, making sure we know that this glitter-distributing retailer’s stance against the LGBTQ+ community is WRONG and will eventually be thwarted. Just a matter of time.
And to that we say…
“You’ve done one heck of a job, Hobby Lobby! We see and acknowledge your handiwork. For we have walked your gay-loving aisles and can feel the inclusion we’d somehow missed for years.”
In conclusion: To all of our secret Hobby…Lobbyists; a great big THANK YOU. Please know that we’ve heard you LOUD AND QUEER! You guys truly are amazing!!!!
P.S. Almost forgot. Here are a couple of pictures of my boyfriend, Jeff, holding his beautifully matted and framed gay-boyfriend present. He LOVED it, btw! Please thank Natalie for me.
*READ MY COMING OUT STORY HERE: