The editor-in-chief of Out magazine, a gay lifestyle publication, wrote an op-ed this week addressing the recent fury surrounding Memories Pizza, the shop at the center of controversy after its owner said that she wouldn't cater a hypothetical gay wedding, wondering whether the anger and mob mentality that resulted were the collective "sound of the formerly powerless fetishizing their victimhood."
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Aaron Hicklin, who is gay, said that he has "no particular affection" for Memories Pizza nor its owner, but that he also has no love "for bullies," claiming that some activists' have unduly found themselves outraged and behaving inappropriately.
Hicklin said that many gave shop owner Crystal O'Connor's views more credit than was deserved by becoming monumentally outraged on social media.
"We all know people — relatives or neighbors, maybe — who might say the same thing in an unguarded moment," he wrote. "Until a few years ago, even our progressive president didn’t support gay marriage (a fact he seems eager to have us forget), much less catering one, so what makes O’Connor the lightning rod?"
Hicklin warned the gay community that becoming outraged over O'Connor, among others who share similar views, is fruitless and will lead to people wasting time by getting "pointless angry," likening the reaction to what happened in 2013 when the chairman of Barilla, a pasta company, claimed that gays wouldn't be shown in ads.
"I’m all for LGBT-friendly advertising, but I can’t help feeling that our growing hysteria — the cry of the mob — is the sound of the formerly powerless fetishizing their victimhood," he continued. "All minorities are acutely sensitive to being belittled and disparaged, and rightly so, but in the febrile world of the Web, it’s easy to take umbrage at every passing slight. We begin to care too much about whether our pasta is too conservative, or if a pizza maker will cater a hypothetical wedding in a state that until just recently didn’t even have marriage equality."
And he wasn't done there. Hicklin said that some people end up acting like "petty tyrants exploding in anger" when anyone challenges "approved policy," noting that they even attack their fellow gays and lesbians when disagreements abound.
Hicklin also admitted that he considered donating to a campaign aimed at raising funds to help Memories Pizza as well.
Read his entire post here.