Mad About Barilla’s Anti-Gay Stance? Four Things You Can Do Beyond a Boycott


At this juncture in history, it’s baffling that heads of companies continue to ostracize huge swaths of their customer bases by revealing themselves as raging bigots. But yesterday, Barilla became the newest member of this suicidal club when chairman Guido Barilla outed himself on Italian radio as a hatemongering homophobe, refusing to feature gay couples in his company’s advertisements. If gays “don’t like it then they will not eat it and they will eat another brand,” he said.

And they will–Barilla backpedaled, but the boycott calls came swiftly and firmly from the gay community and supporters of LGBT rights. To which Fork in the Road says: Go get ’em! But if you’d like to do more to stick it to the man (OMG! Pun intended!), we have a few more suggestions for pro-gay extra credit.

Eat some gay pasta shapes
Farfalle, penne, fagottini–ever notice that pasta itself is kind of gay? Chow down on a phallic symbol or a dapper bow tie covered in white sauce, things Barilla actually makes for straights only (we’d recommend skipping those varieties, though). Lady-lovers might instead opt for gigli, which are shaped like flower-like woman parts.

Buy the Beekman 1802 Boys marinara sauce
Gay couple Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell own a farm in upstate New York that turns out, among many other things, marinara sauce. The guys built their lives into a lifestyle brand embraced by gays and straights alike, and as a bonus, they donate money to small American farms.

Fill your cart with Target-brand noodles and pasta sauces
Target had a blip a few years back when the company revealed it had donated some money to a staunchly anti-gay candidate in Minnesota, but it’s since cleaned up its act. The retailer actively and publicly supports LGBT events, uses gay couples in marketing–including for wedding registries–and upholds a comprehensive LGBT-friendly corporate policy. And Mark Dayton, part of Target’s founding family and now the governor of Minnesota, was the man to sign Minnesota’s marriage equality bill into law.

Go to Olive Garden
Srsly! According to the Human Rights Campaign, Darden Restaurants, Olive Garden’s parent company, has one of the best gay-friendly corporate cultures in the country. Not only does the anti-discrimination policy explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity, but the company provides the same benefits to heterosexual and homosexual partners of employees. Moreover, the corporation’s insurance policy covers transgender treatment.