“The reality is that the support of LGBTQ people represents the support of essential American values.”

Converse Pride campaign

via Converse

Friday, according to American Family Association (an anti-LGBT hate group): ‘Trans flag lace tips’ highlight virtue-signaling for the feet. The inspiring contributors are AFA’s Steve Jordahl, Peter LaBarbera and 2nd Vote’s Robert Kuykendall. The three great intellects do not like the Converse Pride campaign. Converse is a division of Nike.


As it has since 2015, Converse has introduced its annual “Pride Collection,” rainbow-themed shoes for men, women, and children. The purpose, according to the company, is “to celebrate the [LGBTQ+] movement’s origins” – a reference to the Stonewall riots 50 years ago.

Robert Kuykendall of 2nd Vote contends the company is trying to impress activists with its social conscience – and to attract “gay” dollars.

“Every company feels that it has to ‘signal its virtue’ on LGBT issues,” he tells OneNewsNow, “but what they’re really doing is helping advance the LGBT cultural and political agenda.”

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality says companies feel they can court homosexuals because they won’t pay a price.

“I think the massive corporate pandering to the LGBTQ lobby is just a sign of how weak Christians have been on this issue, because if there was more of a push back I don’t think they would be doing this,” he laments.

Converse has hired LGBT spokespersons to help sell the shoes. Selling children’s shoes is ten-year-old supposed drag-kid “Desmond,” [Desmond is Amazing] who recently got public attention dancing in an adult club while gay men threw money at him.

LaBarbera takes issue with Converse for exploiting the youngster. “This boy’s life is a testimony to how irresponsible the homosexual activists and LGBT community are with children – and yet Converse is ignoring that and brazenly using this kid,” he exclaims.

I’ll get back to Desmond. First, however, do these folks have any clue about demographics? Two-thirds to three-fourths of our citizenry support marriage equality. About 40% of us (perhaps more) have a beloved LGBT family member. A large portion of society and most of corporate America is supportive of LGBT rights. (If only all these people voted.) Just how upset do they think people could be over a merchandising campaign?

Moreover, do they think that a company the size of Nike (nearly $40 billion in annual revenue) has not invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in market research regarding this campaign? Nike/Converse is in the business of selling shoes. It’s not terribly esoteric. They expect to sell more shoes because of this campaign. It is a paradigm of utter simplicity.

LaBarbera’s Christian constituency can push back with the fortitude of Job and they will accomplish nothing more than demonstrating that they are at the fringes of society. They are religious fanatics and scriptural literalists who have never been accomplished critical thinkers. They are in the minority because they are slaves to ancient chronicles of questionable provenance. Everything they need to know is in their book.

Mr. Kuykendall would like people to believe that his 2nd Vote has economic clout. Conservative Christians, the “thinking” goes, have economic leverage over corporate America. There is no evidence to support that hypothesis. Just ask how successful AFA has been with Target Corporation. Three years of boycotting the company with nothing to show for it.

Even supporters of 2nd Vote seem to have their doubts. In 2016 they coughed up about 1.4 million in contributions. In 2017 the organization received about half that amount (the tax return is not yet available but it has been filed).

The reality is that the support of LGBTQ people represents the support of essential American values. We have our lapses in judgment (e.g. Mr. Trump) but we are, on the whole, a fair-minded lot with a secular culture.

That brings me back to Peter LaBarbera’s gratuitous judgment of Desmond Napoles (“Desmond is Amazing”). At the very height of my career I never had the ego strengths that Desmond possesses. I envy the kid. By all accounts, he is having fun being himself. At the same time he is earning money (put into a trust), a small portion of which he uses to buy toys.

Porno Pete claims that Desmond demonstrates that we are being irresponsible for child abuse. The suggestion, I suppose, is that adults are exploiting Desmond. It is a reasonable certainty that LaBarbera has never communicated with Desmond or his parents. LaBarbera’s claims and his certitude are what is irresponsible.

Every time Lifesite News runs a moronic story about Desmond, people contact Children and Family Services certain that Desmond is being abused. Desmond’s mom, Wendy, is quoted at Buzzfeed: “He really is inspired by all of the people that he inspires.” Well, Desmond inspires me.

Now I shall completely digress because anything to do with Nike reminds me of Phil Braun. That schmuck was incensed that Nike featured Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign. He was so distressed that he boycotted Nike by apparently setting a pair of sneakers (he already paid for) on fire, … while they were on his feet.  He claimed to have been hospitalized but tweeted out a fake picture of burned feet. I suppose that Braun deserves a Darwin Honorable Mention. Unfortunately, he remains in the gene pool.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.