Cheers with a solid red cup

Starbucks holiday cups. (Photo courtesy Starbucks)

by Bruce Hartley
Life Issues Columnist

As I started typing this final column for 2015, I found myself dreaming a little about Christmas memories and what the holiday season may bring. The first thing that came to my mind was my Christmas list.

Honestly, I don’t need any gifts, but giggled as it dawned on me that some of the items on my 2015 list were also on my list when I was a kid/teenager back in the 1970’s. I’m sure Santa knew I was gay all long.

Here is my 1970’s and 2015 list: Movie and restaurant gift certificates, yummy smelling candles, a new king size feather pillow, cologne, headphones and please no ties, socks or underwear.

As a grown adult, I can buy most everything that I need so my list leans toward fun items that I don’t always buy for myself. Honestly, the thing that I really want is that everyone can find someone to love and share their lives with. I want our world to be truly equal in all aspects of life. I also want everyone to be able to be accepted by family and friends and treated with love and respect at all times.

Two years ago over Christmas was when I came out to my grown children, my mom, siblings and basically everyone else thanks to social media. I’m not sure that I recommend coming out over Christmas, but it worked for me. My family was very accepting which was a nice surprise.

Think about it. Holidays are times when crazy things happen. When people gather together in groups gossiping is bound to happen. For me, I was surprised that most of my family was not surprised with my big news. I have read stories that a common reply to a person coming out is “we weren’t that surprised.” When I heard that reply, it bothered me at first. After it sunk in, I realized that that was an easy reply from my family and friends and was actually a wonderful Christmas gift.

Flash forward to 2015. My creative daughter suggested I mention the latest holiday trends (along with plaid for clothing) are social media postings about Starbucks holiday cups. I am floored with postings saying Starbucks is being “too politically correct” by using solid red coffee cups for the holidays. Previous year cups included various wintery and Christmassy clipart from snowflakes to reindeer.

I have heard groups are calling for a boycott of Starbucks for taking Christ out of Christmas. This is another example of how some people are attempting to use something as goofy as Starbucks cups as a reason to complain about LGBTQ+ equality. I am confident that Starbucks will continue to have record coffee sales. Who really cares what the cup looks like?

People who want to buy coffee at Starbucks can’t resist the desire even with solid red cups. Plus, if I were a coffee drinker, I would have included a Starbucks gift certificate on my 2015 wish list. I will probably buy my partner Bill and our kids Starbucks gift certificates. Don’t tell them!

So, as I close my final column for 2015, I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and happy new year. Thanks for reading along with me this year. See you all in 2016.

The Gayly – December 25, 2015 @ 12:45 p.m.