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'This is What a Lesbian Looks Like'

12:38 PM, Jul 27, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- "Social media is one of those things where you watch these things happen, but you never think it will happen to you," said Doria Roberts, co-owner of Urban Cannibals in the East Atlanta Villages.

It's no secret Urban Cannibals makes a great sandwich. After just a year in business, they were featured on Food Network.

And it's no secret the owners, Roberts and Calavino Donati, are lesbians. They made it official, getting married outside of Georgia. They say it's just who they are. They don't push it and they don't hide it.

"When she says, my wife does all of the baking, we could lose a customer over that," Roberts said. "We know it. But there's nothing we can do about that."

They are active in their community, but neither would call themselves "activists". Then, they heard a comment made by Florida's Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll. She had been accused of having an extramarital affair with another woman. When asked by a reporter about the scandal, she laughed and said, "Usually women that look like me don't engage in relationships like that." In a moment spread through the internet within minutes, she said she couldn't be a lesbian because she didn't look like one.

Roberts started the Twitter Hashtag #ThisIsWhatALesbianLooksLike. By the end of the day, it was trending on Twitter, attracting pictures from around the world. The Huffington Post published an open letter Roberts wrote and hundreds of those pictures.

"I don't know that there is one way of being, I mean, obviously," Roberts said with a laugh. She's black. Her partner is white.

"I think a lot of us, in ourselves, have felt the stereotype," Donati said. "I mean, even when growing up, I fought against what I was because what I saw, I didn't fit into."

The same week of Lt. Gov. Carroll's comment, Chick-fil-A attracted massive support and massive controversy for CEO Dan Cathy's comments his company was "guilty as charged" for supporting "the biblical definition of the family unit".

RELATED | Chick-fil-A beef heats up over social media
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Some are vowing to support the company, others vowing to boycott it. Roberts and Donati respond with a sense of humor. This weekend they'll host a "Two-Chicks-Fil-A" event.

"Well, we're two chicks, we're married, and we cook," Donati said. As the chef of the partnership, she's planning on chicken sandwiches and chicken biscuits to fill the menu for the weekend. They had the special event last weekend for the first time and say 60% of their orders were from the "Two Chicks" menu.

After this weekend, they'll serve chicken every Sunday: the day Chick-fil-A is closed. It's no secret they're making a statement.

"I look forward to the day when it's not considered an act of courage to just be yourself," Roberts said.

After a week of intense pressure from the gay community, spearheaded by the #ThisIsWhatALesbianLooksLike movement, LLt. Gov. Carroll apologized Thursday night. She said it's wrong to make comments that hurt people. She reiterated that she never had any sort of romantic relationship with a female staffer.

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