Osvaldo Estevez gives a thumbs-up as he puts another forty-ounce steak on his propane grill. Alberto, a lanky twenty-eight-year-old father of two, spikes a flagpole into the grass at the edge of the gazebo where Osvaldo is grilling. A stiff breeze unfurls it, revealing it to be a rainbow LGBBQ flag, a common sight during LGBBQ pride month.
"We're here, we've got beer, and we're grillin' a steer," Osvaldo chants.
This is no empty boast, for no sooner has Osvaldo uttered it than Enrique, the eldest of the Estevez brothers, hauls in a wheelbarrow piled high with prime cuts of steak.
Meanwhile, their wives sip mimosas under a picnic umbrella and watch their children play ball in the grass. In the afternoon there will be music and dancing, followed by a fireworks display at sundown.
LGBBQ is an initialism coined in 1987 that stands for "Let's Go Barbeque." It functions as an umbrella term for those who espouse traditional virtues and seek to promote them with fun, family-friendly summer outings, predominantly in the form of outdoor barbeques. What began as a block party is now a wholesome month-long celebration of traditional family values, solidarity, and patriotism.
When first conceived, LGBBQ contemplated only those who cooked red meat on outdoor charcoal grills. Since then, the group has demonstrated heroic inclusivity by embracing users of propane grills, open-pit stoves, and even electric griddles.
Changes to the group name have been suggested once it became generally acknowledged that a person's grilling expression may not match the one which they adopted (or were assigned) in their formative years.
So not to turn the already five-letter label into a string of incomprehensible alphabet soup babble, in 2018 the group decided upon LGBBQ+. The plus sign represents grillers who do not fit cleanly into any existing category.
Among them: bi-grillers (who cook using combination charcoal/propane grills), trans-grillers (those who made a permanent switch from charcoal to propane or vice versa), griller-fluid (those who do not express any one grilling method but embrace the liberty to change methods whenever they deem fit), non-binary grillers (who opt for neither propane nor charcoal and instead cook over an open fire) and the controversial nonconformist grillers (who do not cook their steaks at all, preferring to eat them raw).
The movement is not without its detractors, however.
In recent years, sociologists have insisted that the LGBBQ+ term ought to include not just the method of preparation but also the food prepared. Such a move would accommodate representation of vegetarians, vegans, and those who abstain from eating any food whatsoever (see: breatharianism).
These social scientists' demands have been ignored because, as everyone knows, nothing a sociologist has suggested ever amounted to much good.
"I love LGBBQ month," Osvaldo remarks, checking the doneness of his ribeye (medium-well, in case you were wondering). "LGBBQ is about families getting together over a meal to express their love for country and for their fellow man. I can't see how anyone would have anything bad at all to say about mothers and fathers instilling in their children the time-honored virtues that made our society great. Not naming names or anything, but you'd have to be a self-loathing, pretentious, ungrateful slimebag to say anything negative about LGBBQ pride month and those who celebrate it—though I can't think of anyone who would."
Neither can we, Osvaldo.
Neither can we.