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Lesbian Mom Says She Watched Starbucks Supervisor Fire Man for Being Gay

A lesbian mom says she witnessed a shocking display of homophobia by a Long Island Starbucks supervisor in which an employee was publicly humiliated and reprimanded, and then fired in front of the entire shop floor, because he was gay.

Starbucks The mother, who was there with her daughter, posts a detailed account on her blog in an open letter to Starbucks:

Know, I am not going to swear by what the original confrontation was. I only heard bits and pieces, but I know that worker was attacked and humiliated on the middle of your shop floor. I don’t care what his offense was, that sort of business should be conducted in a back room. I also know, the “manager” was not willing to listen to him and personally attacked him several times with snide, condescending comments. Telling him, in the subtext of her words that he was “Less than” and his personal belief system was no longer welcome at the shop.

The event got more horrific, when he, who had kept his composure through the entire incident, not once raising his voice despite being attacked, got up from the table to go to the bathroom to cry in private.

Then the three women turned on him like Vultures.

“I’m done. I’m done. Nobody wants to hear it anymore.  I don’t care who he is dating. I don’t want to hear about it.”

“He should not get upset at the things people say to him. He should be used to it. It’s not like he turned gay yesterday.”

“I used to listen to it, now I’m just sick of hearing about it.”

“Nobody does, but it’s over now. You won’t have to hear about it anymore.”

It went on, and on and on.

The focus of their discussion then when he left the table, was not about an incident that occurred in the previous days.  It was about how they were intolerant to his lifestyle, nobody wanted to hear about the fact that he was gay, they didn’t want to be exposed to that.  The focus was not about his poor performance as an employee but their intolerance towards him as a person.  I  sat at there at my  table with the impression that,

This man, this Starbucks employee was losing his job, because he was gay.

I Know Starbucks is Not an Anti-Gay, Homophobic Company (by Policy)  BUT… [lil family blog]

UPDATE: Starbucks is looking in to the incident, the company says on its blog:

We are disheartened by the allegations reported in an East Coast Starbucks store and are taking immediate measures to investigate and take any steps necessary to make this right. The actions reported do not correspond with our values, who we are as a company or the beliefs we try to instill in our partners.

Starbucks has supported the LGBT community for many years, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. We have one of the largest Employer Resource Groups for LGBT employees in the United States helping to raise awareness about issues in the communities in which we live and work. Our benefits program has always offered domestic partner benefits in the United States and Canada, and Starbucks partners actively participate and organize local LGBT events in their communities. We’re also very proud of the 100% score we received on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign. We will continue to work very closely with this organization and others on topics relevant to the community.

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Comments

  1. I guess the Gay Girl in Damascus had to find another outlet.

    Posted by: nodnarb | Jun 15, 2011 8:50:32 AM


  2. Umm... I dunno this story seems a bit off. First of all, there's no way in hell someone would get fired from Starbucks because they're gay --half the baristas working there are gay. lol there has to be more to the story.

    Posted by: Monsieur V | Jun 15, 2011 8:53:16 AM


  3. I don't know, this story seems pretty plausible to me. If it turns out that the allegations are true, those bitches had better have their tits on the pavement before the close of business.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jun 15, 2011 8:59:26 AM


  4. Always is more to the story...but it seems he like many of us, had to deal with people who expect him to hide his own life experiences because they are of the same sex variety.

    Posted by: Beef and Fur | Jun 15, 2011 9:01:16 AM


  5. At the same time, girls; don't we all know THAT queen?! :)

    Of course, that shouldn't be the basis for his firing & will likely result in the firing of their managers, but some kids do lack that filter that helps them recognize, NO ONE wants to hear about your most recent drama (boy/girl/otherwise).

    What should have been a counseling session will now be a drama. Next...

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Jun 15, 2011 9:11:13 AM


  6. If you go to the original story, there are multiple instances on the page of "forward this link on" and "add us on facebook" and "leave comments to show your support." Anytime you see "forward this link" you should be very cautious. Furthermore, the woman is offering to sell ads on her family blog! And on her bio page, she asks for donations to buy a new computer (despite that she can afford to buy coffee at Starbucks)

    Take all that and couple it with the fact that Starbucks is absolutely the most progressive company in America. And every Starbucks I've ever been into, most of the staff is gay. This whole thing just doesn't add up.

    Posted by: nodnarb | Jun 15, 2011 9:12:23 AM


  7. Discrimination against gay people in the workplace is quite common. Most older gay people are used to it and expect it. We have a wonderful neighbor, now in his 50's and he has worked for the same Federal agency for the last 28 years. The man has never been promoted despite outstanding performance ratings and has been chosen "Federal Employee of the Year" in each of the last three decades. He's well liked, proficient, very good at his job but he is openly gay and that is something his white heterosexual supervisors hate. They are well seasoned in discrimination and would never openly discriminate by calling or referring to him in a derogatory manner but year after year he has been passed over for promotion and now works for people who have risen from clerk to director right in front of him.

    He has two years before he can retire but because of his low pay he will be forced to continue to work for another ten years.

    Although the Governement has laws against sexual orientation, gay employees have little to no equal rights. He stuck with the job hoping for change and when he was midway through his career he got fed up and stepped away (quit). He sought work in the private industry but found he was seen as "less than" other workers despite his outstanding skills because (1) he had a history of government work (and the perception is Government workers don't really work) and (2) he was gay. Private head hunters repeatedly told him to go back to the Government if he wanted steady work.

    I find that incredibly sad but it is a fact of life. If you are openly gay on the job you will be discriminated against in our own Government. If you are closeted but obviously gay you will quietly be discriminated against. If you keep your sexuality hidden and your private life away from your co-workers you may see upward advancement but nothing like your heterosexual co-workers. There are exceptions, of course, but our neighbor does not encourage gay people seek a career in the U.S. Governement.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Jun 15, 2011 9:16:36 AM


  8. If this is accurate, this woman ought to be ashamed.

    Given her telling of events, she should have stood up and told those bigots how out of line they were, gotten their names, and phoned Starbucks corporate headquarters.

    Posted by: mike | Jun 15, 2011 9:17:07 AM


  9. We need to find out who this humiliated young man is and get this incident verified. Then, if it's true, we need to show him our support. Then, we should picket the damn Starbucks until the female supervisor is stood down. Then, we should should call for the re-instatement of the young man or there'll be a campaign to boycott Starbucks across the land.

    Nuff said.

    Posted by: adam | Jun 15, 2011 9:21:05 AM


  10. true or not, Starbuck's not only released a statement but also published it on their website. they said they were investigating, as they should. the updates say that the woman has spoken to Starbuck's by phone also;

    if true, that it was done in front of other employees, who allegedly added to it, and customers, especially children, is most egregious. employee reprimand should be done one on one in private; not only unprofessional but may have violated some state or federal statutes, again - if true...

    Posted by: mike/ | Jun 15, 2011 9:27:08 AM


  11. @OS2GUY, unfortunatly that is exactly the kind of discrimination in the workplace that most gay people face today, and woman have for decades.
    @Mike, best comment I have seen on this matter!!!

    Posted by: The Iron Orchard | Jun 15, 2011 9:29:48 AM


  12. the Mike I meant was the first Mike...just to clarify.

    Posted by: The Iron Orchard | Jun 15, 2011 9:31:45 AM


  13. Yeh, you're right, Adam. We should boycott Starbucks over an isolated incident and completely ignore the fact that its CEO Howard Schultz is one of the biggest contributors to Democratic and progressive candidates.

    Posted by: nodnarb | Jun 15, 2011 9:33:49 AM


  14. Well, no more Starbucks for me until I hear they have resolved this correctly.

    Posted by: Bubba | Jun 15, 2011 10:03:38 AM


  15. @THE IRON ORCHARD

    You forgot us brown people too! Sheez. Nothing is funnier then walking in on a n*gga joke or told you have the job pre seeing you and then told you don't have the job when they see your colour of the skin without even giving you a proper interview!

    But alas, the white man is the most discriminated according to, the white man.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jun 15, 2011 10:10:44 AM


  16. I just hope some justice is found, if this is true. No one deserves to be treated that way.

    Posted by: Beau | Jun 15, 2011 10:21:54 AM


  17. While many (most?) urban Starbucks indeed have large G/L staffs, there are still many in the suburbs and hinterlands that are well-stocked with narrow-minded breeders...just look at the staffs of many of your local McDonald's or Wendy's in those same communities.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Jun 15, 2011 10:22:20 AM


  18. I read the full letter at the link and this story doesn't seem at all outlandish or even unlikely to me. Whatever "culture" Starbucks or any other company espouses, each location is going to be slightly different depending on the manager and the employees. The look and surface atmosphere may be very similar for every Starbucks location across the country (which IMO is not necessarily a good thing but a bland corporate sameness), but the staff are not part of some vast "hive-mind" of progressive values and beneath that surface will vary greatly.

    In the past week there have been several reminders that postings on the Internet can be unreliable or even entirely fictionalized. We discovered the "gay girl in Damascus" and even the "lesbian" blogger behind Lez Get Real are in fact straight white (as opposed to Middle Eastern, as claimed) married men. Deceptions like these cause greater cynicism and doubt about internet information. That isn't necessarily a bad thing since there ARE people out there who abuse and scam others, who have ulterior motives for their fictions. But it IS bad if it leads us to ignore real events that deserve our attention, if we become so cynical we view EVERY story as just another possible "gotcha" moment. There has to be a middle-ground but I suppose what that is will be up to each one of us, an uneasy mix of credulity and doubt that keeps us receptive while allowing the possibility of deceit or a scam. The internet has replaced (some would say 'killed') much of the traditional gay media so we CAN'T dismiss stories like this out of hand without good reason or we risk letting abuses of gay people pass without comment or protest.

    FWIW, according to updates on the original blog Starbucks has already responded and is investigating, so hopefully more information will be forthcoming.

    Posted by: Codswallop | Jun 15, 2011 10:29:31 AM


  19. Read the blog, read the letter from Jeffrey (the victim) read the responses. It seems this location has a mismanagement issue that has begun to implode. The employees seem too focused on personal matters and conducting discussions about personal matters at work.

    Seems to be a mix of gay, straight and phobic employees at this location. All of this combined to form the perfect storm and unfortunately it blew up in front of a customer.

    Don't know exactly what happened with the employee, but from my reading it seems he as a supervisor was being counseled for what I believe to be a complaint from a coworker(s) that he was sharing too much personal information at work and that it went downhill from there.

    Whether the allegations were true or whatever else may have happened to inflame this situtatoin remain to be seen.

    Posted by: Beef and Fur | Jun 15, 2011 10:43:20 AM


  20. Starbucks is overpriced and the coffee tastes burned. I never go there regardless of their politics.

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Jun 15, 2011 10:51:15 AM


  21. Her letter was so poorly written it made me claw my eyes out. Thank god for the excerpt posted here. She wrote 14 pages of back story that described her love of starbucks before hinting for another 14 pages about what happened, and then finally describing the incident.

    Posted by: Dan4444 | Jun 15, 2011 11:01:48 AM


  22. Lawsuit. BIG Lawsuit.

    Posted by: james Brown | Jun 15, 2011 11:37:24 AM


  23. Just goes to show that a 100% rating on the HRC's Corporate Equality Index (and I love this tool, I really do) is no guarantee that every LGBT employee will be forever safe from discrimination. The CEI measures policies, but culture eats policy for breakfast.

    Posted by: Red Seven | Jun 15, 2011 11:42:59 AM


  24. @Dan4444

    Yes, the original letter is hate crime against grammar and punctuation! But as a serial comma-abuser myself I try to overlook things like that. ;-)

    Posted by: Codswallop | Jun 15, 2011 11:43:38 AM


  25. Really, really shocking to read. Very hard punch to the gut feeling. I totally believe it, too much detail, too much real emotion behind it and the way it was such a long-winded piece, I'm sure it happened. Also, let's be honest, this is Long Island, and LI is not a gay friendly place by and large. This shouldn't be representative of Starbucks as a company as a whole, who have proven themselves to be LGBT friendly, but action needs to be taken swiftly and immediately against the 3 cows who put Jeffery through this horrible ordeal.

    I'm not surprised by the bigotry, though. Mixing gay folks with bigots, atheists with religious extremists, union supporters and opposers, and everything in between, has caused problems throughout history in the workplace and will always cause problems in the workplace. You have to know the type of people working at a particular shop before going for a job there. My heart breaks for Jeffery, hopefully the support he's being given can help him get through this obviously tough time.

    Posted by: Francis | Jun 15, 2011 11:44:56 AM


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