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.
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.