Man Claims He Was Fired For ‘Feminine Behavior’

An Iowa man says he was fired from his job as a store clerk for "feminine behavior." Twenty-two year-old Wayne Shimer has filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and issued a lawsuit against Casey’s General Store outside of Des Moines.

The Des Moines Register reports:

IowaShimer began working at the convenience store in July 2012, according to the lawsuit.

After approximately a month, the store manager learned Shimer was gay, LeGrant said.

In a meeting in her office, the manager allegedly told Shimer not to act “feminine” in the store, according to the lawsuit. Such behavior would make customers and co-workers uncomfortable, the manager allegedly said.

“She didn’t want his ‘feminine behavior’ to scare off the customers, and she was concerned that it may have some impact on some of the employees,” LeGrant said. “(Shimer) was blown away by that, because it was something that she approached him with completely out of the blue. It hadn’t come up even indirectly before then.”

During the time Shimer worked at the store, the supervisor made “repeated” derogatory comments toward him, including “you don’t fit in normal society,” according to the lawsuit. Shimer’s husband wasn’t allowed by the manager to visit Shimer while he worked.

Shimer says he hopes this lawsuit will further deter anti-gay discrimination.

“It is my hope that this civil action will open the eyes of employers and the community and serve as a reminder that sexual orientation and who we love should not disqualify anyone from employment.”


  1. says

    Firing someone because you ‘perceive’ them to be too feminine is not acceptable. To deny his spouse from visiting him at his place of employment is unbelievable. I hope he wins his case big time.

    BTW, don’t miss Amazing Race tonight. My good buddy Joey Graceffa, a YouTuber Channel Host like me, is back for a chance at another million bucks! This should be fun!

  2. Marc says

    As a former Midwesterner who grew up going to Casey’s to fill up my gas tank and totally LOVING their extra-cheesy, extra-greasy pizza (Mmmmmmm! Yes, the grease… and yes, the heartburn…. but yes it’s totally worth it! Lol)…. I have to say, I hope they sort this out.

    We are all a little bit different. And that’s okay. As long as we do our job, our masculine/feminine nature is besides the point.

    Casey’s…. do the right thing. Let this boy keep his job and serve customers. There’s no reason to be mean. You hired him. Now let him do his job the best he can. And if he’s got a bit of swish, count your blessings. Iowa needs to liven up a bit and you’ve hit the jackpot.

  3. says

    @Rick – that’s crazy! You are there to do a job whether you are feminine acting or not, it doesn’t matter. As long as you do that job then claiming you act too feminine is homophobic. This is why we need ENDA so that no matter who you are you can’t be fired because you are gay. I hope this guy sues the bajeebees out of the store and gets enough money to open his own place – right across the street from these fools! LOL!

  4. Jeremy says

    RICK, I hope that someday you will stop making apologies and learn to love yourself for who you are. Personally, I think the effeminate guys and butch girls are the bravest of our gay brothers and sisters. Be who you are.

  5. Marc says

    By the way, whoever is posting as Rick is doing this as a joke. The “real” Rick would never be wise enough to know his own self-hatred from a hole in the ground.

  6. Lexis says

    According to Casey’s website, one of their values is “To provide a work environment where employees are treated with respect, dignity and honesty and where high performance is expected and rewarded.”

  7. Paul R says

    I wouldn’t want to work in a hostile environment, but of course that doesn’t excuse the manager’s behavior. And given that he was the only employee not allowed to have visits from his spouse, that’s clearly discrimination prohibited by Iowa law.

    I wish him well, and hope that his attorney is working pro bono! The principle is important, but it is a fairly big legal battle for a low-level job. (Note that it would have been helpful if this summary had identified LeGrant as Shimer’s attorney.)

  8. Joey Y says

    Did any of you actually read the article? He worked there quite a while and apparently had an altercation with another employee and over a customer? This one seems a little fishy. Why wait until SO much later? Seems more hoax than anything, and yet here people go jumping on the bandwagon again.

  9. jamal49 says

    “Feminine-acting” does not necessarily equal “gay”. One look at that hair and that shirt and you know this is some straight guy looking for a little free publicity.

  10. Liam says

    Joey Y: Yes I did read the article. Carefully. Did you? This is pretty typical behavior in a discrimination case. Repeated acts of discrimination. Then firing when the first thing occurs that could be considered a fireable offense if taken to the extreme. This is what always happens.
    Stop being an apologist for the status quo and the bigots. Give our gay brothers and sisters the benefit of the doubt.

  11. Paul R says

    @Joey: he worked there from July 2012 to September 2013, when he was fired. He then filed a complaint with the state agency that oversees discrimination lawsuits, and it approved his right to sue on February 7. So there was no long gap.

    @Jamal49: he’s married to a man, so it seems unlikely he’s straight.

    Believe me, I’m as skeptical of frivolous lawsuits as anyone, and there could well be many other issues at play here. Maybe he was insufferable to work with and dealt with his coworker in an unacceptable way. Who knows. But there’s no evidence that he’s straight or delayed filing the suit.

  12. tinkerbelle says

    From this picture, he’s not straight. A little fashion-atrophied, but not straight. Hope he gets everything he deserves. Also, he’s got a husband and I don’t. Dog bless!

  13. FFS says

    Does this story make your insecurity about your masculinity twinge, KNOCK?

    Who’s a lil’ butchy-butchy? Huh? Who’s a lil’ butchy-butchy? That’s right! You are.

    There. Feel better?

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