New York | News

How Three Restaurant Workers Restored a Gay Man's Faith in Humanity

Our friend Trent Preszler shared this story with us about an experience he had this week at Myers Steakhouse & Inn in Salamanca, NY which demonstrates the difference allies, businesses, and humans can make in each other's lives - and how important it is to stand up for one another.


TrentProfound life changing experience tonight driving through western NYS. Pulled off interstate for dinner at locally owned historic steakhouse founded in 1901. I sat at the bar, perusing the menu, lots of deer taxidermy around. TV has ESPN showing the Michael Sam documentary.

Group of 10 drunk middle-aged straight married men in golf polos and (pleated!) khakis are sitting at the bar. They see Michael Sam on ESPN and start shouting and pointing at the TV: "YAH LOOK AT THAT FUCKING FAGGOT CRY! HE'S SUCH A FAGGOT, WATCH THAT PUSSY C-CK SUCKER CRY WHEN HE STARTS PLAYING FOOTBALL BRO! HE'S CRYING BECAUSE HE'S A F--KING C-CK SUCKING FAGGOT." They laugh among themselves HAHAHA and slap high fives while I sat five feet away.

This is the fear and horror that gay people live with every day of their lives. An inky, dark, sick feeling sat in my stomach. I stood up and left before ordering. They were all drunk and I worried for my safety.

Getting in my car in the parking lot, suddenly three people appeared at my car window. I locked my door, fearing the worst.

It was the Chef, maintenance man, and waitress. They asked me to roll down my window, so I did. They said, "please don't leave, we are so sorry those guys said those horrible things, that's not right, that's not who WE are, we work here and we welcome all people and we want to cook you dinner. Please don't leave. We told those guys their behavior was unacceptable and asked them to go. We don't want their business if it means we have to allow them to disrespect people. They're ignorant."

The Chef is an Iraq war veteran (born in Puerto Rico) who said he can't stand by and watch bigotry happen in front of him; it's not in line with his principles and what he fought for. The waitress is a nursing student at a local community college. The maintenance man is a honorable local man who's never been to NYC and works his ass off washing dishes and cleaning hotel rooms so he can buy his fiancé a diamond ring. All three of them gave me a hug and sat down at the table with me at the end of their shifts. We talked and drank Merlot. They showed me infinitely more love and compassion than the bigoted white middle aged wealthy assholes who cloak their bigotry behind a veneer of Sergio Tacchini golf polos and Rolexes.

Astonished, I ate my dinner with a tear in my eye and hope for our future. Thank you to these wonderful human beings in Salamanca, New York.

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  1. Amazing. Thanks for sharing Trent.

    Posted by: Dave | Aug 1, 2014 10:15:45 AM

  2. That's a heartwarming story. It indeed gives one hope for the future.

    Posted by: Neil | Aug 1, 2014 10:22:08 AM

  3. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.

    Posted by: radtastic | Aug 1, 2014 10:23:13 AM

  4. Just WOW! Ferklempt...thank you allies!

    Posted by: Chazwm | Aug 1, 2014 10:23:30 AM

  5. Love is all you need! thank you Myers Steakhouse for showing it to Trent! If I'm ever in the area I'm stopping by for a beer.

    Posted by: BRAD | Aug 1, 2014 10:30:16 AM

  6. That is such a great story!

    Posted by: Theo | Aug 1, 2014 10:31:26 AM

  7. Everyone please tell them how much this is appreciated:

    Posted by: Stefan | Aug 1, 2014 10:31:34 AM

  8. Very nice. It does make you feel better and hopeful about people.

    Posted by: Rocco | Aug 1, 2014 10:32:19 AM

  9. I second THEO's comment. Still some very good people in this world.

    Oh, and beware of drunk golfers in polo tops....b1tches.

    Posted by: Derrrick from Philly | Aug 1, 2014 10:33:04 AM

  10. Wonderful story. Thanks for the link Stefan.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Aug 1, 2014 10:38:52 AM

  11. Thank you, Trent and Andy, for sharing this story. Not only is it heart-warming, it is encouraging and a hopeful sign that, indeed, things get better.

    Posted by: Hawthorne | Aug 1, 2014 10:39:45 AM

  12. Now THAT was a story worth reading, the reason TRoad is so worth while and and and, thank you.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Aug 1, 2014 10:52:09 AM

  13. Wow. Just wow. And thanks.

    Posted by: Jay | Aug 1, 2014 10:53:42 AM

  14. I just posted to the restaurant's Facebook. They deserver to get a lot of business from our community because of this!

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Aug 1, 2014 10:57:22 AM

  15. Agree with what everyone has said. :-)

    I'd love these weak men to say it to Sam's face huh? Cowards.

    Posted by: Rowan | Aug 1, 2014 11:17:35 AM

  16. Great story, but upon viewing the accompanying photograph, I thought "photobombed by Bambi's mom."

    What a world, what a world.

    Posted by: "Acronym Jim | Aug 1, 2014 11:22:12 AM

  17. There beautiful people. Thank you for sharing Trent

    Posted by: felix | Aug 1, 2014 12:16:19 PM

  18. I went through the same thing. I was woking at a grocery store and a muslim woman came in. She was refused service by the idiot who worked in the deli department because (his words) "She has a scarf on her head, she's a muslim and doesn't speak English." She spoke perfect English, but anyway... The woman left crying. My supervisor did nothing.

    I turned off my register and ran after her, begged her not to leave and told her I'd get the manager to deal with this. The manager, angry that I interrupted his internet activities, wrote me up for leaving my register and said that asking the woman to stay was illegal because it was "restraining" someone. He did nothing to the deli guy because he was in a meat-cutters union and therefore untouchable.

    Posted by: But anyway... | Aug 1, 2014 1:58:59 PM

  19. @ BUT ANYWAY...

    Thank you for being brave that day. It's people like you who give the rest of us hope.

    I've had a few (very few) acts of courage. But they always took me by surprise--you know, never expecting ME to step up and rise to the occasion. But, still, those moments are always good to look back on and say, "well, that one time I did something right."

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 1, 2014 2:08:28 PM

  20. That's a day trip for me, but I've never been to that area and it might just make for a fun drive.

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 1, 2014 3:58:27 PM

  21. Derrick from Philly said:

    "I've had a few (very few) acts of courage."

    It does not surprise me at all that you have had very few acts of courage over your life. You are at heart a coward. However, it is gratifying to hear you admit it.

    Posted by: Tyler | Aug 1, 2014 4:04:27 PM

  22. "Derrick from Philly said:

    "I've had a few (very few) acts of courage."

    It does not surprise me at all that you have had very few acts of courage over your life. You are at heart a coward. However, it is gratifying to hear you admit it."

    Well, you're pretty brave--using someone else's ( TYLER'S) posting name.

    LOL. I may not be brave, but I am honest...even on an internet blog. LOL

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 1, 2014 4:14:48 PM

  23. Tyler, you are a disgusting person. Go away.

    Posted by: John | Aug 1, 2014 4:17:38 PM


    another thing: I may be a coward, but I can show appreciation for someone else's courage such as the incident the poster "BUT ANYWAY..." told us about.

    You didn't even acknowledge "BUT ANYWAY..."s act of courage.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 1, 2014 4:20:18 PM

  25. @ JOHN,

    thanks. I just wanted to tell the poster "BUT ANYWAY..." he did the right thing. And it will be a good memory for the rest of his life.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 1, 2014 4:35:42 PM

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