Note: we are republishing this story to raise awareness about discrimination against LGBTQ people. The ACLU outlines what action victims of this kind of discrimination can take here: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/lgbtq-rights/
33-year-old Michele Crider was greeted with a disgusting slur when she went to pick up the receipt left by the two men she had served at the restaurant she worked at. She admitted that the attack hurt her at first, and started wondering why it was becoming “acceptable to spread hate” against other people.
She posted a video online in response to the man who wrote “I don’t tip fags” on the receipt. She stated that she pitied the bigoted man, and that she was shocked that this type of thing “has just become an acceptable thing in our country.”
She added: “It doesn’t matter whether you are gay, whether you are black, if you have a learning disability; it’s OK now to spread that kind of hate. To say those kind of things to people. I cannot wrap my head around it.”
She then addressed the diner directly: “Why did you feel the need, Sir, to write that on there? If you don’t like gay people, then whatever. It is what it is. But to say something like that? Just don’t tip me.”
She explained that she was not defined by her sexual orientation, stating: “I’m a lot more than that. I’m a mother. I work my butt off, Sir, to pay my bills, to put my son into a good school and pay that tuition. You don’t know me, you don’t know who I am. You look at me and you see a girl wearing boy clothes and having short hair and think ‘she must be a fag.’”
She stated that she hoped the man did not have any children to spread the hate to.
She said: “I’m a 33-year-old woman who is now just able to get on her own two feet and do things on her own. And then I have people like you that think it’s acceptable to knock people down. You didn’t, Sir. You didn’t win. You are the coward.”
Michele’s colleagues at the Dash-In were quick to offer their support after the incident, buying her flowers and a card that expressed how much they loved her.
She stated that she hoped the man had friends who would end up sharing her video with him. The video has since garnered more than a million views.
When her son Jax asked why she was in the media spotlight, she explained: “I broke it down in a seven-year-old’s terms. I used the word ‘bulling a lot.’”
Jax responded: “Why wouldn’t they like your hair, Mom? You have really cool hair.”