On November 14, a friend linked this article about a lesbian waitress in New Jersey who had claimed that a patron refused to tip her, scrawling on the credit card receipt that he “not agree with your lifestyle and the way you live your life.” I replied that I was dubious about the story, given a recently discredited report from a waitress leveling a similar accusation, in that case, alleging that a patron refused to live a tip because of the color of her kin. (To be sure, I did write, ” If this is true, it is a sad sign of an insecure person.”)
Turns out that my skepticism was warranted. The story has been debunked, with the patrons providing an actual copy of their credit card receipt, including a generous tip — as well as a copy of their credit card statement showing a charge in an amount #18 higher than the original $93.55 bill.
Commenting on this copy-cat fraud, Elizabeth Scalia laments that she and her husband may have to forego the practice of leaving tips in cash (even when they pay with credit cards), adding that she hopes
. . . that when people appear to be falsely accused of doing awful things (like leaving a gay-hating lecture in place of a gratuity) our friends in the gay community will also speak up, and denounce these fraudulent scenarios that play upon the sympathies of people of good will — whatever their creed, their race, their sexual orientation — and which only end up stoking the fires of resentment and distrust between people, where none should exist.
(Via Instapundit.) The words scrawled on both receipts are ugly words. And those who use them to describe people different from themselves are truly insecure and mean-spirited individuals. And when individuals with different insecurities stage these media-generating stunts, they risk numbing others to real animus.
Scalia is right. Her friends in the gay community should denounce this. And this gay man does — as I would daresay do many of our readers, on both sides of the political aisle.
Let us hope we are not alone. For those who stage such stunts do more to compromise the ever-improving image of gay people in American society. And they should apologize not just to the individuals they malign, but also to their fellow gay men and lesbians as they draw public attention away from our real concerns and toward their own insecurities.