Samantha Heaton, who has been working as a waitress at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Rockford, Illinois, for a year, had what must have been her least pleasant experience with a customer last week. Rather than tipping her, the customer wrote, “Can’t tip someone who doesn’t love Jesus! Bad tatoo [sic]” on the receipt, referring to the rainbow-colored bars on her arm, a widely recognized symbol for LGBT equality.
A friend’s Facebook post about the incident, in which she wrote that “being gay does not mean you don’t believe in God or Jesus. And people who are ‘religious’ should not disrespect or act in such ways to other people,” quickly went viral. “It was shocking. I couldn’t help but feel hurt,” Samantha told the BBC. “I would’ve openly discussed my tattoo with them, had they asked. I talked to them about their food. They kept me constantly busy, but were not openly rude to me. I’ve never had someone write anything like this.”
Many people expressed their support for Heaton on social media, including Samantha’s girlfriend who wrote that she is “so much more than a tattoo.” Some others doubted their motives, however, pointing out that it could be a ploy to get financially rewarded by sympathizers on the internet. Samantha and her friend who made the post denied that this was the case, and said they only wanted to spread awareness. “I hope I’ve been able to bring awareness to this issue of bullying and discrimination,” Samantha added. “We have a long way to go but love and kindness will thrive in the face of adversity.”
Read the full story at BBC.