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Two Totally Straight Guys Compare Being Labeled Gay On A Restaurant Receipt To Racism

Two straight guys are outraged over service they recently received at Judson's Bar in York, England. Upon obtaining the receipt for a meal, the men noticed that their waitress had referred to them as "gay guys, stools" in the comment section designed to help other staff know where to deliver food and drink.

The guys insist they're not upset for being mistaken as gay; instead, they say, it's the fact that the waitress publicly stereotyped her customers based on perceived sexual orientation. They're comparing the listed title on the receipt to racism. 

"I obviously thought it was inappropriate," said Al Butler, 26, who received the receipt while dining with a friend. "It took a while for it sink in. It was not insulting, it was just a shock. I was surprised. I would not expect it anywhere else. It's as equally unacceptable as racism."

"It's not a bad thing to be called gay - although I'm not and neither is my friend - but I think it's prejudiced," he added. "It's jumping to a conclusion without the need to do so."

Butler claims he asked the bartender about the receipt immediately after receiving it but was offered no sympathy. The restaurant has since apologized for the "unprofessional" gaffe and promised to discipline the server, who is apparently new. Still, owner Peter Ward believes the comment was unfortunate but "not prejudice." 

What do you think of the guys' handling of the situation, Instincters? What would you do if a restaurant receipt you received read "gay guys"? 

(Via Daily Mail)




I think it is over blown. On one hand, we don't want to be labeled, yet, we want our rights as a distinct and identifiable group of society. So the waitress called it wrong. There is is no harm or intent in her actions. Nor is the action offensive. If she was insulting or offered reduced service, maybe. She called out a group by their own acceptable self description. Even the gays have bad days with their gaydar! End of story.

It's important to consider the sensibilities of the customers because they are a business and they are dealing with face to face interactions.

Other than the pragmatic, the gracious side of a person is revealed in circumstances like this. The fact that the server could have used every other possible adjective that is non-offensive or non-stereotypical says a lot about her character. To be honest, I don't think the server is a bad person, just very unprofessional and insensitive. She should not be working this kind of job if she doesn't have enough common sense or breeding to know that you just don't do that.

I personally find it fascinating when cultures mash together.  The points made in the comments were most interesting:

1 - what is appropriate behavior?

2 - is stereotyping ok?  If the police area allowed to do it, why can't we - average everyday citizens - do it?

3 - is it ok to verbalize or otherwise state what label we give to people?  Some mentioned that blacks, asians, mexicans, or other terms used to describe race, creed, color, gender, sexuality, and so forth is either appropriate or inappropriate.

4 - why does the restaurant not use table and seat numbers for descriptions vs allowing anything to be written into the description section of the bill?

5 - why is the bill used in the kitchen as the order form? Usually most places have two different forms / formats for that.  The bill is printed specifically for the customer, while the order form is used in the kitchen. Both contain the order, but different information formats / layouts

6 - should metro sexuals be labeled gay?

7 - if people don't wish to be judged, why are they allowing their emotions surrounding this event to cause them to judge the server, the restaurant, and the 2 men?  

From my perspective .. events, facts, feelings, emotions, judgments, experiences, beliefs, actions .. seem to be unseparatable in both the article and comments posted.  Each individual sees different facts, has different emotions based on their beliefs - which are based on their experiences, arrives at different judgments and conclusions and takes different actions.  It's an interesting conversation about right and wrong.  

Someone has too much free time at the Restaurant, not appropriate for them to that to their customers.  They are going to loss business if they continue this inappropriate action.

The point in reference is, who uses societal perceptions to label customers---obviously an individual with issues. Said individual's mindset may be perceived as racist, especially if given a chance to view her other customer-labeled receipts. We have no idea what she's written.  Stool, being next to the word gay, even if used as a true area of the restaurant, can be seen by many as an insult--- the old anti-gay joke of "how do you fit four gay men on a stool: turn it upside down."  Perhaps they are truly trying to bring attention to how stereotypes affect a view of the public? 

I  thought the question was whether or not what she did would be considered prejudice? 

In my opinion... no. Prejudice has to do with fact of showing some kind of hatred or dislike toward a certain "labeled" group of people or person. At least, that is what I believe. The article also mentioned racism... How?

Are there other details left out of the article to where the two men could actually debate and prove these notions? How was the way she served the two men perceived? What are the ethnic background of the men? 

There are many questions to be answered why they would feel the way they do. However, based on the article do I find the newly employed waitress to have been racist or prejudiced - no.

What I find is that labeling does no equal the latter; yet, it merely marks the flaw of what most humans do on a daily basis. In a way, she was happened to not be ashamed, afraid or tactful enough to hide her thoughts.

... depends on the way is referred... here I feel a little despise in the comment... BUT it´s kind of flattering because, once again, in this case, and since they are NOT showing affection to each other (they are straight) the waitress thought: hey they are pretty, look nice, well dressed, seem educated and courteous... so they are GAY, it's like a compliment!

The idea of a bar attendant putting labels on patrons just wrong....but on the other hand if straight guys are offended about being referred to as the "gay guys" ....that says something about their charter. It's not like she referred to them as a child molester,murderer or asshole straight guys!.....and I'm a proud gay man...and don't mind being referred as one.

I would not leave the Waiter/Waitress a tip if I ever saw such a thing on a receipt. 

Just for the record I am Gay, very open about it & have been with my other half for 15+ years. When we go out for a meal it is very obvious to all there we are a couple but is that were on a receipt the Manager would be called over and letters would go to the main offices.   

Drama queen!....I'm a proud gay man..but no queen!

the label was completely unnecessary. but what really takes the cake is the audacity of this server to allow for it to show on the receipt. fine, she's a biased jerk, we all label. but to flaunt her disregard for respect or be stupid enough to show off her insult to the same customers she's referring to is another kind of idiocy. if i were the customers, I'd be livid and demand some kind of reprimand for this server, or should i say this "dumb chick; with the plates"

If it was me, I wouldn't pay the bill. They must hae been referring to someone else.
Write me a new bill.

Any other minority would have treated with more sensitivity.  You don't refer to people as "black guys," "Chinese guys," etc.  

i think someone is taking himself way too seriously. get over it.


It was necessary for that waiter or waitress to make such a comment.  "Two guys - stools" would have been clear enough for the person who delivers the food.  This would be wrong even if it were a man and woman.  It's not the waiter's job to ascertain if the two people sitting together are gay or straight or if they are dating or single. It is their job to just serve them whatever they came there to eat on their menu.  It's not an issue that needs any wide attention though.


 it is a fact that if you are well dressed, groomed and wearing gayish clothes, people will assume youre gay.  a brunette can dye her hair blonde and people will assume she's a blonde, when in fact she is not.  its a fact that people will always assume what they see is true.  no prejudice, just a poor choice of words, BUT if the guys aren't offended then whats the offense?

The guys WERE offended. It clearly states that in the article. They weren't offended by the fact they were called gay, they were offended by the fact the waitress stereotyped them and thought it was OK to put "gay guys" in the comments section of the receipt.

The well dressed thing is just a bs stereotype. The fact that people assume someone is gay because of it is annoying and seems ignorant. That's all there is here.

Woul have taken it as a compliment to my attire and grooming.  They are correct in their assertion that it is totally inappropriate and unacceptable. Instead: "Handsome young men" or "Dapper, clean shaven guys" would work.  Numbering the stools would also be smart.  Hopefully the runners would ask if the Oak plank salmon was theirs... (And most gays would have subbed salad for chips or fries!)

The waitress could have just said, "two guys on stools".  When I was responding, I was going to say, "she should have identified them as "two guys on the stools".  Notice immediately I thought it was a "she".  Obviously "she " needs labels in her life.   These guys are very upstanding gentlemen.  I take off my hat to them as not being offended.  It just means they are handsome, fit, and dress nicely. 

Not sure where it was said that they were dressed well and/or well-groomed.  That could be the various commentors own stereotype.  It is very possible that in the waitresses' opinion any two men eating together must be gay by definition.  Somewhere somebody read into it that the two men must be well-dressed well-groomed etc.  Only the waitress can say why she thought they were gay. Maybe neither guy hit on her, so she figured they were only into guys.  

The article states it was a she when they used the word "waitress." A waitress is the feminine version of waiter. If she wasn't a she, they likely would have said "waiter."

It's WRONG on a lot of levels, not so hurtful, just wrong, unprofessional, ignorant and depending on the person who did it it could have been meant to hurt someone maybe she IS racist either way it should not happen and they should pay some sort of consequence for it and in my opinion she should lose this job and if she really didn't mean it she won't ever do it again but....if she did mean she will lose the next job until she learns how to be respectful of the human race.

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