According to the Washington Blade, Amira Gray and her eight friends dined at Bistro 18 last August and were given poor service by the restaurant’s staff. When Gray received the check from the female bartender, she saw the slur and brought it to the manager’s attention.
Gray states in her complaint that in addition to the anti-LGBT slur on the check, which she kept and turned over to Lambda Legal, her party was being denied service at the table in which they were seated. She walked to the bar and ordered drinks for her friends, which she brought to her table, the complaint states. No server came to the table except one who delivered the hookah smoking pipe while people seated at nearby tables were being waited on regularly by servers, the complaint says.
The restaurant manager says the server was fired immediately and Gray was given a full refund.
With the restaurant taking the necessary precautions, other LGBT support groups don’t see the need for Gray, along with activist group Lambda Legal, to file any actions against the restaurant. Reports also showed that the bistro never had any issues in the past with racial slurs.
“With LGBT activists and netizens constantly ready to retaliate against any perceived slight and conservative Christians regularly claiming that many businesses are unfairly attacked by activists, what responsibility does Lambda Legal have to ensure that they aren’t damaging a business’ reputation without reason?” Bil Browning of the Bilerico Project blogwrote. “Should they be held responsible for any harm they cause the establishment – particularly if the bar is found innocent by the city’s human rights commission?”
Gray believes the matter wasn’t handled as smoothly as the restaurant claims. In her complaint, she says the incident shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
“As a transgender woman, I was extremely hurt, embarrassed and upset,” she said. “I felt that the slur was meant as a slap in the face because of my gender identity and expression, my perceived sexual orientation, my personal appearance, and my association with my friends who are or may have been perceived as being lesbian or gay.”
Bistro 18’s manager Mohammad Elhoda believes that Lamdba Legal is using Gray’s case for their group’s image, rather than for protecting Gray’s civil rights.
Whatever the outcome of the complaint, we hope no one else has to go through the same embarrassment as Gray and her friends.
SOURCE: Washington Blade | PHOTO CREDIT: Handout